So lets talk about efficiency in learning

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  1. #1
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    So lets talk about efficiency in learning

    Hi, i want to discuss some thoughs that have been crossing and worrying my mind lately.
    its about the old problem of learning.

    during my time in the art world i discovered that an artist must learn to learn, thats the step number 0 but that is ignored too often.

    Since my begginings i discovered many different artists, when i find a really good one with exceptional skills
    i find that 90% of the people say: to get that level you need to work hard, determination, discipline etc. and they stop there, it sounds a bit incomplete to me.


    ---
    and the kind of people im talking about is guys like this

    - https://www.facebook.com/superani.jg?ref=ts&fref=ts (you dont learn his skill jut by discipline).

    - feng zhu is another one: http://www.fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm

    - feng zhu students are another ones, just look at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rI6q6bv7do

    - http://epicloot.blogspot.com.es/2013...g-post_21.html (this one is intersting, 21 years old and its a master, its studying in the same place feng zhu was btw)

    - http://kirupa.cghub.com/ another 21 years old master

    and the list goes on and on,
    ---


    and funnily all of this guys seem to have one thing in commun, they think and study like scientists, kim sometimes just observe insted of copying/"studying"
    (actualy i think he said he almost never did copy/studies at all?) feng zhu talks about the scientific part of things, how light works and all of that stuff.

    its obvious this guys are great at learning, and defenitly greater then I am and many other begginers so why we dont do something about it?

    I know this is something everyone have to research and dicover by their own and that there is already alot of stuff out there
    but im always curious about what other people know, and worried that i might be missing fresh stuff or even old basic stuff, some goodies or tips you want to share? please do it.

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    Here is some of the places I consider usefull when it comes to the basic understanding:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/scottrob...?feature=watch

    http://ctrlpaint.com/

    http://www.fengzhudesign.com/tutorials.htm (this one is a bit tricky, its not really about the basics but its helpfull i think)

    http://fyeaharttips.tumblr.com/

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  4. #3
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    The big issue here is that people are different: what works for one, may not work for another. As a result, there are zillions of books, tutorials, schools and teachers. Personally, I have known several tens of teachers, while at most three of them are both knowledgable about art and, at the same time, acknowledging that different students have different needs. As a result, all the books and videos in the world, and all teachers of type 'shut up and do as I say' are not going to give you an efficient learning experience.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Efficiency definitely comes with experience, its a by product. I can sit around and theorize all the paths I could take, contemplating which is the most beneficial - but unless I try everything, even in ways I wouldn't consider doing a thing, I wont gain the experience necessary to say "Well that didn't work, but on my way through that, this other thing did seem to work."

    I try to gain efficiency by leaving no stone un-turned, because I'm often surprised that I find the most useful things in more unexpected places. It's like thumbnails, you need to go through a bunch before you get something great. I'm trying to apply this to my learning.

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  7. #5
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    A combination of talent and access to good information. The best way to learn is to find someone who's work you admire and then study with them in person. If you can't do that then you are going to have to do a whole lot of thinking, probably having to rethink your whole personal philosophy, that has been my experience. Being self taught just means that you have the most ignorant teacher possible.

    Sketchbook

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    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
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    Oh dude, I know what you mean! I am constantly drawing, but I do so much different things that I cannot really stay in one mindset so to say... I've gotten so much better since I started drawing seriously and got basically every inch of information here or generally in the web. People like these just do the work I think. Maybe a lot of people (me! ) think so friggin' much about what they do but could use that time and energy to just try.

    I think a big problem is that there's so much different stuff to cover for a beginner with 'too much' information about everything. What I think is that all these guys asked themselves the better questions or immersed more into their drawings and paintings. I often get to the point that I am drawing and painting for hours and find out that I've totally forgotten what I was about or jumping back and forth between different aspects such as color, rough painting, sketching, a bit of a tweak here and there etc. What I wanted to say with that is that I often lose the whole piece, the desired result out of my eyes and waste way too much energy in nonsense. These guys maybe can blend that out and just focus on the result... but maybe I am wrong.

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    I was self taught my whole life... I think the spring of all artistic ability comes from the heart. You have to love what you do.

    The moment you start looking at your art as work you'll lose all interest in progressing.

    When you love painting and drawing - you want to get better. A lot of people say 1% talent and 99% hard work. I think that if you were to ask those who you admire as artists - they'd say they had ZERO talent BUT 99% love for their art.

    K

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post
    When you love painting and drawing - you want to get better. A lot of people say 1% talent and 99% hard work. I think that if you were to ask those who you admire as artists - they'd say they had ZERO talent BUT 99% love for their art.
    So, what is the secret ingredient that makes 100%?

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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  11. #9
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    Shit... That's why I'm an artist and not an accountant!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    So, what is the secret ingredient that makes 100%?
    The extra 1% is more cowbell, of course.

    I am by no means an authority on this subject (total garbage tier), but to my understanding improvement is something that no matter how logically you approach it, it's something that can only be obtained through mileage.

    For some it's a rather fast process, something clicks and everything from there just works. For most it's a grueling process of smashing your head against a wall trying to figure out what you're doing wrong.

    You can understand something through and through, but applying it utilizes an entirely different set of cognitive functions that are excercised through trial and error.

    Though, that's not to say you should go about your business blindly.

    The best thing you could hope to do is to study, immerse yourself into some good art, and surround yourself with people of a like mind.

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  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarbingerofIllRepute View Post
    I am by no means an authority on this subject (total garbage tier), but to my understanding improvement is something that no matter how logically you approach it, it's something that can only be obtained through mileage.
    It really helps to walk in the right direction...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Quote Originally Posted by eezacque@xs4all.nl View Post
    It really helps to walk in the right direction...
    That's what I meant when I stated-
    Though, that's not to say you should go about your business blindly.
    Direction is absolutely important. What I am trying (and failing) to clarify is that there is no set formula for personal development.

    Analyzing something is part of studying, but a marginally more pertinent part of studying is putting your nose to the grindstone and messing up a lot.

    I dunno, maybe I'm talking out my ass and should probably get to bed before I make a complete idiot of myself if I haven't already. xD

    Last edited by HarbingerofIllRepute; February 2nd, 2014 at 10:21 AM.
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  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarbingerofIllRepute View Post
    What I am trying (and failing) to clarify is that there is no set formula for personal development.
    You didn't fail, I more or less agree. What is a good direction for a runner might not be a good direction for a cyclist...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Talent is a real thing, and when you see a 21 year old artist who is unreasonably good it's because of talent. Their brain is just wired in the right way to translate his thoughts into images. Its artists who are talented and hard working that become the Olympians of the art world.

    For the rest of us, I think efficiency boils down to learning the fundamentals. Lots of artists start by trying to learn to draw a thing in particular: dragons, tanks, unicorns, whatever. Then they want to draw something else and they have to start from scratch - okay I drew a nice horse, now how do I draw a barn?
    It is much more efficient to learn perspective and structure, then you can build what ever you want with those tools. Learn how light works and you can light any scene without a reference.

    It's not the funnest way, or necessarily the "right" way - but fundamental studies is the most efficient way to improve your work.

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    Hi Buxu, I think you fail to consider the education these artists has had, Liao, Feng Zhu, kirupa all study or have studied at Art Center. That speaks the merit of a proper education in it'self that is producing great talent. That's not to say these individuals aren't hard working self motivating students, I'm saying a lot of aspiring artists are undermining the value of an education. You can learn on your own and achieve success which a few do but the attitude that just learning on your own to become a professional is very naive because it's not for everyone and there are great teachers out there as well as institutions which has a wealth of knowledge being offered. I also don't like professionals who advocate this mindset when they themselves went through a whole education system as if the years they spent in school did not even affect one bit of their success or knowledge, it gives beginners the wrong impression because I certainly was influenced by it when I first started out. I don't think taking classes and workshops would hurt anyone especially when I am always seeing the same old comments of being "broke" therefore I have to learn on my own, get a part-time job, save money and stop being so damn lazy.

    In terms of the scientific aspect of observation, Feng discusses about the practical sides of things in terms of it's use and practice not the brute scientific side, which anyone is capable of learning so don't cut yourself short in that respect.
    When I started drawing in 2012, I had that same attitude like most beginners how everything can be learned on your own and that education in an institution is useless. I attend a classical atelier now and It was one of the best decision I've made. I am learning about a complex subject such as light that would of taken me years of efforts in months worth of work. Of course I have days where I think to myself how I wish I was at home going 12 hours a day learning on my own but at the end of the day, I have learned things that I felt would of taken me ages if it was not for my instructors.

    So, my advice for you is don't cut yourself short and tell yourself you aren't as good of a learner as other individuals. Don't always think you have to do everything on your own, there is no reason why you shouldn't take an online class or workshop or find someone willing to mentor you when learning on your own. There are definitely an abundant source of resources out there, instead of always wasting time asking how and why, it's better to just do. I doubt my comment would mean anything since I am not a professional giving an advice but a member with no credibility, it's really up to you or anyone who reads this to consider what I have said because in the end, I want to be a professional just like everyone else here so I know how it feels discussing the growth of learning.

    If you have a moment, Help me improve with critiques. thank you Sketchbook

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  20. #16
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    thx alot for everyone opinions but i might have expressed me wrong, i was searching more for facts, things we can apply directly when studying, and this is for example if you go to study real life models with the goal of being able to draw from imagination you MUST understand basic structure and you must know how to simplify form.

    Anyway was nice to hear other opinions.

    here is some stuff that maybe will be usefull for someone:
    some of them are direct responses to me (others is just stuff i got in forums) and i dont wanna really let them die in my folder, feel like sharing. if anyone have stuff like this i LOVE IT so share ok?

    ---
    ani-r (DA)

    As forlandscapes;
    Learning everything from color theory and lighting and perspective gives you the necessary information that you need in order to build on top of that. If you just get into landscapes and skip the theory, it might feel quicker but it will stab you in the back because that stuff is something you will have to go back to learn when you realise you can't advance without having learnt it. For me the best way to do good landscape art is to be genuinely interested in what you are drawing. I draw nice trees because I'm honestly interested in how they look. Observe real life and draw. I use a lot of time just looking at stuff when walking my dog. You don't even need to draw it. Just look at whatever is around you in the city or nature and try to figure out that if you were to replicate that on canvas, what colour everything is. Ie. Is the treebark darker than the stones, what is the darkest colour if this were a picture, what colour is the light, how does it affect the different textures around you?


    ---
    craig mullins recomends: (his page - misc).

    http://www.goodbrush.com/misc/painti...gent_notes.pdf


    ---
    Nacho Yague (amazing paints)

    copy what you see, try to analize the why of everything, why light bounce, how is this material, etc...
    try to enjoy the trip


    * i see alot of artists saying this, we tend to just copying too much, ignoring how things work but when we paint from imagination
    "the how it workds" stuff is what we apply.


    ---
    Ross (cghub) (amazing anatomy)

    @Wolfnoom - Heh, Thanks! Yeah, all imagination, except a few quick refs for placement of vertebrae, ribs, and belly button.
    So, how to learn anatomy . . . Well I can tell you what I did so far. When I was younger I did tons of life drawing, but I also spent most of my free time poring through anatomy books. I didn't copy much, just some occasional pelvises or shoulder muscles, etc. I got reasonably competent, but my figures from imagination were still kind of primitive and stylized. But then in college I had a great anatomy class. The first 9 weeks we learned all the bones, then all the muscles; their origins, insertions, and functions. For each joint we had to know which muscles flexed the joint, which extended, adducted, and abducted, etc. Then the second semester we went piece by piece and learned to construct everything. For example: the head of the humerus is roughly a sphere, with two boxes stuck on it for the greater and lesser tuberosities (making the intertubercular groove between them). Then the shaft is a cylinder offset on the sphere, with the deltoid tuberosity spirals around it. Then the distal end is triangular, with a spool form on the end that the ulna hinges on. We did that for each bone and then eventually went on to learn the muscle forms. So that class did a ton for me. And in the . . . 5 years (?!!) since then I've just gotten better at it, or at least tried to not get rusty. Nowadays I mostly study from photos to learn the subtleties of how things move and change, and how it all looks with skin, fat, veins, etc.

    here's some of my notes from that class: http://imgur.com/a/BLWSz#0


    ---
    Tahra (hes a great character designer)

    When I first started studying, I have seen various art book.
    I had seen the wonderful imaginary animals. I wanted to draw such wonderful animal.
    But it was very difficult. I had to know about the basic structure of the animal before create.
    Then I draw a slightly little more in the other direction from some small part.
    this moment I have consult a lot of design materials.
    And, I mixed with many other things. For example, a other different animal or insect.
    I had to go through a series of trials and errors , then I was able to create a design of my own animals.
    So, you have to see a lot of great design, and try to draw. You can draw as you can see. i think the most important thing is simple siluette




    ---

    brief advice from Wes Burt (we all know him right?)



    So i sent out an email to Wes over a month ago asking him some questions about how he works and how he learns things.. i was lucky enough to get a reply.. and i thought instead of just letting it collect dust in my PM box i could share it here and perhaps inspire or
    enlighten some people.. so without further ado

    Questions:
    How many hours a day do you spend drawing? My goal everyday is 4-6 hours, what is your goal amount?

    What did you use to learn all that you know about anatomy and rendering?

    Wes Burt:
    heya krato,
    ill see if i can answer all your questions here,
    i usually dont keep track of how much time i spend drawing every day. somedays i work on stuff all day long at work and then go home and draw or paint my own stuff. sometimes i might have days where i dont draw at all. i enjoy drawing though, so i often get the urge to do it and i pretty much always have my moleskin and other paper with me at all times.
    as for anatomy, i didnt really use any particular book, ive just done lots and lots of life drawing and really focusing on understanding the hows and whys of anatomy and how light falls on form. you could say that thats something that is always turned on in my mind, looking at things around me and breaking down how i would turn that into a representational image of form.
    you can draw all the time, but if youre not thinking about and analyzing what youre doing...then it might not progress quickly.
    look at art you like and try to breakdown what it is that works so well in it. look at images or people to draw from and break down what the basic forms are and focus on drawing accurately.
    basically, theres not a set regiment to any of it, its really more about approaching it with the right mindset.


    wes



    ok so i clearly edited my question pm and cut out the unneeded stuff.. but besides the Italic effect thats all Wes on the bottom



    ---
    Gunner Romantic (DA) on anatomy

    Anonymous asked: Hi. I've always noticed you seem very good at drawing detailed musculature/anatomy in both people and creatures. How much would you say is from your head and how much do you need reference photos or anatomy books for help?

    Answer:

    Well, there is definitely a good reason why my apartment is full of skulls and skull replicas and medical textbooks…

    I always start by going off of internalized knowledge (…or lack thereof…) but as I work I will collect, or in an optimal situation, create, references in order to check to see how wrong the stuff that came out of my head was.



    Anonymous asked: hi, is there any particular anatomy book for both humans and animals that you recommend? do you rely more on a medical book for anatomy or do you think the best option is to just google references? i love how you draw animals but sometimes i feel too fearful that if i google animal anatomy, i'll end up seeing gory photos of animals

    Answer:

    For animals (particularly four-legged mammals), An Atlas of Animal Anatomy for Artists is a great starting point. It is a useful reference, beautiful to look at, and easy to get a hold of.

    Most people recommend Bridgman or Loomis books as essential references for human anatomy. I like the Jeno Barcsay book as a complement to those.

    You might find the Muybridge collection of Animals in Motion relevant to your interests too.

    I personally have medical texts and stuff like the Bodyworlds catalog on my shelves because they offer another useful perspective from which to study the construction of the human body. Once upon a time I wanted to become a surgeon or a medical illustrator so the imagery doesn’t bother me, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

    Google is a useful resource but it requires patient sifting, and yeah, there’s always the risk that you’ll get exactly what you weren’t looking for. Yay for curated collections of dusty old books!


    ---------------


    Interview 2
    Kim Jung Gi (if you dont know this one go right now research him).


    Now, here is another article, but sorry, we were unable to trace back its source If you know where it comes from, drop us a line !
    How can you draw so well without photographic reference? Is there a certain way you train your self?

    I observe things all the time. I don’t take references while I’m drawing, but I’m always collecting visual resources. I observe them carefully on daily basis, almost habitually. I study images of all sorts and genres.

    How can you create such perfect images of fish-eye perspective?

    I’m always thinking about perspective and space, and when I’m drawing I try to expose my knowledge as much as I can. I’ve never been taught about fish-eye perspective by someone. I just naturally got used to it as I’ve been constantly observing space. To give you a tip, understanding the principles of cube is a big help.

    When did you start drawing? How, or with who did you learn?

    I’ve been drawing since I as a kid. I went to an art academy for the first time in the summer vacation of the second year in high school. I’d never been taught by someone, but I studied Korean college examination art in the academy.

    How can you draw so well without guidelines?

    I think anyone can do it if one has a strong image in his/her mind. Of course it requires practices. You need to be confident while you are expressing your vision with your hand. It may seem difficult at first time, but practicing will make it easier.

    Your work seems to have the fish eye lens effect and looks very energetic; do you usually keep any photos for reference of the perspective?

    I have many dynamic photographs with some extreme perspectives like fish-eye, but I hardly look at any of them when I work. I try to focus on the image I see in my brain. But I do try to observe those pictures and memorize the images.

    When drawing those large scale drawings, do you usually know what you’re going to draw before or you let yourself free and draw depending on that particular moment?

    I have a very rough, vague scheme before I start drawing, but I add details as I work on.

    Could you explain me your technique of drawing? I’ve heard people mentioning ‘Conscious Drawing’, what exactly is that?

    I work without reference, but it doesn’t mean I never look at them. I just don’t work « based » on pictures or don’t copy them. I observe references all the time and try to memorize them all. It’s nothing special, I have been used to it since I was a kid.

    What could you recommend young artists to do and study to improve their drawing skills?

    As I have noted above, more references and experience will make better works.

    Was the style you have something you pursued or something that naturally evolved with you?

    I don’t think I have much experience in copying or imitating. I’ve worked on my favorite subjects since I was young, and it just came naturally.

    What other hobbies do you have when you’re not drawing?

    I’m into motorcycles but my wife would never let me buy one. I’m planning to get a Ducati pretty soon though. I would love to have a long drive in a remote highway…




    ---

    and in the end my own tip or observation, i noticed the best ones are connected as hell, i mean they go draw with others, they sorround themselfs with
    other amazing artists, in real life or internet or both that inspire them and make them want to get better, must be a brain thing but makes me realize the importance of being connected.
    being alone is no good for our brain juices.


    And thats all, i will stop here for now but i will have an eye here to see if someone brings some candys.

    Last edited by Buxu; February 2nd, 2014 at 04:43 PM.
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    Hey Buxu, sorry for misinterpreting the value of the thread.

    Here is a paragraph from Ted Seth Jacobs' drawing what the eye sees regarding light that I feel is very valuable (This is a tactile approach and not optical). His book can be purchased here. Ted does have another book solely dedicated to the subject of Light if anyone is interested. http://www.amazon.com/Drawing-What-S.../dp/0486491064

    "Whenever we postulate a point of origin, as for the line of sight or the source of light, we must always remember that no two points on any form are in exactly the same spatial relationship to those points.No two points on a form receive exactly the same amount of light. For example, if you draw the same amount of light on the forehead and the nose, you are in effect saying those two occupy the same point in space. If you put the same amount of light on the feet as on the head, the line is saying they are about six feet apart and the light says they are pasted one upon the other. This is yet another of those embarrassingly self-evident ideas that are startlingly overlooked."

    Also consider how when painting, you don't darken the edges just because you think they are going away from you, you only darken if it is only turning away from the light source because it's plane does not receive light, think conceptually.

    If you have a moment, Help me improve with critiques. thank you Sketchbook

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    Ideally the way it would work would be that your canvas or paper would be side by side with the art instructor, and they would say "watch me and do what I do", you would watch them mix the paint and place it on the canvas and you would try to replicate their effect, and they would correct you as went along. You would do drills of simple things like drawing only verticals, horizontals, and diagonals, same thing here you would stand side by side and you would try to replicate their effect, and you would drill until these things were automatic. You would study simple and common ways of organizing form for example step organization(stairs) you would start off with a still life of that, and then start searching for it in the figure, and if you fail to get the effect the instructor would draw right over your failed attempt in order for you to see how to get from where you are to where you should be. These drills would get more and more complex, and all the time you would be getting theory, and I mean real theory not the crap we get today about the simple fact that we need light to see which is just simple optics and not art theory, and compositions to analyze which were proofs of the theory. You would do compositions using common forms, the way it's done in music, starting simple like arranging things in circles and triangles and then getting more complex.
    In the renaissance artists had more respect for theory and technique, "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast." The representational art we practice today can only exists with the theoretical and philosophical backing discovered by these artists.

    Sketchbook

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    "It's use is it's meaning."
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    Very few people are prepared to be that rigorous and disciplined. How many sketch books are there on this site and just how many of them show the dedication and progression of say Mindcandyman? It's just not in the nature of our fast food, sensory driven, instant gratification, me first society...

    Being a great artist requires that you sit in that still quiet space for a long time, ignoring and forgetting everything but what is in front of you and what is happening between your hand and the paper/canvas. That is something I think most people (including myself I might add) - are just too unused to these days.

    I guess I've figure out my extra 1%

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    Mindcandyman paints well from the model, but he hasn't made any interesting designs or come up with any novel concepts. Digital entertainment design, or digital experience design, has different goals than painting from life or just painting in general.

    Sketchbook

    "Beliefs are rules for action"
    "Knowledge is proven in action."
    "It's use is it's meaning."
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    I find myself going through phases. I can be very stubborn about studies for weeks at a time, then I might slack off and just doodle for weeks.
    Goals certainly play a big roll in what methods give the most value for time spent. I've always wanted to be an animator, and though I do enjoy painting and creating environments, gesture and contour is much more valuable to my particular goals than colour theory. If we're talking about efficiency, choosing your battles can be quite important.
    Studying from the masters of your particular interest is always great- studying under them is even better, and patience never goes astray!

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    nice points here, thx guys, by the way, im reading the notes of leonardo da vinci, is a special book with all the notes and there is a special section called "about learning" or something like tat and the guy is INSANE, really he is way more smart then what i thought it would be. he have the mind of a concept artist/designer

    would be cool to see this keeping rolling.

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    I think the 1% talent is a bit to much, its rather like 0,1% or so. All you do is slaving your mind to draw draw and draw till your so sick you think there is nothing else in life

    Spare the rod, spoil the child.
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    Talent is irrational motivation. Ask me why I study art, and I will tell you that is because I like it. Ask me why I like it, and I will tell you a long story about how it fullfills a need, deep inside. You can keep asking why, why, why, till a point all I can answer is because, because, because, like annoyed parents sometimes silence their curious kids. Talent is just a nice word for because, because, because...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    I consider talent a bad word. I absolutely believe that some people are talented - and it's all about brain wiring. Some people are just wired to see perspective on a 2D surface, some people just have a beautiful mind for design, or colour, or whatever.

    The reason I think it's a bad word is because most people are not talented. Most of us have to work very hard to achieve what these people have a 'knack' for. However, most people think drawing ability equals talent. People tell me I'm talented all the time, and I just want to shake them. In college, the talented guy did zero work, threw together an assignment the day before and did well. The same assignment would take me 22 hours of my life for an equal grade.
    Stubbornness is way more useful than talent. Hard work can make up the gap.
    Talent just becomes an excuse - oh I'm not talented so that's not for me.

    Everyone great artist I know draws all the time. Everyone I know who can't draw, never does.

    Talent is real, but it's not a prerequisite.
    Motivation or stubbornness is a choice. You choose to draw, or you choose to play a game. You choose to go to the gym, or you choose to eat pastries (damn I love a good pastry).

    DaVinci is an example of talent meeting motivation. He is a unicorn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhubix View Post
    I absolutely believe that some people are talented - and it's all about brain wiring. Some people are just wired to see perspective on a 2D surface, some people just have a beautiful mind for design, or colour, or whatever.
    What evidence is there of this, besides the one-in-a-million savant who actually has their brain wired differently? I think it's a lazy excuse not to be as good as those "talented" people and not to work as hard. It's also belittling the amount of effort and motivation those people invest in their craft.

    I work in a professional setting with gifted children. IQs beyond 130. They're often called talented in many different fields; mathematics, physics, music, whatever. The truth is that their talent of course also stems from their superior intellect (which helps with everything in life) but much more in their capacity to motivate themselves and work tirelessly. By the time they're 15, some of them have spent more time thinking about mathematical problems than some students at university have at 25.

    Talent (in the conventional sense of "just being able to do something without working for it") is a myth.
    If you want to call high intellectual capacity and high intrinsical motivation talent, that's fine. But it's not what people normally mean when they use the term.

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    I just had a couple of things to say - not rocking the boat in any ways. I don't know if talent is intrinsic or not I'm just the guy in the corner drinking his beer and coming in on a conversation y'know...

    Anyhow, what I DO remember is that when I was like 6 I was drawing ninjas, and soldiers and stuff like that. I really liked to draw so I did it a lot. You should have seen my first drawings. I mean, they were like potatoes, but they got better, and people used to say I was talented because by the time I was 16 or so, I could draw people who looked like people whilst the rest of my classmates were drawing potatoes. But the thing is I used to draw potatoes for faces too and I remember it!

    You see, if some kid rocked up at the age of 6 and was like 'look at this portrait mom'... HOLY SHIT - it's not a potato it's like a leonardo da vinci drawing, look at the form, the lighting, it's incredible, let's sell it - let's get this kid on Oprah NOW! Well now, that WOULD be talent.

    I think if you actually looked at people who appear talented, behind that talent was probably a childhood and adolescence spent drawing and painting. They never seem to work hard because they did all that work earlier, out of passion (which is what I was talking about before in the 99% vs 1% thing). When I was a kid, I loved fantasy novels, I loved sci fi, I loved comics - I wanted to draw them all the time and in doing so, I was slowly but surely learning stuff. When I hit puberty I wanted to draw women - for obvious reasons! I wanted to draw them well - naked and otherwise (god help my mom and some of the stuff she must have found!). But without realising it, I was learning about anatomy, proportion etc... Basically what I'm saying is I started early. But I put in just the same amount of hours drawing as anyone who is able to draw at my current level and I know that if I want to move forward I'm just going to have to put in the same amount of hours to get to the level of the next guy and so on and so forth.

    So yes Rene is right, talent doesn't exist in that kinda wtf this guy is talented kind of way except perhaps in the rare 1 in a billion occasion. But I don't think it's fair to rail on Rhubix or anyone else who uses that term 'oh this guy is talented'. The fact is that rightly or wrongly we use that term all the time, it's really just a way of praising someone. I don't mind if people say I'm talented or not - I don't take it as an insult to the work I've done - I'm humble about what I can do and what I can't do. It's all a gift I say or maybe it's inspiration/motivation? Because there WAS something that drove me to do the work - passion, lust? Whatever it was, when I drew (as I do now) - I didn't see it as a chore, as hard work (even though I don't tend to draw nudey women these days you knowumsayin' )

    Having said that, I have mentored people before at work and obviously not everyone is the same. Some people DO pick up certain ideas quicker than others and so on. I think this is a given and I think it's what I think Rhubix is referring to. Perhaps talent is too strong a word to use for Rene, and perhaps aptitude would be better!

    So anyhow, I think that what you're saying is right Rene, and I also think that what Rhubix is saying is right - as far as I can see it's just a matter of semantics. (i.e. word use and meaning). The fact of the matter is that these days we always go right to the top shelf for our words. This is something that my favourite comedian Louis CK noted - Rene if you don't know who he is, look him up - funny and insightful.

    Anyhow he said that people nowadays just reach right to the top shelf for their words. We say things like 'dude, that was genius!' or 'that's so awesome!'. Awesome means you were in awe - you were stunned to silence. It was a religious moment for you. When you say 'awesome' after eating a bucket of chicken wings - you don't REALLY mean 'awesome'. In the same way as when I say - 'you're talented' I don't mean you are a child prodigy get me Oprah's booking assistant right now...

    Last edited by lovingit; February 4th, 2014 at 10:12 AM.
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  32. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovingit View Post

    Having said that, I have mentored people before at work and obviously not everyone is the same. Some people DO pick up certain ideas quicker than others and so on. I think this is a given and I think it's what I think Rhubix is referring to. Perhaps talent is too strong a word to use for Rene, and perhaps aptitude would be better!
    It goes without saying that we don't all learn everything with the same efficiency and with the same speed. Part of that variation certainly has to do with cognitive capabilities that can be traced to genetical sources- which is sort of the idea behind "talent". However, there is a huge debate in the learning sciences how much that genetical source actually contributes to the outcome. Learning experiences (e.g. practice) certainly play a role that is just as important. "Talent" implies a genetical (or spiritual/ god-given, depending on your world view) ability to do X. No envorinment involved. No learning experiences involved. It's not like that doesn't exist at all, if you go by that definition we have a "talent" for breathing, swallowing, pumping blood through our body etc.- things we don't have to learn. But again, that's not what the term is usually applied to.

    edit/ so, yes, in a nutshell, "talent" is the wrong word in my eyes. I don't think there is a word for "it", it's rather a complex combination of many different factors that lead (or can lead) to excellence. Cognitive abilities, practice, passion, tolerance for failure etc. etc. the list is quite extensive.

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    Honestly, pondering over efficiency is not going to be of much benefit to you. Meanwhile you could have drawn a figure, painted an apple and what not. Efficiency is doing what needs to be done. Worrying about others leads to nothing but more questions and answers. You'll learn along the way what works and what doesn't. What doesn't work is thinking for the sake of thinking.

    Then again, for the sake of discussion. I was dragged from psychologist to coach and what not because i didn't like playing with other kids and spend time on writing, philosophy poetry and the likes. I discovered solipsism at age 7, solved world problems who no one cared about. I even wrote letters to Harvard and what not. But hey, who is going to listen to some silly kid right.

    What i try to say is, whatever you do, let it bring a smile to your face at the end of the day. Don't do it for acknowledgement, it will leave you depressed. Just wave and smile

    Spare the rod, spoil the child.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    It goes without saying that we don't all learn everything with the same efficiency and with the same speed. Part of that variation certainly has to do with cognitive capabilities that can be traced to genetical sources- which is sort of the idea behind "talent". However, there is a huge debate in the learning sciences how much that genetical source actually contributes to the outcome. Learning experiences (e.g. practice) certainly play a role that is just as important. "Talent" implies a genetical (or spiritual/ god-given, depending on your world view) ability to do X. No envorinment involved. No learning experiences involved. It's not like that doesn't exist at all, if you go by that definition we have a "talent" for breathing, swallowing, pumping blood through our body etc.- things we don't have to learn. But again, that's not what the term is usually applied to.

    edit/ so, yes, in a nutshell, "talent" is the wrong word in my eyes. I don't think there is a word for "it", it's rather a complex combination of many different factors that lead (or can lead) to excellence. Cognitive abilities, practice, passion, tolerance for failure etc. etc. the list is quite extensive.
    Believe it or not I studied anthropology at university and not anything even remotely art related. The nature vs nurture issue was on hot debate even back then. But frankly I think that genes are given far more credit than they are due. Everyone likes the ultimate cop out. Well I was born this way...

    You're obviously a thinking man - you might like the thoughts of a friend of mine who's a fellow at Clare college Cambridge. He's somewhat of a pariah in the academic community because they think he's thrown his career away researching things like whether dogs are telepathic or not. And actually the research so far suggests that animals are telepathic - the results show this in a way far over any kind of statistical probability. But I digress. Part of his research was into IQ scores and the interesting thing he noticed was that IQ scores have gone up about 30 points on average since they were first introduced. It's not that people are getting smarter, but that as a species, we are becoming used to IQ tests (even if you've never done one before) - you say how? Well you gotta listen to his theories about morphic resonance.

    Anyhow, you might like this Ted lecture which he did recently and which was one of only 2 lectures to ever be banned by TED... Why? Well you'll have to find out. Oh the other lecture that was banned was by a millionaire who was explaining how giving the rich tax breaks doesn't help the economy... too controversial apparently... well at least in the US!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg

    Enjoy.

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