Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
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,

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.

Quote Originally Posted by Sonny
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?

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.

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...