New guy, Advice appreciated

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Weles 6 years ago.

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    Hello everyone, It's great to be able to use such an amazing tool.

    Let me share some of my attempts of hands and feet drawing in pen and ink (currently I've fallen in love with dip pens), but first let me give you some of my background.

    For a couple of months I've been trying to learn how to draw and paint. These were periods of on and off drawing, sketching and painting in oils, but I keep losing my motivation and there were weeks, when I didn't even come close to touching any pens, pencils or anything art related (aaand I'm lazy as ...).
    Now, as I'm trying to take it more seriously and spend at least an hour drawing every day (which doesn't work 100% yet), I start hitting the wall with some aspects of my sketches. I can see how the line should be drawn but I can't get it right. I think it's most visible in proportions.

    Disclaimer: I've never been good in anything related to art. I have never been able to draw well (I think even my stick figures were terrible), so don't expect too much.

    Now for the sketches. Those are just a couple of tries, but I hope you'll be able to point me in the right direction.
    The sketches took me between 3 to 7 minutes for every hand or foot.
    I've drawn them on A3 paper (~11x16 inches).
    As I don't have an A3 scanner, those are photographs.

    (I hope I posted the pictures all right. I can't see any preview button)

    Get more practice photos

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    Heya Weles!

    Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your work with us!

    Before I address your sketches, I wanted to highlight this first:

    "Disclaimer: I’ve never been good in anything related to art. I have never been able to draw well (I think even my stick figures were terrible), so don’t expect too much."

    Please don't beat yourself up for 'never having been good with art'. A lot of people think talent is something you're inherently born with, but I don't think that's true - we all start at the same point and our drawings all looked similar. The progress you make is something you owe to your hard work and discipline to keep practicing, even through the less pleasant and more difficult parts! Every time you sit down to work on your drawings, you are advancing and learning new things. (Even if it doesn't feel like you are, honing what you already know is part of advancing!)

    So when you move forward with your art, remember that every artist you look up to got to where they are by walking the path you're traversing right now - lots of hard work and dedication to a craft they enjoy.

    "Now, as I’m trying to take it more seriously and spend at least an hour drawing every day (which doesn’t work 100% yet), I start hitting the wall with some aspects of my sketches. I can see how the line should be drawn but I can’t get it right. I think it’s most visible in proportions."

    First off: VERY good job and working so hard on drawing every day! You can be gentle on yourself and do 10-15 minutes on days where an hour isn't possible, the important thing is to keep going. It's a lot harder to start from a full stop than to pick up from a slow walk. :)

    Most of your sketches look good to me! You're absolutely on the right track.

    One thing that I'm noticing is that while you get a lot of the shapes down well, you seem to be missing some understanding of the underlying bone structure. This is where 30-60 second gestures can come in handy - they force you to disassemble the object you're drawing into simpler shapes so that you have the underlying structure down. It can be hard to figure out how to though.

    If you'd like, you can take a look at this video. The artist underlines how to construct hands - this info is very useful to apply to gesture drawings too! Let me know if this helped?


    Thank you Sanne for your answer.
    After watching this video and looking at my drawings again, I see I have some problems with overdoing things. I make shapes more complicated than they really are. I'll try doing some 30 second gestures, as you advised, and we'll see how it works for me.

    10-15 minutes feels not enough for me. I know it's not true, but the kind of feeling when I have just a couple of minutes to spare makes me quite discouraged and I don't pick up a pencil at all. That's another thing to work on.

    I think I'm aware of what you said about hard work and regular practice, but on the other hand I expect more progress than is possible in shorter time than is needed. Slowly I'm moving away from the "I'm not talented and I'll never be good at it" attitude, but it's still a long and bumpy road ahead of me.

    Thank you again for all your advice, and I hope I'll make good use of it.


    Hey Weles and welcome, I can't think of anyone that haven't gone through the part of "i'm terrible I might aswell burn my tools and never draw again", it's a phase I go through all the time haha! What's important though is to realize that it's the journey that's supposed to be fun, there's no end to practice, you will never have a perfect drawing. Knowing that helps me not to rush things I suppose, the most important thing though is to draw every day no matter what. Good luck!


    Now, as I've tried some 60 second hands, I understand what you meant by disassembling the objects. It's nice and oddly satisfying to see how the simplest shapes make sense of what I'm doing. It's not exactly pretty, but... interesting.

    Thank you sooo much for all the advice and words of comfort. :)

    One more thing to work on is my thinking that I'm wasting materials. But that's the point I'm slowly starting to comprehend. There is no wasting. There are only practise and improvement.


    I've just thought of another question. If I don't have time to do everything during the day, is it better to do gesture drawings, to keep it daily, or should I rather do a more detailed sketch?


    My teacher told me rendering is a waste of time when practicing, I still render but not as often, maybe spend more time on things like getting gesture and proportions down. He didn't really put it like that though something like "You can polish a turd for a zillion hours but it's still going to be a turd." >.<


    That sounds familiar. I think I've heard it somewhere before. And it hits the point well, but if we leave rendering "for later" and focus on a more careful linework? I don't think it would still be "polishing a turd".


    I think focusing daily on some short sketches and keeping up that habit is better than forcing yourself into a block of time refining a sketch. Not so much because you're 'polishing a turd', but because things in motion stay in motion! The discipline and continuation of your practice is more effective for long-term gains than stopping, restarting and burning out on a long piece only to stop completely again afterwards.

    It's easier to speed up when you're already driving than to reach max speed from a standstill, right? Same applies to practice! :)

    There will be other opportunities where you can focus on longer, more detailed drawings for sure.


    I'll do that then. I've been keeping the daily routine for the last couple of days just like you suggested and it does feel nice to have some sort of habit. It's easier for me to find the time for it. :)

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