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Random bits of Knowledge, Advice, Motivation, & Inspiration

All of this is a collection of words I found useful that I collected and had posted on a forum in the past. I heard that forum may be erased from the internet, so I'm relocating all of this here.
It is not necessary to exclaim admiration, or show appreciation for the information therein. Nor is there any significance to argue against, or agree with, any of these points. (posts like "THIS. SO THIS!!!" are worthless) These words are gathered from various sources, and some might contradict each other in some respect. It is left up to the reader to decide what is helpful to them.

  • I just draw slow no matter how much I practice. I doubt I will ever learn it.
  • You're limiting and doubting yourself too much. If you put in the time and effort, you can start drawing faster. Do 30-60 sec gestures (posemaniacs)] and/or draw from life. Those force you to draw fast. If it takes you a week the first time, then it takes a week. It will progressively get faster the more you practice it. You need to learn how to crawl before you need walk after all. If you aren't willing to learn, you won't get better. Nobody can teach you until you learn to listen.
  • Certain aspects of composition have certain meanings. Like: if there is too much space between two characters, it gives off a vibe of tension. Also, hands being hidden gives the impression that the character has something to hide or is dishonest. So I was wondering, is there a recourse like a book or a site you could recommend on this subject? Or do things like this come with experience and gathering little bits of knowledge here and there?
  • The concept of personal space and body language can be derived from life drawing, or some basic study in psychology/sociology, or acting. Keep in mind that art is cross-disciplinary. The architectural designer needs to know something about building. The roboticist needs to know bio-mechanics. The comic artist needs to know storytelling and acting.
Teal Line Guy
Cross Contour

- You're using a bunch of smaller lines to make a big line. That is called chicken scratch, and you should stop. Be more confident with your lines.

- Teaching others helps oneself understand the material better. It helps test one's knowledge.

- You'll never get better if you avoid challenges.
Try to make the character part of the composition, and try to introduce some more depth. Think more about where to lead the eye.
If the character is blocking most of the background, it makes our eyes stop at her, then the drawing ends up looking flat.

Don't shade with black.
This is why everyone should master traditional work first; these little shortcuts presented in digital programs like Photoshop open a pathway to skewed fundamentals. Instead of using blacks and greys use complementary colors to create shadows, also when working with color, keep in mind that there is always a better outcome to use two colors that mix to create the color your desire inestead of using a single shade that matches the skin tone. Go open a book on color theory. James Gurney is a good place to start.[/color]

Everything is better with a reference. Even people who draw from imagination more often than not will use a reference for different parts of the drawing.
Stop relying too much on reference. It should be used to enhance your work. Right now it feels like, if you have no references, you couldn't produce anything worthwhile. Don't be bounded too much, and just draw what you want.
One needs to be able to copy accurately (from photo and life) before they can draw anything meaningful from imagination. Ideally you'd develop a construction method from drawing from photos and life, that you re-use when drawing from imagination.

If I were training someone to draw, I'd go in this order:

1. Line control. Mark making. Line weight. Draw straight lines and curves. Basic 2D shapes. Study some basic drafting books for techniques on making clean lines.

2. Perspective. Basic 3D shapes and rules of geometry. Read [i]Perspective Made Easy[/i], and learn how to draw ellipses correctly. Divide boxes. Find vanishing points. Overlap. Relative size.

3. Basic rendering. Shading of 3D shapes. Texture. Sill life drawing. Cloth. Read a book that covers lighting, shadows, core shadows, cast shadows, cracks, umbra/penumbra/antumbrambra, midtone, highlight, specular light, atmospheric rendering/chiaroscuro.

4. Drawing people. Gesture. Construction. Anatomy. Life drawing.

5. Invention. Stylization. Goal/Purpose oriented drawing.

You don't have to master each step before exploring the next, because each successive step practices the elements that came before it, but mastery of one is necessary for mastery of the next. You can't draw a proper perspective grid if you cannot draw straight lines. You cannot draw a 3D shape in space convincingly without understanding perspective. You cannot construct people without being able to draw the basic shapes that comprise them. You cannot stylize if you cannot draw people.[/color]

>> Depression. Self-doubt. Self-loathing. Self-abuse
Your problem is a mental health one, not an art one. You need to talk to people who's profession is treating those ailments, not to artists on the internet. Therapy and meds.

- In any pursuit that is worthy, you're going to feel like shit before you get better. Keep applying yourself. Let time marinate you, and love the process.

- The more you draw the less you undo.

Dynamic Sketching, with Peter Han]
Human Anatomy for the Artist

A bit of advice for drawing smoke:

1. Think of smoke like hair: a grouping of forms creating a large, irregular form and a texture. Use a single base value for the entirety of your smoke cloud and add or remove value as necessary to create the shapes within the smoke.

2. Smoke has color. Not all smokes are black. Keep this in mind when working with color.

3. Use outlines and varying outline line weight to give your smoke a sense of direction and flow. Smoke is highly gestural. For some simple tips to give you more dynamic smoke, use thicker lines on curves (where the smoke is changing direction) and thinner lines on thinner connections between your smoke shapes. Also, denser smokes should have thicker outlines.

4. Don't be afraid to use outlines. They exist to help make the forms of your smoke readable and less ambiguous. When in doubt, use an outline

5. Smoke is a fluid. Understand what smoke you are drawing and understand how it's atomic mass will affect how it moves through normal atmospheric conditions. For example, sublimating carbon dioxide does not float in air.

6. High smoke density DOES NOT EQUAL dark smoke. Again, smoke has color.

7. Finally, don't over-complicate smoke by adding unnecessary transparency. If it's thick enough to be seen, it's thick enough to be opaque.[/color]

- You are supposed to think critically and analyze what you are doing wrong, and then spend your exercise time intelligently accordingly. Not mindlessly following the orders of some idiot who himself doesn't even know what he's doing. Listening to wannabe teachers is one of the worst things any beginner could do.[/color]

Artists tend to be drawn to one another and use each other as motivation and inspiration, so helping each other out is not far off. There's a reason why artists are competitive, but that doesn't mean that they are not capable of being friends.
>> That right there is part of why people going to art classes/groups/sessions get better faster than when they were alone. It's part teaching, but mostly to do with having those other artists around you. You walk in, and are motivated to draw because everyone else is doing it. Maybe you're inspired by someone else's work. Maybe you see someone doing something awesome and ask them about it, critique each other, etc.

29 ways to stay creative
Nothing is original
Best Advice by fox-orian
Nobody tells this to beginners
Power leveling for the busy artist

Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.
~Chuck Close
You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.
~John Rogers

TEDTalk - Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake
TEDTalk - Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius [19:29]        type="text/javascript">
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Submitted on
October 11, 2016


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