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Cenbi's avatar

Dapper Dabbler

awesome thread heart
what a wonderful thread! thank chuu! gives me soo many ideas...
Annie Felis's avatar

Aged Codger

Bump!

And thanks to everyone who's been bumping this once it falls off the front page, you're a great help.
two words: sticky this.
Chatan Cho's avatar

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Wow, those are some detailed posts. If I don't feel like drawing for over several months, I usually draw my dog, and my art block is gone.
heart BUMP heart
I agree, this needs to be stickied. =) Thank you! I particularly like that list of 100 adjectives one...
Annie Felis's avatar

Aged Codger

Actually no, it shouldn't be stickied. The reason it's not being stickied is that nobody ever reads the stickies. People seem to be more likely to read a topic on the first page than a stickied topic, so people just keep bumping this back to the first page.
Cool thread ^^
MasterCountryWarrior's avatar

Generous Friend

none of this helped me...i know you're trying to help and everything and i appriciate that but...nothing ive looked up has helped
Annie Felis's avatar

Aged Codger

MasterCountryWarrior
none of this helped me...i know you're trying to help and everything and i appriciate that but...nothing ive looked up has helped


Then if you simply cannot find motivation no matter what you try, art may not be for you. It's not just play, it's work as well. Anything creative needs to be worked towards, and if you simply cannot produce then you need to find a different creative outlet.
MasterCountryWarrior's avatar

Generous Friend

but ive always wanted to draw but i guess after this much time i should find a new thing to do
Annie Felis
There seems to be many people posting in AD every day begging for people to tell them what to draw. Now I don't get this, since I have more ideas for art and not enough time to draw them all, but I suppose anybody can get stuck. I plan on bumping this topic now and again so it winds up on the front page (unless somebody stickies it), and hopefully people will see it and listen to these suggestions. Here's some ideas and various exercises to get you going again:

YOU COULD TRY PRACTICING...

1. Do some life drawing! Seriously, just because you don't normally draw realism isn't any excuse to take a crack at it. Understanding how the world around you works is important, and since many artists draw people more than anything else understanding anatomy and how the body moves is very important for any stylization of art. If you're too young or too poor to take figure drawing classes with nude models and all, it's no big deal. There are other ways to draw people: go to the park or the mall or some other place and do quick sketches of the people you see there. You can look at photographs as well, although it's not as good as seeing something in person. There are plenty of stock photographers up on DeviantArt, so simply go to the "stock" catagory and then use the search box to search for what you want to work on, like "male nude" or "female action pose".

2. Do some gesture sketches. These are quick little things that you draw, about 30 seconds max for each. The idea is just to get the body language down, so many people just do a line skeleton/form without too much detail. Here's a good method to use: pick a random video on YouTube, and pause it at a random time when somebody is on the screen doing something. Then quick draw what you see, just a barebones sketch. Then repeat the process. If you need to, write down what the pose is below your sketch, things like "Frantic waving" or "Telling a story".

3. Do some still life study. It may seem dull to draw pictures of leaves, chairs and fruit but at the same time if you don't practice doing these things, you won't know how to draw them properly. You can do still life of anything: the objects on your desk, a few bottles and soaps from your shower, a pile of a few things you found outside, the contents of your purse or bag, the furnature in your living room, a pile of towels, ect ect. You can use any medium for it too...if you like pencil or pastels, do that. If you enjoy digital, do that. The point is to understand what you're drawing and interpret it into an image, and the medium you use doesn't matter so much.

4. Try some fabric study. This is something that ties in with both drawing humans and drawing still life: clothing and fabrics. There are countless types of cloth, and they all behave differently due to weave, thickness, stiffness and weight. A piece of silk will not hang and move the same way as a piece of polyester. Likewise, different fabrics reflect light and throw shadows in different ways. A good practice exercise is to pick out clothing of different fabrics from your closet and drape them over a chair or desk and draw what you see.

5. Practice light and shadow values. Before you ever consider trying to understand color theory and what the hell to color things, it's best to understand light sources. The best way to do this is to do studies in grayscale: figure drawing, still lives, fabric study, ect ect. Don't even think about color, think about where highlights and shadows belong, where secondary light sources are, how various things reflect light and how various textures behave in regards to light. One digital method to practice this and see if things look all right is to take a lineart and do the shading entirely on one multiply layer, with the highlights on another layer. Do this all on top of a gray flat layer. Then do flat colors underneath, with the highlight/shadow/gray layers hidden. Remove the gray layer entirely, show the highlight and shadow layers and then look at your picture to see if shading has been done properly.

6. Practice color theory. Boy, this is a tough one. Color theory is one of those things that isn't taught, it's something you have to learn through observation yourself. The best way to practice this is a combination of paying attention to the colors of things in real life, and practicing many different color combinations in your art. Light itself has color, shadows can have color to them as well...but there's no real trick to spotting how this works. It just takes a lot of looking at everything around you and trying to reproduce what you see. I cannot tell you the best colors to use either, because my eyes are not like your eyes: every human sees color a wee bit differently. The colors I think look great may look lousy to you. I've gotten in arguments with my husband whether our house is blue or gray, for cying out loud. So just start coloring things, and don't forget to ask others what they think. It's a "practice makes perfect" sort of thing.

7. Do some pen sketches. Pen, whether ballpoint or flare, is a rather unforgiving medium. By doing sketches in pen only you gain confidence. There's no "undo" button, there's no eraser. What you make is what you get, and if you don't get it right just try it again. Sketching in pen also helps teach you that sketches are supposed to be unrefined, and that you shouldn't focus for too long on one sketch: it's supposed to be a quick practice thing, not something that creates picture that you want to fall in love with.

wow this actually helped! thanks! :] you made me relize i still need to practice shading!
ok, this is officially my first and only favorite thread. -bookmarked-
junjun100
Annie Felis
There seems to be many people posting in AD every day begging for people to tell them what to draw. Now I don't get this, since I have more ideas for art and not enough time to draw them all, but I suppose anybody can get stuck. I plan on bumping this topic now and again so it winds up on the front page (unless somebody stickies it), and hopefully people will see it and listen to these suggestions. Here's some ideas and various exercises to get you going again:

YOU COULD TRY PRACTICING...

1. Do some life drawing! Seriously, just because you don't normally draw realism isn't any excuse to take a crack at it. Understanding how the world around you works is important, and since many artists draw people more than anything else understanding anatomy and how the body moves is very important for any stylization of art. If you're too young or too poor to take figure drawing classes with nude models and all, it's no big deal. There are other ways to draw people: go to the park or the mall or some other place and do quick sketches of the people you see there. You can look at photographs as well, although it's not as good as seeing something in person. There are plenty of stock photographers up on DeviantArt, so simply go to the "stock" catagory and then use the search box to search for what you want to work on, like "male nude" or "female action pose".

2. Do some gesture sketches. These are quick little things that you draw, about 30 seconds max for each. The idea is just to get the body language down, so many people just do a line skeleton/form without too much detail. Here's a good method to use: pick a random video on YouTube, and pause it at a random time when somebody is on the screen doing something. Then quick draw what you see, just a barebones sketch. Then repeat the process. If you need to, write down what the pose is below your sketch, things like "Frantic waving" or "Telling a story".

3. Do some still life study. It may seem dull to draw pictures of leaves, chairs and fruit but at the same time if you don't practice doing these things, you won't know how to draw them properly. You can do still life of anything: the objects on your desk, a few bottles and soaps from your shower, a pile of a few things you found outside, the contents of your purse or bag, the furnature in your living room, a pile of towels, ect ect. You can use any medium for it too...if you like pencil or pastels, do that. If you enjoy digital, do that. The point is to understand what you're drawing and interpret it into an image, and the medium you use doesn't matter so much.

4. Try some fabric study. This is something that ties in with both drawing humans and drawing still life: clothing and fabrics. There are countless types of cloth, and they all behave differently due to weave, thickness, stiffness and weight. A piece of silk will not hang and move the same way as a piece of polyester. Likewise, different fabrics reflect light and throw shadows in different ways. A good practice exercise is to pick out clothing of different fabrics from your closet and drape them over a chair or desk and draw what you see.

5. Practice light and shadow values. Before you ever consider trying to understand color theory and what the hell to color things, it's best to understand light sources. The best way to do this is to do studies in grayscale: figure drawing, still lives, fabric study, ect ect. Don't even think about color, think about where highlights and shadows belong, where secondary light sources are, how various things reflect light and how various textures behave in regards to light. One digital method to practice this and see if things look all right is to take a lineart and do the shading entirely on one multiply layer, with the highlights on another layer. Do this all on top of a gray flat layer. Then do flat colors underneath, with the highlight/shadow/gray layers hidden. Remove the gray layer entirely, show the highlight and shadow layers and then look at your picture to see if shading has been done properly.

6. Practice color theory. Boy, this is a tough one. Color theory is one of those things that isn't taught, it's something you have to learn through observation yourself. The best way to practice this is a combination of paying attention to the colors of things in real life, and practicing many different color combinations in your art. Light itself has color, shadows can have color to them as well...but there's no real trick to spotting how this works. It just takes a lot of looking at everything around you and trying to reproduce what you see. I cannot tell you the best colors to use either, because my eyes are not like your eyes: every human sees color a wee bit differently. The colors I think look great may look lousy to you. I've gotten in arguments with my husband whether our house is blue or gray, for cying out loud. So just start coloring things, and don't forget to ask others what they think. It's a "practice makes perfect" sort of thing.

7. Do some pen sketches. Pen, whether ballpoint or flare, is a rather unforgiving medium. By doing sketches in pen only you gain confidence. There's no "undo" button, there's no eraser. What you make is what you get, and if you don't get it right just try it again. Sketching in pen also helps teach you that sketches are supposed to be unrefined, and that you shouldn't focus for too long on one sketch: it's supposed to be a quick practice thing, not something that creates picture that you want to fall in love with.

wow this actually helped! thanks! :] you made me relize i still need to practice shading!


even though i know i need some serious practice, i wasn't sure on how to improve. just reading through is like being taught

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