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Art Foundation

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I have been trying to draw for a few years now and just keep getting discouraged. I don't want to do this as a career but as a hobby, I have so many ideas of what I want to draw. Traditional college classes are out of the question my schedule is to full for any side classes in art. So I tried ctlPaint website and did some of his drawing by hand tutorials. Draw 20 cell phones or 15 spoons, negative space, contour drawing, etc. But I don't want to draw 20 cells phones you know, anyway my question is what would be the best approach to tackling this. My goal is character design as well as environments, I do want to go into digital painting but I feel I need to get a foundation down first. Should I try to learn how to draw digitally right off the bat?(I already own a tablet and Photoshop) or should I start with paper pencil? Has anyone heard of the Walker Boys Studio you can buy a DVD titled: 


2D Art Foundation Training (Lighting, Rendering, Storyboard, Layout, Perspective 1,2,3,4,5,6)

 

Just wondering if this is worth the $74 for 21+ hours on instruction since I cant take a physical college course?

 

I know there is a bunch of pinned resources at the top and have looked through them. I just have a desire to create something, but I constantly get discouraged in most of the things that I try. I have also watched Feng Zu (I think that's his name) YouTube channel on concept art etc. I have started programming tutorials because I thought well you know drawing maybe is not for me. But I always come back to drawing. I want to create something, just whole worlds and characters and all kinds of things. But there is a disconnect between my brain and putting it on paper the way i want it to look or envisioned it. Maybe I rambling, this might be wrong place to post this too because of it being a game creating type forum. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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Sigh.  Okay, first the good news - this is a correct location for this type of post.  Second the ambivalent news - that disconnect between brain and putting it on paper?  EVERYONE has that.  Even writers who are using words instead of lines and colors have that.  It's human nature, and it doesn't go away, instead drawing or painting or w/e repeatedly makes you get used to it and realize that it's not a problem that your first attempt isn't ever going to look the way you envisioned it.  Having any kind of version on paper to look at helps you get closer with your next attempt.  And the bad news - even if you get better at art, it will not help with you being constantly discouraged.  "Hobby" - you're doing it wrong.  What is the point of a hobby that makes you miserable?

 

So.  First of all focus on either character design or environments.  I'd personally recommend environments.  Start with something simple - find a tree you think is pretty and just try to capture what you see.  Or a building, if you like architectural environments better.  A bench, a flow, a rock, whatever you would put in an environment you would want to create.   Take a photo so you can take that tree or building home with you to work on.  It can be fun to try capturing the same thing 2 years later and see how different the result is.  It really doesn't matter if you use pencil and paper, paint and canvas, photoshop, or some other software.  You might as well use whichever one you find the most fun.  Look at what you've drawn or painted or w/e and focus on one small thing about it that you want to improve; don't get overwhelmed trying to learn everything at once.

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I'm actually in the process of writing an article that addresses some of these issues, but that doesn't help you right now. I will say that one of my sections is titled "Three P’s: Pencil, Paper, Practice." The next section is titled "Three Additional P’s: Practice, Practice, Practice."

 

Practice is definitely the most important thing, but I will say that you're going to get way more out of it if you have read up on the following principles:

  • Perspective
  • Proportions/Anatomy
  • Lighting/Shading
  • Texture

I see people far too often who are otherwise technically good fail at those basic things, and it's much easier to get started the right way than make the wrong way a habit. The http://www.androidarts.com/art_tut.htm link of BagelHere's looks like it has a pretty good overview of texture and lighting/shading.

 

I would also strongly recommend looking at basic art classes (although consult with teachers about what the classes will actually be about since course catalogs are super obfuscated) since that'll take care of the practice part (since if you don't, you fail the class) and give you a lot of tips and feedback as you go along and be a thousand times better than any online/DVD/book tutorial.

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Thanks to everyone for the helpful comments. All I can do is just press on through it and practice practice I suppose. I think i might do that sketch book on cghub, I see they have some drawing jams as well which might be helpful.  

Edited by Celstra

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Okay, this issue is very familiar to me, I feel you and have some advice.

First of all, I can assure you that most if not all people who wants to draw have taste for good art. Therefore when they see their own art at the very beginning of their career - they can't stand itcrus bad quality.

If you want to be good at drawing - you have to bite the bullet and fight with your "helpful" (in this case) brain. 

 

Now, when it comes to practice: draw regulary. This is cliche but this is true. Some say you gotta do 10,000 drawings to get some proficiency in drawing. Draw every single day. This is crucial. From my experience: if I didn't draw for 3 days, I felt like my pencil becomes stiff and it doesn't want to do what I want it to do.

 

If you want to draw characters, I would tell you that you should draw figures from posemaniacs.com and copy character from comic books (well, I like it - they (characters) have some exaggerated features, but they look awesome and fun to draw, and often are placed in cool poses and interesting perspective angles). When you get decent results this way. join live drawing classes and draw naked people. This will help you tremendously. Not only you draw people, but you see them in 3D all the time. A person can't stay in one pose more than a second, people constantly move and turn. This will make you see your model as 3D image, unlike 2d things you get when you draw from a photo or a comic book.

 

You should buy good books. For example, books by Anrew Loomis are really good. They tell you not only how to draw anatomy, but give a bit of really nice tips on drawing.

I don't really like online tutorials and video courses, They barely scratch the surface of what is it - to draw. They give you some techniques, but don't teach you how to actually draw.

Only one video course I like is Vilppu Drawing Anatomy. In my opinion, this is great one. Having both this and Andrew Loomis anatomy book will give you solid anatomy knowledge.

 

Lastly, I can share an insight that improved my drawings dramatically in one day.I should note here that I actually rarely draw because this very reason: drawing makes me miserable and I can't stand it. Here are the images I painted like one and a half years ago:

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs44/f/2009/119/f/7/TehPirate_by_Arte_de_Mort.jpg

and

http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2011/344/b/4/princessajee_by_arte_de_mort-d4ip20o.png

First image is what I could draw before the insight, and 2nd - the next day.

Here is the thing: don't draw mindlessly. When you draw - pay great attention to forms. Even if you draw from a photo, feel it as 3d. When you move your pencil on your white paper, don't move it like you draw on a flat surfaces, get a feeling that you actually move your pencil ontop of 3d form that might turn away from you or towards you. Even when the surface turns away from you and becomes hidden - feel this turn.

 

Feel the light striking the surface, feel how the surface turns away from the light and gets darker. Feel how one form blocks the light, therefore creating the shadow ontop of another form. Visualize the light as parallel lines and watch how they strike your surfaces.

 

Good luck.

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