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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Starting out help.

    Hello, all. Iím kind of new around hereóIíve been admiring everybodyís work from the shadows for awhile now. Iíve always considered myself more of a hobbyist than a professional, so I understand that I wonít ever reach the caliber of some of the amazing works on this site. My drawing/sketching ability is adequate/decent and my painting is fairly acceptable. Iíve recently got a Wacom tablet and PS CS2 to pursue my interest of the visual arts.

    My question is this: What is the best approach to honing my skill so that I can become satisfied with my output? Are there good books? Iíve taken art classes before (mostly high school), but I didnít feel like those benefited me all that much. Right now, I feel like my stuff is too Ďmushyí. My colors blend together and some details are lost.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I searched for something similar to this question, but I failed to find any. I donít mean to be Ďthat guyí. Thanks!


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Thanked 49 Times in 26 Posts
    Well my first tip would be to look around for art classes somewhere near you.
    Try these then you at least havesome one who can help you when you are not sure. And the best would probably be to use a traditional medium first.
    Digital stuff may be faster and easier to work with. But in real life you see the real colours and not just your screen.

    Look for life drawing and painting classes. Ask the people there what materials they use and where you can buy it (at what it should cost).

    That will be probably easier and faster than just starting from books or online tutorials.
    You can take a look in the "Tips, tricks and tutorials" section here:

    For the start I would say try these:

    That will help you with some basics and some specific terms.
    Then you could look at all the other sticky-ed tutorials and take some classes.
    For the beginning you should probably concentrate on form (and proportions), perspective (always good, letīs you keep things in a good relation to each other).
    If you know a little bit about these then light and colour could really be added because by now you would have the understanding of some basic so you can think about how light and colour work with form (shadows, highlights,...) and perspective (light and distance -> how does you perception of colour change with distance and different light sources/shadows).

    That should be the "minimal start" that you need. Without refering to a "visual library", art/design history and relation to normal history, texture and other fine details, design basics, golden ratio (Phi and other natural constants, useful for design and composition).

    The more you know the more possibilities you have. This is not just about "art and visual" skills, history, mathematics, chemistry, literature, anything can help at some point.

    Something that can help you always: learn.

    I hope that helps a bit.
    [end rant]

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    _Mario: Thank you for being so thorough. I am constantly in the need for more knowledge!

    Just as a side note, I'm not looking for the 'magic book' or anything. I was more curious about suggested readings/approaches. I've never favored the 'easy way out' and am willing to put in the grunt work.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanked 678 Times in 247 Posts
    Draw all the time, draw anything, draw everything.

    All the power to you, man.
    * Help a CA artist! Visit the Constructive Critique section! *

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