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  1. #1
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    Advice from the experienced or self taught artists?

    Hey guys,

    Well, i have more time now to do more drawing/painting/studying for myself. I can't afford to go to school right now, and the ones around here i don't like. Im waiting to get my skills up to par to attend Conceptart.org atlier Im serious though.

    Anyways, im thinking of setting myself on my own schooling program for now. I was gonna set it up something like i have certain subjects i study/draw each day. But i wasn't sure if it would be better to do 1 subject, say like anatomy for 1 whole day, or have things mixed up in one day, say like 3 hrs anatomy, next class - 3 hrs, perspective, next class 3 hrs colour theory, etc...

    I kind of like the idea of doing 3 hrs each subject, so i wouldn't get uninterested fast. But im not sure if things would stick by doing it this way? Do they need a full day of studying for each subject??

    Basically im asking, which is the best way for me to learn the best??

    Thanks everyone!

    ~JB


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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinBeckett
    Basically im asking, which is the best way for me to learn the best??
    I think that's ENTIRELY up to you dude. Sounds like you'll do it easier in 3 hour sessions, so go with that. But you'll have to see what works best for you.

    (though I'm neither experienced nor self taught as the thread asks, so take my words with some salt .)

    cheers
    Last edited by Brendan N; April 17th, 2007 at 03:14 PM.
    Brendan Noeth


  4. #3
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    i was thinking about doing this myself actually over the summer... we will see how that goes though

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    Yup, it's up to you. There is no one-size-fits-all educational experience. Figure out a schedule that keeps you productive and happy, and go go go!
    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.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinBeckett

    I kind of like the idea of doing 3 hrs each subject, so i wouldn't get uninterested fast.
    Something that dawned on me as I was reading this is to suggest doing one subject for the whole day. And actually count on it getting unintersting. But then try and find creative ways to work through that uninterest when it occurs. At least, if it does get unintersting, try and work through it as much as possible all the way to the end of your day, as I think that's a good real world way to approach it and I think it would benefit you in the end. Just something to consider.

    I'm self taught myself, but I admit that I never set up my own cirriculum to work with. I just flailed about on my own trying to put together a portfolio that eventually would work for me.

    So all in all, I may not be the best source of info on this. But I do wish you success all the same on doing it yourself.
    Grave Sight Graphics: The Art of Eric Lofgren.
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  7. #6
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    as stated.. gotta find what works for you specifically. but since you dont know that YET.. try a few things. spend a day doing the 1-subject 1-hr method.. then the next day try th 3-hour method. or try something else.. then see what works better.

    once you find your 'habit' stick with it and learn. and stick with it.. oh and STICK with it. - JAG
    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..

  8. #7
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    Your main battle is for motivation - you have to absolutely want to do this. You can brute-force through, sacrifice now for the future if you want - but I think the success rate, not to mention your progress rate will suffer.

    Work more organically - find what interests you and explore it. When you are bored, which not coincidentally is usually when the learning slows down or stops - move on to something new and refreshing.

    Focus first and foremost on learning, enjoy it! If you are too pressured for portfolio work - and too soon so that you really don't know what you are doing - it will kill you and your motivation. If you focus on learning, I think you will find many pieces ready for a student portfolio (perhaps or perhaps not a professional portfolio).

    When you do study - focus. Divide and conquer. If for example you wish to study tones, do black and white only. If you want to study form - again why struggle with color? If you want to study color, why struggle with subject matter?

    I recommend you also listen to Bobby Chiu's videos starting in Sept; he's got some great advice.
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=78304

  9. #8
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    Well, I've been self-teaching myself a lot lately, so this is what I've figured out so far:

    1. Set up a defined and reachable goal for yourself (e.g. "Become proficient at figure drawing").

    2. Get into a routine (e.g. "Draw for "X" hours every day", or "Draw every morning before going to work").

    3. Research any related theories and techniques as needed (e.g. "I can't draw much better than a stick figure, so I'm gonna order a Bridgman Book" or "I've gotten pretty decent now, but I still have problems drawing where the shoulder attaches to the torso, I think I'll do a Google Image search for 'Greek Sculpture'").

    That's how I've been approaching it, and I've seen the results already (I'd only started seriously teaching myself at the start of the year). Mind you though, I've recently fallen out of my routine, and I've seen the results of that as well.

    The most important part of teaching yourself how to draw or paint, in my opinion, is to get to it every single day. Really, the main point of steps 1 and 3 is to help you keep doing step 2.
    -My work can be found at my local directory thread.

  10. #9
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    Here's one advice that works brilliantly for me.

    1) go to random coffee shop with 15*<price of espresso.>
    2) Order espresso.
    3) With newfound energy, start drawing because people are otherwise staring at you that you're sitting there all alone chugging espresso's one after another.
    4) Keep drawing until they come bother you to order another espresso.
    5) Stay there until your espresso money runs out.

    Your eyes will stay FIXED on your sketchbook because if they don't, they will wander around, meet the eyes of the waiter and he will be there in 0.2 nanoseconds to take your new order because he's very annoyed that you're ordering so very little while taking up a spot.

    Works so... very.. good.

  11. #10
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    Focus on single subject just like Idiot Apathy mentioned. Do as much as you can (even whole day), but when you feel that you got bored of the exercise, abandon it and move to something else.

    There is also something that might be helpful but not for everybody. Few months ago I started some kind of "art diary" in which I write all my thoughts, discoveries, ideas, questions connected with drawing, painting or design. The idea was quite ambitious beacause such activity needs good self discipline (it was inspired by book about Leonardo da Vinci). It's still hard for me to stay consistent with writing in it but I noticed it helped me a bit in learning process.
    After some longer time I read everything that I gathered so far and it's easier for me to recognize the direction that I'm going. The greater whole of my learining efforts. For example sometimes there is a problem that bugs me so I write the question down and leave it for the future. Later I might read it and some empty pieces of a puzzle are already filled im my head. The answer becomes obvious.

    EDIT: Oh... and look here -> Leo's original notes .
    Last edited by Farvus; April 17th, 2007 at 06:37 PM.

  12. #11
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    The one thing I wish that I would have done when I started out and still wish that I did more would be to immediately apply any study you do to something you do out of your head. Keep going until you get it right. You will commit everything to memory twice as fast.

    50 bridgman studies only helps if you are able to apply it on the 51st. So keep focused and don't draw or paint studies if you aren't. Making lines for the sake of making lines without thinking about them won't help much.

    Good luck with everything and have fun. The work will be worth it.

  13. #12
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    Dont play mmorpg's

    And find other people in RL that draw in your age group. Just having a night out, with some beers and sketchbooks on the table do wonders for your motivation, and it wont turn you in a hermit.
    Last edited by Duq; April 17th, 2007 at 06:17 PM.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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  14. #13
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    I am planning on doing something similar during the summer and I agree that the worst part is being motivated. Without motivation, you will lose precious time by forcing yourself to do something that you won't get done. For this one thing I would suggest is that you take breaks every 3 or 4 hours (it's up to you) when you draw, because by personal experience and from others your mind gets saturated of doing the same activity for many hours and your productivity will go down. You can even draw some hours in the morning, do something else in the afternoon (workout, play a sport, etc) and then return to it for the rest or the day, just an example.
    Also, something that at least that happens to me is that I usually get motivation by doing something I really don't like having a boring summer job, because when I was at work I will be so frustrated of wanting to do something else that by the time I finally get out I was so motivated but I went home and draw/paint till 2 am (it was a full time job). That's why I will just take a part time job this summer. This is a just thought you might find useful, probably not of your likeness, but who knows.
    Anyhow, good luck with that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melancholie
    Your eyes will stay FIXED on your sketchbook because if they don't, they will wander around, meet the eyes of the waiter and he will be there in 0.2 nanoseconds to take your new order because he's very annoyed that you're ordering so very little while taking up a spot.
    LMAO .. ya it really is amazing just how fast waiters can move at the slightest bit of eye contact. In this case, don't look up!
    the sole intention is learning to fly

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    Do tons of lifedrawing. Lots and lots of it. The weather is getting warmer. Go to the park, sketch the people there!
    Visit my website!

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    I think it's a bit like doing exercise, - nothing gets you more motivated than having someone to either impress or egg you on, (i was going to say "looking over your shoulder", but i dont mean that kind of exercise )
    it'll help you heaps to get a drawing buddy,

    you could try this too....find a gnarled tree near a popular pedestrian walkway, - (the tree's got to be interesting enough for you to draw) - you'll draw, and probably draw an appreciative crowd too, so your ego gets a massage and will give you momentum to keep going

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    Thanks everyone.

    I will see what i can do, and yes, for sure i am going to keep with it, otherwise i wouldn't be planning this.

    Idiot Apathy:

    Im not sure what you ment by this:

    "Your main battle is for motivation - you have to absolutely want to do this. You can brute-force through, sacrifice now for the future if you want - but I think the success rate, not to mention your progress rate will suffer"

    That last part i made in bold, was that related towards me?? If so, you think im going to fail? How come...

    And yes man, i do reaaally want this, more then anything in the world. And i am ready to work as hard as i have to towards it, and sacrifice whatever necessary.

    ~JB

  19. #18
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    Nahhhhh, you kick ass dood.

    I was saying, that if you force yourself into things your motivation will eventually dry up. If you sacrifice your happiness then is it really worth it? Hard question and it all depends on the results and unique situations I suppose, but personally art for me is a means to make life more enjoyable and not life itself.

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    Set up a schedule and try to stick to it. It's more like weekly goals instead of time slots. Get some cheap 100 page newsprint sketchbooks and try to fill up one of those each week. Once you get faster try to do front and back 200 pages a week added to whatever other stuff you do. I've studied the figure for many hours and at the beginning I used to draw the skeleton and the whole body pretty simple, but once I got better and knew more about anatomy I started focusing on individual body parts and drawing the bones and muscles of those. Think of the body as lots of little systems that fit together with other systems. It's all about spotting the relations ships of everything and building a map in your head about what does what and effects what.

    Theres alot to learn and I think figures are the most important and hardest so you should spend most of your time learning those until you are good. Then try and fit in as many hours as you can of secondary subject such as horses,trains,cars,buildings. Theres a lot to go over but the difference is you don't need to be 100 percent accurate with these secondary subjects, but with the figure you gotta be very accurate and know what your doing much more.

    Listen to podcast and music. Have fun and don't always draw in your room. Instead go outside for 30 mins to an hour and take notes on light and what you think is going on. I've been doing this for 2 years and have got so much information in my head it's amazing how much better I can paint just because I've studied different lighting situations. Also video games are evil, don't play them, well maybe once a month but draw mostly. "Lucky" for me I have no friends but if you have friends Try and limit your party time or if you have to go out always bring your sketchbook.

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisMayernik; April 21st, 2007 at 12:06 PM. Reason: cause I want to

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    Idiot Apathy:

    Thanks man! And yeah, i totally agree with what your saying, i have always drawn and painted for my own personal enjoyment. That is the way it should be. If i attended an art school and it made me a better artist, i wouldn't care so much if i got a top job or anything, i would just love how i got to that point being an artist, i would have a magnificent thing just for myself. Besides school though, from what i got, i love what i do, and will continue to try and improve.

    Thanks alot man, your advice is very much appreciated. And i just want to say, your work in your sketchbook, from the beginning to the end of it, you have improved so much, so good job for that man.

    Mayernik:

    Thanks for the refreshing comment dude.

    Cheers bro's

    ~JB

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    Quote Originally Posted by .PZ. View Post
    So keep focused and don't draw or paint studies if you aren't. Making lines for the sake of making lines without thinking about them won't help much.
    I don't fully agree with this. Sometimes it's blind alley to me beacause it forces to think that "If I have no exercise in mind, drawing is useless". After long time of doing studies I get some kind of mind block that prevents me from drawing just bunch of doodles for my own pleasure. So just don't take this studying too seriously .

    There is also one thing. I prefer to post completely everything that I make in my sketchbook. However there is always warmup stage in which I create rather crappy drawings. When I fill lots of pages it also takes lot's of time to scan it all. I recently realised that it somehow prevents me from drawing for many hours.
    Last edited by Farvus; April 23rd, 2007 at 08:45 AM.

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