13 hours a week for 3 years

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  08 August 2013
13 hours a week for 3 years

I can only draw about 13 hours a week max. And I struggle to draw more than 3 hours a day without getting incredibly frustrated. I assume I'll be able to draw for longer when I'm better and getting less and less frustrated with how my sketch looks. I just want to know what level I can reasonably expect to be at in 2-3 years?
  08 August 2013
That questions is hard to give a good answer to I'm afraid. There are better people here than me, but I thought I'd give my thoughts on it.

I think that if you spend that time wisely, you will reach a decent level, in that you will have a good grasp of shape, color, proportions etc. It is, however, not a guarantee. Let's say for arguments sake that you spend those 2 or 3 years redrawing the same picture over and over again. You will probably be very good at drawing that particular drawing, but that won't make you a good artist.

With that said, if you spend that time wisely, and work hard, in that time you will see a huge improvement (I'm assuming you are a beginner in the area here). There are a number of threads here in this forum that talk about in which order to study things etc, read through them carefully and apply what they say there.

My sketchbook thread

mcwolfe.se - my humble blog on media and CGI

University West, Sweden
  08 August 2013
You are easily frustrated now because you don't know how to learn/practice efficiently, and you're often just retreading in the same spot and not really moving forward. The amount of time you spend on learning/practicing is not the only factor on how good you can get and how fast you can improve. The real key, is actually how smart you learn/practice. Using ineffective methods will cause you to spend years wasting your time and not really improving much. Simply drawing aimlessly or practicing the wrong things will turn your artistic development into a slow trudge that seems to have no significant impact on your growth. But if you use smart ways to learn and practice, you can improve very fast, and become a much better artist in a fraction of the time.

Although the general rule of taking 10,000 hours to become really good at something is often debated, it isn't too far from the truth, if we're talking about the average. For people who are using effective learning/practice methods and have strong aptitude to begin with, I think it takes a lot less than 10,000 hours--maybe more like 1/3 of that.

So the key here, is to use effective learning/practicing methods so that you are moving forward in an efficient method, giving you a sense of momentum and accomplishment, while decreasing the amount of frustration you'd feel.
  09 September 2013
Okay, I'm currently working purely on gesture drawings until they look decent. I started mostly drawing faces and got to a point with that where I reaslised I wasn't drawing anything close to realism, just slightly better than stereotyped Frankenstein faces. I couldn't get the dark/light levels correct and it was just not very good.

now I'm just doing gesture drawings before moving onto gradients.

and practicing drawing weird looping shapes and trying to symmetrically mirror them as close as possible to work on sight/hand skill.

this is what I've gathered from this and other forums.

thanks guys!
  09 September 2013
I'm curious as to your motivation. I see a lot of people saying how they can only draw for so long without getting bored/frustrated/tired and how they really really want to improve, but I always wonder why they want to improve if they don't love the process of drawing for what it is? Like, it is not always fascinating to render some tiny tree in the background or something, but if you don't love drawing why do you want to draw well? If the end result is all that entices you, then why go through the arduous process of drawing it?

I'm not trying to be critical. I'm just curious. It's something I see a lot on internet forums, and I wonder if it's truly productive to be so focused on results so early. I suspect you might be less frustrated if you weren't trying to be perfect and produce something other people will admire, but instead tried to produce something that engaged your interests and passions regardless of its success or failure.
  09 September 2013
Starting with faces is a common thing for beginners to do I understand, and that may be a mistake because faces are the absolutely most difficult thing in the universe for a human to draw, paint or sculpt.

I didn't start like that, so I can't know what it's like for you. I started drawing with crayons as a toddler and never stopped, when I was in kindergarten I drew planes and missiles and explosions, and a little later I copied cars and planes out of Herge's Tintin. Typical of children is the lack of self-criticism and I always enjoyed myself when drawing, not caring how crappy it looked. By the time I was a teenager I was able to draw pretty well because of all those years of constant training.

Perhaps you should stop trying so hard, and try to recapture the feeling of enjoyment a child has when drawing. Maybe use a different medium. Only draw stuff you find cool. No boring exercises for a while, just fun stuff. Even if it means copying or even tracing someone else's art, anything is allowed as long as it keeps the fun level up and you keep using your brain and eyes and hand to create imagery.
  09 September 2013
I used to hold expectations. Then I realized I was too focused on seeing the destination rather than the journey. Just let go and enjoy every bit of it. I have a long way to go, I know this, but I found it best to refrain from trying to produce work someone online will say "good job".

You know what you have to work on, just keep at it. Nevermind where you'll be in 2-3 yrs from now.

Like Robert said, getting the most out of the little time you have is best. It's finding the most effective practice methods that's tough.

Anatomy SB
Deviant Art
  09 September 2013
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