I need some help on what I should do to start out as an artist. My medium is learning traditional sketch art before learning digital drawings. I literally just picked up the pencil to begin my artistic journey. I need help as to what I should begin practicing or as to where I can find the basics to practice my medium. I dont know where to start or even how I should start.
If you haven’t done so, you should read the threads linked in this sticky thread, as they contain very useful information on how to learn and practice for your artistic development: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=166&t=844409
There’s really no difference between learning art through traditional tools or digital tools, because the foundation of visual art is universal. Composition, perspective, values/lighting/forms, color theory, anatomy/figure, etc. don’t change just because of the tools you choose.
A good recommendation for total beginner to start off, is Andrew Loomis’s “Fun With A Pencil,” which is aimed at beginners. Read that book (actually read, not just look at the pictures) and practice drawing the examples.
What I should do
Practice. Dont worry about when it sucks. Not everything, actually most of what you draw, will be training. At first it will be learning how to control the pencil then how to draw then after you are a master it will still be… say composition studies character options. Dont think each time you put pencil to paper you are making something precious. Is this any good? Dont know. Dont care. Doesnt matter.
Dont be above the rules. The rules are there not because some asshole imposed his view of what is right in my puny little world on you, but rather because they distill the experience of thousands of years. You’ll break them later. Use and understand them first.
You see a lot of questions and tutorials how do I draw a ____________? I think those are (mostly) philosophically wrong. One learns how to draw [period]. Then draws the thing one wants to draw.
Drawing is about learning how to see. Lots of the drawing instruction/criticism is about what you didnt see correctly. There are rules/tools/techniques aplenty to help you see what you are looking at. Rules of perspective to teach you about vanishing lines, techniques for relative scaling (those images of the artist holding her brush up to measure part of the scene), little pieces of paper with square holes for isolating elements of tone. The list goes on and the more of these you are exposed to the more you start to learn about seeing. Maybe in ten years somebody will point out an aspect of what you see that you never noticed and suddenly your drawings will improve again. The more you can do that for yourself, the better, but do stand on the shoulders of giants.
Theres a sort of paradox. Let me try to understand it… Okay, so, theres a Christmas tree ornament that I made with felt a very long time ago. It till shows up every year. Its is a drum that I made from memory. The top of it is almond shape because I knew just enough to know that a drum viewed normally shows the top, but not as a full circle because you see it from sort of the side. The bottom of it is a flat horizontal line because I knew that a drum has a flat bottom because it can sit flat on the ground. The resulting image is weirdly incorrect. The paradox? Its sort of like this: Dont draw what you know, draw what you see but see what you know.
The pencil makes us want to draw everything as outlines. And there are gazillions of fine drawings in that tradition. But the real world isnt outlines, its light and shadow. Dont wait too long to delve into shading. Youll probably always use line work and outline approaches, even if only at sketching and roughing out stages, but they may or may not ever show in your final work; depending on how you end up drawing. I think the sooner you start to tackle the idea of drawing as shade and not line, the easier it will be for you to pick it up. Too long spent outlining everything and then coloring it in might eventually stick and be hard to break out of. Not speaking from experience or anything
Not that How to Draw Sailor Moon Leaping With Her Right Arm Extended And Holding A Sword wont have useful things to say about blocking out proportions and mass and using light and shade to model solid masses and the nature of human musculature and perspective and drama BUT that it is a fundamentally flawed approach to then think How To Draw Sailor Jupiter Leaping With Her Left Arm Extended and Holding A Scepter is an inherently different question worthy of a new book.