So how do I start this?

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Old 11 November 2010   #1
So how do I start this?

So, after lurking on these forums for a while, staring in awe at the caliber of work being posted, I finally worked up the courage to join and make my first post to simply say:

I suck at art.

I come from a more technical background. Having always been in to computers I naturally decided to pursue a Computer Science degree in college, followed by a job as a software engineer. But Iíve always wanted to explore art, both 2D and 3D, but Iíve always shied away from it due to my obvious lack of skill. I could never really muster more than a stick figure, and that easily discouraged me from ever really continuing to draw.

But now I find myself here, finally deciding that I really do want to pursue art more. While Iím sure Iíll never make a living off my art and probably be a programmer for life, I would like to have it as a passion, as a way to express my creativity in ways that programming just canít offer. But therein lies my problem.

I have no clue where to start. What should I be reading? What should I be drawing?

Any pointers sending me in a useful direction would be greatly appreciated. As someone who doesnít do very well with self-direction and motivation, mentoring or classes of some kind that can hold me accountable to actually doing something would be fantastic.

The artwork Iíve seen in some of the portfolios on this site are mind-bogglingly good. Some day I hope to achieve that level of quality. I realize it will be quite some time before I reach that level, but I think so long as I remember itís attainable, I can pull this off. Any advice or suggestions you guys can offer would be great.

And keep up the good work CG. The art here is second to none.

P.S. If there are any total beginners like me out there feel free to chime in. Teamwork makes this better.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #2
I think the trick is not to overwhelm yourself in the beginning. There is an infinite amount of information and sources that you can be studying, you just have to take it slow, one step at a time. If you get frustrated, just always remember - those artists who are impossibly amazing had to begin somewhere too.

I think for the very beginning, you should just focus on basic drawing skills. Draw from life. Draw anything you see in your room. Go outside and draw - go in malls and draw, just go anywhere and draw. Take it slow though.

Beginning references - There are a ton of books out there to help. I think the best that helped me start was Perspective Drawing by Kenneth Auvil. It breaks the technical bits down really simply so it's easy to understand why you're doing what you're doing when you draw. It's not the most interesting book to read, but I swear you will learn a ton. Just focus on a chapter of the book a week (it's not long), and try to connect the reading to what you do when you're drawing out in real world.

I'm sure there's a ton of other good advice too, but that's my 2cents.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #3
I came from a similar situation. I transferred schools midway through my academic career, from Graphic Design (Communication of the Arts, technically) to a 3D Degree. I distinctly remember signing up for a beginning animation course, and my adviser asked me if I was familiar with 3ds Max...I didn't even know what he was talking about. In my experience, jumping right in worked for me. I immersed myself in everything 3D, and eventually I just caught on.

IMO, joining this forum is a great first step. There are TONS of tutorials here to help you out. There are challenges to keep you on your toes. There are even WIP threads so you can start your own project and get feedback from the entire community (which includes beginners and industry veterans alike, they all participate). There are even formal classes offered (online mostly) on this website, sometimes even at severely lowered rates.

As far as drawing goes, my art teacher at my first university always said "if you can move a pencil around on paper without stabbing yourself in the eye, then you can draw." It's all about repetition and practice. Then again, there are members out there who never even touch a pencil to paper when they're designing. They just get elbow deep in the model and see what comes out.

Hunt around. You'll find something that works for you, I'm sure
 
Old 11 November 2010   #4
Like the previous poster said, draw from life. Get a sketchbook and just start sketching, and when you fill that sketchbook up, get another. Of course some good guidance can be worth its weight in gold, but "doing" goes a long way. Since you say you are new to art, you must keep things in perspective (no pun intended, sort of ). Don't be too harsh on yourself to start, your sketches and drawing will most likely be very "rough" to start but that's OK, just keep going till they get better. It's the same process for 99.99 % of us. Don't give up.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #5
Judging from your lack of confidence I'm sorry to tell you that you are better off in another field. If you admit you suck at art and go in with a defeatist attitude the battle is lost. Study architecture or accounting. This is a profession that chews up and spits out people like you and me. If you can imagine your self doing ANYTHING else making money, DO IT! As for me I'm screwed and not so fortunate.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #6
Thanks for the replies guys!

Originally Posted by x70: This is a profession that chews up and spits out people like you and me. If you can imagine your self doing ANYTHING else making money, DO IT!


Well, if you read my OP you'll notice I said I have no intention of turning this into a professsion. Currently I do make money doing something else, so no need to worry. Thanks for the concern though.

Has anyone tried the Digital Tutors training videos? I noticed they had some fundamental drawing ones and was wondering if anyone had an opinion on them.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #7
Originally Posted by x70: Judging from your lack of confidence I'm sorry to tell you that you are better off in another field. If you admit you suck at art and go in with a defeatist attitude the battle is lost. Study architecture or accounting. This is a profession that chews up and spits out people like you and me. If you can imagine your self doing ANYTHING else making money, DO IT! As for me I'm screwed and not so fortunate.


You definitely didn't go to architecture school
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Old 11 November 2010   #8
If you are going to start with basic drawing, I'd suggest reading and performing the exercises from "Drawing from the Right Side on the Brain." It simply assists in developing tools on drawing things from sight which is what you'll want to do with everything else afterward.
 
Old 11 November 2010   #9
Also, while there are people who are naturally talented with drawing--most people gain their skills by lots of practice. There's no reason to assume that you're going to be good at anything when you first start and it's the same with art.
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Old 11 November 2010   #10
Start help inc!

Im in the same boat as you! of course the first step is admitting! the next step is to tackle it. I realize im a terrible at drawing and want to become better so i been cruising the forums like crazy... everywehre I have read has said study the hell out of the Andrew Loomis books... you can find anywhere online and he has 6 of them I believe.

there is actually a sticky on cgsociety to help you get started as to where to begin and what to do ... here is the link to it

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=166

i believe they provide with a link for the Loomis books as well many other ones and there are even websites online that are very helpful... take a look at the link there is much to look into

as some1 mentioned above Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is also another good one.


best of luck!
 
Old 11 November 2010   #11
Originally Posted by samik99: there is actually a sticky on cgsociety to help you get started as to where to begin and what to do ... here is the link to it

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=166
i believe they provide with a link for the Loomis books


They sure did, and I went ahead and got those. Thanks for that!

Originally Posted by sqrlcub: I'd suggest reading and performing the exercises from "Drawing from the Right Side on the Brain."


I went looking through my stack of books and it turns out I actually did buy The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (1999 edition) a while back. I'm gonna go through it again.

Thanks everyone!
 
Old 11 November 2010   #12
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