I think I've just about lost it....

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    Angry I think I've just about lost it....

    I honestly don't have a clue anymore. I start a digital painting usually by either a line drawing or values, which usually get no further. I'm still practicing, but I'm just dead frustrated with how little ability I have. I've been doing digital stuff now for a few months, and I am sick at seeing so many others producing incredible work when I'm struggling to get things like composition sorted. I don't know if It's because I don't spend long enough, try hard enough, know enough etc...probably a combination of all, but I just can't develop. Can anyone else give me their stories of how it took them to develop skills, and how well they could paint when they first started?

    Yes, this is probably extremely irritating to everyone here, but I need some advice on developing, could anyone suggest any books/ sites or videos about basics, or any threads on here for complete and utter spanners like myself. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom94 View Post
    I honestly don't have a clue anymore. I start a digital painting usually by either a line drawing or values, which usually get no further. I'm still practicing, but I'm just dead frustrated with how little ability I have. I've been doing digital stuff now for a few months, and I am sick at seeing so many others producing incredible work when I'm struggling to get things like composition sorted. I don't know if It's because I don't spend long enough, try hard enough, know enough etc...probably a combination of all, but I just can't develop. Can anyone else give me their stories of how it took them to develop skills, and how well they could paint when they first started?

    Yes, this is probably extremely irritating to everyone here, but I need some advice on developing, could anyone suggest any books/ sites or videos about basics, or any threads on here for complete and utter spanners like myself. Thanks
    http://conceptart.org/forums

    Seriously. And sorry, don't know where you got the idea this was easy? And that all those "others producing incredible work" have only spent a few months at it? That's like saying I've had my guitar since February...I'm so frustrated I'm not opening for Rush! What, oh what am I doing wrong?

    Here's my story...been at it 48 years as far as I can tell...work at some aspect of it every day....7 days a week. Still suck at some things...struggle with everything. When I got started painting properly about 15 years ago...I couldn't even make a painting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    http://conceptart.org/forums

    Seriously. And sorry, don't know where you got the idea this was easy? And that all those "others producing incredible work" have only spent a few months at it? That's like saying I've had my guitar since February...I'm so frustrated I'm not opening for Rush! What, oh what am I doing wrong?

    Here's my story...been at it 48 years as far as I can tell...work at some aspect of it every day....7 days a week. Still suck at some things...struggle with everything. When I got started painting properly about 15 years ago...I couldn't even make a painting.
    Yup. What Jeff said.

    Check out the tutorials in my sig.

    The best advice I ever got except to draw or paint every day was to never compare my work to others. Aspire, study and improve but never compare.

    GL!

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    Send a message to everyone, whose work you like and ask for advice concerning motivation or technique.

    You will be amazed how open and friendly people are.

    Also research a bit and see if you can find a track back to the beginnings of those you admire. Read biographies too(not only of artists, there are a lot of interesting people with interesting jobs who stumbled a lot) It will give you your motivation and drive back when you doubt yourself.

    For example:
    Listen to the Brad Rigney interview on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEU03Q5H5sU
    Then view his work on deviant art.

    And don't forget to get some time for yourself.
    Getting up and run for a hour in the morning or evening keeps not only your body fit, but also your mind. It is medicine against getting into a melancholic state of mind.

    all the best,

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    Quote Originally Posted by AWSullivan View Post
    The best advice I ever got except to draw or paint every day was to never compare my work to others. Aspire, study and improve but never compare.
    I'd say compare yourself to others just enough to keep from getting cocky.

    If you want to improve, challenge yourself. Master the basics, but try more difficult things as well.

    Eg. You can't do calculus without understanding addition and subtraction, but you will never spontaneously learn calculus by adding and subtracting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom94 View Post
    Yes, this is probably extremely irritating to everyone here, but I need some advice on developing, could anyone suggest any books/ sites or videos about basics, or any threads on here for complete and utter spanners like myself. Thanks
    In times of trouble, go back to basics. Set up a simple black and white value study, in charcoal, or a simple still life, in natural media. I still do basic color studies every once in a while (like the last one here), 1-2 hours of digital painting, just to get the colours right, and to tell myself I don't thoroughly suck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom94 View Post
    I honestly don't have a clue anymore. I start a digital painting usually by either a line drawing or values, which usually get no further. I'm still practicing, but I'm just dead frustrated with how little ability I have. I've been doing digital stuff now for a few months, and I am sick at seeing so many others producing incredible work when I'm struggling to get things like composition sorted. I don't know if It's because I don't spend long enough, try hard enough, know enough etc...probably a combination of all, but I just can't develop. Can anyone else give me their stories of how it took them to develop skills, and how well they could paint when they first started?

    Yes, this is probably extremely irritating to everyone here, but I need some advice on developing, could anyone suggest any books/ sites or videos about basics, or any threads on here for complete and utter spanners like myself. Thanks
    I was in your shoes when I was 18. I dropped out of college to solve my problem of developing and got private lessons to learn how to draw. I did not know I was incapable of making a successful drawing until I finished a few projects. I was missing essential threshold concepts about picture making that held me back from doing solid work. When I grasped those concepts, I could practice more deliberately and this is where I was able to make real progress. Some concepts were obvious but ignored at first. When I finally considered them my work improved. I studied for some time since then (years) and I am still learning. I believe time spent practicing under misconceptions was the most debilitating part of my growth.

    I looked at your sketchbook and can see why you are frustrated. In my opinion, it seems you are trying to make complex pictures with very little know how of the concepts that make those pictures successful. You do not have much to work with and your compounding this problem by attempting things beyond your capabilities. Change your attention then with grasping the fundamental concepts that representational pictures all share in order to be successful. That is without mastering them, pictures would probably look like yours. You will be glad you did.

    - Kinjark
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    Yeah, I second eezacque. Do some studies from life. If you can't do them then now is the time to start. And if you *can* do them they tend to cheer you up because they look better than stuff one tries to make up wholesale.

    This might be a useful thread for you too:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=178582
    Knowing how to approach learning is really useful.

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    Hi, I have checked your sketchbook and you have some sense with value but you lack knowledge in perspective and proportions. What I would advise you to do is to learn to draw. Maybe if I explain a little how I progressed in my art it could help you.

    I started learning digital painting 3 years ago. I wanted to be able to paint very well so I thought that learning painting was the best way to go without trying to draw as that was not as fun as painting for me then years passed and I learned to copy photos and make them look ok but when I tried to paint from scratch I saw little improvement and then I realized that I lacked all the proportions, perspective and knowledge of form that drawing gives you so I bought a sketchbook and began to draw nearly every day in it. At first, only studies of anatomy, vehicle, environments(which were very bad at start) etc and then I started including some personal work. It helped me understand many things in painting and develop my visual library.

    To answer your question, nobody can draw or paint when they start, it's only a matter of time and hard work.

    If you want some advices, you should check noah bradley's blog:

    http://www.noahbradley.com/blog/

    You should also check Bobby Chiu's videos on youtube. He is very inspiring :

    http://www.youtube.com/user/digitalbobert

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    Well..
    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    The main thing is to get as good as you can with drawing and painting fundamentals, and for that you can (and probably should) use any regular traditional media.

    Also "knocking out speed paintings" is probably not the best way to hone your fundamentals. I'm not sure what stage you're at or what you've been doing so far, but the most helpful thing you can do is draw and paint a lot of stuff from life, and do so carefully, paying attention to proportion, form, value, relationships, color, etc. This isn't a speed contest, at the beginning it's usually better to go slow and pay attention and try to get things right. Speed comes with practice.

    Also study the usual basics, anatomy, perspective, and so forth. (The stickies in this forum, the Fine Art forum, and the Tutorials forum have a lot of useful resources and info to get you started on fundamentals.)

    Aaaaand, yeah, start a sketchbook thread and start posting WIPs in the critique section to get some specific feedback and critique.
    Also looking through your sketchbook, I might suggest ditching the special charcoal brush or whatever you're using for a while. It may make the image look prettier but it may also impede your own markmaking, causing you to rely to the brush to do the work for you and overall just make your images an overtextured blur of brushes.

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    How about going back and following the advice you got (like QueenGuinevere's above) the last time?


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    It's only been a month since your last crisis and you're already freaking out about progress...? Seriously? This stuff takes time to learn. A lot of time. Years and years. Patience.

    Also, I don't see any observational drawings in your sketchbook. Have you been drawing anything from life? The more you draw and observe from life, the more progress you make, trust me. (And look carefully at what you're drawing when you draw from life - don't just bang stuff out to get "pencil mileage".)

    I drew a mix of things from life and imagination for many years before going to art school, that got me to the point of being at least good enough to get into a good art school. Then in art school they had us draw exclusively from life for a year, and I think I made huge leaps in skill that year. They continued to have us do a mix of things from life, imagination, and assorted reference for three more years, and I guess I progressed pretty well over that time. Even with that, I was only "pretty good" by the time I graduated. It takes most people several years of further continuous practice after their initial education to become really amazing.

    I kind of slacked some years, and spent the majority of my art time working from imagination or doing cartoony and stylized stuff as part of my job, so now I find myself going back to basics yet again in an effort to level up... Yes, that means lots of studies from life. Basic still life, landscape, life drawing, the works. I've been finding that if you keep doing work from life, you stay in shape. If you stop doing it, it shows.

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    Please listen to every single answer people have given you, they're bloody wise. I know what you're feeling because I'm a beginner as well and I improve very slowly, but that's they way it works. Hard work and patience. I also hoped to become "good" in about half a year (what a fool!) and now I know it could take me at least 3 or 4 years to become as good as I want to be (I don't want to be the next Caravaggio, of course, I just want to paint digitally quite decently).

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    dude you have the same problem i did, and while im gonna tell you what already others did i am gonna say this, WORK YOUR ASS OFF on basics they are the backbone of any artists i know its frustrating everytime you have a idea that you just cant put into paper but in time this things will resolve in the mean time practice alot of structure and mainly always try to draw what you know you cant because even if its bad you are going to learn so much from it, study anatomy, learn gesture drawing feed your mind with all of these things and remember, it takes TIME AND EFFORT to become great but we are all here to give you the support you need from a fellow struggler i salute you !

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    I also think it's important to ask yourself why you draw in the first place.

    Do you honestly and TRULY enjoy creating art or do you just see another artist's work and say "I wanna do that someday".

    That's the big separation I see a lot of the times. People who seriously hate the process of drawing, but they admire other artists so much that they want to give it a try. To steal Jeff's analogy - I LOVE KK Downing from Judas Priest. The guy is a legend and I'd love to be able to play like that! But the process of trying to learn a guitar doesn't click for me. I don't like it. So why would I dedicate all of my time an energy to something that I hate the act of just to get the to the point where I appreciate the output?

    Air Guitar is fine by me.

    So ask yourself that question. DO YOU LIKE TO DRAW?
    If you like to draw and you have fun creating new worlds with your pencil, then it doesn't matter how shitty your art is, does it?

    You need to re-wire your brain before you can get better at drawing, imo.

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    First and foremost, calm down

    Your 18, everything is going to feel like the end of the world...is not

    Loomis is a nice start, google a bit and youŽll find his books. And more than the technical info because if you read what he says not just skimm to the anatomy pictures youŽll notice he talks about a lot of the issues of the first steps into art.

    i know is hard to see the horizon sometimes but you just gotta push trough and trust that the questions will get answers as you go. Everything unfolds at its pace as long as you keep doing things.

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    I see alot of artists (not just visual artists, but musicians etc..) start to get really good when they decide that yes, "i want to do this on the high level" and will do whatever it takes, put however much time to get there.

    Paradoxically though, you've gotta realize that art is much more than just some linear progression to becoming capable, its something you've gotta find enjoyment in for its own sake you know? Personally i find enjoyment in the process of learning.

    Like JDSart said, its all about keeping the steady activity. Its much like a videogame where you rack up the BIG points by stringing combo's rather than pulling off big singular actions.

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    As said before, set your mind to focusing in the basics. Only focus on learning that and UNDERSTANDING that. You will end up proud over yourself in the end as well as have learned tons.

    "I wish to paint in such a manner as if I were photographing dreams" - Zdzislaw Beksinski
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    I think the issue here is that this new generation of aspiring concept artists wants to go from step 1 to 1000, skipping all the hard work on things that seem "Boring" to them.
    Don't lose heart friend! The thing is, you NEED to start simple. Say, grab any household item, like a hair dryer, place it in front of you with good top lighting, and then render the hell out of it in grayscale only, no colors. Paying close attention to how values chage with subtlety when the forms have wide turns, and how they change abruptly when there are sharp turns. Then, change the angle of the lighting, or the placement of the object and do it again.
    You know, most of the younger aspiring artists I know, look at a career in this field as an escape from the "Boring" academic world that leads to office work. Well, they couldn't be more wrong! It's the exact same thing!
    Take the exercise above as an example. Once you are able to draw the hair dryer in any angle, and in several types of lighting, with all the correct values in grayscale, you will be able to render almost ANY spaceship or weapon you have ever seen in any videogame or film! (This is one of the things on which industrial designers work on endlessly in school) But you simply can't skip the months and months of work on smaller, simpler objects, and the side investigation on how light travels through space, how your eye's field of vision perceives objects and perspective at different distances and angles etc...
    But what about trees, people, mountains? Well, everything and anything you can think of or dream of, can be subdivided into their simpler shapes: spheres, cones, squares and cylinders. You can do the exact same hair dryer excesice with apples, funnels, pots and pans, plates, glasses, spoons and forks, moving on to more complex things like bicycles or motorcycles etc...Then, several of these objects together in different combinations, like a still life. Don't jump the gun and try to pull off a Feng Zhu style lanscape right off the bat!
    Eventually, your eyes and hands will master how any shape should look on any circumstance you choose to depict.
    Trust me, once you master values in grayscale, learning to use and choose the right colors is a breeze (Especially In Photoshop). But first, work on those values!
    I hope this helps. Remember, this is just another field of study that requires just as much dedication, hard work, resaerch and study of "Boring" subjects as any other academic field.

    Last edited by Holydivered7; June 29th, 2012 at 11:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holydivered7 View Post
    Trust me, once you master values in grayscale, learning to use and choose the right colors is a breeze (Especially In Photoshop). But first, work on those values!
    Sorry, but I call bullshit on this statement. Value is very important for sure, but to say color is simple after you learn values...that's a no.

    There's a lot more to understanding color than thinking it's just a direct translation of greyscale. Chroma and Saturation, Color Temps and Harmony are very important things that are not a breeze to learn.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Sorry, but I call bullshit on this statement. Value is very important for sure, but to say color is simple after you learn values...that's a no.

    There's a lot more to understanding color than thinking it's just a direct translation of greyscale. Chroma and Saturation, Color Temps and Harmony are very important things that are not a breeze to learn.
    Sorry if you misunderstood the statement. If you re-read my post, you'll see that I'm the first guy to tell anyone that things are not so simple. However, in the context of this young man's question about "working digitally", and in light of the very portion of my comment you used... you should realize that I'm referring to the fact that in Photoshop, you can do a finished piece ENTIRELY on one layer in grayscale, and then simply create a second layer in which you tint the bottom layer, even with just two colors if you want, without having to worry about the different shades of color, simply because the values from underneath will still hold on ANY color you choose.

    I'm not telling anyone NOT to study color harmony or to rip to shreds their color wheels! I'm simply telling him to start on a solid foundation, and then the things that seem overwhelming now, will seem much easier then.

    However, it seems to me that sometimes when a beginner asks for help on this site, he simply gets slammed with a bunch of general comments that are more discouraging, overwhelming and confusing than helpful at all!

    I wonder why people become so defensive, or rather "offensive" when someone actually goes out of his way to give some specific advice to a beginner in need, rather than slam him with a thousand things to work on that he probably has no clue about just yet.

    I think I did my part in making it clear in my post, that being an artist is not a simple walk in the park. I don't see where the use of foul language was appropriate as a response to my advice to this young man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holydivered7 View Post
    you should realize that I'm referring to the fact that in Photoshop, you can do a finished piece ENTIRELY on one layer in grayscale, and then simply create a second layer in which you tint the bottom layer, even with just two colors if you want, without having to worry about the different shades of color, simply because the values from underneath will still hold on ANY color you choose.
    You can do the exact same thing with oils and acrylics. Look up "grisaille".

    Also, using this method in Photoshop without further adjustments gives you really dull-looking work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Also, using this method in Photoshop without further adjustments gives you really dull-looking work.
    Why does that happen?

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    I don't think I misunderstood anything. I just quoted what you said.

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 1st, 2012 at 01:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I don't think I misunderstood anything. I just quoted what you said.
    Well, after quoting me, you went on to say that my comment was BS, because you thought I was generalizing about the ease or difficulty of learning to use color, when in fact, I wasn't. I was being specific to the question asked, by pointing out that in Photoshop, certain tricks allow you to get easier results with color work. Of course, that could never apply to traditional mediums on which you even have to mix your own colors.
    So yes, I think you misunderstood me.
    Again, I didn't mean to minimize the arduous learning curve that traditional painting entails. I myself have a VERY HARD time mixing the same hue of color twice in acrylics. Since I was starting to spend way too much money on paint tubes, canvasses, and constantly replacing ruined brushes, I decided to go digital and I can attest that my learning curve now is much less steeper in digital than it was on traditional mediums. Of course after seeing the digital work of some professionals on this site, I am of course, still an amateur at best.

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  40. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom94 View Post
    I've been doing digital stuff now for a few months
    Here's your answer.

    I don't know about the others, but I've been practicing and improving since 1996.

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  41. #27
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    I think Tom94 pulled a hit and run with this thread.

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  43. #28
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    Thanks for replying people, good stuff. Well, time for me to do what I should have started ten years ago!

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    There is more negative than positive to assist you in succeeding in your art work, but like everyone else has been saying and more, all you need to do is remember the three P's; Practice, Practice, Practice, and if that isn't enough, practice, practice, practice some more.

    Good luck with your experience as I'm also sometime in the rut, but just doing the work will get you out of the rut in no time at all!

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    Well color has its own value. I remember posting this sample from http://www.huevaluechroma.com

    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/pics/9-3.png
    I think I've just about lost it....

    Do you see your colors that way in greyscale? I can tell you 9 times out of 10 most (people) may not, and depending on the mode they work in like if they're not working in LAB mode in PS they'll have to do some kind of shifting. If you're picking color more in center of whatever color picker you're and less along the edges you're going to start muddying your colors.

    I guess if I could put it like this (and again I'm not talking RGB where higher value = white)

    Let's say in greyscale you used a value of 2. You then want to work in color but picked a red that has a value of 2 as well. You now got it more closer to value of 4 because you added more value. If this makes sense. This happens especially if you put it in the wrong layer mode.

    Setting your layer mode to Color would probably be a more accurate mode to use with this technique. However, with some colors you may realize that's not actually the value you meant to go for. So some adjusting is still necessary.

    If it were that simple, Colorized Classics should be looking hella good

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 2nd, 2012 at 07:56 PM.
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