When i draw is like a bunch of lessons overlapping inside my head and that's not good to me.

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Muffin Machine 3 weeks ago.

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    I suppose that many people here went learning from many different sources, has ever happen to you that all those lessons mixed up and you felt lost?

    Previousely i talked about how my exhaustion that made me lose a little bit of progress. After a well deserved rest i got back at it again and now i remember there is something more to it than just me being tired. I tried to follow other tutorials that I thought being enteresting, yet they entered my head and when i draw... they all overlap into some aimless mess that makes me lose the whole purpose of the drawing.

    I need some help "organizing" those lessons, doing so would probably improve my situation.

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    Well, Idon'tknow, honestly, I don't know how to address your situation more effectively, except you need to just give yourself the most time to take one lesson at a time, one step at a time. As a result, your progress can and will become the most exponentially growing, if you need and want to take my advice. So, the smartest thing to do, is to please pick up a copy of The Little Book of Talent,by Daniel Coyle. Because, it's got a whole lot of tips for you to help you develop and create your own talents while in your own talent hotbeds. Let's hope what I've told made most perfect sense to you.


    The term this page uses for those "lessons" you mention is practice goals. There is even a button on this site. that asks you to select a practice goal from a multiple choice selection, and if you didn't change it for four weeks, you get a reminder. But that is only a minimal crutch, and after you get more experience with different approaches to drawing, these selections start to feel incredibly vague. There is the option to type in your own words, though.

    Ideally you should select a specific practice goal for each of your drawing sessions, and try to put it into your own words and/or visualize the effect you are going for. Those different tutorials offered you different tools for your toolbox, now it's up to you to learn to distinguish between them, and to select and chose consciously which specific tool fits your artistic vision best. In a faraway future, when we approach the horizon of mastery, we probably want all of this tools at our disposal.

    And I know, that sounds all great and almighty, like I figured that all out, and I absolutely haven't. Compared to a lot of other draftspersons I lack discipline and tend to just wing it a lot more often than is good for my artistic development, but having given a lot of feedback to other artists here, I at least have seen it done right by some people, and occassionally I succeed in getting it right myself.

    I think (I hope) becoming aware of the general problem, and at least trying to address it by attempting to become clearer about my goal for every session, before I just start scribbling away, is a step into the right direction. On the upside, trying to define my next practice goal for drawing is an uplifting mental exercise when I am stuck at work, or forced to do boring chores. How successfully I then manage to stick to it when the pen meets the paper is another question.


    Oh, I know, you're offering us a game, huh?


    I also struggle with this. I think the trouble comes from having a vague sense that "I need to improve" and it is solved by saying "I need to improve at doing THIS."

    Here are some things I have found that help. I'm writing this down as much for myself as for others.

    1. Define a project

    Yes, we do a lot of sketching and playing in artistic spaces, and we do learn from that. But to add structure to this, I find it best to start with a project in mind. The type of work is not as important, it is only important that you define it. You might not define it all at once, and instead make gradual steps towards that definition.

    2. For each thing that you define about your project, you now have a set of things that you will need to learn. Gather reference or other information you need to learn about those specific things.

    3. Apply what you learn to your project, making many iterations, until the part you have learned is sufficient to tell the "story" that you want your project to tell. That is how you will know that you have learned "enough".

    4. Move to the next part of your project that you have defined and restart this process. Over many iterations, you will have set goals and learned what it took to achieve them, until the end result is the project. When the project tells the entire story you wanted to tell, then you can know you are finished and move to the next thing.

    This is a practice I developed while working in 3D software, building each piece of a scene one by one, and I have carried it over to illustration and it seems to be working.

    This process gives you something to focus on, and that focus is rewarded by eventual completion of each step. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, by setting these obstacles and overcoming them, you will learn the way your mind artistically handles each obstacle and how you apply the things you have learned. All of the reference and learning you have in your mind will then be categorized by the experience of completing that part of the project. You will naturally cull the things that aren't working because it won't improve the story of your project.

    Your project may start as a vague sketch, or it might be a fully formed idea in your head already, but the important thing is to define at least one thing about it and work towards portraying that thing. When the message is clear, ask yourself what is next in your project. When your project no longer needs defining, you are done!

    If you want to test your project, I find that sending the results to a friend and instead of saying "Hey, look at this!" (to which they will respond 'Cool! Nice!' no matter what lol) ask them "Can you tell me what you see here?". You may be surprised that the things you were worried about don't even register to them, or that things you thought were perfectly clear are not. That just tells you where you've learned enough (for now) and where you should refocus.

    It can be easy to get stuck on a certain part of the project. Maybe endlessly drawing a hand over and over, or not being able to get a face right. When this happens, I get it to the best that I can with what I know and just put a marker next to that to return to it later. Sometimes, the reason it's not working is not the reason you think, and it may be that you need to better define another part of your project before your struggle point makes sense. Other times, your brain just needs a rest.

    I'm off to take my own advice now. Good luck!

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