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Bardic-Dragoon
05-04-2011, 02:48 AM
For those of you who do not know me, fear for you may soon regret getting to know me. For those who do, your being here to read this is a testament to either your bravery or stupidity, in either case i applaud and welcome you.

setting aside the half humorous self deprecation shtick. allow me to give some insight into who i am, and why i said what i did.

I am a transplant from the old forums, and if i had any reputation there i cannot imagine it being good. This is because the majority of my posts by a good margin were somewhat whiny and overly verbose 'i need help' type posts. In them i took loud offense to generic 'cure-all' advice (e.g. practice!!!111!) while asking obtuse and poorly defined questions. basically if i came across as anything but a whiny, abrasive, dumba** i'm shocked to learn that.

So why did i make those posts then? why act like that and behave in a way i was convinced made me look the worst it could? the long and short of it; I needed help, i just didn't know how i needed it. Which neatly brings us to the present Nothing has changed since i would make those posts on the prior forums, except i'm more concerned with not being that guy i was. Hence why i have been so long in making this posts; i didn't want to go back to making train wreck help topics every month or so.

yet i find myself doing just that, but what else can you do but ask for help when you have a problem you can't solve alone but ask for help, cowering in a corner aside. The problem here is that half, if not more, of my problem is that i really don't know my problem.

So what is my problem, or at least what do i know of it?

Well if i knew that would make this all the easier wouldn't it? but to be serious my current concern and theory concerns my tendency to not enjoy drawing, and to be high strung about the whole affair.

Basically drawing is stressful to say the least. Whenever i hear people say that drawing is relaxing i wonder in two parts; whats wrong with them, and if not them whats wrong with me? Half of this may come from the fact that i don't relax, or to put it another way Doodling is all but a foreign concept to me.

I can't imagine how i could have gone through life not doodling, but every time i think back on and remember drawing there was always a plan, a purpose, a reason. Even as i drew in the margins of my notes (or perhaps more aptly instead of taking notes, never was good at it and got good grades anyways). An maybe thats problem, I'm creating a situation that is inherently stressful; the requirement to perform and deliver. Problem is for the most part I don't have to, I am not an artist, and i have absolutely no desire to make drawing a living in any sense of the word. So when i get stressed out and overwhelmed i tend to just stop, and when i haven't it things only get worse till i get angry and it's all over. I'll admit my tendency to be high strung and on edge as a sort of modus operandi means i get stressed more easily with drawing, which isn't making this situation any better.

Of course there is the inevitable question; why keep drawing? because it's fun, or was and has shown it still can be. It doesn't always fall apart, sometimes it goes well and then i love the experience. Problem is these joyful times are the minority, but thats what i'm trying to change.

So what is this wall of text all about then?

I said it before, and i'll say it again, i need help. This wall of text serves a few purposes towards trying to get that help

paragraph 6-10
What is my problem, drawing generally stresses me out, but when it's fun theres nothing like it, thing is are the minority. also, i don't have more than a theory what my problem is, and i need help.

paragraph 2-5
What i am, who i was before (well in regards to the forum at least) and a lite look into my brain. Hopefully this will provide some insight to help people in advising me and helping out.

Well i've taken up enough of your time by now, assuming you made it through that wall of text before reading this that is. but honestly i need help, and one of the problems i can see in getting it on the old forum was the ability to use big words and a lot of words, but say nothing. so i figured be as concise and verbose as i could be.

After all half the problem here is finding the problem, the more i say, the more you can learn about me and help figure that out

anyways, thank you in advance and please actually read this before answering, i realize it's alot, but it's there for a reason. i think...

GunZet
05-04-2011, 02:12 PM
Cure? Hang around with more artists as much as possible. Doing the whole solo thing is just a bummer sometimes.

Bardic-Dragoon
05-08-2011, 05:53 PM
Well going to take a guess there won't be more responses, So may as well say this.


Cure? Hang around with more artists as much as possible. Doing the whole solo thing is just a bummer sometimes.

would you mind elaborating a little on this statement. It's something i've been given as advice before, and indeed it's seemingly sound advice. That said i have a misanthropic streak and honestly don't relate to people that well, so depending on how exactly you mean this advice it can be rather hard to follow.

So if you wouldn't mind, sticking with this forum, what would be the best boards to follow this advice in, and it would also be appreciated if you had any advice on following your advice.

Fenn
05-08-2011, 06:07 PM
drawing generally stresses me out, but when it's fun theres nothing like it, thing is are the minority.

Dude, you just defined art and I for the last two years. Drawing was fun when I didn't have any standards, and was always improving. Now it's just depressing. I feel like I should be at a farther point than I am in my progress.

Somehow, I feel like the poorly constructed drawings of my early drawing years, despite their imperfection, were closer to what was in my head at the time then the ones I do now. Example: I have had one character who has remained the same in my head since when I started drawing years ago. Yet, the first drawings of him, despite being inferior, look more like how i imagine him than the ones I draw of him now. What gives?

I haven't found a cure either. But you're not alone.

Sonny
05-08-2011, 10:40 PM
Ah, the hump. You hear it all the time, "practice makes perfect," "keep on practicing," "you'll get better at it the more you do it," etc.

That is only one half of the truth. The other half is actually studying more art terminology, concepts, and new tools. In simple terms, you've hit the limits of your comfort zone.

Once you fill out that comfort zone, it starts getting boring, which can lead to stress, as there is a wall that appeared suddenly that you can't seem to get over.

The solution is a simple one but one that rarely people try to do: improve your basic foundation and then go back to what it is. Don't think about drawing what you are comfortable. Try something that challenges new concepts like animals, water, rocks, etc. You will be surprised by how much your comfort zone has expanded.

Why don't a lot people do it? It's because it requires work and being persistent at studying new things. I've written my experiences on this topic:

http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/practice-makes-perfect.html

You may want to look deeper than a specific drawing style and start to focus on creating a strong foundation. After all, your goal is to build a brick house and not a straw one.

Bardic-Dragoon
05-09-2011, 02:51 AM
I have this sinking feeling in my gut that i'm going to regret this.


Ah, the hump. You hear it all the time, "practice makes perfect," "keep on practicing," "you'll get better at it the more you do it," etc.

That is only one half of the truth. The other half is actually studying more art terminology, concepts, and new tools. In simple terms, you've hit the limits of your comfort zone.

Once you fill out that comfort zone, it starts getting boring, which can lead to stress, as there is a wall that appeared suddenly that you can't seem to get over.

The solution is a simple one but one that rarely people try to do: improve your basic foundation and then go back to what it is. Don't think about drawing what you are comfortable. Try something that challenges new concepts like animals, water, rocks, etc. You will be surprised by how much your comfort zone has expanded.

Why don't a lot people do it? It's because it requires work and being persistent at studying new things. I've written my experiences on this topic:

http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/practice-makes-perfect.html

You may want to look deeper than a specific drawing style and start to focus on creating a strong foundation. After all, your goal is to build a brick house and not a straw one.

Now you listen here Sonny (LOLZ I IS FUNNI) I think your post assumes some things that are not true about this situation.

I more or less know my comfort zone, though it seems to be getting smaller with time, and i realize staying within it is a problem in and of itself. however it is not a major contributor to my stress when drawing. More commonly staying in my comfort zone tends to lead more to not being able to enjoy the results of my work for long because it's very samey and boring and bland.

The Stress comes more in trying to do exactly what you're saying and break out of that comfort zone. this is an annoying and infuriating process that has yet to go more than vaguely well; It's disheartening, discouraging, and generally ends with me wanting to stab something (though thankfully not someone).

I will admit i could follow that advice more throughly; for example i still stick exclusively to pencil, and i still all but exclusively draw people. But i still study various artistic concepts and ideas, have been in all the years that this problem has persisted, topics from color theory to how light and shadow work, composition, more in depth human anatomy, even some non-human anatomy.

In short, i realize my comfort zone, i realize it's a problem, i realize that studying more about art and the concepts behind me can help, i've known these for a time, and I've been working on them, may haps not as seriously as i could but still.



*edit/something that occurred to me*
As an aside, from glancing through other articles at the site you linked that has tended to bother me, But how do you use reference, I get the feeling theres a disconnect between brain and hand that may not have always been there (i used to be able to copy drawings with some level of decency but seem to have lost that skill the las few times i've tried) but for the life of me the how of using reference material has never clicked for me.

H*** the how/process (as opposed to what or why) of a lot of seemingly basic or useful skills doesn't seem to click for me; Thumbnails (getting ideas down quick and dirty is not something i have ever done ever if memory serves), gesture drawing (how exactly is someone supposed to even get a mark on the paper before times up), reference (seriously just how, i can't think of a clearer definition of the problem than that), and thats just what comes to mind.

Sonny
05-09-2011, 10:47 AM
I have this sinking feeling in my gut that i'm going to regret this.



Now you listen here Sonny (LOLZ I IS FUNNI) I think your post assumes some things that are not true about this situation.

I more or less know my comfort zone, though it seems to be getting smaller with time, and i realize staying within it is a problem in and of itself. however it is not a major contributor to my stress when drawing. More commonly staying in my comfort zone tends to lead more to not being able to enjoy the results of my work for long because it's very samey and boring and bland.


I think you're downplaying this aspect. You are stating that your comfort zone is getting smaller but it is not a major contribution to your stress. However, I think this is a major cause of stress. I know when I am doing the same thing over and over again, it creates frustration because you feel as though you can't improve. And if you can't improve, you start questioning things like what you are doing right now. It's a negative spiral and one that I am way too familiar with. I am not making this assumption because I want to. I am making this assumption because it hits close to home for a lot of artists...not just yourself.



The Stress comes more in trying to do exactly what you're saying and break out of that comfort zone. this is an annoying and infuriating process that has yet to go more than vaguely well; It's disheartening, discouraging, and generally ends with me wanting to stab something (though thankfully not someone).


This is good stress. It's disheartening because you are learning new concepts. It's no different from learning basic math and being good at it. Then all of a sudden, you are thrown a curve ball learning basic algebra. Once you get good at it and you 'get it,' this source of stress is rewarding. It's entirely different from hitting a wall you can't cross because you have a limited toolbox. That type of negative stress is what is getting to you.



I will admit i could follow that advice more throughly; for example i still stick exclusively to pencil, and i still all but exclusively draw people. But i still study various artistic concepts and ideas, have been in all the years that this problem has persisted, topics from color theory to how light and shadow work, composition, more in depth human anatomy, even some non-human anatomy.

In short, i realize my comfort zone, i realize it's a problem, i realize that studying more about art and the concepts behind me can help, i've known these for a time, and I've been working on them, may haps not as seriously as i could but still.


And there lies the issue. It's not a 'but still' problem. If you want to improve and enjoy the drawing process, then you have to work on it and give yourself a bigger toolbox to work from. It may take years. Ask yourself this: with every picture you are drawing, what new concepts are you learning? Is there a process that will help me learn new concepts in every drawing? Am I able to apply this new art concept that I just studied on in this same old picture or style?



*edit/something that occurred to me*
As an aside, from glancing through other articles at the site you linked that has tended to bother me, But how do you use reference, I get the feeling theres a disconnect between brain and hand that may not have always been there (i used to be able to copy drawings with some level of decency but seem to have lost that skill the las few times i've tried) but for the life of me the how of using reference material has never clicked for me.


I only provide links if there's something that I have experienced, in which will genuinely help people in a positive way, and is related to the question being asked. References are references. The question is not how you use it. The underlying issue is what can you pull from it. Copying it mindlessly is not OK. Instead, think about every aspect of the reference.

Let's take a simple face in a magazine for example. What are you able to take away from it? I can think of at least 11 things:

1. Shape of the face
2. Flow points of muscle tissues
3. Compositional ratios between the face and the background
4. Proportions of the face
5. Discovering new variations between the face and your face
6. Lighting direction
7. Finding ways to translate that lighting direction onto paper
8. Thinking of what types of tools I can use to get a certain texture
9. Learning flow of the hair to create random patterns
10. Taking my foundation and looking for ways to create my own face without referencing
11. Simulating shading techniques

I can even take this further. For example, in the last point, what can I learn about shading? Cross hatching, streaking, smudging. etc. Regardless, I've reached a point where I need very minimal references because I studied all those aspects and have gotten into a habit of looking at references with the goal of pulling compositional and technical ideas.

To put a practical spin to it, let's look at this painting and the things I have learned from references:
http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/image-files/drawamermaid4.jpg
We all know mermaids don't exist so there isn't a real life specimen that I can copy from. However, it looks believable because I have a strong understanding of light and shadows, the female form, underwater lighting, and gravity. All these play a part in creating a believable composition (the entire process is located at http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/mermaid-drawings.html if you want to know how I did it).

All of these ideas were references from a lot of different resources. For example, looking at multiple photos of marine animals--pulling an understanding of water behavior and how light will effect it (by looking at natural patterns and determining what techniques I can use to simulate it).

Did this painting take me out of my comfort zone? You bet it did! Until this picture, I have never drawn an underwater environment, let alone one with a mermaid in it. Was it stressful? You bet it was! Looking at hours on end at different references to find what I need to do for it because a client requested it. But you know what? It was fun and it was an enjoyable type stress because it broaden my toolbox even more.

What kept it doable was that I had a very strong artistic foundation to build it on. This is something I've always tried to tell other people to try to improve on. This is satisfaction and enjoyment without having the artist actively seeking it. So long as you build your foundation, enjoyment will come naturally because you feel almost anything is possible.



H*** the how/process (as opposed to what or why) of a lot of seemingly basic or useful skills doesn't seem to click for me; Thumbnails (getting ideas down quick and dirty is not something i have ever done ever if memory serves), gesture drawing (how exactly is someone supposed to even get a mark on the paper before times up), reference (seriously just how, i can't think of a clearer definition of the problem than that), and thats just what comes to mind.

Thumbnails are exactly what you state: to get underlying ideas quick and dirty. However, there's another meaning that's more prominent: creating composition. It is a technique that utilizes what you know about compositional rules. For example, rule of thirds, golden ratio, spiral shell composition, etc. Think of of building a foundation with a house. Where do you want to put the kitchen? In this corner, or in this corner? Is it there just for looks or is there a purpose for sticking it there?

Gesture drawings are used to find flow points. With these flow points, you can 'fill in the blanks' with whatever you are doing. Let's take for example this diagram:
http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/images/drawinglegs4.jpg
The red sections are just simple gesture drawing linking in what I know about major muscle groups of the legs. Guess what? When it's time to fill in the muscles, I just smudged and repainted in the flow points to suggest the muscles I need. Think of it as a very rough way of playing connect-the-dots.

Regardless, everything serves a purpose. To rebuttal your point, a lot of people are focused more on the style and the end product. This is detrimental because you are limiting yourself to a specific niche...which in turn reduces your comfort zone, which causes stress and other negative emotions (see how it all ties in?).

You have to turn a full 180 degrees and focus on the process because there are really no shortcuts if you want to improve..or in the context of this thread, to enjoy youself. While I can give you reasons for why we do a certain process, you have to find your own reasons for you to get familiar with a process. I've been there and done that. You can take what you need and discard what you don't need. However, please bear in mind that I have your best interest in mind when typing this.

Cheers,

Sonny.

apples13
05-09-2011, 03:24 PM
Theres lots of secrets to drawing. I find it fun figuring these secrets out. I only wish someone would have told me about these secrets earlier

The_shaman
05-10-2011, 10:45 AM
Art in general is about problem solving sadly, figuring out how to convey what we are trying to create.

Fenn
05-10-2011, 09:55 PM
I'm in a similar position to the OP so I'm going to respond.

Everything you guys have said in reply is beautiful, but is it really all necessary? And if it is, why now? When I started drawing none of this mattered. I could just pick up a pencil and have a great time, completely ignorant to all that you posted above. I wish I could take my improved talent but reclaim the mindset I had when I began, when having fun drawing manga was so easy and worry-free.

Bardic-Dragoon
05-11-2011, 02:55 AM
I'm in a similar position to the OP so I'm going to respond.

Everything you guys have said in reply is beautiful, but is it really all necessary? And if it is, why now? When I started drawing none of this mattered. I could just pick up a pencil and have a great time, completely ignorant to all that you posted above. I wish I could take my improved talent but reclaim the mindset I had when I began, when having fun drawing manga was so easy and worry-free.

This. what i've spent paragraphs trying to get at has been said so simply here, thanks for making me feel stupid...


As for you specifically Sonny, four things I have to say about your post,

1.
What your describing as bad stress sound more akin to a light depression. admittedly depression can act as a powerful enhancer to stress, but they are different things. That said taking a light depression into mind might explain why your 'good stress' (oxymoron if ever i heard one) is having a negative effect on me in this case as i have been in that downwards spiral for some time now.

2.

And there lies the issue. It's not a 'but still' problem. If you want to improve and enjoy the drawing process, then you have to work on it and give yourself a bigger toolbox to work from. It may take years. Ask yourself this: with every picture you are drawing, what new concepts are you learning? Is there a process that will help me learn new concepts in every drawing? Am I able to apply this new art concept that I just studied on in this same old picture or style?
Sorry, this statement just bugs me so what your saying is that in spite of my research into additional artistic knowledge, because i choose to stick to one medium (for reasons ranging from finances to past experiences teaching me that for slight OCD messier mediums don't work for me) or one broad subject (i like drawing people, the human body intrigues me) i'm not increasing my artistic tool box. Perhaps if i were sticking to a less broad subject i might not argue, but half of my attempts to break out of my comfort zone are still within that category; my comfort zone is a small space of only 2-3 poses and fewer camera views with no backgrounds, pushing past my comfort zone has involved trying to portray more dynamic poses, using backgrounds and layout effectively, and thats just the starting points. Yet your words here sound to me like you would discount all that because i'm not going into complete left field for subject matter or tools ans sticking to what i enjoy?

3.
So i have been trying to Use reference wrong, well doing it right under a different name; seriously the things you describe in your 'face in a magazine' example is more or less what i do looking at various drawings or even just people on the bus occasionally. Another point Also your mermaid example leads me to believe you don't know what stress means, what your describing as stress there just sounds like plain old hard work.

Well we're on the subject of that mermaid example, do mind terribly answering why you made that. You say now, in looking back on it that you gained alot of knowledge and experience from it, but was gaining that knowledge and experience from it the initial reason you did it? i ask because the way you describe things is that drawing/art is all about broadening your toolset so you can do better and have fun, and yet i find that a depressing and unrealistic outlook, every thing i want to draw should first be thought of in regards to what i can learn from drawing it, not my own enjoyment? seems like a terrible way to approach a hobby, a job perhaps but not a hobby.

4.
congratulations on not answering my question on thumbnails. What you have given is the What and Why wheras i wanted the how which you never even tried to touch on. With regards to gesture drawing you actually explain more than i've head anywhere else, but if you could actually explain what flow points are clearly it would be a lot more useful.


I suppose i shouldn't be so critical of someone trying to help me (I orignally wasn't going to post this, but Fenn saying what i was trying to in so few words needed to be pointed out) but these just bug me and i needed to say something...

The_shaman
05-11-2011, 11:37 AM
I'm in a similar position to the OP so I'm going to respond.

Everything you guys have said in reply is beautiful, but is it really all necessary? And if it is, why now? When I started drawing none of this mattered. I could just pick up a pencil and have a great time, completely ignorant to all that you posted above. I wish I could take my improved talent but reclaim the mindset I had when I began, when having fun drawing manga was so easy and worry-free.
Like I already said, art is problem solving and this is something I never truly realized until recent in my life as an artist. There is a miss belief about art and artist that we create this amazing composition whatever it is in photo realism or anime, medieval fantasy or sci fi. We sit there and create; we create because we simply enjoy doing it. Yes, we practice for hours in a day, but we spend all that time doing it because it’s fun, and when we are finish we have it. A lot of people do understand, just like a lot of artist themselves don't understand the problem solving we have to put into creating the drawings and paintings people enjoy to look at. We have to figure out exactly who what we are working on works; how to fix it if it doesn't, how to improve it, and how to complete it. I don't know how I can work it any simpler... it’s like algebra whether you emit it or not. When it comes to art there is always a formula that we as the artist must figure out. The composition is the problem, and our medium is the variables. The techniques we learn and apply, along with our own understanding on how it works is how we solve the problem. Maybe this will help some
“From: Tony Sasser Jr
To: mail@mattdixon.co.uk
Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2011 6:22 PM
Subject: RE: A young novice.

Thanks it helps me understand a little bit more now, I always did do thumbnails before I use to try a full scale sketch, not as of lately though. I do hear try to relax a lot when it comes to my sketches and drawings, and I will say I do get over stressed at times. I try to understand and apply all these elements like anatomy and perspective to my work and start getting frustrated because something is always off or wrong. Its even more so when trying to exaggerate the anatomy to try and draw realistically things that don't exist or animals. How do you over come the frustration, I can and do spend days drawing doing things from anatomy practice, to doing a still life or two to the point I feel like I can't try anymore (yesterday being one of them.) Than in the end they frustration of looking at what I done and not feeling satisfied with out, or feeling I'm not growing at all in my work.”

“From Matt Dixion
I'm not sure we ever fully overcome the frustration, Tony. You have to accept that developing your skill is a long, slow process and even after a lifetime of study, there will still be new things to learn. Try to embrace the idea that all artists spend their lives learning. I think that makes things a bit easier. You can then look at your peers and see that we're all just at different points on the same learning curve, and you can start to judge your own work not by how successful you view the finished piece to be, but by what you learned as you were making it. That's my attitude, and it helps to motivate me when I feel as if I'm not progressing - even if I hate what I've just done, I can look at it and try to figure out what I could have done to make it better.

Above all, remember that you're not alone. We ALL feel the same. I do, and so do all the other artists I know. We're all haunted by doubt, dissatisfaction and frustration with our work but those feelings can help to push you on to try and improve. That will ultimately make you a better artist.

Keep the faith, brother!

Matt”




H*** the how/process (as opposed to what or why) of a lot of seemingly basic or useful skills doesn't seem to click for me; Thumbnails (getting ideas down quick and dirty is not something i have ever done ever if memory serves), gesture drawing (how exactly is someone supposed to even get a mark on the paper before times up), reference (seriously just how, i can't think of a clearer definition of the problem than that), and thats just what comes to mind.

Thumbnails; you get at sonny for not answering a how, when I don’t even see a how being asked in this post. Simple make a small box probably no bigger than 2 inches in height, and 3 in weight or vice versa (measurements aren’t important) and scribble and doodle inside. Stop looking for the eye candy in the drawing and just lay down basic shapes and compositions. The purpose of doing this is to help us get a feel for where everything goes, this again falls under the problem solving part of everything you do as an artist. It also help shows you how something does and doesn’t work, its easier to fix something that doesn’t work in a thumbnail than in a full blown composition. Here are examples of thumbanails I have done. Eye candy is all that lovely detail that people get so caught up with in their drawings that they try to floss over the basics.
thumbnails
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/thumbnails.jpg
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/page0001-1.jpg
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/polly1006.jpg
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/polly005.jpg
In these last two you can easily see three thumbnail in the top left
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/VCDD201_Final022.jpg
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/VCDD201_Final023.jpg
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/artfrog028-1.jpg

in this one it is hard to see but in the bottom left
http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk6/synnworld/board024-1.jpg

gesture drawing; it’s possible I can do it, and I know artist who can do it in time I just have my jaw drop, but the point of gestures are to just do them, don’t try and do a fully rendered piece.
Bam gesture, doesn’t look like shit, but it’s not meant to,, its meant to help you grasp whole of the form and the fluidity in movement and poses
http://www.learn-to-draw-lessons.com/images/dogs15sec.gif
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_D5N81cFKPM0/S6U8WWCAMSI/AAAAAAAAA8o/1kEAE51B1qk/s400/gesture4F.jpg
http://raedrawsalot.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html

References … they are meant to give you example of structure of something and how it works. They are meant to inspire by design. Using a reference is more than just looking at it and copying, see the shape, I want to say more but I would have start getting more specific, because I wouldn’t use a reference of the human anatomy the way I would use a reference for an environment. Hope this helps.

Sonny
05-11-2011, 01:13 PM
1.
What your describing as bad stress sound more akin to a light depression. admittedly depression can act as a powerful enhancer to stress, but they are different things. That said taking a light depression into mind might explain why your 'good stress' (oxymoron if ever i heard one) is having a negative effect on me in this case as i have been in that downwards spiral for some time now.

Ah, yes. Perhaps I should elaborate on 'good stress'. I think the term would be better handled with 'productive stress'. Learning new things is a type of stress because you're diving out of your comfort zone. While the initial step is stressful in its own right, once you do 'get it', it will help you lead to that enjoyment that you seek. Again, this is different than hitting a wall where you are limited to what you can do due a small toolbox. Like I mentioned, this can take years for your toolbox to grow. This leads to my next statement on learning...





2.
Sorry, this statement just bugs me so what your saying is that in spite of my research into additional artistic knowledge, because i choose to stick to one medium (for reasons ranging from finances to past experiences teaching me that for slight OCD messier mediums don't work for me) or one broad subject (i like drawing people, the human body intrigues me) i'm not increasing my artistic tool box. Perhaps if i were sticking to a less broad subject i might not argue, but half of my attempts to break out of my comfort zone are still within that category; my comfort zone is a small space of only 2-3 poses and fewer camera views with no backgrounds, pushing past my comfort zone has involved trying to portray more dynamic poses, using backgrounds and layout effectively, and thats just the starting points. Yet your words here sound to me like you would discount all that because i'm not going into complete left field for subject matter or tools ans sticking to what i enjoy?

I think this statement can be explained better with an arithmetic analogy. Let's say art is equalled to math. If people were simple arithmatic formulas of plus' and minus', then learning landscape would be akin to learning new concepts such as exponents/powers. The reverse can be said if you started with landscape as your basic + - / * formulas (then people may be your exponents/powers). Regardless, each particular new subject has an opportunity to take your basic knowledge that you have learned and apply it to something else while learning new concepts.

If learning people taught you proportions of the human body and how to shade it, then learning landscapes will not only take what you know about shading and proportions, but introduce new concepts like foreground, middleground, and the background. On top of that, you will be introduced to new techniques of shading for elements like trees, rivers, mountains, etc.

Please don't get confused with medium and subject areas. Your medium, whether it be pencil, paint, or digital painting, is your tool for you to explore different subject areas such as people, landscapes, waterscapes, fantasy, abstractism, etc. What new subjects you will explore will depict how your skillset will grow with the medium you have chosen to use. Of course, changing your medium can also reward you with knowledge of new techniques or new ways of doing things you never thought was possible.

You have to realize that, as an artist, you are a problem solver. You are an engineer, you are a scientist, you are architect, etc. of your own world. You have to be all these things and more. Sure, you can stick with what you enjoy, but eventually, it will lead to this 'light depression' that you are referring to because you're not able to move on.

Please don't twist is with the idea that I am discouting your efforts, though. More importantly, this isn't an issue with sticking to one thing you enjoy. It's an issue of opportunity costs. Sure, you can draw people and learn as much as you want, but the learning you will get out of it is linear at the most. Try something different and exponentiate your learning process. This is because when you learn from other areas, once you go back to your thing that you enjoyed the most, you will excel farther than you first imagined.



3.
So i have been trying to Use reference wrong, well doing it right under a different name; seriously the things you describe in your 'face in a magazine' example is more or less what i do looking at various drawings or even just people on the bus occasionally. Another point Also your mermaid example leads me to believe you don't know what stress means, what your describing as stress there just sounds like plain old hard work.


If you're already looking at those things, then I applaud your efforts! Now you need to apply what you can analyze into other sources of work. Like for example, if the shadows on the face looks like that, how will the shadows look like on other parts of the body? With this type of shading that I analyzed on the face, can I apply it to other textures such as concrete, sand, leaves, etc? Or is it the reverse (I learned this type of shading somewhere else...can I apply it to this particular face)?

As for saying I don't know what stress means, that's a rather bold claim don't you think? Like I mentioned, this took me out of my comfort zone. It was hard work, I can't deny that since I am looking at various references to make it work. However, there are time limits set for most of my projects. This illustration showed two things: learning concepts out of my comfort zone and doing it with at due date set since, as I mentioned, this was for a client. I fail to see how this can not be stressful in its own right. I only made it look easy with the end result. But as soon as you live the entire process, this is the 'good stress' that I was referring to.

Is it different from just doing it as a hobby? Of course as you don't have a time limit. But it doesn't change the fact that any new subject areas that you can explore will increase your toolbox; regardless if it's something you dislike. Again, it's not to discount previous efforts from doing something you like, but any thing that you can learn outside of your comfort zone is beneficial and will only add to your skill sets.



Well we're on the subject of that mermaid example, do mind terribly answering why you made that. You say now, in looking back on it that you gained alot of knowledge and experience from it, but was gaining that knowledge and experience from it the initial reason you did it? i ask because the way you describe things is that drawing/art is all about broadening your toolset so you can do better and have fun, and yet i find that a depressing and unrealistic outlook, every thing i want to draw should first be thought of in regards to what i can learn from drawing it, not my own enjoyment? seems like a terrible way to approach a hobby, a job perhaps but not a hobby.


There were two reasons for doing this: first, the client asked for it. Secondly, it was an opportunity for me to fill in the 'gaps' about what I know. As stated before, I have never done an underwater scene before. Thus, I had to research it thoroughly as best as I can. How do bubbles behave? How does lighting work? In exploring other areas, you should look for these gaps. What are your gaps? What subjects can you think of that can help you fill in these gaps?

You may find that it is depressing and unrealistic, but I find this opportunistic and VERY realistic. Why? Because, as stated before, the ultimate goal of an artist is for you to be able to build your own world. Gone are the days of caveman drawings. Your enjoyment will come naturally as soon as you create a strong artistic foundation grounded in studying the real world--not just what you like to draw initially.

There's always a hump in anything, including hobbies. That feeling is no different from that stamp collector that is depressed that they can't get that 'one stamp' to finish a particular theme, regardless of how much they enjoy their hobbies. It's the same for being a hobby type artist. The question is whether or not you're willing to find solutions to get out of this 'little depression' or just let it take a hold of you. One possible solution? Explore opportunities through other subject matters and then come back to it. Everything I've written so far is a point of view from a person that has managed to get through multiple humps in his little art hobby/career.



4.
congratulations on not answering my question on thumbnails. What you have given is the What and Why wheras i wanted the how which you never even tried to touch on. With regards to gesture drawing you actually explain more than i've head anywhere else, but if you could actually explain what flow points are clearly it would be a lot more useful.


I suppose i shouldn't be so critical of someone trying to help me (I orignally wasn't going to post this, but Fenn saying what i was trying to in so few words needed to be pointed out) but these just bug me and i needed to say something...

I believe I had answer your question about thumbnails. But in case it wasn't clear:

What
A thumbnai is a series of small sketches to think of many different compositional situations.

Why
Since it's about compositional ideas for your picture, you have to look at the meaning of composition. To be specific, composition allows you to guide your audiences' eyes. Do you want them to focus here or do you want them to focus over there?

As a hobby artist, you may not use it as much as you would like because you're not at that step that requires it. For example, if you're only doing character designs, there's no need to use thumbnail sketches as that only centers around a character standing straight/still. Now, if this character is moving, then you are going to have to look at thumbnail sketchs to bring your character into a plane of view that captures movement and interaction with the backrounds/foregrounds.

That's where thumbnails come in.

How
The method of creating a thumbnail is open to your own medium. SOme like doing multiple consecutive images in a row, using a pencil and paper, that depicts a story (think story board artists). Other uses for thumbnails show different angles of the same subject or concept. By learning multiple compositonal techniques and the advantages of each, such as the rule or thirds, golden ratio, spiral shell compositions, etc. you should be able to construct a scene which gives you priority on how you want your audience to look at your picture.

As for flow points, I think I can explain it through a tutorial (again if you're interested, the tutorial is located at http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/draw-a-fox.html

Take this gesture sketch and take note of the direction of how I was thinking of the fur. These are the flow points for the fur. Obviously, you can do anything with flow points as they only siginify direction in a way for you to fill in the missing pieces.

http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/image-files/drawafox1.jpg

For the finished piece:

http://www.2d-digital-art-guide.com/image-files/drawafox4.jpg

Look at the flow points. It's now integrated to become natural flowing and segmented fur. That is the whole reason for them: as I means to guide you through creating form that just makes sense. This is a process that works for me extremely well as it is a result of managing a solution for creating realistic fur.

I hope I answer most of your questions.

Cheers,

Sonny.

Edit: looks like me and The_shaman share the same sentiments. <3
Edit 2: link is fixed.

Matt
05-11-2011, 01:27 PM
Sonny, I believe I'm going over the same "it wasn't like this when I first started" hump as Bardic Dragoon is. All I can say is that your advice helps immensely. Also, your site is amazing and I have newfound inspiration to pick up my drawings and move into another dimension.

Thank you.

Gedeon
05-11-2011, 05:23 PM
Sonny is like a.......art prophet! @w@

Fenn
05-11-2011, 10:03 PM
There's always a hump in anything, including hobbies.

Well this sucks...I appreciate your posts though sonny and shaman. I still just can't fathom that this is all required to have fun with art, when a few years ago it was simply paper, pencil, and idea.

The_shaman
05-11-2011, 10:38 PM
Well this sucks...I appreciate your posts though sonny and shaman. I still just can't fathom that this is all required to have fun with art, when a few years ago it was simply paper, pencil, and idea.
When I talk about art, I talk about it as a hobbyist. As a hobbyist you don't need a damn thing but paper and pencil to enjoy it, just like all you need is a quarter or a deck of cards to play a game. The things being mentioned by sonny and myself are things that push more into someone who looking to jump into a whole new world. The biggest difference between a professional and a hobbyist is not simply someone makes money and the other doesn't. Its actually one can enjoy drawing while remaining unknown to everything said here, while the other is required to be in that world where all this stuff are steps are necessities.

bottom line, if all you want to do is have fun, just grab a number 2 pencil, some lined sheet of paper and draw. If you seriously want to improve and grow as a artist, even if you want to remain a hobbyist; than a understanding of this stuff is required.

Bardic-Dragoon
05-12-2011, 02:52 AM
I think this statement can be explained better with an arithmetic analogy. Let's say art is equalled to math....

...This is because when you learn from other areas, once you go back to your thing that you enjoyed the most, you will excel farther than you first imagined.

I hope thats enough to get across what part of your post i'm talking about here, I really don't want to have a giant wall of text, and quoting the full section is not going to make that easy...

anyways, perhaps stating that your words discounted my efforts is a bit too strong of word choice on my part, but to a certain degree what you said before (and to a much much lesser extent what you have just said) can easily feel/be interpreted as such. Part of this may be due to not fully explaining my situation (to make a long story short this drawing hump has been the last 4-6 years of my life and i've hit the point of the downward spiral you discussed earlier that with exception to 'gun to my head, do it or else level' external motivation my motivation has pretty much bottomed out to nonexistent and i'm only here cause my desire is pretty much the polar opposite on the scale) but it still stands i have been looking into pretty much any art topic that crosses my mind or eyes looking up on it and studying it (mostly from a theory perspective albeit for reasons after this break) and trying to incorporate it into stuff with wall banging levels of frustration and failure. subjects ranging from more human specific topics (my main reason i really got into drawing was character designs form my stories when my vocabulary fell short of describing something, mainly period specific clothing) to broader topics like how light works (nothing so fancy as how it works under water though, but then again the last time i wanted draw something underwater predates this art hump by around a half century) including how certain light sources cast slightly different colors of light ( for example if i remember correctly fluorescent lights tend cast slightly cooler colors than tungsten lights or the sun) to design, to differentiating the 'layers' (fore, mid, and background) with everything from detail to color saturation to color scheme (adding a bluer tint will supposedly add depth to very far off objects such as mountains miles off in the distance) and more.

thing is not all of it clicks in my mind, and my efforts to force it don't really seem to work (heck the repeated failures from trying to force it might be to blame for shrinking comfort zone and lack of motivation). Let's take for example Gesture drawings, I've seen peoples gesture drawings time upon time, heard the reasons they're good even more so, even once or twice heard explanations on the process/seen recordings of people doing it. Try as i might, i can never seem to replicate the concept. I'll admit i haven't tried in awhile, but for a good two or so months i was, well not quite obsessed but it's the only word thats coming to me, with the concept and was trying it regularly with nothing but failure. Even with your explanation of 'flow points' it still isn't wholly making sense (i'm willing to accept you went light in the description in th post with the intent of the link filling it in better, but the link is broken).



When I talk about art, I talk about it as a hobbyist. As a hobbyist you don't need a damn thing but paper and pencil to enjoy it, just like all you need is a quarter or a deck of cards to play a game. The things being mentioned by sonny and myself are things that push more into someone who looking to jump into a whole new world. The biggest difference between a professional and a hobbyist is not simply someone makes money and the other doesn't. Its actually one can enjoy drawing while remaining unknown to everything said here, while the other is required to be in that world where all this stuff are steps are necessities.

bottom line, if all you want to do is have fun, just grab a number 2 pencil, some lined sheet of paper and draw. If you seriously want to improve and grow as a artist, even if you want to remain a hobbyist; than a understanding of this stuff is required.

If you'll allow a quick anecdote The Shaman:

Earlier today me and an acquittance were discussing professional athletes and similar 'your work is to have fun' kind of jobs. Are general consensus (as guys BSing about such stuff is likely to be) was that they are all to serious for playing a game and getting paid to do it. But if you think about it realistically how much work is it to play that game for them, to play that game at that level. Position centric training, just training in general actually. It might even stop being fun because they have to keep pushing to a higher level in order to beat all the people at their top level.

I'm guessing this is what your getting at when you point out the real difference between hobbyists and professionals. That said, i see one difference between artists and athletes in this regard. In my experience (and from the sound of it Fenn, though i cannot truly speak for him) you can reach a point where the 'fun' level of things just stops existing/working just by doing it.

In a sport, ok i don't play sports so lets say something of a similar ilk on the 'pro vs hobby' bit fighting games, anyways in a fighting game one can play with some buddies, chuck a few hadoukens or what have you and enjoy yourself. Your play style and skills may never hold a candle to the likes of Justin Wong, or heck even the scrubbiest of tournament players (i used to play a guy who did occasional tournaments in GGXX and Tekken, he never made it to the finals etc., but still stomped me into the ground 90% of the time) but it doesn't stop the good times.

with drawing though it seems like the exact opposite has happened, sitting around and chucking a few hadoukens is frustrating and no longer fun. The way you and Sonny are talking unless i take my game to that tournament level play it won't ever be fun again. Mind you it is wholly possible i'm not looking at this from the right angle; but it's not fun now, and unless i spend a (potentially) long time not doing it for fun and fun only it never will be again. I admit i'm exaggerating a bit on the whole 'not having fun at it' stage of things, i'm sure it can be fun, if only in the sense of it being rewarding as you hit each new milestone, but my past attempts at just that (discussed above in light detail) don't shine much hope on that being as true, even if it's just by me being a special case on the matter.

well thats my wall of text for now, and what a wall it is, China should be jealous. suppose i failed at not making it a giant wall like i planned but if you'll pardon my French (LOLZ IZ FUNNY) c'est la vie. honestly though, I hope you haven't lost patience yet; for once one of these bloated 'i need help' threads feels like it's actually bearing fruit.

Fenn
05-13-2011, 10:20 AM
When I talk about art, I talk about it as a hobbyist. As a hobbyist you don't need a damn thing but paper and pencil to enjoy it, just like all you need is a quarter or a deck of cards to play a game.

That's just it. I am a hobbyist, and suddenly this doesn't cut it. Instead...


with drawing though it seems like the exact opposite has happened, sitting around and chucking a few hadoukens is frustrating and no longer fun. The way you and Sonny are talking unless i take my game to that tournament level play it won't ever be fun again.

Just to clarify, we (or at least I) aren't looking for a quick fix. It's more of a vent and discuss topic. But Bardic is right: why can I have fun with video games and sports without ever worrying about getting better, yet with art I must consciously try to improve to maintain the enjoyment level. I just want to sit and have fun drawing manga damn it, not sit for a half-hour trying to get the first shape right!

Matt
05-13-2011, 12:06 PM
I try not to think about getting my first shape right. If I try to get everything right, I end up with an art block. I realize that the stuff I'm drawing that I think looks like crap CAN look awesome to other people. When I was first starting out, I wasn't concerned with others' opinions on my drawings. Now that I am . . . wait, no. At the moment, I'm not concerned at all about it, and I just completed an hour-long sketch and line art session. AND I HAD FUN.

There's no real way to get someone to "stop worrying," but that works well enough for me. I just draw what I enjoy, preferably with a short-term goal in mind (get some clean lines on this picture) and a long-term goal for good measure (the art in HSDK? Yeah, that's where I wanna go).

I read a book yesterday that classified those "quick fixes" (ex. positive mental attitude, etc.) as secondary skills compared to the primary trait of our nature. I haven't finished the book yet, but it deals with altering what you are at your core, THEN adding perks with the secondary skills (I talk about this like a game because the game analogy is more fun). When I finish the book, I'll see how I can put it to use and maybe give advice here.

The_shaman
05-13-2011, 04:56 PM
That's just it. I am a hobbyist, and suddenly this doesn't cut it. Instead...



Just to clarify, we (or at least I) aren't looking for a quick fix. It's more of a vent and discuss topic. But Bardic is right: why can I have fun with video games and sports without ever worrying about getting better, yet with art I must consciously try to improve to maintain the enjoyment level. I just want to sit and have fun drawing manga damn it, not sit for a half-hour trying to get the first shape right!

I've been trying to figure out the right way to approach this, first think I want you to do is ask yourself why are you doing this for in the first place, and who are you doing this for? I draw because I have this insatiable hunger to create; whether it is a new world, creature, or figure. I will even go as far to say that I have a god complex when it comes to this issue, and art is the way I chose to deal with it. Another reason I do this is because I want to show both the light and dark. The beauty and ugly of the world as I see it, and the person I do all this for is me. This is why I have yet to let all the insults, and attacks I have faced in the past detour me from my goals.

Next ask yourself where do you want to be with this? I want to be known for the strange I want to put in my work, for the insanity I want to try to depict in it. Is it there now, no because all I'm doing now is trying to get my skills up with basics, but when I am at a level where I feel at least a little satisfied in my ability to render, than their will be a major change in both what, and how I draw. While this may not make sense to many who read it, it makes since to me, and I am the only person it needs to make sense to.

Moving on with what I am saying, what I am piecing together really is both you and bardic are losing enjoyment in your work for a reason you really don't understand (bare with me I know that is obvious). This could easily be signs that art is not a world you are meant to be in as the creator, now I am not trying to discourage you from drawing, like I said as a hobbyist majority of the stuff sonny or I study and use isn't as required as much for you as it would be for us. Now to repeat something my instructor once told me; "You practice to improve, but by common sense there will always be a little improvement when you practice. Something a lot of people don’t understand is what to practice though.” Or something like that, but the point is you can sit there and draw and you will improve. On the other hand you sit there and draw, and in the drawings you apply things like gesture shapes, and thumbnails breaking down what you are already practicing making it simpler to understand.


Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.

Also at bard, I lost my will to ever teach anyone a long time ago.

Bardic-Dragoon
05-13-2011, 06:52 PM
Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.

Also at bard, I lost my will to ever teach anyone a long time ago.

I think you're misinterpreting what has been said if you believe that what we (or at least I) are looking for a way to shortcut the whole drawing process and get to the final piece with no effort or work, to think there is a way is Naive, but more importantly, it's not whats being talked about here. I'll admit I don't use Thumbnails as much as i could, then again, i still have issues just using them, and have done/attempted maybe 1-2 actual full pieces (read: not doodles/sketches to work on anatomy/what-have-you).

Also, when did I (i'm assuming me alone since you seem to be addressing me directly) ask you teach me anything?

Fenn
05-15-2011, 01:26 PM
Moving on with what I am saying, what I am piecing together really is both you and bardic are losing enjoyment in your work for a reason you really don't understand (bare with me I know that is obvious). This could easily be signs that art is not a world you are meant to be in as the creator, now I am not trying to discourage you from drawing, like I said as a hobbyist majority of the stuff sonny or I study and use isn't as required as much for you as it would be for us. Now to repeat something my instructor once told me; "You practice to improve, but by common sense there will always be a little improvement when you practice. Something a lot of people don’t understand is what to practice though.” Or something like that, but the point is you can sit there and draw and you will improve. On the other hand you sit there and draw, and in the drawings you apply things like gesture shapes, and thumbnails breaking down what you are already practicing making it simpler to understand.


Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.

Sigh...that's awefully accurate to me. Art never used to be about that, though, and that's what's so confusing for me.

Arashi500
05-17-2011, 12:02 AM
I'm in a similar position to the OP so I'm going to respond.

Everything you guys have said in reply is beautiful, but is it really all necessary? And if it is, why now? When I started drawing none of this mattered. I could just pick up a pencil and have a great time, completely ignorant to all that you posted above. I wish I could take my improved talent but reclaim the mindset I had when I began, when having fun drawing manga was so easy and worry-free.

You were probably very young at the time and therefore had VERY low standards. When you start taking something more seriously, which you have done in that you have bothered to make progress from where you were, you will automaticaly raise your standards because you are now making an effort. Nostalgia could also have something to do with it.

nisaren
05-23-2011, 08:49 PM
This is an interesting topic you bring up. I'll admit that I've only skimmed over the posts so far, so if I say something that was covered already I apologize.

So with that said, let me say that I can empathize with you. I often feel stress when attempting to draw and I think to myself that it should be more fun. Stress by definition is the body's reaction to external events or conditions that are different from one's internal expectations. In essence, you have an image in your mind and you want to put it on paper, but are not able. This leads to stress within and every artist experiences this constantly. I doubt that any artist possesses the ability to express exactly what he or she sees in their mind on paper. So every artist feels stress to a degree when drawing.

Just a brief aside: Doodling is completely different from drawing. People normally doodle while thinking about something else, i.e. a lecture in class. Because of this you don't have that inherent stress because you have no expectations - no image in your mind. Oddly enough, it is said that doodling actually helps you concentrate and remember more while in class.

So back to the issue at hand. How to make drawing fun, which will therefore motivate you to draw more and improve. I think you have to figure out what part of drawing or art is "fun" or "relaxing" for you. What made you decide to start drawing in the first place? Once you have figured out that ask yourself - What part of drawing do you absolutely despise?

If you can figure out these maybe you can try to capitalize on the good while minimizing the parts that you don't like. For me the fun part of drawing is in the initial 5-10 minutes where the majority of creation takes place in a piece. After that, it's just grunt work trying to take that rough sketch to a polished finished piece. I only finish a small fraction of the pieces that I start and doing that is work, not fun. But I feel proud of myself for pushing through and finishing the piece, it's an accomplishment. And I will admit that there are moments of creativity during the finishing process.

So I suppose that's my advice for you, figure out what you like about art and focus on that when you draw.

Bardic-Dragoon
06-04-2011, 07:35 PM
I was going to let this topic die. By my accounts, it has by and large failed on most fronts; I likely came across as an A******, I'm still in much the same place as before on the issue. really at best i have a decent compendium of information when/if i ever get back to drawing.


So back to the issue at hand. How to make drawing fun, which will therefore motivate you to draw more and improve. I think you have to figure out what part of drawing or art is "fun" or "relaxing" for you. What made you decide to start drawing in the first place? Once you have figured out that ask yourself - What part of drawing do you absolutely despise?

If you can figure out these maybe you can try to capitalize on the good while minimizing the parts that you don't like. For me the fun part of drawing is in the initial 5-10 minutes where the majority of creation takes place in a piece. After that, it's just grunt work trying to take that rough sketch to a polished finished piece. I only finish a small fraction of the pieces that I start and doing that is work, not fun. But I feel proud of myself for pushing through and finishing the piece, it's an accomplishment. And I will admit that there are moments of creativity during the finishing process.

So I suppose that's my advice for you, figure out what you like about art and focus on that when you draw.

But then that happened, i still wanted to leave well enough alone, take the advice in the bottom line and leave peacefully. But as i tried to do that, i started to realize/suspect something. How many times had I drifted into a, pardon me a hackneyed and clichéd phrase, almost zen like state polishing up a drawing. How much i had enjoyed pulling random lineart off the internet and filling in the colors. What i enjoyed was the mild stages of a drawing, the refining and fine tuning.

Why bring this up though?i figured out what i enjoy move on and use that right. well there is an issue with that, though thats not the reason i'm posting but it bears saying anyways, i hate those initial 5-10 minutes because it's all too often the most annoying and frustrating part of the experience. As said this is a problem you can't reach the middle stages without those first few moments, but what i found more interesting is that this is almost the exact opposite of how i once was.

I stated it briefly earlier, but one of the major reasons i started drawing is because of my attempts at writing, and how i could often see things in my head that i didn't have the vocabulary to describe. However, i could see it in my head and if i could get that image down it tended to help. Drawing was all about those first few moments as something showed up on that blank page.

So why the change then, well it kind of feeds back into what i've been trying to say all along, and i'm willing to try once more. What happened is i learned to draw.

If you'll allow me an anecdote, perhaps of the true turning point of a minor 'my life sucks and i'm sort of depressed which makes this frustration hard to swallow' issue into a full blown imploding in on myself crisis.


about 3-4 years ago I dropped out of college in a fit of self destructive depression, failing to find a job, i tried to turn my life around and enrolled in a different school to study what i really wanted to learn game design. The program started with studying visual design, and one of the early class was taught (though from what i understand it wasn't meant to be) as a sort of intro art class. i half listened as i had 1-3 point perspective explained to me for the umpteenth time, listened intently as basic layout and composition were discussed. It was an unexpected class but in general it was enjoyable, However one time in class we were given a seemingly simple assignment; take an evergreen branch/leaf sample and draw it, around the same time another class had us doing thumbnails for a project. In both cases i failed. The leaf assignment is the more telling of the two as we had to draw this exceedingly complex but miniature object. the purpose was to help us in just drawing, gaining the skills to effectively draw thumbnails and such, to just take what was in front of you, or in your mind and jot it down. I never finished the assignment, the class went on break, and i didn't come back from it, i sat in the hallway just outside the classroom on the verge of breakdown and unable to continue the assignment.

drawing what was infront of me had never been a problem before. copying drawings, pictures, drawing what i saw, I had done these before with no issue. So why then? honestly no clue, but whatever skill i had seems to have been lost in that incident or in it's fallout as i spent time obsessed with how to do gesture drawings thumbnails, anything of that quickly getting it down variety, each time met with failure. At this point in time trying and failing at those things has become nothing to think over; i try, i fail, i move on and try and find what i'm missing in the whole issue.

Why have lost this skill, most likely a repercussion of that day and/or it's fallout, but why did that happen. Thinking on it, i always used guidelines as the first thing on the paper, I rarely if ever just drew anymore, perhaps it was just atrophy of the most basic skills learned. At the same time, i vaguely remember trying to come up with some manner of guidelines, a somewhat complex object i had never looked at or bothered to think about, breaking it down into the tiniest components as the clock ticked down and my grade somewhat riding on the execution, a stress induced breakdown is also a likely subject.

More recently for some reason (atrophy due to lack of drawing because of stress no doubt) The guidelines, even on the things i know just don't seem to work much if at all anymore, I can't see human proportions in those stick figures etc. which makes the excursion of drawing as stressful as it is; when you can;t seem to just get ideas down on paper, and rigid systematic guidelines fail you, what's left?

So where am i going with all this. Nowhere, but we have, if in a roundabout and wordy way been over the problem. How do you loosen up, stop worrying, and just draw, just sketch, no guidelines, nothing like that, just getting it down on paper. It's not something a direct answer (put pencil to paper and move it around) can do much for but it's my question, always has been, and still is. And i would desperately like an answer to it.

Rio
06-04-2011, 10:48 PM
TL;DR most of your post but the last paragraph. My answer:

Maybe you should try something else like working on the abstract and impressionist art styles. Try just working with colors. Art is not all about forming something concrete that resembles something from the real world. There's cubism which deals with shapes, modern paintings like those that are just paint splashes.

My advice - just pick up a pencil or crayon and just start drawing. Do swirls, dots, random lines or whatever drives you. Make multiple boxes, circles, and other shapes. Keep it simple. Don't do anything complicated like starting to draw humans, things, animals, and so on. If you're doing something in color - try putting several colors together. Keep your mind free of thought. Just go with the flow. If you have trouble concentrating or get distracted easily, go somewhere quiet. You may not loosen up right away but give it some time and you'll eventually get there.

Try it out and let me know if it worked for you.

Fenn
06-09-2011, 04:29 PM
Try listening to music. And I don't just mean put in headphones and click shuffle on your iPod while drawing. Sit back, get confortable, and turn on some music. Preferably instrumental music (It's less grounding and more imagination-sparking than music with human vocals). I can give you plenty of suggestions if you need.

Wait and just keep listening for minutes. Eventually, images will start to form. Then, while still listening, once you feel that desire to draw again (the little "tickle" as I like to call it), take up the pencil and go for it. Just go.

Bardic-Dragoon
06-14-2011, 04:34 AM
TL;DR most of your post but the last paragraph. My answer:

My advice - just pick up a pencil or crayon and just start drawing. Do swirls, dots, random lines or whatever drives you. Make multiple boxes, circles, and other shapes. Keep it simple. Don't do anything complicated like starting to draw humans, things, animals, and so on. If you're doing something in color - try putting several colors together. Keep your mind free of thought. Just go with the flow. If you have trouble concentrating or get distracted easily, go somewhere quiet. You may not loosen up right away but give it some time and you'll eventually get there.

Try it out and let me know if it worked for you.

I'll admit I haven't had much quite time recently (long story short, I HATE CHILDREN) but i have tried this idea and it seems like it sort of works. basically, the logic seems sound (well assuming you're suggesting this in the way it seems you are, though i can't think of another way you could suggest it) and indeed i am more capable of it than i would have though ( half expected to stare at the blank paper for 15-20 minutes and give up), but the big problem stems from the fact that sticking wholly and exclusively to basic shapes and what not is, well in a word boring. as i found myself freehand connecting a random series of dots for the 4th or 5th time and just not caring i stepped back, looked at the paper, and tossed it. it doesn't seem like their'd be a way of spicing this there's a way of spicing this thing up while keeping at the same activity, but the logic behind it seems sound and i'd love to give it more thorough attempts.

As for your suggestion Fenn, to be honest your idea seems more inline with building inspiration and drive, and though i probably could do with more drive, inspiration is a pointless pursuit as i have a major backlog of things i want to draw and hardly need new ideas(heck there is a certain amount of stress stemming from the fact i've been sitting on some ideas for years with no progress and more ideas just seem like they'll make it worse) that said I'm still willing to try and would love some suggestions (especially in the form of something i can put into Last.fm and get some results with as my music collection is rather pathetic and i have no means to expand it)

To anyone else who stumbles upon this the advice i seek is loosening up, and though in regards to drawing is most relevant to this board, writing would be great if not better, and just in general advice would be appreciated to.

Fenn
06-14-2011, 09:00 AM
http://www.di.fm/

All types of electronic music. And the lower bandwidths are free. For something fast pace try Drum and Bass, Trance, or Liquid DnB. There are some lyrics but many of the songs are just music.

For slower music (usually better for drawing) there's chillout, ambient, and Space Music. These might help you to relax when you are drawing, just make sure you aren't TOO sleepy.

I don't know whether you like electronic, classical, new age, etc. So I'll leave you with that.

Rio
06-16-2011, 10:02 AM
I'll admit I haven't had much quite time recently (long story short, I HATE CHILDREN) but i have tried this idea and it seems like it sort of works. basically, the logic seems sound (well assuming you're suggesting this in the way it seems you are, though i can't think of another way you could suggest it) and indeed i am more capable of it than i would have though ( half expected to stare at the blank paper for 15-20 minutes and give up), but the big problem stems from the fact that sticking wholly and exclusively to basic shapes and what not is, well in a word boring. as i found myself freehand connecting a random series of dots for the 4th or 5th time and just not caring i stepped back, looked at the paper, and tossed it. it doesn't seem like their'd be a way of spicing this there's a way of spicing this thing up while keeping at the same activity, but the logic behind it seems sound and i'd love to give it more thorough attempts.I'm glad to hear it sort of works! It's a start and one step forward is better than none, imo. What I would like to know is when you draw, do you get depressed if the result is not always 100&#37; as you saw it in your head or it's not that great in your opinion? If you said "Yes" to that, then maybe you should just learn to let go of how your drawings will not always be masterpieces. Normally, I would advise you to move from simple shapes to slightly more complicated drawings and progress from there but if you have a block of hating whatever you drew (even if it's just random doodles which aren't meant to be that great), then you'll have to tackle that problem first before you can move on.


i have a major backlog of things i want to draw and hardly need new ideas(heck there is a certain amount of stress stemming from the fact i've been sitting on some ideas for years with no progress and more ideas just seem like they'll make it worse)Why not just work on the stuff you want to draw? Take it one at a time and knock 'em off your "Drawings I want to make" list. You know, I used to make games. They were short hobby stuff but I came to the point where I wanted to do so much and took on a lot of projects. In the end, there were just too much on my plate and I ended up not doing any of them for years. Fast forward to today - I still haven't worked on them; rather I've been working on other things; but I still have them at the side so when I'm ready to tackle them, I will make the games. Maybe you just need to step back a bit, do something else and come back to it when you're ready (i.e. have the motivation for it). ...Either that or just get it done so you won't have that weight on your back anymore.*

* Trust me, I've had stuff I'd procrastinated in doing and when I actually did them, I started off hating it but in the end, the actual thought of getting them done was rather uplifting

Fenn
06-25-2011, 10:34 AM
What I would like to know is when you draw, do you get depressed if the result is not always 100% as you saw it in your head...

:cat_cryincorner:

Afrobit
06-26-2011, 12:20 AM
Not mine, but how we all feel summed up:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lg6i98aOcZ1qfd61lo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1309148202&Signature=GiNpyC6TH%2B7J%2F21F97NahjQbQmA%3D

What I do:
Just go on or trash.
Draw whatever comes to mind or anything that interest you.
Don't care.

Fenn
06-26-2011, 10:28 AM
Not mine, but how we all feel summed up:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lg6i98aOcZ1qfd61lo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1309148202&Signature=GiNpyC6TH&#37;2B7J%2F21F97NahjQbQmA%3D

What I do:
Just go on or trash.
Draw whatever comes to mind or anything that interest you.
Don't care.

^This