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Author Topic: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.  (Read 4242 times)

Wapno

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I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« on: November 22, 2017, 02:12:15 AM »

Hello. I'd like to ask those of you who are more familiar with art for an advice.

I'd like to learn drawing, as simple as it is. Being able to breathe life into pictures in my imagination was always my dream, ever since childhood. Maybe if I spent that time on actually practicing the hobby instead of gaming, I might be an artist I wanted to be today, but such wasn't the case.

About a year and a half ago I've decided to do something about it. I've signed up for drawing lessons, and over the course of 4 months I've learned a bunch of useful tricks and got an insight into the practice, more or less knowing how to draw from nature. In this regard, it was a success. All that remains is practice.

The second course I've attended was specifically one about comics. You see, my dream revolves around drawing stories, specifically something close to manga. That course was stressful, as I quickly learned they are actually not going to teach you how to draw a comic. It was more about the mechanics of a story, archetypes, tropes, transitions between panels etc. You were actually already supposed to know how to draw. If you only knew how to draw stickmen - you will draw stickmen.

One of the reasons why I never practiced drawing is that I was always embarrassed before my very self with how my works look. It created a self-feedback loop - I'd try practicing drawing, fail, get depressed how crappy I am at drawing, try again weeks later, fail again, all the while ignoring the fact that I had a perfect reason to be bad at drawing - because I had absolutely no experience whatsoever. Of course, I am perfectly aware of that I am never going to get good at it if I don't train, but my subconsciousness simply doesn't want to hear that and expects me to produce good-looking stuff from the start.

I have a feeling it might be a result of what happened several years ago. As a kid, when doing my very first serious attempts at learning drawing, I once showed one of my works to an online community asking for guidelines on how to get better. The amount of harsh, aggressive critique had shattered my self-confidence and forced me into scrapping the idea, and getting back to gaming. Ever since then I can't get myself to accept that I'm just a beginner. Every slightest mistake I make results in frustration and effectively ruins the whole experience.

And so I keep struggling to get myself to even enjoy this hobby. I know I like drawing, I always did, but something along the way in my life ruined it for me when I started attempting to draw something that actually looks better than a pile of worthless doodles. It may be being addicted to games, but it doesn't seem like the root cause. When the time comes to practice drawing, if I don't escape to games, I escape to youtube. If I block youtube, I'm going to run away to 9gag, or even reading a book. It's awkward, but there's some sensation of dread I feel when I'm about to get to drawing. As if something is going to harshly judge whatever I'm going to create.

From all things I desire, being able breathe life into the characters and stories I come up with is currently my greatest dream. My last attempt at getting myself to practice resulted in a bout of actual depression (yes, I've seen a doctor). Browsing internet advice on the subject led me to buying 3 books - "Drawing on the Right Side" by Betty Edwards proved to contain nothing else than what I've already learned during the first drawing course I've attended and is of not much help at this point. "Mastering Manga" by Mark Crilley does contain some useful info on how to practice drawing human figures in a style I strive to learn, which is my priority at this point, but it's useless if I don't practice. Finally, "Creative License" by Danny Gregory seemed like an answer to my problem, but between my mindset and seeing information from the drawing course I've been on repeated in this book, I quickly got burned out and almost got myself into depression again.

I am sorry for chaotic post, but at this point I'm not even sure what to ask about specifically. If this situation does ring some bells for you, or you have any piece of advice on how to get out of this predicament, I'll be very thankful.
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Takion Kasukedo

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 07:06:47 AM »

You have a very similar thought process to what I have, as strange as it sounds.

I've tried making something nice before, only to feel depressed about it, try again, it turns out worse, feel even worse, and the art just gets butchered from there.

The best artpiece (if you can call it that) that I've done is my avatar, but it's been a long time since I've done something similar.

One of the sentences rings a particular tone. - Self-confidence.

Right now, I don't feel like really doing anything, maybe it's just me being stubborn, but I think i'll relax for some time before I attempt to do anything else.

(on a side note, my typing speed has improved by 65% from the past few years.)
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zaimoni

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 07:44:24 AM »

I have slotted this on my "bucket list".  I won't push the online "course" I plan to use to self-instruct here; said course did say to expect to spend about 160 hours in homework (practice, etc.) before I could know my natural talent level.
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Linnis

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 02:26:50 PM »

Hi, professional art tutor here, I also do set design and storyboard illustrations, my fiancee does fashion and character design for film also. We spend most of our day either drawing or teaching art. Or we are on set doing filming work. Due to or love one of us has to give up film and that would be me, so I am working on moving to selling art for a living. (Instead of film commission type of work.)

So first of all your situation is actually very common and a good sign. That is you feel frustration from feeling your drawing is really bad. Any artist worth his salt will always feel like their latest artwork is ***, and only rare occasions you'll get impressed by yourself, then six months later you'll look back at your "masterpiece" and think it is *** again. That is because you are improving and have room to improve. Even Picasso, who is the world most practiced, drew the most out of any human in history, continued to improve in his late life. Even my single mother has painted as sole income for thirty years she sometimes still feel like giving up on a paiting half way. Guess thats why we also need peer support eh?

It is about accepting that "frustration" and yes, video games do affect yor mental tolerance for frustration and failure. Most games nowadays are about hitting that reward center of your brain over and over. Learning and improving? That requires practice and failure, and that is frustrating and most games tries its hardest to avoid. But don't worry, just everytime you feel frustrated and *** from drawing just remember that is a fundamental part of drawing. Our ability to reproduce from our mind is always inferior then our imagination and aesthetic level.

Drawing always come from practice, the more you practice the more you can appreciate. Drawing comics is the easy part, all you need is practice, later on it start taking brain power and professional artists often spend more time thinking and planning then paiting. ( Unless they are the boring landscape painters )


Also I can tell you drawing lesson books do not help at all, never saw anyone that got good from using "learning" books. The problem is there are many approach to drawing the same thing, and ontop of that many aesthetics too! A good teacher will see what style you like and go from there. For exsample, manga. There is jap style, korean style, euro style, american style, thier fundamenrals are very different. American style most hard part is body posture and study, korean style is incredible line art that is "painter styled", japanese being the easiest to learn because for them its about standardized and productionline style. And euro is very... Painterly.

Also I do not recommend start by drawing manag style, yes it is "easier" but it is like that because an artist need to draw thousands of panels for even an short story. If you start off manga your will have an harder time as youll feel like your level is always "fan art" instaed of professional. I suggest by learning how to draw realistic sketches. You dont need to do that super serious drawing shapes for 100 times, one or two is enough. Just be confident that you can sketch anything your eyes can see, then when you move on to comic manga you will find great sucess.

Also by sketch I mean there are many styles, some has alot of shading, some are just line doddles, other are high contrast, or line art based, or quick and stylish, and any combination of these. You can go on pintrest and search "sketch" and study some styles you like.

Remember that sketch is the style that allows the most room for mistake and experimentation, while with manga and comic style every little curve on a line means something, and its easy to compound on mistakes and make it look disgusting.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 02:33:34 PM by Linnis »
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Wapno

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 02:51:33 AM »

@Takion Kasukedo

It's a bit relieving to hear that I'm not the only one with this issue... as horrible as it may be at the same time to know that there's another fellow soul that struggles with it. And yes, same thing here - one positive effect of binge gaming for me is very rapid typing typing speed, which in fact is very helpful at my job, since I'm working at IT support. Though honestly, I'd love it if I could trade that ability for being able to draw like I want to.

@Linnis

Thank you very much for sharing that piece of advice. Honestly, I wasn't even considering that it's actually a good sign that drawing frustrates me. Though I still have doubts whether if it's not too frustrating. I mean, shouldn't it be an enjoyable hobby?

It is about accepting that "frustration" and yes, video games do affect yor mental tolerance for frustration and failure. Most games nowadays are about hitting that reward center of your brain over and over. Learning and improving? That requires practice and failure, and that is frustrating and most games tries its hardest to avoid.

I was suspecting this to be the root cause for some time now. It's true - when you think about it, games are detached from reality in that regard that any activity in games is drastically easier than anything remotely creative in real life. Rewards in games are usually very quick - after all, if this wasn't the case, they would not sell as well. Without looking far - in Starsector, after few hours, you usually already have a massive fleet, lots of credits, had one victory after another, essentially a pile of rewards. Compare that to learning anything art-related in real life, which takes drastically more effort than even a hardest video game, and progresses so excruciatingly slow that you cannot even see the progress with the naked eye - at a glance it seems like you're stuck in place and not going anywhere. The effect is visible only after months, or even years. Now, I suspect I might have corrupted my mind with years of treatment with games and got used to "quick rewards" and now anything else seems significantly more difficult and frustrating - I simply got a mind which is not used to putting effort without witnessing immediate results. The question is, how to fix this?

I have no problem with dropping games. I have endured over half a year of abstinence, without much effort or trouble, just for the heck of it. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have a problem with more. Thing is, it didn't seem to help last time. Is it worth trying again?

About the latter part of your post - are you suggesting that I should focus on drawing from life? Still nature, live people? Focus on sketches? Also, what do you think about drawing from pictures on the internet? Copy-pasting onto a paper doesn't seem like the most effective method of practicing, but getting a person to pose as a model for several minutes isn't easy.
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Linnis

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 01:32:30 PM »

Quote from: Wapno
Thank you very much for sharing that piece of advice. Honestly, I wasn't even considering that it's actually a good sign that drawing frustrates me. Though I still have doubts whether if it's not too frustrating. I mean, shouldn't it be an enjoyable hobby?

The frustration is what causes it to be enjoyable in the end. Like dying to traps and enemies in dark souls, the whole game is designed to be frustrating, and once you learn past them getting to the end is more rewarding.

Quote from: Wapno
Now, I suspect I might have corrupted my mind with years of treatment with games and got used to "quick rewards" and now anything else seems significantly more difficult and frustrating - I simply got a mind which is not used to putting effort without witnessing immediate results. The question is, how to fix this?

There is nothing need to be fixed. Just when you are drawing remember that it is real life. In your mind try to separate the two activities. Like, do not listen to music while drawing if you listen to music while playing games. Or draw in a different room then where you play video games, or an different location all-together. Like draw at the library etc... You don't need to quit playing games if you don't want, just don't spend majority of your free time playing.

Quote from: Wapno
About the latter part of your post - are you suggesting that I should focus on drawing from life? Still nature, live people? Focus on sketches? Also, what do you think about drawing from pictures on the internet? Copy-pasting onto a paper doesn't seem like the most effective method of practicing, but getting a person to pose as a model for several minutes isn't easy.

The focus should be on Sketching, don't matter if your drawing from real life, or drawing from pictures of real life, or even copy drawing other drawings. It is all okay. Just do not trace, its all fine.
 
The goal of sketching is training your brain to recognize shapes, details, contours and reproduce them on a different scale on paper. Stuff like the physics of how hair curls, how muscles pull eyelines in certain directions, how tree branches work and different species of tree branches branches in different angles and frequency. How to represent stuff like leaves where they are all the same shape but just different angles can make them go from circles to figure eight shapes.

The most effective way I (un-morally) experimented on students is this.
1. Pick one subject say, trees, or faces, or rocks, or dogs.
2. Youtube someline like: "How to sketch x" but never something like "How to sketch x for beginners" ( Or if you have an tutor ask them to draw it step by step with you, if your tutor is unwilling, then they are a *** teacher and you should find someone else )
3. Copy it step by step.
4. Right away (don't wait a day) find a picture of said subject and try to apply what you learned on it.
5. The more you learned the better night's sleep you will need.
6. Do it regularly, say, 2 hours a day, or 2 hours every 2 days. But every drawing session should be MINIMUM 2 hours.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 01:34:40 PM by Linnis »
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Wapno

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 03:49:38 AM »

I'll be honest, as strange as it may sound, I'd actually be more relieved to hear that there's an actual problem here. Something that I can troubleshoot. But now it seems that the only way to do it is to just sit down and do it, but I've tried that so many times and during every attempt, every part of my brain screams at me to stop. I remember times where I'd just sit down and draw for fun, because I liked it. I've genuinely enjoyed it. Now it feels like a heavy labor and I can't help but try to escape and drop it eventually.

I don't play games for frustration. Frustration never was and never is fun for me. I never played Dark Souls and never will because I hate losing and dying. This kind of games is particularly exhausting for me.

I've tried practicing away from my PC desk. I've tried forcing a routine upon myself, with at least 2 hours of practice every day. Then it got diluted to 2 hours every 2 days, then 1 hour, 1 hour with breaks, until I've just started skipping days and dropping it altogether, because the more I did it, the more it became a torture.

I'm seriously considering the thought that eventually I'll just have to come to terms with myself and give up trying to draw. All the successful people I've seen in this field seem to enjoy it easily - is there even a point if I'm having so much trouble?
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Linnis

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 12:22:27 PM »

Everything at the start is hard, the people you see that can do it easily is because they been doing the same thing for years and it becomes just normal things they do. Everyone has to go through the same thing, just like the first time you learn to drive a car or the first week you get placed at a new school.

Going to classes or lessons can also help you get past the early period too! Or seek out an online community and learn with others.

I wish I could help you more but really that requires some skype or discord drawing lessons over the internet to help get you started on the first few hours. But if you ever want some help instead of advice you just have to ask.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 12:24:54 PM by Linnis »
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theSONY

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2017, 09:36:30 AM »

just Practice & every next drawing will be better than the last
start simple, try to draw one thing like "shark" comic style , again & again & again etc.
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Achataeon

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Re: I want to learn drawing... and I'm bad at it.
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2017, 08:44:19 PM »

This thread though, holy crap.

I have this dotted drawing I made 2 years ago and I said: "This is my friggin' masterpiece right here. I'll never be able to top it."
When I look at it now, it looks like donkey crap. I haven't touched a pencil in years. Reading this thread makes me feel like starting that journey again.
Gotta try that "1 drawing per day" rule I set up for myself.


@Linnis you're pretty good at your job, then. That's cool.
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