Welcome to Gaia! ::

There's a single governing rule here.

Do as I ask and don't read ahead.

Start at the beginning and follow the order. If you don't, I can't help you nor will I try.


To start, do this for me:

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[ Prove that you're serious about this and we're not wasting each other's time ]


1. Prepare: Get some paper and something dark to draw with.

2. You need to fit 8 objects on the page, so think about to how much space you have beforeyou start putting down lines.

3. Do not draw a grid on the page or any other kind of guide to space things. You have to learn to do it visually.

3. You're going to draw two rows of objects.

Row 1. Rectangle, square, circle, & triangle.
Row 2. Cylinder, cube, sphere, & cone.

No reference. No eraser. Just you, the drawing tool, and the paper. Scan it.

Right now. Go.

Post a link named "Prelim" when you get back.



I'm making this perfectly clear from now. This isn't a "tutorial" or "how to". Nor is it a guru thread. I make no claim that I know any more than average for someone with intermediate level training. All I'm trying to do is promote the REAL skills that lead to actual improvement, as well as grow our individual styles by understanding what style is and where it comes from.

I do that by sharing what I do know in a carefully chosen and structured series of demonstrations, assessment tasks, and practice tasks that will allow people to become used to the concepts, attitudes, habits, and tasks that will make their self teaching effective. See that? Self teaching. I am no teacher, but I do hope to coach self learners toward self discipline, self motivation, and the art of actual ******** practice.

While it will take years of sweat and tears to be a truly skilled artist, it doesn't take a hell of a lot to learn good habits and recognize the skills and concepts that will let use what you do have to it's full potential.

At the end of the day, I just want to see people that love what they do be happy with what they're doing.

[ This is how it's gonna go down ]


I don't want to type any more than you want to read, so I make videos and cartooned guides.

Work on your own time, at your own pace. Make sure you understand it and move on when you're ready to move on.

I don't expect everyone to keep up with me from Week to Week, but there is a benefit to keeping up with me. Your work will be part of the next Week's demonstration, which will help you see the overall idea based on what others are doing, while seeing your own specifically. They are anonymous, so there's no need for competition or comparing individuals. It's important to learn to separate the artist from the work and only look at the work.

While I will ask you to do different things of you each time, these are the "rules" that are constant:

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1. There's a reason why I give the instructions I give. I can't stress enough: Follow directions. I will ride your a** every time you fail to do this.

2. Do not read/watch ahead or skip around. The tasks are ordered the way they are for a reason.

3. Watch the videos (as instructed) the first time through. Then (If you're smart) watch them a second time to take notes. Review your notes before you start the quiz and/or the exercises. Don't assume you'll remember what you saw a day or even an hour ago when you sit to draw.

4. Go the the bathroom before you start a drawing. Have a bottle of water nearby in case you get thirsty. (Or a cup with a secure lid. Juuust in case you happen to knock it over.)

5. Put your phone on silent and put it out of sight until you're done for the day. That includes the breaks too.

6. I'm not interested in seeing anything digital unless I ask for it. Work on paper.

7. Take breaks between exercises, but not during quizzes. The idea is to let yourself run through the process without interruption so you can "get in the zone".


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Basic Supplies: (The ones with the * are needed every time)

- *No erasers. If you're using a pencil with an eraser, cut it off. If you don't want to cut your pencil up, get a pencil without an eraser. I suggest a black color pencil. In fact...
- *Black color pencil. (You can use a dark graphite pencil if you have to).
- A black sharpie.
- A red marker.
- *A ream of printer paper.
- *A cheap little clipboard for a sketching surface. It's super portable and I want you working on loose paper. (You can use another drawing surface if you can't get it right away, but get it asap. You need a portable surface you where you can control the angle of the surface).
- Tracing paper. - After a critique, trace your image and lay it over the still life/model that we're using, so you can see the differences.
- other color pencils for construction and separation work. Stock up on black though.
- Ruler Expect to blow off the dust between uses. Pretty much everything will be done freehand.


I cannot stress this enough: Don't get fancy. Use cheap paper. (Later, I may be specific about the weight and brightness of the paper, but not for a very long time.) Use cheapy color pencils too. Cause you're going to want to have more than one of them, so you're not stopping to sharpen pencils, when you should be drawing with them.

Quizzes:


Each week I'll post a quiz. Don't move ahead until you've finished and submitted the quiz, so I can help you before you spend any time on the exercises. It's pointless to practice the wrong thing. If it's not terribly off, I'm going to just give you the okay to press on. The quizzes will be anonymously critiqued in the next week. I need to have them early, so I can make the next week's topic. It literally takes a week to assess the stuff and tailor the topic to what people need to move forward. Procrastinating puts me off, but it also robs you of an opportunity to see your work and understand how it relates to the next topic.

Each quiz consists of three parts.

Observation
Action
Analysis

Observation:
I set up a still life and talk about it's relevance to the topic. You will see the concept at work in real life, instead of just reading about it.

Action:
Do stuff.

Analysis:
This may be a critique of something I did at some point, a masterwork study, a "field trip" (outside your house is totally in the field xD ). Unfortunately, I can't take you to point things out. Unless you're in the NYC/North Jersey area. Then I can set something up.

Like a quiz in any other subject, ask me questions and review your notes before you start. Try to go through the quiz without help. I need to see where you really are. It's an honor system, but remember: You're not cheating on a quiz, you're just cheating yourself.

Everybody draws. The vast majority don't draw well and will never learn. These three things will be the tools that free you from the s**t art traps that most people stumble into and never get out of.



Dailies:


Exercises where you practice what you learned. No s**t, right? But you'd be surprised how many people don't do that. Instead, they bullshit themselves by practicing what they don't know or doing it once and calling it practice.

These are meant to be done for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour (maximum) per day, every day. Repetition is an important part of internalizing the material.

Each week I'm going to post a new subject. (If I can't, I'll let you know and you keep doing the dailies for the next week.)

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Submitting drawings:


1. Save your work. Make a folder and in it, make a new folder for each week. Also keep a folder of your original quizzes and your best daily for that week. We'll be going back periodically to revisit and you'll need the old art.

2. Email me full resolution, unaltered scan/photo of each quiz as an attachment. Do not link unless it's a dropbox link. I ask for an email because I don't want you seeing each other's quiz results. The next topic is based on them and I want them to be anonymous in the videos. If you don't want to participate in the critique (which defeats the purpose) then feel free to just post them here. No sense in keeping them entirely to yourself.

3. I want to see the edges of the page. If you scan, move it so there's room from the edge. Put something a different color on top of it and scan. That way, I can see the edges of the page.

4.The quiz comes before the dailies. The quiz lets me know what the next topic needs to be, so I need them early in the week. The opening task is always very fast and the quiz takes the longest to do, so I suggest doing your opening task and watching through to the videos until the quiz. Think about the information and the next day, watch 1-4 again. Then do your quiz. That way, I'll have them by wednesdayish instead of saturday and you'll have given yourself time to make sure you understand the material.

5. Post the opening task (the first week it's the prelim) here ASAP. That's what I'll critique during the week to help you with your dailies. My opening exercise will be shown in the video each week if I can manage it.

6. Post your best daily for the week in the thread at the end of each week. I recommend you post them all every few days. The feedback gives you a push in the right direction as you go. Whether you do your dailies as instructed is up to you. But if you just do one and post it at the end of the week, it shows. You'll be cheating yourself out of your own improvement, because it's by drilling that we make the information stick. I don't care what you name dailies.

7. Link your opening tasks here. Name it "task [week#]. After you post yours, critique one other person's. Speak to them directly, so they know who is telling them. Try not to critique the same person two weeks in a row, if it's possible. It's best if you make sure you've gotten to everyone before going back to someone you already did.

8. Help each other if you see someone struggling. Like I said, I'm not a teacher. I'm just putting the information out there while I do what I do well. Critique. I'm working on the same stuff as you guys (which I post too).


Contacting me:


email: elvenboyslut@gmail.com - This is ONLY for sending your full res images. Don't talk to me there. If you don't want to email there are other options.

This thread: This is a really slow forum, so ask here first if it can wait. I don't plan to check the thread every time. I have my own improvement to worry about to.

tumblr: If you have an account, you can use the "Ask me stuff" link in the "About" section for questions or send a dropbox link to your full res image.

PMs: I will accept a PM with a link to the file on dropbox or a DA submission that I can download at completely full resolution. Do NOT PM me otherwise. No profile comments at all. Don't ask questions there either. Ask them publically either in the thread or on tumblr using the "Ask me stuff" link.

(If you SERIOUSLY have no other way to send me your full res quiz, then you can PM me, but let me know in the thread that you sent a PM.) I check my email every day and there are times when I only come on gaia to post the videos and check for questions, so email is always best.

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Suggestions:


To you: Do the quiz over at the end of the week, before you move on and compare it to the first try. Don't look at the first one at all until after you've done the second. You want see it with completely fresh eyes. Post a side by side of the old and new in the thread. If you made an improvement, be proud. If you didn't, we can figure out why.

From you: If there's a topic you're like to cover, let me know. I'll make it happen, just not necessarily when you think it should.


A note on sketchbooks and graphite pencils: Don't expect to use them much. Keeping a sketchbook is very important. On your own time. On my time, we use loose paper, unless otherwise stated in the instructions.
[ Week 1: The Basics ]


This week, we're looking at basic shapes.

First, since we're working on hard objects with straight lines:



(Ready to hear my godawful voice for longer than anyone should in one sitting?)

Part 1 - Using your page

Let's stop to cover some of the stuff in that first video.

Using your space properly will help you stop your drawings from leaning to one side and getting cut off. Look at how each each drawing makes a shape, that fills the page in some way, but leaves room around it. (These were actually cropped pretty close, because they were for signatures, but you get the idea). Setting in the overall shape of the intended drawing is let's you see where you should start the drawing on the page. No more cut off feet too, since this helps you keep the proportions of the drawing as intended. (These are all digital, but I work digitally the same way I do on paper.

Alternately, there is cropping your images after you've drawn them. This is best for sketchbook pages where you don't want to see the binding or sketches you drew while the page wasn't straight. You should always size and crop your images for viewing online.

Back to business...

Parts 2, 3, & 4

Do the quiz and call it a day. Watch Part 5 tomorrow and start your dailies.

They're called "dailies" for a reason. Do them each day for at least one week. Post them daily or every couple of days if you'd like feedback. While I only ask to see the best one, posting each one helps me give you a poke in the right direction, so the next one deals with the issue you're having.

Compare your first daily to the last one. It may not seem like much is changing from picture to picture, but comparison will show the progress you've made.

Post your best daily in the thread when you feel you're ready to move on. You can wait for my feedback or go right on to the Quiz 1 critique. Seeing the daily helps me approach the next topic and I use them as examples in the videos. It's important to post at least that best one.

(Note: There is no set time to start and how long you spend on any week is entirely up to you, but keeping up means your work gets direct critique in the videos. If you're starting after others, that's fine. I tend to be able to use past quizzes as examples in the following week's material.)



Quiz 1 Critique

The importance of Warm Ups and Dailies


Continue the dailies and warm ups from Week 1 for the rest of your life the week.

Quote:
Directory - Find Week 2 and beyond here.


Quote:
Resources - Recommended stuff to get
Annie Felis's avatar

Aged Codger

Kittie_Cappuccino's avatar

Beloved Fatcat

Ok, so I am posting my second try on the 8 Shapes.
I'm hoping it looks a bit better, and I hope its dark enough this time!
Also, for your first video are you talking about the portrait in my deviant art?
Kittie_Cappuccino
Ok, so I am posting my second try on the 8 Shapes.
I'm hoping it looks a bit better, and I hope its dark enough this time!
Also, for your first video are you talking about the portrait in my deviant art?
Nah, everything starts with the shapes thing.

That video is actually a crit I gave my girlfriend. I reuse critiques like mad. Waste not, want not!

Let me check the newcomer's out first so they can move on and then I'll check yours out. You can move on of course. (You're ahead of the game! mrgreen )
Annie Felis
Nice clean scan.

You're good to move on, but don't discount anything that's said. No matter what any of our work looks like, we're all rebooting, which puts us all on equal footing. Myself included.
Young Master Aibiki's avatar

Fluffy Pup

8 Shapes Prelim

Lets hope this works right. ><
Kittie_Cappuccino's avatar

Beloved Fatcat

Errol McGillivray
Kittie_Cappuccino
Nah, everything starts with the shapes thing.

That video is actually a crit I gave my girlfriend. I reuse critiques like mad. Waste not, want not!

Let me check the newcomer's out first so they can move on and then I'll check yours out. You can move on of course. (You're ahead of the game! mrgreen )


Ohh ok! I thought you were talking to someone else, but I wasn't completely sure. I didn't want to seem rude by not answering.

So, this is my A direct link drawing. I choose set up B, which I really hope is the right answer. Also, do you always want me to email you the drawings too?

Edited: I wasn't excatly sure how to do a thumbnail, so I tried the direct link. I hope it works!
Kittie_Cappuccino
Ok, so I am posting my second try on the 8 Shapes.


A quick bit about presenting your work online:

There are there ways to link an image from photobucket.

A - Copying the url from the address bar, which brings you to the actual full webpage.

Don't do that. It looks horrible. People only want to see the picture. Not photobucket's godawful interface.

B - A direct link

The 8 Shapes is the only one that I really want direct linked. I don't want anyone else's to affect the people posting.

C - A thumbnail link

User Image

This is a good way to link larger pictures, so they don't stretch get cut off. It's also great for posting a lot of pictures in the same post.

Going forward, I use the thumbnail link for the dailies.


Your shapes came out GREAT. I'm actually going to use the picture to make a point about following directions. (Which no one should be watching until after they did the prelim anyway. Haha. That's exactly what I'd hoped to see.

What do YOU think about the revision? Did it feel more comfortable and natural this time around?
Kittie_Cappuccino
Errol McGillivray
Kittie_Cappuccino
Nah, everything starts with the shapes thing.

That video is actually a crit I gave my girlfriend. I reuse critiques like mad. Waste not, want not!

Let me check the newcomer's out first so they can move on and then I'll check yours out. You can move on of course. (You're ahead of the game! mrgreen )


Ohh ok! I thought you were talking to someone else, but I wasn't completely sure. I didn't want to seem rude by not answering.

So, this is my Quiz 1 drawing. I choose set up B, which I really hope is the right answer. Also, do you always want me to email you the drawings too?
I'm thinking about it. For now, it's probably not necessary because everything has no detail, but later, I'll need those really big versions.

I'll update the first post to reflect that.

Looking at your stuff now.
Kittie_Cappuccino's avatar

Beloved Fatcat

Errol McGillivray

What do YOU think about the revision? Did it feel more comfortable and natural this time around?


I like the revision much more C: I feel like it looks a lot cleaner and they look a bit better spaced. Even though I messed up a little bit on my square, I still think they look better then my first try. I didn't necessarily feel more comfortable, but I do feel like I took a bit more time on it. I think that made a big difference.
Kittie_Cappuccino
Errol McGillivray

What do YOU think about the revision? Did it feel more comfortable and natural this time around?


I like the revision much more C: I feel like it looks a lot cleaner and they look a bit better spaced. Even though I messed up a little bit on my square, I still think they look better then my first try. I didn't necessarily feel more comfortable, but I do feel like I took a bit more time on it. I think that made a big difference.
I think you're showing better understanding. It could be because you have a new way of looking at the whole shape thing or it could just be because you took more time.

They all read much better and have some solidity to them.

Anyways, I'm gonna be ghost for a minute. Doing a quick crit for everyone. Tired of typing. Haha. I'll be back.
Kittie_Cappuccino's avatar

Beloved Fatcat

Errol McGillivray
Kittie_Cappuccino
Errol McGillivray

What do YOU think about the revision? Did it feel more comfortable and natural this time around?


I like the revision much more C: I feel like it looks a lot cleaner and they look a bit better spaced. Even though I messed up a little bit on my square, I still think they look better then my first try. I didn't necessarily feel more comfortable, but I do feel like I took a bit more time on it. I think that made a big difference.
I think you're showing better understanding. It could be because you have a new way of looking at the whole shape thing or it could just be because you took more time.

They all read much better and have some solidity to them.

Anyways, I'm gonna be ghost for a minute. Doing a quick crit for everyone. Tired of typing. Haha. I'll be back.

Ok, and I'm actually going to be heading to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow.
Kittie_Cappuccino
Errol McGillivray
Kittie_Cappuccino
Errol McGillivray

What do YOU think about the revision? Did it feel more comfortable and natural this time around?


I like the revision much more C: I feel like it looks a lot cleaner and they look a bit better spaced. Even though I messed up a little bit on my square, I still think they look better then my first try. I didn't necessarily feel more comfortable, but I do feel like I took a bit more time on it. I think that made a big difference.
I think you're showing better understanding. It could be because you have a new way of looking at the whole shape thing or it could just be because you took more time.

They all read much better and have some solidity to them.

Anyways, I'm gonna be ghost for a minute. Doing a quick crit for everyone. Tired of typing. Haha. I'll be back.

Ok, and I'm actually going to be heading to bed. I have to get up early tomorrow.
It will be there whenever you get around to it. That's the beauty of forums.
Crap screen capture video died. Will print and record from the phone tomorrow. Nite all. I'm exhausted.

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