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I'm attempting to teach myself how to draw. I've gotten a bunch of art books that I'm slowing going through.
However I not completely sure where to start. I've been drawing a lot of shapes and doing shading and all that (where one of my art books told me to begin) and been sort of drawing my apartment, like desks and stuff.
And I've been taking pictures and drawing from them.
pencil sketch (don't worry I've fixed the right eye and I realize that they are both kind of too big?) from rl picture

Is this a good way of learning? Should I be doing something else? Tips/advice/anything is appreciated.
Thanks!
Syrella's avatar

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I'm attempting to teach myself how to draw. I've gotten a bunch of art books that I'm slowing going through.
However I not completely sure where to start. I've been drawing a lot of shapes and doing shading and all that (where one of my art books told me to begin) and been sort of drawing my apartment, like desks and stuff.
And I've been taking pictures and drawing from them.
pencil sketch (don't worry I've fixed the right eye and I realize that they are both kind of too big?) from rl picture

Is this a good way of learning? Should I be doing something else? Tips/advice/anything is appreciated.
Thanks!

I think you're probably doing it right. It'll take some time for your efforts to pay off.

The bolded part above concerns me, though. Are you just working from photos? If you are, you are missing out on a large part of drawing-- mainly, translating 3D visuals to 2D. It's absolutely critical that you don't just draw from photos and also mix in some real life draw-what's-in-front-of-you time. Actually being able to hold an object in your hand or change the lighting is really important and it'll teach you a lot more than what a photograph can. Don't give up on photo studies entirely. They are great as reference tools. Just don't make them your main source for learning.

Yes, a lot of learning to draw just comes down to practice. However, practicing efficiently is probably more important than actual hours put in. Don't be like me and spend hours doodling the same stuff from imagination.

TLDR: Be sure that the exercises that you are doing are going to help you achieve your goals. If you're not sure, ask us. I'm sure we can help you figure out what is worthwhile or not. And also, check out some of the Sketchbook threads on Concept Art. It's really inspirational to see what people can do when they put their time and effort into something.
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forget all the books and stuff and don't take photos. just draw from life. start with some items like a mug, apple, sunglasses, ornament, or whatever you have and arrange them on a table and draw them. or better yet get a friend or someone to sit for you!

i have never been able to get my head around making shapes as an under drawing and then doing details over the top. i've always practiced with real objects.

that being said your sketch looks pretty good already so you must be doing something right! emotion_yatta
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Put some nontransparent objects in front of you, measure with pencil their proportions and draw what you see. Then move onto still life, then onto portraits, then body then surroundings and landscapes. You pretty much do not need to buy any "how to draw books", only perhaps books that explain techniques of using the medium itself. Or if you need book to keep yourself motivated and know what to do next, maybe investing in Betty Edwards "New drawing on right side of brain"
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Oh jeez. I hate to tell you, but your gonna resent having those art books soon.

When I started to really get back into drawing, after a bad break up, I went out and got.. I think about eight art books. I barely used them cause the writer was really condescending, or at least, that's how I read it. I ended up skipping to the final drawings every time and just drawing those.

If you start getting good, your going to really resent shelling out money for those books, when the average sears catalog (or whatever stores you have there) is probably more useful. 3nodding
In my opinion, you don't have to spend your money to buy those expensive art books.

I've done that before. I bought a lot of books on drawing and painting, and I end up to like only 1 or 2 now. I don't know how am I gonna to get rid of those that I don't like anymore, seeing that my bookshelf is getting more pack day by day. And since the books are not cheap, you know, throwing them into garbage bin is too much waste. The only way is to probably find some "innocent" amateur artists who might interested with them.

There are so many free e-artbook on internet, which one of my favourite is this: Save Loomis!

I'm still buying art books, though. But only if the book is highly recommended by professional artists or the price is below 20 bucks after discount.

Currently I'm happily spend the money I used to buy books on my art class. It does even more wonder.
I didn't really buy any of the art books so it's not a big deal if they're not good. They're all pdf. I have all of Loomis's books. A few on anatomy, figure drawing, persepctive, Drawing on the right side of the brain, etc. I haven't gone through all of them but the two I've been reading haven't really come off as condescending or anything. I'e found them to be helpful.
And yes I have been drawing from life. I've been trying portraits of celebrities from photos...

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