Details Anxiety
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    Details Anxiety

    First post in CA, heheh. This seems to be the right section for this sort of question...

    I'm a 16 y/o aspiring artist. I've been drawing for 4 years now, altho not that seriously...I don't practice much, and half of those years have been me agonizing over my art skills like a chump, haha. Plus it was mostly in a terrible cartoonish artstyle with no real technique. I'm starting to take art learning more seriously, and when I found this forum I was overjoyed! I immediately (well, after some reading) grabbed my pencil and started doing some life sketches. I felt great...up to a certain point. After a couple of attempted sketches, I realized I've had an issue for at least most of my drawing years and never noticed.

    I...never draw details. Ever. Everything I do is highly simplified and when I try to add some textures or something I start freaking out. I can do a basic contour drawing, maybe some super simple crosshatching shading, and that's about it. Whenever I try to get myself to add some actual details, or draw something more complex than simple 3D shapes, it makes me really anxious and I basically shut down.

    This is especially frustrating for me because in a lot of tutorials I read/watch, the author will oftentimes warn about doing details too early. They give hints like "restrain yourself from jumping into details first" and "first simplify, then you can add details". One tutorial even said "And now that we've finished the underdrawing, we can do the fun part- details!"

    I eventually want to learn digital painting, which requires skills like realistic rendering. That's many years in my future, sure, but I don't think I can practice towards that goal very easily without being able to draw *some* details. So...how do I get over this anxiety of mine? I've tried to just draw through it on a life drawing, but the second I actually have the un-detailed drawing in front of me, I can't bring myself to put the pencil on paper. Help ><

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    Black Spot's Avatar
    Black Spot is offline Pew, Pew, Pew Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Draw bigger, then it won't feel like you're adding details.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    I used to have this sort of "how does I add details, I don't get it" problem when I was younger. Then I spent couple years (well, more like seven years) doing life drawing and that problem was pretty much gone (not that I'll do very much details in my work but now I at least see where the details come from).

    Also, start a Sketchbook. It's hard to see what you mean by "undetailed" when you have no art posted.

    Last edited by TinyBird; June 9th, 2012 at 03:52 AM.
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    lol I used to think that way and now I'm having the opposite problem of trying very much to draw simply while maintaining an illusion of depth and detail.

    It seems the more experience you get at drawing in general the more detail you can add without even adding much. Separating the necessary with the unnecessary is quite the task. Hence why many people starting get hung up on making their stuff detailed without having the experience to know what's necessary or not.


    If that makes any sense. I'm dead tired. Gnight.

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    Patience.

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    Why not try practicing the textures and details themselves? Draw/print out a bunch of circles on a page, maybe an inch and a half in diameter. Make a bunch of pages of circles so you can "wreck" any one circle and still have a dozen others to play with.

    So with the contour all taken care of, you can go around your house and the great outdoors looking for interesting textures and patterns. Look at each texture/pattern carefully and see how it's made. Then try it out in a circle. If it looks like crap, that's okay. It's just a bunch of circles. You can try making different kinds of marks with your pencil too, and see what kind of textures you can come up with from your head.

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    Let's see some work. Your problem may not be what you think it is. Beginners are notoriously bad at self-diagnosis.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Thank you everyone for your replies! Everyone's given such great advice. I especially plan on doing what Vineris suggested- seems like a good place to start. Thank you!

    Here are some examples of the stuff I tend to do- one's a stylized character from imagination, the other drawn from life/photos/ref books. There's also one drawing I did this morning- some of my anxiety has gone away just from getting some advice, so I managed to draw a face from a photo. (First time it's come out that well!) I've always felt more comfortable with faces tho...even if anatomy doesn't make much sense, heh. Still a little scared of non-animalia subject matter.

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    You're fine, keep doing what you're doing. At this point the most important thing to do is just put in the time. You should start a thread in the Sketchbooks section.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Alright! Well thank you for the reassurance. I might start a Sketchbook in the summer, when I have more time to focus on it and get in the habit- it's hard to draw much during the end of school, heheh.

    Thank you everyone for your help!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan Redtree View Post
    I might start a Sketchbook in the summer, when I have more time to focus on it and get in the habit- it's hard to draw much during the end of school, heheh.
    Or you could start the Sketchbook now, and let it motivate you to try to draw more even while doing other stuff (because that's pretty much always going to happen and it will continue when summer ends)!

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