Frustrations of an Art Noob (Noobstration?)

25 May

Art is supposed to be expressive. But when your skill (or rather, lack thereof) hinders your ability to translate what you want to portray, it can get frustrating.

And as a newbie, I get a scoop of frustration with added toppings of demoralisation (if there is such a word – haha).  Isn’t it supposed to get easier? Sigh. The journey of learning never ends huh.

Chief amongst my list of noobstrations lie with the challenge of rendering objects in a 3D way.

While I am happy to say that I can draw round-ish fruits quite satisfactorily, there is still much room for improvement (or other similar euphemisms for “I still suck”) for everything else.

The gist of my GOOGLE research throws up two main ingredients to nice realistic 3D-ish drawings – Shading and Perspective.  Although I can’t contribute anything on the “how to draw”, I love to share good useful websites.

Don’t be lazy, click on it.

How to Draw 3D Shapes with Shading

by Artur Wal

The site name is quite simply – How to Draw! Cut to the chase right?

Why is it useful?   The site shows you how to draw basic 3D shapes – circle, conical, cylindrical ( I don’t know why the square cube is left out. Hmm. Too hip to be square?)  Anyway, the author uses pencil drawings to illustrate the technique but once you “get” it, I think you can easily translate the technique to any other medium.

In my simple mind, I see it like this –

Before you put your pencil on the paper, you have to observe the object (it is easier to have an actual object to observe than to imagine it out of thin air in your head) and make some decisions.

1. Where is the light?  (At the end of the tunnel?)

2. Where is the shadow? (Where your darkest fears hide?)

(Gosh i’m corny today)

With that, you establish the lightest and darkest point. In between those points… I usually just gradually lighten/darken accordingly.

Pencils are (mostly) monochromatic and so lightening/darkening is fairly straightforward in application.  Just add a bit of pressure onto the paper or overlap strokes to create a darkening effect. You can also just use a darker pencil. Personally, I think it is easier to start light and then darken; using an eraser or your finger to lighten is messy stuff.

When colour is involved, things get interesting. Because colour mixing gets thrown into the… er… mix.

Fortunately, whether it is colour pencils or pastels or oil, the same colour theory applies.  It’s not just about adding black or white.

Observe one of my rare success – the Orange! (I didn’t do the rambutans.)

Oranges and Rambutans

This is where your inner graffiti artist should just be released to have some fun! Experiment and learn! Be a kid again!

Now now, where is my colouring book?

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