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What to do as an artist in training.
What to do as an artist in training.
Original post I made on DA: http://suzanne-helmigh.deviantart.com/journal/What-do-do-as-an-artist-in-training-436797573

There are many ways to Rome they say. But I find most aspiring artists lost and asking me for guidance
and this is what I tell them.


Find out for yourself what you really want to do with art, there are so many different professions.
Graphic designer, Concept artist (mobile and high end), Illustrator of bookcovers, or card games.
Once you can make your pick, or at least pick 1 or 2 you must find the best work on the market in those fields.

Find out what makes the best art of your favorite field the best art. What do they paint? How do they paint it? With knowing this you can find out about the things you need to study.

The most basic study aims are the following:

Lighting.
What forms of light art there? And how does it influence things?
The book Color and Light by James Gurney will give you a lot of insight.




Shapes.
How do you paint shapes? How do you light them the right way?
You will learn a lot on this topic by doing life-studies of objects on your desk.





Color.
Color theory, how does color react under different lighting circumstances and different materials.
This is a very hard topic to master but once you know enough of realistic colors you can bend the rules to your will to gain artist freedom and perhaps a unique style.
(again the book color and Light by James Gurney is highly recommended.)





Materials.
How to paint materials realistic, where to paint the texture and where not? From lizard skin to Ice.
What is reflective what is see through what has a high specular what is matte?
A great way to study these is by painting as many of these materials as you can on a globe like these:





Composition.
There are many forms of composition. Each of them useful for telling different stories.
All the great classical master paintings from the Renaissance era use great composition techniques. Study those and you will learn not only about composition but also about values, light and materials. There is a rather unknown book about this that's really good: composition in Art by: Henry Rankin Poore






Anatomy (Both human and beast.)
Find yourself some models, preferably naked! if you cannot find them in the flesh , in the pixel will have to do. Other great models can be found in zoo's, pets, farms, friends? Getting to know about muscles and bones can serve a good purpose on the dimensions and poses of your characters.
Look into animation as well, as different poses show different balance in body mass.






Perspective.
Especially handy for environments. Really technical stuff it is, nasty business. Most artists hate it for being so technical, but it is necessary.
The perspective drawing handbook by: Joseph d'Amelio is one of many great books on this topic.






Fashion.
Save a massive amount of fashion into a special folder on you computer. The more the better! Feed your creativity by the art of others and be inspired by their designs. Historical fashion serves handy for most fantasy genre.






Architecture.
Just like fashion the same applied to architecture. Save a lot of buildings from straw huts, old farms to the skyscrapers in Dubai. They will serve you well when doing environment art of concepts.





Get to know your tools.
Learn how to use pencils the right way, learn how to use photoshop and all the possibilities it gives you. Try your hand on other things as well such as oils, charcoal, ink and acrylics.


Study them all! And you can become a good artist, feel free to specialize on some of them, but be at least mediocre at all of them.


The next journal will be on: Where to get started before you can apply for work as an artist
Replies:
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
Wooot! Nice SuzanneHelmigh! love your style! did you made the sonycontroller with a picture or a real object, oooor without one of those?
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
great article , I really like the construction tutorials , such as the ones for the head and nose. I feel they help me grow the most.
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
Wow, this is really great : o Will be studying it with care :D
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
I've been watching your works for a while, awesome skills! Thank you for sharing your studies to help us!
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
Wooot! Nice SuzanneHelmigh! love your style! did you made the sonycontroller with a picture or a real object, oooor without one of those?- Stinkyfish

It's made form life, which means I had the things set up on my desk next to my computer. :)

Thanks everyone!! :D
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
Nice!!! awesome...
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
This thread is almost scary. It makes me realize how much I still have to learn! Still, very helpful. Thanks for sharing!
RE: What to do as an artist in training.
What would your advice be for someone who better grasps the mechanics of real-life painting, but would rather paint digitally? For me, I have a hard time getting over the basics of "draw lines > fill in lines." It's weirdly challenging for me to figure out how different brushes work, and kind of scary in that I need to do all this work, fiddling with brush settings instead of just rubbing a brush differently on a canvas. Conversely, I prefer the speed, low clutter, and lack of physical materials that comes with digital painting. What to do?!
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