"Mental Techniques"
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    "Mental Techniques"

    I have started to do a little more drawing then i usaly do as i have relized how very important it is to me as a student game artist to learn to draw. So i have just started doing a few sketches here and there, been trying to draw my hands alot and my friends from photes. But i have had a few people say to me that I draw what i think i'm seeing not not really what i am seeing.

    I have been reading abit of "drawing on the right side of the brain" which again talks alot about people draw what they think they see and not what they see. So what i really want to know is how do people get into this right mind set where they are able to draw what they are really seeing rather then what their brain is saying is there. Or any techniques that will train me to get into the habbit of drawing what i see.

    Another quick thing, im sure there isnt much point in making a second thread. I was wonding if there where any helpful threads around which will give me a good basic understanding of human anatomy and how to structure my drawings when i try and lay out the general shape of my figures.

    -m3tal_g0d

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    Good observational skills, or drawing what's "really there" are one of the most important things for any artist to have an constantly refine. I know that "drawing on the right side of the brain" has a variety of activities inside of it which help you get into the habit of truly studying your subject, but some common ways for new artists to give this a try are trying to copy an upside-down photo reference, usually a detailed image of a face. Since it's upside down you will less readily falsely "recognize" the facial features and will be forced to study what you actually see in order to reproduce it. Doing exercises from life where you try to draw the "negative space" of an object rather than the object itself, like drawing the spaces in the handles of the scissors rather than the handle itself are another good way to do this.

    Anatomy is a fairly complex subject and is something that nobody should hope to master quickly or easily. Drawing your friend's as they pose for you is a good way to begin, but starting on more advanced anatomy that analyzes the underlying structure of the body is more the job for books, of which there are tons. You can download a figure drawing book by andrew loomis in PDF form here: http://danzig.lunarpages.com/~iseeno...uredrawing.pdf if you want to start studying on the cheap.

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    If you're referencing a photo, I've heard that a great way to get into the right side of the brain is to draw the photo while it's upside down. If you're looking at it upside down, everything is more likely to translate into abstract shapes as opposed to things that your eye will recognize and characature-ize.

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    Pssst. . . Metal God, there are a couple of links in my sig that may interest you. . .

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    I'm anti right brain psuedo-science. The thing is, how can your friends, who I assume aren't artists, know that your drawings are inaccurate if they don't know how to see? It's more true to say that the whole difficulty with learning to draw has do with finding equivalancies between the objects that we see and the medium we use to represent those object, that and hand eye coordination.
    I think basic drawing training should teach how to classify things into broad categories: vertical, horizontal; dark, light and other types of antithesis.
    Use a simple tool when learning to draw, a pencil(what else). The basic marks it's capable of are: thin marks made with the tip, broad marks made with it's side, light and dark marks.
    I don't know the exact difficulty you're having but one simple exercise is matching values. If you're looking at a black leather jacket match it's value with a dark mark, if you're looking a dark hallway match it's value with a dark mark, if you're looking at a dark shirt match it's value with a dark mark. I'm not asking you to try to match what the thing looks like, only it's relative lightness or darkness, it doesn't matter what shape or size you make you're mark. Realize that you didn't have to learn to see that darkness, only learn the amount of pressure to apply to a pencil to get a similar darkness. When you try to draw the values of whole scenes from life, this becomes more difficult because the value range of a pencil is many times smaller than actual light, we have to compress and transpose values. It's another example of drawing having nothing to do with learning to see, but with learning the limitations of the medium.

    Edit: added question mark.

    Last edited by armando; November 15th, 2006 at 12:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by armando
    I'm anti right brain psuedo-science.
    The "science" in the Betty Edwards books may be suspect, but the exercises are sound.

    Last edited by Elwell; November 14th, 2006 at 11:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando
    The thing is, how can your friends, who I assume aren't artists, know that your drawings are inaccurate if they don't know how to see.
    Um, armando, you might want to do a logic-check on that statement, because it's, um, silly.


    Non Artist: "There's something wrong with the guy you drew. His arms are long, his head is sort-of squashed, and he has three legs."

    Artist: "Aww shucks, there's nothing wrong with the picture, you just don't know how to see!"

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Seedling what's wrong with my logic. My statement is derived from Betty Edwards idea that learning to draw is learning to see. My contention is that everyone already knows how to see, and drawing has nothing to do with learning how to see.

    Edit: I just realized I should have ended the sentence quoted with a question mark.

    Last edited by armando; November 15th, 2006 at 12:00 AM.
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    My tip would be to scrap "drawing with the right side of your brain". That book will teach you how to draw from life, while it's very healthy to draw from life, you will soon be dependant on finding photographs to draw from.

    Take a guy like Marko Djurdjevic for example, he has stated (if I'm not mistaken) that he hasn't drawn all that much from life and that he only practiced ALOT.

    DRAW because it's fun.. not because it's "something I have to do as a game designer student". When it's fun, when you are curious, then you will learn faster and greater than any method out there.

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    My tip is to read many books on drawing, and find different methods and ideas on it and art in general everywhere you can. Marko is a great artist, but is an exception, not everyone can do what he did, for whatever reason. There is no correct reason to take up drawing, you could do it for fun or profit or intellectual stimulation, doesn't matter.

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    That would also be an approach, although drawing because of something else than the pure enjoyment would eventually tire you out, unless you have the self-discipline of a horse.

    Of course, the argument is dependant on what you want to become good at. I'm saying this from my own set of preferences, such as I want to be able to draw without being limited to photographs.

    When you draw because it's fun, it's almost natural to draw from life as that curiosity will always present itself. A very close friend of mine has developed a very tuned image memory which would suffice for some instances of concept art.

    I buy as many books as I can get my hands on, but all too often the theories of the author don’t penetrate my narrow minded skull. I can’t apply their logic to my own personal experience. For me personally it comes down to curiosity, practice and fun. With fun I mean, the urge to create and that will induce some state of "enjoyment". Most professional artist never work on something they consider "fun" BUT it's a difference between professionals (profits) and beginners, I would like to find any professional here on CA.org that didn't start drawing because they thought it was fun.

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    Hey, Metal God, as far as exercises in learning observational drawing, a lot of great artists (and some not-great ones, like me ) swear by blind-contour drawings. I *think* Betty Edwards book talks about these, and I know Kimon Nicolaides book, The Natural Way to Draw (from which Betty Edwards based much of her material, if I'm not mistaken) does, too.

    You might also take a look at the Bargue book... I haven't tried this one yet, but a lot of ateliers use it as a textbook.

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    About blind-contour drawing. This is the the practice of drawing the contour of a subject from life without looking at the paper, yes?

    I've tried it a few times in life drawings classes. Needless to say, the results weren't a pretty picture.
    How good really is this technique?

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    Several reasons for blind contour drawing:

    1. increases accuracy of observtion.
    2. A function of line in design, and the way our brains interpret lines, is that they imply movement. Basically what happens in a blind contour is we follow the movement of lines around the figure. ---->
    3. Makes the 3D effect of overlap clear.
    4. We get a sense of lines/contours in space.
    5. Get a sense of different types of lines/contours, flat, curved, jagged and various other adjectives.

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    What Armando said. When I first tried it, I thought it was a waste of time, but my teacher had us keep at it... and I saw results in my other work pretty fast. Now I try to do one or two every day. So that's my testimonial, anyway.

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