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  1. #1
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    Is this crazy?

    So, right now I am currently in college. I have about two to three years left, but I need to have a portfolio done sometime by 2016. There are many problems with my current art education. For one, I do not have the money to go to an art school and am basically stuck at my local university taking their art program. The problem, however, is that the classes aren't specialized and there is no digital art program, which means I have to go use another resource alongside my studies. A second issue with my current education is that it's not challenging enough. Yeah there's a class focusing on Anatomy, but that's only Drawing II. They have up to a drawing IV here, but you only get instruction in Drawing I and II. Drawing III and IV is mostly you coming up with your own assignments. The fundamentals, such as how cloth behaves, how light and shadows behave, color theory, perspective (I've got one and two down, and am just now beginning to understand 3 point a little more) to name some examples, are glossed over.

    I have improved a bit, but mostly because I have used outside resources. What I thought about doing is using my refund check, plus taking out a little bit of loans for art supplies, perhaps an art tablet, a computer and some stuff for an art studio, such as lights and an easel, plus some living expenses and these art courses listed below.

    1. Raybould's Virtual art academy
    2. Digital tutors
    3. Drawing tutorials online
    4. Vilppu's stuff
    5. Five Pencil Method
    6. Sycra

    Now I plan to do these on my own spare time to help give me a push since school really isn't doing anything for me really. I know it seems like a lot, but I've had a look at these sites, and may offer lessons in things not really taught or emphasized at school. The first one I figure I can practice the methods I learn from there when it comes time to do assignments for classes. I'm at a point where I'm at a dead end. I know what I need to improve on, but I just need some really challenging lessons on it. I've also thought about cutting back on art classes for a semester to a year, pick some really easy general eds, and focus on the art basics. So far, I've got perspective down a bit, but not to an advanced level, I need to really work on my shading skills because it's been the biggest thorn in my side. I know how to pick out the form in things and I get proportions fairly accurate. But I'm really not learning anything at college, and no one seems to know what i'm talking about when I mention something about perspective of the human figure. My adviser, another art teacher, said it wasn't important to know how to draw from memory and that you can always use a reference photo while one of my art teachers said that you do not need to know human anatomy to be a good artist. I'll have to disagree with both.

    And one more thing; I want to be an illustrator and graphic novelist but I also want to try my hand at the fine arts too. I also looked into Industrial Design, but you need calculus for that degree, and the only math I'm good at is Geometry.

    Sorry I ranted on a bit, but I want to see if anyone else was in this situation. and I already did try to Google up an answer for this, but I must have a specific answer. Thanks if you skimmed or read :3

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  3. #2
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    Why don't you try the Start! program here and then move one to the Level Up! Scroll down for the reviews

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    More and more lately I've been hearing artists advise that instead of going to art school you're better off educating yourself at home.

    I can't speak for how good those resources you listed are (although I've heard Vilppu is great), but I would suggest listing the fundamentals and making a curriculum of your own, something solid you can follow.

    But I've never done this myself so I would take my advice with a grain of salt.

    I'd also second Black Spot's advice, Level Up looks quite good and it's much cheaper than art school.

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    Even when you do go to a school with a decent program it is more about what you do outside of class then in it. Artists must always be driven to out perform themselves and whatever weaknesses they may have. If you feel you have a weakness that isn't being addressed in school then lter some of your assignments to push you in that direction. Artists for a large part are self motivated so one important thing to learn through art school is to be a self motivated student. Learn to utilize classes and lessons in a way that works for you. In the end your grades aren't as important as what you learn, and being a self starter is one of the best thing you can learn. Plus, think of all the money you will save.

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    I am in a bit of a similar situation to OP myself. I am teaching myself art. But this thread isn't about me so I will respond. I have looked at a lot of sites online and my experiences are as follows:

    Digital Tutors - this is an advanced 3D art site, specializing in Autodesk products. I was subscribed to this and I am into 3D software. I had mixed outcomes. Its "basics" tutorials are good. But if you don't use Maya or 3D Studio Max it's probably not worth the cost.

    CG Cookie - now this is a good site. It covers the absolute basics. If you have never done art in your life this is the site. Want to know how to set up a wacom? This is the site! Then there are more advanced tutorials on blender and unity. There is even a section on traditional physical sculpting if that's your bag. The style of tutorial tends to be informal and if you are a member you can download the tutorials and keep them! That is unique!

    Lynda - a brilliant site. A bit of everything. Art. Programming. Business skills.

    VTC.com - when I was doing my Dip of Graphics Design I was given full access to this site. So I know it well. Has a lot of microsoft tech tutorials on it and linux ones. Dwayne Ferguson offers good 3D and art tutorials. VTC is a bit "old school" in that it uses a lot of text tutorials rather than total videos. But it's worth a look. IMHO I think that Lynda is a shade better.

    Gnomon - I don't know much about this. But it has actual online classes. I've never done one.

    That is not intended to be a total list! There are a lot more sites for self-learning than this! If I were the OP I would go with Lynda and CGcookie. But it depends what kind of art you are doing and how advanced you have got to.

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    I would suggest Riven Phoenix for you human anatomy learning. It is reaaaal good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NesanJanan View Post
    I would suggest Riven Phoenix for you human anatomy learning. It is reaaaal good!
    Nope. Have a look at the work presented on his page. Really has no business teaching figurative drawing.

    Vilppu or Hampton are a much better choice, and much more competent artists.

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    Yikes. I do not have reply for that. I will get back to you tomorrow. : P

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Nope. Have a look at the work presented on his page. Really has no business teaching figurative drawing.

    Vilppu or Hampton are a much better choice, and much more competent artists.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NesanJanan View Post
    Yikes. I do not have reply for that. I will get back to you tomorrow. : P
    Yeah? We've discussed those tutorials before on here:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...enix-tutorials

    There are certainly worse courses available online, but also much better ones. I don't think there's anything else that needs to be said about that.

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    What if I said that perhaps, just perhaps, the figure drawing the Riven teaches is ideal for getting your feet wet in terms of learning semi near accurate human proportions, and the basic components of the human body really fast. I am just 19 video into a near 250 video series and have already learnt a considerable deal. For now these videos are forcing me to work because they are really simple to follow and digest. Unlike when learning from a book source, I find it hard to procrastinate when learning through his videos. Yes I've seen his work, and they leave much to be desired when compared to the better works that I've seen.

    But let me say this, I do not know whether or not you've seen the way he teaches and what he teaches, but I would say his method is akin to skimming through a 100 mediocre medical books about 100 different ailments as opposed to reading a single master class book about one particular medical ailment in the same time period. The 100 books allow for a mediocre comprehension of the 100 ailments, but this abundance allows you to swiftly put two and two together and improve at a faster pace. And at your discretion, you can always refine you work based on the better artists out there. Plus the guy makes learning anatomy fun

    All that said, if his fundamental anatomical explanation is wrong, something I do not have the skill to pass judgement on yet, then all I've said thus far is void. Anyway, this is just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Yeah? We've discussed those tutorials before on here:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...enix-tutorials

    There are certainly worse courses available online, but also much better ones. I don't think there's anything else that needs to be said about that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NesanJanan View Post
    All that said, if his fundamental anatomical explanation is wrong, something I do not have the skill to pass judgement on yet, then all I've said thus far is void.
    Did you read the thread I linked you to?

    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Be warned that while there is a lot of material, his approach is extremely formulaic. You'd be better off with an anatomy textbook and life drawing.

    I had watched some samples, and I was not impressed at all. For example, in a video on muscles of the shin, he spent three quarters of the time meticulously drawing the bones of the shin and foot all over again, then rushing over the muscles. Worse, he left some muscles incomplete, and I think he added a nonexistent one. That was enough to kill any credibility.
    Also, even if the anatomy wasn't faulty, his work is just nowhere good enough to stand any chance against Vilppu, Hampton or Proko. If one decides to spend money on that course rather than on any of those three, the only reason could be that that person either doesn't know about the better resources or isn't capable of telling the difference between painfully mediocre work and good work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Did you read the thread I linked you to?
    Well, of course.. If you insert a link to a post that is addressed specifically to me it would be foolish to reply back without having looked at it fully, especially given its relevance to the discussion. I should have made it more obvious by bringing in a few points from that discussion : P

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedikt View Post
    Also, even if the anatomy wasn't faulty, his work is just nowhere good enough to stand any chance against Vilppu, Hampton or Proko. If one decides to spend money on that course rather than on any of those three, the only reason could be that that person either doesn't know about the better resources or isn't capable of telling the difference between painfully mediocre work and good work.
    Maybe you are right.. Well probably you are right.. No I'm damn sure you are right...: P.

    I don't know what to say, cause I did buy the darn course..

    I was enthralled with the near 100 hour content for the cheap price. Compared to Vilppu and co., admittedly, his work is bad. And it goes without saying, you do have considerably more experience both as an artist and as a member of these forums. That said, Riven Phoenix has been, thus far, thorough with teaching the various anatomies, so at least I have gained knowledge about the components of the human body.

    I am assuming that you have not purchased the course so I believe it is wee bit bad on your part to pass judgement on the entirety of the content, here is why. Yeah it is art where great work naturally distinguishes itself from mediocre and easily from bad work, but you have to also consider that there maybe other merits from the content.

    Take for example perspective tutorials where the visual work is never ever the goal. Rather the artist always wants to teach you a thing or two about perspective. They usually recognize that they are not great artists, but that does not stop them from teaching what they know. So it is fundamental perspective that they set out to instil in your brain. There work might lack creativity but for all we know that man could be a great perspective master and you have much to gain from them.

    Good artists, good teachers do not always make and likewise good teachers, good artists do not always make. I disagree with Kev Ferrara on this based on past experiences in a field unrelated to art. You must consider that this maybe similar to that. While this man's work may not be visually pleasing I did learn a lot about anatomical components and workings.

    Perhaps the way he is selling his product is what is leading to the confusion. He does after all call it the: "The Famous Figure Drawing Course." If he had instead called it: "Basic Fundamental Components and Workings of the Human Body" then this issue might have been more agreeable between me and you.

    I am never one to knock any ones hustle. And you can tell Riven Phoenix has put a lot of hustle into making this 100 hour content. So I thank him for that.

    Finally to conclude, I must say that I appreciate your input because, after all, you are doing it out of your free time to help up and comings to reach their goals faster. So thanks man.

    Last edited by NesanJanan; August 14th, 2014 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Added a point
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    You must understand that I don't critizise the course/ his work because it isn't up to some arbitrary standard for art teachers that I have set myself and enforce as the ultimate judge.

    It is simply that from the point of view of the consumer, the other courses available all come from teachers who're not only more skilled (as is evident from their own personal work), but also are reportedly good teachers (I own Vilppus videos and have seen all of the free content Stan offers). There's really no rational reason to go with the Pheonix course then, unless one assumes that the more content (in quantity), the better. Personally, I don't think the equation is that easy. I'd take one hour "with" Vilppu over 20 with any less competent teacher any time.

    I'm sure the course benefited you, and I certainly didn't want to make you feel buyers remorse or something like that. I was merely offering options that I'm sure are better choices (at least from where I'm standing).

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    Thanks guys for all the replies. For now I won't try to overload myself with too many resources though.

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    I went up through lesson 89 in Riven's lessons about 6 years ago and I feel it helped me out by exposing me to anatomy. I learned how to set proper proportion and these lessons gave me the framework for my future studies of Vilppu and Hampton. Having that exposure beforehand allowed me to take Vilppu and Hamptons teachings "to the next level" in my figure drawings because I wasn't mired in the complexities of human anatomy...

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  17. #16
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    I don't see enough emphasis on working from life. At least 50% of your practice should be from life; outdoor and indoors. As someone who was self taught I can tell you that my life drawing and painting skills are what separated me from my contemporaries and landed me my first professional jobs. Copying and constructive techniques are all well and good but nothing beats working from life. Especially if you set your goal to finish work in one or two sittings. Pro work requires speed and the best way to get fast and good is to learn to work under the constraints working from life imposes.

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