Drawing stamina?
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    Drawing stamina?

    I have trouble staying focused on drawings. I spent about 3-4 on a still life and the longer I worked on it, the worse it got, but I'm scared if I take a break I won't go back to it. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?

    I always finish drawings I start but they never end as strong as I'd like them to :/

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    Take breaks. Have a cookie. Watch some x files. And don't ever expect to finish anything in one sitting, even if it's just supposed to be a "quick sketch". (Unless, of course, that's what your job requires...)

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    There often is a stage in the middle of the painting process where you think you've ruined anything. If you don't get scared and go on painting, you'll get over it and the picture will begin to look good again.

    Other than that - learn to work with breaks. 4 hours is a very short time to finish a painting; if you can't do it in multiple sessions, you are limiting yourself significantly.

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    Lots of younger artists have this problem because their projects are often less ambitious and they have 3-4 consecutive hours to blow on drawing. Don't worry. Both these things tend to go away as you age. In a few years you'll be working on some 20-hour project and the only time you'll have to work on it is the hour in between your classes and your part-time job.

    (Some people, of course, end up with art jobs where they do a painting or comic strip in one sitting, but even there your body starts rebelling against having to spend four hours in the same position. If your responsibilities don't force you to take breaks, your aching bones and muscles probably will.)

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    Arenhaus: thanks, I didn't know what the average time spent on paintings was. I'll work on breaking up my time
    Vineris: Ahaha that's exactly me right now. I draw from when I finish my homework to an hour before I go to bed

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    There is no average time spent on paintings. Some take a few minutes...some a few months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudpuppy View Post
    but I'm scared if I take a break I won't go back to it. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with it?
    I know the feeling of losing enthusiasm or courage to work on something after starting it. The thing is, you can always go back to something later if you want to, unless the actual piece gets physically destroyed. You can just decide to go back to it, and go back to it. Even if you don't feel the way you want to.

    Taking breaks and staying fresh is really important! As is taking the time to work on pieces over multiple sessions, days, weeks, whenever appropriate. So don't let the fear of not going back stop you.

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    Breaks are good. Personally I rarely finish a piece in one session because even if I think I've finished, I invariably find something to fuss with when I look at it the next day...

    Also, if you finish a piece and it sucks, there's nothing to stop you from doing it over again. I re-do pictures all the time, sometimes running into multiple versions over the years. Each new version is inevitably better than the previous versions. If you do the same piece twice, the first version is sort of like a trial run where you get your mistakes out of the way before making the second, improved version.

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    Sorry to revive this thread, I did a google search for "drawing stamina" and this was one of the first results (and one of the only ones to be even remotely relevant).

    I usually only draw for 30-120 minutes at a time, though I can do five to seven hour stretches if I'm working on a particular project with frequent short breaks (aka checking facebook/CA). My studio classes are four hours, but I manage those just fine since I have friends to talk to and we usually go for breakfast at some point. My problem is when I go to museums or zoos with the intention of spending an entire day drawing. I find myself getting extremely tired after about an hour or two, even though I really enjoy drawing in those environments. It feels like an exhaustion directly related to drawing so many things in one sitting. It's really frustrating because nowadays I have to bus to another city to go to either of these venues and I want to get my dollar/day's worth. Is there any way I can get over this? Or is it just a matter of "draw more often for longer time periods"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by keeptime View Post
    Sorry to revive this thread, I did a google search for "drawing stamina" and this was one of the first results (and one of the only ones to be even remotely relevant).

    I usually only draw for 30-120 minutes at a time, though I can do five to seven hour stretches if I'm working on a particular project with frequent short breaks (aka checking facebook/CA). My studio classes are four hours, but I manage those just fine since I have friends to talk to and we usually go for breakfast at some point. My problem is when I go to museums or zoos with the intention of spending an entire day drawing. I find myself getting extremely tired after about an hour or two, even though I really enjoy drawing in those environments. It feels like an exhaustion directly related to drawing so many things in one sitting. It's really frustrating because nowadays I have to bus to another city to go to either of these venues and I want to get my dollar/day's worth. Is there any way I can get over this? Or is it just a matter of "draw more often for longer time periods"?
    Can you bring art-minded friends? It's more fun if you make it a Sketchcrawl.

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    I could try, but I'm the only one out of them that enjoys drawing from life and practices it semi-regularly. Then there's the issue of inter-city travel and managing to organize a day everyone could do it. It's worth a shot though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keeptime View Post
    I could try, but I'm the only one out of them that enjoys drawing from life and practices it semi-regularly. Then there's the issue of inter-city travel and managing to organize a day everyone could do it. It's worth a shot though.
    Well, if they need to be convinced then you probably don't want to do it, because they'll get bored even faster than you and then they'll likely be distracting and complainy. See if there's a Sketchcrawl or Urban Sketchers group in the town you're going to that you can go around with.

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    It's normal that challenging new activities tire you out faster than activities you are used to. Eventually, you will build stamina for them too.

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    Ah, dont worry my friend, that's pretty normal about "the longer I worked on it, the worse it got", "never end as strong as I'd like them to". It's like sport, after a heavy workout your muscle hurted, your bones ache but later they will be stronger than before. I did and do and will go make my painting, expecially in traditional media get worse since I like do to experiment on them, sometime its better, most of time its worse. Now that's why we practice and do experiment so we know the holes in our skills, knowledge and try to fill it up, push the limits and call that experience, so later in real professional work, we know how far we can go.

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