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I'm a bit of a newbie, but I hope this helps.
Work in different mediums. If you work in traditional, try some digital. If you with with paints, try some drawing. If you work with video, try photography.
I find that working in different mediums allows me to get different perspectives on the same problem. I see how something works in one medium, and sometimes, with effort, I can grasp the mechanic behind it more fully due to the change of perspective and method.
I'm still learning myself, so it's a bit more of a beginner's tip, but I think it probably works pretty well for experts too.
I totally agree with you about those limitations, and would add one more thing: living in a poor, culturally lacking country.
In my case, i live in Brazil, who doesn't give a damn about culture - unless it gives money to certain politicians, and even so, it's not that great. Academic art here is just a late imitation of what's been made in richer countries some years ago, and bad imitations, should i say. I never met a school whose teachers were excelling artists, neither whose students were willing to be good. Maybe because they lack experience and goals.
Of course, SOME artists here and there would come up being excellent, but they're very recluded for some reason or another, or end up moving away from Brazil. There is no "art community" here, in the real sense of the word.
So here it's not only very hard to be good, it's also very hard to be dedicated. I'm lucky that my generation was able to interact via internet, so we could keep track of this few artists who excel. But even so, they're very sparse.
At least now we can be in touch of what's being made from the artists all over the world, and i think that's why the internet came in handy. We can compare our production with people who had conditions to study and learn, and best of all, are willing to teach us, like the guys here on CA!
So, if i can say anything in regards to the topic subject, is: there is no more excuses to not being a good artist. All knowledge is scattered through the internet, it's only a matter of looking and dedication. YOU have to be your own teacher, or your own personal trainer, but it's possible.
Last edited by rafaelventura; April 15th, 2009 at 09:39 AM.
For so many years, I was lazy and just wanted to do stylized anime drawings. I'm really at the point now where I'm ready to put in the work and buckle down and study anatomy. This thread is going to be a daily read of mine and I will use it to create a plan of action for my art.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating this wonderful thread.
I'm no pro but...
Surround yourself with people like you---nothing is more demotivating than being around people who are not as driven to succeed, or as eager to learn as yourself.
If you can't find those people where you are, or if art is not supported in your area, be a pioneer. If it doesn't already exist--make it exist! No matter how slow, eventually people will follow and build up a community.
>>If you burn bridges with people...anyone...then you have one less person to help you later. Tact is always necessary. Do your best to keep from burning bridges.
Be genuine. Be yourself.
I think this is very contradictory. If you want to be yourself and want to argue with the idiot. ¿You cannot because you have to keep your bridges?
Took this out an article I wrote several weeks ago.
Be creative. It's what art is about.
Make your own rules. Define your own way to build up the body. Draw in your style. Take if you want some tricks or advice from other people. Do never copy.
But most of all, feel confident of what you are and what you do.
Even if you say to yourself "What a bunch of cheap crap", keep going. You'll eventually feel comfortable with what you do.
Take your time. Read. Learn.
Try new things. Never be afraid of that. If not you'll be always in the comfort zone and won't improve.
Practice as much as you want. If you want to get better quickly practice a lot. If you just want to draw as a hobby and don't actually care about improving, practice when you feel like doing so.
If you want to take a break, take a break.
But always keep in mind this: it's all about you.
There are no teachers neither people who expects you to improve. There will be nobody telling you to draw now.
And so on.
I can't tell you anything else but this. Take it or leave it.
"But it is soooo difficult..." Yes. We're all climbing the same mountain. But it's all about the effort you put in your art.
Don't give up, feel confident and remember it is and will always be about you.
Make time to relax. If you're stuck with something in a painting or a drawing, or getting tired after a few hours work, don't forget to take breaks. Go on a walk, or do whatever you need to relax. Usually leaving a piece and coming back to it later can help you spot mistakes or think of a better approach to the work. I think down time is as equally important as the time you spend on art, it stops you burning out and gives your head a break. You can also find inspiration in these moments.
never LEast, some times it's better to do after work
I'ts not that allways the best you think that is , you can tmove to addition activities such as gamin' or gust news browsin' to refresfh & air ...
Drawein' is awsome))
**Only A child Doesn't give up!!***
***And there's nowhere to surrender***
Draw what you see, not what you think you see.
When drawing from life, being able to do it well with your eye is extremely valuable. The problem comes when our thoughts get in the way. Instead of putting down what our eyes actually saw, we think about what we saw and then put down what our thoughts say our eyes saw. When this happens you tend to end up with drawings that are wonky and there are a lot of mistakes. When its done right its hard to make a mistake. Life tells you where the lines go.
masks to shadow and stylize fast and affective,
Last edited by Yuki_slider; May 5th, 2010 at 11:40 PM. Reason: size
**Only A child Doesn't give up!!***
***And there's nowhere to surrender***
# Don't draw just humans, or any one thing.
Drawing different things teaches you to draw different surfaces, shapes, lightning settings and ways the light works.
Not to mention you will learn to draw different things, whenever you may need to draw them.
# Don't pass on drawing something just because it's boring.
Try to learn a new way to look at it.
The thing may be boring, but it may not be boring at all to draw it.
It's also likely that you learn more from it than from what you like to draw.
# If you're reading this, it's probably too late to say this;
Do not start from anime.
Go ahead and draw anime, but only after you've learned the basics.
Nobody is born to draw those cool anime things. They learned the basics too.
Almost every thing in anime style is based on reality.
# I'd also like to point to MindCandyMans post.
I myself spent a good 5 years on a MMO. All the time i wanted to improve in drawing but i kept playing instead.
Now i'm kicking myself for not just closing the game and drawing.
I lost so many people that i wanted to get to know to in the art community.
But i essentially lost 5 years of practise.
Games are fun and entertaining, but if you want to get somewhere, you've got to let the games go.
I knew i had to do it, but i just came up with more excuses to wait a little longer;
I'll draw when i get a tablet
I'll draw when i get my own laptop
I'll draw when i'm level 100 in this game
I'll draw when i get to art school
I'll draw when i have more time to focus on it
I'm having a good moment in the game right now
I dont know what to draw
Just.. shut up.
I'd also advice to not play at all.
You're likely to slip more and more to the gaming side and draw less, untill you notice you haven't drawn at all in the past week.
Of course you may be able to control it but that's just my opinion.
Not to rain on anyone's parade, but there seems to be a lot of psychological and motivational advice in here, and almost nothing about techniques, knowledge and process.
Learning to do anything means learning THE PROCESS of the thing. Doesn't anyone have any questions about materials or technique?
I appreciate that everyone needs motivation, that's awesome, and to a certain extent, yes, you have to do it for yourself and no one else can draw your stuff for you.
Now if anyone has a question about HOW to draw something, or where to go for more information, I'll check back and be glad to pitch in 100%. Or you can always PM or email.
Q1. What is observation?
Q2. I only have photo/books as my anatomy study reference(no model/life drawing class). So can I still draw like Frank Franzetta soon?
Q3. What is the point of study primary, secondary, tertiary colors or HUE? I've done the colorwheel in my class, so what now? I still have no idea how to make a painting.
Q4. I see most of the artists use fictional color mode for their painting. Then what is the point of study/paint from real life? Even sometimes the color of the real life painting is not actually what we see from the real.
Observation for the artist means the study of forms from the natural world, interrelationship and movements of forms, and the definition of forms by light.
If you are a student of the natural world around you, you will find many examples from life that you can use to study anatomy. You can observe the figures and attitudes of persons around you, on the bus, in restaurants, parks, etc. You should also invest in a cheap, sturdy digital camera, so that you can take your own reference photos. If you are able, you should ask friends to take poses for you, even in whatever costumes you can scrounge up.
Frank Frazetta would tell you that the last thing he wanted any artist to do was to paint like him. He wanted artists to be dynamic, and shine on their own merits, out of their own style. Frazetta refused multiple offers to teach, and usually for this reason. He would want you to be bigger and better than he was, and do some great stuff.
If you really think that you have the color wheel down, and that you can recognize a specific color and mix it in any media, then you should move on to color chords and color harmonies. This will help decide which colors to use, and how to add drama and appeal through the complex interplay of different colors. For a character based application I would study the concepts and theories behind Max Luscher's color test methods, and the psychological aspects of color perception. Color and Light have so many wide applications and influences in concept and narrative art that you could enjoy learning new things about it your whole life.
The real payoff for the artist in using observation and for being a student of the natural world, is that you learn the structure that governs the illustrative use of color. Fantasy color stems from an understanding of both people's wish fulfillment AND a recognizable world in which those fantasies exist. If there's nothing for your audience to relate to, it diminishes the impact of the elements you want to be the most fantastic. You can't break really break the rules if you aren't aware of them.
Last edited by Brion Frantz; July 27th, 2010 at 05:17 PM.
Wow this is an incredible thread. It's greatly useful and very motivational. Thank you!
I watched a biographical video about Leonardo Da Vinci the other day, and I must say that I'm greatly inspired by his code of honor that he kept firmly throughout his life. I think we can all learn from one of the greatest masters in history. No matter what kind of setbacks he had (yes he encountered many many despite being the genius that he was, or maybe because he was probably way ahead of his time), he stuck to that code of honor.
#1. He was always curious about EVERYTHING. He was more of a scientist than an artist. I think that's one of the most important thing about being an artist, to constantly question.
#2. Push beyond the expected. Leonardo was born in a time where there wasn't any technology, but that didn't deter him from inventing tanks, flying devices etc. He was constantly outdoing himself and everyone.
#3. Knowing is not enough, we must act on it.
#4. Write everything, draw everything. Leonardo wrote everything down, from his ideas to his grocery list. He drew everything too, even people being executed!
*falls down* oh look what I found here
I hope people don't mind me posting this:
This is more relevant to people who want to draw manga, manga isn't just pretty pictures, manga is also a form of story telling. Many aspiring manga-ka fall into the trap of drawing pretty pictures without having an actual story to go with it (don't get me started on pointless filler arcs).
This thread is pretty awesome by the way, I sure learned a lot from reading this.
im a newbie,and this thread is extremly helpful for me, thanks!
...Perfection =/= Precision
...Beauty is truth, truth beauty. -Keats
...Art is the expression of the invisible by means of the visible. -Fromentin
I have a great art of mastering anything in a short amount of time. But sitting down to practice drawing seems impossible. Once, I practiced figures consistently for 7 hours and the next morning I was surprised at my own hard work. But after that I got too happy, and didnt practice. And in the next week when I sat down to draw a woman, everything was gone...POOF...Can somebody point me in the right direction? I'm angry at myself...
Cheer Up! World's a big place...
That IS the right direction.
It is very much like studying how to create music, or how to use martial arts. One day of practice will not make you accomplished. Only consistent goal setting, practice and observation will help you reach the place you want.
The bad news is, there are no shortcuts that ultimately won't leave you unfulfilled.
The good new is, the more often you draw, and the more regularly you draw, (with a sense of observation and direction) the more you will retain, and the more you will enjoy it.
Soon you will have to start finding techniques and subjects to practice that are more specific. I recommend studying anatomy and the human form from the beginning of your career, and never stopping. In order to draw people, you will have to learn all kinds of things useful to the craft of picture making in general.
(if someone has the real reference out there, I'd love to see the original), but I believe it was Picasso who said: "The satisfied artist is doomed"
Even though it's difficult, keep it up. You ARE going in the right direction.
A beginner here as well, but something important that I've learned this week: Don't just practice a lot, practice efficiently. I used to think, 'the more I draw the better I will get' and so I did still lifes, photo copies, random projects that I thought of.. but I didn't improve nearly as fast as when I took a step back and analyzed what I was doing. Why am I doing still life? why am I doing these things? What do I aim to learn from this? Instead of merely drawing a lot - drawing from imagination, or from still life - don't just draw a lot, identify your weaknesses and analyze why you suck at something. Hopefully reading this will save someone some time.
Of course, any drawing is better than no drawing at all .. random doodles and still lifes are great when you're feeling demotivated, stressed, depressed, blocked etc
Hey you! Yes, you! Crit me!
My CA.org Sketchbook 1 Last page Bashing much needed and appreciated!
My daily art blog (all the junk and personal crap that my CA sketchbook doesn't have)
Feel free to shoot me a pm anytime~
Wow, im new to this site, or at least i had an account but was so lazy in trying to figure out or as the thread said before do my own research so i could find what im looking for in this site. Iv realised that alot of the subjects mentioned here were issues that i face and things that i do that are so wrong. This "thread" (at least that's what i think this is called) is very helpful because it makes you see the reality in what should be done and how we go about doing it in so many wrong ways. Id love to just say thank you. Whoever you or they are. Thank you so much.
Learning is like keeping the motor running.
If you don't practice, you will stop covering distances so once you stop, you better make another start. You may be dull, but once you accelerated the motor, you will be picking up from past distances and your past experiences will start to make sense. You're just setting off from where you left off.
So don't fret if you "ran out of practice" because you got swerved to some other direction. You have to learn to love the process of becoming, even the bad times.
I'm by no means good at this stuff just yet. But I've seen a lot of peers, and I include myself, really get discouraged from seeing other peoples' amazing works and how bad they are in comparison. Especially in this digital-global age where you aren't just measured against your peers in your class/town/etc, but up against all the artists across the globe. You look at your work and put it up against the work of people who blow you out of the water.
I especially know I lack so much in the foundations, perspective, value, color theory, and sometimes I don't even like posting stuff because it just seems like it's a failure compared to the gods of this industry (and frankly, it is a failure). The point I'm trying to make is that it's important to understand you are going to suck, you are going to create trash, but the practice and just pushing yourself to do something over and over will eventually make you succeed. I may not even be close to the level I want to be at, but I know when I look back at stuff I was doing a few years ago, I have improved. And I know if I stick with it, when I look back at my work now in a few years, I will see more improvements. Failure isn't a bad thing, it's a part of learning.
I will leave you with this MJ quote:
I've missed more than nine thousand shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.