# Thread: How to use art books to their potential? ( Hogarth, etc. )

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## How to use art books to their potential? ( Hogarth, etc. )

I've been going through the Hogarth and Bridgman books, but I'm not sure how I should be using these for study.

Should I actually read the text? I don't want to waste time on what's not necessary.

So far, I've just been copying the images straight from the book. Is this fine? Should I be trying to duplicate the basic shape forms before just copying the complex form? Or should I simplify even further and start with lines and mapping?

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3. Ummm, yeah its a book so reading is definitely recommended. What exactly do you think can be gained from mindlessly copying the images? You need to know what those images are there to illustrate. Do you just copy the little arrows that Hogarth uses to show the rhythm of the figure? Did you know why they were there? READ THE TEXT - IT’S IMPORTANT.

4. You are approaching it strangely like you are doing something for the sake of doing it. What is it exactly you want to gain from studying from the book? Is it wanting to construct humans from simple forms (for examples sake)?

- I want to learn how to construct humans
- Bridgman shows a way of using cubes and interlocking forms to construct humans
- He explains about interlocking cubes for the major masses
- The text says why and what to think about
- Look, he has drawn these cubes to represent things so I will do that, I could copy his or just do my own and see if I can do what he is doing. I will keep trying to describe the major masses using cubes like he is and then see what he does next and try to do that.

You want to learn HOW to do what he is doing.

Its NOT:
- Bridgman is a good artist
- This drawing looks good I will replicate the lines

Thats why the question seems silly.

Start with a problem to solve and use the book as a tool to solve it!

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Originally Posted by Chas
Ummm, yeah its a book so reading is definitely recommended. What exactly do you think can be gained from mindlessly copying the images? You need to know what those images are there to illustrate. Do you just copy the little arrows that Hogarth uses to show the rhythm of the figure? Did you know why they were there? READ THE TEXT - IT’S IMPORTANT.
Wow; let me explain. I was thinking that Hogarth books were good to copy because there are many angles, and odd ones at that, and there's very clear detail of hand anatomy. By drawing hands from photographs or my own hands, I might not be able to get quite the same results. This is why I thought Hogarth was used for study. When I took Drawing I, my professor told us that we need to do what works for us and that every process is different. I asked said professor if I needed to do simplified shapes first, and she told me to only do it if I need to. Going by this, I feel like my drawing is better if I do it straight forward than if I try to lay it over some shapes. Also, I already feel like I've learned a lot by doing it how I'm doing. Hogarth really emphasizes a lot of curves and how they're aligned which is harder to notice through real life study.

I'm not arguing that I shouldn't read, but I wanted to state my thought process for what it's worth.

6. Originally Posted by pancakebear
Wow; let me explain. I was thinking that Hogarth books were good to copy because there are many angles, and odd ones at that, and there's very clear detail of hand anatomy. By drawing hands from photographs or my own hands, I might not be able to get quite the same results. This is why I thought Hogarth was used for study. When I took Drawing I, my professor told us that we need to do what works for us and that every process is different. I asked said professor if I needed to do simplified shapes first, and she told me to only do it if I need to. Going by this, I feel like my drawing is better if I do it straight forward than if I try to lay it over some shapes. Also, I already feel like I've learned a lot by doing it how I'm doing. Hogarth really emphasizes a lot of curves and how they're aligned which is harder to notice through real life study.

I'm not arguing that I shouldn't read, but I wanted to state my thought process for what it's worth.
If you just wanted to state your thought process, why ask a question?
Where you looking for a pat on the back? a cookie?

Sorry if that's rude, but you ask in your first post if you should read the text. If you are going to continue doing what you are doing anyway, you waste everyone's time by asking.
Look; yes you should read the text. It helps you put one and one together. If you are learning through recreating pictures, imagine how much more you can learn by understanding the pictures, and the processes you can take to make the pictures.
If you learn best by redrawing the image, go right ahead. Do what ever helps. Most people find that reading the words help too.

If you are asking if anyone else learns best through pictures, and picture recreation, rather than just reading- I know I do. But I know that reading helps me understand better what I'm doing.

As whirly seems to say you really are approaching not only the process strangely, but also your question asking. what is it you want to know?

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Originally Posted by themegagod
If you just wanted to state your thought process, why ask a question?
Where you looking for a pat on the back? a cookie?

Sorry if that's rude, but you ask in your first post if you should read the text. If you are going to continue doing what you are doing anyway, you waste everyone's time by asking.
Look; yes you should read the text. It helps you put one and one together. If you are learning through recreating pictures, imagine how much more you can learn by understanding the pictures, and the processes you can take to make the pictures.
If you learn best by redrawing the image, go right ahead. Do what ever helps. Most people find that reading the words help too.

If you are asking if anyone else learns best through pictures, and picture recreation, rather than just reading- I know I do. But I know that reading helps me understand better what I'm doing.

As whirly seems to say you really are approaching not only the process strangely, but also your question asking. what is it you want to know?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. I didn't say I would continue what I was doing. In my last statement I clearly wrote, "I'm not arguing that I shouldn't read." I AM going to start doing the reading. The reason I stated my though process is because the first poster ASKED me the question, "What exactly do you think can be gained from mindlessly copying the images?"

I then responded with what I THOUGHT I could gain. Yes, you're being rude. I don't see where my logic is flawed at any point during this. I was asked for my thoughts, and I gave them. I asked a question and I accepted the answer. Am I so wrong?

The reason I asked this question in the first place is that, even though I feel like directly copying is helping me, I don't want to form BAD HABITS. If directly copying is a bad habit, I want it pointed out to me. If the text is just extra help that most people ignore, I want that pointed out to me too.

I really don't think my thread is so out of this world.

8. Man, what a waste of reading.

Instruction art books normally explain goals and method in the introduction.
It would be counterproductive to explain all tips and important bits with drawings only.

9. Depends on the book, but in Loomis or Vilppu for instance, the text has some extremely valuable insights into anatomy. If you're starting out, read everything, later on you will have the ability to pick just what you need (you can copy images of hands because you know what you want to learn, but first you have to know about it).

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11. Originally Posted by pancakebear
I really don't think my thread is so out of this world.
Perhaps not, but it's only the latest in a long line of "how do I use a book?" posts (including this almost identical one from today). You may be suffering some collateral damage from people's exhaustion.

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13. It's hard do give one definite universal answer for all art books beacause each of them has it's own instructions. In that case you have to follow them carefully from page one till the end and read every description. If you copy then try to draw the same thing from slightly differen angle to test if you actually paid attention to the structure, not just flat shapes.

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15. Originally Posted by pancakebear

The reason I asked this question in the first place is that, even though I feel like directly copying is helping me, I don't want to form BAD HABITS. If directly copying is a bad habit, I want it pointed out to me. If the text is just extra help that most people ignore, I want that pointed out to me too.

I really don't think my thread is so out of this world.
Anything out of line- let me apologize for. I do have a tendency to speak a bit, bluntly.
As you may have gathered by now, the text is often very important.

Unless it's a how to draw- follow my instructions to draw this, style of book, the words are very important.

I'd say directly copying is a bad habit, and the text could be vitally important to many ideas.

Your thread may not be out of this world, but it does seem a bit odd to ask if you should read a book or not.
I may be simplifying what you are actually saying, but that's what it reads like to me.

again, anything I say that is outlandish, or rude. I apologize.

still be sure to read the text.

16. Originally Posted by Elwell
Perhaps not, but it's only the latest in a long line of "how do I use a book?" posts (including this almost identical one from today). You may be suffering some collateral damage from people's exhaustion.
It is funny to me because books were a luxury item. Then it became poor man's Internet for those that could not afford a computer to research. Now people have to go online to research how to use books apparently.

Makes one wonder what people did before the Internet caught on when books were available...

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18. Originally Posted by pancakebear
Should I actually read the text? I don't want to waste time on what's not necessary.
It is a BOOK. I think you can assume the text is necessary.

If you actually READ THE TEXT, it might answer your questions as to what all those pictures are about and how you should understand them. The pictures are there to illustrate the concepts described in the text. Without the text, you're missing the point.

And seriously WHY WHY WHY does nobody seem to know how to read a book in this day and age!? It's not that hard. You open the cover. You read from the beginning. When you get to the end, you stop. You can even go back and read it again. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A BOOK IS IN THE BOOK, all you have to do to find out what a book is for is READ. IT.

...........sorry, two of these "how do I use a book" threads in a row make me testy. I'll go lie down and take deep breaths now.

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Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere
It is a BOOK. I think you can assume the text is necessary.

If you actually READ THE TEXT, it might answer your questions as to what all those pictures are about and how you should understand them. The pictures are there to illustrate the concepts described in the text. Without the text, you're missing the point.

And seriously WHY WHY WHY does nobody seem to know how to read a book in this day and age!? It's not that hard. You open the cover. You read from the beginning. When you get to the end, you stop. You can even go back and read it again. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT A BOOK IS IN THE BOOK, all you have to do to find out what a book is for is READ. IT.

...........sorry, two of these "how do I use a book" threads in a row make me testy. I'll go lie down and take deep breaths now.
I'm going to have to disagree here. I think there are more efficient ways to study and use books. It's an economical principal. I want to get the most return for the least amount of time because my time is finite.

Here's a for instance - I'm a biology major, and I found that a great trick for me is to only look at the images and their subtext in my bio textbooks. If I read each page word for word, I'd fall behind. We move too quickly for that. I need to study effectively and efficiently. I think a lot of books are like this. There's extra fluff and then there's the core solidity that you really must absorb. The Loomis books seem very text based, so I definitely read the text on these. To me, the Hogarth books seem image based with text as an afterthought. This is why I thought to ask the question.

On another note - sorry about the repeated threat. I did a search, but I got a lot of people's sketchbooks talking about their studies with books. I'll be more careful in the future.

21. Originally Posted by Chas
Ummm, yeah its a book so reading is definitely recommended. What exactly do you think can be gained from mindlessly copying the images? You need to know what those images are there to illustrate. Do you just copy the little arrows that Hogarth uses to show the rhythm of the figure? Did you know why they were there? READ THE TEXT - IT’S IMPORTANT.
Actually, the Hogarth books are all pretty badly written.

Writers like Loomis and Walt Reed do a good job of explaining concepts that Hogarth utterly fails to communicate.

Hogarth presents a lot of ideas that are better understood through the work of better writers.

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