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So i have a lot of free time until the end of the year and i really want to use it improving my art. My hopes is to become an illustrator of some sort in the future. I've only been taking art seriously for about 6 months now (drew plenty when i was a kid and again in my teens but family isn't too supportive) and i have noticed significant improvement. I'd like to get some suggestions on what kind of routines i set up for myself as im looking to improve relatively quickly. Don't get me wrong, im not looking for an "easy way" here, i know it takes years and hard work to get to where i want to be, but i have that drive and the passion. I simply wanna make sure im spending every moment wisely since i have the luxury of practicing heavily without worry for the next few months.
So here's what im doing currently, i do at least 1 still life a day, about 2+ hours of gesture drawings, an anatomy study anywhere from 1-3 hours. I have a few loomis and bridgman books that i've read through and now im going back and basically copying the pages. I try to do a piece from imagination every day as well but my lack of skill can be discouraging, but i know i must do this to apply the knowledge im learning. I try to do a lot of perspective shapes as well, mostly as a warm up when i first pick up the pencil/stylus.
That about sums it up, I'm mostly just looking for some guidance here since im not going to any classes or anything. I want to make sure im not just spinning my wheels, i must improve! Must.. reach.. impossible goal...
You might want to include some perspective exercises and master studies. You don't have to do everything everyday, rotate them, so you don't feel rushed. I wish I had that amount of time for studies. Good luck.
Agreed with Black Spot -- rotate it a bit. Do anatomy and gesture on Tuesdays and perspective and colour on Wednesdays, etc. If you try to cram everything in daily, it won't get as much time to sink in.
Wish I had the time too! Last year I did but my self discipline was terrible and I blew it.
ETA: Also -- don't overdo it. If you're not used to practicing a ton and regularly, then a week of intense study (or even less) could easily burn you out from picking up a pencil for months. If you have trouble keeping up, then scale it back to something easier. It may take a lot of scaling back. I draw for 3hrs a day, but I started with 5 minutes. And I feel that's something artists never talk about -- that the act of practicing takes as much practice as the drawing itself.
Last edited by Umbravita; August 7th, 2014 at 02:47 AM.
Yeah i feel incredibly lucky right now to be gifted with so much free time, which is why i must use it wisely. Times were rough out of highschool so i had to help out the family financially for awhile, now im lucky (lol lucky??) to be back at home with the parents and they're quite stable. They've offered to help me out while i start working on my career, so that plus my savings = tons of free time. Anyways im rambling now, no one cares.. GET TO THE ART DAMNIT! lol
You guys are probably right i should be a bit more focused on when i study certain things, i just tend to be a bit scatter brained. I get overly ambitious and want to just tackle it all! I shall try to set up a better weekly flow for my work. Quick question, how do you guys personally practice perspective? So far i do a lot of boxes and shapes using ctrl paint and some scott robertson stuff, but usually after im done studying it for awhile im not too sure how to go about applying it to other things. I guess im feeling a disconnect from the studying and the applying
I suggest you start a sketchbook here. Doing gestures 2 hours a day might as well be a waste of time if you don't know what to look for, and the same holds for copying Bridgman or studying anatomy. Personally, I don't believe in copying at all, although other people here do.
I have known people who mindlessly scribbled all day, and called it 'gesturing' and I have drawn endless series of skeletons and skulls, without understand even a nail about anatomy.
Alternatively, you might be doing a good job, but from here, I cannot tell...
Grinnikend door het leven...
I have noticed that for me the best learning is to draw from imagination and while I'm doing it I use reference images, for example I don't know a lot about giraffe legs, so I search for that reference and watching how everything connects. This way my brain really studies and remembers a lot of stuff.
But while I'm copying something blindly like anatomy, bodies I have noticed that my brain "shuts down" and another day I can barely remember anything I drew. But that's just me and my crappy memory.
Reading an art book or watching an instructional video is NO substitute for actually putting pen to paper, but make sure that you take a little bit of time every day to consume some informational resources. It's easy to spin your wheels for years making the same mistakes, even if you spend a lot of time practicing. So instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, seek out quality resources and learn from them, then spend the bulk of your time drawing and painting to practice the concepts you learned.
*Cracks knuckles* Oh boy, I've spent the last six months doing this in class so I can answer this one for you. That makes me an Expert. (Yes, that's a joke.)Quick question, how do you guys personally practice perspective? So far i do a lot of boxes and shapes using ctrl paint and some scott robertson stuff, but usually after im done studying it for awhile im not too sure how to go about applying it to other things. I guess im feeling a disconnect from the studying and the applying
Yeah, if you've got Scott Robertson's How to Draw, follow the book, use it as a text book, go through. I'm positive my teachers have been actually using it as a lesson guide. And make sure you allocate yourself time to revise because you will forget this stuff. Just drawing boxes is not enough. Just mirroring curves and forgetting about it is not enough. From the looks of it, once you're deeper in the book and actually applying it to vehicles and so on, it'll be easier to apply and remember.
Until then, applying it is something my class struggled to do as well so my other teacher had us all sit down each week and draw the room in perspective.
We used a viewfinder. He'd have us draw the horizon line first, then find the vanishing point, and then use the viewfinder to mark landmarks in our composition. We had to double and triple check our proportions as we did so. Once that was done, we didn't have to keep holding up the viewfinder because our edges were clearly defined (only to double check every now and again), and then we were to draw our transparent furniture and fittings.
That exercise helped enormously. So draw your room, draw your house, draw a street, and draw everything transparent. As Feng Zhu said, "Don't draw what you see, draw what's really there."
Also, maybe this is common sense but I never realised it until the teacher outright pointed it out to us, but -- remember that the horizon is your eye level. If your eye level is with someone's shoulders, their shoulders are going to be right on the horizon line.
Wow i cannot tell you how much i appreciate all the advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with me Umbravita i really do appreciate it. As for my studies i have taken up the advice to be more focused on a day to day routine as opposed to kind of all over the place. I'm not worried about art burnout just yet, i love sitting there watching a single line turn into a full drawing, the process is just.. incredible. Even when my work is mediocre i find it thrilling enough to get in 8-12hrs a day or so.
On to how i study, i know i said im copying the pages in my books but let me explain. I dont just copy line for line as i feel that gets you nowhere. I start with construction lines, get the basic forms in and refine. I try my best to reproduce it MY way so that later on i could fall back on "okay i know a body is a few ovals, circle here n there.. BAM!" and then later i apply the knowledge by coming up with my own drawings using what i learned during study time. No matter what im drawing i try to view it all as a 3d object sitting in space. Everything has a form, not just copying line for line as i see it.
A sketchbook here sounds really intimidating at the moment though i plan on making one in the future, hopefully soon! Once again i really do appreciate everyone taking time out of their day to provide some advice, even the simplest can help me as i am an absolute beginner. If theres any particular books that have helped you out or even online resources/courses please share! I've been considering signing up for something or another very soon