View Full Version : On The Road - Practise journey of Alice

10-09-2008, 10:39 PM
Ok this is hard!
Let's see how to introduce the whole thing.
I'm passing one of that "no inspiration - no satisfaction" moods, when you have no ideas, or, much worse, when you are not able to paint the ideas you have in mind; a lack of skills, of motivation...maybe the impression that you are going exactly...NOWHERE.
I draw since I was a child; always self-taught and with no possibilities to follow an art course (at the moment, at least).
I was a lonely child, drawing was my perfect magic to run away from this world and walk inside my dreams.
I was used to be a silent person, drawing was the way to put on paper the deep feeling I had inside.
Drawing like breathing...maybe more important.
Then life changes and make you change. I went into a really bad period and I found the whole myself in discussion; it's still this way for the most aspects of my life.
In all this it comes a new way to look at my art.
Growing as a person, being forced to face reality and to be hurted by it; having lot of questions and frequently no answers. Feeling mostly confused and not safe at all.
In this big "?", feeling the need to find again my art.
Feeling the need to be able once again to let all my deeper feelings come out on a canvas.

And this is how I decided to start this thread.
Last night I was sleepless and found myself reading this thread:
For some points of view, I found there the question I was posing to myself.

Probably I won't never be a professionist in this field, maybe I will just spend my life drawing for myself and it will be good.
But the real problem is that in any case, my skills are still not enough for me.
Painting is no more funny because it keeps getting frustrating to never reach what I have in mind.
Obviously you look at your best favored artists and you think: "Ok I will never reach this".
Maybe you see a lot of paintings by other people and they always look better than yours, at your eyes.
But apart from these, I think, common problems, there's the basic one: when you feel like stuck, when you don't have the right knowledge to do something not in the perfect way, but at least "near" to it.

I'm a quite shy person, and really sensitive on my art. I find really difficult to share it, I find really difficult to expose myself to cryticism.
Well, I'm a perfectionist and something inside my mind thinks that if I'm not perfect and someone notices it, the whole world could fall on me ^_^
But...life is teaching me that you need to be brave and to pass over your limits, in order to have a result.
It's a daily approach, it's a self discipline.
It's hard to do!!

So here I am, feeling naked in front of CG community, ready to share with you my scraps, and opened to all comments that you will desire to leave me.

This thread is my daily self-discipline.
I will post my sketches, my WIP, my scraps...my thoughts and my plans somethimes, too :p
I hope this will help me to keep up with the work, to be strong and strive for my final result.
Above all, I hope this will become a nice place to talk about myself in the way I prefer more...with drawings!


So let's start.
It seems that I need a plan for it to work.
I thought about it the whole day.
I think I need to focus on 3 things above all:
- drawing - human anatomy above all
- colour theory
- basic landscape painting

Drawing because I noticed that this is really the base structure of everything you will paint after; I need a good base to start with, and since I never learned how to achieve "the good line", I think it needs some work.
For human anatomy...I'm not so bad at basic proportions I think, but I still have a lot of difficulties in the drawing from mind and in the complex poses.
So I'm putting myself on the study if Bridgman's anathomy books, this time in a methodical way. I'm thinking of something like...read 2 chapters at day and doing 15 sketches from it (open to suggestions please ^_^)

Colour theory. I never decided the colours of my works. I mean, the colours simply went in and there, without any precise rule. Everything as always been a coincidence, both working or not ^_^
This includes light study, of course.
So I think this needs some work on, too.
I have no idea to where to start from for this, so any suggestion would be a bless.

Basic landscape. This involves perspective too, and I'm already scared.
By the way, I'm really sick to paint plain backgrounds behind my figure just because I'm not able to realize a good backdrop. I think that some matting reading could be helpful to achieve a "feeling" about landscapes. Then perspective studies (spooky!!).
I don't need to become a landscape painter at the moment, but just to achieve the ability to draw a good background for my figures and to put the right mood in it.
I think that 1 background sketching at day would be ok.

As supplementar work, I was thinking about:
2 general speedpainting at day
1 figure speedpainting


So...now I feel really scared, but also excited at the idea that all my work will have a direction and not just a confused and meaningless running around.

I hope to receive some good suggestions, I hope to be strong enough to believe in myself ( :p ), and I hope that this journey will be full of fun!!!


10-10-2008, 12:50 AM

I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from some bad times. It does have a huge impact on the art you produce, and how you look at your own work. (I can relate.) Change can really stir and mix up a person's foundation, and it isn't easy to deal with. Confusion floods though you, but you can ultimately change that.

Stand up. Build confidence within yourself. Not just as an artist, but also as a person. Stand up, and push yourself to grow.

If you truly want to grow, you must address any problems that face you. You need to be able to stand up to criticism. Expand yourself beyond your limits, embrace your problems--look for the positive solution. Every time you push yourself further, you grow. Accept and embrace change. Adaptation is vital.

If you wish to push your artistic abilities, you must push yourself. I recommend that you go and start at the basics starting with composition. Understanding the relationship between positive and negative space, and flow.

As for human anatomy, I suggest taking a Life Drawing class. Studying anatomy from live nude models is more challenging then looking at a photograph. This will help you greatly. Be sure to study proportions, the skeleton (to understand the foundation of the human body; super helpful), center of balance, and foreshortening. Also for book reference, I recommend Anatomy for the Artist by Sarah Simblet. This book has an excellent collection of nude models, detailed sketches, and writing.

Color theory; Book recommendation: Color by Betty Edwards. Study Values (not just the grey scale, but also color values!). Examine color relationships, and understand them.

And of course OBSERVATIONAL DRAWING. "Draw what you see, not what you think you see." Biggest challenge for some artists (including myself). More serious work should be referenced, and not drawn from "imagination." Use your imagination for concepts, ideas, and maybe rough composition. Once you completely grasp the fundamentals of drawing any object, go ahead and draw from imagination. I believe that this is the best way to get the most out of your work. I also consider it the most rewarding.

Hopefully the above helps you in one way or another. Take care and good luck with your work!


10-10-2008, 09:30 AM
Aoree, thank you so much for your words :)

You really catched what I'm trying to do: to change myself between all that changes falling on me. The exact word: adaptation!!

Yes, I forgot composition. Thank you so much for remembering me. I will have to find some good books about this.

About human body drawing, sadly I can't follow any lesson, but I'm lucky to have a female model available full time: me. With photoreferences and the collaboration of this model I hope to be able to manage the situation ;)
And when I will a little less broken I will manage to buy the book you suggested me :p

Thank you so much for the tip about the colour theory book, it seems really good and what I was looking for.

Today I will set up the final headlines of my journey, just to have a good grid to follow. I don't want to risk to be distracted by lazyness (^_^), confusion or doubts...no mess!

Work is calling now... ^_^

10-11-2008, 06:31 PM
Well, Alice, it appears you are already falling behind with all these intricate plans you had to improve as an artist...

I can't say I'm surprised. We all have that period where we think we can browbeat ourselves into being focused and creative and seriously work on improving...You had one hell of a good plan, just not enough hours in the day to execute it... ;)

If I may suggest a gentler path for you to follow?
Go to this link (http://www.scribd.com/doc/2243558/Andrew-Loomis-Fun-WIth-a-Pencil?from_related_doc=1). It is an online version of Andrew Loomis's Fun with a Pencil.

Simply start with this one book. Just to "warm up" a bit before you get all involved with speedpaints and the like.

Every day, simply tackle a little bit of reading on your part, and the copying as best as you can the drawings on the pages you read...And then post your page copies in this thread to show your progress with the WIP of you making it through this book...

For example:
Day 1 ~ Read through Page 12, Copy and post the drawings on Page 12.
Day 2 ~ Read through Page 15, Copy and post the drawings on Pages 14.
Day 3 ~ Re-read Pages 14 and 15, Copy and post the drawings on Page 15.

In just 3 days time, with a minimium of effort, you will have learned and shown improvment in just your basic rendering...If you then tackle just ONE page of drawings every day, at the end of two months, your skills will be truly and noticeably improved...

So, consider scaling back a bit for a while, and tackle this elephant you've chosen to eat with a smaller fork, eh?

It's good practice for all of us, actually...Damn round circles and parallel lines...

Bridgeman's Anatomy is available online, as well, but if you can get through 2 chapters a day, with 15 drawings, you will far surpass most of us within 2 weeks... ;)


10-12-2008, 12:48 PM
Come, come, Alice! 2 days now, and not a peep from you.

Talking the talk is easy, as your very long intro post for this thread displayed.
Walking the walk is much harder, as you now realize, since you have yet to post a single image...

Tick tock, tick tock! Your skills will NEVER improve if all you do is write about wanting to improve, but not physically put any effort into drawing...


10-13-2008, 04:06 PM
C'mon, Alice!
Where are you? Drawing like a dervish, I hope!

You posted a LOT of high minded goals (although they were almost beyond your reach, just in posting them...).

Lets see some action, here!
You CLAIM to be a perfectionist, but you too easily fall into "defeatist" mode.
If your "perfectionism" is SO strong, why have you not implemented ANY of these high-sounding plans to improve your skills?

Talk is CHEAP, Alice.
RESULTS take action, and a true application of EFFORT, not just a bare minimum, with a lot of potentially motivational goals mouthed, but never implemented...

Where are your sketches, your WIPs, your scraps, your thoughts, your plans, ANYTHING???

Show us, and more importantly, SHOW YOURSELF that you are truly serious about getting better. Even if it is only for your benefit...You like drawing so much, then show us.

Don't just talk about it, BE about it...


10-13-2008, 05:04 PM
ok first....
You are right ^_^
Thank you for your words, the first post is a blessing.
Well, the other ones too...hard but right.

I don't want to make this post to become my personal psychiatric diary...let's just say that I have some quite hard family and health problems.
So what I did?
I was confused and lost and I thought: "YEs! It's a good idea to get organized!! I will make EVERYTHING and in the perfectest way!!"
I started being sad and sick the first day, NOTHING was going good.
Then, another bad issue with my health. Again =_=
And what was the result of all this? That I was feeling bad and I had neither my drawing to help me smile, cause it had become a work, a constriction.

This is the reason of my silence.
I painted NOTHING. I wanted to break everything and trash everything and give up with it.

I talked today to my boyfriend, that i always call my GURU lmao.

And well, same words as you said me, in some ways: just have fun, don't make things too complicated.
I'm really stressing my mind too much.
My mind that is really busy with my daily fight with my illness.
It's wrong.
I must realize that I'm human, that I can't be perfect, that I can't make 100 perfect things at the same time.
It's the reality.

It was a wrong wroad.
So...well I need to take it relaxed and start painting again cause it's funny and makes me happy.
Like it was time ago.
And now i realize that this is the simplest and hardest thing.

I called this thread in such a redundant and impegnative way, I wanted it to be a clear and evident certificate of my wonderful improvings.
Wrong way Alice!
Now...maybe I will start a new one, a simple Sketchbook....maybe i will continue on this...
Thank you again.... and I'm gonna start that Loomis book :p

10-13-2008, 05:15 PM

Good for you! You have a "Guru" to use as a "sounding board" to help you.

Double good for you in continuing to reflect, and think, and plan.

The idea of a sketchbook is good.

Every day. Just like a diary.
Even if it is just a little sketch to sum up the day and how it affects you.
Busy? Illustrate how busy.
Studying? Show it.
Health issues? Draw it. Put a concept to the aches, the feelings, the "weight" of not being at your best.
Family concerns? Illustrate them. Draw the worry. Draw the mood.
Confused? DRAW IT!

You are STILL using too many words, and NOT ENOUGH ART.
While possibly good for you from a psychiatric, "know thyself," direction,

So START that Sketchbook. With JUST ONE drawing!
STILL waiting to see you put forth some effort into your art, rather than overly-long posts...


10-13-2008, 05:41 PM
ty so much Cybr...you are candidate to be my second Guru!!
(I know u won't like it)

(Drawing about my study and confusion and problems...damn i never thought about it in such a simple way........somethimes I hate this stupid me >.<)

Thank you :-)

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