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maximus25
2011-08-19, 02:39 AM
I'm not a very good artist, and I would like to learn how to draw. What do you guys suggest for learning to draw pretty much anything.

Serpentine
2011-08-19, 02:42 AM
How "not very good" are we talking, and what sorts of things do you want to draw?
As a very general suggestion, I'd recommend getting How To Draw books - starting with little kid stuff if you're a real beginner, and working your way up.

maximus25
2011-08-19, 02:45 AM
How "not very good" are we talking, and what sorts of things do you want to draw?
As a very general suggestion, I'd recommend getting How To Draw books - starting with little kid stuff if you're a real beginner, and working your way up.

"not very good" in the sense that I can't draw a straight line, or that when I try to draw basic things, tables, chairs, even just a pencil, it comes out all not right and crap.

Serpentine
2011-08-19, 03:08 AM
Nothin' wrong with usin' a ruler :smallwink:

maximus25
2011-08-19, 03:15 AM
Nothin' wrong with usin' a ruler :smallwink:

Yes, but shouldn't a good artist not need a ruler?

Serpentine
2011-08-19, 03:26 AM
I doubt it. Maybe with practice they stop needing it so much, but I certainly wouldn't use that of all things as your quality measure.

maximus25
2011-08-19, 03:27 AM
I doubt it. Maybe with practice they stop needing it so much, but I certainly wouldn't use that of all things as your quality measure.

Yeah, that's true. What do you suggest I do tho?

Serpentine
2011-08-19, 03:38 AM
what I said before: start basic, work your way up.
A more professional artist might be able to give better advice.

GrumpyWizard
2011-08-19, 03:57 AM
I agree with Serpentine, getting a few "how to draw" books is a very good start.

But I'm afraid what you will need most of all is patience. Lots of it. To take the example of the ruler, you shouldn't want to be able to draw a straight line without a ruler on day 1.

I believe being a good drawing artist is maybe 20% natural talent, and the rest of it is practice. To keep the practice up, you need to be motivated.

Up till around age 12, almost everybody draws. Around that time, most people seem to lose interest, and their drawing skills do not progress anymore. I kept doing it simply because happen to I like it intrinsically, and I kept getting better. Now I'm a fair artist, though I could have been ten times better if I'd pursued it more intensely.

Keeping up the motivation is really hard if it is not intrinsic, so I believe you first need to look inside and see whether you like drawing for drawing's sake. If you don't like it because you find the results frustrating, then I believe the key to getting forward is learning to appreciate what went right in stead of thinking "oh no, this looks like crap".

If you can find somebody else in your surroundings who is interested, you can try to get together once a week and both draw the same thing. That will be a nice way to keep doing it on a regular basis. You need to make sure that you can be yourself around that person though, so neither of you would feel judged if the other has helpful remarks.

Otherwise, working your way through a how-to-draw-book will help, but you need a fair amount of discipline for that.

Best of luck! :smallsmile:

Ashtar
2011-08-19, 04:06 AM
I'd say, have a look at "Thanqol Learns To Draw!" thread here. Check out the progress he does by drawing every day (compare day 1 with day 80+).

If you want to progress, do the same, buy a sketchbook and work on it every day.

I had no confidence when I started drawing, my skills were at pre-schooler level. But by drawing every day, I've improved. Walk around, stop and try and capture what you see. Anything, a cat, a wall, a person. You can also take stock photography on line and try to redraw it. I sketch people on the train, now. It's funny how some people respond to that. Some pose for you, even!

I had a problem where I felt guilty of wasting paper, that my scribbles weren't worthy. So I bought 4 cheap sketchbooks for myself, and consciously allowed myself to "waste" them. I scribbled the first pages, then did some horrible sketches, and as I went along, the chicken scratches got better.

There is no substitute for practice. You must draw to learn how to draw.

maximus25
2011-08-19, 04:23 AM
I'd say, have a look at "Thanqol Learns To Draw!" thread here. Check out the progress he does by drawing every day (compare day 1 with day 80+).

If you want to progress, do the same, buy a sketchbook and work on it every day.

I had no confidence when I started drawing, my skills were at pre-schooler level. But by drawing every day, I've improved. Walk around, stop and try and capture what you see. Anything, a cat, a wall, a person. You can also take stock photography on line and try to redraw it. I sketch people on the train, now. It's funny how some people respond to that. Some pose for you, even!

I had a problem where I felt guilty of wasting paper, that my scribbles weren't worthy. So I bought 4 cheap sketchbooks for myself, and consciously allowed myself to "waste" them. I scribbled the first pages, then did some horrible sketches, and as I went along, the chicken scratches got better.

There is no substitute for practice. You must draw to learn how to draw.

That helps a lot. Thank you. I'm gonna practice and practice until I'm good enough to be able to draw at a current OotS level.

Glasswhistle
2011-08-20, 10:30 AM
A great book to try is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, go ahead and look it up, I believe there is a free (and legal) PDF of it out there somewhere. In short, it's a book that teaches you how to look at things, as opposed to other books that teach you how to draw specific things in a specific way. You'll learn to draw what is actually there, not just what you think is there. And, of course, practice practice practice, and upload your drawings! I'm sure we'd all like to see them.

Oh, and there isn't anything wrong with using a ruler, it's a very necessary tool for any artist who wants to draw buildings and other man-made objects. And if you don't like straight lines, you can always draw more natural objects, there are very few straight lines in nature.

Domochevsky
2011-08-20, 12:07 PM
A great book to try is Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, go ahead and look it up, I believe there is a free (and legal) PDF of it out there somewhere. In short, it's a book that teaches you how to look at things, as opposed to other books that teach you how to draw specific things in a specific way. You'll learn to draw what is actually there, not just what you think is there. And, of course, practice practice practice, and upload your drawings! I'm sure we'd all like to see them.
...

Hm... there's some controversy about that particular book going on in Thangol's thread. You might wanna check that one out in general. (Also for the "how to learn drawing" advice. Chock full of it! You might even wanna join the thread there and combine your efforts.) :smallwink:

Crimmy
2011-08-20, 09:49 PM
Last bit is: Just because you think great artists don't need one, doesn't mean they never used one to learn.

Start doing little excercises as well, try to draw circles neatly, with one stroke, and straight line, as excercise, use rulers.

Also, I recommend this (http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/444870)

maximus25
2011-08-20, 10:51 PM
Alright, thanks everyone. That pdf was helpful. As was the video.

leakingpen
2011-08-24, 10:06 AM
Hm... there's some controversy about that particular book going on in Thangol's thread. You might wanna check that one out in general. (Also for the "how to learn drawing" advice. Chock full of it! You might even wanna join the thread there and combine your efforts.) :smallwink:

Yeah, the controversy is A. that left brain versus right brain is technically incorrect. However, Symbological processing versus direct processing IS correct, they just use outdated modes of thinking about the concepts.

and B. That the book is really not of any use for good artists to get better. DUH! If you can already see and draw with an artists eye, see and draw SHAPES and LINES rather than objects and symbols, then the book isn't aimed at you. If you can't do those things, then that book is a GODSEND.

Domochevsky
2011-08-24, 11:33 AM
Yeah, the controversy is A. that left brain versus right brain is technically incorrect. However, Symbological processing versus direct processing IS correct, they just use outdated modes of thinking about the concepts.

and B. That the book is really not of any use for good artists to get better. DUH! If you can already see and draw with an artists eye, see and draw SHAPES and LINES rather than objects and symbols, then the book isn't aimed at you. If you can't do those things, then that book is a GODSEND.

Not necessarily. There's a pretty solid chance that the book will mess with your future development, due to it apparently teaching you to draw what you see, not what youimagine. A blind pipe between your eye and your hand, so to speak. That's something that's highly detrimental to your drawing abilities, even though you make a rapid initial jump in what appears like art (and this is the key point: a feel of fast improvement), without providing you with the fundamentals necessary to continue. :smallsigh:

Kaytara
2011-08-24, 02:26 PM
Yes, following that book's advice means, at best, become a complete and utter slave to reference. The progress shots might seem miraculous to a beginner, but to someone with an idea of how artistic skill and learning work, it's obvious that the students still have no grasp of anatomy, volume or proportion, and that the artistic skill is nothing but superficial.

In addition to what Domochevsky (very eloquently) said, there's also this: Yes, the book does have the "symbolic processing vs. direct processing" thing, but there's quantitively very little of it mixed up in a lot of mumbo-jumbo and outright damaging lessons, and there are other art books that give that one good lesson much, much better.

There's only a "controversy" in that some people said one thing, and then other people said another thing. In truth, though, the idea that the book is a good one is a misconception that has been revealed and discredited. There's no controversy anymore.

Concerning the OP, GrumpyWizard said it most excellently. Patience and motivation are what you need. In short, you need to become hooked into the hedonic treadmill that is learning how to draw - you need to be able to enjoy what you make and achieve despite the never-ending (literally: no artist is completely satisfied with what they can do) frustration of screw-ups and disappointments.

Thanqol
2011-08-24, 10:52 PM
First and foremost, practise. You will never ever ever get better if you do not practise.

Funniest thing I've learned over the past 96 days is that there are no physical impediments stopping you from drawing awesome things. You possess the ability to do anything, learn any style, master any technique, no matter how alien and magic the base material you're looking at is. And doubly oddly, you can accidentally produce good pieces at your current level, whatever it is. Trick is always learning from it.

The other thing is that progress is weird. It's hard to notice it happening, but it's happening. Go into drawings with an eye to analysis. Trying something new, sinking hours on a piece, and getting a clashing and terrible drawing teaches much more than something you know how to do already.

Mix it up. Try random techniques and genres and styles and don't pin yourself down to the first style that you get passing competence with. I variate my material wildly from day to day and I feel like I'm getting a lot better at the abstract technical skills of placing lines and drawing shapes which I can apply to a wide range of things. There is a style I'd like to emulate and want to aim for and I'm doing my best to never use it until I'm certain that doing so would be a choice rather than a trap.

And to close this, practise. It's worth practising.

Those are the big unexpected things I learned from this process.

leakingpen
2011-08-25, 12:28 AM
hunh, as someone that used said book, it has done no damage to my ability to draw from imagination. In addition, as a student of neural chemistry and physiology, with a keen interest into the inner workings of the brain, I fail to see much "mumbo jumbo". A lot of terms are outdated, but the concepts of turning off symbological processing to allow the eye to translate directly, is quite valid.

The entire "discrediting" is one article from someone who has no such training themselves, going off of a few reports that show that certain acts are not tied to actual hemispheres of the brain. And, aren't most artists, if not slaves to reference, still using it regularly?

Can you show me ONE example of a person damaged by this book in the way you claim it can do so? If not, then no, it hasn't been discredited. (Thats called SCIENCE, btw. You've made a hypothesis, now you observe, and collect data. I'm one data point, a person not damaged by the book. Can you collect some others?)

Kaytara
2011-08-25, 10:00 AM
hunh, as someone that used said book, it has done no damage to my ability to draw from imagination. In addition, as a student of neural chemistry and physiology, with a keen interest into the inner workings of the brain, I fail to see much "mumbo jumbo". A lot of terms are outdated, but the concepts of turning off symbological processing to allow the eye to translate directly, is quite valid.

Yes, symbological processing vs. direct processing, that is valid - as has been mentioned already. But other books give that lesson much better and with much more useful other stuff.

Your personal story of how you used that book and can draw from imagination is not worth much without details about how and when you started drawing, at what level you were when you were introduced to the book, how much you used it, and, last but not least, examples your current level and how you're able to draw from imagination. Even aside from that, yes - nobody said the book is instant poison that cripples the artistic future of any person it comes to contact with. But the lessons do have a great potential to be damaging.


The entire "discrediting" is one article from someone who has no such training themselves, going off of a few reports that show that certain acts are not tied to actual hemispheres of the brain.
That "someone who has no such training themselves" also happens to be a very accomplished and skilled artist - in other words, the sort of person art books are actually written by, because he knows the craft and what becoming an artist entails - as opposed to the wannabe witch-doctor of art with outdated concepts that compiled this book.


And, aren't most artists, if not slaves to reference, still using it regularly?
Point one, maybe, but they do it becomes it makes some things faster and easier, not because they really need to. Point two, there is a vast difference between someone who sometimes looks at stock photos to figure out difficult poses or where the light falls and someone who is utterly powerless to draw a head at a subtly different angle because it's not what they see in front of them. Which is what the worst-case scenario of not being able to draw from imagination would be.


Can you show me ONE example of a person damaged by this book in the way you claim it can do so? If not, then no, it hasn't been discredited. (Thats called SCIENCE, btw. You've made a hypothesis, now you observe, and collect data. I'm one data point, a person not damaged by the book. Can you collect some others?)

Well, if you're asking for examples, I think the "progress" shots in the book itself are telling enough - quite often the "after" shots, while seeming more professional at first glance, have more skewed proportions, layout and composition than the amateurish but more solid "before" shots. In other words, in the process of "improving" their skill, people screwed up what fundamentals they already had. It may not be irreversible damage, but it sure as hell is damage.

Lastly: I'm not postulating my own hypothesis. I'm discrediting another's hypothesis ("This book helps people learn to draw) by demonstrating that it is supported by faulty evidence (the progress shots) in addition to a theoretical explanation of why the questioned hypothesis is unreasonable. I'm pretty sure science would have no problem with that.

leakingpen
2011-08-25, 11:05 AM
but, the book DOESNT postulate that it helps people learn to draw. It helps people learn to DRAW SHAPES. as opposed to symbols. You're putting up a straw man arguement.

Kaytara
2011-08-25, 01:00 PM
Er, no. It's marketed (and widely recommended) as a book for learning how to draw, in general. I don't see how that was a strawman.

And in lieu of data points, the customer reviews on Amazon are very informative. There's a slew of the usual "OMG I went to photorealism in three days!' stuff, but the low rating reviews are also very informative. Random example (http://www.amazon.com/review/R18RXE24D8T9NQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0874774195&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=):


Way back in 8th. grade, I read Edward's drawing on the right side of the brain because I was clueless on drawing, and you know what? I could suddenly draw pretty well!...wait a minute, let me backtrack a little. You've read everyone's review explaining what this book is about, so I'll clarify the facts. This book is an instructional on how you can approach an image to be drawn by "seeing" it as being made up as smaller abstract shapes in relation to other abstract shapes which collectively will make up the whole (like in the upside down drawings). This is a trueism in drawing, especially in referenced realism, but this book fails to explain other more fundamental concepts that begginers SHOULD be studying, tangible concepts like using basic shapes and geometric forms to achieve solidity and to also achieve perspective in your drawings. It doesn't talk about simplifying complex images into a more pleasing composition, or about composition at all for that matter. It doesn't discuss anatomy. It never mentions light sources, or the importance of creating an accurate and practical value system to be used in your drawing. The information in this book basically taught me how to create almost photorealistic pencil drawings of photos of simple portraits, which seemed impressive, but I wasn't able to draw anything that required an actual working understanding of perspective, or make quick sketches (my "portraits" only worked if I spent a couple of days on a single detail, like an eye), and I could never ever draw un-referenced things like cartoons BECAUSE I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW HOW TO DRAW!!! This book is no doubt interesting, but I'd skip it if you are an absolute begginer looking for qaulity instruction. Although most people who are interested in this title would probably balk at anything to do with cartooning, I would suggest checking out a book called Comics Crash Course by Vincent Giarrano. Everything I've mentioned in this review that is not included in DOROB is explain very well in this excellent IMPACT title.

And that's all there really is to be said on the matter.