I like to think I have a good eye but I still notice some mistakes by a few mililmetres. It always bothers me when I see the inaccuracies. I want to go into game art and am starting my degree in the subject in September this year and I was hoping I’d atleast get a hand on this basic fundamental of drawing. Am I putting to much pressure on my self? I’m still practicing but I lack direction. Could anyone help?
I would agree, achieving precision when drawing freehand is an important attribute to acquire for an artist let alone maintain over time. With that said however, I’ll recommend dialling back adverse critique just a tad, give yourself credit where due for firstly taking the initiative embarking upon pre - course preparation. Because fundamentally drawing whether copying an image or from still too figurative life subject matter is suffice to say extremely challenging without the additional self inflicted pressure of being “millimetre perfect”. I mean short of tracing a photo, hyper accurate portrayal eventually develops after years of practise, so don’t stress over every single mistake its basically by which we learn and hence progress as artists.
For the time being I’d suggest focusing on practising via hand eye coordination the methodology of drawing by hand. Prior to migrating across into the digital medium, my background was as a portraitist where attaining a close physical likeness of a particular individual was crucial in executing a successful meaningful painting people were willing to pay money commissioning. Reflecting on it now quite humbling to think somewhere there exists work traditionally I’d created, hopefully continuing to evoke emotive memories for those friend and client alike.
Now a series of exercises coupled with tips I’ve picked up over the years that might prove useful, which in effect for me personally remain so to this day:
A - Copying from reference images albeit specifically tracing the outline then adding detail by eye, primarily trains the foundational skill of Observation. Nowadays to be honest mostly overlooked. In stark contrast the Italian Renaissance Master Michelangelo Buonarroti, employed the use of full scale cartoons (sketches) pricked with a pointed implement then held against the wall, and a bag of soot (spolvero) banged on them to produce black dots along the main lines, therefore impressed into the fresco (wet plaster) in fact traced. A technique implemented painting the ceiling Masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel.
B - Importantly bearing in mind is to draw what interests you, rather than a typically boring subject some textbook deemed was appropriate.
C - Objective critique can be a little sparse unearthing. So here’s a tip, once you’re satisfied with what you’d accomplished, get someone you trust implicitly to play the critic. Can be either a family member and/or trusted friend etc. Show them the work and reference together for comparison but here’s the thing don’t say you’ve drawn it, make up a story like “Oh an artist friend drew it…blah, blah”
D - Once you feel ready, move onto still life, from the archetypal “bowl of fruit” or again something of interest. Experiment with lighting conditions, perspective, colour/texture or indeed a tutorial walkthrough, essentially whatever proves most helpful.
Furthermore Concept Art for games is actualised pre-production, in other words before the rough sketches are finalised during the latter art design development stages. An DTs example production pipeline details the creative process here:
Lastly you’re off to a good start identifying those area’s requiring further attention. By the way to be totally honest displays a certain maturity and I think a successful conclusion of your end goals in all likelihood.