I can draw. But not like artists who can draw completely from imagination with very little reference images. Most of my drawings and sketches (foundations for my paintings) will be an amalgamation of reference photos with slight adjustments.
I decided that this was a significant issue to my progress. I don’t want to be limited to reference photos.
I’m not saying that reference images are a bad thing… In fact if you plan to do a scientific illustration, for example, they are integral to part of the process. They are also great for inspiration, color and shape reference, and so forth… It’s just I often find that what I can see in my mind’s eye is often not what I can find in reference photos, and I am continually frustrated that I cannot paint/sketch the subject as I envision it. It’s a core difference of drawing and drawing from imagination…
It has been years since I took a structured art class with direct teacher feedback. In fact, I think my last class was in high school… And I wasn’t always working on art since then. So no doubt there are a few fundamentals that I have forgotten, lost the skill from lack of practice, and perhaps just never got taught.
After scouring the internet for courses, both paid and free, I came across the reddit community ArtFundamentals and the associated website DrawABox.com. They are both free to join communities, great if you need to practice on-and-off without the pressure of a paid course. They are also both designed for complete beginners – even people who have never tried drawing before! They do have an optional paid version where you donate to the author of the website via Patreon and he will personally review your submissions. It’s essentially the same as the free version, with the only benefit is guaranteed responses from the author and not just the community.
So why have I gone to such a basic course? Well I want to make sure that I learn the fundamentals. It’s all too easy to say “I can do that” without testing my skills, or to just assume I know all the information without actually reading it to be sure. The fundamentals are the key to success – without them all future lessons and skills will lack.
From now on into the forseeable future I will be uploading to my blog all the horrible sketches I do for this drawing course. Why I have chosen to submit these learning sketches will be discussed in a future post… but for now know that my blog may start looking like a child’s been posting their art. Hopefully it wont be that bad…