Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34

Thread: Loosening up and the secret of enjoyment

  1. #1

    Loosening up and the secret of enjoyment

    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...
    Last edited by Bardic-Dragoon; 05-04-2011 at 03:07 AM.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  2. #2
    Ruler of the Seventh Empire GunZet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Preparing the laser beam, we're gonna use it tonight.
    Posts
    11,980
    Cure? Hang around with more artists as much as possible. Doing the whole solo thing is just a bummer sometimes.

  3. #3
    Well going to take a guess there won't be more responses, So may as well say this.

    Quote Originally Posted by GunZet View Post
    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.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  4. #4
    Fenn
    Guest
    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.

  5. #5
    Teen Member Sonny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    20
    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/...s-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.

  6. #6
    I have this sinking feeling in my gut that i'm going to regret this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny View Post
    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/...s-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.
    Last edited by Bardic-Dragoon; 05-09-2011 at 03:08 AM.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  7. #7
    Teen Member Sonny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    *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:

    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/...-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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardic-Dragoon View Post
    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:

    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.
    Last edited by Sonny; 05-13-2011 at 11:25 AM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member apples13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    168
    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

  9. #9
    101 Dalmations Member The_shaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    104
    Art in general is about problem solving sadly, figuring out how to convey what we are trying to create.

  10. #10
    Fenn
    Guest
    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.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •