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Thread: Diving Right In vs. One Toe

  1. #1
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    Smile Diving Right In vs. One Toe

    We know there are many ways to learn. Given those of you who read these posts (and use ArtRage) have an interest in art (generally) and in whatever your unique paths to "making art works" specifically, what I am wondering is if it seems to be valid that there is merit to proceeding "one toe" in the pool versus diving right in. What I am alluding to is conceptual. And I think it is personal since I cannot take on a whole new area of learning by diving into the middle of the pool. I might get the shock of my life and just say "I am not into swimming".

    Instead, I have put my big toe in the water and said, "I like it so far and I want to go deeper." Right now someone is saying, she is bringing the left brain into a right brain activity. Maybe, but I am looking for the end result of "success" or the "aha moment" when you do something and it works. I need a series of minor successes with the reward built in=as the tools I used worked and I like what I see. Versus staring at a blank canvas and saying "duh", doing nothing and ultimately giving up. Because I don't want failure. I am designing my own series of steps using ArtRage and books I take out of my local library on learning to draw (for kids) and just proceeding step by step.

    What I don't know is how many out there are like me or just really like the diving into the deep end approach..I'd be interested in knowing.

  2. #2
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    I started with a book on how to draw. It had flowers. I remember I had another one that had a mountain in it. The flower one was the one that really got me started. It was pencil drawing and stared with a cylinder, cone, block, and a ball. I drew them and shaded them to learn the basic shapes and how to make things look right.
    He also had some lessons later with each flower on how to draw them. He started out very light and just made a general form and then added to it a bit at a time. As it progresses it became darker. (Don't go dark too fast.)
    I will always remember that.
    The pencil drawings I have in the Critique section are from one of those books. The Windmill in the Work in Progress is where I am today.
    All is self taught and from books.
    Some others learned like that too.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Like Ray said, i started with reading a book too, from one end to the other, then just jumped in.

    Try to pick subject that are simple enough in their respective forms and shapes, then just go for it, ignore the brain activity that revolves around failure OK!! it's not true and all artist except for an extreme minority draw & paint around their failures, SCP just made a wonderful piece from what he had considered to be one of his failures, it is an awesome piece named "The 4th Dimension".

    I don't like beating around the bush so i'm the type of person who will just go and jump right in
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  4. #4
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    Hi jo - Everyone has their own unique methods. I myself have to jump right in....over my head. I attack everything like that, it's just me. Artrage... wow artrage.

    I see something..... put it to memory (best I can) blonde and getting old here, LOL. But then I tackle it, sometimes it takes trying repeatedly to get what I want, sometimes it never comes at all. If I can't achive it.....then I go to the tutorials (artrage has wonderful ones) and I spend hours reading what people comment on the works posted. You'll be surprised the tips and methods people use that you can pick up that way. Books, I look through their knowledge.....retain what I think I need and toss them aside, (as I'm terribly bullheaded) and jump right back in again. I do think I'm progressing nicely, if I do say so myself. LOL But it has taken over 2 years to accomplish the small baby steps I have achieved. I'll need a couple of more lifetimes to have the talent and skill some show in here. But then again, I'm me. And as long as I'm happy with my work............nothing else matters.

    There are so many wonderful, caring people in the Artrage forum. They will encourage you, help you, give you advice and pick you up when you "can't do it" anymore. They are a super group of people from every corner of the world.
    I think the best part of it all is the wide range of talent that is lurking in the shadows here..... everything from beginners to "the Pros". So everyone can feel comfortable posting their works. Ohhhhhh, and I forgot, they all make you smile and feel great.

    I do think I rambled right off the subject. I guess what I want to say....is post all your work. If it's not quite what you want....someone will help you.

    In here we are a great big family, loving, caring and very supportive of each other.
    Do we have to accept what life hands us? Or can we say no thank you and ask for a different flavor?

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for expressing your uniqueness and "thinking out loud" for me to see.

  6. #6
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    For God sakes, FAIL!!!! The trick is to learn from failure as well as success. Why waste the experience? And if you worry about being correct all the time you will kill your creativity because it would be a venture into the unknown, wherein the menace of FAILURE looms around every mark.

    And you will lock yourself into copying because it's predictable. And people will praise you mightily because you're doing things that fit into their safety zone (if they even give a toot), which if that's all you're after, then know your target, set up a strategy, look at what elite investors are buying (because they make reputations for the artists they collect because it makes the investors large profits and flexes muscles in the business world), work up some spreadsheets, use focus groups, and ya know, like that. And instead become a craftsman and ply your trade.

    I think the first and best thing you can learn as an artist is that Art is a consciousness that accounts for the fact that you have a life span of more than an evening's gallery opening wherein people will drink your champagne, eat your cheese and deride you behind your back.

    Work hard, certainly. Go for the brass ring. Learn your mechanical chops. But relax and don't use Art like learning a martial art without the philosophy behind it. You can learn the forms, and get your belts, and all that. But if that's all there is to it, then you are probably only doing it because you're worried about getting assaulted.

    And yeah, it might be enough. But hopefully you see yourself as having a hell of a lot more depth and purpose with a strong sense of Self (as opposed to ego) than this accounts for. And that's what will make a great Artist.

    Fun and satisfaction is the thing that will keep you doing it. And quality and style in keeping with who you are will spring from that. Be good. But know why.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  7. #7
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    I started with books. All kinds of books. I was really ADD trying to get into art. I started with a drawing book. I did a few exercises in that, then got bored with the rigidity of it and started loosely sketching my own stuff. Then I picked up some books on watercolor. I got bored with the rigidity of that even more quickly, and started doing things on my own. Then I moved on the pastels. I don't think I ever even did any of the exercises in the book I got about pastels. I read a little of it, then just messed around on my own. I tried learning perspective from books, but got bored (and also didn't understand the guidelines and things they were using) and messed with it on my own. It's not that I don't like to read; I blow through non-fiction books from the library all the time. My latest was "Dog Body, Dog Mind" and now I'm reading one about African American History. But there was something about art that made me want to do it myself instead of going step-by-step from what someone else told me. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot from the books even in the little bit that I have done from them; but I think I have learned more experimentally. The only structured art lessons I've ever really completed were Art 1, Graphic Design 1, and Computer Graphics 1 and 2 in High School. I also did a short drawing course from About.com (http://drawsketch.about.com/cs/drawi...rstdrawing.htm) which was excellent. But for the most part, it's been experimental. Your approach does make sense though. I was reading about education the other day, and one of the methods teachers use to keep a class motivated is to break it down into smaller, easier steps so that the students can have a lot of "little successes" on the way and not get frustrated by minor screw-ups. So there's actually some educational theory in your approach
    Last edited by Canvasian; 07-31-2009 at 08:17 PM.
    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

    -- Henry David Thoreau

  8. #8
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    In 2006 I joined this forum after having had the free original version of AR for a year or two..............then, there were no tutorials, no way of learning except to dive in.........I made progress after the program became something you could buy....the improvements to AR made it easier to use and the progress I managed to achieve surprised me............I'd never painted or drawn at all before AR came along..........so diving in worked for me because I didn't really have a choice!

    As D Akey says.............fail! It doesn't hurt you!
    Da go Te'
    Best to you

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  9. #9
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    Seriously D Akey do you right books, i find your posts not only informative but thoroughly entertaining at the same time lol (as he makes faces at D Akey, behind his back lol) kidding couldn't help myself lol.

    Really!! you have a very readable writing style, i implore you to explore it further if you haven't already
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