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Claudius Maximus
2011-01-01, 10:17 PM
If this would be better suited for Arts and Crafts, then I apologize and welcome a move.

Anyway, yeah. I decided that it would be cool to be able to draw well. The only problem is that I have absolutely zero artistic ability. None. I'm not that one guy whose art his friends always compliment, who suddenly wants to make something out of the skill. I'm not that guy who's always doodling in class. In fact I've probably drawn less than a hundred pictures in my entire life. So I'm doing this the hard way, by training it from nothing.

In light of this, I'm asking the playground for advice. Any tips on how to go about this? Anything I should try to avoid doing, like beginner's mistakes or something? Do you know where I can find any good resources concerning the matter of how to draw (attempts with google only succeeded in making my brain partially melt)? Do you think this is a reasonable thing to attempt at all?

Da Beast
2011-01-01, 11:14 PM
You're best bet is going to be to get some professional instruction. If you're in high school there's probably some sort of art elective available. Same if you're in college. Even if you're out of college you might be able to sign up through a classes for adults program at the local university/adult learning annex/whatever. Second piece of advice I can give you is to remember that drawing is a set of learned skills and that practice (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1) makes perfect (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1829).

Tulio d Bard
2011-01-01, 11:24 PM
DeviantART is a good place to find pretty much any kind of art. There you can see what is a good idea and what isn't. Not to mention all the tutorials you will find. Watching other people doing art also helps, as well as watching the art completely done (pay attention to the details that you are having difficulties with).
And always look for references. Real life examples can't be wrong, right? (don't answer)
And what Da Beast said. :smallsmile:

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-01, 11:44 PM
Classes are out. My college offers a drawing class but you are graded on the actual objective quality of your drawing. I don't need a D from a drawing class of all things to knock me out of Summa *** Laude.

Still I suppose talking to people who can actually draw is a good idea.

thubby
2011-01-01, 11:48 PM
what would you like to draw?

Da Beast
2011-01-01, 11:53 PM
Classes are out. My college offers a drawing class but you are graded on the actual objective quality of your drawing. I don't need a D from a drawing class of all things to knock me out of Summa *** Laude.

Still I suppose talking to people who can actually draw is a good idea.

If your school's art department doesn't have at least one art class aimed at non-art major with little experience it's not a very good art department. Or at least a very snobby one. You might be able to find instruction outside your college (or at least outside is normal grading structure), but if not all you can really do is practice a lot.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm really not that great an artist myself and don't have that much experience. Anyone know if learn to draw books are a helpful tool?

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-02, 12:03 AM
I do think the grading on the art class is screwy. I only know about it because my brother entered it, tried his best, got a lot better, and got a GPA-punching C+ for his efforts, much to his surprise and anger.


what would you like to draw?

I'd like to draw objects and creatures in a relatively realistic fashion. People to a lesser extent. Cartoonish versions of these things would also be nice, but that's definitely a secondary goal. Not particularly interested in landscapes.

Flickerdart
2011-01-02, 12:07 AM
Avoid deviantArt like the plague until you can draw. Most of the things on there are awful.

You can usually find life drawing sessions being held privately or under a learning institution. Google around - the one downtown here is ten bucks for a few hours of a model posing. This is excellent practice and also sometimes the model is hot. :smallwink: Being able to draw what you see is very important. These things also change poses very quickly (starting with 1-minute poses, going up to 15 or 30 in my case) so you learn to make quick, gestural sketches and not get hung up on the details.

Of equipment, stick with a 2B pencil and white eraser. You don't need any fancy ink stuff or Wacoms.

Haruki-kun
2011-01-02, 12:26 AM
I suggest drawing one thing every day, if possible.

Also,a friend of mine told me that whenever you can, you should finish the drawing right away. If you go to bed and continue the next day, you just won't get the same feeling. This is mostly about how you prefer it.

Automatistic
2011-01-02, 12:54 AM
I'd have to say don't give up. Sometimes a drawing is hard to do, so people get discouraged. If that happens, take a small break, calm down and try again. If you want to do realistic human drawings I'd recommend getting one of those wooden model things and drawing from that. And again, practice, practice, practice. :smallbiggrin:

Mando Knight
2011-01-02, 01:53 AM
I do think the grading on the art class is screwy. I only know about it because my brother entered it, tried his best, got a lot better, and got a GPA-punching C+ for his efforts, much to his surprise and anger.

What kind of college/university was he enrolled in? Are you in the same university/college? If not, I repeat the first question, but for you. An art class at a science & engineering school would be quite different (and likely far more lenient, grade-wise at least) from one at a liberal arts school.

Savannah
2011-01-02, 03:00 AM
You can always audit an art class, if you think it would be helpful but don't want to risk a bad grade. Otherwise, what I've done is go to the local library, grab 5 or so drawing books that look interesting, take them home and start to read them. If you like them, do whatever they suggest. If you don't like them, return them to the library and try some more (don't forget to look into checking out books from other libraries in your library system once you've gone through the ones in your local library). If you're in college, I'd look in both the college library and whatever city/county library you have.

For learning to draw people, I found Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure by Barbara Bradley to be the single most useful book of all the many books I've looked at. For creatures, I've found numerous useful books, but none that stand out to me as the most useful. Likewise for objects.

Also, I found it was really useful to look at some simple explanations of perspective, since screwy perspective is a really common issue that can mess up an otherwise good drawing. And try to train yourself to look at the actual shapes and proportions you're seeing, rather than what you think it should be. That's surprisingly hard, since our brains do a lot of interpretation for us.


Anyone know if learn to draw books are a helpful tool?

For me, yes. I learn well from books in general, and I'd do poorly in a class where others could see my first, crappy drawings (I have enough trouble not giving up when it's not good enough for me that I don't see any need to add to that pressure).

Oh, and another thing about learning to draw. What you draw at first will be crap. However, you will get better, as long as you try to identify what's wrong with the picture (showing it to someone can help a lot if you can't identify it yourself) and trying to improve on that in the next ones. Don't quit.

cattoy
2011-01-02, 03:44 AM
There's a book called Drawing on the Right side of the brain.

You can get the paperback on amazon for about ten bucks. If you have a local used bookstore, maybe you can get it for even less.

It's exactly what you need to start from scratch.

leakingpen
2011-01-02, 06:28 AM
cattoy i came to recommend the same book. It is quite awesome. It helped me go from drawing xkcd style to being able to draw oots style. (i still have no talent, what can i say. On a REALLY good day, i can draw old school questionable content style)

absolmorph
2011-01-02, 06:44 AM
I took an art class at some place whose name I can't remember where I redrew pictures and used pastels/water color to fully recreate them and two community college art classes (one general and one cartooning class).
Of the three, I think the general class was the most helpful for me, simply because it forced me to not do what I had stuck with before, drawing stylized people. I got a C in the class (by choice; it was get an A because it was expected for people to be 6 years older than I was but I was good for my age or take a C on the same level as the rest of the class), and it helped.

In your case, I think it would help a lot more, since it would focus on the things you're interested in drawing. However, if taking it would be a good way for you to lose your Summa *** Laude, I'd stay away. Just start drawing. Your early drawings may not turn out well. I look at my first drawings and cringe. Just keep at it and push yourself just short of complete frustration. Look through some how-to-draw books and remember the advice they give. Take the pieces that work for you and put them together.
Most of all, be patient. Your art won't be the best when you start. It's likely you'll take years of work before it's even close. But, if you keep at it, you'll get there eventually.

SMEE
2011-01-02, 07:11 AM
This thread is better suited at Arts and Crafts.
Thread moved.

endoperez
2011-01-02, 11:34 AM
Been there, in the process of doing that. I started out not being able to draw, and while I'm not GOOD yet, I can draw. Not realistic drawings yet, but I'm slowly getting better. Here are various resources that I think will be useful for you:

First, as at least two others already pointed out, try to get your hands on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Why this book? Because it explains what drawing is in terms that a non-artist person can understand. It has its own faults, like downplaying perspective and giving the usual wonder-drug lines (buy %this and become a better person, in just 2 weeks!), but this book will help you understand one of the most important subskills in drawing: looking at the world and recognizing it as 2D shapes, made up of lines.


a sketchbook
ALWAYS have a sketchbook with you. A small one, a big one, expensive, cheap, it doesn't matter. If you have a bag, ANYTHING goes. If you don't have a bag, look for a spiral-bound sketchbook - the pages probably won't tear out, which can be a problem with book-bound sketchbooks if you don't have anything you could use to carry the pages in. Draw even if it's just straight lines or circles or a mess of tiny scratches, or fractal patterns, or dozens of little flowers or hearts. Date your drawings, and date your sketchbooks when you finish them. Fill them, and buy new ones! The skill only comes with time spent drawing.



Those two will get you started.

If you want to draw humans, specifically, you'll have to learn either anatomy, or the anatomy of a body as simplified by some art style (manga, superhero comic, cartoon etc).
I have a "Human Anatomy for the Artist", but most books are fine. Please note that books can only get you so far - you have to go to life drawing classes eventually. However, they might not be the best places to learn the building blocks of drawing, and if you've learned from a book, you'll have a better idea of what you're looking at and how the shapes move under the skin.


If you want to practice drawing humans but don't want to go to a life-drawing class, you can get references and tips online.
www.posemaniacs.com - you can get both static poses, and poses that change every 30 seconds. Both are useful, and teach different things. Also, this site only has images of 3D models, and the models show muscle and fat structure, so they are relatively work-safe.

www[dot]fineart[dot]sk/ - Posemaniacs is great, but this site has two things it doesn't have. First, it has photographs of real humans. Many photos are nudes, and there are nude humans in the front page, which may lead to embarrassment and/or misunderstandings. The other thing PoseManiacs doesn't have is learning resources by Andrew Loomis. It's not quite as good as having a teacher - but it comes very close. Loomis is AWESOME.


Speaking of teachers - another good book would be Nikolaides' "Natural Way To Draw". It is a collection of exercises, and unlike Betty Edwards' book, this one has an actual schedule. Spend three hours on this one, then two on that exercise, etc. Reading it feels like a stern teacher looking at you and asking if you've been slacking off.
How to Use This Book
This book was written to be used. ...
... Each section of reading matter is accompanied by a schedule representing fifteen hours of actual drawing. Begin your first day's work by reading the first sections until you come to the direction that you are to draw for three hours according to Schedule 1A. THEN STOP AND DRAW.
Using the materials listed in Exercise 35, make a long study of drapery on a piece of gray paper, using light and shade but always feeling the form.
Draw for fifteen hours as directed in Schedule 17.
Draw for three hours as directed in Schedule 9 D.

Sit with your back to the model during a half-hour pose. Look around at the model as much as you want to and draw just as usual, but don't move your chair. You will find it such a strain to turn around that you will look at the model as seldom as possible, and when you look you will really look.

Draw for fifteen hours as directed in Schedule 9 E.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-02, 03:17 PM
15 hours? My hand is going to be a crumpled wreck...

Decent advice coming in folks. Thanks a lot.

Zanaril
2011-01-02, 05:13 PM
Personally I believe that natural artistic talent has little or no affect on your ability to become an artist, so there's no need to worry if you're no good at it. What it does take is dedication, and the ability to look critically at your own work, and not to be discouraged if everything you do seems to be crap (if you can see the flaws in your own work, that means you're improving!)

Someone has already suggested carrying a sketchbook around with you all the time, which I back up fully. Most of all, draw all the time, and draw from observation. I'll admit I have very little patience with studying other artists work; I find that studying and drawing real things is a much better way to imporve you're skills. Don't agonise over your work, and try not to get stuck drawing in the same style (by which I mean stay away from cartoons and manga until you can draw realistic people perfectly).

Even if you don't have a sketchbook with you, draw on whatever is avaliable, and draw whatever you can see. All my exercise books are 50% work and 50% doodles of my pencil case, teachers, chairs, other students and my hands. Which is probably why I'm failing maths, but oh well.

What I will reccomend is getting some books that try to teach drawing. Thare's hundreds of them, and it's hard to know which onces will be useful and which ones you'll never look at, so I strongly suggest loaning them from a library rather than buying them.

Start small; although you probably want to leap into drawing interesting things, like people or entire scenes, you'll just be setting yourself up for a lot of fustrastion. Are you sitting at a desk? What's around you - pencils, pens, scissors? Grab three simple objects, a pencil and a piece of paper, and them try to draw them as realistically as you can.

If you have a scanner or a camera, I'm sure there are plenty of people on this forum - myself included - who would be happy to look at anything you draw and offer feedback. So what are you waiting for? Get drawing? :smallsmile:



If you want to draw humans, specifically, you'll have to learn either anatomy, or the anatomy of a body as simplified by some art style (manga, superhero comic, cartoon etc).

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Draw from real people. You don't need to pay for life drawing classes, and although I've not used posemanics, being able to see something that is three-dimentional is important and relay that is vital to getting your drawings to look solid. Just draw people around you. Quick sketches if they're moving, more detailed if they're sitting still for a while (and you can always ask if they could keep still for you to draw them).

thubby
2011-01-02, 06:48 PM
for lifelike drawings, i would highly suggest a desk mirror and I imagine you have a camera? a 10 dollar mirror is a lifesaver when you're trying to get those facial muscles to look right, and a few pictures of an un-posed person is a good way to understand how people stand and walk.

also, hands are now the bane of your existence.

Trixie
2011-01-02, 07:23 PM
Classes are out. My college offers a drawing class but you are graded on the actual objective quality of your drawing. I don't need a D from a drawing class of all things to knock me out of Summa *** Laude.

You can't attend as a listener, without being graded? :smallconfused:

As for advice, I'd tell you to look at the basics:

http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musings/

Especially how to grip a pencil. Using writing grip is not a good idea.


Avoid deviantArt like the plague until you can draw. Most of the things on there are awful.

Wanna get a few links? :smallamused:


There's a book called Drawing on the Right side of the brain.

Um... I have seen many artists ridiculing it. Example here:

http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musings/topics/snakeoil

I don't know if their arguments are any good, but I generally trust people good enough to live from what they practice.


NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

Yes yes yes.

Knowledge of anatomy is vital, unless all you want to do is to copy shapes without understanding them. Seeing how body is build, what goes where and how major muscles deform, plus a bit of imagination is all you need to draw anyone from any angle.

ninja_penguin
2011-01-02, 07:39 PM
Yes yes yes.

Knowledge of anatomy is vital, unless all you want to do is to copy shapes without understanding them. Seeing how body is build, what goes where and how major muscles deform, plus a bit of imagination is all you need to draw anyone from any angle.

I think you're both on the same page there, really. What he's NO'ing about is, I'm assuming, a lot of those 'draw manga!' books that are out there that are pretty terrible. They're basically 'look, here's a dude in a pose', and no real explanation as to steps or thought behind it. I've seen a rare few books that approach comicy styles and actually say 'okay, here is a real body, this is what our body looks like when we draw it. this is what we've simplified out, and why we did it'. Complete with overlaid diagrams.

But yes, you need to understand anatomy and general body structure before you can start simplifying it out making your actual style.

Also, I'd call myself more of an incurable doodler than anything else, make sure you draw people without clothes. It helps to figure out how the bloody things should actually behave, and it also helps you avoid problems with final proportions and the like. I still have a nasty problem with hand sizes for some reason.

Winter_Wolf
2011-01-02, 07:52 PM
I think if you looked you could find art classes that are not part of your school, but you will most likely have to shell out some money to attend. If you're serious about being good at drawing, consider it an investment.

Don't worry about whether you have natural talent at art. Talent is not the end all be all, it's a useful tool. Even if a person does have talent, why reinvent the wheel? Learn the basics at least from someone then you can explore on your own.

But let's be clear, PRACTICE is what makes a person a better artist, no matter the medium. So do like others have said, draw as often as you can (but don't burn yourself out!), carry a sketchbook or at the very least a camera of some sort to capture the scene if inspiration strikes.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-02, 09:27 PM
I guess I might try to simply show up for the art class, but I am taking a full load of classes and writing a textbook next semester so I don't know If I'll have the time for both additional classes and sanity.

If I can dredge the twisted ruins of my scanner from the depths of my room I might post some art here for critiquing one day.

I'll probably go to the library tomorrow.

When I look at some bad art, it occurs to me that I could never live with having produced such a dreadful thing. The chorus of people here telling me to keep my old art might have convinced me not to destroy images I'm unsatisfied with, but what about the urge to constantly correct things? Is it a good idea to constantly erase and redraw a given line or element until I'm satisfied with it? What if I just can't seem to do it right? What would you say is the right attitude in this department?

ninja_penguin
2011-01-02, 10:00 PM
Don't super obsess. Also, draw big and then shrink things down, and you can hide minor imperfections.

And, well, practice. Back when I seriously did it I wasn't up to the levels of really wanting to show it to anybody, but I could fire up sketches pretty fast and reliably.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-02, 10:13 PM
Don't super obsess. Also, draw big and then shrink things down, and you can hide minor imperfections.

What do you mean? As it is my drawings are usually very small from the start.

thubby
2011-01-02, 10:38 PM
What do you mean? As it is my drawings are usually very small from the start.

with programs you can start with a huge canvas, then resize it. it's how a few people around here manage a high quality avatar with ms paint.

as to the "redraw vs move on" thing, it's actually a pretty huge debate. davinci favored the former (http://www.artinthepicture.com/artists/Leonardo_da_Vinci/horse.jpeg)

Savannah
2011-01-03, 12:20 AM
I guess I might try to simply show up for the art class, but I am taking a full load of classes and writing a textbook next semester so I don't know If I'll have the time for both additional classes and sanity.

Look into auditing a class. Or pass/fail grading. In both cases, you'll pay and be a registered student, but you won't get a letter grade, so it won't mess up your GPA.


When I look at some bad art, it occurs to me that I could never live with having produced such a dreadful thing. The chorus of people here telling me to keep my old art might have convinced me not to destroy images I'm unsatisfied with, but what about the urge to constantly correct things? Is it a good idea to constantly erase and redraw a given line or element until I'm satisfied with it? What if I just can't seem to do it right? What would you say is the right attitude in this department?

What I do is try to correct it, but if I can't get it right in a couple of tries, I just go on and finish the drawing, since it's not very productive to obsess over one detail that much. Plus I often find that I realize what I need to do to fix it after I've worked on a different bit of the picture for a while. Don't be afraid to try different things, if it doesn't work out for you. There's no one, right way to draw.

leakingpen
2011-01-03, 12:44 AM
I guess I might try to simply show up for the art class, but I am taking a full load of classes and writing a textbook next semester so I don't know If I'll have the time for both additional classes and sanity.

If I can dredge the twisted ruins of my scanner from the depths of my room I might post some art here for critiquing one day.

I'll probably go to the library tomorrow.

When I look at some bad art, it occurs to me that I could never live with having produced such a dreadful thing. The chorus of people here telling me to keep my old art might have convinced me not to destroy images I'm unsatisfied with, but what about the urge to constantly correct things? Is it a good idea to constantly erase and redraw a given line or element until I'm satisfied with it? What if I just can't seem to do it right? What would you say is the right attitude in this department?

you can any class as a pass fail. doesnt effect your gpa.

Zanaril
2011-01-03, 06:09 AM
Yes yes yes.

Knowledge of anatomy is vital, unless all you want to do is to copy shapes without understanding them. Seeing how body is build, what goes where and how major muscles deform, plus a bit of imagination is all you need to draw anyone from any angle.

My outcry was against using manga or comic books as reference. That's why I bolded that section... oh nevermind.

I completely agree that learning about anatomy is necessary in the long term.

endoperez
2011-01-03, 06:57 AM
When I look at some bad art, it occurs to me that I could never live with having produced such a dreadful thing. The chorus of people here telling me to keep my old art might have convinced me not to destroy images I'm unsatisfied with, but what about the urge to constantly correct things? Is it a good idea to constantly erase and redraw a given line or element until I'm satisfied with it? What if I just can't seem to do it right? What would you say is the right attitude in this department?

Easy: NO eraser at all. Use a pencil without an eraser. You'll make mistakes, and you won't be able to get rid of them. You'll learn to accept that you make stuff that looks horrible, and you'll learn to sketch in light lines and then draw the final in bolder ones. It doesn't matter that your drawings suck - right now, the important thing is to draw as much as possible.

Nikolaides, The Natural Way to Draw

If you go to a singing teacher, he will first give you breathing exercises, not a song. No one will expect you to sing those exercises before an audience. Neither should you be expected to show off pictures as a result of your first exercises in drawing.

There is a vast difference between drawing and making drawings. The things you will do - over and over again - are but practice. They should represent to you only the result of an effort to study, the by-product of your mental and physical activity. Your progress is charted, not on paper, but in the increased knowledge with which you look at life around you.

Unfortunately, most students, whether through their own fault or the fault of their instructors, seem to be dreadfully afraid of making technical mistakes. You should understand that these mistakes are unavoidable.

The sooner you make your first five thousand mistakes, the sooner you will be able to correct them.

This image by Fredrik Andersson (http://andersson.elfwood.com/Some-sort-of-demons.2524382.html)helped me understand this fact before I ever heard of the above quote. Edit: Changed the IMG tag to a link. Thanks for the tip!





My outcry was against using manga or comic books as reference. That's why I bolded that section... oh nevermind.

I completely agree that learning about anatomy is necessary in the long term.

Thanks for the correction. I meant to add that copying an existing style won't teach you to draw realistically, but knowing realistic anatomy makes it much easier to pick up a simplified style. :smallredface:
That said, some more detailed styles might be worth copying. I haven't done it myself, but the copying previous masters' works has long traditions. For example, I wouldn't mind copying the styles of Bridgman (author of Constructive Anatomy (http://www.archive.org/details/constructiveanat00briduoft)) and Loomis, even though that means there's an extra layer of interpretation between my work and the real human body, which my drawings are supposed to represent.



Um... I have seen many artists ridiculing it. Example here:

http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musings/topics/snakeoil

I don't know if their arguments are any good, but I generally trust people good enough to live from what they practice.

The book has its faults, but it teaches how to see objects. It's the only book I know of that teaches it, so I recommend it even if just for that. Even the people you linked to agreed that the people had learn to look at objects. They lack other skills, and the importance of these other skills is downplayed.

Trixie
2011-01-03, 10:13 AM
My outcry was against using manga or comic books as reference.

Why? Even to draw so, you need to learn good anatomy.

Unless you're the one drawing that one piece abomination.

As for the poster above, I think you need to replace picture with a link, the site seems to block hotlinking.

Zanaril
2011-01-03, 01:01 PM
Why? Even to draw so, you need to learn good anatomy.

And comic books are not the best place to find good anatomy. They're second hand sources, someone else's interpretation of people, and even if it's unintentional they're going to be somewhat stylised.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-03, 03:02 PM
Went to my library and picked up a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I'll keep the criticisms of it in mind, so I don't think using it will hurt me in any way. Also picked up a drawing guide for teenagers, which presumably contains very basic instructions (which is what I'm looking for at this point, really). We'll see how useful it is. There was also a large book of detailed instructions and diagrams for getting anatomy just right, which looks like it would be very helpful later on, though I'm only going with the basics for now.

I think I'll prefer the method of learning real anatomy and then stylizing it myself. As for the perfectionism vs. moving on debate, I'd like to hear more of what you guys think.

Concerning classes, does it really cost money to audit a class? Because my scholarships only go up to five classes, and I don't want to pay thousands of dollars for a sixth.

Savannah
2011-01-03, 03:05 PM
Yes, it costs money to audit a class, as they're still guaranteeing you a seat and part of the professor's attention. I suppose it doesn't hurt to check with your school, though, if you're really interested.

Winter_Wolf
2011-01-03, 03:28 PM
As for the perfectionism vs. moving on debate, I'd like to hear more of what you guys think.


My thought is that you might as well just suck it up if you make a minor mistake when you're practicing. It will (hopefully) be a reminder about where you were and where you are, if you go back and look at it later. If it's a giant mistake (you sneezed when you were putting down a line), then I'd fix it up.

Or you could just follow the Bob Ross school of thought: "there are no mistakes, just happy accidents."

But here's the thing: I often sketch in blue pencil, then either regular pencil then ink or straight to ink from the blue lines. So even when I make mistakes, I can still go back and correct them without actually erasing anything.

Just mix it up and have some fun.

Claudius Maximus
2011-01-03, 03:40 PM
Uh oh.


Drawing is a skill that can be learned by every normal person with average eyesight and average eye-hand coordination - with sufficient ability, for example, thread a needle or catch a baseball.

I'm the kind of guy who misses while trying to serve a volleyball. Sometimes I write letters sideways by accident. Is this going to be a really big problem? Assuming I can learn to visualize correctly, can I eventually overcome stupidfingers syndrome?

Savannah
2011-01-03, 03:57 PM
Those sorts of statements drive me nuts. Just do it, you'll figure it out. Always draw light lines at first, so if you do mess up, it's easy to fix.

Edit: Remember when reading these books that each one will try to tell you that its methods are the only way to draw successfully. It's all bunk. Read a bunch of them and try all their methods until you find or cobble together something that works for you.

Doomboy911
2011-01-03, 06:30 PM
Fall in love with drawing. Love it and you won't fail. At least not in your own eyes.

leakingpen
2011-01-04, 10:14 AM
Went to my library and picked up a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I'll keep the criticisms of it in mind, so I don't think using it will hurt me in any way. Also picked up a drawing guide for teenagers, which presumably contains very basic instructions (which is what I'm looking for at this point, really). We'll see how useful it is. There was also a large book of detailed instructions and diagrams for getting anatomy just right, which looks like it would be very helpful later on, though I'm only going with the basics for now.

I think I'll prefer the method of learning real anatomy and then stylizing it myself. As for the perfectionism vs. moving on debate, I'd like to hear more of what you guys think.

Concerning classes, does it really cost money to audit a class? Because my scholarships only go up to five classes, and I don't want to pay thousands of dollars for a sixth.

local community college if you go that route.

Cardea
2011-01-04, 06:50 PM
Hi there. Going to throw in my two Copper Pieces.


Cardea's Summary to Drawing
Drawing is difficult to master, easy to pick up, and is as forgiving to you as you are to yourself. You are going to mess up, and you will probably mess up even if you become 'good'. The trick is not to worry about it or stress about it, but acknowledge when you do, and try and correct yourself the first time. Do not stress about how a certain line looks. Do not get all wound up over how dark the image is. (Talking about coloration, not tone.) Simply figure out what you think you messed up on in a piece, and correct yourself by either not repeating the same mistake in another piece, or just try and fix the current one. Do not be constantly trying to re-do the same couple of lines; this will just throw your whole drawing shtick off.

Drawing doesn't require your full attention, truth be told, unless it's some super-fantastic-high-art, which you aren't doing. You're just wanting to learn how to draw good, which doesn't demand you drop everything you're doing and focus solely on it. You can listen in to what is being said and still understand it. This includes classes, for the most part. Obviously, you shouldn't be doing this during a time to take notes, but it is doable while people are just idly chatting in a class or the Teacher is doing something other than teaching.

Get a sketchbook. Buy something that just fits into your backpack. Starting out your path to learning how to draw with a small sketchbook is mildly detrimental, as you learn how to deal with smaller spaces, not big ones. Get a big one. Don't draw one small thing then flip the page. Fill up the page. 'Working' on a messy page is more encouraging for just sketching, since there is no sense of 'perfection', and you're more willing to make mistakes, since you'll have made a bunch as it is.

Notice what it's called: Sketchbook. This is for you to develop your own style. This isn't something for people to look at and think you're amazing. This is something for you, and you alone, to work in, doing whatever you want. So just draw. The only person judging what goes on in your sketchbook should be you.

Regarding books: Most of them are crap. Most of them do the following:

Step One: Draw some circles.
Step Two: Now draw the owl.


These books don't teach you technique, nor do they teach you how different images are formed. Along these lines, do not learn how to draw from Cartoons. Cartoons, and I'm going to be broad here, includes anything stylized. This includes, and I cannot stress this enough, Anime & Manga. Do not learn from Anime & Manga. If you want to learn how to draw, and be 'good', you cannot learn from these.

If you want to learn how to draw good, draw from real life. Learn how to draw a Guitar? Look at a guitar, and draw what you see. Learn how to draw a bus? Look at a bus, draw what you see. This applies to anything, even people. The more people you draw, the easier it is to draw them. This applies to everything. This applies to drawing in general. If you want to draw good, you have to draw. The more you draw, the easier it becomes.

Summary and minor tips:

Don't trust a majority of drawing books. I have never used Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, so I can't tell you whether or not to trust it. If it works for you, use it. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I say a majority, I didn't say all.
Do not be high strung over everything you draw.
Along the same lines, do not be discouraged if you don't like what you draw. Maybe 30% of sketches people do actually make them proud. Even less if it's a finished piece.
Get a sketchbook. Don't worry about how it looks while you're sketching. Just sketch.
As Savannah said, draw light. If you have to erase, it won't leave a mark. (Or at least, not that noticeable of a mark.)
Draw with your entire arm. Your wrist is very limited when you're drawing. Using your elbow and shoulder, your work feels much looser, and you draw more.
Your hand will hurt. Whether it's a good pain or a bad pain is determined by how much drawing you've done, or if you've messed up in something like, your grip, or your posture (Just don't slump or draw in an awkward position) or you've failed to notice that wild animal that's latched itself onto your forearm.
Just Draw. I cannot stress this enough. Just draw. It gets easier the more you do.


And most importantly? Be smart. Don't just ignore what you do. Don't just rush ahead with what you're doing. Take a look at what you've done. Feel a little proud for having drawn what you have, and keep on drawing and improving.

Elagune
2011-01-06, 03:46 AM
Unless you're the one drawing that one piece abomination.

Not exactly. One Piece's mangaka actually seems to have a very good understanding of male anatomy from the volumes that he puts into his work, but he prefers to ignore it most of the time. I will admit that his female anatomy could use a lot more work, though. At some point he realized that he has a lot more fun drawing highly cartoony figures rather than realistic ones, and went with that. If you want to see a manga that thrives despite the artist's lack of artistic skill, look at Bobobo instead.

Anyway, most of One Piece's artistic strength is not in his realistic depiction of people, but rather his masterful use of pacing, movement, and perspective. Exaggeration is also key in his work, since he completely eschews all subtlety. This is an artistic choice, and one that seems to work for him.

I'm getting off topic.

Since you seem to want to learn to draw objects and creatures in a realistic fashion, I suggest you draw objects from your daily life and get an illustrated encyclopedia or something to draw from. I have two of them, one on North American birds and the other on horses, and they've helped me out quite a bit with understanding the different structures in animals as opposed to people. Get a sketchbook, and draw daily.

A couple of well-written books can really help, but in the end, there's nothing you can do but practice. Practice, practice, practice. It might sound annoying, or even obvious, but there's really nothing else for it. Much of the information available in books didn't make sense to me no matter how much I read them.

Practice, practice, practice.

Hell, doodle on your lined paper in class, that's how I learned.

Also, manga and the like shouldn't be your primary study material, but they can certainly help. Looking at an object in real life means you're bombarded with information, and for a newbie drawer it's hard to pick out the important details that you want to emphasize. Looking at some simpler depictions can really help you out with the form and volume.