Thursday, 15 November 2012

006 Status Now, Goals and Tips for Beginning Artists

I learned a lot about drawing and painting in the past two years, even more than in the rest of my life before. But it wasn´t easy and I had to discover lots by myself.
I can´t possibly squeeze all the tiny bits I acquired into a few blog posts, but as this blog is supposed to track my progress, I can sometimes give tips and share my experiences in future posts. These will always be biased as they are, well, MY experiences, taylored to my learning process.
Everybody learns stuff differently and I don´t have the overruling word when it comes to learning how to paint/draw. There are just too many methods, systems and whatever out there and everybody has to find out for him/herself what suits him/her best.  I´ll also try to answer questions, if someone wants to know something about specific topics.

So for starters, here are some source materials (mainly on figure drawing as I focused a lot on that subject), that I found very helpful in learning to paint/draw:

Books about figure drawing:
  • Andrew Loomis, Drawing the Head and Hands
  • Andrew Loomis, Figure Drawing For All It´s Worth
  • Bridgman´s Complete Guide to Drawing From Life
  • Burne Hogarth, Dynamic Figure Drawing
  • Michael Hampton, Figure Drawing - Design and Invention
Books related to figure drawing:

  • Burne Hogarth, Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery
  • Gary Faigin, The Artist´s Complete Guide to Facial Expressions
Books on painting: 

  • James Gurney, Color & Light
Video tutorials on figure drawing:

  • David Finch, Dynamic Figure Drawing Series at Gnomon Workshop here
  •  Glenn Vilppu, Figure Drawing here
General video tutorials on painting/drawing:

These are just a few sources you can get your knowledge from. There are lots more out there, some free, some not, but these mentioned sources helped me a lot.

 For beginners, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Get yourself a sketchbook and keep it with you every day
  • Draw as much as possible each day, but don´t see it as work. Keep the fun in it!
  • Use spare time to draw everywhere. On travels, waiting for the bus, ....
  • Start to really observe the world and your environment. Study all the forms you can see, how color and light behave in certain situations, where do shadows fall and what colors do they create (shadows are not entirely black...), why does a person look like he does (placement of facial features, hairstyles,...), etc.
  • No matter how bad you think your drawings are, you always learn something from them just by drawing
  • Build up a visual library in your mind of objects, faces, environments, lighting conditions, etc. It really helps when drawing from imagination.
  • Draw from reference (photos, from life,...) and after finishing, put away the reference (or walk away from it) and draw it again from your mind.

Here are some of my more recent paintings and drawings, so you can compare the progress with my earlier posts:

The paintings where done fully digital with some reference (like parts of the child in the last painting and some landscape photos on the first one).  All drawings are from my recent sketchbook with no reference, just from my mind.

So regarding my immediate future goals, here they are:

  • Study anatomy till I drop dead or finally get it into my head completely
  • Create more dynamic, lively figures and faces that could jump right off the screen
  • Study facial expressions till I´ve had enough of smiling, crying and angry  people
  • Draw hands, hands, hands and some more hands
  • Drapery and clothes are not my enemy....I just have to study them more
  • More realistic color palettes and lighting
  • Moodier atmospheres in paintings
  • A more realistic look and feel to my paintings
  • Going right to ludicrous speed when painting. I am like a snail now (can´t really train that. It´ll come with time and practice)
So, there is a lot to do. Let´s make it happen! 

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