(1) Hi! Start by saying that I'm not anglophone, so sorry for my mistakes. This is not a proper Animation question, but I need to ask someone for some advice, and I thought of you. I started to get interested in drawing a few months ago, despite i've always loved art and I’ve always drawn, but not as much as I’m doing right now. I go to a school art where I frequent the architecture section, but I've recently realized that that is not what I wanto do in my life.
Asketh - Anonymous
(2)So now I’m kind of open to every possibility, and animation may be one of them (I’m sure I want to do something that concerns art anyway). The problem is that I’m constantly upset and demoralized by my art. The fact is that I feel very unsure, because I’ve never had no one to teach me or just to give me basic advice; all I’ve learned , I’ve learned by myself: trying new things and styles, experimenting, observing the works of different artists and trying to understand how they work.
3) But I don’t think this is enough, and I don’t think my art is enough, and my morale just keeps dropping . I don’t really know what to do, because a part of me believe that I’m not good enough and I never will, and the only right choice would be stop trying and giving up, but the other part of me just don’t want to. So the question is: what am I supposed to do? Again, sorry to bother you and sorry for my bad english! Thanks
It seems like you are faced with the perils of being an artist and the important thing to take into mind is that you’re not alone in feeling like this. I’ve been working in the industry for 6+ years and I am constantly faced with the feeling of not being good enough, or that I need to do better. This is something that you’re going to feel and struggle with throughout your life with art …even if you dont have it as a career. We’re all our own worst critics and although we need to be aware of what we need to work on we also need to be aware of our strengths.
Through our artistic journey we dont need to only work on our art, but on ourselves as well and our outlook and mental health. Its ok to push yourself and be aware of what you need to work on but putting yourself down will only deter you from your goals. I talk about this more a bit here. It leads to stress and anxiety in an industry that’s already ripe with pressure and you dont deserve it , especially from yourself. You’re creating art and learning about it , accept that you are learning and that it can be an uphill battle sometimes. You say no one has taught you but that’s the situation most people are in when they choose to go into animation , your teaching starts when you take that first step into the program.You’re not behind other people just because you haven’t had teaching up to this point..which is false anyway..you’re teaching yourself ! thats more then I did before going to school :) So take pride and be happy that you are pushing your artistic limits !
You not being good enough is not a fact , it is just a state of mind that we can all get into. People may view me as being good enough , but that doesn’t mean I view myself that way. In the end its all just an opinion , not a fact. And if you apply for a job and your skills arnt what they have to be to obtain it , then you work harder and make it so , it is in your control…sometimes it just takes some time.
My advice is to keep learning all you can about art and animation. But as you work on your skills you need to work on your mindset and realize that we are all insecure about our art…and we all take a long time to get to where we are. So..next time when you’re looking at a piece of art you did , you have to find just as many good things about it as you do bad. In order to find the balance we cannot only focus on our weaknesses but on our strengths as well and give them equal measure.
I hope this helps :) ! stay strong , its something a lot of us deal with but it is not a sign of failure nor is it a sign of not being able for a job. Its just another artist skill that we learn.
What school did you go to?
Asketh - Anonymous
Algonquin college in ottawa
Just curious on how you approach composition and perspective. I feel as if sometimes I think too hard, not really about what to draw but how to draw it and make it look interesting. The comic panels you have been doing are amazing. Any tips/references on improving my knowledge of composition and perspective? What do you think about as you lay your pencil on the drawing paper? what goes through your mind?
Asketh - japrince
*STANDARD DISCLAIMER* I’m not handing down life lessons or trying to assert that there’s a ‘correct way’ to draw. I’m just trying to make perspective more approachable for thems that want to tackle it.
Okay. Let’s do this.
1. Understand what perspective is and what it’s for. Stay away from rulers while you get comfortable.
Everyone struggles with perspective because 1. it’s not well or widely taught and 2. artists tend to see linear perspective as a set of rules rather than a set of tools.
Linear perspective is a TOOL we use to create and depict SPACE. That’s it. That’s all it is. Your goal is not to draw in ‘accurate linear perspective.’ Stay away from the ruler and precision for as long as you can. Your goal is to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Perspective is just a tool to help you construct and correct that space.
2. Know in your bones that you can ONLY learn to draw in perspective through physical practice. There is no other way.
Grab some paper and draw with me. If you match me drawing for drawing you will be more fluent in linear perspective and spatial drawing by the end of this post. Unfortunately if you don’t, you won’t be.
3. Sketch around in rough perspective. NO RULERS.
So let’s make some simple space. let’s start with a two dimensional surface…
K. We have a flat, 2D surface. Let’s create some depth by putting a vanishing point in the middle, and having parallel lines converge towards it. Make a gridded plane inside that space.
Good. Let’s make that space meaningful by adding a dude and a road or something. (Again, parallel ‘depth lines’ will converge into the vanishing point along the horizon)
And now we have the rough illusion of some space. I didn’t use any rulers, and it’s not perfectly accurate, but we got our depth from that vanishing point right in the middle of the page. And since we have a little dude in there, we’ve got human scale, which allows us to gauge the size of the space we’ve created. Gives it meaning.
You need people or cars or some recognizable, human-scale THING in there as a frame of reference or your space won’t mean much to your viewer. Watch. We can make that same basic space a whole lot bigger like this:
Same vanishing point in the same place, completely different scale, and a totally different feeling of space. Cool, right?
3. Sketch around in rough perspective MORE. STAY LOOSE.
See what sort of spaces and feelings you can create with vanishing points and gridded planes on a post-it or something. Super small, super rough. Feel it out. Pick a vanishing point or lay out a grid in perspective, and MAKE SOME SPACE. Do it. Draw, I don’t know, a lady and her dog in a desert. I’ll do it, too.
Good job. LOOK AT YOU creating the illusion of space! This is how you’ll thumbnail and plan anything you want to draw in space. All of my drawings start this way. I think about how I want the viewer to feel and then play around with space and composition until I find something that works.
Once you have a sketch you like, and space that you feel, THEN you can take out the ruler and make it more accurate and convincing.
4. Draw environments from life.
I cannot stress this enough. Draw the world around you, try to draw the shapes and angles as you see them, and you will ‘get’ how and why perspective is used. Use something permanent so that you’ll move fast and commit. I usually use black prismacolor pencil.
You’ll learn or reinforce something with every drawing. I learned a lot about multiple vanishing points from this drawing:
Learned from the receding, winding space I tired to draw here:
Layered, interior spaces:
You get the idea.
Life drawing will also help you develop your own shorthand and language for depicting textures, materials, details, natural and architectural features, etc. Do it. Do it all the time. Go to pretty or interesting places just to draw them.
Take a second and just draw a quick sketch of whatever room you’re in.
5. Perspective in formal Illustration: apply what you’ve learned.
1. I always start with research. For this particular location I looked at Angkor Wat.
2. Once I had enough reference, I did a bunch of little thumbnail sketches with a very loose sense of space and picked the one I liked best.
3. Scanned the thumbnail and drew a little more clearly over it. Worked out the rough space before using formal perspective.
4. Reinforced the space with formal perspective. I dropped in pre-made vanishing points over my drawing. If I were drawing in real media here’s where I’d get out the ruler to sketch in some accurate space.
5. Drew the damn thing. Because I do my research, draw from life, and am comfortable drawing in perspective, I can wing it. I just sort of ‘build’ the ruins freehand in the space I’ve established, keeping it more or less accurate, experimenting and playing with details along the way. I erase a lot, too, both in PS and when drawing in pencil. Keeps it fun for me.
And that’s what I know about composition and perspective. If you want more formal instruction on perspective and it’s uses, you can use John Buscema’s How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way. Or If you want to get really intense about it, Andrew Loomis can help you
Hi! i'm an aspiring cartoons animator, i'm going to study it next year. Are you an animator? I find your blog very interesting to me!
Asketh - giulialutr
Hi! i’m an aspiring animator. I was wondering if it’s important to know how to color drawings for this kind of job, and if we must talk about digilal color or not! Please answer me, it’s very important to me :)
(chose to copy/paste both your questions in the same one )
Yes , I am an animator ! Have fun with your schooling , its going to be a lot of hard work but its going to be worth it :)
I’d honestly say that color drawings arnt really a huge focus unless you’re going into paint ….color keys , concept design ..stuff like that. As an animator I’ve never had to choose colors or color digitally until it came to certian homework assignments. If you are an animator then you focus on acting and movement and the communication on the screen..other people have already figured out the color composition and the color keys for the scene you are working on .
I would still say its a handy skill to have, so I would say for sure try out digital coloring if you’re interested. I dont think you have to wrack your brain about it but a lot about the art world is driving into mediums and trying out new things. So have fun! But workwise..if you want to be an animator , digital coloring doesnt have to be on your resume…I work with lots of people who’ve never touched photoshop.
Per my friend who works at DreamWorks Animation:
”ATTN: Anyone who gives a shit about How to Train Your Dragon 2! There will be a new trailer coming out soon. DO NOT WATCH IT.
The bean counters at Fox decided to spoil the main mystery of the movie in the first minute of the trailer. EVERYONE in the production, including the director and producers, fought them tooth and nail on it. We lost.
Trust me when I say you will enjoy the movie. But you will enjoy it a lot more if you avoid the trailer.”
Wait but why would they do that.
Avoiding all HTTYD2 promotions from now on. Thanks for the heads up.