I wish to become an artist

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Ezram
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I wish to become an artist

Postby Ezram » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:58 am

So, other than taking a class at the local college, what options do I have to self-teach myself into becoming a fairly competent pencil artist (shapes, landscapes and to a lesser extent, people)? Are there any specific books or supplies I should pick up?

Also, does my Dexterity need to be high?

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Postby Khantalas » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:06 am

Draw. A lot. Draw whenever you have time, draw whatever new shapes and images you might see. Don't be content with what you draw. Accept criticism from anyone but your parents (they are usually not objective enough). Unlike Rob Liefeld, have a basic grasp of anatomy when drawing people. Start with simple tools and move on the better ones when your skills have improved. Draw again.

Basically, I have found that all the books in the world can't teach you a thing about drawing if you don't draw. So, draw.
"I once had lots of friends. They gave me gifts like a word that means hope and despair at the same time and sands to season meals and a castle made out of nothing but stories. I wonder where I left them?"

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Postby Ezram » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:15 am

*pats wastebasket by desk :)*

Does it matter where you draw as long as there is sufficient lighting? Do you have any preparation advice or drawing exercises you can recommend? When starting out, what will I have to know about pencil hardness and types? Should I stick with one medium, or experiment?

Finally, who's Rob Liefeld?
Last edited by Ezram on Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Roman Virtue » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:29 am

I would experiment... alot! But not only with medium, but with styles to see which of both suits you best.

But I actually would recomend an art class, just because of the exposure to the various techniques and mediums they expose you to.

But if you do or if you don't, draw, doodle, and sketch anytime you can. If you see a cool picture, try to draw it. I started with tracing the art in my He-Man coloring book, then started drawing him on my own, then started drawing other things.

I took art in junior high and high school about 4-5 times and loved it each time!

So yeah... the best advice comes from Nike... "Just do it." :wink:
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Postby RKane_1 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:44 am

Get any sketchpad and a standard number 2 pencil.

Go to where you can see both the pad and what you want to draw.

Draw.

Repeat as necessary.

Fit work, sleep, eating and other necessary evils in there (girlfriend, bowel movements, etc.)

Don't stop until you are happy with your work.

(P.S. you will NEVER be happy with your work)

SO KEEP DRAWING! *cracks whip*

When you have filled a sketchpad and don't feel like gouging your eyes out or taking up another hobby, then you move onto a better quality sketchpad and pencils.

Some helpful hints I have found along the way:

1) Draw from life: Don't draw like your favorite artist or in your favorite style (i.e. anime *shudder*) Only once you have drawn from life significantly do the things you bring to life from your imagination also have the look of realism to them. Once you have gotten to that point, then you should establish your own style. I am 40 and I never felt like I got to that point.

2) Set aside one hour each day no matter what to draw. Repetition makes something habit. Establish a good habit of drawing everyday and your skill will get better. The practice of Zen Archery espouses that you should fire your bow every day 100 times. Zen archers fire through walls to hit targets the size of an apple. The moral lesson here is don't be the apple...no wait.... be the zen artist. Practice often and you will be able to draw apples on the other sides of walls....no wait....NEVER MIND! You get it, right?

3) Copy the masters. Find works of old masters and copy what they did (Don't call it your own work or that will be plagiarism). I know I said draw from life but not exclusively. Learn what you can from those before you.

4) Start a Morgue (No, not a place where you keep dead bodies) but a collection of images that you find striking. Keep it like a scrapbook. When you find something striking, put it in the morgue. Later, you will begin to dissect images and better understand why you found them striking. Once you can better understand why you found them so striking, you can begin to use those elements in your own work.

5) Read about it. Get a number of good books on the subject. (See list below)

6) Talk about it. There are artist's groups, like this one, where you can ask others about their process. What pens and papers they use, etc. If you want to know how someone did something or where they came up with the idea, ask them.

Some recommended books:

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards (Good for beginners into unlocking a different way of looking at things)

Understanding Comics by Scott Mc Leod (Some really good info on expressiveness, iconic thinking, etc.)

Atlas of the Human Anatomy for Artists by Peck (A really good one on anatomy and form)

Figure Drawing by Anthony Ryder

Any number of anatomy books that contain a lot of visual examples.

Making Comics by Scott Mc Leod (Good on the process of making comics)

In conclusion, when in a land war with Russia, never trust that you are winning if they are retreating. No wait, draw a lot JUST LIKE Khantalas said. Eventually, when you are good enough, you will be able to look at a woman and say "Would you like to come up to my place to see my etchings?" with an earnest and straight face. Ever since Titanic, women have been DYING to get themselves drawn naked. Er...no wait.... you will be able to .....well ... draw better.

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Postby Khantalas » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:13 am

I mainly draw people, so the books I can recommend are all anatomy books.

If you have no idea where to start, I found that Fundamentals of Drawing by Barrington Barber is good. It also has a second book for advanced drawing. And it's all for pencils (or using penciling techniques with ink pens), so it'll help.

Try Sarah Simblet's Anatomy for the Artist. As an aspiring artist, be prepared to study a lot of naked figures. :wink:

From what I heard, drawing classes in colleges are simply three-four hours where you are given a subject to draw. If you have that time, you can use it to draw your own subjects.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, as was mentioned earlier.

Rob Liefeld is... Rob Liefeld.
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Postby Dirigible » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:39 pm

Hunt and kill a stronger artist in solo combat and devour her heart.

A good set of brushes is vital, but a good set of teeth is even more important.

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Postby Ezram » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:40 pm

"her"? :?

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Postby nighthunter » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:45 pm

You don't even want to know what you'd have to eat if you kill a male artist.
"What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!" -H.P. Lovecraft

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Postby Arevir » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:34 am

Good luck and just have fun giving it your best!

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Postby XLS » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:26 am

To add to some of the above-- and I'm sort of starting to get serious after years of dabbling.

First, get an instruction book and look at things like perspective and proportion.

Then put that aside and, as has been noted already-- draw. Draw lots. Get muscle magazines, fitness magazines, and anything else where you'll have lots of muscular, athletic-looking people being active. Draw what you see.

Work on "studies"-- that is, draw page after page of just arms. Big arms. Little arms. Men's arms. Women's arms. Flexing arms. Do the same thing for hands, legs, feet, faces, heads, and so on. And do the same thing again for other things. Like cars. Cityscapes.

You'll start essentially drawing what you see. And then, when you're more comfortable, you'll start inventing your own.

Good luck!

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Postby Strict31 » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:05 pm

One of the things we did in art class in high school was something my teacher called "contour drawing."

Now, because she was an ex-stoner who had literally been chopped in the head with a knife as a young women, we all thought her ideas were born of some hippie-drenched fever dream.

But while I would never admit this in her presence, I think it had some value.

Basically, the idea is quite like figure study, except for two things:
1. your eyes never leave the subject you're drawing.

2. your pencil does not leave the surface of the page until your drawing is finished.

That meant we had to finish the drawing from the time she stopped explaining it to the end of the class period.

It started sloppy at first, but soon, most of us were knocking out some pretty decent figure drawings in a very short amount of time. It was basically a skill-building exercise, not an attempt to master the artform.

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Postby Ezram » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:19 am

I found some old sketches I did 5 or so years back, so at least I know I have potential: it's just a matter of seeing how far I can go.

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Ezram
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Postby Ezram » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Can pencils sold as "Sketching Pencils" be used for finished products?

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Postby Major_Arcana » Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:08 pm

In addition to examining the works of other artists and knowing why you prefer that of one and not of the other, I strongly recommend...

Go out and look at the real world frequently!


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