Practice Practice Practice makes perfect...

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  06 June 2010
All of your questions are answered in mind-boggling detail in the workshop, so I think you should relax a little since class will start in a week, and once it does, you'll be scrambling just to keep up because there's so much information that you'll be left astounded every week and simply trying to soak it all in.

But for the benefit of others who might read this thread, I'll give a more simplified answer here.

Basically, you need both. Working from life is not always possible logistically, so photo references can really help when you don't have the resources to work from life. But when working from photos, you must understand how photography can distort reality by ways of lens distortion, lack of dynamic range, improper white balance, misrepresentation of context, and so on. If you are not aware of those issues and blindly follow photo references, then you are just working from them mindlessly. I talk about all these issues in detail in the workshop.

Working from life is the ultimate challenge and the most fun and fulfilling, but like I said, it's not always possible logistically. If you do have access to necessary resources, then definitely work from life as often as you can; HOWEVER, I do not recommend it to total beginners, as they have no idea what the hell they're looking at or trying to learn from each life session. I think beginners should do a good amount of anatomy/figure studies from books and photo references first, so they have a decent idea of what's going on with the human body (especially their observational, analytical, and technical skills have been sharpened enough) and then tackle working from life, which would then provide a lot additional insights and interesting "aha!" moments. If beginners try to work from life too early, they'll just get frustrated and they'll just be spinning their wheels anyway.

As for analog or digital drawing tools, you're pretty much going to suck on either as a beginner since your eye-to-hand coordination and muscle memory are not developed yet. Analog would feel more intuitive because you've been writing and doodling with analog tools all your life--that's a lifetime of practice. Tablet might feel a lot less expressive at first, but you have to stick with it because you need to recalibrate your eye-to-hand coordination and muscle memory for this new tool, and it takes time. If you don't do it, you'll only take longer to recalibrate those parameters. The longer you put it off, the longer it'll take you to learn how to use the tablet effectively.

Personally, I've been 100% digital for years now. While I have very fond memories of working traditionally with analog tools (I was a traditional artist for far longer than I ever was a digital artist), digital is just much more flexible and convenient. I tend to feel that if someone is starting out today, learning digitally right off the bat will speed up the learning/growing process significantly compared to learning with analog tools, simply because mistakes are far easier to fix and experimentation could be done without any fear of "messing" up because there's always undo and layers and saving in iterations. The great thing is, what you learn digitally translate to analog tools very well, and vice versa. To me, the two are pretty much interchangeable since the principles are almost identical except for a few things.
  06 June 2010
Thanks Robert.

I can't wait for workshop. I really have a lot of questions, but when I ask them on other forums, noone is responding to me. :(

For now I'll do figure from Loomis.
  06 June 2010
Robert, will the 10-30 sec sketches from real life people help me? Here's the original post from AlexTooth (ImagineFX forum):

Quote: Yeah I'd say draw, draw, draw, it's a simple an effective formula!

Always stuff to draw at a parking lot, draw 10sec-30sec gesture drawings of people, walking, chatting or whatever - real fast stuff - don't worry about showing us if it looks crap, cos it probably will, mine did - it's good practice for quickly recording stuff!

If there's a lack of people, draw cars, trees, buildings or whatever - I really can't believe there's not much to draw there, its probably infinitely more interesting than drawing from a book! Especially if there's people to draw.

When you can draw something consistently with a good likeness, then I'd say it's time to move up to the next level.

Draw stuff form imagination too if you find studying gets dull or whatever.

Just remember this stuff takes a long long time, so be patient, stay determined and you'll get there.

What do you say?

  06 June 2010
Like I already said, for beginners, drawing from life is likely too much of a challenge, since most beginners can't even achieve decent accuracy or likeness when working from image references. I would suggest beginners first acquire solid technical skills in observation, analysis, accuracy, eye-hand coordination, muscle memory...etc by working from anatomy/figure books, photo references...etc, and then move on to doing still life, and then later tackle drawing people from life, as that is by far the hardest thing to do, even for advanced artists. There are plenty of book on variety of poses that could be used to practice drawing quick gestures, and the images in the books don't move. At least practice that for a while before you attempt to do gestures in real life.

All of this stuff is covered in detail in the workshop, and since class will start in just a few days, why don't you just trust in the workshop and let it answer all of your questions? There is so much you need to learn before any of this stuff, so I think you need to dial it back a little and first try to survive the workshop. I promise you'll have all the answers you've ever wanted by the end of the workshop, plus a ton of stuff you never even thought of or heard of before but are extremely critical to your growth as an artist. Your world will never be the same again by the time the workshop is over, and you'll be asking very different questions by then.
  06 June 2010
Ok Robert, now I'll just wait for your workshop, and be patient.
  06 June 2010
Reading this great thread really motivated me, so I went ahead and started my own newbie thread at I'd really appreciate it if you guys take a look at it.
  06 June 2010
Practice does make perfect, especially if you do so daily. While it can be argued that certain 3D programs help you, they should be used as something to speed up your time - not something you should be a slave to. The less crutches an artist has, the better he/she will be.
  07 July 2010
Originally Posted by Ranc0r:
Does practicing really make perfect?


I belive practicing makes perfect but i also belive that helping others will make you improve yourself better since you are sharing your knowledge to someone wich gives you joy and while you learn someone else you find different ways to archive your goal.

I studied Rhinoceros 4.0 in school for 3 years and since i loved it so much i worked with it at home and therefor i got better than my friends so i helped them when the teachers couldnt and they showed me different ways to complete things in the program so i learned from that.
also the third year of school we had an internship and mine was at a goldsmith, she tought me making jewllery in silver and i tought her the program. That also improved myself since i had to think how i should make jewllery instead of furnitures.
so share knowledge and get new back
  07 July 2010
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