Looking for a more structured path to learning
Hi! I really hope this is the right place to post something like this. I am honestly looking for help, and I'm not even sure I will ever be able to find it. But I am going to keep looking until I do!
I am interested in learning art. My problem is that I can't seem to find a direction to start. The way I learn how to do things is through two things: structure and example. I am having a huge problem with the structure part.
First, I'll explain what field of art I am most interested in. Right now, my goal is to learn traditionally, with a pencil and paper. I want to learn faces, figure drawing, poses, anatomy, etc. Those are my main targets right now. I don't mind starting off with realism but I ideally would like to develop a style that is somewhat between realism and cartooning.
My best friend is a very, very talented artist and has been trying to help me along my way but we both learn things very differently. Although he is trying his best to help me, I still feel lost.
I am an absolute beginner. No history in art. I took art classes in high school but I never really took them seriously. I took a drawing class in my first semester in college but it was a disaster because we were just left to "draw" with no direction.
I have read that a lot of people say there IS no other way than to just draw. And practice, practice, practice. I intend to do both of those, but it would help me SO much more if I had some kind of path to follow. Like, do this first and then do this next. Even something as simple as, learn how to draw facial features first and then work on the shape of the face itself. Or work on anatomy first and then focus on facial features.
Is there a guide somewhere that has something along these lines? Or perhaps a book I could buy that is highly recommended?
I have been trying to learn anatomy by copying photographs of models that I find online. I don't feel like I am making any improvement because as I am copying these people, not only does it look horrible but I have NO idea what I am doing! I feel clueless and frustrated because I have taught myself things before and I know the feeling when something is making sense and I am progressing.
I would be so grateful if somebody would please point me in a direction. Surely there must be an artist with a similar mindset as I am. Or is this all in vain and there is no direction to becoming an artist? I figure that can't be the case, but who knows... I am completely new to visual art and I am sadly, not a very visual learner but I don't want to let that stop me!
Sorry for the ridiculously long post, but I am really dedicated to developing my skill as an artist and I feel like this forum may have some answers for me, hopefully!
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Drawing Essentials by Deborah Rockman. Good place to start.
From the Book Description:
"Ideal for introductory studio art courses in drawing, Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation thoroughly covers the three drawing subcategories that are most important at the foundation level--basic drawing (non-subject specific), figure drawing, and perspective drawing--explaining clearly and in depth the elements that are essential to depicting form and space on a two-dimensional surface."
I'll be sure to check this book out! Thank you very much for the suggestion.
Originally Posted by JeffX99
Thank you for your suggestion, I agree that post is very helpful and has many very useful resources. But what I am looking for isn't specific resources - I've had no shortages of them on the internet, I'm just looking for a "starting point" kind of thing because since I am such a low level beginner, I want to make sure I'm not starting out with things that I haven't the correct foundation for. Or even how long I should spend practicing a specific topic before I should move on, that kind of thing!
Originally Posted by Arshes Nei
I'm going to say this again.
Originally Posted by creamymint
The best way to start is, STARTING.
If you're hand wringing over the "right way to start" just throw that mess out the window.
Just because you're beginning doesn't mean this "structured path" is going to make it faster. In fact why bore yourself with some structured exercises, because what? You'll make mistakes...well damn right you will.
I see people burn out faster by making the work these tedious "has to be the right way, because I'm just starting".
You know why certain artists became the success they are now? They do it. They draw and when they figure out they're not working on something, they look it up research or go to school. It was whatever it took. They certainly didn't skimp out on the fun stuff.
So there's always these two really dumb ends of the spectrum.
People who worry too much about "Starting off right and have to make it some boring exercise"
The People who complain they're never getting better, because they don't realize - sure it's cool to draw all the fun stuff but they should also add in the "boring studies" to make themselves better.
You know...kinda like a balanced diet.
That thread I gave you all you need to get going. Stop worrying about how to do it and JUST DO IT.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Arshes Nei For This Useful Post:
That's a really great response Arshes! I should really read that every time I wake up in the morning.
creamymint you should check out the art discussion forum somone posts this question pretty much every week. Including me. Every few weeks I wake up and ask this question. I then spend time laying out some structure. But it isn't important. Despite that I keep doing it. I wonder how many artists go through this.
I have word documents and diagrams and stuff all showing different ways I can structure my exercises. It just doesn't end up working that way.
Here is the best way I can think of to approach your problem. What you can do is draw stuff you like. Fun stuff. Copy stuff you would like to be able to draw from imagination. Figure out what you want to draw at that moment. Maybe you likes mechs or gadgets or tanks or purple hippopotamus people. Try it out, copy art you like. You will notice certain things that are crap, like anatomy or pespective etc. This gives you a question like "wow these character pelvises are really wonky, how do I draw them correctly". Once you approach your studies in terms of a question you need to answer, a problem to solve, things get so much clearer.
The Following User Says Thank You to Whirly For This Useful Post:
I am working through 'The Natural Way to Draw' by Nicolaides, and usually do 3 to 4 hours a day, it's got structured schedules and works for me
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