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Progression question

:icongareque:
Gareque Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As I am still very much an amateur artist and consider my work to mediocre at best, I have a lot of room for progression.

That said, I find I get to a point where I feel like I've learned a lot and manage to make some pieces that I'm very proud of, but then I will suddenly start falling backwards and from what I can tell, my progress goes straight out of the window and I wind up back where I started.

Does anyone else find this happens to them fairly commonly?
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Devious Comments

:iconalicesacco:
AliceSacco Featured By Owner Edited Feb 13, 2018   Digital Artist
This happens when you're rusty. Practice a little bit and you should recover your skills in short time, because you already have them.
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:icongareque:
Gareque Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm only talking about within days though, not stopping for months on end with no practice.

I try to get at least 30-60 minutes in every day or two.  But it seems that when I hit a point, I take two steps back for a good while, before eventually taking 3 forward and start improving again!
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:iconmarcosbell:
MarcosBell Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hiya!

I think your values (colors/light and dark?) are very polished, they look really good! Buuuut, your structure is weak, and I think that might be where you're tripping up.  It's not bad by any stretch of the word (it's wicked strong compared to the crap I started out withHaha emoticon )

The head and the hands are the first two things that any one consciously or subconsciously will notice in a figure (in the sense that it is a figure, not to use the fancy fine art definition) drawing. The head especially. I takes a minute to look past that, but those two things are your first impression for a potential viewer, including yourself.
 Even your drawing of bodies are pretty solid, but the faces are a little off...

I heard a guy say before (maybe it was SYCRA off youtube?), but you're training your eyes to see, as well as your hands to draw. The capability of your hands to draw what you see is usually not in sync.
So you can see mistakes faster and better than you actually have the ability to draw.

Like I said, your values are awesome, and your lines are pretty clean. You probably just started noticing the things that were off.
No sweat.
Analyze what you don't like, learn how to do it right, apply what you learned to what you did wrong, and you're even more awesome.

You're not a bad artist, you're just newer than the forty year old who had a pencil for his paper instead of a pacifier as a baby.
Anantomy/Form/StructureKept rewriting the same thing, so I figure this would start saving time...
The easiest way to tackle complex problems, is to break it down as simply as possible. Instead of trying to hack into the mass of muscles, which is very difficult without some sort of ground work, we can save work by using simple forms.
The way I've heard it, we start with line, work to forms, work to values, work to colors, then we design and play as much as we want.
So!
If you start with proportions, you have a figure that's decently the right size, then you can add forms to simplify what you're looking for. Then you can add muscles as you get more confident. The last bit is one heckuva pain and takes a loooooong time unfortunately.
1-Proportions (where is everything in relationship to everything else.)  https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.webcomicalliance.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2Fprop_female.gif&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebcomicalliance.com%2Ffeatured-news%2Fanatomy-101


Structured study also goes a long way.
You know where you came from but the road ahead is always going to be longer than the road you've already traveled. The one ahead is endless.
If you can turn around and clearly see where you came from, the steps you took, it's like "huh, sonuva bitch! Look how far i've come!"

If you can color that well, make figures that solid (heads will come if you tackle it!), and your lines are that clean, you've come pretty far in my opinion. Maybe you just don't look back often enough.
I think it's "never look back, but don't you ever forget the place you left."

I think you can look back to appreciate yourself some, just don't stop, and don't turn around.

Hope this helps?
-Cheers! :happybounce:
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:icongareque:
Gareque Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for the detailed response! (I meant to reply earlier, but was meant to be working so figured it best not to until I got home lol)

Proportions and structure are something I've been working on.  Anatomy etc is generally what I've focused on over the last 13 months or so tbh.  I want to draw my own manga or comic, yet undecided, so I set myself a goal of studying anatomy and poses for around 18 months, then landscape and backgrounds for another year.  Once I've got that down, then I'll start work.  Just want to have the basics down before I even look to making a start!

So far, I think my overall improvements are there and visible.  One of my earliest pieces, next to one of my most recent show this:

Code Geass Lelouch of the Rebellion: Cornelia by Gareque  compared to  Yuki Takashi - OC Request by Gareque

Imo, I feel the proportions are better in the more recent work, so it's at least an improvement there.  The time spent on the first one (granted, traditional over digital some variation is to be expected) took around 10 hours, whereas the second only took me around 2-3 hours.  So I certainly see an improvement in anatomy and in speed, so I'm happy there.

I think the issue I am having is kind of like I practice, practice, practice, then hit a brick wall where I don't move forward and, more often (at least until I take a break) seem to go backwards.  It's like I said to another post here, it's like taking 2 steps back, before eventually taking 3 steps forward.

Currently looking through the material you linked, seems great so far :)
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:iconmarcosbell:
MarcosBell Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconfunkymonkey1945: is one of my favorite artists period, and he's a great resource to for drawing tutorials as well (the info's just kinda buried so you gotta dig through his gallery).
He's mentioned something before liiiike, "figure out your problem, find an example of that problem solved, learn how the artist solved your problem, then you pack away the tool you've just learned to use."

This is kind what a master study in a fine arts class would be. The student would copy a classical painting, not to reproduce it, but to tear apart whatever they could get out of it. What's the composition, the values, the structure, the anatomy? I'd suggest www.alexhays.com/loomis/ specifically the head and hands book.

He sets up these "tools" in manageable stages. He starts with a literal ball. It's easy to draw, easy to keep track of. Then he adds proportions so your faces are forever after properly constructed with proper measurements. Then comes bones, then muscles, then planes (to properly collect and draw values). This one two three combo makes everything easy to follow.
When something's wonked, you can easily backtrack to your problem.
Like if your proportions are screwy, you can flip back to the proportion page and clear up whatever you didn't get the first time.

If you can get someone around you (especially anyone artistically trained) they can show and maybe even teach in minutes what you've been stumbling over for months. Even an untrained eye(if you gotta call it somethingOops emote ) will notice and point out what they don't quite like and what you could be working on.

The really great thing is to compare yourself, but you gotta be careful when you do.
This isn't about your different skill levels, this is like a "find the 6 differences" game. You do not have to be at their level, don't you dare start slamming yourself that you aren't as amazing because you're not (but you will be!).
Just compare.
What measurements do they use? What colors did they choose? How did they organize the drawing? Why did the artist choose that specific object? Why is this skinny or that fat?

What's the difference in their approach, not whats the difference in between our end result.

Good luck with your comic BTW, sounds like a pretty smart plan you got worked out there!
-Cheers :happybounce:
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:icongareque:
Gareque Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I actually own the 'Figure Drawing For All It's Worth' book, along with a couple of others not on the list.  Very useful and have helped me get to grasp with the basics of things like proportion (along with copious YouTube tutorials).  I struggle still in the deconstruction part though.  If I look at something, I feel I can replicate it 'fairly' well.  But then when I try to work on something without a real source, everything falls apart lol.  The best I've managed to come up with without a source was the dragon image I posted from my latest sketchbook (well, I say without a source, I spent 5 minutes looking at a picture before hand to memorise the shapes etc, then did the rest without anything), and it's sketch quality at best!

But ultimately, when I think about it, a year and a bit ago when I started art again, I wouldn't have even been able to get a sketch done of something without a source.

I try to get critiques done through this site mostly.  I find if someone isn't artistic, they tend to find most things are often 'really good' and don't often provide any actual criticism regarding the piece.

As for comparisons, I think that comparing yourself to a pro is bound to happen.  Obviously, they are who any would-be artist would aspire to be like.  It's difficult not to get somewhat disheartened when you become inspired and think "Yep, this is going to be my best piece ever", then it turns out to be worse than a sketch phase of a pro...  But then I learned something by seeing the actual work of pro's first hand.

At comicon last year, I spent some time talking to the artists of some of the marvel comics, along with some new startup artists who were doing their own graphic novels.  I spent probably 2-3 hours talking to them and looking through their portfolio and being given advice etc.  You see the images in photos etc and they look immaculate.  No brush strokes, no faded colours, etc, etc.  But that's because obviously the image is edited to 'make' it look perfect.

Seeing the work of professionals with streaks and brush strokes pretty much immediately made me feel a hundred times better about my own work.  After all, if you're comparing your work to what a scanner and editing software picks up, it's never going to be 100% accurate!
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:iconmarcosbell:
MarcosBell Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I figure the best way to draw from imagination is to learn tools to pick apart drawings.
I don't remember if I linked already, but these have really worked for me!
Anantomy/Form/StructureKept rewriting the same thing, so I figure this would start saving time...
The easiest way to tackle complex problems, is to break it down as simply as possible. Instead of trying to hack into the mass of muscles, which is very difficult without some sort of ground work, we can save work by using simple forms.
The way I've heard it, we start with line, work to forms, work to values, work to colors, then we design and play as much as we want.
So!
If you start with proportions, you have a figure that's decently the right size, then you can add forms to simplify what you're looking for. Then you can add muscles as you get more confident. The last bit is one heckuva pain and takes a loooooong time unfortunately.
1-Proportions (where is everything in relationship to everything else.)  https://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.webcomicalliance.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2Fprop_female.gif&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwebcomicalliance.com%2Ffeatured-news%2Fanatomy-101


I've heard a good way to be motivated is to compare yourself to your worst drawings.Sometimes it's good for a laugh and can be really encouraging.

I think people are scared to give critiques cos they don't wanna start a brawl in the comments. They're probly afraid you'll get defensive like "you just don't understand me!" Laugh

It's reallllly difficult to admire artists without being jealous of them. :happybounce:

Good luck though! Lemme know how it goes!

-Cheers!
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:icongareque:
Gareque Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sorry for the late reply!

Aye you did link that one, checked through them already and very helpful videos, so cheers for that!

I tend to keep WiP images as I work on things, then compare them to each other so I can see the progress next to each other.  Helps when you think "This is looking crap..." as you then check the last one at that stage and it makes you feel better.

As for criticisms, it depends what they are criticising.  Style is difficult, because you may not get, like or appreciate the style.  But basic fundamentals should be available for all to critique :)
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:iconmarcosbell:
MarcosBell Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a good one, there's a difference between style and ability! :happybounce:

Happy to help thanks!

-Cheers!
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:iconnstch-root-a:
NStCh-root-a Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, keep repeating the basics and do everything with intention, rather than as a  habit.
I noticed that my progress goes to waste when I start doing things without putting much thought into it.
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:iconmistermas:
MisterMAS Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
it happened to me recently when painting the hair because i used a style i felt really happy about and keep doing it until it felt like the progress i had doing that hair went backwards, rather than looking good it looked bad and wasn't happy about it, but luckily it only happened once a problem like this and i decided to do another hair style. Also i would say your art is pretty good! recommend a little more practice on the anatomy but it looks good!
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