Sunday, 28 August 2011

How Improvement works

I've been drawing alot over the summer, I draw alot anyway, but I've tried to kick it into overdrive, so I achualy know what Im doing, trying to eliminate the guess work and lucky strokes I got in prvious years. But as I try harder to make better pictures Ive realised something. Whenever I make a picture I like, or I think I've improved as a whole, you know, I look at it and think everything seems right, looks cool ext; I than imediatly realise it doesnt look good and I can do better. Maybe Im doomed to never be content with my own drawings. But than I decided to look at my older works and realised theres a space of study that leads to better imagery. DUH! You say, but often the studys are terrible compaired to the better imagery I will achive later on.
So, I finish this picture, which is part of a project to make my ideal RPG caracter. Idea board > Orthos > Illustration > 3D model (working on the 3d now). I was like " Wow it looks great" Than I finished it and thought " It looks boring, it doesnt look like a profesional drawing at all." I know it looks better than my many of my other drawings drawn from imagination. So whats wrong?

Female Knight illustration
It struck me, clearly, it was a gap in knowledge. It has to be, it cant be anything else. But the problem is where and what is that gap?  Theres a huge differance between, making a nicely rendered peice and making a profesional rendered peice. I can render the shit out of anything given the time, doesnt mean it will make it a nice picture. So its the foundations that need work.  Lets have a diagram of brick laying (building a sort of staircase). Because its easy to explain as a metaphor for getting better or drawing.

So you want to build a staircase out of bricks to a certain level. How are you going to go about that?!

 Well, thats not going to happen is it. Its imposable to have brick there. Even if you can jump that high, youre going to fall flat on your face. Without anything to suport it, you cant stay at that level of elevation. Even if that brick can float. I wish it would work that way though. I guess this is what you would call, a talented person, they can jump to the top without putting much work in. The gap is still there however.

Well lets jump to the top and fill the gap!
Thats a great idea! However youll still fall on your face eventualy. Ever played Jenga with just one row of bricks? Theres no suport and once one thing goes everything above it falls aswell. Lets say the top brick is the perfect portrait drawing. The one below is anatomy of the skull,below it is rendering than drawing basic shapes and form. However thers more than that that goes into portrait drawing? Wheres the composition, the lighting? Well lets just put them in ontop of what we already have. But wait that will make the bricks very unstable, also you already drew the portrait in a bad composition and are reworking bad habbits. Oh dear. Also, this is a pretty crappy staircase as you always rasie the bar, meaning you have to jump higher each time you learn something new.

Ill put a bunch on the bottom, than a few above.
Hay that works, you dont have to jump much, and you can store more bricks without it colapsing, beacuse youre not being suported by knowledge of one thing, but two, which is being suported by three. As in, to make a good drawing of a house you need to know How to use your pencil > construction methods> 1 point > 2point > 3point> rendering > lighting > how glass/metal reflects>  ext.  Thats alot to jump without knowing the rest. So if you ever think your drawings are bad. Clearly you're missing a step, or a brick. And its probably somewhere closer to the bottom of your staircase.  The brick at the top is just as easy to place as the brick at the bottom.

So I looked at my own work to try to find the gap. Noticing I draw alot of people. I should draw more enviroments. But its probably something else than that, which is stopping my character drawings, from shining like a pros.

Taking a look at my drawing from 13 months ago. It doesnt look as good as my drawing now. I probably spent the same amount of time on each. In part, it shows how Im jumping, not stepping. However I've stepped up in other areas. The change from 4 months ago to now is noticable.
Also, I wouldnt have been able to draw what i drew now, if I hadnt previously drawn X self portraits, X photo studies and those more than important X Life drawings ( for this drawing, learning drawing metal was the key.). But also, to be able to draw it I had to be able to draw from imagination, and drawing from imagination is what really shows you what you have achualy learnt. Its easy to study, because its there for you to replicate, its hard to learn it and process it away.

So how does improvment work? By building knowledge correctly. Also more importantly. KNOWING WHAT TO LEARN! If you dont know, youll forever be ignorant to it. ...Secondly spending enough time on a picture to learn from it.

I think by the end of my third year, I may just be able to scratch profesional work and thats whats giving me drive.
Also, inspirational words. Seperation of Skill and Talent. Building walls. Treadmills. This has it all.

I also updated my links, with cool perspective tutorials and awesome reads! Check that out!

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