kasblue: Thank you.
Hello. Sorry it's been so long. Been working on my art history class and programming assignments.
doodles during Mughal art history class (Rajput lecture):
I thoroughly approve of your avatar. And your signature. DDS 1 and 2 were some of the best games I've ever played.
Your anatomy studies are awesome and that horse sculpture is superb. I'm really loving the little details in your work and that master study on page 8 along with the skeleton for it...excellent!
Keep up the good work!
"Diligence is the mother of good fortune."
- Miguel de Cervantes
Art Minded: Thanks, though details will be my undoing if I'm not careful. And yes, DDS 1 and 2 are pretty awesome.
Finally, an update on that horsey!
The horsey looks fully recovered now, and he is going through
a phase of bliss, cause he enjoys the luxury of being touched
from time to time by your divine hands. As I told you earlier,
you are one of the most intelligent persons that I ever met on
the internet. Such power shines through your eyes. Sometimes
it's good for not being able to sleep, cause life will look longer
for you like that. I was in a close relationship with Hokusai
earlier, and I can tell you that she is an extraordinaire human
being. You are something special also. Even more than that.
A little fire always starts in my heart when I experience a bit
of your presence.
Lovely updates. I wish you'd give the horse some ears, poor thing, even though the rest of him is great.
LtPlissken: Oh, Lieutenant. I'm going to get such a swell head from your kind words! And Hokusai was a man.
BlackSpot: Thank you. He's going to have to wait even longer for his ears now because I want to get the muscles done first. Unfortunately, I had to tear down the details because I needed to clarify the planes of the muscle forms first.
Sorry for not being here for so long. I had to finish finals, take a week to rest, take a week to learn overall concepts for physics I and cal II, and just started my physics class. Unfortunately, my plans to quit school and focusing on hone my drawing skills have been derailed, but I switched from an art concentration to a general art major to graduate sooner.
More will be explained about the visual vocbulary and Alchemy stuff, but before I go, I'll leave you guys with this article on my birthday: Increasing Retention Without Increasing Study Time
An explanation for the Alchemy and "Visual Vocabulary" stuff:
It was an idea I got from my fiancť, a computer science student. He told me "You should never write the same code twice," and so, he made his own library of small programs he's already written so that he can use them for future complex programs and save time. So, I thought of using this very tactic to build up a library of interesting shapes and designs to use of later more complex pictures. With Alchemy, I'm making as many different designs and compositions as possible, and with the "Visual Vocabulary," I'm grouping together parts from various sources by similarity of shapes, designs, and connotations for later character and environment design ideas.
Sorry, only boring Alchemy stuff for today.
Sorry, weak update today. I'll explain below.
Planar study for horse sculpture (rawr, that sculpture is taking forever):
I'm going to need to break my five-sentence rule in this post. I haven't been posting much not only due to summer school, but also because I've trying to think of a way to integrate my focuses on my weaknesses and the demands of my classes.
Below is my I-Ching reading (if you don't know what I-Ching is, read about it here, and you can free readings here):
And below is the interpretation for the changing lines (which you can find here):The answer to your question, "How do I focus on artistic weaknesses and adapt to current situations?" is:
9. Hsiao Ch'u - The Taming Power of the Small
The Taming Power of the Small
Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.
The wind drives across heaven:
The image of the Taming Power of the Small.
Thus the superior man
Refines the outward aspect of his nature.
Changing yang in the second place means:
He allows himself to be drawn into returning.
Changing yang at the top means:
The rain comes, there is rest.
This is due to the lasting effect of character.
Perseverance brings the woman into danger.
The moon is nearly full.
If the superior man persists,
Oh man!Nine in the second place means:
He allows himself to be drawn into returning.
One would like to press forward, but before going farther one sees from the example of others like oneself that this way is blocked. In such a case, if the effort to push forward is not in harmony with the time, a reasonable and resolute man will not expose himself to a personal rebuff, but will retreat with others of like mind. This brings good fortune, because he does not needlessly jeopardize himself.
Nine at the top means:
The rain comes, there is rest.
This is due to the lasting effect of character.
Perseverance brings the woman into danger.
The moon is nearly full. If the superior man persists,
Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has been reach. This has come about through the cumulation of small effects produced by reverence for a superior character. But a success thus secured bit by bit calls for great caution. It would be a dangerous illusion for anyone to think he could presume upon it. The female principle, the weak element that has won the victory, should never persist in vaunting it—that would lead to danger. The dark power in the moon is strongest when the moon is almost full. When it is full and directly opposite the sun, its waning is inevitable. Under such circumstances one must be content with what has been achieved. To advance any further, before the appropriate time has come, would lead to misfortune.
First of all, I want to apologize for not being here for your birthday,
I am a true selfish human being, I know exactly that you were the only
one remembering my birthday from CA the last time. I will hardly forgive
myself this. So if you accept a little late, I want you all the best for your birthday.
A real chauvinistic pig is what I am. Ugly, smelly and all that.
You disappeared for a short time, then you came back, your act of disappearance
is so blissful. You dived deep like a naval mine, vanished from our lives, then
you popped back up like a proud eastern box sea turtle. I am so much amazed that
you are still learning and improving, you are finishing schools and all that.
Your intelligence is already beyond imaginable, but you will be even more smarter,
my hats off to you. I have so much trust in you, I would let you to make surgery
on my body parts, even maybe on my heart. Such a pedant and extraordinary
being you became. Through Alchemy you started to express something that
was barely expressable before. A huge amount of dust flew off from the book
shelves as you discovered something new with your brush strokes and short
movements, revealing a new kind of diffused light to us all. Madonna, the
female singer and entertainer feel envy now. She is doing a sin because
of you, and she will burn in hell because of that. In agonizing pain.
Wish I could have some words how I could describe what I feel now,
a tear run straight down on my cheek. You are hammering through the
corridors of the art industry just like Thor did that in his prime time.
The horse and the planes that you did on it is more than outstanding,
and I will be remembering the day that you posted that forever.
Now I will go off a bit to study I-Ching, till then you take
care and be good. Draw and create more miracle to
us single mortals.
LtPlissken: Don't worry about that the birthday thing, and thank you very much for the poetic words of encouragement.
Studies from the weekend.
I'm tired of fidgeting with details in my sketches. So for sketchbook pages, I'm focusing on the basic shapes and forms instead, and I'm implementing the "NO PENCIL RULE!" (or at least nothing that can be erased easily). Started this rule with today's Hogarth studies.
Weekly Update, Part 1:
I needed to make a choice between focusing on the horse sculpture or personal Alchemy and sketch assignments to build up my visual vocabulary. I chose the horsie. The visual vocabulary thing will need to wait 'til it can go in tandem with my school assignments (or otherwise).
One last look at my Alchemy library 'til the time comes . . .
Horse anatomy stuff:
Your understanding of shapes, depth and art generally is increasing rapidly,
your force is rising, the power multiplying, like a huge garage full of south
Indian body builders summarized all together, that's the power equal to your
strength. When we look left, you surprise us from right, and just when we
look right, you surprise us from left, and the most interesting thing is that
you are doing this in a circular repeat fashion. If one would put a razor
in the middle, we would slit our throats by ourselves. I totally dig your
evolution, as you put all those muscles and spring power to the horses legs,
literally all his body parts are being taken specially cared of. When someone
talk about creation in general, you could serve as a numero uno example to
the world outside. There was nothing, and suddenly you did something.
Not just something, rather you created a beautiful horse from mud. All
those brainless mutants, standing in front the parliament, have no idea,
what does creating something mean. They are looking for money day
and night and they life is pure material nothing spiritual. I vote for you
to be a queen. After this horse you did, you deserve even a higher status.
If I would ever get myself a horse of any kind, I would contact you, to help
me, to take care of him, nurse him and to pet him. You know so much about
horses and about life in general. Even if you start to party all the time from
this moment, you will surely manage to get a twenty year old life success contract.
I am so proud of you at this moment, my voice is flickering.
awesome work orochi, nothing to crit from me whatsoever because I know nothing about sculpting or anything with it. All I can say is good luck with it because its coming along really well
ThomasM: Thanks, but I've taken down the clay so I can rebuild the horse from the inside-out instead of the outside-in.
Weekly Update, Part II:
More sketches dealing with the horse
So bad with drawing from my head. I think I really need to start studying the horse's head.
More studies. Did a little bit of Hogarth studies to understand how to construct (parts of) the figure. And sketches to brainstorm design ideas for the horse cast.
Hogarthís endurance and toughness was generally well known for the
audience. He could go without water and food for days and still be
able to lift weights. Drawings was one of his main hobbies, a mighty
man he was in his prime. Stellar way you have dissected the horse,
understanding each and every part of this wonderful creature. Your
skill of solving certain puzzles is on an admirable level. Next month,
you will be double more stronger and qualified for higher ranks of
intelligence. As you combined foot and flower studies, your main
receptors got treated with a sonic waved ultra violet violence.
Your lines more accurate now and the shading on another level,
melting together, like a sun burnt plaster mould. You keep it
this way, keep the kids scrappy, make us even more snappy
and happy. This is definitely not a do or die situation, so you
have the absolute freedom and time to do whatever you want
and whenever you want. But no matter the outcome,
we, your fans will be surely subconsciously pleased
each and every time you update.
LtPlissken: Thanks for the kind words and putting so much time and thought into your comments, Lieutenant.
A few sketches. There's more, so stay tuned!
Reading some of Eliezer Yudkowsy's blog posts, it surprised me much how our former selves can be used as our own standard of measurement. So the next time you "plan" something, look back on your past performances on similar activities!
Need to update more frequently now that I have more access to a scanner. Bad!
Quick sketches done while busy with calculus II workload.
Hogarth study and two horse concepts. Observing my performance so far, I noticed that I can be good at organizing design in meaningful way, but I suck at actually making the designs. That and I'm having trouble drawing the horse's torso in perspective. Must address those weaknesses!
Simplifying the horse's ribs:
Been getting kinda depressed about my improvement rate and whether or not I'm getting anywhere with what I'm doing. Then I realized that it's okay to suck sometimes because you can't be good at everything!
I totally suck with actually making designs and letting go the small details that don't matter. And that's okay as long as I'm aiming to get better.
Oh yeah, this is an e-mail I got from David Cherry a month ago, and I'd like share this for anyone that's bummed out about their own improvement:
Good to hear from you again. I think getting your bachelorís is a very good idea. In America right now, having a bachelorís degree is important. It doesnít matter a great deal what it is in, just so long as you have one. Being accepted into the Guildhall is just one example. When the Guildhall started out, it tried to accept some people based on skill level, regardless of whether they had a bachelorís degree. In general, that did not work out well for those students or for the school. So now, the rule is that everyone must have a bachelorís or some sort in order to get in. Once you have a bachelorís degree, the number of jobs that will consider you is substantially greater as well.
How did I approach being self-taught? First off, I did put off becoming an artist. For undergraduate schooling, I attended the University of Oklahoma. I looked into the possibility of entering art school and was disappointed in what the professors there were doing. It was the 1970s. Fine art had to be either modern art or impressionism, much as it is today but more so. No way was I going to let those professors have any control over my art or my future. So I put art on the back burner and concentrated on simply obtaining a bachelorís degree. I was fairly decent in Latin, and my sister was a Latin teacher, so, for want of anything else that interested me, I majored in Latin, minored in French, and picked up a high school level teaching certificate along the way, just in case law school would not have me. When I was 9 years old, I had promised my father I would become a lawyer, so that was my ultimate goal. In order to enter law school I needed a bachelorís degree and good grades. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin and Ancient History, with General Honors. My academic ranking was high enough that I was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa. That meant I was ranked in the top 10 per cent in the nation. So. I entered law school. I graduated law school with a Juris Doctors degree, the lawyersí equivalent of a phd. I was in my mid twenties. I practiced law for several years, long enough to be good at it. But I became certain that it was not going to make me happy. Rich? Yes, probably. But it was not going to give me a happy life. It was high stress, boring, hard work with no real reward except the money. So I started thinking about art again.
Obtaining the degrees and working for a living at a difficult occupation seasoned me. One thing I had learned was how to research. Studying Latin is largely research, strangely enough. The skills I learned there helped in law school. And I developed them further. As a lawyer looking at the possibility of becoming an artist, I was not particularly daunted by the fact that I could not paint. I had kept drawing as a hobby all through the years and had lots of bulging sketchbooks. So I decided painting was simply another topic to be researched, and I set about doing that. I closed the law firm. In doing so, one of my friends, another lawyer, had obtained a number of my clients. He suddenly had too many to handle. So, he hired me part time to work up their cases for him. I was able to do that from home and to make enough in 20 hours a week to pay my bills, as long as I didnít travel or have too many unexpected expenses. So I worked 20 hours a week for him and did about 60 hours a week painting and studying about it. At this point I had realized that the illustrators doing the paperback covers for science fiction and fantasy books were a group of artists to which I could relate. I attended science fiction conventions, especially the larger ones. Those had art shows that anyone was allowed to enter. Since the publishers attended the big conventions [drawn there in hopes of chatting with attending authors and cutting a deal for a new book], the big time illustrators entered the art shows to show off their body of work, hoping the publishers might be impressed and offer them more work. So, bad as I was, I joined in. The professionals were not standoffish. They were kind, helpful, and welcoming. Like me, they had had to teach themselves since art schools did not offer what they needed. In me, they recognized someone with the poor skills but the same dedication and passion. I met them, studied how they worked, and read any books they had out on how they worked. But most of my learning came from unending practice. Failure was constant, but it was my friend. Wherever I could identify what had failed in my work, I had identified something I could study and correct. The simple truth is that I finally corrected enough faults that my work started to look pretty good. Each painting is the whole process again in miniature. I start out broad, aiming toward a goal. I mercilessly and relentlessly hunt down every fault I can detect and fix it as best I know how. When I can find nothing else I know how to fix, I call it done. Of course, there are usually any number of things I can still do better. So I show the work to the best artists I know and ask them to point out what didnít work. Sometimes I agree with their assessments. Sometimes I donít, but I end up better off for their views.
I may go back into freelance illustration some day. I would love to do that if the economy will let me. If I do, I am going to pick out the best artists I know of worldwide, set myself to doing similar things and mercilessly judge my efforts. My goal will be to top what they can do. If I find I havenít done that, then I rejoice because I will have the fun of analyzing why I failed and finding a way to fix it. I love improving. It is actually more fun than being in a place in your life where you work and work and see no improvement. I have met my goals several times in my life. Then I realize there is an even better goal beyond that, so I set out on the road toward it.
I have won most of the major illustration awards and honors available in the area of science fiction and fantasy. Those are, however, the judgments of others. I am happy to be well thought of. But I do not necessarily agree with their opinions of my work. I think it is not what it should be, not what I am aiming at. When I was in my 30s, I decided that I would likely be in my 60s before I could put in enough time to be really good. I am in my 60s now, so I feel the urge to spread my wings and test what I have learned. Unfortunately, I am in a position where I spend my time helping others and talking about art instead of creating art. Sigh. All things to their season. My time to work will come again, and I will be back more selfishly having fun with my time.
So. What are the takeaways for you? You have chosen your road. You are at point A, and you want to get to point B on down the road. You can always get from point A to point B. You just have to recognize that it is a toll road, figure out what the toll is, and pay it. For you, the toll will be studying how to see more deeply into reference images than you do now, and figuring how to recreate those effects with paint or painting programs. Donít be happy with where you are at. That leads to stagnation. Be your own worst critic. Mercilessly hunt down every tiny little thing that could be better in your work. And fix them. Keep doing that. That is how every top artist I know approaches it. If you can find joy in that learning, that process and progression, then you will find peace, and you work will blossom. It is that simple and that difficult.
One note to addósince I do have faith that you will reach most of your current goals and be receiving praise for you efforts: As an honest person and my own most persistent critic, I found it annoying and awkward when people would come up to me gushing with praise about some new painting I was showing. When I was young, stupid, and more innocent, I would attempt to assure them that they were wrong, and I would start pointing out all the faults they seemed to have missed. That was a bad thing for me to do. It was honest, but it hurt them. They had been made happy by my work. They wanted to share that happiness with me. I am more wise now. When that happens, I thank them. I still recognize the truth and see my work for what it is, but I do not rain on their parade.
So. I do not know if my answers have been any help to you. I hope somewhere in all this you will find little bits of wisdom that may find application in your own life. Keep dreaming. Keep fixing the faults. Life is long. You will get there if you keep working at it. I was 32 when I quit law to teach myself how to paint. I had already lived a great deal of life by then. I had achieved two degrees, one a doctorate. I had worked for years as a lawyer, argued cases before the Interstate Commerce Commission and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. I had been married and divorced. And yet today, I look back on my long career as an artist, and I cannot really recall a time when I wasnít an artist. You have time. Be patient and apply yourself diligently.
Been exhausted this week because the quality of my sleep has been lousy lately.
I went to a local recreational park and I really enjoyed drawing the animals at the science exhibit. It was kind of refreshing and it recharged my energy a little bit.
I tried to try these turtles when they were swimming, but then I quickly learned why it's so damn hard to moving subjects.
Simplicity is key!
Lucky, my family's dog. She's taking an afternoon nap. Shhh.
NOTE TO SELF: You're losing focus! Think of building forms through "boxes" instead of lines.
Last edited by BichNguyen; August 5th, 2012 at 12:16 AM. Reason: note to self
Yeesh, photo lighting.
My Visible Horse kit. It underwent surgery today. I did quite a bit of cursing when some of the pieces broke off.