Can't figure out how to improve
#1
I cant figure out how to improve. Over the past 12 years I've wanted to be a concept artist/illustrator/painter. It was my mission for about 6 years, but my progress really discouraged me to a point where I gave up for about 4 years.
I have alot of good books, tutorials, videos. What I lack is a real ability to problem solve.
Sometimes I think I'm autistic or maybe I just have add.
I know alot of painting/drawing "facts" and "info". But I cant apply them. Or fix a problem.

I want to try again. I dont expect to be a pro overnight. I just want to see legit consistent progress.

I can't seem to learn from my mistakes. And I have no original ideas.

Its so hard for me to give up on this dream but I have to get better or let it go. I enjoy doing it. But I just don't want to take it seriously if I can't get somewhere real with my ability.
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#2
I might know what you're talking about, to an extent. I went through a period where I became overly reliant on books, tutorials, and videos, and it was as if my brain could not develop self-reliance when creating art. Books and the like are good for providing guidance and technical facts, but you can't rely on other people's brains too much. I'm still not professional level, obviously, but I am making better works than before.

The feeling of not being able to learn from your mistakes is probably not abnormal; I've certainly felt that. I recall Marko Djurdevic talking about how one of the hardest things about motivating oneself to learn art is the fact that you make the same mistake repeatedly, and then you make it again 2 weeks after you thought you figured it out. Nobody truly understands how one improves at a skill (yes, there's practicing and theory, but all the practice and theory in the world will not turn an average guitar player into Jimi Hendrix), especially not a nebulous one like art, so no one can give you a clear-cut answer about things like this.
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#3
Read my motto and you will be half there.If you cannot hold yourself to any standard and you ignore what you need to be working on your sabotaging yourself.

Asking for help is a good start congratulation.Keep rolling the ball i don't know you journey but if i had to guess you didn't ask for much help before this point you had to give up to realize you cannot do all this by yourself you need a pair of extra eye and second brain to give you an other perspective to ''make you see 360 degree''.

I recommend you read this post i made and take a piece of paper and try to be honest and identify what wrong in your attitude.


http://crimsondaggers.com/forum/thread-4785.html

My Sketchbook
The journey of an artist truly begin when he can learn from everyone error.
Teamwork make your dream work.
Asking help is the key to growth.
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#4
you should start a sketchbook, post your practice and finished work, that will make it easier to tell which things you aren't thinking about and what bad habits you've picked up.


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#5
Thanks for the fast replies guys. I'm going to make a sketchbook within the next couple of weeks.
I want to finish a picture as far as I can take it first, so I can get the most necessary advice.
It just sucks that I'm not smarter and I wish I could figure things out better or at all.

Heres my art goals.

Block-ins in accurate proportion regardless of the height chosen. (Finding landmarks, comparing with vertical, horizontal and diagonal plumbs. Breaking things down into quarters.) Focusing on Shapes.

Perspective Construction- I don't get how to go beyond simple forms and make complex ones. Also concepts like cone of vison or accuracy point or mechanical perspective to arrive at accurate architecture just fry my brain.

Value Patterns- Practicing all types of light from direct and diffuse. And deciding on if a key is a high, middle or low. While also getting the specific surface material, whether matte or reflective.

Cast Studies- Just focusing on Shape, Tone and Edges

Color studies of Masters- This is the most discouraging thing I try to do. I understand the elements of color; temperature, saturation, hue and value. But when I see people do a master study especially a landscape they make general colors before the specific color planes and I just don't get how the hell they decide what color to start with.
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#6
I think you are taking too much of a stiff, mechanical approach. It's no wonder you're struggling. That road will only turn you into Paolo Uccello. For example:

(05-08-2020, 04:17 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: Perspective Construction- I don't get how to go beyond simple forms and make complex ones. Also concepts like cone of vison or accuracy point or mechanical perspective to arrive at accurate architecture just fry my brain.

Not a single concept art professional uses the cone of vision or mechanical drawing techniques. I don't know how many of them even learn them, and complicated perspective set-ups are noticeably absent from the only videos I've seen of Scott Robertson himself showing his workflow for creating concepts. They either set up a few basic lines as reference points or do basic 3D block-ins; at most, they'll do a setup as thorough as what you see in Successful Drawing by Loomis. If anyone on the board is more informed on this, I welcome corrections.

(05-08-2020, 04:17 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: Color studies of Masters- This is the most discouraging thing I try to do. I understand the elements of color; temperature, saturation, hue and value. But when I see people do a master study especially a landscape they make general colors before the specific color planes and I just don't get how the hell they decide what color to start with.

You cannot master color merely by knowing facts about the elements that make it up. Sure, there are scientific facts of color and some general guidelines one can follow, but artists who are excellent with color have largely developed their strong intuition for it from years of study and observation. Same goes for getting a good grasp of light and surface materials.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be approaching practice with the mindset that developing a good enough grasp of technical concepts will unlock Fabulous Secret Art Powers. I don't think it ever works that way. Just to make sure that we're all on the same page, what kind of art do you ultimately want to make? You said concept art/illustration, but it might help if you're more specific. Do you want to make beautiful realistic illustrations? Cool concept art for sci-fi movies? Both?

Lastly, I'm not saying it's actually wrong to practice any of the things you mentioned; they are very helpful to learn. They just are not a be-all-end-all.
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#7
My feeling has always been learn the fundamentals then you can be creative and adopt any style when you know how the fundamentals work. So I only want to be able to do realism so I can have control over the principles and have it carry over to any medium.

My desire has always to be apart of video games/ movies. And illustrate graphic novels and children books with a variety of styles. My big problem with perspective is understanding how to foreshorten the far side of forms(not basic forms but detailed). My emphasis on perspective accuracy is to arrive at what the other side of a form really is and not what I vaguely guess it to be.

As far color and master studies I was saying I can look at individual color planes and go through their properties hue value temp sat. But I don't know how to get those base colors that people start with which aren't at all the final color that is seen. Not sure if that makes sense.

But I think your right about too stiff of an approach. Would you suggest to just make more pictures and just sketch from refference a bunch and not think so hard about what I'm doing?
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#8
(05-08-2020, 05:42 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: My feeling has always been learn the fundamentals then you can be creative and adopt any style when you know how the fundamentals work. So I only want to be able to do realism so I can have control over the principles and have it carry over to any medium.

My desire has always to be apart of video games/ movies. And illustrate graphic novels and children books with a variety of styles. My big problem with perspective is  understanding how to foreshorten the far side of forms(not basic forms but detailed). My emphasis on perspective accuracy is to arrive at what the other side of a form really is and not what I vaguely guess it to be.

As far color and master studies I was saying I can look at individual color planes and go through their properties hue value temp sat. But I don't know how to get those base colors that people start with which aren't at all the final color that is seen. Not sure if that makes sense.

But I think your right about too stiff of an approach. Would you suggest to just make more pictures and just sketch from refference a bunch and not think so hard about what I'm doing?

I kind of disagree with Public E, respectfully. Doesn't sound that stiff to me, and I also kind of like Paulo Uccello, haha!  All of the stuff you mentioned seemed interesting, and pretty fundamental to me, whether you are interested in fine art, or illustration, graphic novels. What you're basically saying is you want to improve at proportion, form, and composition and color. so -- almost everything! But I guess I kind of agree that being good at the studies that go along with those concepts doesn't necessarily make you good at making pictures. Which I know, because I'm kind of in that place in my own journey. But then at the same time, what good would a picture be that's lacking in all those areas? 

People might have more clear advice on what to work on once you start a sketchbook.

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#9
JosephCow: I respectfully accept your respectful disagreement, brother.

(05-08-2020, 05:42 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: My feeling has always been learn the fundamentals then you can be creative and adopt any style when you know how the fundamentals work. So I only want to be able to do realism so I can have control over the principles and have it carry over to any medium.

That's well and good. I just think you're over-doing it.

(05-08-2020, 05:42 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: My big problem with perspective is  understanding how to foreshorten the far side of forms(not basic forms but detailed). My emphasis on perspective accuracy is to arrive at what the other side of a form really is and not what I vaguely guess it to be.

By detailed forms, do you mean organic things like human bodies? You cannot become so good at perspective that you can figure out how a complex form looks from all angles, without studying the thing itself. As far as I know, all you can do is pick out important landmarks and figure out what relation they have to each other, and then draw the form inside of a box in perspective if you really want be precise about it. Also, foreshortening is something that most people use references for.

(05-08-2020, 05:42 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: As far color and master studies I was saying I can look at individual color planes and go through their properties hue value temp sat. But I don't know how to get those base colors that people start with which aren't at all the final color that is seen. Not sure if that makes sense.

Are you talking about underpaintings? The usual approach for that is to use a complementary of what you ultimately want the dominant color to be, so that the complementary will show up in spots and make it "pop". It's not more complicated than that, as far as I know.

(05-08-2020, 05:42 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: But I think your right about too stiff of an approach. Would you suggest to just make more pictures and just sketch from refference a bunch and not think so hard about what I'm doing?

Sure, that's what Frank Frazetta did (according to himself). I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't think, though. The main reason I wrote that whole screed was that you said you wanted to be a concept artist/illustrator, but then brought up not understanding mechanical drawing or the cone of vision as a major roadblock. Such things are not necessary, and not used by most acclaimed professionals you can think of (including Michelangelo).
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#10
I'm working as a concept artist, if you like I can help you out with stuff.

For reference this is my work :
https://www.artstation.com/mariyan-hristov

If you feel i can help you in any way feel free to DM so we can chat on discord about it.
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#11
Cow- I'm working on starting one soon thanks for reply.
PubE- Thanks for taking the time to help. I feel better about practicing more.
I don't think I'm thinking of an underpainting cause thats just one overall tone and possibly just some shadow shapes thinly put in I thought. I've seen Noah Bradley and others put in colors that aren't there say when putting in a cliff with sand dirt, rocks etc.Situations where theres no discernable evidence of a particular local color but it get massed and built up and the end result leaves no traces of the initial colors put down.Which leaves me wonder what am I looking for what questions can I ask other than the properties of a specific plane or object. Maybe that is underpainting just not what I thought of.
Perspective I really want to be able to do draft views of anything.Because then any view of a character or landscape is possible. For interesting scenes in comics. But I get what your saying and your right.
Maryion- Hey thanks. You could definatley help me. I just wouldn't even know where to start and wouldn't want to waste your time as I'm miles away from your skill and understanding. But if I think of a good question I'll DM you.
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#12
(05-08-2020, 12:00 PM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: I don't think I'm thinking of an underpainting cause thats just one overall tone and possibly just some shadow shapes thinly put in I thought. I've seen Noah Bradley and others put in colors that aren't there say when putting in a cliff with sand dirt, rocks etc.Situations where theres no discernable evidence of a particular local color but it get massed and built up and the end result leaves no traces of the initial colors put down.Which leaves me wonder what am I looking for what questions can I ask other than the properties of a specific plane or object. Maybe that is underpainting just not what I thought of.

An underpainting with one tone and some shadow shapes put in would be more typical for traditional art; some even do underpaintings with 3 or more values laid out. In digital art, though, I think people normally just pick 1 color that they think plays nice with the rest of the colors to make a flat underpainting, maybe with a minimal composition sketched in. That's probably what Noah Bradley was doing, or it may have been completely arbitrary, just to make a shape to fill in.

(05-08-2020, 12:00 PM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: Perspective I really want to be able to do draft views of anything.Because then any view of a character or landscape is possible. For interesting scenes in comics. But I get what your saying and your right.

Perspective definitely helps with that, but I suspect that doing it in the way you're thinking of (to make EVERY complex and basic form in the scene accurate) would be so laborious that it wouldn't be worth it. It is a noble thing to attempt, though.

Good luck with your art, and don't hesitate to start that sketchbook.
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#13
(05-07-2020, 11:09 AM)Forsaken Pluto Wrote: I cant figure out how to improve. Over the past 12 years I've wanted to be a concept artist/illustrator/painter. It was my mission for about 6 years, but my progress really discouraged me to a point where I gave up for about 4 years.
I have alot of good books, tutorials, videos. What I lack is a real ability to problem solve.
Sometimes I think I'm autistic or maybe I just have add.
I know alot of painting/drawing "facts" and "info". But I cant apply them. Or fix a problem.

I want to try again. I dont expect to be a pro overnight. I just want to see legit consistent progress.

I can't seem to learn from my mistakes. And I have no original ideas.

Its so hard for me to give up on this dream but I have to get better or let it go. I enjoy doing it. But I just don't want to take it seriously if I can't get somewhere real with my ability.

I had that mental thing too where I wanted to be a concept artist/illustrator/painter. I still do. I realize my own bullshit whenever I catch myself loving the idea of being one rather than doing the actual work itself.

Always wanted to be a concept artist but never really designed anything. Not even trying to attempt to do it because of that voice telling me it's never going to be professionally good enough anyway. So why bother.

The way I get over it is to remind myself really why I wanted to become one. It's to make cool shit. I don't think these concept artists' financial ability were the main thing that drew you into this world of creating art. Don't get me wrong, making it to the pros it's a nice goal to have. I think the difference between people who make it professionally and those who don't is how you'd answer this question: how much do you love the craft? Would you still concept design/illustrate/paint if money wasn't involved?

I don't think I need to tell you what do to. You claim you are well read. There's a lot of good advice from members here that you can run with. I really think it's the idea of failing that's getting to you. You will fail. You will sometimes feel like you're getting stagnant. Improve through your failures. Can't see your failures? Post your art publicly and we'll do the criticism for you.

Less talk and do more art shit!

If you are reading this, I most likely just gave you a crappy crit! What I'm basically trying to say is, don't give up!  
----
IG: @thatpuddinhead
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#14
Pub E- Yeah I think youre right.

John- I totally agree with you. Thats pretty much the same boat. I think the only reason I want to be a pro is so I make cool shit as well. But I think some of the pressure is the fact that I hate working these shitty jobs in the world and wanted to be good enough to get away from all that. But the evidence clear that you have to just abandon hopes like that and just keep doing it because you enjoy. Because being a pro seems an impossible reach. But like I said I do enjoy it I just hate that I can't problem solve better and figure out how to consitently progress. Its only a big deal because I'm mortal and life is short.
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