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Akinsthestarchild93
02-13-2011, 04:57 AM
I am currently reading and using "Fun with a pencil" by Andrew Loomis to learn how to draw and I like it. However, I hate it when I copy any of his drawings and they turn out to look like retarded clone copies. I think I am constructing the faces improperly or something. This occurs because I can't seem to remember the fine details of his drawings unless I take a quick glance back at the original copy. What will help me practice properly and improve while using this book?

Cubemario
02-13-2011, 05:14 AM
You may find it easier to just make your own faces, as he encourages you to not copy. I tried copying and found it frustrating, I found it more fun making my own.

SoftVision
02-13-2011, 03:21 PM
I replied to a comment you made regarding this book here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=6870438&postcount=44). I'd like to add one more thing after reading this post. Consider reading "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. I read it before "Fun With A Pencil" and I didn't have much of a problem copying Loomis' drawings. I know he advises you to draw on your own, but it doesn't hurt to copy a few to know that you're getting the hang of what he's trying to teach. Edwards' book encourages copying what you see and will actually help you 'see' better through her techniques. The book has a lot of theory, some of which you should read, but the practice exercises are the most important and you must do them to get better.

Also, regarding the 'fine details' you refer to, make sure you are using simple shapes as Loomis says. For example, the cheek is sometimes an oval that is inclined a little, hanging slightly outside the (head) circle, if you know what I mean. And then in the final drawing, he darkens only a small portion of it to show the cheek features. He does something similar with the chin as well. Check out the sketchbook link in my signature, I may have left some of those shapes visible in some of the heads I've drawn.

Akinsthestarchild93
02-14-2011, 03:01 AM
You may find it easier to just make your own faces, as he encourages you to not copy. I tried copying and found it frustrating, I found it more fun making my own.

How do you make sure you draw the different parts of the face properly since your not copying his faces?

Cubemario
02-14-2011, 06:16 AM
I make a template. I draw in the steps he outlines and those are my building blocks. So I start with a circle, make the lines as he directs, then I add in my shapes on top of it. I don't think there's such a thing as wrong face, so long as it looks like a face. Many of my faces are different from loomis', there's nothing wrong with using your own creativity and having your own look for faces. I haven't done much of that book yet, and I prefer to just work on my own pieces right now.

I personally find I have more success with art when I work with basic shapes and build upon them as I go. Often when I do digital painting I start with basic outlines using a big brush and then I colour it with a basic color I want, then I build upon it from there. I'm a beginner as well, but hopefully I was able to help.

Lunatique
02-14-2011, 07:20 AM
Being able to copy something you see and being able to construct your own images are two different skills. The first has to do with your observational and analytical skills, and your eye-to-hand coordination in replicating what you see. The second requires additional knowledge like the foundations of visual art such as perspective, anatomy/figure, values, and so on. You don't even have to be an artist to replicate what you see, since it's actually a fairly technical process of measuring and comparing distances, sizes, angles, curvature, values, and so on, and then simply copying it exactly. It's the most basic skill that any aspiring artist must first master. After that, is when you start to work on the actual foundations of visual art--the stuff that turns you into a competent draftsman. Beyond that, is when you get into the creative aspects like expressiveness, stylization choices, creative uses of the foundational knowledge, interesting brushwork, compelling creative vision/ideas, and so on.

halen
02-14-2011, 11:35 AM
It's the most basic skill that any aspiring artist must first master. After that, is when you start to work on the actual foundations of visual art...

I agree with Lunatique there - just some minor nitpicking :D: I'd say that it is possible to learn quite a lot about visual art foundations before one can even copy stuff. Not necessarily the smart way around, since one ends up knowing more than is able to do, but a possible one. However I've usually considered it as a good thing - at least I know what I should be able to do next and usually also what's wrong with my pieces. :D

And yes - I'm still learning how to walk that walk...

Lunatique
02-14-2011, 11:51 AM
I didn't mean to say that the three must happen in sequence. It's simply that technical skills are the easiest to learn, so you'll master that far faster than anything else. The foundations will take years, so mastering that will have to happen next. Then comes the advanced stuff like aesthetics, stylization, expressiveness, and actually having something to express as a creative talent. These tend to happen even later. Usually, there's no clear separation of the stages and you sort to take in a bit of each as you learn and grow.

But yes, it's very painful to know your shit but cannot walk the walk, because no one will take you seriously and see you as just an armchair quarterback as opposed to someone with any sense of authority. But gaining competency in technical skills really is quite easy in the grand scheme of things, and if someone actually managed to master all of the foundational knowledge without actually learning effective execution of his chosen visual medium, it's likely due to lack of trying instead of lack of ability.

halen
02-14-2011, 12:28 PM
But gaining competency in technical skills really is quite easy in the grand scheme of things, and if someone actually managed to master all of the foundational knowledge without actually learning effective execution of his chosen visual medium, it's likely due to lack of trying instead of lack of ability.

It's kind of nice to know that it is the easy part. :D And yes - there is still a lot to learn and, and my case with the execution is just that - not done enough yet with this chosen visual medium (painting). But there are ways when the knowledge comes quite easily before the execution - like gaining the experience at other visual mediums and applying that knowledge to the current one. Done (and still do) theatre (almost better than doing these images many times :rolleyes: ), photography, photomanipulation etc. None of these helps with eye-hand coordination or patience needed with painting, but are usefull with many other aspects those foundations.

Littlenorwegians
02-15-2011, 08:00 PM
Not something techincal, but from own experience. Don't get frustrated or demotivated.
I've been, am still probably, prone to all artist traps.

I don't think I would have continued drawing if it weren't for the times when I cooled down, looked at it from a different perspective and tried once more. Try try again can be boring, but it works (for me).

Funny though, I'm actually borrowing Fun With a Pencil, but I haven't read it yet.

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