-- I'm a hacker who happens to doodle, not an artist. I like getting better at things, though, so recently I made that process a bit easier by getting myself a wacom cheapie.Objectives:
-- I'd like to learn some sketching and some painting, but I have VERY little time; I have a full-time job and a nearly full-time startup project.Experience:
-- I've downloaded the Loomis books, and at one point successfully constructed a few heads. That's it. That's the extent of my experience. For the past few (many) years, the only doodling I've done has been with whiteboard markers.Why Here, Why Now:
-- I remembered the (amazing) critiques, paint-overs, criticism and pointed suggestions that this place used to dish out, and I googled myself on over here, hoping against hope that the AC was still alive and kicking. It is!
Angel of Bacon! Beav! Monk! Other usernames! ... Special frickin' Olympics! I was nought but a lurker, but your usernames are written on my brain as if in fire
So, I suck.
Here is a doodle to prove it, first time in OpenCanvas w/my brand new bamboo pen&touch.
I've decided I've just got to disconnect my sense of personal worth from the quality of sketches like this, or I'm never going to progress. That doodle sucks, but I wasted all the time on it I had available (about 10 minutes, plus 15 to set up dropbox and write this)
I have to run out for a few hours. When I come back I'll check this thread and hopefully have time to do another quick sketch.
I'd LOVE criticism and suggestions. Tell me why that ^^ sucks, tell me what I should be drawing instead of that, tell me how I should change it to make it not suck, any of that or other stuff (just please don't tell me to go back and read Loomis, or anything large/vague that can't be attacked in 20-minute sketches!)
Love you guys, and wow to that guy who has been drawing every day.
Draw cubes man. Draw cubes and study anatomy. Draw all kinds of three dimensional shapes in various lights. Draw still-lifes. Study from life. Draw from photos a little bit.
Block out your forms and planes. Place your light source. Refine your details.
From what I can see here, your lighting is inconsistent. You're sort of on the right track with the reflected light, but the general intensity seems incorrect and the light on your figure isn't really coming from any clear direction.
Work on anatomy is a given ... you know what, my next sketch, I'll see if I can give AC something more to work with. I knew, as I was drawing it, that it was flat and helpless.
tried to make a head. it died horribly.
Thinking I need to work at higher resolution, so that the errors will become more identifiable and not be hidden behind an amorphous blob of brush sizes.
Will get to them there cubes when I can. Gonna do some anatomy studies next as well ... I'm thinking that constructing faces is probably a bit out of my league atm.
What I'd also add is that even just with these 2 posts, you've shown an undue and unproductive amount of self-frustration. One of the worst things an artist can do is to conflate criticism of their work with criticism of themselves. Malcolm Gladwell puts the number of hours necessary to master any skill at 10000- how do you expect to get very far if you're already turning on yourself 40 minutes into the journey?
The problems with the work are always tangible, and therefore fixable. One can analyze the proportions of the drawing to see if they match the reference of the model, or reference, or general proportional rules laid out in various texts. Upon realizing the discrepancy, a change can be made. One can analyze the tone of a plane versus the model, and change it if it's off. Ditto for colors. Ditto for edges. Ditto for every single thing on the page that can be described in words- brush strokes, values, lights, darks, shadows, color schemes, etc, etc. Often the effort expended in finding the problem yields the solution, or at least offers a point at which one can begin a fruitful search for one.
The problems you have with your abilities is not a tangible problem. The effort expended in finding faults in yourself or "your work" in an overly broad, non-specific way only acts to prevent you from engaging with the real, solvable problems in front of your face- only prevents you from making work that you would look at and say, 'hey, that's pretty dang good!'. This isn't some touchy-feely hippie child psychologist bullshit either, it's just the fact of what you have to do in order to produce good work. (At least that's what Richard Schmid gets at in his book- and if you can't trust somebody who paints as good as he does, who can you trust?)
Hey, AoB! Thanks for the pep talk, that's some inspiring stuff. I mean, hey, I agree with you. I like Peter Norvig's Teach Yourself To Program In 10 Years cites the same number you do, 10,000 hours.
Sadly, I'm extending myself to set aside a half-hour a day for this. At that rate, it will take 54 years to achieve Mastery. Well ... hey, everyone has to set priorities. (If my life were to stay as crazy as it is right now for decades, I probably wouldn't live that long, though). Maybe I won't ever get to Mastery.
No reason not to get better now, though. That's fun.
My frustration stems from the tangible. I drew two things -- the first I did without a thought of submitting it here. The second I did explicitly to be concrete -- my thought process was "I'm gonna try to construct a head, and when it goes wrong it'll be obvious how." (it wasn't)
The sketch itself was a little crude and broken, but my big frustration was that I had a good feel for what 3D shape it represented, and yet ... when it came time to block it out with 'paint' (OC) ... GAH.
THIS is where experience is so precious! There are probably a half-dozen things really wrong with my attempt to depict that 3D wireframe as a solid. I am clueless about all of them. I wanted to post that attempt. Instead, I re-set my kitchen timer and spent another 5 minutes, and then another, trying to block depict that simple, simple form as a 3D volume ... nope. "Well maybe if I ... nope."
^^ THAT irritates me. Spinning my wheels without a clue as to how to gain traction. For me, the search space is too big. You guys, meanwhile, have the data not only indexed but probably have the the key in active memory or in your cache.
For me, success is not burying my failures. Drag them out into the open, experienced eyes for a post-mortem, and optionally cannibalize them for sustenance!
^^ This will be today's sketch.
crits welcomed, current plan is
1. pick light source, light and shadow colors
2. block out shapes
3. (maybe tomorrow) light shapes
Attempts at shadowing that figure:
I enjoyed making the crouching figure on the sketch, but painting feels foreign, IRL and with my tablet.
Will continue tomorrow; any crits appreciated.
Try to roughly lay down all of the shadows and forms, and then progressively add more detail later. Keep moving around the painting, and try to avoid undoing a lot. It's important to stay in motion early on, so try to stay relatively zoomed out as well.
Then, once it's to a point where it's starting to roughly look like something, take a step back, so to speak. You should flip it, zoom out to thumbnail size, squint at it, or all of the above. If it doesn't look good in this rough stage, then you need to revise it. No amount of arduous detailing will fix it if you're not feeling it now.
This will help point out glaring flaws in composition, perspective and anatomy by giving you fresh eyes on the piece. Plus; early on, you're not as attached. You can change the whole thing without feeling like you've lost a lot of time or effort.
Hope that helps!
I was wondering why my glutes were becoming rock hard but my drawing still looked like total shit.