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Just wondering what you guys do. I just started drawing and have a really bad teacher who likes to tear apart students' paintings and drawings in front of the whole class. On top of that, I just feel overwhelmed with art with so many branching paths and no clear or defined paths on how to improve. LIke with anything new, I get overwhelmed by everything and its seriously making my head spin. Just wondering how you guys deal with this and if you have any tips.
I understand why van gogh ripped up all his work...that's how i feel right now haha
"If it was easy, everyone would do it"
I break things down in little steps. Step back... take a deep breath and, first, realize that you are not going to be able to do everything immediately.
When I'm mountain biking, I always see a large hill and wonder how the heck I'm going to get up it. So, I just focus strictly on the area right in front of my tires, focus on it and then keep a consistent pace. Once in a while, I'll look up to make sure that I'm going in the right direction. Eventually, I realize ... I'm at the top of the hill.
Art is like that.
When I first started painting still lifes, like everything else, I was awful. They looked horrible. So, I took a step back. First, I simplified my still life. One simple object (an apple on a table). Once I got the basic shape of the apple right, then I took it to the next level... creating the values. Once I got my apple looking 3D, then next level... color. Once I got my apple to look like an apple, then the next level.... making it look real. Once I got that done, I added another apple.
What I find is that a lot of artists try too many difficult things right out of the box and then get frustrated. Simplification to learn the basics is the way to go.
This is just my opinion, but you don't need to be good at everything right off the hop. I think most artists develop a strong skill set in a certain area and then as they grow, their desire to try new things and experiment gives them the look of someone who is very skilled in a variety of areas.
Like Doug said, choose a path that you find satisfying and start working along that route slowly, trying to develop solid skills-- that way, the branching out that eventually happens is more natural and less daunting.
If I had to give my own example, well, I'm self taught right? I never had a art schooling to force me out of my comfort zone-- so for a long time, I just kept drawing valueless (as in, no shade or color) line art all the time. But as I got comfortable with that, I wanted to ink it, and when I got comfortable with that, I wanted to color it... before I knew it, I had a decent skill set to start moving forward with.
Two parts gin to one part vermouth.
Or in my case since alcohol doesn't really affect me, beat your head against a wall.
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
As a road cyclist who deals with a lot of large hills on a daily basis, I credit them for the majority of my perseverance.
I find two things work for me. If the subject is particularly challenging, but I can see myself getting closer, I'll just push through. However, if I find I am getting frustrated or generally not getting any closer, a short walk around the block always helps to come back to it with a fresh perspective.
Try tearing your own painting after he says he like it. Or I would make bad painting on metal plate and see what happens .
But seriously. I try to remind myself not to overthink stuff if it's not working. It's never really productive and I sometimes got a unnecessary headache from this. The problem usually solves in the next few days.
Last edited by Farvus; March 31st, 2011 at 04:20 PM.
I'm no expert but the thing that helps me out is to think of art in it's some basic components; line, value, texture, color, composition, and perspective. If I view my studies this way, it's much less daunting than thinking of "I gotta learn how to draw people, and then backgrounds, and then buildings, and then animals...OMG there ARE so MANY ANIMALS!" I'm not sure if that's your problem, but it's a common one that people seem to have.
When I go to practice, I select something that I am particularly weak at and do a study that revolves around that basic concept. I may go outside and draw plants to practice line and shapes or paint a self portrait with my lamp and mirror to practice value and color.
If you just learn the basics and then build upon your knowledge to tackle more complex things as you go, you'll end up being able to draw anything you would like with a bit of reference and time. Just take it slow.
Unfortunately this is another serious misconception...in part propagated by the "diversity" of modern art. There is actually a very clear, well understood path on how to improve, it's just that most people don't want to follow it. It has been well understood for 600 years. Of course there as many minor variations along that path as there are individuals walking it because each artist must take his own steps.
It all boils down to an understanding of the fundamentals and the ability to observe and tranlate them as accurately as you wish. Some people go to great lengths as in academic work - others learn enough and gain enough understanding and then strike out in their own directions, making their own statements and forms of expression.
IMO, and evidenced by artists over the last 600 years, the best way to gain an undertanding of the fundamentals is through study from life.
You could extend that 600 years back to the Greeks, and before that. Point is, as you say, there's been a right way (at least one right way) to do this business called drawing for a very long time. It's time tested.Unfortunately this is another serious misconception...in part propagated by the "diversity" of modern art. There is actually a very clear, well understood path on how to improve, it's just that most people don't want to follow it. It has been well understood for 600 years.
Just because your instructor is harsh, does not mean he is wrong. I think the whole Precious Snowflake idea has been to the detriment of our learning. Yes, we are all special, but you know what? Sometimes we all suck, or we really aren't good at something or we fail once in a while. I think it's important to recognize this and use it as an impetus to get better. "Tearing up" students' work (as long as he is not physically tearing them up) does not make someone a bad teacher. Saying a piece of artwork is real nice does make someone a bad art teacher. At least when the piece isn't real nice. Perhaps you can give this some thought and see if you can put your teacher's critique to good use. Even if you get angry-- use it.
It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done.
My sketchbook (it'll get good near the end)
Not to derail the thread but I do think this is important/interresting...(self quote from another thread):
...make no mistake about it, art is really, really hard. Really. Look at it this way...it took a little over 100,000 years to figure out perspective - roughly 600 years ago. It isn't that people didn't want to work realistically prior to this, they just didn't understand the keys that allowed for the realistic translation of three dimensional space onto a two dimensional surface. The results were various stylizations and conventions which were representational and told stories, but not realistic. It isn't that the art was of a "lesser quality" or lacked power, it just lacked realistic illusion.
I realize this is a bold assertion, and I'm open to any points and reference to the contrary. I would back it up with the example of the Hellenistic Greek period, basically 100% accurate sculptural forms...yet high stylization in painting. This seems odd to me, why the painters of the time wouldn't strive for the same sense of natural realism, if they had the understanding of translation.
Just my take on things.
Is there a point in being a douchebag about it? A good teacher will show you what you're doing wrong not just tell you it's crap (or in my case, insult your personal life). If it's crap, tell me what I should be doing so it shouldn't be crap. I don't know OP's teacher so I probably shouldn't assume that's how he or she is.Just because your instructor is harsh, does not mean he is wrong. I think the whole Precious Snowflake idea has been to the detriment of our learning. Yes, we are all special, but you know what? Sometimes we all suck, or we really aren't good at something or we fail once in a while. I think it's important to recognize this and use it as an impetus to get better. "Tearing up" students' work (as long as he is not physically tearing them up) does not make someone a bad teacher. Saying a piece of artwork is real nice does make someone a bad art teacher. At least when the piece isn't real nice. Perhaps you can give this some thought and see if you can put your teacher's critique to good use. Even if you get angry-- use it.
overwhelmed by art, hmmm.
When that happens, I just draw stuff for pure enjoyment. Hell, I even make sound effects like when I was a kid. You know like, POW! ZOOM! SWOOSH! etc. Draw with the enthusiasm and joy you had when you just didn't care if anybody else could tell what the hell your picture was 'cus you knew and that's all that mattered.
Essentially, forget all the academic crap, and forget about having to improve and learn and just have fun again. That is why you started doing this right?
Then get back to the academic stuff.
See my STUFF
There are many artists who fetishize the intense and cruel critique; I am not one of them. I didn't learn from aggressively nasty teachers. Being stood up and ridiculed made me do an all-body bristle and then fantasize about violence.
I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
I don't get overwhelmed.
I've been train in illustration (and honestly, even when I was pursuing a writing career I still was drawing) since I was 15.
I was obsessively focused and only blinked once, but even then I stil was drawing as a secondary thing, because I was always drawing. There was never a time when I seriously felt any different. Even if I were to be published author at that time, I still would have drawn.
It's like breathing for me.
So I've nothing to tell you about dealing with feeling overwhelmed personally, but all I can say is that it is temporary like most feelings (non-body chemistry induced) in life. It will pass with the more experience you gather.
My SketchBook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=139784
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=192127"Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."-John Huston, Director