Home Career & Education

Need advice on structure, improvement, and plans for 2D art

Hello, I need some advice when it comes to improving my 2D art on a technical level: human anatomy, painting techniques, copying what you see, etc. I'm mainly doing 3D work on environment pieces and props and I'd like to continue to improve my technical skills in tandem so that I can have a broader range of work that feels polished and I'm happy at where they are. I feel that if I learn to better my other subset of skills it will definitely improve some of my aspects, especially in the hand painting realm and sculpting. I also want to do this so that I can illustrate my ideas, maybe not on a professional level, but I still want to strive to be a better artist. I am TOTALLY lost on the how, since there's a lot to cover and I'm not the best at trying to work it into my schedule consistently along with my 3D work. I'd also love advice on a schedule level. With the way I currently work 9:30/10AM-7:30PM on 3d work on weekdays, lunch varying because wfh. Maybe seeing other's people schedule on a weekly basis would be really helpful. 

Some background: I'm from an US schooling system and have taken art classes throughout my life, even during college, but they always felt REALLY lacking. We had practices and still lives, and I've drawn the cube, sphere, and pyramid scheme hundreds of times, but at the technical level it lagged badly behind. The art classes, even during college where I got my minor, they emphasized graphics, originality, and style  ( think works like the following: Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray; Andy Worhol's Campbell's Soup ). When it comes to technical skills and really honing in on the technical aspect, I don't have a good framework to pull from and I find that I run in circles. I would really like advice or maybe good references if people have recommendations. I want to know of a good structure to base my practices on. 

My goal as a 2D artist would be to make works like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Jonas De Ro , Joker Chen , Insist

TLDR: I want to improve my technical skill as a 2D artist, such as copying what you see, human anatomy, etc. But I have no real structure or frame of reference to go about it due to not ever encountering structured technical learning for art in the US. 

Replies

  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero ngon master
    I could suggest few things for you to check
    Peter Han dynamic sketching - for hand control and getting use to drawing
    Scott Robertson how to draw - technical and prospective drawing
    Glenn Vilppu /Proko Vilppu Studio Drawing Manual - gesture and figure drawing
    This should be enough for few years , you could draw anywhere at any time just need a small sketchbook or one of the new magic devices

  • trtrieu1
    I could suggest few things for you to check
    Peter Han dynamic sketching - for hand control and getting use to drawing
    Scott Robertson how to draw - technical and prospective drawing
    Glenn Vilppu /Proko Vilppu Studio Drawing Manual - gesture and figure drawing
    This should be enough for few years , you could draw anywhere at any time just need a small sketchbook or one of the new magic devices

    Thanks so much for your suggestion! I'll definitely check these sources out. 
  • sacboi
    Offline / Send Message
    sacboi ngon master
    Technically, in order too train hand-eye coordination during an apprenticeship, both baroque Masters listed were also taught too copy and trace work whilst under direction of their individual Master.   
  • trtrieu1
    sacboi said:
    Technically, in order too train hand-eye coordination during an apprenticeship, both baroque Masters listed were also taught too copy and trace work whilst under direction of their individual Master.   
    Oh that's really interesting. I didn't know that they used to trace as a way to train that technique or copy. Would you happen to know where sources detail what they went through as apprentices? I'd love to know more of what they did as training.
  • sacboi
    Offline / Send Message
    sacboi ngon master
    trtrieu1 said:
    sacboi said:
    Technically, in order too train hand-eye coordination during an apprenticeship, both baroque Masters listed were also taught too copy and trace work whilst under direction of their individual Master.   
    Oh that's really interesting. I didn't know that they used to trace as a way to train that technique or copy. Would you happen to know where sources detail what they went through as apprentices? I'd love to know more of what they did as training.
    Sure, although just by way of historical context, will specifically refer to the Italianate artistic 'Rediscovery' era spanning two hundred years from the late 14th on through too the 17th century, acknowledged today as, using the French term 'Renaissance' et: (Revival). Now rather than attempt a recollection of college Fine Art History lectures I'd sat/dozed through long ago, I'll instead quote excerpts via fairly accurate articles describing the concept of La Bottega or 'Workshop'.

    Where typically a young boy was apprenticed, during the course of which dependent upon trade/discipline will often extend over a period between two or seven years, thereby in turn coming under the sole charge of his Master. Besides, keeping in mind that this established Guild sanctioned education would've remained practically unchanged when up until Caravaggio eventually enrolled to begin his training and more than likely for Rembrandt, as well, alongside the excepted practice tracing 'Cartoons an apprentice was also expected to learn.


    Artist Workshops:

    The artist workshops of Renaissance Italy, especially Florence offer such a valuable insight into the life of an artist at that time and seem to have been the perfect provision for artists; apprentices and masters alike. Now, in modern times we could do with bringing these workshops back, I know that there are Ateliers throughout Europe and the USA and although a similar method of learning is involved, it’s not the same thing; it’s also a very costly way to learn the trade.

    During the Middle Ages, artists were a trade, offering their services to wealthy patrons and carrying out works to the specifications or brief given by the patron; unlike today, where artists most often create works of their own desires and sell them on.

    As noted before, an apprentice would begin his career at a young age, usually about twelve years old; they would be sent to a master’s workshop by their parents to begin work as an apprentice. The parents of the apprentice would usually pay the master keep for their child, but the master was also obliged to pay the apprentice a wage which increased as their skills grew.

    The early stage of the apprenticeship would mainly consist of humble, menial tasks such as running errands, sweeping and cleaning the workshop, grinding and mixing pigments, and preparing panels; slowly working their way up as their skills grew over the course of time.

    The apprentice would eventually begin copying their masters drawings and sketches and perhaps those of other artists, especially copying the work of celebrated artists in their cities and towns. Sometimes the more skilled apprentices would accompany their masters to carry out their commissions in distant other cities and would gain practical experience as well as find inspiration and learning when exposed to new influences prevalent in other places.

    Different cities and workshops had different set times for each stage of learning for the apprentice, and in some cases I’d imagine it would be down to the skill of the apprentice in question as to when they progressed to the next stage.

    After becoming proficient with copying the sketches and drawings of their master, the apprentice would move on to drawing from casts and statuettes, learning to transfer a 3 dimensional object onto a flat piece of paper whilst retaining the illusion of it being 3 dimensional. The aspiring artist had to learn to do this with a static or inanimate object before later moving on to drawing the figure from life. Classical sculpture would have been very appreciated for this stage, as well as the contemporary sculpture springing up all over the place during this golden age of the arts.

    Still drawing at every opportunity, the student would move onto painting, copying and learning their masters style, copying the painting of other artists and becoming more proficient with every stroke of the brush. As they became more skilled, the apprentice would help to execute parts of the master’s important commissions, beginning with the less important parts of a composition such as the background or minor figures and in some cases when their level of skill was of a good enough quality, the central figures as well.

    Guilds:

    Throughout most of Europe in the Middle Ages, Trade Guilds were responsible for the government of professions and crafts; they set the rules and limitations of craftsmen within their territory, controlling trade, limiting outside competition and establishing standards of quality. Without becoming a member to the appropriate guild for their craft, an artisan was not allowed to practice their trade. With that said, it’s clear that guilds were an extremely important part of life in this period of time. Guilds protected their workers and consumers as well as performing services for their members and the communities within their territory.

    By the time of the Renaissance Era, becoming a guild man consisted of three stages –

    • Apprentice
    • Journeyman
    • Master


    Apprentice – Apprentices were subject to their master and during the time of their apprenticeship they were usually not allowed to marry, an apprenticeship often lasting between two and seven years, depending upon the trade. The apprentice often started at at around the age of twelve years old; although in some cases they begun at ages as young as six or seven years old.

    Journeyman – At the stage of Journeyman, the worker was entitled to earn a daily salary and although still subject to their master in day to day work, they also begun working on their own projects as well; working towards creating their own masterpiece and moving onto the next and final stage. This was easier said than done though as the masterpiece had to be recognised as such by the guild master, and once that had been done, the worker would become a Master in his own right and be accepted as a member of the guild.

    Master – With the first masterpiece completed and accepted by the guild, the Master is now a member of the guild and can serve their own patrons, open a workshop of their own and hire apprentices. Once master status had been achieved, the rest was down to the success of their own craft and trade.

    https://jgloverart.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/the-renaissance-workshop/

    Training An Artist

    Training usually began at an early age. Some boys were placed with a master before they were ten years old. Andrea del Sarto, a tailor’s son, was only seven when he was apprenticed to a goldsmith (his predilection for drawing soon prompted his move to a painter’s shop), but most boys were three or four years older than that when they began. Although some scholastic preparation continued once boys entered a shop—and most artists were literate—the young ages at which they apprenticed meant that their formal education was limited. Michelangelo was unusual in that he continued to attend school until he was thirteen, only then entering the shop of Domenico Ghirlandaio.

    Boys who apprenticed in a workshop—called garzoni—typically became part of their masters’ extended household, lodging and sharing meals with the family. Parents often paid the master for their sons’ keep, but masters, in turn, were obliged to pay wages to their apprentices, increasing the wages as skills grew.

    Pupils began with menial tasks such as preparing panels and grinding pigments. They then learned to draw, first by copying drawings made by their masters or other artists. Drawing collections served not only as training aids for students but also as references for motifs that could be employed in new works (see Drawing, Vasari, and Disegno). These collections were among the most valuable workshop possessions, and many artists made specific provisions in their wills to pass them down to heirs. Young artists also learned from copying celebrated works that could be seen in their own cities—Michelangelo, for example, copied paintings by Giotto in Florence’s church of Santa Croce—and they were encouraged to travel if they could, to Rome especially, to continue their visual education. When masters obtained important commissions in distant cities, assistants who accompanied them gained practical experience and exposure to new influences.

    The aspiring artist’s next step was to draw from statuettes or casts. Ancient sculpture was especially valued for this purpose (see Recovering the Golden Age), and students’ study of it helped foster greater naturalism in Renaissance depictions of the human form. The practice of converting a static three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image was a vital step before a student moved on to draw from a live model. In many cases the model was one of the shop’s garzoni, called on to assume various poses.

     http://www.italianrenaissanceresources.com/units/unit-3/essays/training-and-practice/
  • trtrieu1
    @sacboi
     Thanks a lot! This information is really enlightening and I actually have a bit better idea how to go about organizing my practice now with that reference! I'll probably start trying to copy old master's work for practice and maybe I'll learn something from their sketches and other works that I never noticed before under closer examination. I'll probably reexamine some of my biases that I was actively taught against for just tracing to practice and possibly see if I can also improve that way since I never actively tried that course of action as practice material. I'll probably move onto using reference 3D models with faked lighting (like the David or Thinker) since museums and other establishments are closed here in the US. Thanks again for the info it was super helpful! 
Sign In or Register to comment.