Perfection or Improvement? Technique or Improvisation?

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  1. #1
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    Perfection or Improvement? Technique or Improvisation?

    I've been seeing too much of all the pros' stuff from these boards. Look at Coro or Andrew's work. Friggin amazing. It's almost a bit discouraging, until you read deeper and find out Coro's been doing it for years, and aside from the occasional "kewl technique!!!" self portraits Andrew does, they're all the same, really. i mean, after drawing the same features for more than a month, it's probably at the point where he barely has to look at himself. Right?

    Well anyways, I'm a self taught artist, i'd like to say i'm pretty good. But i still need to improve.

    Should i, in my sketchbooks, blackbooks, or scrap scribbling, strive for perfection? spend a few days on one really good page, or should i do a whole bunch of really quick, under an hour sketches to familiarise myself with my own little idiosyncracies (retracing lines too much, nonunififed lighting, poor detail distribution, no focal points) and overcome them?

    Should i create a technique that works and stick to it? Or should i try mixing media or matirials and techniques to sort of improv a new technique? I'd like to get a technique down, to sort of compliment my style (rough, raw...) so i've been trying brush pens. They're really expressive, and a simple stick figure takes on new life and personality

    I've been tooling around with Coro's technique- pencil outline, ink, color wash (i use markers), pencil, and gouche *sp*. I like the results, but it doesn't work for me.

    What should i do? I want to imitate different styles, particularly Jon Foster's stuff, and Wes9000's stuff. I want to imitate and adapt, but not copy. It's just a matter of experimentation, so it's no big deal, but i'm wondering if i should wait till i've established my own style before attempting to adopt someone else's.

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  3. #2
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    here are 2 cents worth:
    I think the first and main thing an artist does troughout his/her life is to learn. I beleive it's an absolute necessity and is what should drive us all the time. There is nothing noobish in going to modeling sessions and opening an anatomy book to study. Nor is there to copy a master's painting. I think *this* is the main focus we should have before wondering on 'style'.
    I think that your style develops by itself while you're churning away some art pieces in your learning progress. Of course, you'll be influenced by what you like, the styles you love. There is a big trap to avoid tho ; it's to mimic a style and forget to have fun and learn your basics. It's a question of focus I think. Style will eventually just bloom on it's own - we shouldn't try to force it out of ourselves.
    Be patient

    ege
    "Paintings are born from paintings" Rembrandt

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    What I would do is draw, draw and draw some more. Start off with quick gesture drawings and burn through some paper. Then go into something a little more detailed. You basically wear your influences on your sleeve when you draw, if you like anime something of it will be there, same if you like Foster's work but don't try to copy a style except as possible excercise to see how they do it. Your own style will come through your shortcuts and mistakes and abbreviations. That is what "style" is but if you just draw it will be your own.

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    Hi DDB,
    I think you are missing the point of Androids SPODs. As an artist the most availeble and cooperative model you have is yourself. Many artists do selfportraits all their life, and it isn't because they are in love with themselvs, but because it is the esiest way to experiment and try new stuff out. Of course Andrew is welcome to say I am wrong...

    You should try it, at first it is really hard, but after a while you learn a lot from it.

    www.robertomarchesi.com
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    Thanks

    thanks for the feedback.

    I think you missed my point, sort of, when i mentioned the SPOD thing. After drawing the same face 30 times, it's just technique. I bet he doesn't even have to look into the mirror anymore for his drawings. I haven't looked at every single one from the beginning, so i'm just talking out of my ass and i don't mean to be hypercritical, but he doesn't seem to draw his own face in different expressions. I mean, he sometimes draws his own skull, or makes himself look like a zombie, but... and remember this is just a personal thing - i think it'd be a good idea for him to draw himself with different expressions...

    Oh, and just because i mentioned that i'm self taught and my title says intermediate noob doesn't necessarily mean that i don't know the basics. oops, that came out wrong, made me sound like i was upset... no i'm not, it's just hard to... express levity (i think that's the word) in letters.

    Thanks for the advice. As soon as i can get some decent webspace i'll be pouring my stuff into these boards. it's great to get feedback.

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    i think that there's at least one thing you could improve: the way you talk about an artist you haven't been able to check long enough, and on which you have stated comments containing pretty much controversy.

    sparth

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    Rembrandt's self portraits

    http://www.kfki.hu/~arthp/html/r/rem...ting/selfport/


    If you look at every single portrait (except one I think) you will see that rembrandt has the same expression on his face that Andrew does...contemplation and experimentation. Doing a self portrait is not just a study of facial expression. It can be a study of anything: Color, Lighting, or even an introverted look into who you are.

    It's funny to me when I hear people's parents say..."All that rock music is the same...etc..."...they do that with so many topics. What we all know is that the reason parents say that is because they either can't relate to or don't know what they are listening to. Perhaps that's the same with you in this situation.

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    Re: Perfection or Improvement? Technique or Improvisation?

    Originally posted by !Deaf!Dumb!Blind!
    What should i do?
    you should do only what you want to do. because if you don't, you will never improve, neither your way nor anyone's way.
    stop thinking 'how and why does this guy or this other do?', because you will never follow his way : first of all every guy has his own number of neurons in his brain and nerves in the hand, so basically biologically speaking you are different from anyone. so try to just match yourself!
    do you by any chance know what you want? if not, don't even try to go on : you will only change your course every now and then, instead of following one for long (that will teach you something before you change again but by yourself this time!!)
    what sounds odd to me is you say you know what is doing 30 times the 'same' thing : it's "technique". you sure? i'm not. it's "getting used", but it can always be AS intuitive AS technic, even after a thousand pics i think.

    just take your pen and your regular white paper and draw. your brain thinks while you draw, be confident in it! :)

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    Sorry about coming off as controversial...

    i didn't intend (maybe i did, unchecked aggression maybe?) to sound like i was attacking anyone's work, i was sort of inquring as to why it's done like that. Maybe to minimize variables? same expression= more focus on other aspects.

    I just have very little conficence in my own art... I see what others do and see them get praised or complimented, and i attempt to do the same thing, either subject matter or drawing matirials and technique or color scheme, whatever. It hasn't worked for me yet, but i'll keep trying. I've got the whole summer to do a lot of art. work n stuff sucks, but at least that'll take me away from my art, make me want to do it more.

    I've stumbled in here on the wrong foot... i hope this won't affect future criticism of my work.

    I guess i was just asking for a second, or third opinion.

    Thanks for the help, and i apologise for my ignorance... but not my stupidity. I'm working on that.


    Oh, and on another note, does anyone think that handwriting analysis/early childhood drawing analysis/drawing analysis for psychological assessment is, um... solid? I mean can you really tell anything about a person by the way they draw? i'm not talking about subject matter, anyone can draw dismembered nude women and try to plead insanity, but as in the way they render. lines, strokes, pressure... all that.

    I once took a figure drawing class, and one of the other students taught young children, i think kindergarten. She mentioned that in some cases children who had been molested would draw the hip/groin area of the human figures squared off. very blocky. Oh and that's when my psychologist started requesting to see my art, she said off the records but i looked through the notes and found notes about disturbing subject matter and aggressiveness... so i'm interested in what she's basing this on. I didn't think it would have been a good idea to start another thread just for this little sidenote.

    Thanks again, bengal, MindCandyMan, sparth, R_M, GhostofMacbeth,egerie, and anyone who read this.

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    DD&B>> no problem :)
    about telling who is a person by looking at his work, i don't think it is possible for everyone. maybe sometime you can, but not all the time, because there are your 'education' telling you lies and modifying your advice aboiut someone else. i explain : i take an example, i drew a few months ago a young naked girl on a bed with lots of puppets around ; of course it is NOT AT ALL meant to be linked to ANY sexual meaning : but here, from what people can feel as just art, and what they feel as socially not allowed, there were people to think i was a crazy old pervert, and other to see sheerness and calm i put in the image.
    you see what i try to mean? what people think you are is not what you are, it's only what they think! :)

    about yourself : you just seem (to me) to be distressed by your own future... relax!! :) you have time and a long way to go, and believe me, going this long way is a lifetime's pleasure!! the less you will try to learn, the more you will understand!
    as was saying i-don't-remember-his-name : nothing understood is ever learnt, and nothing learnt is ever understood.

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  12. #11
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    i love bengal:p .

    hey ddb, i won't throw too much in here b/c soo much has been said. just DON'T fall into the biggest trap of all: wanting too much too fast. this will cause nothing but stress and frustration. also, i wouldn't worry too much about coming across controversial...if we could hear your tone of voice, we would probably understand better. but i must say this, doing hundreds of spods can teach a person LOTS. you're not just trying to "get better"...you're documenting, disciplining, etc. also, staring at yourself in the mirror everyday is an interesting experience...you think about yourself differently from time to time.

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  13. #12
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    Patience is a virtue. At least that's what people try to tell me.

    About the SPODs you miss the point: it's not just technique what remains after doing so many, i think Android gets freedom from doing so many. He is so familiar with the features he can start screwing around with them and technique, thus expressing emotion. Painting is not about always copying exactly what you see, learning to paint is.

    You must know the rules before you can break them.

    I don't know who would be able to twist the features on the SPOD around so much and still have it look like himself as Android, And the next day there is a realistic one again. It's mastership and virtuosity that shows, the (seeming?) ease with wihich it is done can only be achieved after much practice and getting to know the subject well.

    But hey, i'm still at the intro level myself so i should shut up now. ;-)

    E.

    Power is nothing without intelligence.

    Sketchbook!
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