Thanks for the pointers. Randomly, this looks pretty cool as a wide swath of horses. Also, I moved this project over to its own WIP thread earlier, forgot to mention it here.
I struggled w/ whether or not to center the girl, myself. I've heard it's generally not good to do that, but I couldn't think of a third where I could stick her and still have it come out decent. I was planning for the values to get brighter as they approached her, and I figured I didn't want 2/3 of the drawing to be in darkness. But I dunno. Where would you put her? Farther right?
Re: the dude near the top. I think I ended up shrinking him a little after I posted this, and I intended to crop part of him off a little anyway, along with a bunch of the other people around the main girl. I felt bad doing it, but she seemed too small otherwise, relative to the frame. I think I moved everybody closer together too. I'm not sure what you mean about the top dude looking like he's behind his horse, though. What's causing that effect? Is it because he's not completely in profile, and he's rotated a little bit towards the viewer?
Last edited by diamandis; February 6th, 2013 at 01:34 AM. Reason: typos
he feels disconnected because you do not see him in contact with his own horse at all
For Science- Sketchbook!
Not dead ... yet. I had a busy weekend, then some computer trouble, and coming up I'm going to be busy at work. The horse WIP thing will have to wait. I'll get back to drawing soon. (So they all say. This is probably how it begins. Dun dun dunnnnn.)
Just so this isn't an empty update, here's a masterpiece I did a few weeks ago. Fight on, little warrior.
hey good sketchbook i like your progress, remember there is always a feel of setback before a big breakthrough its very strange this progress thing its more then just mileage and sweat, you have to get this snippets of knowledge wich as i read your book you seem to star to grasp, i encourage you to ponder into the epiphany of "FORM" as so much of us call it, really try to feel the form when drawing as if you wer drawing it in 3d, as if the paper wasnt a flat piece of celulose and more of a 3d plane of you to work in.
also, http://livlily.blogspot.mx/ and http://floobynooby.blogspot.mx/ are awesome places to get inspired keep this up dude i want to see more stuff !
lionheartGFX: Thanks, mang. Conveying form/3D-ness is one of my weaknesses. Need to work on it. Cool links ... I already knew about Living Lines ... I've saved tons of references from there. Honestly, my setback had less to do with thinking I wouldn't be able to get good enough and much more to do with still not being sure of a direction, and worrying that I won't be able to make a living with this, which naturally led to, "Well, why am I bothering with any of this?" In the past, I've told myself over and over not to worry about having a clear direction yet, but it looks like it's important to me. Regardless, I've slowly started poking at drawing again over the past week.
Random thoughts and realizations over the past while:
- EDIT: forgot to add this one. Honestly, I've been thinking about it, and it seems disingenuous to suggest that the right type of drawing practice in large quantities will make a world-class artist out of just about anyone. The sad reality is we're all born with different strengths and weaknesses, and we all have differing amounts of potential. We're not all clones of one another when we're born; we have different brains, different working memory, different eyes, different arms, different hands, different fingers, different reflexes, different coordination. Different potential. Not everyone can develop into Michelangelo or Jim Lee or whoever. If it's not in the cards, no amount of practice is going to bring it about. Nature's unfair. Granted, lots of people can develop to a point where they can generate competent work and earn an income and so on, but that doesn't refute what I'm saying: not everyone can become as good as they'd like to be, even with endless practice. Consider the effects of genetics in another field: basketball. Take a random sampling of 1,000 short white guys, and train them for years using the most intense, proven techniques for becoming kickass basketball players, give them insane workouts, feed them the right kind of food, etc. Do you think they'll all become as good as Lebron, Jordan, or Shaq? Doubt it. Some might get kind of close, but most won't get anywhere near their ability. "Not fair," you might say. "Shaq is a giant, and even on a bad day doesn't have to put in nearly the same effort as the little white dudes to run, dunk, etc." That's the thing, though: a lot of the best artists are probably born "giants," in very real ways that make drawing less of an effort for them (brainpower, coordination, memory, patience, imagination), and allow them to soar above the average person when they DO put in their max effort. It'd be great to have a sense before you embarked on years of study whether you actually have the potential to reach your personal ambition, or whether you should focus on another style, or on another field altogether. But because there's no way to do that quickly, I guess blind ambition and years of intense practice are the only way to find out. Suckage. I think, too, that there's a little confirmation bias going on when people say that practice makes perfect. Are you guys really counting everyone who's gone through solid practice for all those years? Obviously no one has raw data on this, but I'm willing to bet there are reams of people who've quit after years of practice because they decided they weren't good enough. And I'll bet they outnumber the people who were happy with their skills. /Debbie Downer
Not that I intend to quit. I just couldn't help thinking about all this. Anyway...
- It's hard to situate things into already established environments / perspective. I realized what I've been doing my whole life is doing only very simple solitary objects/figures, starting with a random element (eg, the head oval), then drawing the rest of the body/object elements based on the positioning of that first thing, which was basically random and not necessarily the way I intended to draw it in the first place. Drawing new things that share the same space/perspective/scale as established things is hard as hell, which is something I learned while working on that horse thing (which I'll get back to someday, btw ... I'm thinking of doing it in a completely different style).
- Another thing I learned from the horse thing is that creating an illo is hard-ass work. Having a cool idea is all fine and good, but the bulk of making it a reality is a whole assload of slow, repetitive toiling. Dunno why it never occurred to me it'd be this way.
- I don't think I'm super-interested in doing realistic work. This makes it hard for me to work up the will to practice drawing figures and whatever, which seems important to do no matter what style I want to develop.
- I'm not sure I'm interested in the standard animated style of drawing, either.
- Given the above two points, what exactly do I reference if I'm not interested in realism or traditional animation? I feel like I have to make things up completely blind, with nothing to copy, which ends up being a very long process of trial and error, tons and tons and tons of mistakes and crappy-looking things, as I develop my own style. I guess I don't mind, though. The variation that results is cool.
- Related point: I hate drawing from reference. I seriously do. I don't know why. It's so effing boring. But, just like learning figure stuff, it's necessary, and it's good for hand-eye whatevers.
Random tatters from the last week or so:
Hampton studies from almost a month ago, as proof that I'm trying:
Last edited by diamandis; March 2nd, 2013 at 01:22 AM.
I'm not usually the outspoken type, but I feel like I should voice my opinion as I'm saddened by your thoughts on your growth and potential. Take from this post what you want, but I think you're getting into your own head and it's becoming your worst enemy. I hate to see you say that you believe you're not as talented as some of the people around the forums. I don't care what you say about your work, your work is fucking gorgeous - you have some beautiful linework and I've always been so excited to see you progress your art. Open your eyes man - the fact of the matter is you ARE talented, you CAN do it, and you WILL grow! Look how many people in this thread are waiting to see you grow and nurture your talent. You have people who are industry professionals telling you that you have the talent. I wish I could give you my pair of eyes so you can see what I mean. Your work is brilliant! It's so easy to get down on yourself and tell yourself that you're not as talented as others - that no matter how hard you try, you might not be as good as others - but how can you truly say that when you have not traveled as far as the people you idolize in the art world? Take these thoughts out of your head man! They are so counterproductive and achieve absolutely nothing. What use is it thinking about talent, honestly? Do you honestly believe that if you drew every day for the rest of your life you would not get to a level that is even satisfactory to yourself? Yes, we all are different and this may sound corny, but that's one of the most beautiful things in life. You have your own unique style waiting to be expressed. As long as you keep at it, you will get there. You just have to remember that for some of us, the road is a bit longer. Honestly, you are an amazing artist and you're capable of so much. Stay strong bro because I know you will be great one day!
Last edited by eroquii; March 2nd, 2013 at 01:54 AM.
Sketchbook -- Any feedback helps!
Wow, those hampton studies look great, massive amount of motion.
eroquii: All right, I'm starting to realize I can come off way more negative in writing than I mean to be, and the points I'm trying to make end up getting garbled. Maybe I should stop posting thoughts, post only my scribbles, and leave well enough alone, haha.
Let me try to clarify. For the record, I think I'm a decent artist. Not amazing yet, but I've barely started on fundamentals, and I don't draw enough in general. Once I do more of both of those, I should see a decent jump in ability. Furthermore, beyond practicing, if I take the right steps, I think I have a shot at becoming either an illustrator or animator or dudebro doing animation-related things (whatever that means). It'll be hard, but I think I've got a pretty good base talent to build on. I have confidence issues with my drawing from time to time, sure, but most of the time I think I'm decent and can get better. I probably won't become a drawing god, but that's fine with me. I'll settle for "good enough" if I can get paid for it.
So, that's not my main issue. My main issue is that I don't seem to have enough drive to practice in the first place, stemming from the fact that I don't have a concrete direction picked out. There's a couple reasons for this.
The first one is that, although I feel like I can get into one of those careers I mentioned, I'm not sure how viable they are, regardless of how good I become. They sound awesome, but they also seem rocky and unstable. Freelance illustration seems like it could be fun, but it also seems scary as hell to be a free-floating independent, dealing with feast or famine cycles, slowly shrinking budgets, etc. 2D TV animation looks kinda cool, but it's unclear what the future holds for the field. I hear 3D is gearing up to take over TV too, the way it took over feature animation ... and I'm just not interested in 3D. And then there's all this news lately about animation and special effects houses in the US either downsizing or shutting down completely, yielding to cheaper overseas places. That shit is scary. It seems like, as a prerequisite to getting into art, you have to resign yourself to the fact that the art world is very unstable, with no guarantees at all. I know it's something Rhubix mentioned earlier in my SB, and I thought I was okay with it, but the more I think about it, I'm like, god, I'll be leaving a stable job and jumping into total chaos. I'm 30, dude. I'm old. I'm used to having a regular paycheck, and health insurance, and food.
But, okay, let's say I accept the instability and decide to train. I still need a concrete direction because of the aforementioned stable job I already have, which is draining and sucks a lot of the motivation to practice drawing afterwards, leaving me with little usable time. As a result, I feel like I can't just practice any old thing, but instead need to figure out some laser-focused course of training to get the most out of that time. If I had all the time in the world, I wouldn't be as worried about this, but I don't. Plus, honestly, fundamentals are super boring to practice. I need some kind of goal in mind as I do it, to know that all this pain is in service of that. I don't have that goal. I've tried to shove the idea of a goal aside for the time being, but it hasn't worked. The idea of improving my drawing for the sake of improving it just isn't enough. I've tried to think of it as a big experiment that I shouldn't take seriously. And it's fun sometimes, but it's tiring.
And I just don't know how to choose. That's the second reason I don't have a direction: I don't know what I want. Illustration seems like the kind of stuff I'd like to produce, ultimately. I like coming up with compositions. I like still frames. But it's the most unstable of two unstable choices. Animation is kinda cool, and it'd be nice to be working around other people in a big studio, but it's unclear whether it's a viable option for much longer. I s'pose I should look into it instead of assuming.
TL;DR: I'm old, practicing with no goal in mind is hard, but I don't know how to choose a goal, and the art world seems like a post-apocalyptic wasteland in general anyway, which is scary.
Anyway, I definitely don't want to come off as whiny. I know people hate self-absorbed artists-in-training who fish for compliments and encouragement at every turn. That ain't me! I hope. I started off the thread with a question about my potential because I was genuinely curious what other people thought, but I think I've been pretty good about avoiding that kind of thing since. (Never mind all the worrying about stability above, haha.)
Re: the thoughts on natural ability, I posted that because I thought it was an interesting subject and it's fun to think about, not because I think I'm doomed, ability-wise. Again, I don't think I'm bad. Genetics, brains, all that stuff is just cool. And again, like I mentioned, I understand why people trumpet the "practice, practice, practice" line: we don't have any way of knowing how good we'll be without it. There's no point in giving up early.
And I'll mention it just in case: the part about not being interested in doing realistic work isn't because I'm defensive that I won't get good enough for it. Fine, maybe that's true to a tiny degree, but I've noticed in the past that realistic work just doesn't grab me as much as more stylized and imaginative stuff. I think realism is great for practice, and it's always impressive when people pull it off well, but in finished illustrations, I like something with more of a twist, more of a personal stamp.
I feel like this got way longer than I meant it to, but I was probably working some of this stuff out for myself too.
Also, I forgot to post this other thing earlier:
Last edited by diamandis; March 2nd, 2013 at 04:38 AM.
@diamandis Do you know who bobby chu is? Go watch all his videos on his YouTube channel digital bobert; he's gone through pretty much everything you're talking about, and talks about how he overcame all those obstacles as well, its really encouraging stuff.
Ambiguity: I really got look into his stuff more. I've seen a little, and I keep seeing his name pop up. (Aaaand I just realized I have a bunch of his stuff in my folder of references, without realizing it, haha)
Thanks for the suggestion. This seems like one of the videos you were talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtNSjNGx8GA
I mean, I get all that. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Fortune favors the bold. And I always tell myself, regardless of what massive changes the art industry undergoes, there's always going to be artists around doing something ... so do I want to be one of them? My answer is a big "HELL MAYBE!"
The visualization exercise is hard. View is unclear from here.
The last couple of minutes of that video are corny as hell. Are there more of his besides that one I should look for?
All right, no more essays.
I mostly post sketches that comes out halfway decent, but I'm going to throw some embarrassing things into this update. I'll have a vague idea for a composition sometimes, and I'll have to go through a ton of crappy thumbs and sketches and failed drawings before I've got anything good. And often, the whole thing turns into nothing. Here's some of that.
These are sketches for a scene w/ two young siblings who've been gathering kindling in the forest near their village, in the winter, who are lost and stumble upon the carcass of a giant spider monster queen thing, trapped in midair in some kind of trap the adults have rigged to protect the village. Off-limits area of the forest or whatever. I started looking up spider references after this, but put the idea aside. (I love coming up with these ideas. The story, the characters, the camera angle, the mood, etc.)
Another idea of a girl in an interesting pose, with distorted proportions. I wanted to eventually paint her skin dark and shiny. I didn't get around to looking up photo refs ... I should have. There's literally like 20 of these in total, none of them fantastic. Drawing well, when you don't have much training, depends on luck.
Misc scraps. Look how sketchy.
Last edited by diamandis; March 9th, 2013 at 07:07 PM.
I kinda skimmed through the posts, so I apologize if Im missing the point here, but I want to add to the conversation about talent v. hard work.
It might be strange and a bit self-centered for me to say this, but growing up people always told me I was talented and I that I was gifted.
However, I took that for granted - and I did not push myself. I was lazy and got away with a lot of things because I did not have to try hard. I was too comfortable. I did not challenge myself.
Now that Im older though, I realize that I have not improved at the rate I hoped to see. In contrast, my peers who most would consider untalented have gradually and consistently improved, and they are now better and more successful artists than me.
I find myself now playing catch up, and I am struggling because I am not used to being in this position.
The moral of the story is the same as what you've already heard, but I just come from a different perspective.
I should also say that this is by no mean an excuse for me to not work hard lol.
and I do love what you say about the art world being a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I feel exactly the same
edit: hope i didnt necro the topic lol
^ That's a good moral. But yeah, we were talking about something else, haha. The point I was making wasn't about talent vs. practice, it was about potential. I think everybody's born w/ different drawing potential. People with excellent potential will put in their 10,000 hours of intense practice and come out excellent. People with good potential will put in their 10,000 hours of intense practice and come out good. People with decent potential will end up decent. My point was that not everybody will ever be as good as they want to be. Doesn't mean we can't all become artists of some kind, though. And although practice is absolutely necessary (no one is born an amazing artist, everyone sucks at first, autistic savants aside), the same practice for different people will result in different abilities in the end. Not everybody's born with the same brains and hand-eye coordination and so on; it's impossible that we'd all end up equally skilled. But there's no reason to quit before you've put in years of hard work, because you can't tell early on whether you'll actually be as good as you want. CA.org's sketchbook forum is pretty much a testament to that. There's some jaw-dropping years-long threads where people start out as beginners and end up amazing.
Here's an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell about the notorious "10,000 hours to mastery" rule. It's is really good reading, highly recommended.
And then my other point was that the art world is scary as fuck, yes. And I'm not sure what part of it I want to join.
A couple sketches based on reference pics. COLOR, WOO!
Last edited by diamandis; March 10th, 2013 at 05:56 PM.
Messing with colors on this random sketch I did:
And an alternate James Jean / Tomer Hanuka style color ripoff.
Speaking of James Jean, anyone know what's up with him lately? His site's been down for a long time, and his social media stuff is silent. It must be serious, whatever it is. Hope the guy's all right.
Wow, you have some great movement in your drawings! How did you achieve this? Did you take life drawing classes or study books?
Hey, thanks for stopping by my SB. No, no school for me. I've really just began the journey when I launched my SB. But thats a whole nother thing. I've been here a few times. We share common friend, who no longer frequents, Eroquii. It's too bad I thought he was doing some good things. I hope he comes back. Life likely sprung a leak, I hope not. You have some good stuff here, and clear potential. ARGHH! That damn word huh. Anyways, we are similar man. I'm 31, and am trying to start something I should have so long ago. It's hard as hell sometimes, and I can relate to alot of things you have written in your SB, as well as in that "direction" thread. My reasons are mine, so I'm not gonna try and sell them all to you. And really you've already received some great advice here, I'm not going to beat the same drums. But should you ever care to chat it up, I'm here to support man. I'm not really the most knowledgeable clearly when it comes to art, technique, or the business... yet. But I'm well experienced in life, and alot of it's lesser side. So if you need some ears, or eyes. Or someone to study with or help keep motivated with, you have my invitation! I need all the artistic friends I can find. Otherwise, just draw something, lack of direction can be fixed alot easier then inactivity.
edit* Sorry man, if you read this already what I wrote above. But having thought about it a little, I realize that I come across chatting more about motivation and reasons to practice art, more so than direction. When, to me they are all married. I just don't want you to think I missed the forest there, because I can tend to do that.
Last edited by I STRaY I; March 17th, 2013 at 12:57 PM.
Marbles: A couple of people have mentioned "movement." Are you guys just talking about the flowing curves or what? Those come from having two heroes at various points in my life that I imitated the hell out of: Yoshitaka Amano in high school around 2000-2001, and then James Jean in '04. Both of them did lots of flowing lines as part of their style, which I gravitated towards for whatever reason. And nah, I don't have much formal training. I took a basic intro drawing class in '04, and that's it. I have a bunch of books on fundamentals that I bought a couple of months ago, but they're just sitting there, barely used. I basically just drew a lot as a kid and was encouraged to do it by people around me, but I abandoned it as I got older. I'm starting to realize that a lot of my motivation to draw back then was based purely on the fact that I loved those people's work, and I wanted to be just like them. It wasn't about thinking I wanted to make a living later, I just genuinely loved their output and was insane about imitating them. That's when I drew the most, and that's when I improved the most, just by imitating and drawing like a madman. Nowadays, I don't have any huge inspirations, and I'm mostly worried about not having an income. Hmm. Hmmmmm. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.
I STRaY I: Nah, you're right on about the two being married. I definitely need more motivation. I spend way too much time thinking about drawing than actually doing it.
Just so this isn't an empty update, here's a thing I did three months ago:
So stop thinking about drawing, or how to draw or how to study drawing, or what people think abotu your drawing. Just do something to challenge yourself. In doing so, you might find a technique or something you want to further learn, or practice. For instance, I just found out about Bloodsport 13 over at Crimson Daggers. And I've always wanted to participate in something Dan and Dave take part it as well as that community because there are some very good entries for it and it's just cool to me. I'm quite thankful I didn't entirely miss it. It's due by the 22nd so not alot of time, but if your interested it's being judged by them both, as well as Kekai and if that interests you just participating in something like that, come have a run at it. All three of these guys inspire me artistically a little, but they inspire me as people more so, not to mention it's fun idea, and clearly a challenge of many sorts. If you want to soundboard some stuff or set out a plan for it, I'm researching my approach now, am doing some material studies to find some things I think I can do, and will build off that something I hope can be interesting. In forcing yourself to be creative for yourself and things like these events and challenges I believe one can find their own style and direction. Quite possibly even vacate some previous influence which sounds like might do you some good. It's surely my intention because I know creativity and cool factor are my largest weaknesses. I feel like I could copy or draw what I see pretty decently, but when it comes to creating something of my own, I struggle hardcore like. So these types of exercises regardless of success, or how it turns out are priceless. Just a thought man.
Are you kidding me?! I love Yoshitaka Amano! Yeah your work flows. I can see the influence now. Very cool. So you say you just got better at making things flow by drawing a lot. Yeah that's almost always the answer and that answer is almost always right. I'll just have to draw and draw and draw to lose the stiffness. Maybe I should try to copy some other artist's work. I think it might give me a new perspective and I might learn a thing or two. So you earn an income with drawing? That's pretty impressive. Do you freelance? Yup it's every artist's worst nightmare. The art side is hard enough, but marketing your work is a whole different kettle of fish.
Also I must say that I love your new kitty. It looks so happy. I literally went "aww!" when I saw it.
That's some sound advice. I think it applies to a lot of people.
Last edited by Lost My Marbles; March 17th, 2013 at 04:56 PM.
So, you don't like practice, working from reference, learning the fundamentals, or anything but drawing for fun?.... .. . . finding a hard time figuring out what to say that's productive here.- Given the above two points, what exactly do I reference if I'm not interested in realism or traditional animation? I feel like I have to make things up completely blind, with nothing to copy, which ends up being a very long process of trial and error, tons and tons and tons of mistakes and crappy-looking things, as I develop my own style. I guess I don't mind, though. The variation that results is cool.
- Related point: I hate drawing from reference. I seriously do. I don't know why. It's so effing boring. But, just like learning figure stuff, it's necessary, and it's good for hand-eye whatevers.
What do you do to get better at cartooning? Study the fundamentals.
What do you do to get better at illustration? Study the fundamentals.
What do you do to get better at Realism? Study the fundamentals.
These are not optional.
Learning isn't about fun.
Animating, illustrating- any form of applied arts job - is a JOB. Sometimes you luck into a contract that lends itself to your favorite things. Maybe you like to draw cars and there's a hot new show about cars- sweet!
6 months from then, the only work is on a show about frilly dresses and kittens. Nobody cares if you LIKE to draw kittens.
If you can't draw what you don't like- or you can't sit down and plow through something that's not fun - you won't be very successful trying to make a living doing it.
As for the gifted / work horse thing- - I'm not gifted - I'm a Clydesdale. If it took the gifted kid in my inbetweening class 5 hours to finish his homework it took me 20. I got through college by locking myself in a room and working myself sick - and there were definitely guys who did better than me at everything. Still, I made it, and my work ethic gets me as many jobs as my work quality does.
Talent is a formality.
I STRaY: I'll look into that stuff. I'm actually not super into pure concept art, but I could definitely use some external motivation to get myself drawing (e.g., challenges), rather than just internal. Re: creativity, that's actually not a problem for me ... it's just making myself actually DO something.
Marbles: Heh, you don't have to pretend ... there's not a lot of obvious Amano influence around in my doodles anymore, aside from general curvy-ness. It's been about 12 years since I imitated him. Re: trying to lose your "stiffness," honestly, I said it in your SB, but I love that style you've got going. It would be a real shame if you lost it. It's up to you whether you want to broaden your stylistic horizons, though. And NOOO, I don't make money drawing, haha. I'd love to, but I do something else for work. My main issue is I feel like I want to switch to drawing professionally, but I don't know what to go into exactly. I'm torn between illustration and animation. I feel like I'd like illo better. I'm just starting drawing again after a long period off. Check out the first couple of posts on page 1 of this sketchbook thread.
Rhubix: Quite the pickle, ain't it? Basically I'm just being a brat about the fact that I have to work after I get off from my day job. I'm slowly, slowly working up the will to do it. I hope it'll happen. But also, I'm honestly having trouble finding art done by others that I find really inspiring. Like I mentioned earlier, I used to be obsessed with a couple illustrators as I was growing up, but new obsessions just don't seem to be taking hold anymore, making me feel like I either just don't care about art/illo/etc as much as I used to (or drawing itself, gulp), or that I need to come up with my own style, which I'm also trying to do. Also, I feel like everyone's misunderstanding my musings on potential, so I must not have written them out clearly enough. Basically, I'm not arguing about work vs. talent, I'm saying everyone needs to work to develop an innate potential, but no one knows what that potential is ahead of time. It could be great, it could be passable. There's probably no way of knowing early on, before you've really put any practice in, so all you can do is work your ass off. I'm in no way saying that super-talented people don't need to work. (Although as you pointed out, later on, they might not have to work as hard as the rest of us.)
Okay. Enough bitching about not drawing. I took one of my sketches from earlier and colored it using a combination of vectors and brushes. Still a little rough, but it has potential.
Yeah, the influence in your latest work isn't that apparent, but there is still some in the first few sketches. Ah, so you aspire to work in the business just like me. It must be tough working a day job in the meantime, but most artists will have to do that including me probably. I thought about getting into animation too for a while but then I realized you can't actually draw in your own style. You'll be drawing other people's work and you'll be drawing it a lot. Animation seems more and more like real work when I think about it. I imagine it would be extremely stressful. I guess it's not for me. Doing your own short animations would be pretty cool though, but it's still extremely time-consuming.
Maybe it's a good thing that you feel torn. Maybe you want to do both and there is no reason why would couldn't. You could also do one as a hobby and the other for work. I plan on doing a lot of things. Illustration mostly, but I'd also like to try the fine arts and get into some galleries. Maybe I'll even try to make 3 dimensional things. Not for work, but just for fun.
Don't worry I won't lose my style. My style is my style, if I ever lose it is because I'm dead. I know my style is stiff, but it gets better as it loosens up. The first few black and white pictures I did were extremely stiff and static. Only in the last few pictures (the ones I posted) did some of the stiffness go away. It's still there though.
Keep the work coming. I'll be watching.
hey dude, its me from over at the lack of motivation thread! reading what you have written higher up, I see great similarities in thinking patterns between us and, I would imagine many other artists, particularly at the start of their paths.
I was going to post saying you should evaluate how much you enjoy the whole thing in itself, but to be honest, its not my place to say-this is all on you man...all I will say is there are way easier ways to make money, if that's what you want, the path of an artist or any creative is not a smooth one-become an accountant for example (here is where I get flamed by accountants lol ) I spoke to an actor recently in his 40's who when quizzed as to whether he made a decent living from it remarked 'acting is something you do because you don't want to do anything else-not because you want a steady paycheck', he was studying so he could teach the subject-so balancing the two requirements...
what I will also say is I think your strongest stuff is the heavy pencil sketch of a girl on page one, I think you would do well to get most of your mileage in with traditional materials first before jumping into digital - just my 2 cents.
secondly, I think if you really want to jump up the levels, as fast as possible without going through university I would recommend the following:
1 draw from life- simple in theory, a lifetime to master, and probably the greatest tool the artist has- all art reflects life, in one way or another so your best source would be...life!
2 the loomis books-basically every page is like a vital artery in the organism of art, you will read it quickly not thinking much of them, then go back and realize its like there was treasure covering every inch of the cave all along! they are all good, but figure drawing for all its worth and successful drawing are probably the key ones in my opinion (drop me a msg if you want to get your hands on an original of f.d. at a reasonable price, I got two in a mix up lol, although sending it further than britain would probably cost more than would be worthwhile and the modern reprints will do you just fine)
3 figure drawing can be terribly wooden at times, especially at the start when you aren't particularly fluent in the language, to combat this, I would recommend villpu- his is probably the most fun and flexible and lively way to loosen up when drawing people
4 learn perspective (maybe should be number 1!)
5 put in shadow and light sources-again, simple but absolutely key
6 once you've got all the above sorted, get cracking with colour and its ridiculous relationships! if you dont know what I talking about here ya go:
check it out. our eyes lie to us!
and yep, thats pretty much all Ive got for you. suffice it to say another big help (huge help) - give up tv completely except specific programs (preferably informative ones), and the internet- again except for necessary stuff, and you will suddenly have a ton more free time.
and finally, if it is what you really want to do, and enjoy, then I think you have got what it takes. And if it isnt, then you probably wouldnt have bothered getting this far.
and with that in mind:
All right, long post. Hopefully the last such wall of text for a long while, to be replaced w/ drawings. =)
Rhubix and STRaY: first off, thank you thank you THANK YOU for being frustrated with me, because it helped embarrass my lazy ass into doing the practice below. =D And STRaY, I'm taking your advice, but instead of working on challenges, I'll slowly be working on my own personal projects, and I'll be learning fundamentals in prep for those. Those projects will drive my progress.
Marbles: Good point about not being to draw in your own style for animation. I've thought of that too, and I think both you and I seem to be leaning hard towards doing illustration in our own respective personal styles, which we'll develop over time. Power to you, bro (sis?).
haljarrett: Jaysus, I'm honored you took the time for all that advice. Thanks for the Loomis book offer, but I'm in the States. I'll get my hands on his books eventually. I've definitely been keeping in mind that you thought they were especially helpful. I actually bought a bunch of books on fundamentals about two months ago, but they've just been sitting mostly unused ever since, until a few days ago:
Bastards. I WILL devour them AAAAUGHGH.
I gave up TV for the most part about ... four years ago? When I realized all I was watching anyway were reruns of a handful of my favorite sitcoms, and I wasn't interested in any of the new shows airing. Just a couple days ago, I decided to really start plugging away at fundamentals, and I realized that meant cutting out a lot of internet, too. That, of course, cuts my time at this forum too. This place is great, but it's no substitute for practice. I'll still be on plenty, and I'll be on here on breaks etc, but, man, I need to focus.
Re: the question of whether I really want to do this. There are strong hints that I do:
- Like others have pointed out, I keep coming back to it despite the setbacks. That's gotta be worth something.
- I drew all the time as a kid, motivated 100% internally, not by external praise. I loved to coax things out of my head and bring them to life on paper, and I liked to copy things I thought were beautiful. Both are still true today. I feel like crap when I realize I don't know what I'm doing as I'm working on a particular piece and it just isn't coming out right, but now that I'm starting hardcore learning, that should lessen.
- I have tons and tons of ideas for compositions. It's the weirdest thing: I grew up with music, and I drew a lot, and the two started merging about 10 years ago when I started developing music videos in my head for random songs here and there. I'd play the individual songs over and over and over, obsessively planning camera angles, lighting, action, timing, etc. This happened naturally with lots of songs over the years, without a lot of conscious effort on my part. One song in particular I've listened to over 1,000 times solely to work on the video in my head. (I'm serious. That one's kind of an outlier, though. My other favorites probably number only in the hundreds of listens.) It still happens nowadays, but seems to be slowing down. Here's the thing: it makes me really happy while I'm doing it. It's this gigantic rush if I'm really into the idea, and I get really emotional and charged up and etc. I've always told myself if I win the lottery, I'm paying some pros to make a few of them for me, just to make them real. Anyway, from the dozens of music videos I've got rattling in my head, I can easily pull two lifetimes' worth of still images to draw. And if I run out, there's always going to be new music. Music in general is an incredible driving force for me. So inspiring. I've mentioned this little obsession to others, and most people don't seem to share it, but some creative people do. Writers seem to do it, e.g.
- Related to the above, my imagination is pretty strong. I'm not worried about that. If I build up my skills, rest assured I can generate ideas to execute.
- I've long had a strong pull towards illustrators with distinctive styles, even when I wasn't interested in generating art myself. In rough chronological order: Amano, James Jean, Moebius, Sam Weber, Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Ryan Cox, Jacek Yerka, Beksinski, Kilian Eng, Sylvain Marc. Damn. Look at all those styles.
- I've been a graphic/web/logo designer for ... 10 years now? Wow. I've got a strong foundation in visual razzle-dazzle to build upon. I do wonder how much of that can transfer to illustration, though.
Whew. Anyway, thanks again for the advice. It means a lot to me. It's encouraging that people are interested in helping out.
All right. So, as mentioned above, I broke through the rut, broke through the bratty reluctance to practice, tamed the incessant negative thoughts, and am now learning fundamentals. HELL YEAH. I'm starting with Hampton's figure book, which I seem to be taking to pretty well. All those flowy Amano / James Jean lines I learned way long ago are coming in useful. I'll be learning fundamentals with an eye towards slowly developing individual illustrations (starting with the horse WIP, which is now back on, and I'm totally redoing). It'll take a while, but I've got serious momentum all of a sudden, and I'm coming up with strategies to make sure I a) get in plenty of practice and b) don't slip into ruts so readily.
I'm eager to put page 3 of my sketchbook behind me. It's a black spot. No more walls of text. No more whinging. It wastes my time and it wastes others'. Time to draw.
Here's a bunch of stuff that emerged from the early pages of Hampton's book, over the past couple of days. A mix of copies of Hampton's drawings, stuff from my head, and 1-2 minute gestures. It's probably easy to distinguish between the three (gestures make up most of the last half of images). I'm happy w/ the improvement in gestures. Finally I'm achieving some of the dimensionality that Revidescent said I was lacking back on page 1. SO HAPPY. This shit works! =D
Yup I'm your sis. I'll give you a sis fist :-P
Good on you. Give those damn books the finger. Nice job on getting back in the game. It's inspiring to see people putting in the work. I need to get my ass into gear too. I've promised myself that I won't reply to my own SB until I have a decent amount of work to post otherwise it might very well turn into a wall of text book and that's not something to strive for.
Less typing more sketching!!
I like these pages, a nice wall of drawings way sexier than a wall of text.
Keep doing the boring stuff and the fun stuff will flourish from it.
Thanks peeps. These fundamentals are actually fun. YEAH LEARNING. Hampton is right up my alley. I'll keep going w/ his book for a while, then maybe switch to the perspective book for a little while, and alternate.
I meant to post it earlier, but The Onion did an op-ed about the very situation I'm in, hur.
I promised myself I wouldn't be one of those guys who draws nothing but women, but here we are. I actually have tons of reference shots of guys too, will get to them.
This feels like I'm turning in homework. I'll stop posting these, because they're not interesting to look at. Just proof that I'm putting in the work. Also, damn, boxes will sex up any drawing, huh?