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I was reading Marko Djurdjevic's Wikipedia page, and it stated that he did not use references when making images but relied on a visual library in his mind developed through memorization. Jason chan said the same thing in one of his tutorials as well.
I was wondering if anyone could share how to develop a visual library.
Same thing JeffX99 said, plus you could build a literal visual library by saving references and images you find inspiring and keep them in your head after looking at them a lot? My visual library is on my iPod, I think I've got 2000 pictures on it, waaaaay more than the number of songs.
Observe mindfully. Most people don't see 99.9% of what they see.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
Practice a lot and let your hand memorize the shapes.
That kind of stuff...you can make a lot of discoveries everywhere which can bring more sensitivity to your work.
Here's some really old quote from Black frog back when he was commenting people's work in Crit section .
Don't just look at things... SEE them.
As a daily exercise you should push your eye to "see" and analyse what you see rather than having it pass on front of you without really catching what will be usefull to you later in your drawing.
Most people are surrounded by things all the time and come to you asking can you draw me a teapot or a bottle of vine or whatever... and they are gobsmacked when you can... Those things are surrounding them every day,!!! they are just blind to it. They see the concept of the teapot but they don't see THIS SPECIFIC teapot with what makes it unique.
When you look at something, you should have the eye of someone who is trying to understand every aspect of the fabrication of it.
What is the texture, color, shape, what makes it different from another specimen of the same species - that applies to everything and anything -
It is tiresome at the beguining caus' we're not use to pay that much attention to what's around us, but it gets better with time... and You and up doing it in auto pilot after a while.
Try drawing stuff from imagination/memory first and that should make you realize what you don't know about the subject. Then go research it and get the answers.
I tried to draw some guns quite a while back and it dawned on me that I had no idea what a gun looked like. I even had the basic shape wrong! So I had to go get references and invent a few guns based on the things I saw. Now I have some of those things in my mental library, so if I tried to draw a gun I'd remember a few things I learned and be able to get it...sort of close.
And then God said, "Let us make man in our likeness and our image. Let us make him ridiculously hard to draw so that poor artists everywhere will have to spend 10,000+ hours failing repeatedly before they can begin to capture the form and likeness onto a two-dimensional surface." And there was man. And it was good. And artists everywhere lost their minds.
I believe a majority of people think an artist's goal is to just see an image in their mind and then paint it. Building a visual library is basically just learning to draw similar figures and things after much repetition. Yeaahhhh, Jason Chan can draw out of his head very well, but he still uses reference, like MOST artist. You gotta ask yourself, "why?". Look at this post he did on Muddy Colors for example.
Yeah, it's really not rocket science but somehow we all look for an easy answer. Things I draw a lot, and have always draw a lot, come out looking good. Things I never draw do not. The only way to improve is by drawing more, preferably from life so you're not developing upon errors.
I had to draw wolves for my last project, and I came out the other end not entirely confident with drawing them, but It certainly feels more natural to sketch their form than it did before.
Thanks for all the useful info guys,
Another question I have in conjunction with this one is about drawing from life. I never really did a lot of drawing from life (except for the figure). And I had read somewhere that drawing say, a beetle from a photo doesn't end up sticking in your mind as much as it would drawing the actual beetle in front of you.
Can anyone validate if this is true? Is it enough to draw from photos and books or should I make drawing still life drawing part of my daily practice?
YES, you should be drawing from life! Trying to understand light and form from photos alone is difficult, and your sources will most likely be inaccurate and misleading. (Among many other reasons to draw from life...)
Drawing from life may seem intimidating, but believe me, it makes everything easier to understand in the long run. And once you get into it, it can be a lot more fun than copying pictures, because you're making your own pictures - there's something exciting about making your own picture that never existed before, even if it sucks. (Well, I think so, anyway.)
Doesn't even have to be figures at first if that seems too complicated, you can get started by drawing real stuff around the house or real stuff around your neighborhood... landscapes, furniture, trees, your shoes, anything really.
Though I don't know if it's true, but in a photo your work is already half done so I wouldn't wonder if it doesn't stick to your brain as well.And I had read somewhere that drawing say, a beetle from a photo doesn't end up sticking in your mind as much as it would drawing the actual beetle in front of you. Is it enough to draw from photos and books or should I make drawing still life drawing part of my daily practice?
Also the benefit of life drawing is that you can easily (unless you are drawing a landscape, which might take some walking) get the same thing from different angles, something that's much harder or impossible with a photo. (unless your real life beetle flies away or something).