Newbie art/advice

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Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:47 am

I can't draw.
I would really like to become at least passably competent, but I'm not too sure where to start. I have a tablet because, (hopefully at least,) having invested over $100 dollars into this project I won't allow myself to back down.
At this point I can draw like an incompetent six year old.
I can pay for services rendered in internet hugs, or if you're just not comfortable with that, the knowledge that if when I become rich and famous I'll totally owe you one.
Halp plz.


Last edited by tagg on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Necro910 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:56 am

I suggest using references, like here.

But the most important part is practice practice practice
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Slag on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:02 am

Uh, investing money in a project doesn't do much for your willingness to keep going. I learned that the hard way.

Besides which, I would severely recommend you don't start drawing with a tablet unless it's the only flat surface in your house that's comfortable to draw on. I'd start with pencil and paper and work on extremely simplistic drawings, trying to make smooth curves and straight lines and building them into shapes, then making the shapes into figures. Everything's made up of simple shapes, you just have to learn how to make and arrange them.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:53 am

Necro910 wrote:I suggest using references, like here.
Yes, but how do I make things look like the things they are supposed to look like? What if it's slightly off?
Necro910 wrote:But the most important part is practice practice practice
But I thought this was going to be easy and require no effort! Ah well, guess I'll need lot's of ideas of things to draw. For practice.
Slag wrote:Uh, investing money in a project doesn't do much for your willingness to keep going. I learned that the hard way.
At worst I give the tablet away to someone who'll put it to better use. At least it's existence next to my computer will remind me of drawing.
Slag wrote:Besides which, I would severely recommend you don't start drawing with a tablet unless it's the only flat surface in your house that's comfortable to draw on. I'd start with pencil and paper
But paper's expens I'd be willing to start with paper I suppose, any particular reason it's better to start off that way?
Slag wrote:and work on extremely simplistic drawings, trying to make smooth curves and straight lines and building them into shapes, then making the shapes into figures. Everything's made up of simple shapes, you just have to learn how to make and arrange them.
Simple=Good. Righty-o.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Necro910 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:03 am

tagg wrote:
Necro910 wrote:I suggest using references, like here.
Yes, but how do I make things look like the things they are supposed to look like? What if it's slightly off?

Necro910 wrote:practice practice practice

tagg wrote:But I thought this was going to be easy and require no effort! Ah well, guess I'll need lot's of ideas of things to draw. For practice.

I could give you a few ideas if you'd like. I need to find my old serial key for PS before I can draw, and I need to fix my scanner so it doesn't FUCKING ZOOM IN x55

I can give you some of the ideas I am crippled of right now!


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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Flying Dice on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:07 am

Consider taking a course or two of applied visual arts, as that can give you a good foundation for understanding how to construct realistic figures, even if you end up taking your style in a completely different direction, and it really helps to understand the ideas behind perspective and proportion.

((At least, that was the advice my painter/guitarist/writer father gave me.))
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:20 am

Necro910 wrote:
tagg wrote:But I thought this was going to be easy and require no effort! Ah well, guess I'll need lot's of ideas of things to draw. For practice.

I could give you a few ideas if you'd like. I need to find my old serial key for PS before I can draw, and I need to fix my scanner so it doesn't FUCKING ZOOM IN x55

I can give you some of the ideas I am crippled of right now!
Sounds deeeeeeeeeeelightful.

Flying Dice wrote:Consider taking a course or two of applied visual arts, as that can give you a good foundation for understanding how to construct realistic figures, even if you end up taking your style in a completely different direction, and it really helps to understand the ideas behind perspective and proportion.

((At least, that was the advice my painter/guitarist/writer father gave me.))
I'll certainly consider schooling. But as things stand now it would probably be a waste of everyone's time.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Flying Dice on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:48 am

At the very worst, you can usually find some mediocre drawing guides in a public library. Not the sort of shit where you trace whatever is in the book, but where it gives examples of different sorts of shapes and how they fit together to make recognizable forms. Check out a couple of those, and a book or two on art theory or w/e and you can get at least a basic understanding of things without spending a dime. It isn't something you'll be able to do without any effort (barring natural talent) [goodness knows I have enough personal experience with that], and you'll have to put time into it to get appreciable results. I haven't, and so I still can't draw anything remotely organic, unless I want to pretend that I was going for an extremely ugly form of abstract figure.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:57 am

Flying Dice wrote:At the very worst, you can usually find some mediocre drawing guides in a public library. Not the sort of shit where you trace whatever is in the book, but where it gives examples of different sorts of shapes and how they fit together to make recognizable forms. Check out a couple of those, and a book or two on art theory or w/e and you can get at least a basic understanding of things without spending a dime. It isn't something you'll be able to do without any effort (barring natural talent) [goodness knows I have enough personal experience with that], and you'll have to put time into it to get appreciable results. I haven't, and so I still can't draw anything remotely organic, unless I want to pretend that I was going for an extremely ugly form of abstract figure.
Oooo that really sounds like somewhere to start on the right foot, then I'll have a why behind the abominations I create. If it can't be pretty it can at least be structurally sound!
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Slag on Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:58 am

I recommend pencil and paper because they're a lot cheaper than spending $100 on a tablet or even $10 on an art kit. Buy a big-ass batch of print paper and a 50 cent box of school-grade pencils and never want for art supplies again. At least until you start getting seriously good and want the tools to start making some magic. From the sound of you, you're a ways off of that, though.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:22 am

Slag wrote:I recommend pencil and paper because they're a lot cheaper than spending $100 on a tablet
Bit late for that.
Slag wrote:or even $10 on an art kit. Buy a big-ass batch of print paper and a 50 cent box of school-grade pencils and never want for art supplies again. At least until you start getting seriously good and want the tools to start making some magic. From the sound of you, you're a ways off of that, though.
Ehehe, yeah. So basically just say "screw it" and spend hours at least getting something done?
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Slag on Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:25 am

Something like that, yes. Better to use the cheap stuff to learn how to draw through brute practice.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  drilltooth on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:18 am

step one:draw 20 stick figure ponies. Be as accurate as you can to the series.

but seriously, it really jsut takes practice.. I think it was faust who said, that anyone can draw well, just takes patience to get the thousand or so bad drawings inside you out of the way so the good ones can come.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Kaijyuu on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:26 am

Have some more references
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The Most Important Thing

Post  Nighzmarquls on Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:56 am

After you have started getting over your 'omg it will be horrible and no one will love me FOREVER because I don't make it look right' fears by sheer brute force and pierce the heavens tenacity we can get started on the biggest secret of drawing/art:

Its not about getting things onto the page (that is motor control and barring serious injury any human being can do it).

It is about learning to see, and the way you train yourself to see what is really in front of you that your looking at every day is you try and emulate it with media, do this with EVERYTHING there is no subject matter that you can apprehend with your eyes that will not teach you worlds about drawing.

To start with try to stay in the realms of black and white, this will help remove some of the causes 'bad' looking work, Pencil is good while your getting your starting jitters out of the way.

As soon as you can stand to draw in pencil (no matter how good or bad it looks) I would suggest moving to pen, the cheap kind that you can get a variable line quality/darkness because those will be sketchy. This will force you to work out your line quality, I've seen it happen for a lot of people, and I'd say its the cause of most of my artistic failings that I did not manage this sooner.

At the same time you are going to want to start experimenting with charcoal, get stuff that is crumbly and soft if it doesn't irritate your skin too badly, your first pieces with it are going to look like messes but the charcoal will help you fuzz out and a bit and get used to working with broad shapes and shading as one.

I'd say at this point you can probably start working on color as after your familiar with the last three media you should have a strong foundation to do value and line quality.

If possible get some colored LEDs when your ready to start on color, experiment with how you can change the properties of something with just light before trying to draw it.

And remember to have fun Smile if your not enjoying art you won't do it as much as you need to... so always try to keep that in mind.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:55 am

@Nighzmarquls Hmm, that's certainly food for thought, but what, exactly, does "line quality" mean? Aside from that, thanks for the info, I'm glad to have some sort of long term plan now.

Quick update: I've started just sketching, following Slag's suggestion, using cheap pencils and "a big-ass batch of print paper," which has been an improvement even if only for the portability. I also found one -yes one- decent, (I think,) book on learning how to "see" how different shapes fit together as per Flying Dice's suggestion. Regrettably the local library has a rather limited selection and only the one book appealed to me.
What I draw still isn't aesthetically pleasing but I at least feel that I have an idea of what I should be doing, and that I'm making real progress of some kind. I have a goal and a method of pursuing the goal. Drawing has become not early as intimidating as it was even a week ago.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Slag on Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:11 am

Good to know our suggestions are helping you. If you need anything else, we'll be glad to give what advice we have.

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Nighzmarquls on Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:31 am

tagg wrote:@Nighzmarquls Hmm, that's certainly food for thought, but what, exactly, does "line quality" mean?

Sorry, its a semi-advanced topic jargon they teach you first year of art school.

but in essence it means how well you can use a single line to convey things about a shape, or emotion. It pretty much is the result of having good control of the line on the page.

Example This was the fastest thing I could find showing line quality clearly... if you look at those pieces you should notice how much the same subject can completely change depending on how you use lines.

Also the techniques related to line quality end up becoming a part of everything else your likely to do, even if your painting or using broad solid sections with uniform outlines like they use in the show line quality is still ticking away in the back of your mind telling you how to convey ideas using the simplest pieces of information.



Last edited by Nighzmarquls on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : surgical removal of haughty art student lingo.)

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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Kirbypowered on Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Huh. I was just thinking last night that I'd attempt to work up the courage to make a topic here to post some random stuff I've been drawing. I'd really like to know where people think I stand and what sorts of things I should work on. I'd also be pleased to have some motivation to keep me working on drawing ponies/in general. As long as no one minds and some people would be willing to offer criticism, I'd be happy to get the topic up and running.

(Sorry about the slight misuse of your thread tagg, but it certainly is making me feel silly about being nervous, so thanks. Very Happy I dunno if have much else to add in terms of advice, besides to just draw like a maniac every chance you get. That's what I do.)
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:28 am

Kirbypowered wrote:Huh. I was just thinking last night that I'd attempt to work up the courage to make a topic here to post some random stuff I've been drawing. I'd really like to know where people think I stand and what sorts of things I should work on. I'd also be pleased to have some motivation to keep me working on drawing ponies/in general. As long as no one minds and some people would be willing to offer criticism, I'd be happy to get the topic up and running.

(Sorry about the slight misuse of your thread tagg, but it certainly is making me feel silly about being nervous, so thanks. Very Happy I dunno if have much else to add in terms of advice, besides to just draw like a maniac every chance you get. That's what I do.)
Might as well just use this thread, I'll just change the title to something more general.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Kirbypowered on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:06 am

tagg wrote:Might as well just use this thread, I'll just change the title to something more general.
*Whistles quitely as I kick some dirt over the thread I just made*

Maybe I can just use that one as a place to upload my finished-ish works and whatnot then.

Heh, finished works. I wouldn't call much of any of my stuff "finished".
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Nighzmarquls on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:30 am

Kirbypowered wrote:
tagg wrote:Might as well just use this thread, I'll just change the title to something more general.
*Whistles quitely as I kick some dirt over the thread I just made*

Maybe I can just use that one as a place to upload my finished-ish works and whatnot then.

Heh, finished works. I wouldn't call much of any of my stuff "finished".

Okay, I've been watching too much Gurren Lagann but I still feel this is worth saying.


Remember Artists!

You are going down the path of creation!



Do not let critique or trolls quench your spirit, the slings and arrows are the mere beating of the hammer to bring out the true metal of your skill. Whether it is Ponies or Fan Art or the Sistine chapel art is the heart of a human's soul!



Your Creativity is the Force that will draw the heavens!




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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  tagg on Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:46 am

Row row, fight the haters.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Kirbypowered on Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:20 am

Hrm, I have a question to those who may listen. When it comes to drawing, I feel extremely helpless when I don't have a reference, and give up all hope when the drawing starts looking not so nice. I'm wondering, should I actually work more on drawing without reference, maybe build up the detail of my imagination or something?

Relevant on my quest to draw ponies, I've gotten to a point where I'm comfortable drawing their bodies from the generic side view. Would it be more productive if I focus on getting details and such at this angle better, or maybe attempt more complicated views? Either way, I'm going to try learning a bit more on equine skeletal structure.
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Re: Newbie art/advice

Post  Nighzmarquls on Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:54 am

Static views are best when your trying to get absolute accuracy/feel of anatom, but I would suggest avoiding drawing from a single angle if at all possible for final pieces. keep trying out different perspectives, if possible I'd REALLY recommend picking up a toy or something and drawing that from as many angles as possible.

After that try holding in your head what something looks like and then drawing that.

Also if a drawing is not going well the best advice I have is draw it again... and then again and then again. Draw the same subject matter from as many angles as possible, if you find one that you don't quite know how to draw it from GO FIND OUT WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE.

Then repeat and repeat and repeat.

This will get you technical accuracy. Later you will then need to work on the really hard stuff, like composition.

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