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  1. #1
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    Aug 2014
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    How to make Imagination into art

    I have endless imagination. If I look at an art competition I can in a minute think of about 6 different ways of doing it. I think in pictures. I think in colour. I think in 3D. I enjoy doing all of this and It requires no effort from me -it's a natural thing that I've always done.

    My problem has always been taking this visual imagination and making art from it. I can think of a dozen different kinds of original space rockets. But I have never been taught to do any type of art. When I try to draw I don't know where to start and I don't produce the same thing that I had imagined. I know that it's not black and white. But I don't produce anything that remotely looks like what I thought of.

    I enjoyed art at school until I was about 15. Then I stopped doing it. I was OK. But I was never going to be able to cope with art beyond that. I couldn't see the point of continuing. I had about as much chance of putting a folio together for an arts college as I had of meeting Elvis back from the dead.

    Now I am 39. I have a diploma in graphics design. It was a publishing course with Adobe Indesign rather than art. That said, there was some drawing of logos, packaging design etc and my tutor liked those drawings a lot. That surprised me. I had made it clear at the start of the course that I had the drawing ability of a rhino.

    I don't know what the real point of this post is. I just felt like writing it. I still don't know how to take my imagination and "concretise" it into drawings. I've bought some beginner drawing books.

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
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    Aug 2014
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    Have you browsed through the critiques forum yet? I just joined here too, and there's all sorts of good info there. Which books did you get? I recently got Loomis' figure drawing book and am learning from that, and I think that will go a long way toward helping me get my imagination on paper.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    It is very difficult. I studied as a graphic designer too, and in some ways that's been a huge boon, but the technical skills required are quite different. I've only recently started to understand what it takes to draw from the imagination, but here's what tips I can give you:

    Drawing from imagination requires an extensive visual vocabulary. Drawing for observation might not seem to be directly relevant for drawing from imagination, but it does help to build that vocabulary, as well as your technical skill. The more you draw, the larger your vocabulary.

    Drawing from imagination also requires knowing how the world works. There's a whole lot you can learn and practice, from anatomy, to colour theory, to perspective. Understanding and applying even basic perspective will make a huge difference no matter what you are drawing, whether it's characters, vehicles, props or environments. Even if you ultimately want to do something stylised, and ignore some of these rules, it's better to do so with intent. That means knowing which rules you're breaking.

    Keep drawing from imagination too. It'll help you to solidify the knowledge you've gained from study, and keep you motivated. Don't compare yourself to the best in the industry, most people only post their best work online, and never show anyone their failures, so that's just counter-productive.

    Matt Kohr has a video dedicated specifically to transitioning from observation to imagination, so that might help you out.

    Good luck!

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  9. #5
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    Aug 2014
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    Thanks for the replies! I suppose that I should add a few things - I am only interested in pencil drawings. Painting, sculpture etc don't interest me. I finished the Diploma of Graphics Design about a year ago. It was a tough course. The marker was a working graphics designer who runs her own business. So she set "real world" assignments. In one I had to find someone and do a brochure for them. I found a photographer and did a wedding brochure for him. I also finished the course with some great resources: the course notes and the "before and After" student disk that covers composition, colour etc.

    A few months ago I bought "Fantasy Art for Beginners" by Jon Hodgson. Then I bought a Wacom which takes a bit of getting used to!

    I will look at Concept Art 101. I accept that there are 5 year olds who can draw better than I can. I come from a disciplined background [ degree in maths] so I am prepared to make mistakes, explore and so on. I am subscribed to Lynda and I am working through their drawing tutorials as well.

    My interests are vast. I like making music with FL Studio. I like to do computer programming. I don't say that I am good at any of these things.

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