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  1. #1
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    The Drawing Learning Diary of a total rookie (and I really mean NOOB).

    Hello!

    So here is the deal: as a artist I am an ABSOLUTE EXTREME noob and beginner. I mean it: I TOTALLY SUCK. I was trying to learn how to draw since 2009.

    I spent 300 days drawing only lines and ellipses and they all sucked, as I expressed here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...HHHHHHHHHHHHHH - Then some nice folks explained to me in that topic that I was doing it all wrong, focusing only on dexterity and accuracy skills while neglecting all the other skills.

    With the tips posted on that mind opening topic (thank you everyone!), I decided to start from zero. From now on, instead of focusing on a single skill, everyday I'll start something new or a mix of subjects.

    I intend to study initially from:
    Scyra Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5d...V0cSvGtbBtHw_w
    Mark's Drawing Tutorials https://www.youtube.com/user/moatddtutorials
    Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing
    Scott Robertson, How to Draw book and videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaZmwHU7vZo
    Figure Drawing: Design and Invention - Michael Hampton
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ing?highlight=
    Andrew Loomis

    My end goal is to be able to draw characters, objects, environments, etc for games. But not the high complex concepts painted in Photoshop. I just want to create sketches, then trace and paint in Illustrator. My end goal is to create Characters and coloring similar to this guy, which is my biggest inspiration: http://www.fullyillustrated.com/portfolio/illustration/

    As a starting point, I'm going to attach one of the 3000 pages that I did with lines and ellipses as I reminder on how I was wrongly focused:

    Name:  dynamic-sketching-result.png
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  3. #2
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    Entry #001 - 23/05/14 - Drawing is a game

    What should I learn/practice first? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJtriGiRJzE

    Learn to Draw is a Game: there is no order to learn. You keep learning and adapting.

    * Agency: one thing connects to another.
    * Parameter-Driven (like Endurance, Strength, etc in game characters)
    * Experimentation: play a RPG, have a build. Then you reach a tough monster and you see your build is not enough, so you learned from that, you aren't doing the right thing.
    * Observation
    * Adaptation: You learn to deal with the problem.
    * Dependency

    Drawing:

    * Subject: what?
    * Scope: what size, what stays and what is left out
    * Arrangement: what goes in front/behind, who is doing this or that
    * Simulation: apply real physics, etc.
    * Rendering

    Drawing is a deep and complex branched tree, where you can't choose to climb one branch and reach there without the other branches. Like a jigsaw, what piece do I put on the table first? There is no first piece, you drop them all on the table, start categorizing them and then start assembling.

    Name:  DrawingBranchedTree.png
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    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)

    When tutorials say like "Here is how to draw a realistic eye". What they are really doing is just revealing one little branch of the tree. Don't treat these tutorials as the end way of learning. Doesn't work that way.

    -----

    Don't "master" the basics -- _USE_ THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The basics what they mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk84EpHmZKQ

    Don't try to create the perfect X, try to create the most solid X that you can.

    - How can I get an ellipse out of a plane?
    - How can I get a plane out of an ellipse?
    - How can I get a head out of a box?

    Name:  Imagem 012.png
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    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)

    ---

    How to start a drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lfPxmkGvZI
    Not so useful right now, but basically start with the overall arrangement

    ------

    10 minute drawing techniques Episode 01
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsQ1WVyPHvU

    Use point to point: draw points to guide the line, proportion and position.

    ----------

    Drawing and Painting - Episode 1: The Power of Boxes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25x7MuSrQGU
    Form Building - the smart way.

    Name:  Imagem 013.png
Views: 675
Size:  122.3 KB
    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)

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  4. #3
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    Good idea starting a sketchbook. Now let's see some of YOUR drawings. Terrible and basic as you might think they are it's the only way people can help and give feedback/pointers on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blankstate View Post
    Good idea starting a sketchbook. Now let's see some of YOUR drawings. Terrible and basic as you might think they are it's the only way people can help and give feedback/pointers on them.
    Well, they are absolutely crap. Pre-schooler quality and level. Anyway made 2 today, so attached here.

    Sorry the quality, I took with a cellphone and I couldn't fine better angles to go without shadow. If I'm doing this frequently I'll buy a scanner.

    This one is an adaption from the book "Flatland", I title it "Protecting Flatland from the US bombing":
    Name:  saveFlatland.jpg
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    Another one (I said that they were the ultimate shit):
    Name:  timeTravel.jpg
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    -----

    Entry #002 - 23/05/14 - Perspective and Inspiration

    Studied perspective, using a ruler. The idea was to understand the 3 kinds.


    Scott's Robertson Basic Drawing Videos:
    - 1, 2, 3 points perspective using a ruler

    Perspective as a drawing tool:
    - Use it to make a drawing convincing as a 3D piece.
    - Understanding what parallel lines do.

    These are my studies (as I said with a ruler):
    Name:  002-4.jpg
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    Name:  002-3.jpg
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    Name:  002-2.jpg
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    ----

    SUPER SECRET tip for INSTANTLY improving your drawings
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epMc7ZtIlQc

    Make a drawing that tells a story. People won't forget a good story.
    Before starting sketching, think about: what is the story here? What story do I want to tell?

    Like when people goes to a theme park, they are buying the experience. Not just the characters over there.

    Provide a experience, something that people will see and will talk about it. They have to say "what's the deal with it then?"

    It has to start a conversation.

    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 24th, 2014 at 07:17 PM.
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    In 2009 I spent a lot of money buying books, video courses and resources. They were all resting in my external HD because of frustration those years. Now that I want to finally learn, I found Vilppu and a bunch of other expensive courses. Already watched the first part of Vilppu, gonna totally try the gesture drawings in the way Vilppu suggests (capture only the action, 30 seconds max), but using online posers.

    Also one of my purchases was a Wacom Bamboo tablet. I wasn't using it. Tried again and I know why it was locked out: if drawing with pencil/pen and paper is hard to me, with a tablet the task turns to be almost impossible. Why is it so hard to use a tablet?

    My lines are completely jittered/flickered/whatever. I tried a dozen different Photoshop brushes and even with the smoothest one I still get bad lines. Probably because my arm keeps trembling when I'm holding the pen on the tablet. Even writing is a pain in the ass (don't mind the typography. I'm 27 years old I swear, even although my writing with the tablet looks like similar to a kid that is learning how to write hahaha).

    Here is a try:
    Name:  tablet-practice.jpg
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    Name:  alaskan.jpg
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    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 24th, 2014 at 07:34 PM.
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    It's a start. Keep working at it. I think the perspective studies turned out well. Try other shapes as well as boxes.

    Side note: Hey Cool!! You use Unity? That's what I've started to learn and why I want to learn C#!

    Anyways, have you thought to try and emulate the artist that you said inspires you? as a way of helping you learn? I don't see any problem with that. Look for the basic shapes he uses and try to get those down. Here let me show you what I mean.

    Name:  fully-illustrated_drawing basic shapes.jpg
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    Name:  CartooningGirl.jpg
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  10. #7
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    Yo dude!
    You're still doing it wrong other than the perspective part!
    lol

    Basically your drawings look flat and you gotta fix that

    I think you have to know about the stages of learning to draw. I'm going through them and I can understand what it's like to be stuck in the frustration stage.


    And for starters, watch this video on line control and stuff.
    It knocked some sense about line quality in my head and fixed my lines a bit or at least made me aware of how to fix my crappy lines:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPBkhAB6KM4




    1. Learning to See/Observational Drawing:
    This is the first stage. If you skip this, your drawings will forever suck even after practice since you don't see with the artist's eye. Sounds like baloney I know but it's actually true. You gotta start with some contour drawing and still life drawings. Best way to learn this is buy a Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain book and also, watch the videos on Ctrl+Paint/ in the video library, chronologically/sequentially and do the assignments strictly as you're told in the videos and post them in your sketchbook. You could also try out Vilppu's Drawing Essentials on his website though that's expensive.

    Spend some time doing observational drawing like a few days straight until you're comfortable with the actual feeling you experience when you use your right brain to draw. You're drawing with your left brain now and that's why your drawings look noobish/childish.

    2. Perspective
    Few options you have. Marshall Vandruff's Perspective Series (highly revered, very detailed, lots of content IMO and only $12 for those awesome lectures) Other than Marshall Vandruff, you've got the Perspective 101 thread at the CA forums here and it kickstarts your progress and Alphonso Dunn's Video on Perspective on Youtube helped me a lot in understanding about the basic laws of perspective, especially the difference between drawing with and without perspective. (I'd highly recommend his video before you even touch Scott Robertson or Vandruff's videos)
    Gary Meyer's Gnomon DVDs on Perspective (3 Volumes) are also pretty good but he is a bit boring, kind of.(his voice lol)
    So to sum perspective up, watch the perspective videos from 1 point to the rest from this Youtube channel first:

    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jmI...31rZG&index=20
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCsaWiqSEiI
    Look into his channel/playlists. He has a video on foreshortening too somewhere.

    And then move on to CA's Perspective 101 forum and do the exercises there.
    THEN, move on to Marshall Vandruff's Perspective Tutorials OR Gary Meyer's Perspective Tutorials OR the Perspective course at New Masters Academy and THEN to Scott Robertson's tutorials.


    2.5 Light and Form (for shading) and Composition: Sycra Yasin has playlists on them in his Youtube Channel. And also Scott Robertson's Rendering Matte Surfaces Gnomon DVDs videos. As for a book, Andrew Loomis's Successful Drawing (the section on light and form)



    3. Figure Drawing/Anatomy:
    http://www.deviantart.com/art/MANGA-...-ONE-215317699 (teaches stuff about faces) (other parts included in DA description in link)
    http://foervraengd.deviantart.com/ar...rt-I-220251993 (Starts with Anatomy)

    For videos, the options you have are - Stan Prokopenko's Figure Drawing DVD (only covers figure drawing, not anatomy of the human body but good stuff really) and Portrait Fundamental DVD, Drawing from the Model by Jeffrey Watts (this should serve as supplement)Gnomon Anatomy Workshop by Charles Hu, Neil Fontaine's Anatomy Course on Udemy, Structure of Man HD by Riven Phoenix on Alienthink, Vilppu's Anatomy DVDs, CGMA Analytical Figure Drawing course/workshop by Michael Hampton. And then New Master's Academy figure drawing/anatomy video series.

    4. Color Theory, Landscapes, Design and other stuff - PencilKings, Gnomon DVDs, CGMA Master classes, Digital Tutors( DT has lots of content)

    Dope tutorial on Color Theory: http://shesta713.deviantart.com/art/...t-01-175258352


    And if you want structured learning/guidance/critiques then sign up for the Level Up workshop/course here at CA.

    But yeah, start with Betty Edwards and Ctrl+Paint
    Once you finish with that, move on to the other resources on perspective, anatomy etc and study em up nice and slow.

    For books, you've got Andrew Loomis's books on figure drawing, successful drawing, heads and hands and then michael hampton's and vilppu's books and even burne hogarth's books on anatomy/figure drawing (whatever floats your boat) and tons more (I think I saw a huge list at CA somewhere)



    But what I'm saying is don't skip the basics.
    Observation first, then other drawing subjects and finally color once you master grayscale.

    And finally the Youtube channels you should check out:
    Will Terrell
    Sycra
    Sinix
    Cubebrush
    Ctrl+Paint
    Alphonso Dunn
    Polaara (Good coloring tutorial with color pencils)
    Virtual Instructor
    Mark Crilley
    Stephen Silver
    Feng Zhu
    Xia Taptara
    ProkoTV
    Draw Space (A website which has tons of material on observational drawing and some fun stuff)

    And if you plan to learn by copying that's great too. Copying helps build up a good visual library. Watch Sycra's Youtube video where he explains that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPY7d23fScQ

    And finally, set yourself a goal and stick to it. Helps a lot and don't get depressed/frustrated. Cheer up. Watch anime/movies, read comic books/graphic novels/manga, be inspired, have fun And then channel that energy slowly and make it positive and have fun drawing.
    Fundamental rule of art is having fun. And that's the only real rule You have to love drawing even the most boring stuff to be able to enjoy drawing. You gotta love the feeling of pulling each and every single lines. Enjoy the process, not the results. You'll get the results sooner than later when you least expect it


    And here's another tip: When you're doing observational drawing, you should have fun and you should experience a calm, meditative, concentrated state of mind, like trance kinda. And you'll see so many details you;ve never seen before. You have to learn to tap into this state and maintain it when you learn/practice drawing in order for it to be most effective. Make notes and post whatever you draw in the sketchbook thread even if it is utter crap. Nobody told me this and I suffered really bad until I realized all this stuff. So put it to your advantage and go Go GO!!!!
    And regarding improvement, don't aim to improve in a day/week/month. Have a long term vision or else your visions/ambitions will crumble with disappointment. But that doesn't mean set 10 years to just hone basic drawing/fundamentals lol. What I mean is, say for instance 1 month = observational drawing and assignments, 2nd month to 4th month = anatomy and then other fields like illustration study/animation etc etc etc for few months while going back to basics once or twice a week. Like that and you'll be improving before you know it and having tons of fun!

    And let's be friends I'm a noob too

    As for buying materials/tools and stuff, Sycra made another video on this. Hope it helps. Ah, and another anatomy book I forgot to mention was the one in his video by the Rogers Peck guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxZbsLBd3oU

    And lastly, you have to determine the type of learner you are, visual or the reader type. If you learn best by watching videos, then go for it, I've mentioned you all the resources I know of so far. If you're the reader type, then there are tons of books mentioned in various threads. What you pick to learn from will depend on your tastes/preferences. Or why not both if you love videos and you reinforce the concepts by practicing from books and stuff?
    Oh yeah, and another thread to definitely check out (Includes the Perspective 101 thread in this at CA):

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...oncept-Art-101

    Last edited by Kaioken20XGoku; May 24th, 2014 at 11:15 PM.
    I'm a scribble ninja! Hah!
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  12. #8
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    Your drawings on the tablet look like barf (on a pure technical standpoint) because you are not using its main feature, which is pressure sensitivity. Make sure you have the right drivers installed.

    If you want to know how to configure the brush settings in Photoshop you can take a look at the CTRL Paint video library. http://www.ctrlpaint.com/library
    Under 8) The Brush Tool you'll find everything you need to know.

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    I can't draw a circle very well but that doesn't really mean much. Dexterity practice is cool and all but I think it's important to learn all different aspects and keep plugging away at them. I started out by trying to copy things. When I was reasonable at that I then started drawing things from life. Then started understanding form, then started understanding light. One thing filters into another and eventually all these skills will converge giving you superhuman abilites that can be used for good or evil. World domination awaits just be patient and keep practicing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blankstate View Post
    It's a start. Keep working at it. I think the perspective studies turned out well. Try other shapes as well as boxes.
    Nice, thanks.

    Side note: Hey Cool!! You use Unity? That's what I've started to learn and why I want to learn C#!
    Yes, I work with it fulltime for 4 years already and more recently Unreal Engine 4. But Unity is still (and will probably be for a long time) my main source of income

    And keep learning C#, it's a powerful but amazing language to work with. It is a fun language, because you have so many ways to do something.

    Anyways, have you thought to try and emulate the artist that you said inspires you? as a way of helping you learn? I don't see any problem with that. Look for the basic shapes he uses and try to get those down. Here let me show you what I mean.
    I tried copying exactly that dinosaur from him, but turned out terrible. I'll try in the way you also did: break in basic shapes and move on. Hehe funny thing about your cartoon design is that is almost what I envisioned, but then the final result is the one you saw. But thanks a lot for making it polished. It's good to see something that you thought about really taking the shape of a drawing (your drawing that is), this way I can just copy it for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaioken20XGoku View Post
    Yo dude!
    You're still doing it wrong other than the perspective part!
    lol

    Basically your drawings look flat and you gotta fix that

    I think you have to know about the stages of learning to draw. I'm going through them and I can understand what it's like to be stuck in the frustration stage.

    ... Lots of links here...
    That's a lot of links and materials, thanks! I saved them all in my Drawing Materials note in Evernote. Also the order of study that you post is higly appreciated.

    I actually knew most of them (have on a study list), and I also had already most of the videos and books cited (as I said I spent a lot of money on this in 2009).

    My biggest problem now is choosing what to study. I am burned out with so much available material, so your study order is welcome

    As you suggested I already read and did all exercises from Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain, but here I stand. Anyway yesterday I started watching CTRL+PAINT videos, but found some of his paid videos in my external HD, including his perspective videos.

    I also have:
    - Vilppu book and videos (those were really expensive lol!).
    - Bruce Hogarth - Dynamic Figure Drawing
    - Bruce Hogarth - Dynamic Hands
    - Michael Hampton - Figure Drawing Design and Invention
    - Andrew Loomis - Figure Drawing for All it's Worth
    - 6 different cartooning books
    - Marvel Way - Stan Lee
    - Gnomon Workshop - Fundamentals of Perspective Gary Meyer - All Volumes (those were expensive too)
    - Ernest Norling Perspective Easy
    - Imaginative Realism - James Gourney (this I recall being extremely advanced and frustrating for me)
    - Some more I can't recall now...

    And finally, set yourself a goal and stick to it. Helps a lot and don't get depressed/frustrated. Cheer up. Watch anime/movies, read comic books/graphic novels/manga, be inspired, have fun And then channel that energy slowly and make it positive and have fun drawing.
    Fundamental rule of art is having fun. And that's the only real rule You have to love drawing even the most boring stuff to be able to enjoy drawing. You gotta love the feeling of pulling each and every single lines. Enjoy the process, not the results. You'll get the results sooner than later when you least expect it

    And here's another tip: When you're doing observational drawing, you should have fun and you should experience a calm, meditative, concentrated state of mind, like trance kinda. And you'll see so many details you;ve never seen before. You have to learn to tap into this state and maintain it when you learn/practice drawing in order for it to be most effective. Make notes and post whatever you draw in the sketchbook thread even if it is utter crap. Nobody told me this and I suffered really bad until I realized all this stuff. So put it to your advantage and go Go GO!!!!
    And regarding improvement, don't aim to improve in a day/week/month. Have a long term vision or else your visions/ambitions will crumble with disappointment. But that doesn't mean set 10 years to just hone basic drawing/fundamentals lol. What I mean is, say for instance 1 month = observational drawing and assignments, 2nd month to 4th month = anatomy and then other fields like illustration study/animation etc etc etc for few months while going back to basics once or twice a week. Like that and you'll be improving before you know it and having tons of fun!

    And let's be friends I'm a noob too
    As for inspiration, I play lots and lots of games. Then when I see something I want to make in terms of art, I take screenshots, videos, etc. As for schedule, I created one yesterday, thanks for the tip. I'll share it later today I think, because in there I put what I'm going to study/what video, book, etc. A mix every day to not get bored.

    And if you plan to learn by copying that's great too. Copying helps build up a good visual library. Watch Sycra's Youtube video where he explains that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPY7d23fScQ
    Finished watching this. Really really good points that open the mind! My favorite part is when he says something like "these people were copying with a high amount of detail, and this learning already from a high level, learning all the foundations to later develop their own style".

    And lastly, you have to determine the type of learner you are, visual or the reader type. If you learn best by watching videos, then go for it, I've mentioned you all the resources I know of so far. If you're the reader type, then there are tons of books mentioned in various threads. What you pick to learn from will depend on your tastes/preferences. Or why not both if you love videos and you reinforce the concepts by practicing from books and stuff?
    Oh yeah, and another thread to definitely check out (Includes the Perspective 101 thread in this at CA):

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...oncept-Art-101
    I am a mixed one. I like to watch/do a video course and then read along. Most of my learning resources I bought video + book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggeraz View Post
    Your drawings on the tablet look like barf (on a pure technical standpoint) because you are not using its main feature, which is pressure sensitivity. Make sure you have the right drivers installed.

    If you want to know how to configure the brush settings in Photoshop you can take a look at the CTRL Paint video library. http://www.ctrlpaint.com/library
    Under 8) The Brush Tool you'll find everything you need to know.
    Oh yeah I fixed it yesterday right after posting those drawings. The drivers weren't installed. Also coincidentally watched the CTRL Paint videos after installing the drivers and got his brushers. Really helpful!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bri in the sky View Post
    I can't draw a circle very well but that doesn't really mean much. Dexterity practice is cool and all but I think it's important to learn all different aspects and keep plugging away at them. I started out by trying to copy things. When I was reasonable at that I then started drawing things from life. Then started understanding form, then started understanding light. One thing filters into another and eventually all these skills will converge giving you superhuman abilites that can be used for good or evil. World domination awaits just be patient and keep practicing.
    Thanks, another copy tip. I think it is my way for now until I can at least reasonably do shapes. And how would you know my master plan! Dominate all pity humans with the power of drawing.

    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 25th, 2014 at 10:34 AM.
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    If you fill ~3 pages with some kind of practice and see absolutely no improvement in you drawings or comprehension in the subject try something else. Different kinds of exercises work differently for different people. Being self-taught, it's your task to discover what works for you. You can get ideas for exercises from books and good teachers, and compliment them by raiding the Sketchbook section here and trying other random new exercises people do. (:

    It's good to see you studying the 1, 2, 3 points perspective. It's the very basic concept you must always have in mind when drawing anything in perspective. How do you feel about it? Can you imagine a solid in a specific angle and place the points correctly to get that specific angle or do you still feel awkward and out of control?

    Speaking as someone who is bad at perspective, I noticed an improvement on my "visualisation" skill when I went for small things: Simple cubes. I would look at cubes in various angles and try to mimic these angles. It gave me confidence and somehow I got better and visualizing what I wanted to draw. In your case in particular:
    1. Be aware of the perspective points when drawing your edges, they must converge to their respective points.
    2. Connect your edges properly. Your sides aren't always connecting and it's one of the top reasons it looks so off.

    Strive to connect the vertices first, it'll give solidity to your geometry even if the perspective is freehand and a wrong. The intimacy to straight lines will come in time. You'll earn bonus points because connecting dots trains your accuracy as well, it's 2 exercises in one. A nice way to go around is to sketch the solid, mark all the vertices then connect the vertices. You can make corrections on the final stage as long your edges still connect:

    Name:  cube_lessons.jpg
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    See? Even with the freehand inaccurate lines it looks a bit more solid.

    Another thing: Drawing fast doesn't equal to drawing without hesitation. Take your time do draw every line and curve, apply the right pressure, feel the paper, guide the pencil. Increase the speed when it helps; if it becomes an obstacle, slow down, apply more/less pressure on the pencil and let the paper texture help your accuracy.

    Also, I advise to always mix studies with works from imagination. Drawing from imagination allows you to apply what you've observed in your previous studies, keep track of your weakest points and keep away the boredom. Study a lot, study hard, but remember to have fun!

    Last edited by Vielmond; May 25th, 2014 at 01:22 PM.
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    You have a very clean, straight, orderly beginning. That's probably good-- Nip the bad habits in the bud, and focus on technique.

    I myself am very sloppy and need to work on technique.

    You will go far, just work hard, and follow the awesome advice provided here.

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    You know what? Post the Betty Edwards exercises you did here in your sketchbook.
    Maybe we can analyze something and some artists here can give you better feedback.
    Or it's just that you're digging way too deep into this and rushing to learn.

    Slow down 20X and draw with a calm mind with all the time in the world - that's the perfect condition for drawing You have to not be aware of being aware of the state you're in when you draw. It's like time flies, that sorta state. If you worry too much and draw you can't focus.

    And make it a point to post a sketch or a couple few sketches in your sketchbook EVERYDAY. Be it good or crap.

    I'm a scribble ninja! Hah!
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    003 - 25/05/14 - Copy

    Notes from the Video: The emergence of Talent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPY7d23fScQ

    - Copy good artists and do that a lot, while studying why that line is here or there, how things connect with each other.
    - A pattern from most good artists: in the early days these people were copying drawings with a high amount of detail, and thus learning already from a high level, learning all the foundations to later develop their own style.
    - That's why beginners get so frustrated: they set this high standard and they want to achieve that in the beginning, then giving up because they can't reach that standard. So by copying artists that inspire you, you are already working in that standard that you expect from your work and art.

    You need a reference to improve on, that's the way to get good to draw from imagination.

    Forget the misconception that if something is achieved easy means bad and hard means good.

    Break complex ideas into manageable chunks.

    Do something from something.

    When copying you see how the other artist solved the problem you are having.

    ----

    I liked everyone's advice regarding copying. I never did that when I was a kid, and then once I decided that I wanted to learn to draw, I always already a stubborn adult and saw copying as a way of never learning. All advices posted + videos really showed the opposite.

    So, always been a fan and puzzled by medieval art, and although I know they mostly have bad perspective and anatomy, I tried to copy some pieces.

    I really have a problem with consistency. For instance, when trying to make a jester hat, I can not repeat the same shape for the 3 top triangles. Or when I tried to draw that right side beast horn, it was stupidly hard to make a horn shape. Tried around 6 times and didn't get it right. May make some additional horned beasts to try that for fun.

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    Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Chudo_yudo.jpg

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

    004 - 26/05/14 - Gestures

    - Studied first chapter of Vilppu's book and watched the 1st chapter of the DVD (1:30h!) about Gestures. Tried some gestures and like that. Will try to draw gestures at least 30 minutes/day!

    - Also read Never Underestimate the Power of Life Drawing http://www.awn.com/mag/issue2.3/issu...2.3vilppu.html

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    ==================

    Quote Originally Posted by Vielmond View Post
    If you fill ~3 pages with some kind of practice and see absolutely no improvement in you drawings or comprehension in the subject try something else. Different kinds of exercises work differently for different people. Being self-taught, it's your task to discover what works for you. You can get ideas for exercises from books and good teachers, and compliment them by raiding the Sketchbook section here and trying other random new exercises people do. (:
    Been trying to create my study schedule around that concept Take an exercise from here, a concept from there, etc until I build enough variety that I'm comfortable and not frustrated with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vielmond View Post
    It's good to see you studying the 1, 2, 3 points perspective. It's the very basic concept you must always have in mind when drawing anything in perspective. How do you feel about it? Can you imagine a solid in a specific angle and place the points correctly to get that specific angle or do you still feel awkward and out of control?

    Speaking as someone who is bad at perspective, I noticed an improvement on my "visualisation" skill when I went for small things: Simple cubes. I would look at cubes in various angles and try to mimic these angles. It gave me confidence and somehow I got better and visualizing what I wanted to draw. In your case in particular:
    1. Be aware of the perspective points when drawing your edges, they must converge to their respective points.
    2. Connect your edges properly. Your sides aren't always connecting and it's one of the top reasons it looks so off.
    Actually I still don't see WHERE exactly I apply perspective in building characters or 2D game levels, for instance.

    For instance, in a side view level like this: http://www.fullyillustrated.com/wp-c...pinJack-02.jpg
    Perspective isn't needed at all, right? Of course there are the feeling of depth, but that's about putting some pieces in the front and others on the back with blur. But then I didn't notice any kind of perspective. Same case for 90% of 2D games. The only case I can see and feel perspective is in 3D pieces or isometric 2D.


    Another thing: Drawing fast doesn't equal to drawing without hesitation. Take your time do draw every line and curve, apply the right pressure, feel the paper, guide the pencil. Increase the speed when it helps; if it becomes an obstacle, slow down, apply more/less pressure on the pencil and let the paper texture help your accuracy.
    My problem is exactly in creating the shapes and forms. As I just expressed above when copying the medieval drawings, I had a hard time with the horn, jester had, and almost everything else. I tremble, I don't connect lines, etc, i.e. everything is wrong and don't seem to connect, because I have a VERY VERY hard time doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Misty Feather View Post
    You have a very clean, straight, orderly beginning. That's probably good-- Nip the bad habits in the bud, and focus on technique.

    I myself am very sloppy and need to work on technique.

    You will go far, just work hard, and follow the awesome advice provided here.
    Why, thank you. Although I think the opposite: looks like I'm just going down instead of up or that I'll never get out of the crap that I am hahah.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaioken20XGoku View Post
    You know what? Post the Betty Edwards exercises you did here in your sketchbook.
    Maybe we can analyze something and some artists here can give you better feedback.
    Or it's just that you're digging way too deep into this and rushing to learn.

    And make it a point to post a sketch or a couple few sketches in your sketchbook EVERYDAY. Be it good or crap.
    I'll try to post those exercises somewhere, since I did last year and probably just trashed it. I don't have a sketchbook, I just draw in sheets and have them spread everywhere. I think a sketchbook is a waste for me right now with my "amazing level of detail and experience" hahah.


    Slow down 20X and draw with a calm mind with all the time in the world - that's the perfect condition for drawing You have to not be aware of being aware of the state you're in when you draw. It's like time flies, that sorta state. If you worry too much and draw you can't focus.
    As a frenetic programmer, I'm trying to fight against rushing. You are right that I try to go drawing quite fast. Have to work around that!


    PS: When I see Sketchbooks like this: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho....php?&t=190307 I feel like quitting. Because if he is a noob, what am I then? If that is the level of a noob, looks like then I have no chance at all from advancing in this thing. He says "newbie" and I just see perfect drawings inside there, with nice lines, nice shapes and form, etc. For instance, this piece that he made: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/att...1&d=1301164501 --> I tried to copy the same statue now as an exercise, that I had to break the paper in pieces as a rage frustration, not even close.

    I can't do good even by copying. But.. I.. must... resist... quitting... Drawing + Animation = dream.

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    Regarding the "where apply this knowledge": Never, never skip a basic subject because you don't think you'd ever use it. You don't know where you'll be in 2, 5 years, what you'll want to do at this time. If you skip it you'll regret it. I did!

    By the way, perspective still applies to 2D games, perhaps more than creating 3D stuff, because in 3D the software will take care of the calculations, in 2D you will have to do it from scratch. Not every 2D game is a scrolling game, many have isometric perspective or the like, and even scrolling games need to be founded on perspective principles.

    --

    We're all somehow newbies. The more you learn more you think you know nothing. There isn't exactly a ranking categorizing artists from newbies to pro, it's about the self awareness of where you feel lost, what you need to improve... Risking to sound as a downer: get used to this feeling. You'll still experience frustration in the future. We all do. What makes an artist a good artist is the persistence.

    Regarding the copying studies: Do them. And if you're aware that you have a hard time connecting the forms and creating solids, focus on that. You're right in saying you can't try to create the perfect piece at once. Condition yourself to study 2, 3 points each artwork, and to the hell the rest. Then study other points in other works. If you try to grasp too much at once you'll only end frustrated.

    Right now I suggest to focus on taming your hand first. You need to give some solidity to your drawings before moving on. Remember: Take your time! Breath. Try again.

    If you ever need inspiration, check this sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...s-sketchbook-D

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vielmond View Post
    Regarding the "where apply this knowledge": Never, never skip a basic subject because you don't think you'd ever use it. You don't know where you'll be in 2, 5 years, what you'll want to do at this time. If you skip it you'll regret it. I did!

    By the way, perspective still applies to 2D games, perhaps more than creating 3D stuff, because in 3D the software will take care of the calculations, in 2D you will have to do it from scratch. Not every 2D game is a scrolling game, many have isometric perspective or the like, and even scrolling games need to be founded on perspective principles.

    --

    We're all somehow newbies. The more you learn more you think you know nothing. There isn't exactly a ranking categorizing artists from newbies to pro, it's about the self awareness of where you feel lost, what you need to improve... Risking to sound as a downer: get used to this feeling. You'll still experience frustration in the future. We all do. What makes an artist a good artist is the persistence.

    Regarding the copying studies: Do them. And if you're aware that you have a hard time connecting the forms and creating solids, focus on that. You're right in saying you can't try to create the perfect piece at once. Condition yourself to study 2, 3 points each artwork, and to the hell the rest. Then study other points in other works. If you try to grasp too much at once you'll only end frustrated.

    Right now I suggest to focus on taming your hand first. You need to give some solidity to your drawings before moving on. Remember: Take your time! Breath. Try again.

    If you ever need inspiration, check this sketchbook: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...s-sketchbook-D
    Thanks again Vielmond. For perspective, I'm aware of isometric (I also cited it in my post previously), but since initially my only desire to draw is to make character concepts, weapons, levels, props, I'm still having a hard time trying to see where I would put perspective in these cases. Again, from one of my favourite 2D game artists: www.fullyillustrated.com/portfolio/illustration/ - I just see perspective in one of his game (the one with catapults, little houses, etc), other than that, plain characters.

    Although this that you said "Right now I suggest to focus on taming your hand first. You need to give some solidity to your drawings before moving on. ".
    ...is exactly what I tried to do the past year: 1 year drawing lines and ellipses, trying to make my hand better, but I failed shortly, I just lost time in which I should have spent drawing.

    For some reason I want to keep drawing medieval demons with horns, so I can try to get at least a little better with those horns, next I'll continue with some perspective and gesture studies.

    Also, do you know of any previous sketchbook of someone with the same stupid bad level as me and then showed improvement? The one you provided the link had already a start a light year ahead of me.

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    With all of my limited experience, what I'd say is that you are on the right track. Keep up the daily practice and make an objective of yours to not give in to frustration, I think that is more important than how you draw, because frustration is what gets eveyone.

    Also, we all have a tendency to accumulate learning material, but after some time you will start noticing that the subjects become repetitive, because the basics are the same. So, what I'd recommend is to find the author that suits you most and stick to it, at least for a while, because it also takes time to adapt to each author's style. It is like taking a class in school, you are receiving information from just one teacher, and you later compare with others as you move on and decide which one you liked best.

    Loomis is what anyone will recommend to have first on the list. His writing is extremely motivational and he is the reason why I grabbed the pencils again. I later discovered that I liked Michael Hampton's techniques for the human figure a lot more, but couldn't have gotten there if it wasn't because I took the basics from Loomis.

    Keep up the work and keep us posted!

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    Oh and I forgot, check out this thread, it shows how far hard work will get you: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...s-and-Sketches

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    I am doing CTRL PAINT assignments but I'm already having a hard time in the beginning with the Visual Measurement video: http://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/visual-measuring

    He says to use the pencil to measure angles, but I tried and couldn't figure out how, because he didn't explain:
    - Where to hold the pencil and how to compare that with the object? (middle, tip, etc - and how would that apply to different pencil sizes?)
    - How to exactly transport the size of a pencil to the small rectangle on the paper? He goes quite fast and without detail on this.


    In my case I don't have a way to put an object in front of me and just make my arm straight to measure. For instance, my cellphone is right at the side of my keyboard so I have to look down and there is not enough room for my full arm to be stretched to measure. That's all the space I have in my desk to measure and place objects.

    The only other similar lesson that I remember was from Draw from the Right Side of the Brain, but using that viewfinder, which I don't have anymore, because I trashed after frustration haha.

    Found other YouTube videos about the pencil measurement subject, but they are equally confusing and neither apply to my small space, so I have no idea on how to measure and how to transport the measurement to paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Choucete View Post
    With all of my limited experience, what I'd say is that you are on the right track. Keep up the daily practice and make an objective of yours to not give in to frustration, I think that is more important than how you draw, because frustration is what gets eveyone.

    Also, we all have a tendency to accumulate learning material, but after some time you will start noticing that the subjects become repetitive, because the basics are the same. So, what I'd recommend is to find the author that suits you most and stick to it, at least for a while, because it also takes time to adapt to each author's style. It is like taking a class in school, you are receiving information from just one teacher, and you later compare with others as you move on and decide which one you liked best.

    Loomis is what anyone will recommend to have first on the list. His writing is extremely motivational and he is the reason why I grabbed the pencils again. I later discovered that I liked Michael Hampton's techniques for the human figure a lot more, but couldn't have gotten there if it wasn't because I took the basics from Loomis.

    Keep up the work and keep us posted!
    Thanks! So far I'm almost a week with daily drawings and learning. I hope to continue this way for a looong time. Also thanks for recommending Loomis. Have his book since 2009, will give a try after CTRL PAINT lessons ... or maybe just in between to not get bored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Choucete View Post
    Oh and I forgot, check out this thread, it shows how far hard work will get you: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...s-and-Sketches
    SWEET! That's the kind of Sketchbook I was looking for. In that case it was really a noob to pro. I feel I'm even worse than he was on the beginning, but either way it provides a nice feeling that it is possible to go from amateur to pro.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maquiavelli View Post
    I am doing CTRL PAINT assignments but I'm already having a hard time in the beginning with the Visual Measurement video: http://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/visual-measuring

    He says to use the pencil to measure angles, but I tried and couldn't figure out how, because he didn't explain:
    - Where to hold the pencil and how to compare that with the object? (middle, tip, etc - and how would that apply to different pencil sizes?)
    - How to exactly transport the size of a pencil to the small rectangle on the paper? He goes quite fast and without detail on this.
    Try watching this video, maybe it'll help
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzDGO0LssEM

    It's from ProkoTV's channel.


    The main trick is to think of your arm as a lock-on kinda device and straighten up. Pencil should be "snapped at" angles and by that I mean perfect 90 degree to 180 degree holding. Like a rectangle. Imagine you draw a rectangle around your still life or setup or whatever you're measuring, like a boundary of a squarish/rectangular box. And then draw out the box according to it's length/width you get via visual measuring, on paper and start "carving" out the angles of objects from the edges of the box. Usually bottom to top carve outs work well for me but you can start from anywhere you like once you have the box via visual measuring. Hope this made sense and watch the video. Maybe it'll help you a bit more since he does it and shows it with his posture/grip/etc.

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  34. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maquiavelli View Post
    003 - 25/05/14 - Copy


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    I can't do good even by copying. But.. I.. must... resist... quitting... Drawing + Animation = dream.

    Copying takes time. Try doing the negative space exercises from Ctrl+Paint, using some photos of anime/manga/cartoons.
    It'll help you get better at copying a bit since you'll understand how much space is there between details and overall shape/sizes and it'll be easier to learn copying that way. Once you get comfy with photos, move on to life. Or mix and match and do both if you like.

    As for your gestures, they look a little stiff and thick.
    You need to use the side of your pencil. Hold it as if you hold a brush and draw from your shoulder with your wrists locked out. Think that you don't have a wrist and your shoulder is your pencil holder (sorry if that sounded vulgar lol. Me and my tacky talks lol)
    And if you don't know how to draw from your shoulder, then tie up a broom or a huge stick on your arm and try dipping it in water and spraying/brushing it across the floor. It'll literally make you realize how to use your shoulder.

    For gestures, instead of figures, try doing from this Ctrl+Point video, the gesture exercises.
    http://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/gesture-drawing-spoons
    Use a 2H Pencil.

    Try it with spoons first and find your pacing.

    Get comfy with your gesture drawing pace first and then try figures. Point of gesture is to feel the feels and flow the flows. lol

    And if you have trouble feeling the feels then run your finger over the spoons or use your pencil's head (the black part at the back, not the lead) to slowly run over the surface of the spoon. Sometime when you get too used to drawing in flat shapes, it's hard to draw what you feel and see it exactly how it is. I faced this a hell lotta times when I first started so I can understand what you're going through in terms of stiff drawings. That dynamism/liquid/fluid feel is hard to get used to at first.

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  36. #22
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    I have an idea.
    Try copying these photos I've posted below here:

    Let's see how you copy em Take your time. It'll reveal a lot of things if you give it a good shot
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    Try doing the negative space thingy on the first two photos
    And try contour drawing with details on the third one (the skull one) You're free to try out cross hatching too for fun

    Remember, roughs are drawn with the side of the pencil (edge of lead/grahite, not the tip) and to do that you need to best hold the pencil like a brush and draw from your shoulder.

    Finals/clean lines are drawn with the tip and you hold the pencil like a pen in this case, with the pointy end a bit away from the tip your fingers I mean

    How to draw negative space: http://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/draw...negative-space

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    Last edited by Kaioken20XGoku; May 29th, 2014 at 03:15 PM.
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    Entry 005 - 27/05/14 - Digital Painting Exercises
    https://matt-kohr.squarespace.com/dp101-3

    - Draw shapes in separate layers, then cut off the details instead of trying to draw the details directly

    - Line weight:
    * Thicker: shadow
    * Thiner: lightened
    * Thicker: in front (depth)
    * Thiner: back (depth)

    - Line sketching with the tablet: 3 or more passes:
    1. Overall gesture / loose action
    2. Start defining shape
    3. Final line work

    Did the painting exercises, for the first time I felt I was controlling the tablet's pen, but because I was doing big movements, not line sketching:
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    Entry 006 - 28/05/14 - Visual Measurement

    Visual Measure: https://matt-kohr.squarespace.com/vi...sual-measuring
    Proko’s Measuring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzDGO0LssEM
    Barnstone first video

    - Draw 20 rectangular/cell phone positions, measuring with the pencil
    - 2x3 inches rectangles.

    Compare the angle against the pencil with the angle against the box border.

    Did only 12 not 20, but will do 4 per day now:
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    Entry 007 - 29/05/14 - Forms and Shapes
    - Draw Complex Forms Part 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BdIvZk0WZc
    - Peter Han’s Dynamic Sketching: compose forms with basic shapes

    Also copied some cartoons (like a kid, but still.. I'm accepting that fact that it is a matter of training).

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    ================================

    @Kaioken20XGoku: thanks for all the help!

    Curiously the first video I watched regarding measuring after CTRLPAINT's one was Proko's. That was what helped me finally understanding it.

    I also found in my HD the 1st video lesson from Barnstone (and the receipt was there, US$ 37 geez, I spent too much money, at least I'm using now). It is exactly about measuring, but using diagonals/triangles/etc. It helped a little, but for now I'm not following his method.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaioken20XGoku View Post
    I have an idea.
    Try copying these photos I've posted below here:

    Let's see how you copy em Take your time. It'll reveal a lot of things if you give it a good shot
    Attachment 1973527
    Attachment 1973528
    Attachment 1973539
    These attachments are broken, can't see them.

    Point of gesture is to feel the feels and flow the flows. lol
    haha that's a nice perspective on talking about gestures

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    Wait a minute, I thought you wanted to do vector stuff!?

    I have no doubt this will all help, but you can also have loads of fun just playing with combining simple shapes in illustrator to put characters and objects together. I would spend time learning illustrator from tutorials,then analyse vector artwork, whilst keeping up your drawing practice on the side. Pretty soon you will be able to combine drawing and vectors, but until then you can get some great results just playing with circles, squares, the direct selection tool and the pathfinder etc. I would start off with this kind of thing and then try to do your own variations:
    http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-...ear-face-icon/

    I dunno, Illustrator is quite a steep learning curve so I would stick with the mouse and basic shapes for a while. You will be able to make your wee dinosaur in no time, nae bother.
    Good luck and have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatman274 View Post
    Wait a minute, I thought you wanted to do vector stuff!?

    I have no doubt this will all help, but you can also have loads of fun just playing with combining simple shapes in illustrator to put characters and objects together. I would spend time learning illustrator from tutorials,then analyse vector artwork, whilst keeping up your drawing practice on the side. Pretty soon you will be able to combine drawing and vectors, but until then you can get some great results just playing with circles, squares, the direct selection tool and the pathfinder etc. I would start off with this kind of thing and then try to do your own variations:
    http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-...ear-face-icon/

    I dunno, Illustrator is quite a steep learning curve so I would stick with the mouse and basic shapes for a while. You will be able to make your wee dinosaur in no time, nae bother.
    Good luck and have fun!
    Vector is only my end focus kind of media, but ultimately as I pointed out I want to create my own characters/scenarios/monsters/etc., so I definitely noticed I need to know traditional drawing and even digital painting. Otherwise I wouldn't have the foundation of where to start or would just create generic copy and past stuff.

    I already have a good grasp of Illustrator itself (technically speaking, I can comfortably use the pen tool, gradients, etc), but I have no art notion at all, so all I tried so far was quite bad, out of proportion or looked too plain ugly/generic.

    So if I get to create characters organically and traditionally (+learn color), I'll get to the point that I want.

    For instance, again from that artist that I always cite. This is a mechanical character but I failed shortly tried to reproduce it: http://fullyillustrated.com/wp-conte..._droid_new.jpg

    Or the zombie with spiked legs is too organic for me right now to understand: http://www.fullyillustrated.com/wp-c...tenches-04.jpg

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    Yes, absolutely, I completely agree. I wasn't sure if you had used illustrator yet.
    You should fire up some of your vector stuff on here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maquiavelli View Post
    [B][U][SIZE=4]
    These attachments are broken, can't see them.
    Try viewing the post again. Clear your browser cache, refresh and see

    I'm a scribble ninja! Hah!
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    I'm still fairly new as well but I will suggest Riven Phoenix's "The Structure of Man" videos. You can watch the 1st 19 videos for free at his site www.alienthink.com. He doesn't get a lot of mentions but as a solid foundation on anatomy and structure I think he is hard to beat. He explains things very well IMO and you can draw with him as he explains what and why he is doing what he is doing.

    If you like it you can buy it for a damn near nothing for what you get.

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  45. #29
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    I'm still fairly new as well but I will suggest Riven Phoenix's "The Structure of Man" videos. You can watch the 1st 19 videos for free at his site www.alienthink.com. He doesn't get a lot of mentions but as a solid foundation on anatomy and structure I think he is hard to beat. He explains things very well IMO and you can draw with him as he explains what and why he is doing what he is doing.
    I totally agree with you man!
    He beats the basics of anatomy and figure drawing into our heads like hell, haha
    Even though it takes a hell lot of determination to stick through with his course.

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    Entry 008 - 30/05/14 - Spoon Gestures and Weird Characters

    Today I did spoon gestures for the CTRL+PAINT exercise (http://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/gesture-drawing-spoons). Oh boy, that was hard. When he said "do 20 spoon gestures", I thought "oh that will be too easy". I had a hard time doing them. It's a signal I have to practice gestures daily!

    Also decided to try to create a kind of weirdo-stupid-sinister character, but I think they all suck. Not satisfied with any of them. Anyway I ended up making a vector version of one. Since I'm not satisfied with it, I didn't work the colors, just gave flat colours (no shading, etc) - characters inspired by http://www.pietervandenabeele.be - even with reference I did all wrong.

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    @fatman274: as you asked, attached one vector in this post.

    @Kaioken20XGoku: thanks for the attachments and practice suggestion. But I'm not a fan of the anime style. If I have to draw from reference I prefer ANYTHING but anime (as you can see, even very weird stuff). Never liked anime and I don't feel motivated to even try drawing them even as a practice exercise, it would be better to draw Marvel comics, for example.

    @BillW: thanks for the video suggestion! Looks cool. But another thing to pile up here haha
    Vilppu, Proko (thanks Kaioken20XGoku), etc etc etc. Too many videos, too little time.

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