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hobbyartist87
12-15-2012, 01:00 AM
The story of the art part of my life was that early in my childhood I would most watercolor with some colored pencil work, then as I got to know other media in high school, I dabbled in oil pastels a little bit and in 2010-2011 did a few soft pastel works. However, since getting into my thesis this summer, I went away from art and haven't really gotten back to it. This past week I've been thinking about getting back into art. I realize, however, that with the long breaks from art that I took (also took a break from art between freshman/sophomore year of high and after I graduated from my undergraduate program) I probably lost a lot of the skills that I previously had. On top of all this now when I sit down to draw or paint something more or less finished I don't have the same inspiration any more and nothing I've started lately has been something I was satisfied with as I would stop working on that piece before reaching the halfway point as it would seem really really bad to me (it looked like it was something a 5 year old drew). Since I've got a point and shoot camera for my birthday last year and some of the people from our church like to go take pictures of nearby parks, I've been thinking of going to photography with my camera and doing journaling that way.

This is where the question comes in. At this point I don't feel like my artwork is anywhere good enough to be posted in the pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor forum and I don't really have a ton of time to dedicate to those media, so if I get back into art I'll be hanging around most often in this forum. If I start doing point-and-shoot camera photos and start keeping a journal that way, would that kind of journal belong in this forum? If not, out of the media that I have tried (among the few art classes that I took on my own time in college was a charcoal/graphite pencil drawing class) which one or which ones would suggest I start with to get back into art? Sorry if this has gotten to be too long, but since art was one of my hobbies for most of my life I don't want to let go of it now and would like to find a way back into art.

jacquip
12-15-2012, 06:32 PM
Hi Sandra, I am just a part time participant here, but will give you my take on this, as I see it. If you have a look through the threads you will see a wide range of journals/sketchbooks. I would think it is acceptable to include creative photos as part of your journal. I hope I am not leading you astray here with this answer, hopefully one of the guides will give a better response.

This is a friendly group who support one another in all their different mediums and endeavours.

Gloppus
12-15-2012, 07:10 PM
Hi Sandra,

I'm not the best one to answer your question because I'm one of the newest members around. But I hope you find a warm welcome here. The photography forum can help with composition and camera settings for individual photos, but this seems to be the place to express your artistic life visually in a journal.

I also hope you don't give up completely on your drawing skills. Looking at something with the intent to draw it helps me see more details in shades, textures and angles than I would ever see by taking photos only. I took a drawing class decades ago and am just now getting back into it, so I know the frustration of of having lost many skills. Still I am determined to draw and the others have been very encouraging for me.

Either way, I look forward to seeing your journals.
With friendship... :wave:

hobbyartist87
12-16-2012, 02:47 AM
Thank you both for your replies. Gotta admit, the past couple of days I've been leaning toward picking up my colored pencils again. The sketchbook though that I've started long time ago isn't well suited to colored pencils though and to my parents it could be pretty hard to justify them getting me another sketchbook after dad bought me PanPastels last year. However, once I got into using them, I realized they're not my preferred medium.

bookscorpion
12-16-2012, 03:01 AM
I would also say that a photo journal has its place here, why shouldn't it.

But by all means get back into sketching and post it here as well, no matter if you feel it's good enough or not. You will get a lot of support and (if you wish) incredibly helpful advice from the people here. Don't try for the perfect piece. Maybe try a few of the online classes WettCanvas offers:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=335

I'm looking forward to seeing your journal here, photo or traditional or both :)

Studio-1-F
12-16-2012, 10:06 AM
Sandra, if your "journal" consists of only photographs, and does not include journaling, sketching, collage elements, painting, drawing, and so forth, you might find a more compatible place to share your adventures on the "Shutterbug Pub" forum here in WC (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=101). It looks as if folks are posting and discussing individual photographs, techniques, composition, equipment, etc. Pretty interesting! :thumbsup:

That said, there is no reason you can't stay here if you're more comfortable in this forum. All are welcomed.

With regard to your second question --->which media would we suggest you use to start back into art <--- Gosh, how can anyone except you answer that? People differ so much!

Some people loathe the sheen of graphite. Some absolutely must work with color and more color. Some folks adore the subtlety of charcoal. Some hate the smells and the gloppy-goo of oil paints. Others revel in it. Some splash on paint and have a ball making a big impressionistic mess. Other folks spend hours toiling over a 6" x 6" photo-realistic ink drawing.

It's impossible for anyone of us out here to guess what media will suit your tastes best. My suggestion is to think about what in making art gives you joy (and what annoys or repels you) and try all the media that fit those criteria. For instance, it seems that you have already ruled out PanPastels, so think about what it was about using them you didn't enjoy.

Once you've decided on a medium or two, try a workshop. Often you can learn more from watching an expert for a day than you can teach yourself all on your own in a year. Saves a world of frustration and disappointment.

Finally and most importantly: relax and have fun!

Jan

hobbyartist87
12-17-2012, 10:41 PM
Studio 1-F, what I didn't like with PanPastels was how dusty they got and that I didn't have enough colors and much of the time I tried mixing colors I ended up with something really dark or mud (seems I lost too much of my skill in blending from my watercolor days). I knew the chance of my parents buying me more soft pastels was slim to none. I'm always being drawn to color though as after doing a pic or two with charcoal and graphite I would always get bored and get away from those media. Living in Southern Illinois where we routinely have 90-100+ temps in the summer months and having a studio apartment kinda rules out watercolor (plus it's more expensive than I'd like to be putting into my art right now) and possibly even oil pastels as they'd have to be going in the fridge every hour or so and I wouldn't be able to use them for summer plein-air. At the same time though, when I pick up colored pencils or pen-and-ink, the perfectionist in me wants to go for photo realism and can't stand it when what's on paper isn't as good as what's in my mind. Maybe I'm just expecting too much out of myself and out of art media. I don't know how to approach all this, so any suggestions (from any members on here) would be welcomed.

Studio-1-F
12-18-2012, 09:18 AM
So you've given reasons why you do not enjoy a number of different media. Clear enough. (Though I never thought hot summer temperatures ruled out using watercolors, but I am no expert. :rolleyes: )

Okay. Next, think about what in making art gives you joy.

If it's really photo-realism, then maybe your niche is indeed photography!

Jan

hobbyartist87
12-18-2012, 05:30 PM
Jan, it's not so much what gives me but more a matter of patience. I feel everything in life is a competition between me and my younger brother and ever since he started to draw, there were times when my parents have liked his drawings more than mine. It seems that when I start drawing, after a while I just start losing patience it would take to finish a piece and want it look as good in the beginning as it would in the end (ie details perfect, no while spots at least in the foreground).

Photography does go really well with photo-realism but I feel that only gives so much room to explore my talent. So, I don't know. Kinda stuck.

Gloppus
12-18-2012, 05:50 PM
Hi Sandra,

I think it may have been in the other thread that someone recommended reading a book called The Creative Licence by Danny Gregory. I would second that. I read a copy from the library.

I think one point he makes is that there is a tremendous difference between setting out to create a work of art and working in a journal where you give yourself permission to explore, try new ideas, express yourself in a visual medium, and sometimes fail.

In a journal nothing has to be perfect or even finished and nothing has to be shared. It's like a private diary if you choose. I think you might like his book if you can find a copy. Working in an art journal can be a wonderful place to grow as well as develop your artistic skills.

Then you can share only the pages you like here... or not. But I hope you do.

RainySea
12-18-2012, 05:52 PM
How about pen and a little portable watercolor box like a Sakura Koi one that I have was cheap and I really like it for adding color to my pen sketches. Just a thought, but as Jan said. . . maybe photography really is what you are seeking! Give it a try.

DrDebby
12-18-2012, 07:48 PM
Sandra, welcome to Art Journals. If a photo journal is just a photo album, you might be better served in the photography forum. Tho' the consensus seems to be, we'd like to see you here. If it is indeed a journal of your progress in photography, such as notes or quotes or even what to do differently next time, then it is a journal of your art journey in photography and we'd love to see that. Either or both would work. A journal is not necessarily a finished piece of work. It's a place to explore and discover what you like and don't like to do for art. Not everything in a journal is something you want to share, and that's ok too.

As to your other question, which media to use to get back into art, what are you most comfortable with? What brings you the greatest joy? Art isn't a competition, it's self expression. If color is your joy, then I'd look at colored media. Or mixed media as Rainy suggested. I too have the Sakura Koi water color box. It's got decent water color paint in it, is cheap, and small for those outdoor excursions. It works great with a water brush.

How about some of both? Do the plein-air sketch and take photos of the location/subject. Put the photos in the journal along side your attempt. Don't be discouraged by it looking childish or primitive. Actually there are some artists who specialize in just that type of artwork.

Most of all, as Jan said, relax and have fun.

hobbyartist87
12-18-2012, 11:12 PM
Thank you Debby and everyone else for your replies. I guess when it comes to art I'm really a painter at heart who likes dry media as well (that was one of the reasons I tried PanPastels in the first place and might return to them when I get my hands on better paper). Looking at the threads here and at the videos on Blick website has inspired me to get out my Pitt Artist Pens. I did a couple of doodles with them to see how well they still work and to get a hang of them again and may start a journal thread with them here. Once again, thank you for all of your comments, suggestions, and inspirations.

Studio-1-F
12-19-2012, 09:12 AM
Jan, it's not so much what gives me [joy] but more a matter of patience.
It seems to me (and again, I don't know much about anything) that if you were finding joy and relaxation and satisfaction using a particular medium, that patience would come automatically. When I am getting deeply into a project or just playing around with a technique, I get so caught up and so concentrated that a whole afternoon can go by in an instant!

On the other hand, those tools and media that I have no patience with are the ones I don't use and don't want to use.

One of the key things to remember here is that this is supposed to be fun.

I feel everything in life is a competition between me and my younger brother and ever since he started to draw, there were times when my parents have liked his drawings more than mine.
This is unfortunate. And it's a shame it's interfering with your self-expression and your joy in making art.

It seems that when I start drawing, after a while I just start losing patience it would take to finish a piece and want it look as good in the beginning as it would in the end (ie details perfect, no while spots at least in the foreground).
Again, I say, this is supposed to be fun. If you are frustrated and impatient with drawing, then stop drawing. Why torture yourself?

It's like that old joke where the patient says to his doctor, "Doc, it hurts when I do this." And the doctor replies, "Well, then stop doing that."

Photography does go really well with photo-realism but I feel that only gives so much room to explore my talent. I disagree with this. There is so much in photography to explore. Outstanding artists with oceans of talent have spent entire lifetimes exploring the artistic possibilities of photography. Photography offers infinite room for you to explore your talent.

For inspiration, browse around this website (http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/?source=NavPhoHome) for a while. Wow!

Jan

birdhs
12-19-2012, 09:42 AM
Welcome to WC!!

I am very active in the Photography Forum. Photography is how I learned to be more observant. I study scenes more closely for all the artistic reasons a painter does: composition, values, color theory, and so on. The more phots I create, the more I enjoy it.

But I also am an Art student, and everything I have learned about creating Photography makes me a better artist, or was it the other way around?

In two of my Graphic Art classes I was forced to create one project a week, each one was in a different medium, each a different invented scene. Ink, CP, pastel, WC, and so on. Then we had to find ONE photographed scene and recreate it over and over in each medium for the second half. Found out which mediums I liked, which ones I didn't.

great way to learn.

Then we had to "present" these to the class, great way to learn how to critique.

I hope you come and visit the Photography Forum, and it is OK to make the same post in different Forums, so you could create a Journal fo phots, and present it here, too.

Best of both worlds.

Welcome

greg

hobbyartist87
12-19-2012, 01:35 PM
Jan, maybe you've hit the nail on the head.
It seems to me (and again, I don't know much about anything) that if you were finding joy and relaxation and satisfaction using a particular medium, that patience would come automatically. When I am getting deeply into a project or just playing around with a technique, I get so caught up and so concentrated that a whole afternoon can go by in an instant!
That's how I feel about colored pencils. When I'm using transparent ones, I like how I can get wet media effects using dry media (ie make colored pencil piece look like oil or watercolor). It also helps me to relax and destress, but boy does time fly when I'm using them. I loved them though for when I had enough time and didn't have to move my composition from place to place.

On the other hand, those tools and media that I have no patience with are the ones I don't use and don't want to use.
One of the key things to remember here is that this is supposed to be fun.
I guess this was what drove me away from graphite and charcoal even though those media would have been good to learn value (even when I first started with art I started with color media and had little instruction in value until taking a drawing class). I didn't mind the sheen, but the smudging just got to me, having to always keep another piece of paper underneath my hand and the near-constant use of fixative that felt interrupting to progressing the with piece. I'd usually stop working on them quickly just to not deal with smudging any longer and so I could finish before I got smudges and fingerprints all over the paper I was drawing on.

I disagree with this. There is so much in photography to explore. Outstanding artists with oceans of talent have spent entire lifetimes exploring the artistic possibilities of photography. Photography offers infinite room for you to explore your talent.

Jan

Jan, I don't doubt that you are right about this. It was only in 2007 while taking an Introduction to Art History class in college that I was introduced to photography as art form and it wasn't until I got my own camera (a point-and-shoot, but still) last year that I started exploring possibilities of my camera.

Maybe the route I need to go is delegate the colored pencils and pastels to more of a WIP type work and explore photography more, using pen-and-ink when I'm in the mood for occasional sketching.

Greg, thank you for invitation to the Photography forum. I've lurked there a few times since starting this thread and may be visiting Photography forum more often. When I can take a few decent photos I'll try to post them there.

Thank you all for your opinions and suggestions.

jstarn
01-03-2013, 09:43 PM
It sounds like you need to make a "hobbyartist87-crappy-fun-practice-media exploration-thow-stuff-at-paper-photo-de-stressing" Journal thread!