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Thread: Is this wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Question Is this wrong?

    So I've been practicing art by spending roughly 3 hours a day copying artwork from multiple artists that I admire by eye and trying to replicate their pieces as accurately as I can hoping to improve or pick up stuff by osmosis, the more I do it.

    I already don't know if this alone is something I shouldn't be doing, or if trying to replicate artwork from different artists you admire is actually an okay thing to do that might get you somewhere -- but -- there is a particular thing I usually do when copying artwork like this which is, I use horizontal and vertical lines to help me orientate and situate myself in the picture, so I can have a better idea of what goes where relative to what part of the drawing I have already gotten down.

    I might be explaining this poorly so I will simply share a screencap of my latest endeavor and hopefully you can see what I mean more easily.

    I don't know if using these little lines as crutches is a healthy habit for a bignner artist and if I should just be training to see this by eye instead of relying on visual support like this. What do you guys think? Thank you so much for reading, I'm kind of desperate for feedback and criticism and general advice, so any input is greatly aprpeciated.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
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    Don't copy the pieces: copy the process. Beginners better study the basics, working from life, from observation. After a solid foundation is laid, you can apply these principles to work from masters, and once this process is routine, you can study the style of masters you like.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

    Sketchbook Blog

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  5. #3
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    Jul 2014
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    You can upload images to a post, don't post links.

  6. #4
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    Oct 2013
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    I agree with eezacque. Learning the basics in the beginning is going to serve you a lot faster and more effectively than jumping into master-studies with no framework or agenda. It might help your rendering or photoshop skills, and you might pick up a few things. . . but having a grasp in fundamentals and knowing exactly what you want to glean out of a master-studies will serve you much better.

    If you are a beginner, I'd suggest starting here:

    1. Proportion, visual measuring, placement
    2.Perspective and constructive drawing (form, not contours)
    3. Light and shadow, values, in greyscale

    From there, it will depend on what you want to do as an artist.

    I'd suggest looking through the videos on this site. Sections 2,3,7 They are short and sweet and a good introduction to the basics you should be learning to start building your own artwork.

    Just remember to always have a goal when doing masterstudies. What are you trying to learn in this moment in time and how will this master-study help teach you what you are searching for? Are you learning value structure and patterning? Are you seeing how they've played with perspective? Are you trying to understand how to control focal points? Do you want to study the gesture of their figures? Are you learning about how color will shift hues in light and shade? Are you working on style?

    The more of a beginner you are, the more specific I think you should be, so you don't overload you mind. Not that a more advanced artist can't do a specific study, but they've got more tools under their belt that master-studies aren't as cumbersome.

    You will get even more out of a master-study if you can apply some of the principles you learned from it right away to your own piece. It doesn't have to be a fully rendered piece either, it could be something simple and rough. If you are studying a landscape in grayscale, for example and they've made the sky light, with dark trees, and a shadow from some clouds on the ground plane, do the master study, and then make your own landscape using similar elements.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts good luck!

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    You might also think about it like you would if you were learning piano for the first time with the intention of eventually writing your own songs. Are you going to put sheet music in front of you that's a very advanced arrangement and technically challenging? And then expect yourself to start writing your own music soon after? Or are you going to maybe start with some basics first? Learning how to navigate the piano, learn how to read notes, gain some dexterity, learn some music theory, start out with more simple concepts and songs?
    Last edited by Grumpysaur; August 27th, 2018 at 01:48 PM. Reason: Clarity

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Of course you can do that. Those lines are called plumb lines. Checking against these lines is extremely common. Copying an image accurately is the basics.

    I would say though, always use your eyes, just use the lines to check accuracy, not to just give yourself all the answers.

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    It's a great skill to be able to copy what you see, but you need to combine 3D thinking with 2D thinking, look for form and 3d masses, you don't wanna be a slave to reference all the time cause you will need to change it, then you need constructive drawing
    for copying your favorite artists, I'm careful of what I copy, I prefer not to copy from highly stylized artworks, I like to go with old masters, for example, if I want to heads or figures I go with rembrandt, sargent, hals, michelangelo, pontormo,repin, serov, velasquez etc. for landsacpes shishkin, kolesov, repin, friedrich,corot, etc.
    but studying old masters before you get your fundamentals can be a waste of time.
    to learn some of the fundamentals go to
    then for the human figure, there are lots of methods, I started with Loomis' Drawing The Head And Hands
    then after you understand what construction is you can go with other methods for figure
    and also for accuracy, I suggest checking this out

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