Achieving realism: Accuracy and my frustrations

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Hi there,

Let's talk about accuracy and frustrations of a self-taught/online-taught artist. When you haven't got anyone to correct you, when you haven't got the luxury of a mentor, noone with trained eyesight observing you and giving you useful feedback.  You get the point.

This forces me to be hard on myself and be analytical about how I work as well as how I think about my work.

Sometimes, all I am sure about is how the idea of my work looks in my mind. And when I execute it, it's far from what it was like in my mind. And although, I can appreciate certain aspects of it (happy little accidents), there's still a significant amount of lack of skill.

Lately, I have been tackling the idea of teaching myself seeing more accurately.

I create a work and despite the enjoyment of the process, I get frustrated with the outcome. The reason being the stylizitation which is not my choice, rather a mere mistake. I would be much happier if I could choose this option rather than reaching it by accident.

And despite all the tools at my disposal, I still fall into the old bad habits. Which makes me think that it is more of a complacency, laziness issue as well as problem of process and the intentions in making the work rather than ability issues.

Experiment: Charcoal in painted charcoal

At some point, I have to accept that my process no longer serves my intention. And the only way to come to some understanding is by examining what I'm doing.

Once, I look closely at the way I work, it's easy to see what  I need to change, however, It's much easier to learn it the right way than correcting bad habits later.

Deliberate block in

One of the main problems in my process is not being deliberate at block in.

And for a reason I'm not writing spending more time at blocking in. I think there's a difference between spending time practicing and spending quality time practicing. I could spend significantly more time at it, and although I believe I do need to spend more time, it wouldn't pay off if my mindset about it was it's okay, I can change it later. Where later means after I establish the values, which means a significant amount of more work when correcting proportion mistakes, if I can change them at all.

It's easy for me to avoid spending time at proper block in because I find this part of the process most tedious and challenging.

There are tools that I use to help me see better (on that later), and still I use them only when I'm desperate at rather inappropriate stages of the drawing.

Let's just call it what it is. I know what to do, I choose not to do it because I'm comfortable. Complacency.

Real change happens only after the pain of being where you're at becomes stronger then the pain of doing the work to change.

Life drawing. 

Accuracy training

1. Establish top, bottom and left, right outer points in the extremes.

2. Check yourself

Watch Dorian Iten's videos for demonstration.

It's easy to check yourself  if you work in photoshop but I don't. What I normally do is take a photograph of my work (minding there will be a distortion of lens and angle, so be as accurate or use guides and transform tools to get the work in the right position.), and then you can do exactly the same as Dorian does in his video.

3. Block in the big shapes with straight lines.

4. After blocking in the big shapes comes adjusting.

Rinse and repeat with every drawing.

I hope I can utilize this old newly found information in more effective ways and actually see the difference.

Head study practice

Until next time,


Also check:
Draw More Accurately Without Really Trying: A Tiny Change With Astonishing Results

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