Geometric Guerilla

The Indomitable (Spring 2023)

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drusk's Sketchbook

  • The Indomitable (Spring 2023)
  • The Indomitable (Winter 2022)
  • The Indomitable (Spring 2022)
  • Sharing the Knowledge
  • The Observant
  • Geometric Guerilla
  • Tamer of Beasts
  • The Fearless
  • Giver of Life
  • Dimensional Dominator
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  • Basics Brawler
    1 users agree
    4:51 PM, Saturday February 3rd 2024

    I just wanted to add a small point about the confusion your brain is having when you try this exercise. The biggest revelation for me was when I realized that the boxes don't actually have a "correct" configuration. Here is a quick example I did. I first did the two center boxes at 1 with no indication of how they intersect. Then I photocopied it four times and indicated the intersection four different ways with pictures 2-5. I started with the exact same two boxes but got four different configurations. All of them are "correct" simultaneously. This is why your brain freaks out. It can see all the possibilities. I think this is because we are drawing something abstract where size and distance are not determined by the object itself. There is no external reference. If you drew two people and one was significantly smaller and overlapped by another person, your brain would instinctively know which was forward and which was back. With this exercise, you are making the decision as to which configuration your going to show. My advice is to start with deciding on a single line of intersection. After that, the other lines are mostly predetermined. For example, in picture 4 I emphasized the top line of the box on the left. This then led to other lines emphasized and I ended up with what I ended up with. All the boxes started with a decision of which box would be forward, back or partially covered. Hope this helps.

    3:16 AM, Wednesday August 2nd 2023

    I think the ultimate goal of the 50% rule is to keep or create a sense of play and joy while drawing. No matter how good you get technically, if you lack enjoyment it is just drudgery. Most people will quit learning long before they reach that technical level of skill. When I do one of the prompts, this one [https://imgur.com/a/MWjWa0w] for example, I am absolutely trying to make the best drawing I can. I looked at pictures of dirigibles, of pirate ships, I took pictures of myself in poses. I didn't copy any of those pictures, just used them as mental imagery to draw on my own. This was not a study. It was just drawing a picture. I think even when an artist is doing a personal project for fun, they may be consciously applying what they have learned.

    If it is any consolation, many people have written in about their struggles with the 50% rule. I think I struggled with it too. I think having fun and not stressing too much is the key. Maybe you could try a personal project that is a bit more involved. I asked a writer friend of mine to send me something that I could try to draw as a comic book. I have no idea what I am doing but it is fun and certainly burning those 50% minutes.

    When I mentioned about learning fundamentals and getting worse, I was specifically referring to rendering a picture or object versus using fundamentals to draw the same thing. If I draw a car and I am just rendering it, I can do a pretty good job copying that car. But I am only drawing "that car" in that particular position or lighting. I don't learn anything about any other car. When you use fundamentals to draw, you are drawing any car. What you learn can be applied to all cars you may draw in the future. The problem, at least for me, is that fundamentals take a while to learn so when I first tried to apply them to something like a car, the drawing was worse than when I just tried to render it. I am equally bad at drawing all cars everywhere however. This sounds bad but as my fundamentals improve, I will improve in drawing all cars everywhere also.

    0 users agree
    3:43 AM, Tuesday August 1st 2023

    There is some real frustration here that I can relate to. To begin with, I think you may be rigidly interpreting the reference rule. Uncomfortable says that the use of reference is both Ok and not Ok. It depends on how you use it. When you talked about drawing the pirate ship, you mentioned that you did a childish doodle (which is totally fine) but then wanted to add something to the deck. You looked for a reference to see how to draw a microphone and some planks. Whether it is Ok or not to use reference here has to do with how you use it. My interpretation is if you google a microphone and pick an image and then render "that" microphone, then there is a problem. If you look at a few pictures because you don't really know how to draw a microphone at all and then do your own thing, your fine. I think this is because when you draw your own thing, you are synthesizing all the important information about microphones and then using that to make a drawing. I think it is counter intuitive but looking at a few pictures of microphones and then drawing your own, no matter how "bad" the drawing looks is still better then rendering a photo from Google.

    If you are stuck on what to draw, I highly recommend the drawing prompts on this site. Most of them come from the promptathons every few months. I have really enjoyed doing them. I often need to use reference to draw my ideas, I just don't copy what I look at. As a bonus, each prompt has samples of other peoples work to look at. There are all ranges of skill there.

    When I first started trying to learn to draw, I was rendering different things in my house. The drawings were Ok but not great. Then I learned about more fundamental skills like perspective, structure, value. After that, my drawings were terrible. But that is because fundamentals are hard and take a long time to learn. Uncomfortable says something in the 50% rule that is really important: "To put it simply, it becomes a lot harder to learn how to play when you’ve developed the technical skill, and the expectations that come along with it." You have to learn how to play. Anybody over the age of 12 gradually loses the ability to play as children play or draw as children draw, without expectation. Don't overlook the value of a childish doodle.

    Confession time. I probably don't follow that 50% that well. But I am still learning, still drawing and and still having fun. As long as that continues, I think how I do things is fine. There are many paths to the top of the mountain.

    0 users agree
    7:06 AM, Tuesday June 27th 2023

    Well I was hoping that someone else would take this one as they are really big questions and I still think of myself as a beginner. But here goes:

    1) How to really observe like an artist? This is what Drawabox is all about when it comes to spatial reasoning. There are many other ways to see like an artist though. A quick google search of "How to see like an artist" will give you pages of results with good answers.

    2) How to avoid symbol drawing Once you start reading the answers to the first question, you will find the answer to this one. Once you start observing like an artist, nothing will look like the symbols that you are trying to avoid.

    3)Which "free" sites are good... I use this site as a guide: https://www.brendanmeachen.com/soloartist There are others but it will give you a place to start looking.

    4) A better way to substitute motivation with to avoid procastination There are tons of videos on Youtube on this topic. But I do think this is a very personal question. I am a great procrastinator but I do it in my own special way. I'm sure you do to. Really think about why you are procrastinating and how you are procrastinating. Start small with small improvements and don't beat yourself up if you fail.

    5) A good place to get art supplies I think there are lots of places to get art supplies. However, I would say you want supplies that are good enough to get the job done without getting in your way but don't buy anything really expensive. Beginners in any skill should not be hindered by cheap tools, but they also can't really appreciate high level tools.

    6) An art community who will tear your art into small pieces Online can be pretty brutal and putting yourself out there can be scary. Sometimes people are casually cruel and that helps no one. On the other hand, you don't want to be in a space where there is no critique. I think you need to look for someplace, like Drawabox, where people will give constructive criticism. I would be careful of your expectations however. If you are here, then you are a beginner like many of us and quite frankly, we are not very good. The best thing you have ever drawn might still have many flaws. I think it is better for someone to just tell you what's wrong. Hopefully not in a cruel way. Just remember that even the greatest artists you have ever admired, once upon a time, perhaps when they were children, drew really crappy pictures. They practiced and got better.

    7)How to identify which parts are important in a reference I think you are asking another question related to your first one. I think a reference is just a starting point. Compositionally, what is important is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish and what you are trying to focus on. Think of a street scene. Are the buildings important? The people? The size of the city? The motion of the cars? What is the lighting? Perspective? Those are all choices that you make with the reference as a guide but not as an instruction manual.

    Hope this helps. I would love to hear what others have to say.

    5:40 PM, Thursday June 15th 2023

    So sorry to hear about the funeral. My condolences to you and your family.

    I have noticed the increase in submissions myself and you are probably right that people may still just be using the time to continue their lesson work. It does not appear from submissions that everybody is spending as much time on the prompts as perhaps they could. I am surprised to learn about the cost, but it makes sense. The detail on the prompts is impressive compared to other prompts I have seen online. Have you thought of user submitted prompts to use as a pool of resource? Maybe a little less work for you guys.

    I said I enjoy doing them, but for anyone reading this let me explain specifically why I think the prompts are useful for me. One, I am applying everything that I have learned (not just from Drawabox, but all of the sources that I have used). This can be a real stretch and it always feels like I am tackling something that is just out of reach of my current skills. Two, really doing the 50% rule. I tend to work in spurts and only draw personal stuff when inspired. I can go days or weeks before the inspiration hits. The Promptathon forces me to put in the time. The prompts themselves are detailed enough that I find myself spending a few hours on each prompt. This is also a stretch. I hear of some artists spending days and weeks on a piece. I'm still working up to that level of commitment. Finally, I think drawing something that is not your idea is great practice. Working artists are often spending most of their time on somebody else's project. The prompts force you to draw outside your comfort zone in terms of subject. I have been inspired to try things I never would have done on my own. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I've learned something either way. So my recommendation is give the team a real break, really push yourself with the prompts, and see how much of what you are learning shows in the final projects.

    2 users agree
    3:08 PM, Tuesday June 13th 2023

    Thanks. That looks helpful.

    3:19 AM, Wednesday March 29th 2023

    Thanks. It's funny that you mentioned the old DnD illustrations because I recently started feeling like my drawings remind me of those long off days.

    0 users agree
    8:44 PM, Thursday February 9th 2023

    Thanks for sharing. I think students on this site should be encouraged that someone who is a working artist still feels the need to work on fundamentals. It shows that fundamentals never go away. Also, it shows that you can have success without being "perfect" at the craft.

    7 users agree
    1:49 AM, Sunday February 5th 2023

    I believe it does exactly as intended: developing spatial reasoning. I don't know if it is the most affective way, and it may not be for everyone, but it has definitely been affective for me. I have begun to internalize how to think about representing three dimensional on a two dimensional surface. Now, when I am drawing, the lines on the page almost "feel" three dimensional. This is so fundamental that it can't be over emphasized. No matter what medium you use, understanding this illusion is fundamental.

    What the program isn't is a method of learning how to draw pretty pictures. But after you have done Drawabox, drawing those pictures gets easier. So when you ask for before and after pictures, I don't know if I can provide those. I have used other programs to improve specific aspects of drawing, but Drawabox laid the foundation.

    Also, it is free and online. Hope this helps.

    5:12 PM, Sunday January 22nd 2023

    Great video and a helpful exercise. I have a related question to the original poster. Just as beginning students have misconceptions about "talent", do you think we also have misconceptions about creativity? As I am progressing, I am getting the sneaking feeling that some of the artist that I have seen are technically very good but not necessarily super creative. Maybe this is a bigger question about what is creativity.

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The Science of Deciding What You Should Draw

The Science of Deciding What You Should Draw

Right from when students hit the 50% rule early on in Lesson 0, they ask the same question - "What am I supposed to draw?"

It's not magic. We're made to think that when someone just whips off interesting things to draw, that they're gifted in a way that we are not. The problem isn't that we don't have ideas - it's that the ideas we have are so vague, they feel like nothing at all. In this course, we're going to look at how we can explore, pursue, and develop those fuzzy notions into something more concrete.

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