Originally Posted by ZunPin
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.
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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...
This is exactly the right direction♠
Originally Posted by Richi
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.
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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
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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.
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Originally Posted by Imp Head
i am a begginer and when i read this thread i realise im doing it wrong and just want to learn everything at the same time... so i will start from the head and move to torso etc... thanks to you all
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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.
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