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Art Tips For Beginners


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#1 dicko

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 11:08 AM

hey gang!


art is something i've never been good at. but i would very much like to be! and i know i am not alone in thinking this way. so i was wondering if you guys could help. i know there are some flipping great artists here on salt world, and even though the internet is littered with tutorials and whatnot, i think it would be cool if you guys could share your own words of wisdom and personal approach to art!


if you guys have any tips, links to good tutorials, anything like that, that would be really cool.
i'm talking about all of it. basic drawings skills and techniques, colour and composition, that sort of thing, and even creating high quality graphics for games. any info about like rendering and retaining image quality would be fantastic too.
and this isn't limited to pixel art either! although pixel art tips would be obviously fantastic, if you have anything regarding, say, creating cool landscapes in photoshop or something, that is cool too!


i realise this is a very BROAD spectrum of things, so if you would like some focus i guess what i personally am interested in most is colour, and use of colour, as i am very bad at identifying what colours to use and how to use them. i know a lot of people tend to say uh JUST LOOK AT EXAMPLES so if you have any good examples, post them here too!

#2 Vellfire

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

let me and ed emberley help you out:
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no seriously the real reason i'm posting is because i want to get back into drawing and i want this too.  gimmie you links SW i know you have them i have lost the bulk of my drawing skills

I love this hobby - stealing your mother's diary
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#3 The Dude

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 07:54 PM

It'll take some time to compile, but I'll work on something for this.
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#4 #1 Vodka fan

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:06 PM

First of all I'd suggest taking a class in any art field, it's really worth it. I'm not exclusively talk about college level, even night classes will do. I did that, and it really helped me to left behind some of the struggles I had when I tried to learn it alone. There are many great self-taught artist though so it's not impossible(In fact, my favourite artists are self-taught); but the expert opinion of the teachers obviously are much more valuable than the posts of your friends on deviantart. See it as an opportunity to meet with real artists, there is also a chance that you find out what you really want to do with art. I'll be a printmaker in may hopefully, but I also had anatomy and painting classes as well. I do better and better paintings and this helped me to realise that I have talent and passion in this field, something I could never imagine like 2 years ago.


In short, if you have the chance, take a class or find someone who could teach you. If not, get shitloads of books or a library membership. You should learn a little geometry about the basic forms and the perspective, then you could move on to anatomy(for starters draw leaves and vegetables, bones and other organic stuff). If you have some free time I'd also suggest to learn about the history of art, especially about gothic, renaissance, mannerism, baroque, impressionism and expressionism. Here is a site for that to get the big picture, but wikipedia is also great on the subject.


Just google "color theory" if you want to know more about colors.


Get a collection book of an artist's works to examine their technique, I highly recommend the drawings of Leonardo, Rubens or the prints of Rembrant. Find someone you like and try to copy them, it really helps to develop your skills.


On the subject of basic drawing and anatomy, the books of Andrew Loomis or Burne Hogarth are pretty good.Try PDF if you are short on money/lazy. THis one is also a great book, and very expensive too.

Also, practice a lot. Draw your dog, cat, family members, room, the neighborhood, yourself from a mirror, your hand, your feet, everything. All you need is a notebook, some 2b pencils and a lot of commitment.


I'm sorry if I misunderstood you and you don't want to know THIS MUCH, but you said you want to be good at this. I wish I could point you in the direction of HOW TO BE GOOD AT ART tutorials but it's not that easy. You have to decide how much time you want to put into this. There are good tutorials though but if you depend too much on these and you don't put effort into mastering your skills you always will be a dilettant "artist" like these kids with their twillight fanarts and anime shit.


Hope this helps, If you have specific questions maybe I could help you out more. Good luck.

#5 EvilDemonCreature

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:02 PM

If you wanna start out with the most basic of basic. Like, "I have trouble making eyes because I can never figure out how to get one to look like the other when they are on the same face!" type basic, then you should make it well worth your time to check out the book I'm about to suggest:


Part 1 (It'd be great even if it weren't free, but it's totally free)
http://www.animation...tion-first.html


Part 2 (The part specifically geared towards animation enthusiasts)
http://www.animation...mation-1st.html
(I always thought computer animators have much more advantage when they already know how to draw)


It can even help people that already have the basics down, since you can never have too many excuses to practice any drawing related skill, no matter how basic. People that know how to draw things out manually have advantages in representing all manner of things visually and it's always easier to branch out and experiment if you are confident you have a strong central set of skills to rely on for making the most out of any such exploration.

#6 The Dude

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 09:03 PM

I think you missed the point of this thread. :O nevermind
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#7 Kaworu

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 10:16 PM

for basic drawing abilities, just buy/download 'How to draw comics the marvel way'. It breaks everything down into real simple terms and is really relly useful if you don't know really what you're doing. Studying old masters images are useful, but their relevance is questionable. I initially learnt to draw and paint by studying them, but it ended up that all i was able to do was chiaroscuro portraits. That's when I realised the thing I needed to do was start drawing Superman. I've almost forgotten how to draw realistically, but I don't think it matters, as I prefer where I'm going, and my tutors and other (proper) artists seem to prefer it also.
I tend to work with markers, but for pencil drawings, I've only just switched over to using mechanical pencils, and I'm really enjoying it. I think good drawing can simply be affected by how fun the tool is.

Interms of colour, as a comic fan, I would have to say Jack Kirby really seemed to perfect it's use in a graphic format, interms of boldness. His stuff heavily influences my own, and I am finding more and more kirbyness filtering into my own paintings.
Colour theory is mostly common sense, and it kinda develops more or less on it's own I found. There was never a moment where I read something and was like NOW I FINALLY UNDERSTAND COLOURS!!!! Though as a painter, I strongly dislike the common method of browning up a canvas before then refining the colours. Of course I do a monochrome tonal underpainting first, but I let the mood/feel/concept of the piece determine what I use, it's far more effective imo. I am sick of seeing so many brown canvases in the damn studio!!

Next month I'm planning on starting a series of large paintings based on end of the world mythology, but using more contemporary themes, ideas and settings. Essentially Religious/historic paintings with comic sensibilities. It's going to be fun :)

PS: Im aware this had basically NO HELP and ended up being another 'kaworu talking bollucks' post. But, oh well. Yeah, How to draw comics the marvel way. It is the best book for drawing basics, even if it is written by a total cunt. Here's a video:
Though really how anyone can watch more than two seconds of that without breaking their monitor in an atempt to strangle and mutilate Stan Lee, or just throwing up in disgust at his general cunt-ness... is well beyond me.

#8 #1 Vodka fan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 09:43 AM

There is also this book based on DC comics about coloring and lettering, let me find it for you.


http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/0823010309


#9 Kaworu

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:19 PM

A pretty cool article trying to explain why Kirby's art works. It's a good read, especially where he's talking about how everything is manipulated for the purpose of the panel.
http://kirbymuseum.org/jackmagic

#10 Spear97

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 07:49 PM

I've found art to  be very much about practice. You may not become crazy awesome if you don't already have an affinity to it, but by practicing and honing your skills, you can improve 100x.

First, as Vodka Fan suggested, take a class or two. The main idea of this is to get some life drawing experience in with someone who knows whats up.

Next, I'd recommend trying some sculpting. It may sound weird, but it really helps you understand shapes, which are a major component in drawing.

As for composition, there are many articles/tutorials online, but get familiar with the basics and what they mean: lines, shapes, color, etc, and then play with different ratios (3rds, Fibonacci, etc)

All of this has helped me 1000x more than any "how to draw manga" book or online tutorial. Once I had some practice with the above, I moved on to trying my hand at other people's designs.

I'm still not super-great but I've come a long way by using these methods. Good luck!
Comrade!

#11 Biggles

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 11:28 AM

i improved my drawing by sitting in class scribbling comics all day because computer science is easy and actually i probably listen better like that than trying to transcribe notes anyway. i would have never made the jump to learning more realism / accuracy techniques if i didn't spend some time with this book http://www.amazon.co...a/dp/0823013952

i didn't do this because i desperately wanted to learn to draw however, i don't think that's how it works. i had wanted to be able to make art for functional purposes for years and was horrific at it. now that i have stopped caring about results and started enjoying drawing i am still horrific at it but i can readily spend hours playing with images with little to no benefit to my life outside of it.

value / shading was really helpful to read stuff about and do exercises on. i know nothing about colour. currently trying to learn perspective and i have a good book but it still feels like work and i kind of take that feeling to indicate that there's something i haven't got yet that will come with practise and mucking around.

in conclusion, mess around with a pencil and a piece of paper whenever possible and you can be as halfassed as me in no time. scribbling on everything i own has made me extremely mediocre and i am incredibly proud of it. three years ago i couldn't draw stick figures properly and now i can draw them kind of properly and i did nothing to get here.

#12 dicko

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 06:13 PM

i just want to say thanks to everyone who's posted so far! i think there are a number of things i will/have been looking into and i'll definitely keep practicing. thanks pals.

#13 Pilsen

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:35 AM

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#14 Biggles

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 09:06 AM

Fucking shit. I am at war with tables. And streets. And representationally accurate faces. I have a lot of trouble with perspective and proportion and I would not really care but it's getting to the point that it's preventing me from drawing certain things with any degree of accuracy. I downloaded a decent book on perspective, but the required concentration is getting at me. I just zone out and make lines when I draw. I do it for the enjoyment. I don't know how to attach verbalised thoughts to drawings. Also I have the attention span of a small child. Am I fucked wrt leaning how to do these things?

#15 rvp12Bet

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:59 PM

Fucking shit. I am at war with tables. And streets. And representationally accurate faces. I have a lot of trouble with perspective and proportion and I would not really care but it's getting to the point that it's preventing me from drawing certain things with any degree of accuracy. I downloaded a decent book on perspective, but the required concentration is getting at me. I just zone out and make lines when I draw. I do it for the enjoyment. I don't know how to attach verbalised thoughts to drawings. Also I have the attention span of a small child. Am I fucked wrt leaning how to do these things?


Calm down man! Get some drink to cool your head.

#16 EvilDemonCreature

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:57 PM

I downloaded a decent book on perspective, but the required concentration is getting at me. I just zone out and make lines when I draw. I do it for the enjoyment. I don't know how to attach verbalised thoughts to drawings.


I want you to know right now that you are on the right track. You know how sometimes you want to attach verbalized thoughts to drawing? That is exactly what you do not ever want to do.

If you are still getting frustrated with the more consistent and non-organic subject matter, try and get yourself a copy of "The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" by Betty Edwards. I remember there being quite a few exercises in that book that involve drawing chairs/tables/corners of a room that do not focus at all on mastering any sort of perspective theory and all that related turmoil. You just observe, practice, and eventually gain an intuitive sense of what "looks right". At that point, you will be able to draw the relationship between objects as if you know perspective theory, without even actually knowing any perspective theory.

The whole trick to that book is taking that whole point about where you enjoy "zoning out" and getting a new level of understanding that simple activity, that enables you to observe your subject without any bias, and represent it with an entirely new level of focus that is basically impossible to obtain for someone who constantly keeps telling himself to focus.

#17 Biggles

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

That sounds like pretty helpful advice. I don't know how soon I'll be able to grab a copy but I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks heaps.

#18 vilin02

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 10:22 AM

I found a pdf guide online that outlined a one-year beginner's course on drawing well. I'll see if I can find it and post it here for posterity. From what I remember, it pointed to other tutorials that... aren't exactly free. i'm just gonna assume you guys don't really care about that and will also post instructions on where to grab them from.



#19 Ragnar

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 06:17 PM

how do I draw an anime once I do this I can die happy






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