Begin with Drawing... - Artist Forum
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post #1 of Old 04-22-2019, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Cottonwood, AZ
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Begin with Drawing...

Hey All,

I am a retired Science Teacher that also worked as a Marine Biologist. I am also a vet, spending some time in the desert. I guess that is what ultimately made me settle down in Arizona.

A few months ago I decided to learn painting, but a close friend talked me into learning graphite and charcoal first. He told me learning to draw in B&W first, then adding colors would make painting much easier.

Made sense to me... back in the 'Olden Days' I was quite the B&W photographer using medium and large format cameras.

I particularly enjoy the outdoors, so landscape drawing is my primary interest. I got some pencils and paper a few weeks ago, this is my third attempt.


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Murphy Steven Lawe
PO Box 1093
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

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One Man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork.

Edward Abbey
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post #2 of Old 05-19-2019, 08:08 PM
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Location: Edmonton, Canada
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There is too much information on your graphite, I think, probably because of your photography background, the camera takes in everything at once. My advice would be to start off with a line composition, no short no trees or long grass. Be general. Your friend is right, but just keep everything in big shapes (areas), then go into details. Just imagine a vast land of blurred shades/tones as a start. Focus on the feel for the landscape and how it recedes, how the wind flows first. Hope this helps. I am not a landscape painter, but art is all the same...strength is more important than a likeness.
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post #3 of Old 05-23-2019, 03:44 PM
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Location: California USA
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Looks lovely and welcome to the art world! I like the way you've handled your mark making. It's very sensitive and authentic because of it's directness. You may want to consider organizing the elements in terms of shapes, values, edges and then colors. Try putting all of the details and value range in the areas closest to the camera while letting the value range and level of detail decrease for the areas farther away (atmospheric perspective).

Keep going sir!

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post #4 of Old 07-05-2020, 11:12 AM
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For every beginner I strongly recommend online courses. This is course I recommend the most:

I think the thing that kept me from LOVING this course is that it wasn't quite what I was expecting... From the title and description and other similar courses I've seen I expected that there would be ideas for doing, well, ONE DRAWING a day for six weeks... One... Drawing... and I kind of hoped it'd be something simple enough I could bang off in an hour (give or take)... maybe something I could work on during a spare moment while I'm out and about and waiting for something...? Not so much...

Many of the exercises involve drawing more than one drawing. Many of the exercises involve more than drawing - there are a lot involving watercolour painting and a few involving collage and even scanning and manipulating stuff in photoshop. And many of the projects involved expeditions or field trips around town (or out of town) to specific types of locations.

Many of the exercises also weren't really something I felt like I could read in the morning, or perhaps the evening before, and be able to say "yeah I think I could fit that into my day..." They seemed like they would need a bit of planning before setting out. While this is billed as a "6-week Course Exploring Creativity..." I doubt many would be able to do this on the side while working a regular day job. Maybe if you were working a part time job...? Or if you took 6 weeks off and tried to do these all as an intensive "kick start your creativity" course...? Maybe then you could get through it all in 6-weeks...

Also, though the exercises are grouped in chapters with similar themes; Line and Mark, Playing with Colour, People Watching and Capturing Motion, Close to Home, etc... But there really wasn't a sense of learning something in one exercise and then building on that in the following exercises. In fact the author suggests in the introduction doing them in whichever order you wish. But I kind of feel like something that's described as a "course" could have had a bit more structure to it, with some of the exercises building on ideas/skills presented and practiced in previous exercises.

I guess in summary I'd say; Great art, lots of fun and inspiring exercises , but don't expect to be able to do them all in 6-weeks/42 consecutive days while living a normal life with a regular day job.
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beginner, charcoal, graphite, landscape, novice

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