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Old 10-10-2014, 06:07 AM
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lumiere33 lumiere33 is offline
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Learning drawing and painting

Hello,
I would like to write about my experience of learning and to have your comments about that.

I spend my childhood in a family where drawing and painting, music and other arts were almost prohibited. So I had never touched a pen before 2010. Never draw anything, hardly ever saw any painting.
As I loved fiber, fabrics, sewing, embroidery, knitting (these were not prohibited). I wondered : what if I learn drawing, I could draw and make my own patterns instead of copying them.

Here I'am, in 2010 in my first drawing workshop.
the teacher spent almost all the year teaching us perspective. her teaching consisted on drawing on the blackboard what she saw in a book, then making us writing definitions we didn't understand. So I bought books and learned perspective and loved it.
this first experience enabled me to face all my feeling about drawing and painting and to decide to learn painting as well.

So The second year, I went to the workshop about painting lessons.
the teacher gave us masters' paintings to copy with instructions such as "if you see the blue, put the blue on your canvas, if you see the yellow...".
from time to time, the teacher comes to my canvas and corrected all my wrong things on it, in fact she did almost the whole work. at the end, it was a very beautiful painting, I thought : Wawou, I'm able to do that!!!! she said I'm great, I have a sense of color... I was happy then.

That year went quickly and I was happy. happy until the day I tried to paint a scene I had on my mind, without any copying of another artist's work.
I spend a week drawing it and a week painting it. the result was awful. the drawing was bad, the painting was horrible.

I thought I must learn drawing before painting. so I tried another workshop to learn drawing. Here the teacher gave me paintings of the master to draw with the instruction "draw what you see". I dind't manage to do that. the teacher said I had to change my glasses to see better. I thought I must be stupid. so I just went away and abandoned everything.

"Ok I'm not good at drawing and painting. Nobody is good at everything. What about making it a challenge for me ? "

But this time, I do that by myself. I bought many books on drawing and painting but I didn't manage to learn alone. I didn't know where to begin, what to do first, what to do second. there's so much to learn.

Here I am again in another workshop. I've been so frustrated that I put many questions about everything relative to painting, drawing, art history... but no way, the teacher wouldn't answer them. the last teacher I had, answered me when I asked : "how I was supposed to copy a great master ? what are the techniques ? he said "you have to be gifted".

That was the end of it.

The end of workshops, not the end of my trying to learn drawing and painting.

First, I went back to my books. Then I found many interesting resources in the internet. So now I can say I'm learning. But as there's so much to learn, I'm still desorganised. I think I spend more time reading about painting than painting. I want to learn drawing, painting techniques (oil, acrylics, watercolor and mainly pastels) and art history. I have many hours a day to do that, so any suggestion of a schedule is welcome.

My conclusion about my "trying to learn drawing and painting" : the most important thing for a beginner, in the jungle of art resources on the net, books, videos, workshops..., is to know "How to learn", what is the best way to learn according to the beginner's personality. how to chose one's methods of learning. What to expect from workshops ? and what to learn, we're just human beings, we can't learn everything.

I still don't have answers

Last edited by lumiere33 : 10-10-2014 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:15 PM
debbie_pastel debbie_pastel is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

After rarely doing any type of art other than traditional quilting, I began painting with pastels 12 years ago with a short university extension course. I fell in love with it. I ignored my lack of drawing skill by choosing to paint only straight-on buildings (so no perspective angles) and occasionally nearly tracing from my photos - I just kept doing it and eventually my drawing skills began to improve. I used to look at photos, decide what was too hard for me to draw in them and just remove it - person, foreshortened object, complex building - so I was able to move forward. When I found patterns in what I removed or avoided, I did drawing studies to work over and over again on that skill. We are talking about 12 years here, but in time I have become quite proficient, have had shows, have sold many paintings. The only thing that will improve your skill at drawing or painting is to do it - every day if you can - using a method that suits you. A self study workbook, like "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook", will teach you specific tips and skills. Then practice and more practice will continue to make you better.... I am proof of that! Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:21 AM
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lumiere33 lumiere33 is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

thanks Debie, I have that book on my "to read" shelf, I'll read it. thanks you
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:51 PM
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tanjoreartist tanjoreartist is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

hi lumiere33 !

Read my post here.....
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1364547
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When you are inspired.....dormant forces, capabilities and talents become alive-Patanjali.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:13 AM
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IslanderNL IslanderNL is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

It sounds as if you have had some very bad instructors who didn't guide you with classic technique direction in your journey to drawing and painting. That is unfortunate and its good you're trying under your own steam to figure it all out.

I suggest you find a good instructor. Look at their workshop outlines, talk to others who have taken a workshop, see the instructor's art. Not every good artist is a good instructor.

And of all things practice is key. Every day, no matter what!
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:36 PM
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ts_artlover ts_artlover is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

Hi, Lumiere33!
I try to paint two years without a teacher. I really understand your concern as to learn to paint because I am also looking for the way to the skill of the artist. Draw or paint every day there is a very good idea. But without movement to progress it can turn into a bad job. Once I tried to do a lesson on the internet. I got bad. I repeated it three or four times and then I realized that it does not make my progress, but only reinforces my mistakes in my head and hands. Now I divided all my exercises for a few blocks. I do my sketches of simple objects on one or in small groups. It develops eye. In these sketches I'm trying to learn to accurately reproduce what I see. I try to think about both linear perspective, aerial perspective. It's a little boring, so I sometimes write acrylic or oil painting. I think we should have a very good luck to find a good instructor who really take care of student progress. Good Luck-Tamara.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:45 AM
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Nalatu Nalatu is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

Here's how you learn to draw stuff without a reference. First you use the reference to figure out where each part goes in relation to the whole as well as to the other parts. Then you put away the ref and draw it from memory. Compare the drawing to the ref, and if you got anything wrong, make a note of what was wrong about it and draw it again without the ref. Do this for everything you want to draw.

For more flexibility, you'll need to study basic shapes and forms - spheres, cubes, pyramids, cylinders, eggs, etc. When you are familiar with the basic shapes, you will be able to identify them in your subjects and it will make it a lot easier to remember how your subject fits together. You'll also understand the shading patterns better and be able to draw your subject from angles you haven't seen in a ref.

If you learn better from live demos than from reading, I suggest watching Sycra's channel on YouTube. Start with these:
The emergence of talent
How to practice drawing
A guide to gesture drawing
Drawing methods (series of 5 videos)
Foundations of light and shadow (series)

Those should get you started. Post your attempts here on Wetcanvas and ask for a critique and the other members here will help you fill in the gaps.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:29 PM
truebeliever truebeliever is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

Hi Lumiere33,

This might sound intolerable to you as a beginner with shaky confidence... but you should stop judging your work as "good" or "bad." If every time you make something, it has to go through that kind of rigor in order for you to feel confident, you will have a very difficult time, indeed.

ts_artlover's suggestion was on-point. You must to learn how to step away from the need to gain approval of an authority and start to find ways to critique yourself.

Go to museums and galleries if you can, look at pictures in books if you can't go see work in person, and look online if you can't find good books. But nothing is as good as seeing great work in person.

When you see something and you are not sure why it is good, investigate, go deeper. I suggest this to people who say "I don't like modern art." ... which is code for "I don't understand why people think it's good." It takes a long time to develop a discerning eye.

Back to your studies ... looking for answers outside of yourself (such as youtube tutorials, perspective lessons, etc.) is a little bit like finding fool's gold. Having a grasp of anatomical drawing, or perspective, does not make one a good artist. Those are specific knowledge bases that can inform your art and make it richer, deeper, so that you have more to draw from. But they aren't automatically going to make anything good. Furthermore, the beginner is not very equipped, despite what she/he thinks, to judge a failure from a success. We all have eyes and we all see pictures and we all know what we are drawn to, so we think that the layman has a good grasp of what makes visual art of a high quality. But it is deceptive, because the layman tends to favor the exhibition of knowledge as a marker of quality, when in reality, the visual arts do not depend upon external knowledge in order to exude beauty.

From my years of teaching and study, I have come to the conclusion that with the visual arts, the only real skill that can be gained is "experience," from which all successes grow. It matters not if you are following an atelier-style education or if you are just tooling away in your garage. Case in point: the cave paintings of Lascaux. Brilliant, wonderfully skilled and beautiful drawings on cave walls that were created thousands of years before plaster casts and linear perspective.

The other thing that is important to learn is self-trust. I think Picasso said in an interview one time that trusting in himself was the most important skill. So, maybe he's more right.

But my advice: trust in yourself and make a lot of work. Ignore your failures but celebrate your successes.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:15 AM
darnallb darnallb is offline
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Re: Learning drawing and painting

Hi Lumiere (et al),
I'm working on a book that deals with drawing fundamentals. Your comments, and observations, are very helpful for me. I'll be going back through what I've written thus far with an eye toward making sure what I'm trying to convey is easily digested, quickly applicable, and offers encouragement for getting beyond the first drawings. Thanks All.

Barry
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