What should I be practicing as a beginner?

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Old 02 February 2017   #1
What should I be practicing as a beginner?

Hi guys, I consider myself a beginner to visual art even though I've been drawing casually all my life, I'm now trying to take art seriously. I eventually want to pursue a career in 2-D animation, and I'm currently an 18 year old freshman in college getting a BA in Media Arts.

Background info aside, I want to consider this the fresh start of my artistic journey and I want to start from the absolute basics so that my foundation will be set well, and I was wondering if anyone could let me know where I should start. I've been looking around on the forums for a few days now and seen some great advice, but nothing that I've implemented yet.

So in short, I'd like if someone could help me set goals to work towards to improve as an artist, and later as an animator.

Also I own a Wacom Bamboo tablet, so I have access to digital mediums.
Old 04 April 2017   #2
Hello, you are asking a difficult and situation specific question. I canīt give you a full plan ahead for your career as an artist, what I can tell you is one of the things that helps me the most to grow as an artist. Start finding projects to collaborate, or personal projects to work on. Really push yourself choosing projects that you donīt have the skills to do, this way you will learn and find innovative solutions. And keep a unbreakable discipline.

I hope it goes well...
Alan Monroig (VFX and 3D Artist)
Old 04 April 2017   #3
Make sure you read the sticky threads at the top of this subforum, because they contain many excellent advice and guidance on effective artistic development. There are even specific posts that outline learning/practicing plans/strategies that are very useful and will help you avoid wasting time on ineffective learning/growing approaches.
Old 06 June 2017   #4
what artistic subjects do you have the most trouble with? *This can sometimes be a good starting point.
Old 06 June 2017   #5
I'm just nowbstarting to learn the fundamentals online and I've been using the drawabox website to do so. I have a small understanding of perspective, but I know that I am going to struggle with anatomy when I get to that level
Old 06 June 2017   #6
You need to be drawing all the time!!
Like every day!!
Old 07 July 2017   #7
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is trying to do too much, or overly complicated subject matter. Its much better to do something simple really well, than something overly ambitious that ends up mediocre.
Old 07 July 2017   #8
Master the fundamentals.

Similar to what Clappy3D said:*Its much better to do something simple really well, than something overly ambitious that ends up mediocre.

I would add to that. Find something you like to draw. It could be figure drawing, vehicle design, environments, anything.

Pick the subject, then work from the ground up. Whether it's 2D or 3D, Composition, Lighting, Perspective are all fundamentals. Use a subject you enjoy as the vehicle to understanding these fundamentals and build your knowledge base and skillset.

I like to find a step by step guide or course. There are heaps on line, some free, some paid. It means you won't overwhelm yourself with complexities. Start with the basics, practice, practice, practice, then move on to the next level.

Hope that helps.
Old 4 Days Ago   #9
Originally Posted by Tad: You need to be drawing all the time!!
Like every day!!
Sound advice except for one thing. Not everybody can draw or will ever be able to. People always say, "Oh, but you can learn." Sure. You might not ever get all that good though.

Let me put this another way. Some people are born amazing singers. Truly gifted at what they do. Then they pick up a guitar or sit down to write music and, well, they suck. They might be able to get better with practice, but their playing and writing will never even come close to that innate singing ability. 

Some of history's greatest artists were good at some forms of art, but not others. More over, some of the CG's best character artists are simply terrible when handed a pencil or a paintbrush. Conversely, some of the most amazing concept artists will look at ZBrush with utter bewilderment and, even with practice, might only get "just good" instead of great. It just happens. 

There's an almost unreasonable expectation in the CG industry, specifically those looking to get into it. Even as a specialist, your peers will expect you to have a certain set of skills, like drawing, that you simply don't have and may never will - even with loads of  practice.

When it comes down to it, unless you're specifically going out to do concept art or some other form of 2D, drawing isn't as necessary as some might think. You can be perfectly amazing in 3D without being as good in 2D.

Ideally, you should be able to at least get a rudimentary concept across on paper before you sculpt or model, but nobody's expecting you to be van Gogh. If you can't even convey an idea then that might be an issue. Drawing like a 5th grader? Not as much of a deal breaker as one might suppose.

Some people are amazing across the board. Great sculptors. Great painters. Great sketch artists. Just... great. Most artists aren't like that. though... not even with years of practice. 

With that said, going in, as a beginner, you need to understand where your natural talents lie. Explore for a little bit. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Practice as much as you can. Ultimately, play to your strengths. Work on, but acknowledge your weaknesses. ALWAYS try to be the best at what do well. Employers would rather have somebody who's amazing at one thing over somebody who's just mediocre at everything.
DISCLAIMER: The views presented herein do not necessarily represent those of my brain.

Last edited by cookepuss : 4 Days Ago at 10:17 PM.
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