New guy here

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  06 June 2009
New guy here

Hey guys,

A little bit about me..

I am a 28 year old from England, married five years and have a child, another son being born in a few weeks time. Basically at the moment I am just looking for something to get my teeth stuck into, a hobby which also offers a chance of self improvement and reflection. I think drawing and the whole digital creative medium in general as a whole can offer that.

I think I have come to a point that many must come to (but I have arrived far too late in my opinion!) were I have realised that I am going through the motions a little. Coming home from work, watching T.V or whatever and going to bed. I can easily see this trend carrying on indefinitely and have decided to do something about it.

I have always had a passing interest in drawing/sketching but never been any good at it, my drawing resembling something that a 9 year old could probably do. But looking at this website is so inspiring, seeing all these people improving and helping each other is pretty great. It really makes me motivated to want to improve, to have a good go at it.

Anyway, I think maybe I have ranted on a little too long, and maybe been a little too personal for some folk so I apologise for making you read this

Now if I can ask a few questions of you, that would be great. I spent a good hour this morning following the trail of thread to thread, my firefox browser overflowing with tabs, leading from Workshops to tutorials, sketchbooks etc. For me this was a little overwhelming, if anything I am a little intimidated as to where to start.

From what I have read, Mr Loomis' name has popped up again and again, and I have duly collected a copy of figure drawing, as well as Bridgman's complete drawing series.

Can anyone offer me some advice on how I should proceed next?

Should I just diligently work my through the books, copying the texts' image as best as I can?

For instance, with the Loomis books, early on we have a section on proportions. Should I really have a good sense of proportions, really get to know the subject before carrying on to the next section? Or follow the book through as best as I can, then reread again from a position of improvement, then reread again etc, each iteration through the book building on the last?

I have also read that tracing and copying examples of the Masters is a big help. Is there a resource somewhere which has Master drawing? Or should I just copy the paintings as well, and use these as practise for shading and tone etc?

I also understand that drawing from life is important, I have no problem drawing still pictures, but might have a bit of trouble convincing the Wife to let me draw her. Maybe I could just draw her while she watches TV or plays with our child.

In summary, I am sorry this post got out of control, and if you made it this far, then I thank you for your time. If anyone could possibly get back to me with an answer to my questions, that would be just great!

Thanks,


Wayne.
 
  06 June 2009
I was recently pointed in the direction of Andrew Loomis' "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth", page 38.

It's titled "We Begin to Draw: First the Mannikin Frame". Within this structure Loomis is stating the first problem, How shall the weight be carried? Now, if you look closely within this question, proportion, gesture and primary anatomical form questions are also addressed. Have a quick read of page 21, Loomis explains things well there.

... Drawing your wife while she watches TV sounds like a good idea. Helps her get use to the process and will also help develop confidence in your drawing. Perhaps with time and practice she may warm to life drawing

Last edited by lemiere : 06 June 2009 at 01:01 AM.
 
  06 June 2009
Hi Wayne,welcome.

lemiere offers some good points! That's a good starting place too.

I would say that if you have little prior drawing experience in general, a great place to start, which provides excellent structure, is Betty Edwards' classic "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". You can even buy an accompanying workbook if you wish in order to complete the exercises in the original book. DOTRSOTB is a fantastic beginners' book, as it is very step by step and explains in a rational way how and why to draw in a certain way. It is not exclusively figurative but addresses drawing practice as a whole.

For approaching the figure - I'd point you in the direction of watching Glenn Vilppu's introductory Gesture DVD, to see how concepts are put into play. Also, there are tons of free drawing tutorials online on YouTube - search for figure drawing tutorial or the like and you will come up with many demos of varying quality. Look for 5 star videos to find the best ones.

I suggest keeping a sketchbook - for doing any of the exercises you mention. A good website resource for masterworks is artrenewal.org - browse their "Museum" which is their database of images - as well as good old Google.

Figure drawing is complex and is a great hobby since you simply will never run out of things to study - any place you start is a good place - proportions being an excellent starting point. You won't go wrong if for example, you draw sketches of the head or what have you. But my main suggestion is to focus on Proportion and Gesture for a long time before approaching Anatomy specifically.

Feel free to start your own sketchbook if you wish.

-R
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Last edited by Rebeccak : 06 June 2009 at 02:09 AM.
 
  06 June 2009
It's frustrating first to learn to draw when everything you do looks like crap, but don't give up because in time there will be results. I also started to seriously learn to draw late in my life and I sucked bad first, but now after couple of years I can see results. I still suck but not as bad as I did back then. Sometimes I even like what I draw and sometimes I surprise myself how good some drawings can be

To me greatest help have been The Structure of Man DVD Set . I highly recommend that
 
  06 June 2009
Drawing

Hello

Though you are interested more in figure drawing, my advise is to simply start by just drawing. That does not just mean figures, but just draw to get yourself in the habit, and importantly how to see as and artist. For as you look at and draw things around you, you'll start to pick up on items like light and shade, form and volume, etc...

If possible see if a class is near you (wife permitting), this does not have to be class at an art school or University. Even a small community class on drawing will help you understand more about the craft, perhaps some techniques, and give you a chance to look at how others work and ask questions you may have.

Next though this can be truely b o r i n g..., I mean really like watching paint dry at times. Practice what techniques your learn, one of the most important things you need to do is a beginner is to learn how to use your art tools. For as you learn more you will be able to apply that to your drawings, it does you no good to have an idea about how you would like to draw something but none of the skills that allow you to accomplish that goal.

Lastly try an carry a small camera with you when your out on a stroll. That way if you come across something interesting, but do not have the time to sit down and draw; take a snap and then draw later when you have the time. Also cameras are useful forgetting pictures of people who do not have the time to sit around and pose for you.

Mr. D
 
  09 September 2009
I share your thoughts also. I'm a newbie here, and I get daunted with all the information this forum has to give.

I come from a family with no artistic interest whatsoever. I used to think that you need to start young and you need to be talented in order to draw, but a book that changed my perspective on drawing was Betty Edwards book called "Drawing on the Artist Within".

If you see the before and after examples of the people there, you'll be amazed. I was also amazed when I saw my before and after pictures.
 
  09 September 2009
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