The Drawing as a Hobby Thread

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PolarBlues

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I know there ae a few accomplished artists on this forum and some people who can get by just enough to draw a portrait on their character sheet. Maybee there are even some people here who would like to draw but don't think they can. Anyway I though it might be interesting to talk about drawing as a hobby, with all the what, how and when do you draw and the all joys or frustrations that comes with it.

I only back into drawing a few years ago. Took some evening courses, filled notebooks with sketches, tried all sorts of approaches to keep focused, keep practicing, keep learning and building my skills. I kind of get the feeling that after a sharp improvement at the very beginning, it all sort of plateaued soon after. I suspect if I'd spent the same about of hours learning a language or how to play tennis I'd be a lot further down the road with those skills, but heart wants what the heart wants.

But mostly, this is an excuse to post, yet again, my favourite visual gag on the Internet.


iu


So who are the Pubs artists, draughtsmen and hobbiests? What do you do with this hobby (or even profession)?
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Good that you've taken up art again man... Never too old or never too young. :smile:

My day job is basically a freelance illustrator but I'm also a 2d animator. It's quite boring stuff tbh, a lot of it is financial illustration or in the e-learning sector.

I sell a bit of stock art that's geared to RPGs on drivthru. But that's more for fun really...
 

PolarBlues

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Getting more specific, then. Has the past year of lockdown affected your drawing? Has it provided more free time to spend with your pencils, charcoal and tablet or has the monotony killed off your creativity?

I had a very long holiday break over Christmas with nowhere to go. Along with the sort of drawing I do for fun I decided to do the online Draw-a-box course. I don't know if people have heard of it, it's got quite a following. Draw-a-box, if found, it both very easy and very hard. It's easy because it is very structured and all about method rather than results. It's hard because it is all about trying to get your brain to process visual information its not used to and because you have to do everyting in ink - there is no erasing so you have to know exactly what you want to do with your mark before committing it to the page.

I managed to complete about 2/3 of the course (the first 5 lessons and the infamous 250 box challenge) before work picked up in earnest and put the course on pause. I'm pretty zonked after a days work, even now that I can do so from home. I do plan to complete it as some stage, perhaps more out of sheer stubborness than for any visible improvements derived from doing the course so far.
 

Winterblight

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I have zero art ability.. even basic shapes where a struggle for me in school. Last month I bought sone art pens and pencils on a whim and have watched a few youtube videos and produced some stuff that bears zero resemblance to what I was trying to draw... I hope at some point in the future to take an actual class.
 

Endless Flight

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Anyone can learn the technical aspects of it, but some people are just natural at perceiving things like perspective and angles. I had a graphic design teacher that told my mom that it came easier to me that to some of my fellow students. I wish I would have stuck with it.
 

TristramEvans

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The theory is that drawing is just skill like any other that everyone can learn.

It is of course the same people who teach drawing for a living that push this theory.

Well, on the one hand yes, anyone can learn to draw anything - that is create a picture that looks like a thing.

In the same way anyone can learn to play a piano, or sing in a choir. As far as tat goes, yes, it's a skill I think most people can learn, given the desire and practice.

On the other, well, learning to play Chopin's Prelude in E Minor isn't the same as creating a symphony...that's the part where talent comes in..
 

TristramEvans

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Anyone can learn the technical aspects of it, but some people are just natural at perceiving things like perspective and angles. I had a graphic design teacher that told my mom that it came easier to me that to some of my fellow students. I wish I would have stuck with it.

Yeah, I think that's the funny thing about the Owl meme, because in essence it's 100% true.
 

TristramEvans

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To give an example, like many artists in my generation, one of my primary inspirations/teaching tools growing up was Buscema's incredible How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, a book I still love to this day.

And as anyone whose seen it, or many other "how to draw" books, you have quite a few examples like this:

1cf19e0d70fc37e7875fc9ac1b1ab937.jpg

Breaking down the figure into ovals and cylinders, so you get the all the features in proportion and know where to foreshorten.

And don't get me wrong, it's a perfectly good method to follow to get your figure's proprtions and posture correct.

But that isn't how I draw. It isn't how any professional artist I know draws.

For example, here is the Gnoll I did for my Doodling D&D project. I started with this pencil sketch :

gnoll sketch.jpg

And then went in with a gel ink pen on top:

gnoll rsz.jpg

....and that was it. Two steps, maybe about 15 minutes total. No shapes, no wire frames, no cylindars.

Now, not exactly a work of art, I won't be including that one in my portfolio, but it just illustrates that on the one hand there's drawing via a "system", and on the other there's just freehand drawing from intuition.

I think anyone can learn the first, the second is kinda like a sixth sense.
 

E-Rocker

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I like to doodle. Always have. In fact, my best friend and I became friends partly because he was amused by the doodles I would draw in the margins of my notes during our grad school classes.
 

Fenris-77

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Some people have an innate sense for proportion and shape, and others don't. For the latter, those Buscema frames are a godsend. In my experience the kind of person who becomes a professional artist isn't the kind of person who needs that level of help with shapes and angles.
 

TristramEvans

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Some people have an innate sense for proportion and shape, and others don't. For the latter, those Buscema frames are a godsend. In my experience the kind of person who becomes a professional artist isn't the kind of person who needs that level of help with shapes and angles.

I think everyone draws at the same level in around kindergarten, the ones that go on to do it "professionally" just never stop after kindergarten, it's a compulsive activity.
 

PolarBlues

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I suspect that between innate talent and techniques that can be learned there is the third key pillar: doing the work. This both in terms of obessive practice (much like althletes or musicians) but also not giving into laziness while drawing.

What I don't is whether once a certain level of proficiency is obtained, practice is no longer really a factor. But I doubt anyone ever got good without spending insane abouts of time just drawing anything and everything.
 

Fenris-77

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I think everyone draws at the same level in around kindergarten, the ones that go on to do it "professionally" just never stop after kindergarten, it's a compulsive activity.
IDK, some people have a better sense for shapes in 3D for example. Or better (finer) hand eye coordination. Or whatever. Different brains aren't equally good at the same tasks. I'm not saying those people can't draw only that they might need some additional scaffolding that other people don't. I do agree that it's a Carnegie Hall kind of affair though, for anyone.
 

PolarBlues

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Some people have an innate sense for proportion and shape, and others don't. For the latter, those Buscema frames are a godsend. In my experience the kind of person who becomes a professional artist isn't the kind of person who needs that level of help with shapes and angles.

I find starting off with geometric structures (albeit not necessarily as detailed in the above Buscema example) helps capture the volume and makes the figures feel more 3d. It also helps with the overall composition.

I also suspect once you have years and decades of experience, you can probably internalise a lot of information contained in the geometric structures. And the very same How To Draw The Marvel Way also contains examples of more organic drawing approach to forms.
 

Endless Flight

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I remember when I was around five or six and I would draw the Superfriends and the faces that I drew looked like the Little People toys from the 70s. I drew noses that looked like triangles and I drew ears that stuck out like radar dishes. Then one day the light bulb went off over my head and a chorus of angels broke out. I started drawing noses like the comic book artists draw them and ears that were in the correct perspective. It was as if perspective hit me over the head.
 

David Johansen

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Drawing books, Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain, How to Draw Comics. There was a fantastic anatomy book my high school had in the library that taught me to draw feet but I can't remember the name.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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From my observations in Art college and beyond. I saw some dudes who I honestly thought wouldn't cut it. Two especially spring to mind. However, both of those guys proved me wrong and went on, not only really improve their drawing skills, but to have successful art careers as well. :smile:

Mind you there was always one or two people that were way ahead of the curve. They were naturally gifted of course, but they also worked very hard at it too. I mean, while I was going out on the piss on a Friday and Saturday they were drawing.

I guess the bottom line is, if you love it just do it for the fun of it. No matter what your level. If you want to attempt to go pro. Then even if you’re not the best at the moment you will improve with practice.

My late mother was another example. She started going to a drawing and painting classes in her late fifties (probably more to socialize with other women). And I hate to say it, she wasn’t great. But the improvements she made were amazing! Because she really wanted to improve.

We may not all be as talented at the great Paul Bonner but there are plenty of places in art for everyone. :smile:
 

Fenris-77

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I cut my teeth on Ernest Lipschitz's seminal classic I Can't Believe Those Are Supposed to Look Like Fucking Feet, as well as his unpublished work How to Draw Lips and Assholes the Marvel Way
 

David Johansen

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Could be, the cover was white and the image was a 3/4 rear view of a man but the style looks similar. Does he break things down into wooden blocks?
 

TristramEvans

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hmm, no, wooden blocks doesn't sound familiar.
 

Winterblight

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The theory is that drawing is just skill like any other that everyone can learn.

It is of course the same people who teach drawing for a living that push this theory.

I don't doubt that if you put enough time into something its possible to learn and possibly gain some level of competence, but my brain doesn't see things as others might. Its an 'arts' thing in general with me, maybe even a 'learning' thing.

My friend was a drummer in a local bad, he was really good. One day we were talking about things and I mentioned how I had been trying to learn the guitar for 20 years and still hadn't managed to learn an entire song. I told him I wasn't musical at all and still couldn't tune the guitar by ear and my timing was way off. He told me it was a skill anyone could learn, a few days later he told me I was correct and that I wasn't musical at all. So 35 years of playing the guitar and I know one song from start to finish - except the main solo because my guitar doesn't have enough frets - damn you Fender. I still can't tune the guitar without an app or tuner. So yeah, give me another decade and I might be able to knock out a few decent doodles :grin:
 

Fenris-77

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Something I recommend when I'm teaching art is to doodle drawing lots of basic three dimensional shapes from a bunch of angles. If you can rotate a cube in space and shade it, you're on your way to being able to draw anything with at least some facility. Lots of comic art instructional books base their whole drawing approach on cubes and rectangular prisms.
 

PolarBlues

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Other than the Draw-a-box course, the other thing I've been doing to keep practicing and for general relaxation is copying panels from old, public domain Western comics available on https://comicbookplus.com. I don't consider these sketches "my drawings"; there aren't my characters or compositions. It just something to do.

It is kind of weird how that came about. Finding things to draw can be in itself a challenge. Over the past few years I've gone through different phases, focused on different things, including area set up for mini still life arrangements. But eventually the question of what should I draw next resurfaces. When I stumbled on the idea of using comicbookplus as resource, it proved to be very convenient and fun. That helps it a lot in terms of sticking with something. And by copying a comicbook panel rather than just drawing a figure or an object, I'm also learning about drawing horses, wagons, windows and all sorts of things (albeit in a very simplified, comicbook form).

As the the Western theme, I guess in part I've running a lot of Western games, so that feeds the interest. But I would also say old western comics illustations have aged well; the way we imagine cowboys today isn't radically different from how they were drawn in the 1950s or 60s. You can't say the same for crime or science fiction comics.

Anyone else have a routine or ongoing project or is do you just draw when something needs drawing?
 

TristramEvans

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well, that was the origin of Doodling D&D and using the Monstrous Manual as a prompt as to what to draw every day. It followed on from Inktober, which I liked,having that list of daily inspiration/direction for sketches
 
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