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Thread: The "Help me break artist's block" thread

  1. #21
    Fenn
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    Hope its been long enough that I won't get in trouble for a double post.

    I broke it! Thanks to this site and the new sketchbook I got, I've been able to shake my block. The sketchbook means I can sit anywhere now and draw easily. I also started picking objects around my house to draw, which really helps if I'm unsure of a topic. Thank everyone!

    If anyone else is stuck in a block feel free to post and we'll try to help.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    Check out the sketchbook ethics section of this university link.

    EDIT: Fixed.
    Last edited by Hamachi; 02-20-2011 at 12:48 PM.

  3. #23
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamachi View Post
    Check out the sketchbook ethics section of this university link.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    Fixed it. Also, my favorite Random Art Prompt Generator.

  5. #25
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamachi View Post
    Check out the sketchbook ethics section of this university link.

    EDIT: Fixed.
    Bookmarked for unsefulness. And the art prompt is nice too.

  6. #26
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    Both links bookmarked. They're both awesome.

    For some reason, I started doing pixel art because of the prompt site.

  7. #27
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    My turn to complain.

    So yeah... I'm blocked. I'm still a beginner at drawing, and learning doesn't go too well for me. I failed many times, and right now, whenever I try to force myself to finally take a sketchbook, some voice in the back of my head laughs "haha you wanna draw? You saw some skilled artists and wanna be like them? Guess what, ain't happening! You can't draw".

    Not all of my drawings are bad. Those drawn from a reference turn out (usually) pretty good. Once I've drawn a character from my favorite anime using a picture from an official artbook as a reference, and except a little proportional glitch with hands, the picture turned out nice, in my opinion (no copy-drawing involved; just a reference). There's also a sketch of a ship from a game which turned out nigh perfectly and several weapons.

    When I try to draw something from my own imagination however, it's completely another story. Everything I've drawn completely original is garbage. Ability to translate my imagination into drawings is crucial for the reason I want to learn drawing. I am good at writing stories in my opinion, and opinion of several people I've shown my creations to. I just like fantasizing and I know a bit about mechanisms and cliches used in storytelling. Right now I got quite a cool story prepared, and there's enough planned plot to lead a webcomic for years. Only waiting for me to learn drawing...

    But I'm afraid I'll fail again if I try to draw, and I am simply wasting time trying. And so I cannot even resume drawing drill.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    I really was like how you described a whiles back, Sekator. (Sometimes I still am haha!) I'm no drawing master but I'll try to help.

    You have to realize that artistic skill isn't as technical as a physical skill you practice or a subject you memorize, although those factors are involved. Although I don't agree with Betty Edwards on brain hemisphere functions, I do think she had gotten something when she mentioned that art is a spontaneous skill. You can try to pressure yourself to make something creative, but the end result won't be as good as learning how to be creative in the first place. Stressing yourself too much over mistakes is definitely the worst art-killer because (1) It slows down your thought processes, (2) it makes you focus too much on correcting rather than creating, and (3) it makes you tense up your muscles, making your drawing come out extremely ragged.

    The fact that you're doing fine with reference means that your perception is fine. If you're not drawing well from imagination, it means you need to work on remembering key aspects of what you perceive and committing it to memory. Never underestimate the phase right before you put your utensil to the surface - theoretically, a perfect mental image would be like tracing a picture! Unfortunately most of us aren't that well-endowed, but we can practice to make up. To paraphrase Chinese calligrapher Li Gongquan: "Before setting brush on scroll to paint bamboo, the painter must have the shape of the bamboo in his mind, in the same way a calligrapher sets his mind on the shape of characters before he actually writes them. This approach is common to both painting and calligraphy."

    In other words, the limits set on your picture will be set by how good of a mental image you develop before you draw it. There are stages to drawing that help decrease the visualization requirements in your mind, but ultimately this the skill to work on. Do that while not being too hard on yourself and you can't go wrong.

    **Edited for clarity of meaning. xD
    Last edited by Hamachi; 03-03-2011 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #29
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    One thing I like in all those posts is "I remember being like you are". It really proves anyone (almost) has or had to pass through those hard stages of learning.

    This reply taught me something, but on the other hand it reminded me of another problem. Before I begin drawing a picture, I usually have a very good mental image in my head. Since I like fantasizing, it's not really that much of a hassle. But things start annoying when I advance a bit. A slightest mistake makes me abandon visualizing the project, and instead work on correcting the mistake over and over. I no longer work on copying the imagination into the paper - I attempt to make what's already on the paper look good, and it usually results in failure since looking at what I've drawn so far makes me forget how it was supposed to look. I just lay lines blindly, hoping that "it will work".

  10. #30
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    The problem with visualization is that more often than not, what we imagine is in better detail than what we can draw at the moment. Like your skill does not match up to the visuals you dreamt up. Maybe you should try working on not having as high as an expectation of your visual versus the result so you won't be setting yourself up for heartache when something doesn't turn out the way you want.

    Personally, from the times that I did try to draw what I visualized, I ended up not liking the result too. Nowadays, I just think about the basics I want to achieve like hair type (long, short, etc), features, type of clothes, etc that I'm going for BUT not visualize to the extent that I know every little detail; just an impression; and I draw from there. This has pretty much worked for me since and that's what I do now. It also allows me to be more flexible about things so I can change the clothes or hairstyle or whatever because I'm not as invested in the image I initially thought of in my head.

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