Sorry for the retarded title, but I couldn't think of anything better to put there. First things first, a little backstory for you guys:
I started to pick up the way of the pencil almost two years ago out of sheer boredum during one fateful night while evacuating from a hurricaine. They were nothing more than horrible scribbles, but I liked it and decided to keep trucking till I figure out just what I wanted to do with my life (I was halfway through my junior year at the time you see). Since then, i've decided to take art seriously AS my profession in life, so as to how long i've been seriously drawing would be a little over a year ago.
Sometime during my senior year a friend and I got the bright idea to attend Full Sail after school let out. He is a very
dedicated worker (currently working 40-hour weeks interning at UT for $14 an hour), so I trusted his opinion and rolled with it. So for the longest time, our college plans were set; we knew that the school was going to be expensive, but we were willing to save up and attend no matter what. I guess the selling factor of that school was the fact that it only focused on your major (digital art degree for him, the animation one for me), and they treated it like a job of sorts so you'd be prepared for what's in store for in the real world.
Little problem though. We found out the week after graduation that Full Sail was actually a crock of shit to begin with. It's not like we didn't do the research on the school before, it's just that somehow after we graduate high school, everybody and their mom seems to be slamming the school, stating everything from the school only interested in taking your money to the staggering fact that most of the teachers there are arrogant pricks (most of which are prior students themselves who couldn't make it in the real world). Turns out that Full Sail attracts a buttload of spoiled rich kids who are only interested in attending so they can mix a phat beat or buy their way into becoming a high-profile record producer/movie director/etc.
So against the security that we'd actually be attending a college this fall, we decided to go against attending Full Sail. Don't get me wrong here; you can still learn alot there, but in order to do it you have to be the one to really go out there and teach yourself these things, and I for one do not need to be shelling out sixty-five grand to do it. So as of yet, I have no idea just what the hell that i'm gonna do with my life regarding college.
However, one thing I don't intend to do is puss out of this art thing just because i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I've worked too hard to get to where I am today (despite how low my skills are), and something's telling me that this is the period in my life that'll really show whether i'm cut out for this whole art and animation deal.
If it's all right with you guys, i've decided to keep an online journal regarding my art on this forum. The goal of this is to record just what i've done each day, whether it's reading up on art books, practice drills, classes i've been taking during this sabbatical period, you name it. Long story short, i'm trying to construct a custom-fit Bruce Lee work ethic that will (hopefully) help me improve at a slightly faster rate. I know that it takes years to build one's crafts, and you can't really blitz through things like this, but the idea here is that if I can figure out what works for me and filter out what doesn't, i'd be able to improve much more efficiently.
Anyways, one of the first steps I took to improving is to start reading all of these books that i've accumilated. I got quite a bit of graduation money, and decided to spend some of it on some of these books. Overall, these are books that I either purchased, got as a gift, or worked for.
Here's the current list of titles that I have:
Dynamic Figure Drawing
by Burne HogarthDynamic Anatomy
by Burne HogarthDrawing Dynamic Hands
by Burne HogarthDrawing the Human Head
by Burne HogarthDynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
by Burne HogarthDrawing People: How to portray the clothed figure
by Barbara BradleyThe Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions
by Gary FaiginDrawing Realistic Textures in Pencil
by J.D. HillberryFast Sketching Techniques
by David RankinThe Anatomy Coloring Book
from by Wynn Kapit/Lawrence M. ElsonHuman Anatomy For Artists
by Dr. Gyorgy FeherAnatomy Drawing School
by Dr. Gyorgy FeherThe Watson Drawing Book
by Ernest W. Watson/Aldren A. WatsonMastering the Art of Drawing
by Ian Sidaway and Sarah HoggettAnatomy for the Artist
by Sarah Simblet
(GREAT source for anatomy photo references)How to Draw What You See
by Rudy De ReynaExploring Life Drawing
by Harold B. StoneDrawing on the Right Side of the Brain
by Betty Edwards50 Fantasy Vehicles to Draw and Paint
by Keith Thompson
(this is more of a fun read than something to take seriously, but it does help)
*Whew!* That was a lot more to type than I thought. Just for the record, these aren't all the books that I have, just the ones that I think are important.
I started reading some of these books starting at the tail end of May, and sadly this is as far as i've gotten:
Fast Sketching Techniques
- p.38Drawing Realistic Textures in Pencil
- p.14The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expressions
- p.17Drawing People: How to portray the clothed figure
- p.58Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded
- p.21Drawing Dynamic Hands
- p.33Drawing the Human Head
- p.61Dynamic Figure Drawing
- p.39Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
- p.51Exploring Life Drawing
(forgot I had this one)50 Fantasy Vehicles to Draw and Paint
I know for a fact that there's no way in hell that i'm gonna figure all this stuff out on a single read-through. Right now i'm just trying to absorb whatever I can the first time through any of these books, so that I know where to reference or which book to re-read when I start crunching down on a certain aspect of figure/life/whatever drawing. As you can see, I tend to skim around a lot regarding my reading, and personally that's how I like it; keeps me interested in reading all of these books, and that's the most important thing to me right now.
Reading about art is one thing, but actually DOING the art is just as important, if not more, so i've decided to take a Bruce Lee work ethic to all of the elements of art/anatomy that i've always shyed away from and just beat the hell out of them. Since i'm just starting this, i'm gonna have to determine what is my biggest weakness, but so far i'm confident that it's hands, feet, and heads (facial expressions, correct proportion placement of the features, the features themselves, etc). I mean, i've gotta get to this stuff sooner or later, and i'd rather start hitting it hard now to beat the ugly out of my art and get a better foundation on the material.
I also thought i'd do something a bit unorthodox as well. A friend of mine told me that while drawing the human figure is a good way to grasp anatomy, a great way to do it is to get an understanding as to HOW and WHY the muscles/body look and function the way that they do. So i've decided to try two things; First off, i'd like to take a few introductory classes at a massage institute, or at least study under someone who was (and still is) a professional masseus-turned-artist. Secondly (and this one is really out there), i'd like to start getting into better shape, get more involved into more outdoor activites. The idea behind this is that if I can experience what is feasible through human limitations, then i'll be able to transfer that through my drawings, and have a much better grasp of anatomy.
I'm not gonna lie to you guys; I think this might be the hardest shit i've ever put myself through yet. However, there's a strong difference between forcing yourself through this and coming to it willingly, and the latter is much more prevailent than the former.
So i'm gonna take a chance with this. I'll be recording my results every few days just to see if it's actually gonna make a difference. Sometimes i'll only be posting an update on my reading process, other days it might be a handful of doodles, but the goal here is to get something
done artistically. It's time for me to get crackin' on these basics.
Anyways, since this is an art thread, it needs art, and though I don't really have anything new to post, I can post something to fill the void. That, and it would help document where i'm currently at.
I don't expect you to know just what the hell is going on in that second one. Also, that first one was just me screwing around, but they're both fair game to critique.
If you actually sat through and read all of that, I tip my hat to you. Take care everyone.