how are my drawings not strong enough?
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Thread: how are my drawings not strong enough?

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    how are my drawings not strong enough?

    I am having problems with my schooling, I have study for so far 3 years at my community college in General Fine Arts and I have improve from where I was before, but the issue is my professor is telling me that i am decent but my drawing skills aren't strong enough. I feel like instead of explain why I am not strong or what elements I need to push it. She is suggesting that pull a warhol and the factory or do colleges and tell me a bunch other stuff. To be fair I should of ask her to explain during critique,

    So, What are the reasons for my drawings not being strong as they are? and here are some drawing that have done.Name:  drapery102.jpg
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Size:  196.3 KBName:  drapery102.jpg
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Size:  196.3 KBName:  feet study082.jpg
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Size:  102.4 KBName:  durer protrait of negro study084.jpg
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    thanoss Guest
    Like I have explained in many other threads this week. It is not that people cannot draw or do art.
    It is they d not understand how to think about what they are doing, why they are doing, what am I doing, why is this not working. Instead the go about rote practicing and memorization.
    Really start to slow down and ask yourself questions. Your teacher can tell you anything. teachers are there to provide you with the knowledge they learnt. They learnt the information their way, and that means nothing to you when learning. Some clever art guy now may come here and say look at the values, or think about large shapes first, then small shapes, think about massing, look at the proportions. But that is all meaningless if you dont teach yourself how to internalise information, and then only retain the information that has a bearing on you so it goes to long term memory. Really start to do some deep learning. dont just mindlessly practice because someone said learn values or watch the lighting etc etc.

    In your next set of study's or drawings start to really think about what you want to learn from the session, and what you are thinking about when drawing. I mean whats the point in learning like this if your not really learning I have tryed to explain this to people all week,but its not getting through. Once again I am no art expert , but i am trying to give you some advice on what i think will help you in the long term, with not just art, but LEARNING.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thanoss View Post
    Like I have explained in many other threads this week. It is not that people cannot draw or do art.
    It is they d not understand how to think about what they are doing, why they are doing, what am I doing, why is this not working. Instead the go about rote practicing and memorization.
    Really start to slow down and ask yourself questions. Your teacher can tell you anything. teachers are there to provide you with the knowledge they learnt. They learnt the information their way, and that means nothing to you when learning. Some clever art guy now may come here and say look at the values, or think about large shapes first, then small shapes, think about massing, look at the proportions. But that is all meaningless if you dont teach yourself how to internalise information, and then only retain the information that has a bearing on you so it goes to long term memory. Really start to do some deep learning. dont just mindlessly practice because someone said learn values or watch the lighting etc etc.

    In your next set of study's or drawings start to really think about what you want to learn from the session, and what you are thinking about when drawing. I mean whats the point in learning like this if your not really learning I have tryed to explain this to people all week,but its not getting through. Once again I am no art expert , but i am trying to give you some advice on what i think will help you in the long term, with not just art, but LEARNING.
    I actually have a book that talks about what you are saying, but I can tell you that when I am drawing. All that I am thinking about is getting this drapery or this to be acurate or perfect.

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    Imagine you are sitting on an aeroplane.
    You get up from your seat and open the cabin door.
    "Hey," you say, "lets have a go at flying this thing."
    The pilot gets up and allows you to take the controls.
    Very soon the plane is buffeting and stalling and going all over the place.
    You are barely holding it together to fly in a straight line, the control tower is shouting through your headsets to do this, do that, the passangers want to know what's happening and the warning lights are going crazy.
    The pilot tugs at your elbow and says you ought to spend five years learning how to fly.
    "Nah," you say, "just tell me what I'm doin' wrong now!"

    OK. Now I've got that off my chest, Here's what you do:
    Go to a couple of life drawing classes and ask the teacher to show you their OWN drawings. If they ain't that good, don't listen to a word they say.
    Keep doing this until a teacher shows you drawings that DO look good. Ask for this person to be your teacher. Beg them if you have to. And then listen and try to put into practice everything they tell you.

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    Karta, take a careful look at your drawings.. why arent they strong? you tell us buddy.. look carefully and analyze with high standard and tell us.

    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    Imagine you are sitting on an aeroplane.
    You get up from your seat and open the cabin door.
    "Hey," you say, "lets have a go at flying this thing."
    The pilot gets up and allows you to take the controls.
    Very soon the plane is buffeting and stalling and going all over the place.
    You are barely holding it together to fly in a straight line, the control tower is shouting through your headsets to do this, do that, the passangers want to know what's happening and the warning lights are going crazy.
    The pilot tugs at your elbow and says you ought to spend five years learning how to fly.
    "Nah," you say, "just tell me what I'm doin' wrong now!"

    OK. Now I've got that off my chest, Here's what you do:
    Go to a couple of life drawing classes and ask the teacher to show you their OWN drawings. If they ain't that good, don't listen to a word they say.
    Keep doing this until a teacher shows you drawings that DO look good. Ask for this person to be your teacher. Beg them if you have to. And then listen and try to put into practice everything they tell you.
    she does abtract stuff. but i am not going to doubt her because would be argant.

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    Karta, here's a question for you. Do you actually have fun while drawing? The three studies look boring subject wise. Can you show some of your personal stuff that you did for these 3 years? If you draw this stuff just because it's the homework your teacher gave you it's possible that you are just half-assing it to get it done. Especially if that's all you draw for 3 years.

    The problem of the portrait is that this is a copy of a portrait by Durer and the original is not a very good portrait. There's a bunch of mistakes he made, so when you copy it you kind of magnify them. Draw people from life or from photos, not from other artist's bad drawings (not to bash Durer, but he is not the best when it comes to drawing/painting faces).

    What do you want to draw? Why do you want to draw? In your sketchbook I see only studies. Where's the fun part? Doing studies for study sake is a part of learning, but you should know why you are doing them and where you want to go as an artist.

    It's also possible that your teacher is just bad (maybe not at drawing, but at teaching). Looking at your sketchbook, the studies seem kind of disorganized and random. Master studies are a good exercise, but it shouldn't be the staple of your art education. Draw from life and draw from imagination (this is very important). Pick a subject and draw 20 pages of it. One foot ain't gonna cut it. Draw 100. Same for portraits, same for drapery. Understand why they look the way they look. Don't mindlessly copy what you see. I'm saying this, because I've been in some shitty 'traditional' art schools where they set some cast and tell you to draw it and the next day you are in the park drawing flowers. In the end you have a sketchbook with totally random drawings and nothing substantial about them. You want to learn? Here's a challenge. Draw 100 portraits from life or from photos and then draw another portrait of a 'negro' (yay racism). Repetition is how you learn to execute things. There's no way around that. I think you just don't draw consistently. Look at some popular sketchbooks here and you will see people drawing hands for many pages, then legs, then the next thing. And draw stuff for fun. Always draw stuff just for pure selfish fun.

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    I think you are kinda stretching my question and if i did seem to sound like that. sorry.

    Last edited by karta tajba; February 1st, 2013 at 10:15 PM.
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    I draw consistently until 2:00 am everyday. it just that I don't upload everything that I draw. Probably why you assume that I don't draw consistently. I don't be half assing anything but i feel like should strictly stick to drawing the basics.

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    not from other artist's bad drawings (not to bash Durer, but he is not the best when it comes to drawing/painting faces).
    As compared to?

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    Well, the easiest things to see are unconfident line, haphazard crosshatching, wobbly structure. The overall impression is, indeed, of someone imitating the moves, not a masterful skill.

    Delve deeper into it. Build your skill, understand what you are doing and why you are doing it. Don't just go through the moves; live the moves. Don't just copy the contour; build the form, feel the form. Don't just take the pencil and scribble; think why you are holding the pencil the way you are, what would be the best grip for what you are doing. Don't just place the drawing on paper; be conscious of why you are using the particular composition, pick it intentionally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    As compared to?
    As compared to how real people look. I knew someone would pick that up as soon as I dared question a 'Master', but let's be objective here. Durer is a master, but he shouldn't be a reference when you are learning the anatomy of the head, because his own portraits are not always anatomically accurate. Look at how he draws eyes in some of his 3/4 portraits. Look at the original negro drawing and tell me it's anatomically correct. It's not. Maybe that's his style, I don't know. And let me repeat again, because I know you will ignore it, I'm not saying he is a bad artist. He is considered a master for a reason, but that doesn't mean he is flawless. Most of his paintings are great, but some have 'wonky' faces with the eyes looking at different directions. The negro drawing happens to be one of them, so when you do a copy of it you are already starting from a reference that is wrong so you just end up copying or making worse the errors. Some of his other paintings offer a better study reference. And if you mean as compared to who, then it depends. I consider later artists like Rembrandt, Sargent and Repin to be better at painting portraits. The comparison may not be fair as they lived centuries apart, but if you look at their art without any context of time and culture, purely objectively, they do more convincing portraits. I'm just talking about anatomical correctness, not artistic merit. As compared to artists who were contemporaries of Durer, then I guess he is the best.

    To Karta, cool, then just keep drawing and if you feel like you should be sticking to the basics then do it. You didn't really mention how you study and you didn't provide enough examples so sorry if I jumped to the wrong conclusions, but a lot of people who draw 3 hours a week come here and ask what is wrong with their drawings. But if you are drawing everyday then it's just a matter of time and more practice. I just wanted to give some general advice that works for a lot of people here in case you happened to be one of these people who may not be sure how to approach studies. But if you already know that stuff then more power to you. Talk with your teacher and ask him to show you what is wrong with your drawing and how to correct it (because simply pointing the wrong things is easy). Keep drawing and have fun.

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    You talk about it, and yet no one posts it?



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    Quote Originally Posted by karta tajba View Post
    she does abtract stuff. but i am not going to doubt her because would be argant.
    But you are doubting her. Otherwise you would not be posting your question here.
    Ask to see her life drawing.

    'Abstract stuff' uses exactly the same priniciples as 'realistic'. The difference it that the first is meaningless, like wallpaper, and the other is meaningfull. That's why you are unsure about her quality as a teacher.

    Ask to see her life drawing, then you'll know if she can actually pick the oranges herself. If they are any good. Stop asking the question here and spend more time practicing everything she tells you.

    Last edited by Chris Bennett; February 2nd, 2013 at 11:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vari View Post
    As compared to how real people look. I knew someone would pick that up as soon as I dared question a 'Master', but let's be objective here. Durer is a master, but he shouldn't be a reference when you are learning the anatomy of the head, because his own portraits are not always anatomically accurate. Look at how he draws eyes in some of his 3/4 portraits. Look at the original negro drawing and tell me it's anatomically correct. It's not. Maybe that's his style, I don't know. And let me repeat again, because I know you will ignore it, I'm not saying he is a bad artist. He is considered a master for a reason, but that doesn't mean he is flawless. Most of his paintings are great, but some have 'wonky' faces with the eyes looking at different directions. The negro drawing happens to be one of them, so when you do a copy of it you are already starting from a reference that is wrong so you just end up copying or making worse the errors. Some of his other paintings offer a better study reference. And if you mean as compared to who, then it depends. I consider later artists like Rembrandt, Sargent and Repin to be better at painting portraits. The comparison may not be fair as they lived centuries apart, but if you look at their art without any context of time and culture, purely objectively, they do more convincing portraits. I'm just talking about anatomical correctness, not artistic merit. As compared to artists who were contemporaries of Durer, then I guess he is the best.

    To Karta, cool, then just keep drawing and if you feel like you should be sticking to the basics then do it. You didn't really mention how you study and you didn't provide enough examples so sorry if I jumped to the wrong conclusions, but a lot of people who draw 3 hours a week come here and ask what is wrong with their drawings. But if you are drawing everyday then it's just a matter of time and more practice. I just wanted to give some general advice that works for a lot of people here in case you happened to be one of these people who may not be sure how to approach studies. But if you already know that stuff then more power to you. Talk with your teacher and ask him to show you what is wrong with your drawing and how to correct it (because simply pointing the wrong things is easy). Keep drawing and have fun.
    I will not derail this thread. But if you are limiting beginners to drawing true to life then your point might have some merit, even though we might not a agree what a great drawing is (what if the eyes were like that, in fact I will bet they were. I have seen and drawn plenty of people with the lazy eye), but I don't believe in such limitations. We are on a concept art site so I will give you the benefit of the doubt that this person wants to learn the sort of representationalism. Having taught drawing for a long time I feel that accuracy is only part of what needs to be learned in the beginning. And I will put up Durer's studies as an example of a good drawing in any class. So in short, I will look at this drawing and tell you it's anatomically correct.

    On a side note, you can't really expect to say something like that about Durer and not have response. Part of the fun here is challenging and defending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vari View Post
    As compared to artists who were contemporaries of Durer, then I guess he is the best.
    Twaddle. Holbein is the best. (Also Bellini, Mantegna, Raphael, etc... And of course if you want general "anatomical accuracy" at it's finest, Michelangelo. Remember Durer lived during the height of the renaissance, he had a lot of competition.)

    Also I don't see anything particularly wonky about later Durer that couldn't plausibly have been due to the models looking wonky. Real people very often look quite weird, and since Durer follows the hyper-detailed warts-and-all tradition of early German art, any weirdness in the model will be amplified in the painting... (As opposed to people like Sargent and Repin, who gloss over a great deal and rely heavily on suggestion.)

    But anyway. The point of a master study is generally not to use it as an anatomy study. The point of master studies is more to learn about general observation, and also to study the more abstract principles of art like composition, technique, aesthetic decisions and mark-making. So it doesn't matter if you use something "anatomically correct" as a master study. Heck, you could use a Picasso.

    Now, if learning anatomy is the goal, then real life is what you want to study. Along with some decent anatomy books so you know how it all works, and what goes where, and why.

    SO. Back to the OP's questions:

    As far as THIS particular master study goes, the main issue is that it's not a very accurate copy of the original drawing (which I assume is the actual goal - to try and copy the original drawing as it is, warts and all.) And the same goes for the other drawings, they suggest that you need to work on more accurate observation in general.

    Another main problem with this particular master study is that it pays no attention to the mark-making present in the original drawing. Where Durer has a variety of marks - some soft to build up values, some linear to show form, some funky things to indicate different textures - you have pretty much the same kind of unconfident hatching throughout. Markmaking and confidence in general look like things you need to work on - right now everything looks hesitant.

    Aaaaand another issue is values. Again, you haven't correctly observed the full range of values in the original - you seem to have put the same value in all the "shadow" areas, instead of building up a full range of values. This is also happening in the other drawings - it looks as if you didn't take time to work up a full, subtle range of values, or else that you simply haven't yet grasped how to observe and render values accurately.

    A lot of these issues are a matter of practice, of course.

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    SO your teacher tells you you can'tdraw well enough - an art teacher, mind you, and then when you want to know how to improve your draftsmanship skills she tells you to do collages or start an art factory?

    I call bullshit.

    It only takes a few months to learn how to draw, provided your teacher is competent enough to teach. Fire your "professor" she sounds like a typical art college idiot.

    There's an old saying among art students, from hs to college, that art teachers are artists who couldn't make it as an artist. This is not true - certainly not in TAd or in ateliers, where there are industry professionals teaching. But it gives you a fair warning to be suspicious of anyone who has an art degree and makes their sole living off of teaching others how to make it, especially when they do not give you point by point advice directly aimed at the piece you are working on.

    It is not fair to you and it smacks of incompetance. When you are at an atelier you will have a hard time getting the teacher to stop fussing at you about adjusting lines and measurements. Sometimes I had to stop her and say "Okay, I've had enough, this is too much information right now, let me work on these first" and she would smile and move on. A good teacher will tell you more than you need to know about what is wrong with your work. I am lucky to have had this type of teacher from home through highschool into the atelier.

    I have had bad teachers but i fucking fired them.

    Last edited by Izi; February 2nd, 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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    Everyone seems focused on the teacher. I'm just going to answer the thread title. But it at least (to me) sounds like you got a vague crit and your frustrated. It looks like to me that your still not there yet with seeing form based on your sketchbook. I say this mainly because your shading seems a bit random, kind of like you don't understand the lighting but put shadow where you think it should go. There's also some issues with proportions and such I notice mainly from the profiles of the faces.



    A useful thing to start and practice
    Good to start with geometric shapes to learn, what most art classes I've been to start people with, and what I see often suggested on here.

    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...part-1_15.html

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    No, I forgot to ask her to explain during critique. But she did say that i should look at starting an art factory and doing collages.

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    Lol collages..

    Just do a lot, a crap load of drawings from life and apply them to everything else you do. In a few years you'll be better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karta tajba View Post
    No, I forgot to ask her to explain during critique. But she did say that i should look at starting an art factory and doing collages.
    What the Jiminy Cricket is an art factory?

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    What the Jiminy Cricket is an art factory?


    sb most art copied to page 1
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    Quote Originally Posted by karta tajba View Post
    No, I forgot to ask her to explain during critique. But she did say that i should look at starting an art factory and doing collages.
    I think you should take the next 5 years to draw a fuckton until you figure out structure, rendering and line quality. Starting an art factory really cuts into drawing time, and while collages are okay as an occasional thing, switching to them because you aren't great at drawing seems defeatist.

    You have to develop your own judgement about these things because your college course is only going to last a little while longer and pretty soon you will have no teacher and all the same problems you still have. Continually look at the work of artists you admire. Look at many different examples of good art. You must have many different examples because as your judgement improves, you will realize that some of the artists you used to admire aren't very good. (Some, of course, you will continue to admire for the rest of your life.) Compare your work to theirs and try to figure out where you are going wrong. The more competent you get, the better you'll be able to see your mistakes or areas of drawing you are not satisfied with.

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    I can only speak from personal experience but its now 2 years almost to the week since i started my sketchbook and made a point of drawing whenever i could between work. and although progress is slow it definitely helps. if only because ive made lots of mistakes so i know some thing that work. unless youre a genius thats just how you learn i guess. denial and error.. I feel like in another 10 years of hard work it will all be fine.
    i think your work shows you can draw, and understand proportion and relative position and stuff well. the advice above is good, just keep working on stuf you find interesting, that will ensure you focus, and on stuff thats totally putside your usual ken (comfort zone) that will push you and where you will learn a lot. good luck!

    Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 2nd, 2013 at 03:32 PM.
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    An art factory is where the "artist" comes up with ideas and lets assistants execute them, or just lets assistants come up with stuff and then the artist chooses which ones they like and slaps their name on it.

    For an example of this watch that movie about Mister Brainwash and Banksy. I forget the name of it.

    It's the fine visual arts version of boy bands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    And of course if you want general "anatomical accuracy" at it's finest, Michelangelo.
    To derail the thread a bit - I disagree - some of Michelangelo art has really ropy anatomy - there's time when I wonder if he's ever seen a female nude (I'll just stick boobs on a man and give then a really small head…!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Izi View Post
    An art factory is where the "artist" comes up with ideas and lets assistants execute them, or just lets assistants come up with stuff and then the artist chooses which ones they like and slaps their name on it.
    That should help our friend Karta Tajba no end.

    Who needs to be a Michelangelo? Just think up the idea "stone man", take yourself off to the garden centre, buy a concrete gnome, call it 'The Petrification of Goliath's Nemesis - A Post Modern Apotheosis', or some such silk spun out of one's arse… and sign it.

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    Michelangelo's David the Gnome

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