Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Getting Used To It"

Will today's post be preachy? Will it be funny? Will it be *le gasp* SERIOUS?

I don't know, but I like building suspense. XD

So anyway, today I went for driving class. Now the instructor was real interesting cos he was supposed to teach us all about the fan belt and engine and all that sort of stuff, but he didn't. Instead, he handed me the wheel and told me to drive. I was like "Oh my god I'm so nervous what if I crash this itty bitty car or ram into a post and totally bend it?! Wait the thought of me bending metal is actually cool. OMG OMG."

So it was a manual car which means clutch, brake and accelerator. I kept messing up the clutch, didn't know when to press it halfway or fully or how to step on the accelerator properly while on the clutch, and the instructor was ,"Up clutch! No not all the way! Not so down! Feel the pedal feel the pedal oh no you've released it all the way oh great now the engine has stopped start it again please."

And I kept turning the steering wheel too much, I blame those PS2 Underground racing games I used to play. I always twisted the car too much, but then at least I didn't have the prospect of death or injury to worry about. I mean the worst thing that could happen was that I would lose the race. @_@

All in all I went ten rounds around the track and it was loads better after that. I actually had fun! I kept imagining Spock driving though, I don't know why. And how he'd have that poker face of his on. I hope that expression didn't end up on my face, when I get nervous my facial muscles become stupid and freeze there.

Actually, I do think I looked somewhat like this, gah.

The instructor told me, "You see, don't be nervous, otherwise it's just giving yourself stupidity in advance befor you actually do anything. When people say things like that a little light bulb goes off in my brain and I have this moment of epiphany and confidence where I say "OH YES THAT MAKES LOGICAL SENSE."

So I thought about it, and yeah, many times we are scared of new things simply because we have had no prior exposure to it. It takes getting used to, and then we don't feel that it's scary anymore. If anything, it becomes routine, and we become better and better at it.

I think most technical skills are like that--you HAVE to repeat them to learn them well. I like doing things with my hands, so that involves driving and also drawing right now. Geesh, it takes me forever to realise this sort of epic truth to life. Had I known/realised this earlier, I wouldn't have sweated so much about my violin (which basically involves a lot of technical skill) and instead put more patience into repeating movements until I got it right. I didn't have so much patience though, so I actually griped a lot and nearly burnt the instrument on a few occassions.

"Son, I am disappoint." (which is what my dad would say if my family were Vulcans and if I was actually a guy.)

So anyway more thoughts on this drawing thing. If you also draw, do tell me, what gets you drawing? What makes you want to improve?

For me, it's this sort of thing where I usually measure myself against other people's standards (WHICH IS NOT A WISE THING TO DO SO DON'T DO IT) Unfortunately this results in me feeling that my art is "not good enough" so I usually don't draw much, which is counterproductive. =.=

But after a while I figured that measuring myself against other people usually ends up in me measuring against my previous standards because what this means is that I want to surpass my previous level of drawing. So in reality I am measuring against myself. And that is a better form of encouragement because it makes me do things like draw a human body everyday, with reference to muscles and figuring out where they go on skeletons and stuff.

I used to hate learning all the muscle systems and stuff, but now it makes more sense to me because I see how they give the human body its form. That small logical part of my brain appreciates it too. So basically I'm just repeating and repeating those forms everyday. It's a small step, but a step nonetheless. Like I said this is technical, so it has to be done many times. In other words, practice~

Enjoy your day. =)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Because I Needed to Talk to Someone and the Internet Was My Best Bet

Hermitty life. I swear, I'm a bit of a hermit. Ever since my holidays started I've been spamming myself with drawing. I don't go out much, maybe except to swim and take photos of random caterpillars eating my father's plants. O_o

My art life has become rather active lately. =) I'm almost filling up my sketchbook which I started drawing in 2008, and I've finally discovered the powerful tool that is...


I was rather stupid last time when I used to draw because I never used reference (I don't know why, was it some foolish pride?) so I hate all my drawings from that time, they look rather spsastic at times haha.

I'm sorry, this IS going to be a ramble about my relationship with art.

Then I realised there's no shame in using reference (heck, almost everyone uses it) and I became addicted to reference images. I visit http://www.gettyimages.com/ for most of them... Deviantart has some pretty nice ones too.

I also recently purchased a book on drawing anatomy. It's wonderfully detailed and includes all muscle groups and the drawings are oh-so-pretty. I'm not sure if I want to go that much into detail just yet, I just want to make figures look convincing, y'know? And I'm staying true to this rule:

"The human body is NOT made up of straight lines!" (This is one rule I have broken quite a lot of times)

This guy breaks this rule all the time.
This is excruciating detail.

The guy writing the anatomy book, Peter M. Simpson, said that it's way better to draw figures from a skeleton than to use blocks and cylinders. That's cos with a skeleton you know where the muslces are attached to and so you can add appropriate bulk to your figures. It's not the same with cylinders because like I mentioned, the human body isn't made up of straight lines.

After I read that I thought, "Well there goes 5 years of drawing technique out the window." So basically I'm trying to make the transition to skeletons now, it's actually quite helpful though I can't for the life of me figure out where muscles go.

As I spend more time with my pencil and paper I realise that there is a lot about art which I can't do yet (Pretty backgrounds, foreshortening, beautiful colouring) and wow, it's overwhelming. I don't think I'll get that serious about art, but anyway I'll probably do it one step at a time. Well with the very small steps I'm taking I'll probably become decent in maybe in 15-20 years' time. XD

I've also met two entities which are the bane of my existence: hands, and couple sketches. Can't draw them to save my life. I end up laughing at myself. You know how Nelson laughs at Bart in the Simpsons? Yeah. I'm Nelson, then I'm Bart. : D
And drawings of couples? Immensely awkward for me to attempt. I end up giving them ridiculous expressions that look more comical than anything else. Just can't take them seriously. But since the best way to overcome your fears is to face them head-on, I'm spamming my sketchbook with a lot of hand dawings and the occasional couple bit (I still can't draw too many without laughing).

And the reason for wanting to draw couples? It's cos I'm a girl and I see stuff through a special mushy lens sometimes and cannot resist making cute little sketches of people being happy together in their own little world DAMNIT.

All in all, art is slowly becoming a more central part of my life, and I appreciate that very much. I don't know how far I want to go in terms of technical skill (like a professional illustrator, that's pretty far), but hopefully much further than now. Definitely