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Donro
08-17-2012, 08:03 AM
Anyone got any suggestions, like general drawing tips?

I usually draw without sketching... I feel redrawing the same thing twice kinda ruins the original idea

Axiom
08-17-2012, 09:51 AM
Well, the entire point of sketches is to start to "flesh out" your idea. That's why for larger projects it's advised to do thumbnail sketches, many of them. Usually your first idea for a picture isn't your best.

Frank LeRenard
08-17-2012, 10:15 AM
Just thought I'd mention, I've been drawing and writing both for quite some time now, and what you come to realize when you participate in a few different art forms is that general things like drafting and editing and tweaking and all that applies pretty well across the board, in all forms of art. Rough drafts are expected even of novice writers (most of whom just write the rough draft and stop), but that term never seems to come up in discussions about visual art, and I'm not sure why. Your first iteration of a picture is a rough draft, and it often takes quite a few drafts to get it right, just like in writing. So drafting is important in both cases, I think, to put out really professional work.
You know... Munch didn't just sit down and paint this (http://uploads1.wikipaintings.org/images/edvard-munch/aunt-karen-in-the-rocking-chair-1883.jpg) in one smooth run.

Kazekai
08-18-2012, 01:47 PM
What everyone else says is true, it basically means that impatient people like me with a very low tolerance for repetition are screwed. I try saving time by sketching and then drawing over it with a different color. It used to take me four layers to get things right, now I'm content with 2. Maybe I'm lazy because I don't always do things by the book, but no matter how much fun I might have with a drawing, the idea of spending more than a day on simple things frustrates me. All of my best drawings have taken at least a week, and by the end of them, I'm usually frustrated to the bone with them and just want to move on to something else.

I did this (http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/215/d/6/persssssonal_ssssspace__by_kazeskyfox-d59qspf.png) for a friend. I wanted to do it, I had fun with it, but by the end, I was sick of seeing it, sick of finding new things to be unhappy about, sick of feeling OCD about anything that looked off, and sick of hitting snags like having to redraw parts of the linework to get it right. I got a lot of help on this, and I do appreciate that, but what I really want to do is paint something and have it take a day, have it go perfectly, and feel like it was that magical experience that painting should be instead of frustrating, bitter work.

Roarey Raccoon
08-28-2012, 01:45 PM
Draw as much as possible, as often as possible and don't worry about rules and techniques. Look at other artists' stuff, particularly those with styles you love and try to emulate them. Sketching a picture first will help you plan your drawings but the main thing is to enjoy what you're doing and never quit.

FishNChips
08-28-2012, 01:50 PM
Is there any art by you that you can show us so we know what kind of advice we can give you?

Uini
08-28-2012, 03:21 PM
Sketching is a good way to flesh ideas and designs out. When you find a sketch you like try to make it better, 2nd draft it or ink it. Try drawing different poses or making new characters.

Kazekai
08-28-2012, 07:20 PM
One thing that helps is to look at how professional artists work. Lurking conceptart can be pretty beneficial.

Donro
08-30-2012, 12:51 PM
Is there any art by you that you can show us so we know what kind of advice we can give you?

Its notme, but just like what advice can you give to people as a whole

Morphology
09-07-2012, 10:58 PM
I found that my drawings drastically improve if I do some warmup sketches first. It gets my brain and hands moving. After my hands and mind are warmed up and ready to go, I am able to work on projects more quickly and with higher quality.

Oly
09-08-2012, 07:06 PM
Do studies.

A LOT OF THEM. As much as you can possibly stomach. Then a few more after that.

Be critical but don't get hung up on everything you try and draw. I started drawing after my sister but have progressed more quickly because she insists that she draws has to be 'finished.' Inked colored etc. She barely ever doodles and never thumbnails or does rough drafts, and never does sketches with the intent of them only being quick sketches.

It's better to do ten unfinished sketches of something than to spend the same amount of time slaving over the first attempt.

Morphology
09-08-2012, 10:11 PM
Do studies.

A LOT OF THEM. As much as you can possibly stomach. Then a few more after that.

Be critical but don't get hung up on everything you try and draw. I started drawing after my sister but have progressed more quickly because she insists that she draws has to be 'finished.' Inked colored etc. She barely ever doodles and never thumbnails or does rough drafts, and never does sketches with the intent of them only being quick sketches.

It's better to do ten unfinished sketches of something than to spend the same amount of time slaving over the first attempt.

Seconded. Also, try to vary the things you study. Study the sky and trees one day, a car another, your breakfast another, your hands, etc. Some of the best things I have learned came from drawing my reflection.

BONUS SCULPTING TIP! When sculpting, make sure to take into account the center of gravity and balance of the sculpt, especially if it isn't anchored into the stand/is a freestanding sculpt. Many times I have made something tall or weirdly balanced and it collapsed in the oven.

Kazekai
09-10-2012, 04:01 AM
Do studies.

A LOT OF THEM. As much as you can possibly stomach. Then a few more after that.

Be critical but don't get hung up on everything you try and draw. I started drawing after my sister but have progressed more quickly because she insists that she draws has to be 'finished.' Inked colored etc. She barely ever doodles and never thumbnails or does rough drafts, and never does sketches with the intent of them only being quick sketches.

It's better to do ten unfinished sketches of something than to spend the same amount of time slaving over the first attempt.

Probably not the best idea to save all of them to your hard disc if you want to have any space left for other things like Steam games. :V


Seconded. Also, try to vary the things you study. Study the sky and trees one day, a car another, your breakfast another, your hands, etc. Some of the best things I have learned came from drawing my reflection.

BONUS SCULPTING TIP! When sculpting, make sure to take into account the center of gravity and balance of the sculpt, especially if it isn't anchored into the stand/is a freestanding sculpt. Many times I have made something tall or weirdly balanced and it collapsed in the oven.

My advice is the polar opposite - draw what you like and never let drawing feel like homework - nobody likes homework, and the most important thing is that an artist likes drawing, and a big part of that is what they draw.

Although that can vary from different people. Some people have specific ideas and goals for what they want to draw, other people like the process as opposed to the product and will draw anything because of it, neither is necessarily wrong.

Oly
09-10-2012, 04:59 AM
If you only EVER do what you enjoy, you will not improve in weak areas.

which is fine if you don't care about getting better, but if your goal is to increase skill as much as possible, and if you care to work in art at all, it is incredibly important to practice the things you don't enjoy, because they are almost guaranteed to be the things you're the worst at.

You have to do both. Balance is the key. if you only ever do studies you won't enjoy drawing no matter how good you are, if you only ever do what your'e naturally good at and/or enjoy, you'll never really get better.

You don't want to be Rob Liefeld, who still makes the same shitty design choices and dumb mistakes after 15-20 years as a professional artist.

Morphology
09-10-2012, 10:53 AM
If you only EVER do what you enjoy, you will not improve in weak areas.

which is fine if you don't care about getting better, but if your goal is to increase skill as much as possible, and if you care to work in art at all, it is incredibly important to practice the things you don't enjoy, because they are almost guaranteed to be the things you're the worst at.

You have to do both. Balance is the key. if you only ever do studies you won't enjoy drawing no matter how good you are, if you only ever do what your'e naturally good at and/or enjoy, you'll never really get better.

You don't want to be Rob Liefeld, who still makes the same shitty design choices and dumb mistakes after 15-20 years as a professional artist.

Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something, and that's 10,000 hours of improving and pushing oneself outside their comfort zone. One of the saddest things I have seen recently was a fellow artist who despite the 8-ish years I've watched her on DA, she hasn't improved one bit. It really broke my heart, and it forced me to reflect on myself and how much I have to improve as well. But I do think you can attain that improvement without completely giving up drawing what you like; you just have to consistently add new elements and push comfort zones. Want to draw two characters snuggling? Attempt a more dynamic pose or a background they fit well into. Want to draw headshots? Make the headshot in a bubble-eye reflection or something new with distortion. I think you can still do what you love and improve if like Oly said, you find the balance. And the results can surprise you; I never knew how much I loved painting landscapes and backgrounds until I started adding them into my drawings.

Kazekai
09-10-2012, 07:42 PM
If you only EVER do what you enjoy, you will not improve in weak areas.

which is fine if you don't care about getting better, but if your goal is to increase skill as much as possible, and if you care to work in art at all, it is incredibly important to practice the things you don't enjoy, because they are almost guaranteed to be the things you're the worst at.

You have to do both. Balance is the key. if you only ever do studies you won't enjoy drawing no matter how good you are, if you only ever do what your'e naturally good at and/or enjoy, you'll never really get better.

You don't want to be Rob Liefeld, who still makes the same shitty design choices and dumb mistakes after 15-20 years as a professional artist.

I'd assume that if you practice at the things you enjoy, you'll improve at the things you enjoy. Also assuming that being critical is a part of human nature which I'm only somewhat certain about.

If by "working in art" you mean going into the industry, then that pretty much requires lots of tedious, soul-sucking work and I'd expect anyone who has that dream to think of it that way and no less - not because it's entirely accurate for everyone but because expecting the worst makes slightly less bad things seem better, but my point is that if you want art to be fun, don't turn it into an office job. The problem is that the industry will do that for you so that advice doesn't exactly work for people who want to work in art.


Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours to truly master something, and that's 10,000 hours of improving and pushing oneself outside their comfort zone. One of the saddest things I have seen recently was a fellow artist who despite the 8-ish years I've watched her on DA, she hasn't improved one bit. It really broke my heart, and it forced me to reflect on myself and how much I have to improve as well. But I do think you can attain that improvement without completely giving up drawing what you like; you just have to consistently add new elements and push comfort zones. Want to draw two characters snuggling? Attempt a more dynamic pose or a background they fit well into. Want to draw headshots? Make the headshot in a bubble-eye reflection or something new with distortion. I think you can still do what you love and improve if like Oly said, you find the balance. And the results can surprise you; I never knew how much I loved painting landscapes and backgrounds until I started adding them into my drawings.

Art is a medium of exploration, "draw what you want" doesn't necessarily equate to "draw the same thing" or any derritive term, what I basically mean is, don't get caught up in the stiff ethics of it - you know, those ethics that attempt to dictate a standardized form of progression such as "You shouldn't be allowed to draw cartoons until you draw realism" or "color theory is the absolute rule to be followed."

I don't usually voice these thoughts in public for the sole reason that most people reading them think they're coming from someone who is lazy or doesn't want to improve or practice and that is simply not true. I also don't usually put this much effort into justifying my opinion to some people on the internet but I want this one point, if no other, to be as clear as possible and free of the usual "template" assumptions people make about this mindset; I do practice, I do improve, and I do experiment. I'm not telling people not to do that, there's nothing wrong with people who don't but there's also no harm in people who want to. The thing that I'd like to present here is that art is not static, its established rules can be bent, broken, and discarded, and have been in the past to some pretty extreme degrees, and those rules are always changing, they are relative and not absolute like life itself. I have spent as much time considering these things as I have actually drawing, and especially in the past week, I think I have become more aware of how futile it is to assign elitist ethics to how an artist should progress because someone is going to break those rules eventually and the rest of us will have to establish new rules anyway.

However, I make a distinction between elitist ethics and people giving advice. I haven't seen anyone here act elitist, and everyone on this forum is trying to be helpful - they're doing so by sharing their own experiences and how they dealt with their own problems, because that's how people learn, so I'm not attacking anyone or insulting anyone. What I mean by these ethics, and which I have not only seen a lot of but also am guilty of myself and greatly ashamed and regretful of, are newbies to practicing art who assume there is this specifically solid progression they need to take to improve and that it will improve their art. Maybe it will, or maybe it will ruin their style, or maybe it will completely change their style, which can be either a positive or negative effect. The point is, I don't think being told to do endless studies is going to help everyone, nor do I think someone printing out page after page of the principles and elements of design is doing themselves any favors by assigning restrictions and limits onto themselves, because following these restrictions has had both positive and negative effects on myself to the point where I spent the entirety of the past week feeling very lost and very much at a dead end.

Again, I will say that taking advice can help in the same way we process all forms of information. I have received very helpful advice from many sources and friends on my art, all of which I am eternally grateful for the support, and which I hope I will continue to receive, and for the people who do help me, I hope they are not offended by reading this. But what I think of when I say "draw what you want" is that people should not stick to what they assume is a linear, preset process which will guarantee improvement, they should contemplate on and experiment with their own process for learning, because art is also a method with which we explore ourselves, and doing so requires a little initiative from within, and the most effective motivation for such initiative seems to be drawing things that you enjoy.

Of course, I do see the wisdom in trying to draw something you don't if you want to use it for something. To list an example from my personal experience: Machines. I cann't draw technology or vehicles to save my life and it is something I will inevitably have to conquer if I ever want my long-term projects such as comics to succeed. I acknowledge this, and I want to improve on doing this because I have ideas on where I can use it and what I want to use this knowledge for will ultimately be something I enjoy.

I also would like to say that I am not saying your advice is in any way bad advice - it's obviously how you learned to draw and you are speaking from your personal experience, which is exactly the best advice in my opinion, because as beings with very subjective outlooks (We only have one set of eyes, I mean) this is the best advice we can give to others, but the reason I quoted you, and stated what I thought might be the opposite, was because I also think it's important to process several different points of view when digesting information, and I am also sharing my personal experience which seems to work best for me - even though I acknowledge I am still finding my own way of improvement and do not claim my advice is at all superior.

I also apologize if this post is too lengthy and anyone is getting the wrong vibe from it - I am not trying to be hostile, as I never try to be, and would like to say that if this read that way at all, then that is a failure on my part to properly communicate and something I must work on in the future.

(Gods and demons, high-content posts are so much work!)

Morphology
09-10-2012, 09:08 PM
Oh, the long post is no problem at all. I really do enjoy hearing people's philosophies about art. And it is important to process several different viewpoints; if everyone went through life without considering other options, it would be awfully boring and stagnant. :)

You pretty much hit it right on the head there; art shouldn't be a linear process. I think the fact that I look at it in terms of hourage, milestones, and study is just my personal experience, and how I look at things. I have a tendency to break down any hobby I do into a science, and approach it as I would tinkering with a device.

Oly
09-10-2012, 10:37 PM
Excellent post.

It really boils down to what your goals are. if you're best described as a casual artist, you should jsut doodle and draw what you like and not worry about getting better.

of course you should really worry about it regardless.

if beign able to draw anything reasonably well is your goal - either because you want to work as a professional in an artistic field or because you just want to - studies and focused practice are very important. the point of a study is to practice one or two specific things. so like 'i can't draw hands well and I want to' means you should do studies of hands, at least one or two per day. or 'i have trouble with choosing complimentary colors and blending them' means you should do some drawing that focus purely on color selection and usage. if lighting is your issue, do something that jsut focuses on light-dark values.

but absolutely agreed that you shouldn't obsess over it until it feels like homework. pacing yourself is jsut as important. tension can help you produce better work; stress can't. stress will only fuck you over. so putting pressure on yourself is fine, but stressing yourself out is not.

unfortunately it's not always easy to tell the difference between the two.

Kazekai
09-11-2012, 01:28 PM
There is a fine line between stress and tension, and different people have different levels of tolerance for stress. Some people work well under stress and it helps pace them, others crack under pressure and need to pace themselves. The complicated thing about art is that, most of the time, it's a self-taught process. Every art class I've ever taken, even in college, confirmed this because the only solid thing they could teach us was the history of art, expecting us to develop on our own. The unfortunate thing for some people is that creates its own kind of stress, a lack of guidance can be as discouraging as being very literal with the rules. Although again, it seems to depend on the person.

(I am immensely pleased that my post didn't come off as offensive, seems like a step forward.)