1 hour/day to get better - focus on?

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  06 June 2013
Question 1 hour/day to get better - focus on?


I'd like to ask you all a very simple beginners question about 2D digital art

Firstly: My aim is not to be pro. This is just a hobby for me. It also means I have limited time to practice so I want to do what gets the best results. Iím a Design Engineer by trade so not completely new to drawing, and I know a lot of theory (how lighting and colors work on materials etc.). I donít draw art, but Iíd like to!

I have decided to practice a minimum of 1 hour pr. day initially. My question is what to spend the hour on? Just whatever pops into my mind? Should I decide on a certain art type? Practice line work first, or coloring, or compositions (I have been taking photos for many years, so I know a bit about comps), lighting etc.?

The artwork I usually spend the most time looking at is concept art of anything from fantasy to sci-fy. Big environments and small scenes where your imagination can ďfill in the blanksĒ and create a story just by looking at the image (e.g. Philip Straubís work is amazing ).

I currently draw on my iPad (Procreate) and in a sketchbook Ė if I start to see results Iíll treat myself to a Cintiq 13HD

Any comments you may have are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

PS. Iíve been a member of this site since 2003, and have always loved the art and tolerance for all people shown on CGtalk, so thanks to all!
  06 June 2013
Start from the basics. First gain the basic technical skill of being able to reproduce what you see accurately. Copy other people's drawings, replicate photos, other people's paintings, movie screencaptures--first master that basic skill. Then start learning from the ground up with composition, perspective, values/lighting, colors, anatomy/figure, etc. You can also tackle still life, landscapes, portraits, figures (all life drawing or plein air) to hone your ability to capture what you see with your eyes in reality, not just flat 2D images. Then tackle the more advanced subjects like line quality and brushwork, stylization, aesthetic sensibility, etc. And if you have any desire at all to express emotions, tell visual stories, convey ideologies, etc, then tackle visual storytelling.

Make sure you read the sticky threads in at the top of this subforum--it contains recommendations for learning resources like quality books, websites, etc.
  07 July 2013
I'm wondering. Is that basic skill really something basic that should take short amount of time or it takes years to master too? It's just doesn't seem that easy to me.
  07 July 2013
I have taught students to do it in just a few weeks, so no, it doesn't take long. It's basic observation/analysis and eye-to-hand coordination, and I can take anyone who's never drew anything in his life and train him to be able to do a photo-realistic copy in a relatively short amount of time. It's a technical skill like any other that can be trained.
  07 July 2013
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