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June 16th, 2012 #1
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
Hide this ad by registering as a memberJune 16th, 2012 #2
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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June 16th, 2012 #3
June 16th, 2012 #4Registered User
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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.
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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June 16th, 2012 #5Jester
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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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June 16th, 2012 #6
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.
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June 16th, 2012 #7
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:
Knowing how to approach learning is really useful.
June 17th, 2012 #8Registered User
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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:
You should also check Bobby Chiu's videos on youtube. He is very inspiring :
June 17th, 2012 #9
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June 17th, 2012 #10
How about going back and following the advice you got (like QueenGuinevere's above) the last time?
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
June 17th, 2012 #11
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.
June 17th, 2012 #12
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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June 18th, 2012 #13
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 !
June 18th, 2012 #14
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.
June 18th, 2012 #15
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.
June 19th, 2012 #16Registered User
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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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June 19th, 2012 #17
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.
June 19th, 2012 #18
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 BeksinskiMy Happy Little Sketchbook, please check it out and help me get better!
June 29th, 2012 #19Registered User
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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.
June 29th, 2012 #20
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.
June 30th, 2012 #21Registered User
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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.
July 1st, 2012 #22
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.
July 1st, 2012 #23
July 1st, 2012 #24
I think Tom94 pulled a hit and run with this thread.
July 1st, 2012 #25Registered User
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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.
July 1st, 2012 #26
July 1st, 2012 #27
Thanks for replying people, good stuff. Well, time for me to do what I should have started ten years ago!
July 1st, 2012 #28
July 1st, 2012 #29
I mean for one, people don't pick the right color/saturation to begin with. While I'm aware that higher value = closer to white in RGB and higher value closer to Black in traditional pigments - in the case I'm talking about it's more from a traditional standpoint when I say "adding value".
They pick a color that has a value to it already and end up placing more value on top of value. They'll use the wrong layer mode or realize their values aren't exactly the value they need when applying color.
It's not like monochrome accounts for color temps and chroma found in hues...
Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 2nd, 2012 at 02:05 AM.
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July 2nd, 2012 #30
As for "Color" mode, it applies the hue and saturation of the I think Arshes' explanation about not accounting for the appearance of individual colours is probably the right one. Like if you take yellow in Photoshop and shift the value around without changing the colour temperature (hue in PS), you end up in puke khaki territory pretty quickly, while if you were doing it by hand you'd naturally shift more to orange or green as you played with the temperature in the shadows.
You can use a combination of blending modes to get some nice results, though. But for a beginner, following a tutorial like that is like waving a dead chicken. If it works they don't know why and if it doesn't they don't know how to fix it.