Home Career & Education

How should we teach new artist to be classically trained in the fundamentals of art?

polycounter lvl 3
Offline / Send Message
poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
Good day everyone. I understand this question has been asked several times. I understand it is not the first and it definitely won't be the last and I also understand you guys have an extensive Wiki. I am actually not new to the art world. I have plenty of experience. I have been doing art for more than a decade. However, most people still think I am new. I am simply self taught and I am simply not very good at it. Now I know everyone SAYS that they are not very good, but most professional artist I show my work to think I am new. They say "you have not been doing this very long have you." I tell them I have been training for 10 years straight and my learning methods have diminishing returns.

When less experienced people ask me how do I draw the things I do, I always say "You need to become classily trained and draw from life." Most will ask me how to do that. And I always say the same thing. "I don't know, I just looked up random things on the internet and practiced a lot. That is why I am not very good myself." Then I'll see them fill an entire sketchbook with anime. No understanding of perspective, depth, foreshortening, balance, etc. You all know what I mean. Then I go "No dude, draw real things." Then they start drawing people. Then I say "No, you need to draw simple things first." Then they'll draw something they think is simple but is actually very complex. Like a gun or a an entire city block. Then I say, "No no, you must learn about line, shape and form, color theory etc." I'll say something like, "Try to draw a can or a bottle at 45 degree angles all the way around and see you can retain proportions and perspective by making a small flipbook. I dunno." But that's really the limit to what I can give them. I can give them resources I personally think are good like Ctrl+Paint or the Dynamic Anatomy book.

Again, I feel this brute force method of learning have diminishing returns. When I ask artist who are more advanced than me, they generally say...

"Here is a list of every resource that has ever been made in all of human history since the beginning of time, just read all of it, any of it, I don't care, I had to bleed myself dry to learn this stuff so you must do the same. It's not my job to spoonfeed you." I believe most people are saying "I want to maximize productivity and growth efficiency when I learn things." What the experts hear is "I want to be a lazy fuckoff who doesn't want to work for anything in life." I do not believe this is how most people think. I do believe most people are willing to put in the work.

I don't want to treat people like this. I don't want people to have to go through the same existential struggle I did, and there are plenty of people who have studied art for only a couple years time at a proper institution and they can run circles around me. I do not feel my resources are sufficient. We are in the age of information and we can get any resource we want literally in seconds. However we must accept that some resources are move valuable for beginners than others. When I ask the highest class of experts what resources are good for beginners, they normally give the same answers.

If you want to start life drawing, read Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the brain. And don't draw images from computer screens or books. Make sure there is a healthy set of drawings you have drawn directly from life. Why life? Because you can draw it from multiple angles and create a flipbook so proportions are immediately noticeable. You even have a better sense of scale and methods for determining perspective.

If you want to be a concept artist, watch Sycra and Feng Zuh. Keep in mind I feel like Feng Zuh should only be seen if you already a handle on the fundamentals.

If you want to start animation, read the Illusion of Life.

If you want to learn how to model for games, read the Marmoset website and the EarthQuake threads.

to summarize, my question is, when teaching someone to understand the elements of art, are there any resources that are unanimously praised by the elite class of talent? I'm sorry this is so long but I want everyone to understand, and know how new people see things. Technology is advancing and the human race is becoming faster and I want the younger people learning from us to learn it faster.

EDIT 1: Also, show progress! It helps to see HOW one is evolving. That way we can refine the areas that need improvement.

EDIT 2: Get into Pinterest. Don't just upload your own stuff, but look at other people's stuff as well. It helps to see all the different styles and viewpoints side by side and it makes it easier to distinguish each other.

Replies

  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero quad damage
    I have to disappoint you but you are asking for religion and art is certainly not a religion , you ask for fundamentals have you notice how many art styles are there so at some point bunch of ppl throw the old fundamentals and made their own [or rearrange them to fit their tests and appetites ] There is no one size fit all in art you have to be individual with character who know what he needs and have something say That's why when you ask more experienced ppl they give you list of materials in hope that at least one will fit you ! Of course there materials that are better then others but you really have to be specific to what exactly are you looking for and again teacher that I value and respect you might not stand at all
    It doesn't matter if you have read one or hundred books its all about understanding application and practice - Information without understanding is pretty much useless
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    You must understand. I am not asking for a 1 size fits all. I am simply asking what processes are common amongst experience people. Everyone has a different style. I get that. I get there is a difference between people who draw adventure time vs oil painters who can make their paintings look like refined photographs. but both of these people can develop their style because they understand form and movement in real life. I have never met a single working animator who hasn’t learned the 12 principles. I have never met a film maker who has not researched Citizen Kane. I have never met a character artist who doesn’t understand human anatomy at a medical level. I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule but it’s generally accepted practice. What I am asking for is simple. Just a prioritized curriculum. It won’t be exact abut it doesn’t have to be.

    and to all the new modelers out there, please PLEASE stop using xNormal when you want to learn normal map baking for the first time. Use literally anything else. You are making your life harder than it needs to be. You will learn so much quicker.
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    look inward, not outward. 






  • sacboi
    Offline / Send Message
    sacboi insane polycounter
    xNormal is cool B)
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    Alex_J said:
    look inward, not outward. 


    I do not understand what this means. But it is not the first time I have heard this so I feel it is valuable. Can you please elaborate.

    Now again, I'm not asking for some holy grail formula. Just what processes have been widely endorsed.

    sacboi said:
    xNormal is cool B)
    I am looking through your work and you are clearly very experienced in modeling. If it works for you, that's cool. But new modelers should learn how to make proper meshes UV layouts and cages before trying to utilize the benefits xNormal has to offer.
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    All your sentences are pointing to things that have worked for other people but you claim don't work for you. You must believe that you are special.

    You are not special, you just have refused to do the scary thing which is look at the self and figure out which parts need to go back to the drawing board. This prevents a person from learning. 

    You don't need anybody to do you a favor and you don't need any secret knowledges. You only need to learn how to learn. It is the same process for any subject. Whether you want to make art or be a mechanic or play a sport or anything else.

    I'd take on something that is scary as fuck and commit to learning it. Once you figure out how to observe the self and change behavior then you can learn anything.

    In short, your reluctance to look inward and make changes to your thinking habits is only thing that prevents learning. Stop blaming people who do so much to help others for free.




  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero quad damage
    There is no such thing just check art schools academies and atelier they all have different idea what education should be and emphasize different element for example you could draw boxes for 4 year and end up as perfectly capable draftsman .Drawing from life , coping sculptures and pictures ,drawing primitives or following book or a course are just different paths to the same place -> been able to draw anything , thing in 3d and what not
    I think problem here is you are asking general question and expect specific answers , in my opinion the best you can do is to make a list of what you think fundamentals elements are then sort them by important and ask for best place to learn X for example if gesture is the most important thing in art , where to learn gesture or can you show me example X + Y in use or if you want curriculum just copy someone else if you that lazy
    Whats the xNormal detour is perfectly good program if you know how to use it


  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    Alex_J said:
    All your sentences are pointing to things that have worked for other people but you claim don't work for you. You must believe that you are special.

    You are not special, you just have refused to do the scary thing which is look at the self and figure out which parts need to go back to the drawing board. This prevents a person from learning. 

    You don't need anybody to do you a favor and you don't need any secret knowledges. You only need to learn how to learn. It is the same process for any subject. Whether you want to make art or be a mechanic or play a sport or anything else.

    I'd take on something that is scary as fuck and commit to learning it. Once you figure out how to observe the self and change behavior then you can learn anything.

    In short, your reluctance to look inward and make changes to your thinking habits is only thing that prevents learning. Stop blaming people who do so much to help others for free.




    That's just the problem though. It's not just 1 thing I need to work on. It's everything. People think I have zero experience. I have an astronomical amount experience and I have seen countless tutorials and have a library of books. I just don't have a giant community of people who all had to learn the fundamentals together at once. Yeah I can ask strangers on the internet, but it's slower and it is more helpful to have real connections and real relationships in real time who can all see the thing I am trying to draw in real life.

    I do not have this luxury. I live alone in a small community and we have very little money. But I do have plenty of time. I'm willing to put in the work. I just don't want my efforts to get sucked into a black hole. My community is small and no one does art around here. There are people who have asked me to help them with art who has even less time in their life to practice than I do. You are right. I'm not special. This isn't just about me. This is about everyone who doesn't have the luxury and privilege's afforded to most people who become successful artist. What about them. What can we do for them?
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    who has time for so many excuses
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    Alex_J said:
    who has time for so many excuses
    I don't make excuses, I make progress. If my methods don't make me progress, I cut my losses. I'm not some lazy piece of shit who just wants everything granted to him. And neither are a lot of people. Somone told me to work on proportions yesterday and gave me a video from Sycra. It was more helpful than the standard "8 heads" model. This improvement only took me a single day. And I'm just getting started homie! We didn't need to just brute force practice more. I mean, we do, but we also just needed a new way of looking at things.




    Here is the tutorial I watched. 
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    Confusing thread is confusing.

    Who is the "we" in the thread title ? And does the OP belong to the "we" part, or to the "new artist" part ?
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    pior said:
    Confusing thread is confusing.

    Who is the "we" in the thread title ? And does the OP belong to the "we" part, or to the "new artist" part ?
    These are just people in my community and a few people I met on discord who look up to me. Like I said, there isn't an art heavy culture down here. Everyone thinks I'm talented but they have only seen the tip of the iceberg. I am not classily trained like you guys are. It is far more difficult to teach new people over the internet because new people need to draw from life. Not from photographs on their crappy monitor in a dimly lit bedroom taken with a camera, but real living breathing things as they are with their naked eyeballs. And they need to do it from multiple angles in order to understand how to derive form from shape and perspective. This is the kind of information people need to know. it is not possible to do art without. Giant pastebins and Google drives of references are not beneficial until people already have SOME idea of how to use the 7 principles of art and the 12 principles of animation.

    Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    So, you're a beginner and you want to help other beginners. Why don't you guys just sign up to a local life drawing class ? And just like that, problem solved.
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    pior said:
    So, you're a beginner and you want to help other beginners. Why don't you guys just sign up to a local life drawing class ? And just like that, problem solved.
    A: I'm not a beginner. I've been doing this for 10 years, I'm just not very good because practice does not make perfect practice makes permeant. And again, no one down here does art so relative to them I'm an expert. But compared to most trained people I'm a low level brainlet.

    B: I know this may blow everyone's mind, but not everyone has money. Most of my shit is pirated or things that were uploaded to Pinterest and Google drive. I can barely afford the books and It makes no sense for me to sink unholy amounts of time into something that yields diminishing returns. At least until I can find a stable job.

    I'm just asking for a little consensus. My methods allow other people to learn faster than I did. Are they pro yet, no, but it's n00bs teaching n00bs. It's just something we're going to have to work around.

    And just so you know I do this as a hobby. I'm not Bobby Kotick's prisoner.
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior godlike master sticky
    Assuming that your time is valued at least a few bucks an hour you've already spent enough time in this thread alone to afford a bunch of sessions, as some are donation-based asking for as little as 4USD/hour (had a quick check for the LA area, as I suppose you're from the US). Heck, if you just show up with your buddies at a local art school and just ask they might even let you in for close to nothing.
  • Tiles
    Offline / Send Message
    Tiles polycounter lvl 10
    [QUOTE] I'm not a beginner. I've been doing this for 10 years, ... [/QUOTE]

    Time has nothing to do with it. You can do it for 100 years and still remain at a beginner level. And it has also nothing to do with being a hobbyist. When your goal was the pro level in result, and you didn't manage to reach this level in 10 years then you did most obviously something wrong.

    It's not even a question of talent. Making 3D art or art in general is in fact 99% handcraft. Boring repetititve work. And this technical parts can all be learned. There is no consensus though, not a little bit pregnant. Either you learn it, or you don't. What you do with these techniques is then another question.

    But out of curiosity, why do you put yourself under such a pressure when your goal is just to be a hobbyist? Why not simply accept, okay, this is my current art level, eveything else would mean much more effort that i am willing and able to spend at. And simply move on?
  • YF_Sticks
    Offline / Send Message
    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 5
    No idea what I'm reading here - but anyways:

    If a lot of "elite class" artists (please don't call it that) recommend certain resources, you should probably read or watch it.

    If you want to teach - teach. For free, payed, up to you. But just do it. It doesn't matter how.

    Want to learn fundamentals? Type "Art Fundamentals" on Youtube - it's free - there are a 1000 videos. 

    Yes technology is evolving a lot and fast - but people need to learn how to learn - it's the most important skill

    And last, use xNormal if you want to use xNormal. At least in the Game Industry, no one cares if you use it or another software. What gets the job done, gets the job done.
  • icegodofhungary
    Offline / Send Message
    icegodofhungary interpolator

    B: I know this may blow everyone's mind, but not everyone has money.

    Saying stuff like this to a group of strangers is unproductive and a bit insulting imo.

    You've been here since 2018, you've asked a few questions about software and that's it. Yet you're acting like someone here gave you bad information on how to learn art. It sounds like you're arguing with someone who isn't in the room. Work on your communication skills.
  • neilberard
    Offline / Send Message
    neilberard polycounter lvl 16
    Is this really just a hobby or are you looking to make money off it at some point? That's what it sounds like.
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    I think we are having trouble communicating. When I ask for standardized references, the answer I have received is that the learning process can not be accelerated and should not be refined. I would like to disagree. I believe I can take someone who has never drawn before and have them do what can do in a year. And he won't have to deathmatch it. He can continue working his 2 jobs and have dinner with his family while doing all the other chores most people need to do. Allow me to demonstrate.

    I generally tell people not do draw, but rather "construct" their phone or their keys or knives. Why? Because they are essentially 2D objects. If they draw these things, they will only have to worry about proportions, angles and curves. They won't have to worry about perspective, value, color, lighting, etc. You can first tell them, draw a phone. Phones are explicitly designed to be simple in form, especially apple phones. The first one will not make sense, but if you stand my their side, then you can point out what macro level changes could fix it. For example, notice the phone's proportion is a 1:2 ratio. Do it again. Now notice that the corners all have bevels on them. Do it again. Now think about how thin the buttons are. Do it again. Bit by bit.

    When drawing perspective, people should draw their 2d-like object propped up against something. But only use a block to represent the proportion without any details. Your current view is a camera and all perspective lines are either parallel or perpendicular to each other. Once their mind can adapt to this concept, then they can do things like draw in the curvature and detail on the perspective plane.

    The idea is to get people to intuitively understand 1 principle at a time instead of frontloading them with everything at once and progress needs to be tracked, compared, monitored and analyze
     
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    i dont get it. You came here and said that in 10 years you've made almost no improvement. Now you are trying to teach us (and who is us, exactly?) how to teach other people how to learn art? 

  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    Alex_J said:
    i dont get it. You came here and said that in 10 years you've made almost no improvement. Now you are trying to teach us (and who is us, exactly?) how to teach other people how to learn art? 

    It is a method that accelerates the process. I do not deathmatch this stuff anymore because I like learning other things to. It's a handy little method I thought of to accelerate the process for those who don't want to sink their entire livelihood into art. I have seen your industry. You guys are treated like chattel and made to believe this is the norm. No one can form unions because the labor markets are too huge and people will throw their life into a project on an uncertain chance of something more fulfilling. Many of the women are treated like second class citizens. There is no reason not to simplify and accelerate the artistic growth process so someone making $7.25/hr can at least grow some marketability and not rely on the same web of connections.

    Think of getting people to adapt to manual modeling. The idea of raycast, plane angles relative to a raycast angle and what's built off of them is similar to the way computers construct models. This method can insure new people can verify mistakes instead of just having to rely on someone who can spot them with half a millennia's worth of experience.
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    i think you are a crazy person
  • sacboi
    Offline / Send Message
    sacboi insane polycounter
    post deleted - can't be bothered.
  • poly_troubleshoot
    Offline / Send Message
    poly_troubleshoot polycounter lvl 3
    YF_Sticks said:
    What are you talking about? This whole thread makes no sense.

    Can you please ask a concise question - summed up in one, short sentence? 

    About your points you've made above:
    • The learning process can definitely be accelerated and it is already happening, a lot.
      Look at schools like Brainstorm - they teach online (in person without Covid). I took classes with them and they focus heavy on the fundamentals, taught by some of the best industry professionals. It's extremely effective teaching.
    • Also I think you have absolutely no idea about the industry - If you project your opinions outwards but you have literally no experience with it, I'd be more thoughtful about what you say. Not because you offend anyone because let's be honest, no one cares. More because it sounds like you like to say things into the void without proper research, knowledge and experience.
    I don't want to end this on a negative note. If you feel like you can help people reach their art goals and accompany them on their art journey - that's a good thing! But be mindful of how you approach people - be mindful of how you communicate - try to understand what they need and where they need help without enforcing totally random things on them.

    Good luck
    You have a very good interpretation of what I said. For that I thank you. I looked into Brainstorm. They want you to pay them $659 for a 5-8 week bootcamp. While I appreciate that it's a full bootcamp, Most people do not have that much money. It would be good to know what the curriculum looks like so people can replicate it by themselves in their own community through things like meetup groups or even mutual connections with people who have similar interests. Now, the result of doing this may make these courses to be less marketable. Hopefully not, but it might. But I understand your industry also wants more diversity. If this is what they truly want, then they must make the process more refined and more accessible so they can get people who have a wider variety of collective experiences and improve on the artistic value and diversity of the products that are being sold.
  • Alex_J
    Offline / Send Message
    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    dude, you can flip burgers for a week and pay for the course. The people teaching the course have to eat too, knucklehead. How much you think they earn?

    educators are like the least paid and least appreciated people in society. Add onto that the fact that these are artist too.

    Maybe you haven't learned anything in 10 years because you are just too lazy?
  • HarlequinWerewolf
    Offline / Send Message
    HarlequinWerewolf interpolator
    I am also confused by this thread but I'm still gonna say my piece: You seem to be misinterpreting what people mean when they say 'practice'. It feels like you find one resource and focus on that for a short period then find something else. You need to practice all of these new resources you're finding by visiting them again and trying something different, then again and trying something different. And you need to get feedback! It is impossible to improve without someone guiding you.

    Everyone needs a second pair of eyes, even a senior artist. You can post work in progress on Polycount and get feedback from people whether it's 2D or 3D. You can ask specific questions about your artwork like, "Is my anatomy working?" or "have I approached the shadows correctly." You said you use Discord, there are LOADS of discord groups that do the same thing as Polycount and help artists improve. The only difficult part is letting go of your ego and accepting that feedback
  • Larry
    Offline / Send Message
    Larry interpolator
    to summarize, my question is, when teaching someone to understand the elements of art, are there any resources that are unanimously praised by the elite class of talent? I'm sorry this is so long but I want everyone to understand, and know how new people see things. Technology is advancing and the human race is becoming faster and I want the younger people learning from us to learn it faster.
    I feel the whole thread becomes tiring, because what you are asking for is too wide.Nobody can"skip" to the next level without putting in the work. And if we could pass down experience, boy we would live differently.

    And if anyone had the golden formula for art, we would have a factory popping out Picasos. But let me help you with some things I learned myself, as a self taught 3d artist. I believe nobody can dispute against this knowledge, so take it as widely accepted.

    • Critique is what makes you improve, show your art.
    • You need at least 10.000 hours to MASTER something. So, a person who spends 8 hours per day, needs about 9 years to master something ( Hi senior artists! ). If you cut that to 4 hours per day, then you need 18 years to master something. (10.000 / 24 * X / 365). Of course not everyone's goal is to become a master at something, but you get the idea.
    • Try and copy art you like. This is how people do it. Nobody can copy stuff 100% so they end up with something different. Then they embrace the differences and further develop them, creating their own unique style.
    • Shapes. Learn to see simple geometric shapes and straight lines in complex things. Only then your proportions will get better. Also learn what the golden rule is.
    • Color. Use color theory to choose what  you will be going for, and make your drawings black and white in photoshop to see their contrast values. If there is contrast, there is interrest. From my perspective, good art should have both good transition and contrast.
    • Lighting. It's what further pushes the contrast and gradience/transition. Learn about lighting types (e.g. reflection,s highlights etc)
    • Storytelling. From a dirty fingerprint to a pool of blood, from the material's creation process to weathering, Everything has a story. The better you understand how this object came to be, how it was created, what polishing method was used on it, the more interesting art you have to show for.

    You need to establish a base process. Trying random stuff is chaotic, and might get you tired without learning. Start simple, set a few things you will be doing in every piece of art you make, and try taking it further every time. It's what we call divide and conquer. If you have any more questions, ask freely

    Sign In or Register to comment.