Tuesday, 13 November 2012

001 What is this about? - A history lesson

This blog is a companion on the neverending quest of becoming a better artist. It´s main goal for me is to track my progress, but at the same time, hopefully, someone might get inspired by it.

But first things first. Here are in a nutshell my beginnings as an artist:

Drawing has always been a passion for me, sometimes more, sometimes less. In kindergarten, I passionately drew lots of mountains and dinosaurs. Nothing was cooler back then.

Somehow I lost that passion in schooltime up until high school, where I started to pull the rusty magical pencil back out of the stone. And as nobody is born with the innate ability to accurately draw anything (except maybe Frank Frazetta) my drawings looked somewhat like this (these scans are one of the oldest drawings I could find. There where lots of even worse before that):

I have always had a thing for the fantasy genre, so most of my drawings contained that element. I used reference from which I could draw, so I naturally started to draw portraits someday. At least I tried....

Really not the best drawings and looking at these nowadays I start to smile and nit-pick my own mistakes. Especially the eyes and lips are really unbareable for me to look at :)

I also started to combine my fantasy drawings and portraits (mostly of friends):

I continued to draw from photos and other paintings/drawings until I bought some drawing books for beginners and art books from people like Tim Hildebrandt, Rodney Matthews, Chris Achileos and Boris Vallejo (I didn´t have internet back then....and even if I would have, there where no tutorials on drawing)

Something clicked in my head while reading these books. It was as if I had gained enough experience for another character level. A feeling that I would have more often later as I progressed. I started to make the first steps in drawing without reference:

Still nothing too great, but a step in the right direction. I did mostly landscapes without reference as they where really easy for me. I improved a bit and reached another level:

I did a lot of those landscapes, most of them for friends or relatives. Most of those drawings are lost and scattered across space and time.

My level of character art also improved:

But even with this improvement, I still couldn`t draw figures or faces from imagination. I always had to rely on reference. I knew almost nothing of composition, anatomy or perspective. Even with drawing books, the human form just wouldn´t stick in my mind.
No matter how hard I tried, figures from imagination always looked kind of like this:
But I wanted the freedom to choose, if I wanted reference for a drawing or not. That impatience, combined with life outside of art, let my passion fade away slightly. I still did occasional drawings and even tried to paint in color using first oil and soon switching to acrylics, but my learning curve stagnated.

Sometimes the passion for art would come back, but my learning curve didn´t improve much as I started to study at university and found some other things that caught my interest, like moviemaking, cutting movies and Photoshop retouching/photomanipulations.

But as the years went by, a thing was about to happen which has not happened since the Elder Days: the artist in me was going to wake up and find that he is strong.....

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