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Old 09-01-2017, 06:52 AM
L Boogie L Boogie is offline
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Self teaching vs Atelier

I like classical art, realism etc, I'm self taught but I want to take my work to a higher level. Most people who seem to achieve that level of classical art have studied at Ateliers etc

My question really is it possible to achieve a high standard of painting and drawing via online courses, books, videos etc?
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:06 PM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

What you learn is not passive. You reach out and struggle to catch it. My thought is that it is very difficult to only have one source of material and training. You are often also "marked" by your teachers. That is, your work takes on a kind of fingerprint from the person (or people) who taught you. You can work with multiple people. Either apprenticeships, Ateliers, workshops, chance meetings, conversations, and of course, books and videos. Each time you gain insight, and this shifts into your artwork, you have the imprint of this event in your work. It occurs in a similar way as writers.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:39 PM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

you know- its very helpfull if some one as an instructor be near to you - for giving you tips and solving youre works problem and there is no Doubts
about this . ok - but if youre so serious to do it in self teaching way

i suggest - for the start and beginner step its better you have a teacher and after that you can use internet and books and ...
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:42 PM
grain-of-sand grain-of-sand is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

I have had the same problems. I have some lessons with teachers, they helped me a lot, but now, i realized that i have to learn by solving the problems as i am planning or painting (how is the composition, values, colors etc). We have to make decisions as what happens with other professionals . We, artists, will have to deal with these situations always, i think we learn from these experiences, with sucess and failure. I dont know if i am in the right way, the time will say.
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:18 AM
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Abdushakur Abdushakur is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Quote:
Originally Posted by L Boogie
I like classical art, realism etc, I'm self taught but I want to take my work to a higher level. Most people who seem to achieve that level of classical art have studied at Ateliers etc

My question really is it possible to achieve a high standard of painting and drawing via online courses, books, videos etc?

Yes, it requires hard work. To quote Crumb:
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Old 11-04-2017, 09:37 PM
earlselwyn earlselwyn is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

One vote for atelier. -Earl
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:50 PM
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Amian3d Amian3d is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Years ago, i agonized about the same question. Can i teach myself proficiently or do i need an atelier? I was determined to go to an atelier, one in Florence. However it became obvious after a year that i wasn't able to do so because of finance. I looked up as much as possible online, especially youtube and also bought amazing tutorials. Just to see people paint, and demystifying it for me by being able to follow their steps, that was huge to me.
So, i started to paint as much as possible, almost every single day. Trying and failing at it. Learning from my failures really helped me grow, not just painting mindlessly and hoping that someday i would be any good. I pushed myself to really understand things and apply them.

I'm truly happy that i didn't go to an atelier. Why? Honestly, i think many of them have a certain look, i often can guess where they have studied on basis of their work. I worried that i too would have a certain style that i wouldn't be able to shake off. I'm glad that i have find my own way of doing things and still learning and finding new ways of approaching things. Of course this is my own personal journey.

Anyway, good luck on your journey! It will be pleasant and painful (i only remember the highs ).
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Old 11-27-2017, 07:27 AM
L Boogie L Boogie is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Thanks for the responses guys.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:08 AM
L Boogie L Boogie is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amian3d
Years ago, i agonized about the same question. Can i teach myself proficiently or do i need an atelier? I was determined to go to an atelier, one in Florence. However it became obvious after a year that i wasn't able to do so because of finance. I looked up as much as possible online, especially youtube and also bought amazing tutorials. Just to see people paint, and demystifying it for me by being able to follow their steps, that was huge to me.
So, i started to paint as much as possible, almost every single day. Trying and failing at it. Learning from my failures really helped me grow, not just painting mindlessly and hoping that someday i would be any good. I pushed myself to really understand things and apply them.

I'm truly happy that i didn't go to an atelier. Why? Honestly, i think many of them have a certain look, i often can guess where they have studied on basis of their work. I worried that i too would have a certain style that i wouldn't be able to shake off. I'm glad that i have find my own way of doing things and still learning and finding new ways of approaching things. Of course this is my own personal journey.

Anyway, good luck on your journey! It will be pleasant and painful (i only remember the highs ).

Yeah I have noticed that i can also tell which Ateliers some Artists have studied at.
Do you have any youtube channels or books you can recommend

The books I have at the moment are:

Lessons Classical Drawing
Constructive Anatomy (G.Bridgman)
Heads, Features and Faces (G.Bridgman)
Life Drawing (G.Bridgman)
Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

I'm planning on buying:
Anatomy for the Artist (Sarah Simbet)
Lessons in Classical Painting: Essential Techniques from Inside the Atelier
Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

I'm also planning on buying Cesar Santos DVD, I have already have Proko figure drawing course and a Scott Waddell video on forms and blending (didn't the Waddell one very useful)
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Old 11-27-2017, 03:27 PM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Daniel Greene, Jeremy Lipking, Scott Burdick, Michael Klein and Morgan Weistling are a few that have very valuable videos. It can be pricey but really worth it, even if you decide to buy just a few. Each of the mentioned artists have a different approach, very useful in deciding in which manner you like to paint. I can't speak about Cesar Santos, but if it speaks to you then you should consider purchasing it.
There are also wonderful art magazines of course, the one i especially found so useful was American painting video magazine, done by Michael Klein. If you can still download them, i would go for the two seasons, they are reasonably priced. You get to have a look inside many artist's studios, interviews and practices, i found it very inspirational.
As far as books go, i only buy old masters books. But that's because i find them more educational then a how to book. I keep coming back to them to observe the paintings. Nonetheless i would buy the mentioned books, they can shed light on subjects that aren't covered extensively in videos.

These days there are so many wonderful youtube channels. These are just a few, perhaps some are more useful then others, and some are more entertaining. I like Walcott's channel, i find it soothing.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB9...sKQ9fag/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/zinlimpresent/videos
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Z...8SWDhyV2M8gOkw
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn_...EAD-rh3IjeYIrw

Vincent Desiderio has an amazing lecture and demo at an university that you can find on youtube.
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:58 PM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

You might also look at some illustrator courses, they rely quite a lot on classical drawing and painting skills. James Gurney, his blog Gurney's Journey and his videos are excellent for doing both landscapes and man-made landscapes and people, he handles all subjects with good realism including imaginative ones. The kind of classical art you're talking about also included mythological subjects and that's where Gurney's books and videos could help.

Also, on that order, there are three books by Jack Hamm:

Drawing the Head and Figure - human proportions, human portraiture and figurative drawing, all ages and genders.

How to Draw Animals Just as described, with quite a lot on drawing in general. Covers all sorts of animals and really good on horses, dogs, cats, big animals and small ones. Also textures.

And this one is heavy. Seriously excellent.

Drawing Scenery: Landscapes & Seascapes - This one not only goes into landscape elements like trees, rocks, buildings, water and so forth, but also composition and planning a painting. It was the toughest of the three to study and may be the most valuable because of it.

All three of them are extremely concise and dense. It takes days to work through a page - and I seriously advise working through the books slowly. Not necessarily in order, choosing a subject you're immediately interested in like Black Hair or Baby Proportions can get you going in an emotionally satisfying way, as long as you skim the whole thing to get an idea of the whole. The third one it's good to read slowly and do all the exercises in the planning and composition stages.

Hamm also has one on cartooning that may or may not be relevant, has some interesting points about motion and action in it. Cartooning the Head and Figure isn't expensive either.

I bought the set of four, over and over again. I first got Drawing the Head and Figure as a teenager at fifteen. I think I'm on my fifth copy. I keep wearing them out. When the cover starts to get ratty, I pass it on to someone I'm teaching and replace it before the book's completely dead. That is how valuable the lessons in it are - and how good the index is on every one of them, because if I need information on a specific subject it's always easy to find in them.

You can also download books by Andrew Loomis online at various links, google his name. They are similar to the Jack Hamm book, especially Head & Figure, with many of the same exercises. Lots of good information in them and those downloads are free - but the physical Hamm books have their own benefits being offline and possible to copy from them.

There are a good many oil painters doing videos on how to do classical oil painting, with all its extensive layering and chemistry.

I think that with diverse sources it's easier to develop your own style, pick and choose the techniques you want. With an atelier there will be a school style, there will be fairly rigid but definitely effective ways to do everything you set out to do. However, not much in the way of comparing the different ways. In general in oils you'll do a sketch in thinned sienna with turpentine, a value sketch, very loose, to plan the painting. Then over that a detailed grisaille, a black and white realistic rendering done very carefully. Usually using a black tube and a white tube. Then over that painting various glazes and layers with increasingly more oil in them, letting them cure before you go adding more layers. Then wait for that last oily layer to dry and cure, then varnish it a year after you painted it. Then it will last for centuries and have the luminosity of Old Masters.

The Hamm books don't teach anything about color, sadly. They cover everything but color. There is a class here on WetCanvas that influenced me tremendously on color handling, it's "Still Life the Colourful Way" by Colorix, to be found in the Soft Pastel Learning Center forum. I was one of the original students and that completely changed my view of color, the way I see color, the way I mix colors and handle them. It's not classical though, it rests more on the Henry Hensche school of Colorists. The knowledge can be applied to realism though, especially when it comes to mixing color.

In addition to that class, James Gurney in both of his print books, Imaginative Realism and Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter - heh, yeah, Gurney does realism. How well, you'd have to get a look at his videos. I'm in awe of him.

His method of painting imaginary creatures is to sculpt small maquettes of them, paint those true to color as planned, then set them up in lighting conditions similar to those in the painting and proceed. This may include backdrops for the maquettes. He does very realistic paleo art including illustrations for Scientific American, along with his own dinosaur fantasy series, Dinotopia.

I've had a lifelong love of paleo art and my view of classical painting always involved Charles R. Knight as much as any artist featured in an art museum - and of course all the brilliant backdrop painters who contributed to the Field Museum's dioramas and displays. So naturally I was drawn to Gurney's work. It's a subcategory of realism, but he handles other realist subjects as well as his prehistoric birds and reptiles.

Anyway, hope these help. I do think it's possible to get just as good without going to a formal atelier. I also think it's possible to get that good with a good illustration course, rather than a fine art course, then turn it toward fine art by choice of subject and market.

The best way to get that good is by doing it a lot. Sketching and drawing constantly will improve your skills, especially life sketching anything. Start with inanimate objects including sleeping animals and people. I started my animal studies with my cat. For over a decade I sketched him constantly, by the time I was really familiar with cat anatomy I discovered I had a much better grasp of other animals' anatomy as well.

Oh yeah, don't discount those assorted anatomy books, human and animal. The classical painters attended dissections or did them. Understanding how muscles and tendons interact with the skeleton and how bodies move in space, how they bend is really important to figurative painting. Manikins often have a greater range of motion than real people. Dolls and action figures may wind up with both less and more depending on type. But those can also work as maquettes once you understand what you're looking at. They won't show the muscle moving over skeleton in various poses.

For that, self portraiture is the model who's never tired of posing. Look in a full length mirror and take different poses. Look at what gestures do to the shape of your arm or your leg, sketch it. Fill sketchbooks with things like that. Constant observation of reality will take you where all of them go, because we are all put together like human beings.

So have fun with it.

The one thing courses are good for though, is to fill in gaps. Feedback in places like WetCanvas helps too - again to identify gaps, things you didn't think to study when self taught. I had a few weird blind spots and while I'm loosening up now on a lot of things, I still don't entirely want to loosen up. More learn to be capable of being loose in areas that need to be looser because they're not the central subject.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:50 AM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Those classic Hamm books are about $10-$12 each usually. They're not expensive but contain a ton of information. Also on full body poses, get into something like a tight fitting swimsuit and get a friend to take photos of poses. That can really help. Do dramatic ones suitable for illustrations as well as lounging around ones. The phone camera is a great help to student artists.
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Old 02-05-2018, 07:35 PM
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

Go to a beach. Keep a go-pro on you at all times.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:02 PM
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chewy chewy is offline
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Re: Self teaching vs Atelier

I agree jack hamms drawing animals book and drawing heads book are well done. There are some nice tips in there. I did not care for his cartooning book. His cartoon book was like here is 10 ways to draw eyes here is 10 ways to draw ears here is 10 ways to draw noses. Now mix them up and make a face. This type of pattern memorization of different parts is not nearly as helpful as making the user design their own by coming up with their own designs. There are infinite ways to make a cartoon nose telling the user to memorized a set number of pre determined nose patterns is a waste of time. Maybe I’m being to harsh or maybe the book was targeted for a younger audience. Either way I think his other books are much better and more helpful.

Last edited by chewy : 04-12-2018 at 11:11 PM.
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