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  1. #1
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    When to learn to paint

    I've been wanting to learn to paint traditionally for a few years now and have been focusing solely on drawing to get my skills back in shape. My question is how will I know when I am ready to start painting? Is it something that I should do concurrently with drawing? Should I start with a specific medium like pastels or colored pencils before starting with oils? If it means anything, I work in the printing industry as a retoucher so color theory isn't entirely new to me...

    Here's a link to my deviant art page to give an idea of where I'm at artistically...

    http://www.deviantart.com/?q=brimacx

    I've been drawing still-life set-ups in my house and my kids Skylanders figures as my "life" drawing practice since I don't have access to a life drawing class.

    Thanks for any advice!

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  3. #2
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    You're plenty ready to start painting! You'll want to keep practicing drawing while you learn to paint, but that's true for everyone.

    I think when you're just starting, feel free to have fun with it, and don't overthink it. Play around with different mediums and find what you like. Experiment with styles and processes and make lots of mistakes.

    I personally found pastels to be a really nice starting point, because they are relatively straightforward. You don't have to worry about mixing colors or the paint drying too quickly. A lot of people seem to like to start with acrylics, but I've had the worst time trying to use them. Just can't get them to work. To each their own.

    I'd hold off on oils for a little while, unless you really want to play around with them (perfectly fine). They are pretty expensive, and the mixing of colors on the canvas can be aggravating when you're still learning how to use a brush. Everything just turns into mud. Everything.

    The tools/mediums you use for learning don't really matter that much in the long run. Once you have a handle on how paint works and how to mix colors, etc., then you can start worrying about what medium you want to use and specific methods. Just my opinion.

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  4. #3
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    Yeah I agree, you're definitely ready. The advice I've run across in several painting books is to first learn to draw properly in terms of shapes, values and edges, and then start painting in monochrome first, so you're not trying to juggle all the balls at once, more like adding one at a time. This gives you some time to get used to simply handling paint and brushes etc. Then after doing that for a while you add another color, and gradually work your way up to full color.

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  6. #4
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    Dahlia: Thanks so much for the excellent points to consider...

    Darkstrider: That makes perfect sense... starting with monochrome first. It doesn't sound so daunting when starting by painting just values without worrying so much about color... thank you!

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  7. #5
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    You might want to try a limited palette - have a look as to what can be done http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...l-17th-2009%29

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  8. #6
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    Your work shows that you are not ready to draw from imagination.

    But your tonal drawings from life show that you can try painting.

    Try black-and-white at first, it will help you transition from value drawing to value painting and familiarize yourself with the technique. Adding red ochre makes a good limited palette to proceed with later.

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  9. #7
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    Yes, I have a ways to go before competently drawing from imagination that's exactly why I've spent so much time drawing still lifes and my kids Skylanders toys. I just bought a skull and have been drawing that too...

    I look forward to trying monochrome and then progressing to a very limited palette... Thanks for the link Black Spot - I really like those paintings.

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  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Your work shows that you are not ready to draw from imagination.

    But your tonal drawings from life show that you can try painting.

    Try black-and-white at first, it will help you transition from value drawing to value painting and familiarize yourself with the technique. Adding red ochre makes a good limited palette to proceed with later.
    arenhaus, do you think that there is a recommended level to start to draw from imagination? That's what I got from your post. If so, why do you say that? Because I don't necessarily agree with that. I believe that you should draw from imagination from the beginning of your development and that it really helps to understand what you study from ref. You should always do both.

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  11. #9
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    You can draw from imagination all you want, it's just that without the prerequisite fundamentals you won't really succeed.

    But who am I to stop you from trying? Knock yourself out. Just supplement it with life studies so you don't develop bad stereotypes.

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