We'd all like more of it, but how should we spend our free time? It's a deceptively simple question, but I find myself asking it nearly every day. Should I spend an hour doing X or would it be better to do Y instead? What if all I want to do is Z? Though this video doesn't offer concrete answers, it will get you thinking about the bigger picture and how to stay vigilant about your goals. Blogs like www.lifehacker.com often talk about planning the hours of your workday, but I rarely see anyone discussing a longer (1,2,5 year) plans. These sort of 'big questions' are not easy to think about, but ignoring them completely can be a dangerous strategy. What is your strategy? Since I clearly don't offer a perfect solution, we'll all benefit from the discussion.
Want to be better at painting but don't know where to start? You're not alone in this feeling. The truth is that art is inseparable from confidence, and you will not be able to create until you believe that you can. It's a tough catch-22. Hopefully this video will help!
As an artist it's worth considering film for more than it's entertainment value. PaintFlix is an ongoing series about beautiful movies found on Netflix streaming. These movies don't always have good stories, and I wouldn't fault you for watching them on mute. Bottom line: at $8 per month, Netflix streaming is a fantastic source of visual inspiration and I'd love to help with movie recommendations.
Titan A.E. (2000)
Are you a Star Wars fan? This is for you. Sure, this movie was a technical achievement for its time - but more importantly it is a sci-fi animated feature. Animated feature: period. As in...not strictly for kids. As a result the environments and themes are a bit grittier than your average animated children's movie.
What to watch for:
The "Color Story". Animated movies are great at using color to push the emotional undertones of their narrative. Since every color was painted by an artist, and not captured by a camera, it's all intentional. Make sure to see how each scene uses color to hammer home the current emotion.
The Backgrounds. If you haven't watched many 2D animated movies, you might not know that the backgrounds are actually hand-painted. This movie differs a bit by incorporating 3D elements, but most of what you see behind the characters are gorgeous gouache paintings. Want to work on your environment painting skills? Pause the movie and soak in the background .. it's a beautiful environment painting in every shot.
And when you're done watching:
Use the inspiration. Consider some of the techniques from the film studies series, and learn from this movie. Mood boards, composition sketches, color palettes... put "Titan A.E" to good use! I almost always leave the movie theater feeling inspired to create, but my schedule stops me from sitting down to paint. If you're able, plan in some extra time directly after watching to sit down and draw or paint. Have fun!
Art school is great, but it's not for everyone. Even for those that attend, it's only the beginning of their actual education. Most of the skills I use every day in my art are self taught. Whether it was in my spare time, on the job, or learned from friends: much of my technical knowledge was not learned at art school.This video explores the "making of" Ctrl+Paint to see what skills were necessary to create the site, and where I learned them. Ultimately, we're never prepared for huge projects. Even if you can draw a great still life, art college does not prepare anyone for the challenges of real life. Luckily, you never have to stop learning!
It's great to be back. Based on your comments, I know you missed the videos - and I certainly missed making them. To address this break in continuity, this video deals with the idea of art-making as habit. Just like exercise or practicing a musical instrument, it's all about consistent practice.
Ctrl+Paint has mainly dealt with nude figures and classical study - but what if you want to draw a character with clothes? This video explores costume and fashion sketching from reference, and all of the photos used are from the fantastic blog http://www.thesartorialist.com/ .
Feeling blocked up? Lacking motivation? Deciding what to draw can sometimes seem harder than actually drawing it. Hopefully this video will put the challenge in a different light, and get your stylus moving again.
Sometimes making art feels like a long series of frustrating failures. The truth is that every artist feels this way some of the time. Your mindset can be a huge roadblock to artistic progress if you let it. Hopefully this video will give you a little perspective, and help remind you of the big picture.
Making these videos has been a great experience, and it's probably time to introduce myself. After all, we're 100 videos in. I'm trying my best to sculpt ctrl+Paint in a way that represents my art experience. I've had two major formative experiences: 1) Self-Teaching. All of my software experience has been self taught, and I've never attended a painting class. As a result, I know how hard it can be to learn a new skill without a teacher.
2) Art School. I was lucky enough to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, which gave me 4 dedicated years of art education. This was a totally different level than taking a few art classes in high school - I was living art. Though art school is absolutely not required, if you can go... it's a lot of fun.
Ctrl+Paint is my attempt to join these two concepts: self-teaching and art school. So if you're looking for either of those two experiences, you're in the right place. Thanks for being an awesome community!1
Do you keep an "inspiration" folder? You should! This video explains the benefits of keeping a folder of inspirational paintings, and organizing them with Adobe Bridge. There are a variety of programs that offer similar tagging and organizing, but Adobe Bridge integrates well with other Adobe software, so I like it a lot.
I'm having a blast making these videos for you guys. It's great hearing the interesting conversation, and swapping techniques with all of you artists. That said, I need to keep the lights on here in Ctrl+Paint tower, so you guys need to help spread the word! I hope you've noticed that the website has no advertising, and lost of free videos! None of this is free for me, so another way you can help is by purchasing one of the premium series from the store. Thanks, everyone - and keep being an amazing community!
Do you ever feel like you're treading water? You're stgnating, while the rest of the art community is progressing at lightning speed? You're not alone.This video is a little detour from the standard ctrl+paint technique videos to talk about inspiration, mindset, and 'getting better'. Ultimately, we're all experiencing this in one form or another, so it's worth talking about. Remember: even professionals feel sub-par a fair amount of the time. Art is mind game. UPDATE: It's been really, really great hearing these responses. Art is one of those challenges that we all take on personally - and can feel isolated by the effort. Knowing that everyone else is wrestling with similar issues can be a big help.
So keep the conversation going -- It's an important one to be a part of. Additionally, reader "Jonathan" reminded me of a fantastic series of videos by the radio host Ira Glass on storytelling and inspiration. He's the host of This American Life, and has a lot of experience fighting through the self doubt and frustration involved in creative work. It's definitely worth watching.
Visit any large book store and the 'art technique' shelf will be filled with titles like "How to Draw ___ (dragons, zombies, vampires, cars, etc.)" -- this is deception. Instead of useful instruction, this is merely a scheme to sell books. Want to learn the real secret of how to draw anything? Observe, and practice. This video shows a versatile approach to learning any kind of new subject-matter. As you progress in your art career you'll find that drawing isn't a set of individual recipes, it's a single way of working. When I set out to draw a dragon I use the same techniques that I would use to draw a fire hydrant. Hopefully this video will empower you to tackle the subject matter your're having trouble with - and to ignore the "1,2,dragon" shelf at the book store.
In school you've probably grown to loathe the term 'study'. When it comes to math and history, this term is synonymous with painstaking memorization. In the case of art this term can take on a slightly different meaning. On ctrl+Paint I often refer to 'studies', and this video helps to explain my meaning. Though your version might take on a different form than mine, 'studies' are the way you improve at art.