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Postby wlazo » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:18 pm

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  wlazo
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:56 pm

Subject title: the path to a healthy RE-start ?

Greetings !

I was going through some questionning about my art and I remembered about this art community which I tried a few years back. :lol:
Back then I started a sketchbook, but not being a native speaker as well as being quite the introvert online I discontinued it :?
( I sincerely hope I won't butcher shakespeare language too much :shock: )

Here is my most recent work,
apologies for the URL format, the pictures quality was too high to upload directly.
everything is original and done without reference, except for the most rightest part of the last image which are all copies.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hmZ37P2-TaUrXgW5LfKQNa3Qu7TNdrnF
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MLxGHvDatgeoosHZgtij-dXdh15-2kvd
https://drive.google.com/open?id=18njjCvj8XvatsuET5ESi7oRbx0QzvbP4
https://drive.google.com/open?id=14IHL39xXyDDUVDD5-4am-j0ft7FAjC7f

I'm a self taught guy meaning I have no fellow artists IRL to discuss art related topics with :cry:
So usually I just think a lot about art theory on my own but my mind is narrow so I began going in circle :?:
The issue I currently struggle with is that I have a very unbalanced skill tree (due to being self taught)

I guess you could say I'm advanced in topics like anatomy, and perspective but still am a beginner at everything else.
Until recently I just drew to drew, with no intention nor meaning behind it. I was just problem solving.
This behavior degenerated from a "traumatizing" failed project when I was younger which opened my eyes to all the things I didn't know.
Eventually (after years) this mentality spiraled into me just practising drawing ... well faces :roll: (<- if any of you want more details feel free to ask)

I am currently trying to get back on the right track launching personal projects,
but there are many many things I wish to learn which are very intimidating :cry:
I am not quite sure which skills I should priotirize right now to ease the develoment of my new personal projects :?

I would be very interested in hearing fellow art travellers opinions on this matter as well as my ... "case" in general I guess :lol:

Thanks in advance ;)

PS: also don't hesitate to point out any english mistakes, I am still learning :geek:

 

Postby Moe » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:27 am

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  Moe
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Your english seems fine, are you japanese by any chance?

I remember looking at your old sb a lot for inspiration, and was dissapointed that you didn't update anymore :(

I'm not exactly sure what this personal project of yours is, maybe if you provided more details people on here could suggest resources as far as helping you develop the skills to successfully complete it, but ultimately the best way to develop those skills is by taking on those personal projects. You improve the most when you get out of your comfort zone. You seem to be doing pretty well with anatomy, form, drapery, perspective etc but I haven't seen much painting from you, if your project involves painting then there are resources like CTRL PAINT or even Sycra painting tutorials that could help you out with that.

Good luck

Moe

 

Postby Mystipen » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:55 pm

  Mystipen
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:07 pm

I don't think that you'll get the answer you are looking for here, you have a much better chance getting some useful advice from a professional artist as they have more experience and knowledge about this topic. Although, I will share some of my views on this topic but do take it with a grain of salt as there is no right way to go about this.

You've mentioned that you are advanced in perspective and anatomy, but from what you've shown in your sketches here and what you had previously on your sketchbook indicate that you do not understand those topics as much as you think. If you were very good at perspective and anatomy then those two fundamentals alone would give you 80% of your project's result as you really only need those fundamentals to begin to be able to draw from imagination (excluding design). A lot of people have a misconception that perspective is just connecting lines to vanishing points, but that is such a naive way of viewing it and shows lack of knowledge. Perspective affects many things such as proportion, foreshortening, FOV, etc. You need to be able to construct a grid properly before you can really understand the purpose of perspective drawing, and you really will need to rely on it if you are designing new things as it will allow you to explore how your character will appear in space. Personally, I think you should work on your perspective first since some of your sketches have distortion in them and most of them do not have a sense of structure. As for anatomy, that is not as important as perspective but it will ultimately allow you to draw figures in perspective from imagination which you do need to know if you are designing new things.

A lot of the work you have shown are just sketches, so they are not really a measure of your actual abilities, you need to create refined drawings/paintings for someone to truly gauge how much you know, because it is easy to sketch something really quickly, but cleaning it up and actually giving it volume is really hard. So, I believe that you need to invest your time into slower drawings where you take your time to really build your technical skills as they will be able to 80% of your result, if you just want to design stuff then you do not really need to do that much other than draw things in orthographic angles, but obviously if you are creating a personal project you probably want more out of it.

If you have no art friends to bounce ideas off of or gauge where you should be, I recommend looking up your favorite artists and use them as a measure of what skill you want to achieve. Essentially, I am telling you to compare your own skills to theirs and ask yourself whether you really are capable of doing the same quality as them, if not then it should tell you that you still need to learn. I think that a healthy restart for this kind of stuff is just picking up a calendar and scheduling an hour each day to learning, an hour to working on your personal project, and so on. You should start small before increasing your time investment and you should really just pick up a book on the fundamentals or take an online course rather than just reading what the internet has to say because you are likely going to get lost as a result.

Lastly, I am going to write a short explanation as to why perspective is the most important skill of all the fundamentals. First of all, it helps you understand foreshortening better, a lot of people label foreshortening as a separate fundamental, but in reality foreshortening is just a byproduct of the angle in which the object is viewed from and you can calculate it rather easily using the multiplication technique (P.S. Krenz Cushart talks a lot about this in his lectures). Therefore, if you can calculate foreshortening, you can also calculate proportion accurately in perspective instead of relying on an arbitrary measure that is inconsistent once you change the viewing angles which is the head measuring system. In perspective, the most accurate unit of measure is the square/cube as all sides are equal, it means that its ratio is consistent regardless of what angle or how foreshortened it is and you can assign measurements to it based on your own intuition rather than having a single fixated way of doing so (Krenz Cushart also lectures about this a lot). Also, in order to be able to draw cast shadows or judge your lighting direction, you need to know perspective to do so as it dictates how the shadow will wrap around the form from a certain viewing angle, which is again a good reason to practice it. If you haven't noticed from what I just explained, perspective influences everything in your drawing and is the first layer that makes up the 3D illusion, no matter how good your shading or lighting is, if your perspective is wrong then it will look flat. So, really if you were to oversimplify what drawing is, it is mostly perspective hence why FZD school focuses on it so much for 6 months, as being able to draw in perspective will essentially allow you to draw anything from observation accurately and also allow you to manipulate your references to get different viewing angles. This is one of the only fundamentals that will allow you to draw from imagination and I think you should invest your time to properly doing it which is using a ruler and a protractor, and as "technical" as it might seem, free handing perspective is a fool's errand as it will require you to guess everything and be able to draw perfect straight lines without a ruler and will just get you amateurish results. It is really just a matter of whether you want to do it the hard way or the more efficient way which is to properly use a constructed grid that you know is measured to be accurate, it won't make your drawing any less lively or make it less natural, all it does is give you a proper foundation to work on and all professionals use it, so you should too.

Those are my two cents on this matter, it is really just about not being too hard on yourself and taking a single step at a time. I recommend you pick up Scott Robertson's How to Draw book and Michael Hampton's Figure Drawing Design and Invention book. I do not really know why Scott Robertson's book is not recommended to beginners, but it is not that hard to go through if you don't stress over the technicalities, attempting to rush through the book will overwhelm you.

 

Postby wlazo » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:36 am

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  wlazo
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:56 pm

Hello :)
Your english seems fine, are you japanese by any chance?
thank you, no I'm from Belgium and a native french speaker :D but since my favourite artists are mostly mangaka, animation directors, and designers from Japan, my art takes a lot after them :)
I remember looking at your old sb a lot for inspiration, and was dissapointed that you didn't update anymore :(

Thank you very much :oops: this is truly the best compliment I have received coming from a fellow artist :D you made my day ;)
I'm not exactly sure what this personal project of yours is, maybe if you provided more details people on here could suggest resources as far as helping you develop the skills to successfully complete it

you're right I definitely should have detailed the nature of those projects :P
Those project are about storytelling, so mostly character design, environment design, and storyboarding in general.
I have not really practised any of those skills at a level where I can be confortable and I don't really know how to make designing and storyboarding a routine.
1) because I don't have enough "ideas" worth exploiting in such a way
2) my visual library is super poor as I haven't really had to use it much until now (because I was too focused in my practise)
3) I don't really know how to correclty exploit references to train my visual library
It currently takes a lot of effort for me to go out of my confort zone and it is mostly in one shots so I'm not really making progress :?
I haven't seen much painting from you

Well it is because I don't paint, partly for the same reason that I did not design etc, I was too focused in my practise. But I also always found painting overly tedious.
Though I guess I should also take some time to come up with some coloring practise :lol:
I have ideas of coloring practise that would fit me, and I think I will ask opinions here on how to get things going in that direction when I will have gotten more confortable with design :)

Good luck


Thanks, I'll certainly need it :D
_________________________________________

you have a much better chance getting some useful advice from a professional artist as they have more experience and knowledge about this topic

I think resorting to professional will indeed prove to be very valuable but I thought of doing so as a last resort if I really can't get things going
If you were very good at perspective and anatomy then those two fundamentals alone would give you 80% of your project's result as you really only need those fundamentals to begin to be able to draw from imagination (excluding design)

Well I have to disagree with you one this one, It takes much more than that to draw other things than nude figures in various angles. And even to draw nude figures you need more than anatomy and perspective due to the simple fact that you also need to come up with a pose and master gesture to some degree to to be able to make your nudes appear natural and appealing. To draw from imagination you certainly need perspective to make your creation "believable" but you also definitely need a strong visual library if you want to come up with anything even remotely interesting.
A lot of the work you have shown are just sketches, so they are not really a measure of your actual abilities, you need to create refined drawings/paintings for someone to truly gauge how much you know

True, and I currently am struggeling with finishing things. The reason being that I was imprisoning myself in endless practise wich prevented me from even starting personal projects. (thus fininshing stuff) :?

If you have no art friends to bounce ideas off of or gauge where you should be, I recommend looking up your favorite artists and use them as a measure of what skill you want to achieve

It is precisely the type of things I did to get where I am in term of skills. Comparing myself to the artists I admire is half motivating half depressing :lol: but I am convinced that doing so is the way to get your art to new heights :D

I am going to write a short explanation as to why perspective is the most important skill of all the fundamentals

Again I have to disagree with you on this one. Yes perspective is a very important fundamental and helps us represent reality as our mind perceives it, but getting too focused on a single skill is opening the door to similar hardships to the one I currently face in the long run. I would advice you to lookup this video
Spoiler: show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca32fpXjFTw&t=101s
and his channel in general as it is a very good channel for perspective enthusiasts ;)
I am also familar with Krenz cushart, I own several of his gumroad tutorials :D here is some of my more perspective focused practise if you are interested.

It is really just a matter of whether you want to do it the hard way or the more efficient way which is to properly use a constructed grid that you know is measured to be accurate, it won't make your drawing any less lively or make it less natural, all it does is give you a proper foundation to work on and all professionals use it, so you should too.

I think you are right on the perspective grid, I should use it more, I will keep this in mind when I have to compose scenes with elements in relation with one another :D as I tend to struggle with scaling a lot :shock:

Thank you for your take on this matter :)

 

Postby Mystipen » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:02 pm

  Mystipen
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:07 pm

You are very welcome. Although, I do want to point some things out.

I really would invest some time into researching about the "Dunning-Kruger Effect" because when you are just a beginner at something, you really do not understand how much you do not know about something, and I am not trying to insult you or anything but you might be falling prey to this bias. If your work does not reflect you being advanced in perspective or anatomy, then the fact is that you are not as good at it as you think and it means that you need to work on it more. Krenz Cushart himself said that if he had to choose between appeal and structure, he would choose structure because appeal is just something you sprinkle on top. If you really understand gesture, then you can even turn a stiff pose into an interesting one with just playing with the dynamics of fabric, hair, particles, etc. So, that just shows how gesture is not important at the end of the day since a flat drawing is still going to look bad even with good gesture.

I also wouldn't focus too much on visual library, it is something that is so overrated it is laughable. Visual library simply refers to how well you know a certain subject, so imagine if you want to know every single animal's anatomy by heart, you would need to spend 10 years studying each animal thoroughly before you have a solid visual library of all of them, so how realistic it is to focus on that? You do not need a big visual library to design something new, all you need is references that you can easily search up and just take bits of information from them and add them to your design with intention of course. You should also consider the type of work you want to do, if your main interest is in designing new characters, then doing turnarounds is really all you need to know, but if you want to create illustrations then you do need to understand perspective it is just unavoidable no matter how much you want to ignore it. Just drawing heads inside of cubes in different angles does not mean you understand the skill, it is a very shallow view of the concept surrounding perspective and you shouldn't expect gumroad tutorials to teach you everything about it. Tutorials are designed to tutor/supplement your already existing learning resources, it is not meant as a means of teaching. If you want to really get a grasp on perspective, then I recommend just doing it the proper way by getting a book like Scott Robertson's "How to Draw" and studying it for 1-2 hours everyday. It won't hurt, but it will only help you.

I am just trying to help you out here, and that is primarily because I had the same mindset as you before and thought that just because I knew what perspective was it meant that I can do it by just guessing it or even when it came to anatomy, I thought because I knew stuff from a theoretical standpoint, it meant that I could actually perform the skill but it simply does not work that way.

I think you should definitely email with your sketches to a professional who can give you his honest thoughts about where you should work on. You shouldn't be afraid of doing so, as long as you are polite and patient they will respond to you and you'll be surprised how kind they can be.

 

Postby Moe » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:36 am

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"Those project are about storytelling, so mostly character design, environment design, and storyboarding in general"

Okay. I don't know what your financial situation is, but you should look into schoolism: https://www.schoolism.com/school.php?id=9

There are courses on character design, environment design and storyboarding that I think will aid you in learning the fundamentals and successfully completing a project.

"1) because I don't have enough "ideas" worth exploiting in such a way"

Just go for it. Ideation is a skill of its own, the more you try to come up with ideas, the better you get at it.

"2) my visual library is super poor as I haven't really had to use it much until now (because I was too focused in my practise)"

Its good that you were focused on practice. All those fundamental studies will come in hand. As far as visual library goes, you can build your visual library as you work on your project. Here are some example videos of what I mean:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk77_5KroB0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOK2sDLtu2Q

"3) I don't really know how to correclty exploit references to train my visual library"

Those videos should give you an idea of using references correctly.

"But I also always found painting overly tedious"

I feel you. I find painting, particularly longer paintings to be tedious as well. I guess that's why you prefer sketching like me. With that said, its still a good idea to make finished work. You don't have to make a fully rendered painting to make it "finished". Another option is to use cell shading.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqY0nU ... Wc_N_R4Av7

Cell shading is mostly about having a precise understanding of light and form. One thing I will recommend you do is SHADE your drawings, paying attention to the light on the form. Like when you do figure drawing, pay attention to how the light hits the form, using 1 or 2 values. That would greatly help you alot in cell shading.

"I think resorting to professional will indeed prove to be very valuable but I thought of doing so as a last resort if I really can't get things going"

Well, not all professional artists are GOOD at teaching. Most professional artists will probably tell you things you already know, practice your fundamentals, draw a lot, etc. Sometimes, they'll put more effort and give you a redlining which can be helpful. I think its important to seek a professional artist who's also good at teaching. Lucky for you, Sycra has a patreon, I think its like 25 dollars a month, I did it for a year and he give me great feedback. You can look into that.

-----------------------------------------

"Krenz Cushart himself said that if he had to choose between appeal and structure, he would choose structure because appeal is just something you sprinkle on top"

That's just an opinion. If we're looking at it in terms of marketablity, appeal is what sells. The average person who buys art or whatever, isn't going to be like "oh the structure for the left hand is wrong, therefore I don't like it". Once you reach a certain level of fundamentals, appeal is really what separates successful art from nonsuccessful art. Hyung tae kim is a good example of this, if you look at his work, there are broken anatomy and structural issues, but his appeal makes up for it.

"that just shows how gesture is not important at the end of the day since a flat drawing is still going to look bad even with good gesture."

I really disagree with you on that. One can also say that an otherwise fundamentally correct drawing can look bad because of its gesture. Also depending on what your goals are, gesture is incredibly important. Especially with animations and comics, gesture is paramount, its not just something you "sprinkle on the top". Another thing to consider is that gesture is an advanced skill, you need a certain understanding of anatomy/structure to even have good gesture, since the CSI rythms are based on anatomy(Michael hampton talks about this in his book)

"I also wouldn't focus too much on visual library, it is something that is so overrated it is laughable"

I disagree. Visual library definitely helps with workflow. This isn't to say that you need to have the visual library of someone like Kim Jung Gi, but pulling up a reference everytime you want to design or draw something is crippling, imo. Also, the thing about visual library is that it something that grows as you continue to draw, its not something you really need to focus on.

"If you want to really get a grasp on perspective, then I recommend just doing it the proper way by getting a book like Scott Robertson's "How to Draw" and studying it for 1-2 hours everyday. It won't hurt, but it will only help you."

Scott robertson book on perspective is great, but I don't think its for everybody. If you're more intuitive i'd recommend going with Marshall Vandruff: Perspective lectures & Peter hans books.

Also Mark has some really good perspective exercises on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GWzvpbRnAQ

 

Postby Mystipen » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:18 pm

  Mystipen
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:07 pm

@Moe, I find your points interesting, but I do believe that you should at least put some effort to explaining why your points are more accurate.

That's just an opinion. If we're looking at it in terms of marketablity, appeal is what sells. The average person who buys art or whatever, isn't going to be like "oh the structure for the left hand is wrong, therefore I don't like it". Once you reach a certain level of fundamentals, appeal is really what separates successful art from nonsuccessful art. Hyung tae kim is a good example of this, if you look at his work, there are broken anatomy and structural issues, but his appeal makes up for it.

It really isn't just an opinion, I only mentioned Krenz Cushart but countless professionals will tell you the same thing. Structure is more important when you are learning how to draw, because your idea can be amazing but if you cannot communicate it well it really can't live up to its fullest potential.

The average person isn't going to consciously think about structure, but on a subconscious level their brains will still be able to recognize when something is off. If you present the average person a flat drawing versus a drawing made by a professional that has good structure, they will always say that the drawing made by the professional is much better, hence why you are not playing video games that have misaligned features on characters and so on. The point of studying structure isn't to copy reality 1:1 but hint at it enough so that if mistakes exist they are not noticeable and most mistakes do stem from bad structure. If you can't light an object properly, it is most likely because your structure is bad rather than you not knowing how to shade, both are mechanical skills, but one of them is just that more important.

Let me mention something about marketing. Marketing is just a tool to promote products, it does not come before the product okay? It is a tool to promote sales, but the difference is really about supply and demand. If you can pump out 50 drawings each month which is a made up number but all of them are equally bad, then your price point will be lower. So you'll sell each drawing for 10 dollars, which gets you about $500 each month. The point I am trying to make if you have high supply but low demand, then it just means that you are in the production mindset rather than the quality mindset, you can sell anything really but quality affects the price. If a lot of people recognize you for your skill and you can only pump out like 2 art pieces a month and you have high demand, you can charge as high as you want if people really want to get their hands on your work. So it really comes to what you want to do, do you want to make mediocre work and reach to a large audience, or do you want to charge a lot for quality but have a small audience. Whichever choice you make, it does not matter how many people follow you, what matters is the price point that you are able to sell at.

The primary reason a lot of artists that have great skills do not have such a large following on social media is simply due to their lack of posts. Making great artwork takes a lot of time, so it is unrealistic to expect anyone to be able to pump out a lot of them every single day. I know many artists that only create a piece once a month or every few months and still have a decent following, and social media simply happens to promote artists that post a lot due to the system itself. So, if a skilled artist all of a sudden decides to sacrifice a bit of quality for production, he can catch up to the mediocre ones pretty quickly, it is just a numbers game, and again success is not defined by how famous you are on social media.

Hyung Tae Kim's art is not broken in my opinion, it is stylized. When I mean structure, I do not mean perfectly exact like reality, when I refer to structure I mean that it feels like the thing is occupying 3D space and is rather believable. Kim's artwork is stylized and is pretty structurally sound for what it is worth, so even though he does not need to draw crazy perspective angles, he still understands it and probably have practiced it. If his artwork was flat, then it would be a different story, since flat drawings no matter how detailed or well designed they are, are still boring. So, I think this reference to this artist works against you in this case.

I really disagree with you on that. One can also say that an otherwise fundamentally correct drawing can look bad because of its gesture. Also depending on what your goals are, gesture is incredibly important. Especially with animations and comics, gesture is paramount, its not just something you "sprinkle on the top". Another thing to consider is that gesture is an advanced skill, you need a certain understanding of anatomy/structure to even have good gesture, since the CSI rythms are based on anatomy(Michael hampton talks about this in his book)

Yeah, you're wrong about that and I can prove it with this simple drawing that someone named Howard Delvi on Instagram made:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Breq2KFFPr2/

There is hardly any gesture in his drawing and the pose is stiff, yet the drawing itself holds up and it looks cool. Gesture is just a compositional element and is not necessary to emphasize in each instance. I can have a stiff pose of a character, add a cape and make it look like wind is blowing on it and it will automatically make everything in the drawing feel like it has movement.

In fact, here is another tutorial he made about composition that show this (skip to the second frame, it has a character standing with just clothes in dynamic positions):

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1jI6JqjMWp/

Here is another example by WLOP that shows that you can simply slap gesture using secondary elements:

https://www.deviantart.com/wlop/art/Ass ... -770992276

All of the drawings I've presented you so far, have little to no gesture or have gesture as a secondary element and still hold up and that is because of the structure. As you can see, I have proof to support my claims and so far you do not.

I also study Michael Hampton's figure drawing book and I can tell you that you are wrong in regard to gesture being an advanced skill that you need to be good at to get good at anatomy. Gesture is a prerequisite in his book that you are supposed to use as a framework of where you will place the rest of the structure on top, so it is really not about creating emotion or feeling but rather about capturing the mechanics of the figure and balance of his movement. Gesture on its own is not enough to be able to call something a drawing that is appealing, you need to build on top of it for it to really shine, and even gesture is affected by perspective depending on the angle you are looking at.

"I disagree. Visual library definitely helps with workflow. This isn't to say that you need to have the visual library of someone like Kim Jung Gi, but pulling up a reference everytime you want to design or draw something is crippling, imo. Also, the thing about visual library is that it something that grows as you continue to draw, its not something you really need to focus on."

If pulling up references every time you start designing is crippling, then why most professional artists create mood boards and do their research before they design their subjects? Visual library just means how well you know a subject, if you study human anatomy you will have a good visual library for human anatomy which is why a lot of people study it in the first place so that they can later use it to break down animal anatomy without having to study everything from scratch. Imagine how much time you will have to spend drawing a lot of subjects and studying them thoroughly to build a good visual library of them? It will take years, hence focusing on that is pointless. Using references gives your artwork more believability and is because you are using visual data to guide your designs. Even Feng Zhu who his students how to build visual libraries says that trying to design something from scratch without references is much more complicated and inefficient than using already existing designs or references to give you that information.

A lot of video games and films that you watch create designs based on cultural characteristics and historical data that they can pull from. So, I do not see how your argument that it helps your workflow makes sense as it is a totally inefficient way about designing. I am not saying that having a visual library is bad, I am just saying that it is not going to really improve your drawing skills and is really something you only use when creating new designs, so it is a good thing to have but only if you took care of the technical hurdles first.

Scott robertson book on perspective is great, but I don't think its for everybody. If you're more intuitive i'd recommend going with Marshall Vandruff: Perspective lectures & Peter hans books.

Also Mark has some really good perspective exercises on his channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GWzvpbRnAQ


Labeling yourself as intuitive person and analytical one is the same as saying you are right brained or left brained which do not exist. You need to strip the either or type of mindset that you have, it is a logical fallacy to think in black and white terms. In order for you to even build an intuitive sense for perspective, you need to practice it the right technical way first as that is the only way you will learn the rules so that you can manipulate them to your advantage.

I'll admit that Scott Robertson's book is intimidating, but anyone can learn from it and the only reason people avoid it is just because they do not want to do the work. Using the excuse of it is not for everybody is just rationalizing your inability to sit down, read the book, and do the exercises because you know that it is challenging, so in effect you are staying in your comfort zone. I haven't seen Marshall Vandruff's stuff, but Peter Han's approach to perspective that he teaches in his dynamic sketching courses only applies to sketching. It is impractical to draw animals/plants on location while also having to construct a grid and making sure your proportions are accurate because you are on location. So, Peter Han's organic perspective approach is really a technique that just compensates for that problem, but if you were to want to make a finished drawing then you would really need to think about the perspective more because there is so much more to it than just drawing vanishing points.

As for Mark, I do not really think he is as skilled as he claims to be. Just because the guy spent 10 years drawing does not automatically give him a skilled title. If you compare him to the standards of the professionals I just shared with you, then he really has a long way to go and I do not mean that his style of drawing is what indicates to me that he is unskilled, but he really is just doing sketches most of the time and I have never really seen any artwork he made that looks really good. I wouldn't learn perspective from him and personally think his explanations do not make sense, but he is an entertaining person which I have to admit.

I think this conversation would have been more productive if you explained why you disagreed with me rather than just saying so, you should also provide evidence for why what you claimed is more accurate to what I said. I am using professional examples to prove my points as I personally am still not skilled enough to show you what I mean, but I am also not saying that you have to agree with me as you are entitled to your opinion. Just, I think that there is a misunderstanding that just "practicing" is going to make you good at the fundamentals but in reality you really need to just pick up a book on them and study it thoroughly, otherwise you are just guessing your way around it and that is such an inefficient way to go about it.

By the way, I am just going to reference some artists that I believe emphasize that structure is more important: Anthony Jones, Krenz Cushart, Howard Hsu, Kienan Lafferty, Bobby Chiu, Feng Zhu, and Scott Robertson. The great thing about ArtStation compared to other platforms is that you can tell by the quality of work that is posted there, that structure is really more important for your ideas to look remotely good.

Again, you can disagree with me and it is fine, my goal is not to be "artsy" and "original" but create good artwork, it is also my mission to try and question the status quo by experimenting with different theories about what efficient practice means and share it at the end of the day. So far, I found that the common high regard among professionals about structure is very accurate and you can see all of that for yourself by just analyzing their work.

 

Postby Agitato » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:32 pm

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Yeah I def agree with Moe here. Perspective is extremely important, but it's more like a prerequisite for drawing from imagination. Once you have it down, gesture and appeal are paramount. In other words, as skill level with technical fundamentals increases and hits a certain point (pro level), its importance plateaus and the other fundamentals really explode in terms of importance. Gesture and appeal are everything at the top level. It separates the world class artists from those who are just adequately professional. Of course, all this also depends on what field you want to get into. A lot of super well known artists who specialize in cute anime gril portraits, for example, are pretty terrible at perspective tbh, but they have appeal and gesture nailed down. That's all their audience cares about. Even krenz himself rides on appeal/gesture, his colors and brushwork are fantastic, and for me personally at least, that's really what comes to mind when thinking of him. His drawing can be pretty wonky sometimes actually. Also visual library definitely helps a ton with getting good results in a timely manner, something that's important if you want to be professional.

To wlazo, I think being healthy with self-teaching (I'm also struggling with self-teaching), is really about scheduling yourself properly and having self-discipline, provided that you've already nailed down what it is you want to study. Set aside time to continue studying perspective (I agree Scott Robertson's book great), anatomy, and gesture as you have been, but also block out time to attempt the things you actually want to accomplish with your art. Try to do finished pieces regularly, as they really are the best test of what you actually know and provide excellent markers for where you need to study up more (I need to get better about this myself). Creating complete works is also a skill in itself that needs developing of course.

EDIT: Mystipen posted the great wall of text while I was typing this so I guess I'll also try to respond to some of it xD

Mystipen wrote:Yeah, you're wrong about that and I can prove it with this simple drawing that someone named Howard Delvi on Instagram made:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Breq2KFFPr2/

There is hardly any gesture in his drawing and the pose is stiff, yet the drawing itself holds up and it looks cool. Gesture is just a compositional element and is not necessary to emphasize in each instance. I can have a stiff pose of a character, add a cape and make it look like wind is blowing on it and it will automatically make everything in the drawing feel like it has movement.

In fact, here is another tutorial he made about composition that show this (skip to the second frame, it has a character standing with just clothes in dynamic positions):

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1jI6JqjMWp/

Here is another example by WLOP that shows that you can simply slap gesture using secondary elements:

https://www.deviantart.com/wlop/art/Ass ... -770992276

IMO, all of these have gesture/appeal very prominently. The contrast between straights and curves is a huge part of gesture. The boxy nature is part of the shape design, AKA appeal. A rigid stance is still a gesture, especially when contrasting with something more flowing, like cloth or hair or another more dynamic element in the composition. Also hoping to prove anyone definitively wrong about anything regarding art is a fool's errand lol, it's all far too subjective, and ultimately, the only real way to demonstrate a "good" opinion on the topic, truly well understood and conceptualized, is with one's own work. That's what art really is at the end of the day, a self-expression of your own perception and understanding of the world (which is subconsciously informed by your unique way of viewing existence on an abstract and physical level). In our case, through the visual medium.

I agree that it's good for development to get out of the habit of labeling yourself in restrictive binaries, and again, I agree with the importance of perspective as a base-level fundamental. I guess the main discussion here is around whether or not it's the most important fundamental, which is frankly just silly lol, although again, I would argue there are more important fundamentals, again the caveat being that a baseline technical proficiency must be reached first. As a parallel example, there's a reason the best pianists in the world aren't deemed as such based on how robotically on tempo their performances are. But yeah, this argument is largely pointless and isn't going to get anyone anywhere lol, as long as no one is arguing that perspective is unimportant for drawing from imagination (obviously not the case), I think we're good here xD. How much each artist values each fundamental is a massive part of their unique artistic identity. To each their own!
Sincerely.

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Postby Mystipen » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:53 pm

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@Agitato, thank you for taking your time to reply and I definitely agree with the majority of the things you've said, but again you are missing the point I am trying to show. Sorry for writing so much text lol, I enjoy writing a lot and usually want to add more information as I go since I find that it is simply hard to summarize things like this without running into misunderstandings. Anyway, just bare with my reply as it will be my last.

You've looked at Howard Hsu's work, and he is someone that is coming from an entertainment design school so his job is not to make pretty compositions, his job is to design. The post with the horse that I showed you is basically driven mostly by structure, I doubt that he even was thinking about gesture at any stage but the mere fact that the forms are arranged in specific ways gives you the illusion of gesture. The mere fact that you see a warrior and a horse and read it that way makes you feel like it is the real thing, but if you look carefully a lot of the drawing was carried out by simple geometric forms arranged in certain ways that let you see those subjects for what they are. I do not see any gesture and compared to the type of work I have seen from people who prioritize said thing are much better than this. The reason Howard Hsu's work looks good is because he has clear technical expertise of how the fundamentals work and he has a good sense of design.

As for wlop's work, the reason I even shared that Assasins's Creed painting is to show that despite the fact that the character is basically in almost a T-Pose in mid air, there is a feeling of movement simply because he threw a cape into the image that had nice curves hence why I mentioned that the structure of the image is more important than the composition.

And I am not suggesting that the OP should become highly proficient in perspective, but what I am saying is that he is better off focusing on something objective that he can actually measure whether he is getting good at or not rather than dealing with an advanced topic such as composition which gesture is apart of. There is no right or wrong way to go about composing images, there are just more and less appealing ways, but even if the artist has great composition like I said. If his drawing looks flat then there is no point of creating the composition since the OP will likely have trouble following through with it by adding structure to his drawing.

IMO, I do think perspective is the most important fundamental of all because it is the first illusion you see. Here is a good article that explains monocular cues very simply:

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-m ... es-2795829

And I will also double down with the fact that perspective helps you control foreshortening and draw proportions accurately in space, not to mention it is very crucial to be able to create a line drawing of something that looks dimensional. A line drawing on its own should communicate depth without having to apply light onto it, light only enhances the illusion but it is not necessarily as important as the illusion of perspective which is why creating line drawings that look structural is even possible. This skill on its own will allow the OP to better understand the objects he is looking at and study anatomy much easier because anatomy is simply an arrangement of forms that creates the subject, if he the OP knows how perspective works then he will have a better chance at understanding anatomical forms.

Sure, perspective won't give you that nice looking image on its own and you will need to apply more fundamentals to get to that point, but what perspective (or structure) does give you is a cohesive representation of your subject in 3D space which you can use to apply all the fancy stuff later on. I am obviously bias to well executed drawings/paintings, but the problem with advising someone to focus on ideas and appeal is like telling them to come up with a new concept and asking communicate on paper without them having the proper skill to execute upon it. Ideas and appeal are very subjective and there is no clear cut guide to what is a good or bad idea, so there is really no reason to focus on it as a fundamental when you have so much more things to worry about. Imagine the OP coming up with a nice idea for a composition that will require him to have high technical expertise to make it look good, no matter how well he laid down his composition, if his forms,values, and perspective read badly then it will simply fall apart.

I also want to address the cute anime girls artists. Yes they have poor perspective, hence why they draw flat angles all the time and that is a limitation which does not allow them to explore appealing compositions the same way an artist who has good technical expertise does. You can even use perspective and all the fundamentals for that matter as a compositional element, so it just shows that not knowing the basics is really crippling in what you can actually achieve. But anyway, I don't even follow artists that just draw cute anime characters and I do not believe Krenz Cushart is just riding on appeal or gesture, the only reason he is able to focus on how to arrange his colors, brushwork, etc in an appealing fashion is because he went through the hard work and got his fundamentals down. In fact, he has studied enough that he can paint realistic portraits, so that should prove on its own how well he can paint/draw. And yes, knowing how to distill reality onto a piece of paper does reflect on technical abilities as learning to draw in a specific style will just limit you to that style because you lack the technical capacity to do anything more advanced which is why people mention to learn the fundamentals.

Anyway, I am going to get off this train of thought for now, it is kind of exhausting to write so much since I have a lot to say about this matter, but the gist of my argument is that the OP should earn his way up to doing the fun stuff if he wants to get good at his craft since there is really no other way around this, and he should focus on objective skills rather than subjective ones especially since he is just starting out fresh. It doesn't take that much effort to start practicing the fundamentals and it really is just about self-discipline as you said, although I still stand by my point that structure is one of the most important things about drawing and I doubt that you can find an example from an artist that is really really good who would say otherwise.

[EDIT] Here is student work from FZD school of design, if this is not enough to convince you that to get a good drawing all you really need is good perspective skills, then I do not really know what will.

https://fzdschool.com/blog_posts/for-st ... erspective

FZD focuses on teaching their students for 6 months on how to draw in perspective, and spend the remainder of the year teaching design principles. The mere fact that they are teaching them technical skills first shows that the idea itself is nothing without the structure to support it. The drawings might not look "artistic" but they get the job done and look good on their own, that knowledge can be applied to creating good compositions later on.

 

Postby Agitato » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:43 am

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@Mystipen, I do think fundamentally we're in agreement here, it's just a matter of arguing specifics regarding weight. To be clear, I do agree perspective is the most important fundamental for a beginner to practice, and I think your advice is sound. It's the key to functional drawing.

And I definitely agree regarding the popular anime portraitists, it's certainly a technical weakness imo, but it's hard to argue they need more perspective training if they're doing just fine professionally without it, and if they have no personal artistic interest in more perspective heavy compositions, it's hard to argue that they should bother investing the time to develop the skill. They were just an easy example of certain fundamentals having different weights based on what it is the artist actually wants to do, and I further argued that fundamentals have different weights at different levels of artistic development. Perspective may be the key to functional drawing, but a purely functional drawing does not make good art, in my humble opinion.

Yes, Krenz has very solid perspective (and other fundamental) knowledge. He is able to use this baseline proficiency to free himself up to emphasize color in his work. This is what I meant by fundamentals having different weights at different stages of proficiency. Viewing his work, I feel like that's really the fundamental he's lifting up above all else in importance; his understanding and expression of color is amazing. It's the defining trait that separates him from all the other professionals who also have perspective down pat imo. But obviously, this sort of thing is exactly what noobs constantly want to emphasize immediately, so I completely understand your apprehensions and reasoning. All cake and no actual nutrition.

I was just agreeing with Moe's advice that you should practice doing what it is that you want to pursue in finished work, in addition to the technical studies. Practicing it alone is pretty tortuously dry, at least in my experience, and I've found it to be a mistake personally.

Thanks for your thoughts as well!
Sincerely.

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Postby wlazo » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:26 pm

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Thank you a lot for your responses,
I won't respond to every tips you have given me individually as there are a lot of them, but I believe I now have a pretty solid battle plan to get things going. :D

I intend to resume posting in my sketchbook and maybe in the critique session :D

expects news from soon but not too soon :P

may you all have a great day!


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