AuthorTopic: Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?  (Read 2283 times)

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?

on: October 20, 2013, 11:03:09 pm
Most of you have forgotten about me, but I'm back from hiatus!  I'm most of the way through college applications and once they're all in, senior year should be a breeze.  I've done some heavy Music Theory studying, but I would love to get back into visual artistry, perhaps with a good amount of fun pixeling on the side, now that I have nearly a year before I have to worry about classes in college.

That being said, I was a shitty artist before (not the worst in the world, but among the bottom quartile here), and I'm pretty sure that I've lost most of the skill I had gained so quickly before.  I don't have much time to study or practice these days, but I would like to spend some time getting back up to speed, and hopefully gain some completely new skills.  What's the best way to ease back into things?  Should I just ignore pixeling at first and just get back the basics on traditional media?  Should I have a regimented schedule, or just cram in time whenever possible/when I feel like it?  What are the best things to study first (given that I used to have some problems with things like perspective and human anatomy)?  TIA!

EDIT: It might be worth saying that I can spend only an hour a day practicing; I'm just asking to see what things I should make sure to fit into that time period and what things are a little less essential.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 11:06:19 pm by Ashbad »

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?

Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 02:09:25 am
Unless you care a lot about pixelling specifically, traditional media is a better option in that you can produce more, quicker. I personally have several clipboards with scrap A4 paper, and try to use exactly one piece of paper per drawing (so that I am drawing as big as possible).

My experience is that for building up skill, it's better to do many quick works than a few refined works -- I think of it in terms of 'the number of good new insights you can have per drawing' being limited. "Don't do anything knowingly wrong, but don't spend any significant time fixing a bad drawing either, just fix that flaw in the -next- drawing you do".

In terms of subject, I think that space is one of the most effective aspects to improve. This covers perspective, value, and construction. There are many possible approaches.
Some of them include:

* drawing cubes and rotating them in perspective without the help of explicit vanishing points. (see moatddtutorial's 5-part series on digital art basics, a demo of this is included IIRC)
* As above but with a more value-painting based approach (draw entire faces in their correct brightness, rather than the lines defining the cube)
* breaking down the object you see into 3d boxes, making sure that these are spatially possible (don't intersect other boxes in 3d space)
* There are also more curve-based approaches (eg. as shown in the first 20 pages of Vilpuu's Drawing Manual -- to oversimplify, "draw a wide range of blobs, connected or overlapping in different ways in space") which help to improve your sense of how to create volumes by conveying a sense of overlapping forms.

As I finish writing this and reread your post, it occurs to me that initially, you will not have a very good grasp of what you're bad at, so it's probably important to start out by doing a whole lot of different types of studies to locate where you are most lacking.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline Ashbad

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 226
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • I am governor Jerry Brown
    • View Profile
    • SoundCloud

Re: Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?

Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 01:18:37 pm
Thanks for being helpful like always, Ai!  I'll try some sketches tonight (most likely just cubes to start) and maybe post here to keep track of progress, and ask further questions if needed.



I've been working things out, I just have nothing interesting to post; just a bunch of value-painted cubes in different perspectives.  I have worked out some things I've had issues with before, though; for example, I always wondered how to decide the "strength" of perspective on an object.  Now I realize that if the edges of an object are relatively close to both vanishing points (in a simple 2-point, no-tilt perspective) are technically "closer" to you in the Z-position, and hence seem to pop out at you.  I suppose that, by extension, I now know how to decide how far away things are based by their top and bottom edge angles.

Going to continue with 3 point perspective (which is starting off well so far), and hopefully draw some simple objects from life (pots, vases, etc.) tonight if I'm not too busy, maybe post some of the life drawings for quick improvement tips.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 08:43:19 pm by PixelPiledriver »

Offline PixelPiledriver

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 997
  • Karma: +6/-0
  • Yo!
    • View Profile
    • My Blog

Re: Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?

Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 11:02:03 pm
Quote
Should I have a regimented schedule, or just cram in time whenever possible/when I feel like it?
It might be worth saying that I can spend only an hour a day practicing.

Scheduled art time is good but you should also get into the habit of making marks.
Carry a pad of post-its and a pen in your pocket.
There is lots of available time during the day to draw in small amounts.
Waiting for a bus, cooking, resting, pooping, right before bed, whatever.
If you're just sitting somewhere staring at the wall for the next 30sec -> 2min you could probly be drawing instead.
It's not important that you draw anything good or cohesive, just draw stuff.
That way when you are ready to sit down and spend some solid time drawing you will be able to make confident strokes and decisions.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline Ai

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1057
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • finti
    • http://pixeljoint.com/pixels/profile.asp?id=1996
    • finticemo
    • View Profile

Re: Would like to get back into art of any sort... help?

Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 03:44:25 am
I can affirm PPD's advice; whenever it's important to improve and keep up a skill, I try to make it part of my lifestyle, not just a scheduled timeslot; "draw interesting things whenever I can, when I see or think of them, and don't worry about being good, just being better.". Going for scrap paper is intended to enforce that "no individual thing I did was particularly important, doing a lot of it was much more important" idea.

I do disagree about post-its, mainly because of their size. If you do enough drawing it's VITAL to draw with your arm rather than your wrist to avoid RSI, and drawing with your arm  is much harder in a small space[1]. Use them if you have to, but use something larger if it's at all possible to make it convenient. (A5 pads are about the maximum workable size if it has to fit your pocket IME). EDIT: I also find that drawing at a large scale encourages me to capture details accurately, rather than fudging them (producing something that looks 'ambiguously right')

[1] And small drawings are frequently much more scribbly/incoherent IME, although this may just be a personal thing: the larger I can draw the happier I tend to be with the readability of the result (I'm focused on conveying the concept, don't care much about technique. I think this is a good focus for practicing but there are probably other good focuses too.)

BTW, here's the box-rotation demo/tutorial I mentioned in my previous post. It's really way more helpful than it seems from the mere description.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 01:24:48 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.