June 6, 2006

All Kinds Of "All Kinds Of Stuff" Stuff ()

by fluffy at 12:40 AM
So, I've been reading John K's weblog for a while and have finally decided that even though he warned that after the age of 24 it's too late to try learning how to draw right, it's time I learned how to draw right.

Tonight I did a few quick pencil sketches, some based directly on his lesson pictures and some based on the lessons learned from trying to emulate the lessons.

I think it's not bad for a "beginner" (not that anything's that new to me conceptually but I've been remiss in really practicing any of it) but a lot about it irritates me (of course a big part of it is my lack of patience, which is exactly why John K says that after 24 it's too late). So is this really worthwhile?


#7556 pts 06/06/2006 02:43 am
I dunno, even these preliminary steps seem to be really promising. I say stick with it.

(why 24? That's an awfully arbitrary cutoff age.)
#7557 Obsidious 06/06/2006 05:00 am
I'm also curious to know his reasoning behind the 24 year cut-off. I've been drawing since before I can remember, and I've always done it with a mixture of the "right way" and the "wrong way" - The wrong way being draw what you see. Although I don't believe there really is any wrong way to draw - Everyone is different, and art reflects that. Sometimes when you worry too much about the underlying shapes of your design, you forget about the design itself. Don't let your vision become compromised by rules and regulations which are really only guidelines. If you do, then your drawings will look generic and mechanical.

The best artists I know are the ones who can draw without looking at the page. The art of contour drawing is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to get in touch with your inner ability and refine it.

These "rules" never hurt, but don't take them as gospel.
#7558 Skywise 06/06/2006 08:17 am
Too old... too old to begin the training...

What he's probably referring to is that after a certain age you've developed and solidified your value system about what works and what doesn't. So learning "new" things and braving the soul's internal fight of "I sucketh at this". Becomes progressively harder.

This can be overcome. But its anathema to our social setup because you have to allow yourself the ability to fail. Failing is bad, it leads to bad things. Why are you still failing after age 24 when you should be successful and having a nuclear family?

You've just got to push on and unlearn those particular rules.

There's also a time factor involved because learning to draw takes YEARS. 10 years of drawing between 12 and 24 isn't that much time. 24 - 36... that's another thing entirely... Dave Sim says that if you want to become an artist, get 10000 sheets of paper and start drawing. When you finish the 10,000th sheet... you'll be an artist.

Like any skill, if you want it... it's yours for the taking at any time. It all depends on how much effort you want to put into it.
#7559 Vladinator 06/06/2006 09:36 am Hmmm
There's no way I could learn to play bass at this age. I learned when I was 16, rather than 36, so I'm not too bad at it. When I was 16, I'd get so frustrated, I'd hit things. Or break things. Today, if something is really frustrating, I do something else, or I go get laid.

It's behavioral, in other words. You are a tallented artist - I think you should do what ever is 'right' for you. J.K. Rowling doesn't write books the "correct" way, yet she outsells all of her critics...
#7560 Obsidious 06/06/2006 10:28 am
But its anathema to our social setup because you have to allow yourself the ability to fail.

This is exactly the problem. After a certain age, people have this mindset that they should be able to do anything by that point in their lives. Failure is not an option. People would rather not do it at all than risk failure.

But that doesn't mean that it isn't possible. I put down a pencil for several years and recently picked it up again. It's like riding a bike. But for me personally, inspiration was the issue. Failure is part of exploring your talents. In art, it's something that should be embraced. You're not going to get it right on the first five thousand of those ten thousand sheets.

I find myself a bit at odds with following such guidelines. On one hand, they're a great starting point, but if you live by them, they will ultimately stifle your creative flexibility(which is why I suggested contour drawing) and you'll never really get a chance to explore what you're capable of. Artistic talent isn't about confinement.

EDIT: Question for Fluffy - Do you feel like your characters still live up to your original vision of them now that you're drawing them using these guidelines?
#7561 fluffy 06/06/2006 10:48 am
Aside from the picture of a fluffy none of those pictures were 'my characters,' they were just doodles in a style. Also my avatar image was drawn with these same principles more or less so there's no real difference in vision there (but it's nice to be a bit more consistent about it).

My original vision of Jen and Cherry was along the lines of Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi. I seem completely incapable of doing anything with such SD proportions though.

I more want to get a bit more consistency between my imagination and my drawings.
#7562 Ali 06/06/2006 11:35 am
As far as I'm concerned, proudly display every middle digit at your disposal to anyone who says "Oh well, you can't learn $SKILL now, you're too old."

Skills stick more easily to small children, sure, but determination pays for a lot more than age. The whole "neurons don't grow after $AGE" thing has been debunked.

I'm your age, currently learning two whole new trades, just learned a PILE of technical stuff, and tonight I'm going toask someone to teach me yet another new hobby. $EXPLETIVE this not-learning stuff.