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Struggling for meaning

h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
I've drawn since I was a little kid - I guess I've always kind of liked art. It's always in the back of my mind.

When I was in high school I had some experiences, in an art class, that made me never want to do art professionally. My teacher honestly made me hate art, made me want nothing to do with the community, or to expand in it. I was Young and it was stupid of me to let her talk down to me in that way - or at least to let it effect me so deeply, but it did.

I've started off a career in the Army, and one of my goals was to become an officer - so I needed a degree. It passed through me, that I could throw off old chains and do art - but I decided on Linguistics instead, because I was reasonably sure I could finish the degree in only three years.

Well, three years are up. I regret not having done the art degree. I regret it a lot.

I think, that I have wasted a lot of myself, a lot of my time - and honestly I'd just like to get good at art. I know I have deficiencies, and I'd like to work on them.

I can sketch fairly well - I think graphite is honestly my most comfortable medium
photo+(3).JPGphoto%2B%252817%2529.JPGphoto%2B%25285%2529.JPG
Here is a charcoal from about a year ago.
photo%2B%25281%2529.JPG
I have done some work in watercolors - and I like them, but I don't feel as though what I do is quite right. Depth is wrong.photo.JPG Color is not quite right.photo+%25283%2529.JPG This is just not quite accurate. photo+(2).JPG I don't like how the wheels turned out on this one. And the colors aren't quite right. photo+(2).JPG I kind of like how this turned out, but to me it seems flat and empty.photo.JPG

I don't know. Like I said, there are things wrong, and I'd love to hear constructive criticism. I look at things I've done and I just remember the things my old art teachers have said, and I don't feel quite right. I draw, but am never satisfied by it. It feels like an empty hobby to me, and empty talent.

I'd like to find joy in it, find joy in doing it - not to feel as though it were a chore, and not to be disappointed with the outcome.

I try and put some time in every week - mostly it's just me sketching, doing nonsense things. Having aim or having projects to draw would probably help me but like I said, I don't want to feel as though it's a chore. I started a blog and tried for a while to put something up every week, but 22 credits and two jobs really choked the life out of it.

I would love to explore other mediums - oils etc.

I love classical and Baroque art - Pointillism is beyond cool. The expressionist movement has always been near and dear to my heart - but I have never been able to duplicate or come close to replicating that kind of work.

Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
MuddyParasol
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Posts

  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    This is a colored pencil work I did. About two hours. I don't think it has enough contrast. I feel like it's washed out.
    photo%2B%25283%2529.JPG

    This is the only oil painting I've ever done.
    photo%2B%25281%2529.JPG

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited December 2012
    hey dude, Sorry to hear your high school experience sucked so bad. I'm glad you decided to stick with it despite that, it looks like you have some real talent.

    So I know you said "you want to get better" but do you have any goals outside of that? Do you want to do some gallery work? Portraits? Figure studies, plein air painting? Do you want art to be a career, or are you a hobbyist?

    It seems like you would really benefit from some gallery visits and some master copies. It looks/sounds like you have a heavy interest in fine art and traditional media rather than things like contemporary illustration or digital illustration. I don't know where you are, but you may be interested in Watts or one of the other ateliers that are well reviewed. If you are going to pursue mostly observational technical skills, some life drawing and instruction would make things less of a struggle.


    Iruka on
  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    Man it looks like you have a great start! It you regret it, then just do it now! It's never too late, and you clearly have an understanding of the fundamentals. It sucks that a teacher would do that. Some people just shouldn't be sculpting young minds. Keep posting here and follow your dreams man!!

    bombardier
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Yeah, the great thing about art is that nobody cares if you have a degree or not. All that matters are results. Which, you know, is probably why art degrees are worthless.

    As it was explained to me you'll do a lot better to find people you respect as artists and who do the kind of stuff you would want to do yourself and go try to learn from them individually than to waste money on the actual degree itself.

    Also, thanks for your service.

    Metalbourne on
    SeveredHead
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    I don't know really about goals. I just want to get better. I honestly don't really understand the world of art as a whole; what would gallery work entail? This is my last semester before I ship to Italy active duty, and as such any more formative development in art would be long distance learning. I wanted to take a drawing figure study class, but it's not offered in the spring. I feel like I have a good idea of the human body, that I can replicate it, but I'm sure my proportions aren't quite right.

    I intend to have a career in the army, but selling art would warm my heart.

    I find being able to accurately duplicate what I see to be very attractive; it always impresses me when I see detailed art. Movements like hyper-realism are so cool. But that's such a grand scale. I don't know.

    I do love non exact things though as well - I just don't have a working understanding of color; or at least, when I try and use it I don't get the results that are in my head, and that bothers me.

    I just want to be better honestly, I know that's such a broad and unfocused thing to say - but I see classical painting and fine art and I feel like a child doing finger painting haha.

    How do you all find sources for figure study? Google? Do you actually grab your friends and ask them to sit around? Coffee shops?

    I love low brow things though too. I think they're fun.

    These are some tattoo concepts that a friend asked me to draw up.
    Image.jpg
    photo+(2).JPG
    photo%2B%25282%2529.JPG
    flash%2B1%2B001.jpg

    I have no functional understanding of digital media. I have photoshop, and a wacom intuos 4 tablet - but I just don't use them. I haven't taken the time to get in any way comfortable with them. Something about it, just doesn't fit right with me. I don't know why.

    These are the most work I've ever done in photoshop, at the request of another friend.
    You%2Bgot%2Ba%2Blight%2Bor%2Bwhat%2Bshaded.jpg
    Bloody%2BMarry%2B2.jpg

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    That teacher is a butt

    h3ndu
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Where are you currently? In a major city?

    going to museums, you can sometimes do master copies in house, though I dont know how you set it up. Google Art Project has some high quality images. You can also buy art books, but I dont know how much you get to travel with in the military.

    those tattoos look great. I don't really know how to begin to teach you about the art world. There are collections like http://beautifuldecay.com/ and http://supersonicelectronic.com/, http://www.booooooom.com/ and http://ffffound.com/

    You are lucky to live in an age when you have the internet at your disposal, Dig as much as possible and expose yourself to whats going

    h3ndu
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    You know how to draw things. You won’t find meaning just by getting better at drawing things. Anybody with enough time can do that. There are Chinese factories full of people who crank out realistic art. You need to start drawing things that mean something to you. That’s the hard part. You might to have to spend a lot of time drawing a lot of stuff to find out what that is. I had to spend four years in art school to figure out what really means something to me is drawing systems of letters with a computer, so now I design fonts.

  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    The last group of stuff is great! Is that newer than the stuff on TotP? That octapuss is neat!

    Also, I had a similar experience in highschool, except a bit different. My art teacher was the only person telling me I should look into going into a real deal art school, while everyone else around me, and within the school advising me away from it. It doesn't really matter where bad advice comes from, as long as you choose to avoid it! Like everyone has said, it's never too late to learn and get better.

    I think you could loosen up a bit more in gerneral, as a lot of your works seem too stiff and clean! I think it really only pretains to the first 4 sketches though, which as I think you said, are old, so it's prob moot. Make some more stuff though, you have a nice style!!

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I think your paintings could do with some practice layering colours on top of each other. You seem to paint and colour in blocks. Try doing layer on layer on layer of colour - overlap, scribbling, be less precise.

    Draw an egg.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Halen wrote: »
    I think your paintings could do with some practice layering colours on top of each other. You seem to paint and colour in blocks. Try doing layer on layer on layer of colour - overlap, scribbling, be less precise.

    I think I color that way because I don't have a very good grasp of how colors go together, how to blend them, what compliments and what doesn't.

    My camera isn't so hot - but here are some things I knocked out last night while watching movies.

    784791292_2785719410_0.jpg

    I really feel like I have a hard time making the foreground pop the way I see it in my mind.

    784792096_2785722044_0.jpg

    I don't like the grass around the boots, but I didn't want to paint the carpet. It was boring.

    784791958_2785721605_0.jpg

    I did this one with water color pencils - I've never used them before and was a little surprised at how they blended.

    Edit - I should really get a better camera. These aren't very good pictures : /

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • TheJoeTheJoe Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Man...what is it about art teachers sometimes trying to crush the hopes and dreams of students...well, any teacher.

    Mine in high school told me I'd be lucky if I would even continue drawing later in life, because they don't allow pencils in mental institutions.

    I like your watercolors, and been trying to find time to sit down and learn it myself first hand instead of dabbling with Painter 12 digital watercolors. Nature is a great thing to paint to, because it's not restricted to rigid forms and designs. You gave the forest some nice detail to the point the horticulturalist in me can see and identify separate types of plants instead of just a blob of flora.

    TheJoe on
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Here are some doodles I did in my philosophy class.

    0413132139.jpg

    0413132139a.jpg

    0413132139b.jpg

    0413132147.jpg

    I really need to get a better camera than my cell phone.

    Edit - tried to take some better photos.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    Some more
    0413132056a.jpg
    0413132056b.jpg

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • franciumfrancium Registered User regular
    I have, or had similar thoughts about the "point" of drawing. And I don't think there is any guidance that made me feel any better. At some point, I decided that "draw what interests you right now" would be my creed. Treating drawing that way is the only way for me to feel good about my art.

    Any technique you wish to master is not unlike push-ups. Do it, until its easy.

    h3ndu
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Here is a self portrait I did last year, and a water color I found when looking through some older stuff (not in that order).

    photo_10.jpg

    srfgytsdfr.jpg

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    the musculature on that dancer/gymnast lady is really really nicely shaded, I have to say.

    Draw an egg.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Halen wrote: »
    the musculature on that dancer/gymnast lady is really really nicely shaded, I have to say.

    Thanks. Her upper body is a little messed up though - the angle of her back just seems wrong to me. I'll see if I can find the reference.

    I get going, sketching, painting, and just want to stop after a little while and end up messing things up wanting to just get it done. I almost never go back to something once I've stopped. It just remains incomplete. I just don't have endurance.

    Edit - her face is also super manish. I don't know if that's my fault or if that was just how she looked.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Here are some bob ross paintings I did to liven up the walls in my apartment. I got bored staring at white everyday.

    the two landscapes are acrylic, which I think I kind of really like. The man in the boat is a watercolor.

    edit - the two landscapes were about an hour each. I feel they are boring and rather uninspired, as they do not represent actual places but are rather just experiments in color. I like them better than my white walls though.

    The man in the boat was probably fifteen minutes. It's just a wash.

    0306131851.jpg

    0310131408.jpg

    0310131516.jpg

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    This is an image I did of my best friend and the woman he loves. I've attached the reference picture as well, so you can see the discrepancies.

    I spent probably about an hour on this - I feel as though I wrapped Sam's face towards his girl, and that in general I did kind of a poor job on presenting the depth of their faces through shading. I think I do that often though - not using darks enough to contrast things.

    photo+(4).JPG561385_562496575593_40201178_30898606_403783635_n.jpg

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I think the boat picture is really beautiful actually. So nice.:-)

    With the faces, there's a bit too much focus on line. Particularly when it comes to teeth. I always find you can't emphasise detail as much as you see in a photo otherwise they just draw the attention of the eyes too much. In this case by drawing out line work with minimal shading your friend looks like a psychopath!

    Just personally I find portraits with just line work next to impossible, especially from photo reference.

    Draw an egg.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Halen wrote: »
    I think the boat picture is really beautiful actually. So nice.:-)

    With the faces, there's a bit too much focus on line. Particularly when it comes to teeth. I always find you can't emphasise detail as much as you see in a photo otherwise they just draw the attention of the eyes too much. In this case by drawing out line work with minimal shading your friend looks like a psychopath!

    Just personally I find portraits with just line work next to impossible, especially from photo reference.

    Yeah. Hard lines have always been a thing for me. My aforementioned teacher once told me I could never be a true artist (what is a true artist anyway?) because everything I drew was constricted by lines. It's one of the reasons I did the self portrait as a topographical piece.

    I'm not sure how to escape that though, honestly. To me, when I see things, I see the hard divides between portions, and it is difficult for me to not want to make that definitive definition. You mentioned earlier that my paintings seem to suffer from the same color in section, or paint by numbers problem.

    Any advice for practicing against this?

    Edit - on an unrelated note, Claude Monet makes me feel like a simpleton.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    Draw an egg!!

    Draw an egg.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Halen, I appreciate that you enjoy that tag line, but I wish you would post more accompanying advice with it. Some links/info about why someone should do shape studies is more helpful than the statement itself.

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    Yes sir, sorry sir.

    Here's what iruka said to me several months ago, which I think is relevant here:
    I think you could benefit from some really simple rendering practice, of the still life variety. Your placement and proportion problems are minimal compared to your lighting and volume problems, and I think its probably the result of working with photos with bad lighting.

    Try a well lit still life of something simple, like an egg, and challenge yourself to render it as closely as possible.

    Draw an egg.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Is my head close enough?

    I took about thirty minutes during class to try and not use any lines of any kind - just started scribbling values. I typically use a .5 mechanical pencil, so this was a little difficult. I've attached the reference for both sexiness and well, sexiness.

    My drawing of myself - the face is too long, the nose not wide enough, and the chin not dark enough. Because I didn't take time to plot the face, the right side seems to me warped and almost overflowing. Would love to hear constructive criticism.

    20130415_144204.jpg
    200177_10150110361721813_618106812_6932478_56148.jpg

    Edit - I'll see if I can find an egg.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You have some natural observation skills, thats really clear to me in all of your work. When you are putting your mind to it, you are picking up details about the form that your typical novice/hobbyist may not. Thats really positive, I think, and I bet with some pushing you could probably get some major improvements.

    I don't have a lot of good tips for how to get that going, though. I would check out the enrichment threads:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/172670/feb-monthly-enrichment-simple-shapes-light-and-form
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/177066/apr-monthly-enrichment-color-studies

    They may give you some Ideas on what to practice. I generally point people to shape studies because a lot of the folks here have the end goal of being able to draw new things from their imagination. Shape studies allow them to build new forms from the basic geometry to the complex from scratch, like sculpting from a block. I don't know if that practice is what will be the most efficient for you.

    Your work actually has a sense of volume to it, but its really inconsistent. That self portrait has some really good shapes, that are handled fairly well, but the measuring is sloppy (as you noted). The picture of your friends is sort of the opposite, though the guys face is a little squished, it seems to be better proportions and worse rendering. I suggest slowing down, above all else. Spend more time on one work and get things correct before you jump in. Get your spacial relations right, and try to place things correctly before jumping headlong into rendering.

    If you draw an egg, try to be patient with it. Its okay to spend over an hour on a work. Try to pick up every detail, and learn about why the light is hitting it the way it is.



    Increasing your knowledge in such ways will help you get more technical skills, but it won't necessarily help you figure out what you want to draw and how to draw it. The technical challenge is different than the artistic one. Anyways I hope that helps.

    h3ndu
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    I felt bad about the last drawing, so I took a few moments to plot it out and then did it again.

    Nose is still wrong.

    Edit - Looking at these side by side, it blows me away the differences having a structure to build off of helps me draw something more accurately. I honestly am blown away. Is this indicative of a problem, or is this a natural and common thing?

    I really, really liked that video. I learned more about lighting, and the reasons why I do some of the things I do in watching it than in any class I've ever had on art. Will certainly do some egg stuff tomorrow.

    20130415_175508.jpg

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Having structure is pretty much the way every artist does it. Proko has a ton of videos, including some time lapses:


    Check out his channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV/videos?view=0

    Its a nice source of some little free lessons. dont forget about the OP of the questions/tuts thread, which has a ton of stuff:
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/149588/questions-discussion-tutorials/p1


    I guess my advice is to be proactive about teaching yourself, I think you have the perception to pick up a lot of skills on your own, you just have to keep seeking out the knowledge.

    h3ndu
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Going through an army school at the moment so I've been sketching a bit in my free time.
    2013_08_03_16_32_58_801.jpg2013_08_03_16_31_06_981.jpg
    2013_08_03_16_32_40_891.jpg
    2013_08_03_16_31_49_75.jpg2013_08_03_16_31_25_562.jpg

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • MyGfsDogMyGfsDog Registered User regular
    I think your art is really great! It's unfortunate to hear about your bad experiences in school. I had teachers in college who made me not want to do art because they were the obnoxious "my art is the best art" types. Arrogant.

    They key is to figure out what area of art you like the best and to work at improving that medium. If you like painting the best, paint as much as you can. Graphite, draw with pencils as much as you can. Ink, draw with inks. Etc. If it helps you out with your figure drawing, I'd recommend checking out Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, by Andrew Loomis. You can possibly find it at your local library. I got it for Christmas last year and it has helped me immensely ever since. I wish I had gotten it years ago.

    In any case, great stuff and keep at it!!

    WU-ad-banner-468x601.jpg
    McDh3ndu
  • pineappleherbpineappleherb Registered User regular
    damn man that first yelling pic and the octopus are dope! the teeth and the octo suction cups look ggggreat! i think you should find a few artists that appeal to you and surround yourself in their art. don't try to imitate them necessarily, but look at their techniques and how they draw things, shapes, objects, faces, whatever.. a lot of your stuff is hit or miss in my opinion, but plotting out the self pic the 2nd time should be a technique you use frequently. also! you draw really big, might i suggest upping your mechanical pencil size? back in the day i would always always use a .5 mechanical, but i accidentally switched to .7 at some point and never really went back. recently i messed up and got .9 pencils and haven't gone back to .7 yet. imo 0.7 isn't quite as detailed and controllable but you get a smoother line and it might be easier to shade larger areas

    a favorite artist of mine is jason seiler, http://www.jasonseilerillustration.blogspot.com/ lots of caricature work, he posts lots of in progress pictures and has years worth of drawings and paintings to look at

    mullyh3ndu
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I have always used a .5 - but I am totally willing to try out a .7. Interested in seeing what it'll change. Yeah, a lot of what I do is hit or miss, and I think a lot of it comes from how much time I put into things. I just get so damn bored of drawing after a while, and I feel as though, if I don't finish it then and there, I'm not going to go back to it. I also don't have a great understanding of anatomy, so much of what I do draw, looks kind of wrong unless I have enough motivation to really make it look like what I am seeing.

    Does that make sense?

    2013_08_05_20_36_55_424.jpg

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • pineappleherbpineappleherb Registered User regular
    yeah that makes sense, it looks like you put a lot of time into them to be getting bored. do you doodle quick drawings at all? get that lead pencil sharp and make some simple line drawings of people or somethin

    idk practice anything and everything basically

    draw an egg

  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    yeah that makes sense, it looks like you put a lot of time into them to be getting bored. do you doodle quick drawings at all? get that lead pencil sharp and make some simple line drawings of people or somethin

    idk practice anything and everything basically

    draw an egg

    I don't know - I don't usually spend more than an hour on something. If I do, it's usually because I'm trapped and can't get out (ie. in a school setting.)

    Quick drawing - you mean like gesture drawings?

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Some doodles while I was taking notes today. I used a .7 for these, and I can feel the difference - it seems more stable to me, but I don't think i can tell the difference on paper.

    2013_08_07_19_29_51_337.jpg
    2013_08_07_19_30_16_549.jpg
    MyGfsDog wrote: »
    I think your art is really great! It's unfortunate to hear about your bad experiences in school. I had teachers in college who made me not want to do art because they were the obnoxious "my art is the best art" types. Arrogant.

    They key is to figure out what area of art you like the best and to work at improving that medium. If you like painting the best, paint as much as you can. Graphite, draw with pencils as much as you can. Ink, draw with inks. Etc. If it helps you out with your figure drawing, I'd recommend checking out Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, by Andrew Loomis. You can possibly find it at your local library. I got it for Christmas last year and it has helped me immensely ever since. I wish I had gotten it years ago.

    In any case, great stuff and keep at it!!

    I will look into the book- maybe amazon it when I next get paid.

    I wish I had an imagination. Everything I draw I have to see. I can't just come up with things to draw, from memory or just by creation - I find myself just sitting searching for an idea, and never coming up with something I feel is worthwhile to draw.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    image.jpg

    So I've ended up in Colorado before deployment and I bought an easel and some stuff today. Knocked this out while eating some pizza.

    h3ndu on
    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
    bombardier
  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    So a guy at work offered to buy that painting if I put another bird in. I have no idea what would be reasonable to charge him so I think I'm just going to give it away. image.jpg

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Is it kinda small? 50-75, I'd say.

    Unless you like owe the dude some money or hes like a friend who you can't charge in good conscious, don't give that shit away for free.

  • h3nduh3ndu Registered User regular
    12 inches by nine inches. I would probably put it in a bathroom. I think he's getting it for his unborn sons room.

    Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea.
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