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Old 05-03-2012, 04:17 PM
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RobinZ RobinZ is offline
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Almost Philadelphia
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

When I was starting out, I didn't need a clear mind, I needed a full one to silence that voice that kept telling me I couldn't do it, I would never learn to do it, etc.

I had to keep the t.v. on to distract me and chase those thoughts away!
My portrait paintings
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:27 AM
mastermesh mastermesh is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 44
Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

Do you have a digital camera? Do you use it? Photograph some stuff outside... I love my camera and think of it as a sort of digital sketchbook of sorts... take it on walks and shoot photos of the texture on concrete, bark in trees, patterns in clouds, etc. Start's opening your eyes to new visions... visions you can use as inspirations for your paintings. Instead of looking at photos others are making to be inspiration, make some of your own photos.

Believe it or not, random pictures of stuff can also be sold. Probably shouldn't tell all my secrets here, but lets just say concrete pics on turbosquid have paid for themselves a few time over for me personally, not just because of a few bucks here and there in stock royalty free photo sales but because it's taught me to look around at patterns, and things more. A parking lot is a lot of space and there's an almost infinite amount of patterns on them... paint over paint, tar, cracks, layer upon layer of paint where the lines have changed position over the years... blue paint, yellow paint, white paint, black and white patterns everywhere... cracks that at certain closeup angles are deeper than the grand canyon on a picture plane if cropped right, etc.

A few years back, I had to sit and wait for my wife to get out of work since we carpooled. I had about 2 hours to do nothing but sit in the car and doodle with color pencils and/or take my digital camera out to study parking lots, cobblestone streets, brick walls and all the various bricks in those various walls, concrete patterns in a three storage parking garage... inifinite ideas and patterns are everywhere if you open your eyes to them.

Want to learn to paint people... start with drawing... it all begins and ends there... go buy a little bitty sketchpad (maybe even use a tablet that you can doodle with, etc.).. go to an open area where lots of people are... a cafeteria in a mall, a mcdonalds, etc. people eating lunches tend to move a lot, but be steady enough for you to get a gesture or two down. Learn to capture as much in the gesture drawings as you can with as few lines as possible. use multiple tools while doing so. I used to use a blue pen, a black pen, a red pen, and sometimes either charcoal or yellow, white, black or green china marker to add in a highlight or shadow area fast in those oddball doodles several years back... It's all about seeing the world around you.

Last edited by mastermesh : 05-05-2012 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:46 PM
Vincent alias Jack Vincent alias Jack is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

How about sketching the object before you paint it? Then create your painting looking at the sketch.

Dale Larner
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:14 AM
emailart emailart is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

Originally Posted by Lainie_N
I started painting a year ago when I got some supplies for my birthday. So far I have only made 6 pieces worthy of a mention. The biggest obstacles for me would be over-thinking the art process, criticizing my work before it's done, and not being able to find inspiration. If I see a photo in a book, magazine, or newspaper I will get out my painting supplies and try to turn it into art. However within the first few lines I'm frustrated and angry that it doesn't look like the photo. By the time I get the paint onto my brush, I'm disappointed and suddenly the hobby turns into a monotonous task. I would like to take art classes in the future, but for right now I just need some assistance clearing my mind.

I often try and be like/compare myself to a relative of mine who can draw/paint detailed images. I just wish I could sit down, picture a scene in my head, and paint it. I know I need to start small since I'm only a beginner, but I just keep raising the bar too high. Any advice on how to overcome these obstacles as a new "artist?"

If it wants to be something else, let it be something else. Get out of the way.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:19 PM
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darkwolf29 darkwolf29 is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

I'm really in the same boat, as you here...for the most part. I've painted a few things that seem to be okay. But, just remember....we are our own worst critics, period.

Personally, I took a painting class in art school, and loved it. But, then I moved on to other things, as we had to do...to done with school. Now, I'm coming back to it.

In that vain, I've started reading "Drawing from the Right side of the brain" by Betty Edwards. This, so far, is a great book. I do have to do some drawings that she suggested...so that I have a benchmark to work with. But, right now...getting better is my inspiration. Using this book to help me get there...is really priceless. I'm not sure, but it might work for you also.

I do like how she equates better drawing with better painting. Honestly, we will see. I was painting 3 paintings a week for 6 weeks, before changing classes. Talk about busy??? Now...I'm free to get better. SO...I decided to go back to square one and ensure that all my "t"s and "i"s are correct, so to speak.

I hope that helps you.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:00 PM
StephenC StephenC is offline
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Posts: 4,281
Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

When I started painting at age 9 I just jumped right in and tried to do the finished work with no real plan. Then I would often run into trouble over what to put in, what to leave out, how to paint this or that, or find out I should have arranged things differently. A few years later I was given some art instructional books which emphasized the importance of making drawings to test out compositions and to practice painting something, usually the focal point or main subject in the picture, so as to understand how to do it when working on the finished piece. It worked and I faithfully do this today when I start new paintings.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:46 PM
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Tammar Tammar is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

Originally Posted by mame
Okay.....think about this realistically. Would you be ready to perform intricate surgery on a human brain if you'd only been practicing at home for a year on 6 squirrels with a butter knife?

This is the funniest thing ever - and yet so true!!!
~ Kelly ~

"Be yourself, everyone else is taken"
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:24 PM
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Black Spot Black Spot is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

Practise drawing the basics - cube, sphere, column etc. When you can master these, you will be ready to move on. Photos have their place in learning, but as you are trying to learn getting to grips with the fundamentals is essential. How can you paint a figure or fruit without knowing form? You can't. Start simple and work your way up. After the cubes etc, tackle an egg, then an apple, then be daring and do two together. Baby steps are the quickest way to learn.

Expect teeth gnashing and a slight baldness from pulling hair out, but it'll come with hard work.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:23 PM
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Carcharhinus Carcharhinus is offline
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Posts: 647
Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

When I first started painting, I expected that my canvas would start off white and every brush stroke I put on it would bring me closer to the image that I had in my head or the scene that I was painting from.

Now I know that the sketch often looks really great, like a piece of art itself, and there's going to be a huge dip when I start putting colour on it to the point that it looks like a child is painting it. Then some brush strokes will be perfect and some brush strokes will take it further from what I want. But sometimes it's necessary to go away from the final image to get towards it. Everything adds up.

I like to call it 'working in'. You have to keep working in to the image like you're tunnelling through a wall. Eventually you'll break through to the other side.
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:48 PM
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pericusmaximus pericusmaximus is offline
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Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

I suggest you first start drawing and understanding the main principles, later and once you understand the basics of accuracy of lines and dimentions, plus the tone of shapes, then you can start painting.
I have seen too many people that wanted to paint whithout first learning to draw and is is quite frustrating. You will better develop your potential this way.

do not give up!

My portfolio
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:51 PM
Biblioscape Biblioscape is offline
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Thumbs up Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

You're just starting, and you're trying to do everything at once! You can concentrate on drawing (actual objects are more instructive than photos) and that will give you a solid place to start. If you want to start out with painting, I suggest that you limit your colors, maybe even starting out with monochrome. There is a way to paint without drawing first by blocking in the large areas of color with soft edges, covering the canvas, and giving them more definition and detail as you go, working on the whole picture instead of concentrating on one part at a time.
Learning to draw will give you a tremendous boost in learning how to see things (thought you already knew how to do that, didn't you? Everybody does, until they try to draw or paint something.)
Even though you think you're not getting better fast enough, if you keep at it you WILL improve. Taking an art class will help you organize your efforts better and the teacher can give you some tips that will help you learn faster.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:23 AM
Aimless Aimless is offline
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Posts: 56
Re: WANTED: A Clear Mind

With any hobby that has a steep learning curve, you must learn to teach yourself. Taking classes is helpful, but it sounds like your perfectionist personality is going to make you depressed about it anyway. No matter how skilled you become, you'll just be moving the finish line further and further away.

Now is the time to recognize yourself, and learn to trick yourself before you become too frustrated.
  • Set Attainable Goals. So, you see a picture and you say, "I must paint that." Immediately set an attainable goal of how close you want your painting to be to the picture. If you're happy with your ability at painting shrubs and trees, but unsatisfied with your water AND clouds, don't try to paint a seascape. Try a landscape with interesting clouds or a landscape with a beautiful lake and a plain sky to focus on the water. This way you are pushing yourself, but not setting yourself up for failure.
  • Set Specific Goals. When you work on something, decide a very specific goal that you want to accomplish. Something you want to be better than your last attempt. Don't aim for the entire painting to be perfect all at once. Decide something specific, "I know I am not good at drawing faces, I'll mess up the hair and the nose for sure. I'll focus on the nose and do some flat dull hair."
  • Make a Roadmap. If you know you want to paint some picture you feel very strongly about, and you know you struggle with certain parts of it. Go ahead and plan several smaller projects that focus on some aspect of the overall picture. So that when you get done with those projects, you will have set yourself up to paint the picture. I don't mean literally paint that part of the picture. But focus on something requiring the same techniques that would be required. This way you won't ruin the picture and become frustrated with it.

These are things that have helped me in my many hobbies. I still shoot for the moon though. I always set my goals just a little out of reach. So I've started to set a goal, then I lower it just a little because I know I'm prone to setting the bar a little too high. I'm not a good painter, but these techniques have helped me with woodworking, carving, and a slew of other hobbies.

Good luck!

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