looking for guidance

mantidormantidor Registered User
edited December 2008 in Artist's Corner
Well, after lurking a little around here I finally gathered enough courage to show my stuff, so here I go! I'm not an artist, not even an art student, just engineer, but I've always been drawing my own inner world since I can remember, and even if I don't make an actual career out of it I do really want to get better, and I know I have a long road ahead. So here are some actual doodles, not at all like the cool stuff you people have, I barely think of lighting for starters, or even composition. Perspective is a still a new word for me. But I'm starting reading the basics and trying new things. However I still feel I need the kind of direction books and theory can't give.

ia.jpg
demon_insect.jpg
dragon2.jpg
serpiente1.jpg

Brutal criticism of course very welcomed. These are old, but recent stuff isn't much different. I've been thinking of buying one of those fancy and expensive wacom tablets, but I'm not very sure it would be the right decision for a complete newbie like me, specially with those prices. Still, it seems much more accesible than real tools, I attempted using charcoal but results weren't what I was expecting.

mantidor on

Posts

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Welcome to the AC. Nobody starts out knowing everything about composition, lighting and perspective. Take a step a time and remember that drawing is fun.

    BTW, your avatar takes me back, waaaaaaaay back. I used to read Condorito when I was a kid!

    MagicToaster on
  • CronnyCronny Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I really like your doodles! Whatever you may have yet to learn, it's clear that the ideas are there, and that's the most important part. And might I add, the skill you seem to have picked up intuitively is very good.

    Cronny on
  • JohnTWMJohnTWM Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    yeah I'm not sure how to describe it... I guess the lines have confidence. Anywayyou are definitely able to convey your ideas, and it looks cool, so that's something even if you are still missing the tools necessary to take anything to a finished form.

    JohnTWM on
  • mantidormantidor Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for the responses, glad too meet another Condorito fan as well!

    I guess my main problem right now is my fear of going beyond just doodles, I start with a concept that I like and I focus a lot on the things I already know how to do well, but when I have to draw the things I'm not too good at I leave them without many details, and just stop there. This next piece is basically the most "complete" (so to speak) thing I've ever done, and this was like more than 10 years ago back in high school. Now that I think about it this is the closest I've been to coloring my stuff.

    15122008321.jpg




    So I think it would be better to try to explain with pictures what I think is still wrong in my work and the kind of advice I'm asking, so I apologize in advance, this might be long, I only have my cellphone camera, my english likes to fail me when I try to write art-related words, and as the electronic engineer I am I practiced almost exclusively while taking notes at class, and now at work, (thank goodness my employers tolerate it), so the drawings are filled with ecuations everywhere, I tried to crop them to clean them up a bit.

    When I was starting my drawings were somewhat influenced by egyptian art, specially the almost exclusive profile perspective, like this for example.

    16122008324.jpg16122008323.jpg

    Trying to go beyond that was painful when I put an effort into it, but eventually, I really don't know how, I started to add a little perspective. I even tried some more complex stuff like clothing and the results while not perfect were kind of ok. Originally I had far more complex clothing in my head, but my hand seemed to disagree, so it was left like this.

    16122008325.jpg16122008331.jpg

    Also I got kind of expert at bird and bat wings, but I can't for the life of me draw them when they are supposed to be retracted.
    16122008334.jpg16122008333.jpg16122008330.jpg

    Also I try lighting only by randomly drawing lots of lines, for now.
    16122008332.jpg

    All this however can get better with more practice and more reading, (and I plan to bother you people with my progress constantly :lol:) and also by looking at real models of wings or real clothes, the problem comes with my creatures, no real reference for them makes it hard to go beyond the profile perspective I always use, these here trying to draw them from behind.
    16122008326.jpg16122008327.jpg

    I tried to do some clay models to aid me, but well, clay isn't a friendly material and sculpting itself is also pretty hard.

    So, in summary, I have a couple questions:

    First, what is the best way to deal with things that are only in your head? I still think modeling is the best choice, but maybe I picked the wrong material, is anything better than clay to make models? or should I try to draw real objects first to gain practice?

    Second, as I mentioned in the op I'm looking around for tablets, and I saw some time ago here the obnoxiously sexy Cintiq 12X tablet and fell in love. The price tag makes me cry, but if anything this would encourage me more to practice more often, when I say I'm serious about going beyond doodles I mean it, but are these tablets good for someone just starting or its better to wait and gain experience? all I know is that for sure I will own one in my lifetime.

    Thanks a lot for your patience and time!

    mantidor on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I like your sketches, however if what you're really looking for is critiques then you might want to post different subjects. Part of the beauty of fantasy/sci-fi creatures is that you can give them whatever proportions you like, but that's why it's difficult to critique them...what it basically comes down to is, does it look cool or doesn't it? No one's going to tell you "You've made that alien's head too big, no alien has a head that big:P "

    Even if you're not ultimately interested in drawing people, for the purposes of learning you're probably going to want to do a lot of it. Post some sketches of people, or animals or locations, and you'll get more in-depth critiques.

    EDIT: Aaack, I missed your big post while I was posting! About tablets: I have a small wacom tablet, which is great for coloring and cleaning up drawings that I've scanned, but I almost always prefer drawing on paper. Other people love the tablet and never go back. It's a personal thing. Mine was only like $100, so it doesn't necessarily have to be a huge investment.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Buy a sketch book (and a fairly big one at that.) The better the quality paper (I like mine with a light texture and Strathmore paper (sp?) is highly recommend.

    When you draw on lined paper, any sense of curvature gets lost because every other line going across tells the eye that "this object is flat." It'll also be good to draw without having to work around your class notes :P

    Like Karen said- start drawing from life. Draw people and draw objects and learn from there. It might be boring at first but the lessons you learn are invaluable and, if you're lucky, you'll already have those lessons learnt from your doodles and you can move on to other things. The important thing is that you either a) know what you need to work on b) have confidence you already know those things.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm still a budding artist myself, but I'll see if I can offer some advice nonetheless:
    1. Don't be afraid to use references if you're not sure what something is supposed to look like. Nobody can conjure a perfect representation of something (or in the case of imaginary things and beings, something akin to) without first being familiar with the subject. I'd advise you to collect images of subjects that interest or inspire you, so you may borrow elements to use in your drawings. DeviantArt.com is a good place to start, they have a pretty extensive collection of stock images in their resource section.
    2. Observe your surroundings. Notice the things which compose your environment - and I don't mean just taking note of the fact that there are trees along side the road, look at the root structure or the leaves and compile a mental library of images.
    3. Challenge yourself. If you never break out of your comfort zone, you'll never improve. If you still don't feel confident doing something, try it again until you do. This is one piece of advice that took me a while to grasp, and I still have trouble doing it.
    Also, I advise you check out the questions thread. In particular, take note of the Loomis books in the download section; they're great starting point for one looking to learn anatomy. Also, I can't recommend Betty Edward's 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' enough. As strange as it may sound, it was this book which taught me how to actually see - at least, in the artistic sense.

    You definitely have talent, now all you have to do is develop it. :)

    Flay on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Flay wrote: »
    Also, I can't recommend Betty Edward's 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' enough. As strange as it may sound, it was this book which taught me how to actually see - at least, in the artistic sense.
    This is very important. Actually I found that there's little in this book that couldn't be accomplished by simply "drawing what you see," but some people have a harder time with that than others. One of the most important things to get better at drawing is to look at something and copy it as exactly and precisely as possible. I'm sorry if you're drawing your own stuff for fun, and I'm guilty of this too, but every still life, every portrait you draw will give you a better understanding of light and spaces. You almost don't have to try to learn from it. If you are drawing from life correctly, your other drawings will begin to pick up the bits you've learned. And yes, it takes a very long time.

    One exercise from the book that I think is the biggest eye-opener for people is to take a famous painting like the Mona Lisa and try to make a drawn copy of it; then to take that picture and turn it upside down and copy it again. Most of the time your upside down copy will look far better!

    Betty Edwards describes it much better than I can. See if you can find that book and devote some time to it.

    UncleSporky on
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  • JohnTWMJohnTWM Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Everything these people have recommended is solid advice, but it mostly amounts to "learn to draw". For advancing the work you are currently doing, you honestly seem to have a pretty good grip on getting your ideas onto the paper, as far as the line work goes (although as you said your clothing choices were fairly limited). In order to improve the clothing aspects there are various cloth studies in those books which the above posters mentioned which will help with that, also drawing from life (at least clothed people!) will help. But for the most... bang for you buck (timewise) I would say that your biggest problems come when you try to shade things in, so I would do the shadow and the shading tutorials that you can find in the tutorials thread. Like still lifes of balls and blocks and the like with a single light source. From the example of the shading you gave us it seems like you are fairly limited when it comes to those two things, so that is what you could focus on if your goal was simply to take to a more finished state that which you have already drawn.

    JohnTWM on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    My advice is to get some finished pieces under your belt. Practice and doodling is great, but you're gonna have to make some final product at some point to really advance yourself. Good luck!

    NibCrom on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    JohnTWM wrote: »
    Everything these people have recommended is solid advice, but it mostly amounts to "learn to draw".

    See, whenever I say that, people just call me ungrateful for not being appreciative of their sage advice -_-. Despite the basic truth of it, it's tiresome when the answer to every artistic question is "you need to draw a lot more from life." Really now? I never would have guessed that! I never would have guessed that my drawing problems could perhaps be solved simply by the act of drawing more.

    I also agree with the recommendation to practice shading-- now that you've said it, I can't believe I didn't notice it before. The linework is the strong point, add some shading in there and they'll start to look really nice.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The thing about shading, is that it goes hand in hand with drawing from life.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • mantidormantidor Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Thanks for the comments!

    I have tried drawing from real life, but I was honestly afraid, the results weren't good as expected, and I felt like it was a step back. I realize now that is an important first step. As I mentioned I tried charcoal and used one of those little wooden mannequins as a guide with not very good results, but I'm going to keep practicing that, and animals, for now. The human figure is a big step and I have never felt it was something aesthetically pleasing, which I'm sure many of you will find absurd, and I really can't blame you, I do have some issues :lol:.

    I'll check both books, I'm a leftie so maybe I'm already at an advantage with the right brain thing :), I did download the Loomis book but I formatted my PC so I lost it, and the link is broken, I guess I should tell in that thread.

    Thanks again, I'll try to keep updating.

    mantidor on
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The human figure is likely the most complicated thing you will ever draw. Mastering it provides you with much more than just knowledge of how to draw the figure, it also provides you with the confidence and skill to tackle drawing almost anything. That is why it is pushed so heavily, even for people who plan to pursue different things in the end.

    rts on
    skype: rtschutter
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User
    edited December 2008
    This is very true, measurements, foreshortening, and the bodies limitations and growths will not only help you in understanding how to draw the figure. but also how to apply the techniques used in drawing a human in anything else. I'm very very new in art, but I've taken direct studies to the human figure. It has taught me many techniques that I can easily apply to anything else.

    Edit: if you have trouble drawing the figure, you lack understanding of one of many appliances in drawings. And therefore all your other drawings will therefore suffer in turn.

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    The thing about shading, is that it goes hand in hand with drawing from life.

    So does everything else. Drawing from life helps with everything. Which we know. Which is the point.

    You could tell almost every single person who's ever lifted a pencil that drawing from life would help them greatly, and you would be right. In other news, breathing oxygen is also a good idea.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    The thing about shading, is that it goes hand in hand with drawing from life.

    So does everything else. Drawing from life helps with everything. Which we know. Which is the point.

    You could tell almost every single person who's ever lifted a pencil that drawing from life would help them greatly, and you would be right. In other news, breathing oxygen is also a good idea.

    You know, you don't have to be an ass when faced valid points. When someone needs help in an area and they would get some benefit from a certain thing, its good to suggest it. Why wouldn't it be?

    Since I am not, generally speaking, an ass, I will answer your question.

    The problem with suggesting drawing from life is that it's such basic, blanket advice that it applies to everyone-- except for those few who already draw from life religiously, most of whom are sufficiently skilled that they probably aren't asking for help in a venue like this. However, since it's right, no one's in a position to argue with you. I've seen way too many critiques that go like this:

    Artist: How's my drawing?
    Critic: Sucks. You need to draw from life more.
    Artist: Okay, working on it. Is there anything more specific you can give me? Like, an individual response to my style? What would you personally like to see more/less of? Is there something that you know is technically anatomically incorrect, but it's consistent throughout my drawings and thus might be a sign of my developing style (for example, the way Gabe draws arms in PA?) A response to choice of subject matter? Speculation about the potential context, i.e. purpose of the work, that informs your expectations?
    Critic: STFU. What is this shit where you expect me to think? DRAW FROM LIFE.

    I do apologize for being prickly about it, but honestly, when you've seen the above transpire enough times, it can start to piss you off. I'm not saying that this is what YOU, personally, are doing, but some people get off on feeling like great art critics just because they tell everyone they need to do more life drawing. It's disingenuine, and more importantly, not helpful.

    I'm going to draw from life today because my boyfriend has promised that he will get naked. But that's neither here nor there.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    You're missing the point. When you draw from life, something that encompasses many different techniques and such, you're actual weak points will show and then we can give you a proper critique later.

    You're saying that you need to post drawings that are ambitious enough that they encompass many different techniques, not just doodles or "here's the one thing I draw all the time that I'm really good at." Life drawing is one way to do that, but by no means the only way.

    I am quite confident that every single one of my weaknesses shows in my comic pages, despite the fact that they are not from life. Please, argue with me about that one ^_~.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    However, we aren't talking about you, we're talking about what manitidor has offered us. Form what we have, there is little to critique and he asked us how to improve what he or she is doing. The easiest way to understand complete forms (which seems to be an issue he or she is having at this moment) is to draw from life. You're seeing the general "catch all version" but for mantidor it is something he or she really should do.

    Sure, but I'm pretty confident that if he were to post drawings of complete forms, people or perhaps animals as they exist in nature, whether or not they were from life (sorry for talking about you like you're not here, mantidor!), there would be more there to critique. It doesn't mean that drawing from life is by any means a bad idea, it just means it's not the only way.

    We can agree to disagree, but can you understand at all why this might bother me? 'Draw from Life' is like a place where thinking stops. People say it, and then it quells discussion. I don't like any repeated meme that does that.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Nappuccino wrote: »
    Drawing from life isn't where thinking stops. If you let it stop there then that is your own fault. Drawing from life helps you to have understanding so that when you draw creatively, you'll have a foundation that allows you to put your imagination on paper successfully. While you might feel that the suggestion takes no thought to write down you're missing the point of how helpful it really is.

    And... we certainly derailed this thread. I quess we can continue in the chat thread or some place.

    No, the act of drawing from life is not where thinking stops at all-- SAYING 'Draw from Life' in a critique thread is where thinking stops. Those are two different things. That point, however, was probably too nuanced for a message-board conversation. Either you understand the nature of that nuance, whether or not you agree with me about the effect of it, or you don't, so I'm happy to let it drop.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • Karen_LeslieKaren_Leslie Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I'm taking this to PM because you don't understand, and it would be unfair to the OP to keep discussing it here.

    Karen_Leslie on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I agree with moveing this to pm and i think we should delete our argument here so we don't clutter up his thread.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • mantidormantidor Registered User
    edited December 2008
    oh boy I totally missed this whole discussion! btw I'm a he.

    I have to take Karen's side, but I do appreciate a lot the advice of drawing from real life. Maybe there could be some more guidelines, like "try drawing with certain pen/pencil/whatever which is good for starters" or even "check X art movement which reminds of your work" and stuff like that. Believe me any advice at all is good, since I'm complete newbie anything you say will likely be new to me.

    I unfortunately haven't had the time to practice, that's probably another reason I never go past doodles, because doodles are done really fast so I can do them practically at any time, and while doing something else, but I think I'm going to start a schedule, at least one hour a day or something like that.

    mantidor on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    mantidor wrote: »
    oh boy I totally missed this whole discussion! btw I'm a he.
    Duly noted :)
    Maybe there could be some more guidelines, like "try drawing with certain pen/pencil/whatever which is good for starters" or even "check X art movement which reminds of your work" and stuff like that. Believe me any advice at all is good, since I'm complete newbie anything you say will likely be new to me.

    Well, typically pencile/pen types depend on what you're personal preferences are. But, a good starting point is usually 3B HB and 6B (sometimes 9B as well) for pencils. Microns are commonly suggested as pens. As far as giving you pointers by looking at other people's art... that doesn't happen often as we're here mostly to help you find your own direction and help you fix the problems you have in your art as it is.
    I unfortunately haven't had the time to practice, that's probably another reason I never go past doodles, because doodles are done really fast so I can do them practically at any time, and while doing something else, but I think I'm going to start a schedule, at least one hour a day or something like that.

    That's really the best thing you can do :)

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
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