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  • AnonymousWhat are those red and blue pencils you always use? At first I thought they were just prismacolors, but whenever I try to stack other media on top of them they don't take very well.
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    That’s what they are.  The Prismacolor col-erase pencils.  I mostly use red, blue, or orange.  Not sure what media you are using to stack on but I’ve been kind of successful with brush pens, sigma white gel pens, prismacolor markers and copics.  I’ve noticed pastels and conte crayons fight the lines though so I no longer use those.  All of these work best on toned paper in case you’re only using white paper.  Just my thoughts.  Good luck, maybe one of these mediums listed give you better results.

    Cheers,

    Bean

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  • kitsunekei1Good Afternoon Bret ,I wanted to ask another question, if it doesn't bother you. What do you do when you feel stuck, because I have this periods (each week to be precise ) when I just cant draw, even a single line, the pencil or the brush doesn't move, no matter how hard I try to do something, my arm cant move and its impossible for me to draw. Do you have this trouble? and if you do, How do you deal with it? Thank you so much for your time again :)
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    Well it sounds like your body and mind are telling you that a recharge is in order.  If you can’t find the will to draw at that moment, don’t.  I Take moments to recharge.  I’ll read a chapter from a book, pick up a comic, listen to some music.  Just Zone out for a moment.  I’ll buy an audiobook and go for a long walk. Feel the earth beneath my feet but for gods sakes I DO NOT SURF THE INTERNET! 

    It’s a time suck and a waste of creative moods.  You’d be surprised by how much silly time we keep from ourselves by clicking and scrolling incessantly.  And yes, I know that people get inspired by the internet and look at art and blah blah blah….  Whatever…… I believe It’s just hard to have full thoughts or problem solving ideas when you’re constantly bombarded with imagery, sounds, and clickity clacks…..

    On the professional side we sometimes don’t get that luxury.  But I still step away or problem solve the issue mentally.  I come up with a plan to attack the problem, take a coffee break, then dive back in because it’s got a deadline.  Deadlines force decisions. 

    If it’s for a client.  No excuse, just do it.  Don’t miss your deadlines.  In a professional setting, it’s more important in my opinion and the opinion of almost every client I’ve ever had.  Power through that.

    But if I have the time, the stopping and thinking about the issue helps.  That’s when I feel most creative and thoughtful.  When my brain is relaxed and refueled, I usually come up with something to start with when I get back to the drawing table.

    It happens from time to time.  I just try to be inspired by something new.  Just the other day I started riffing on a story idea merely because something happened on my walk and I started making stuff up to fit the scenario.  It’s not just about getting art on paper.  Being creative is important and breaks are too.  That works most of the time for me.

    But if it’s not working out, taking a break and refocusing is better than beating yourself up.  Also think about the last time you truly vacationed from your job.  If you, like me, turned your favorite hobby into a career, you need to step away from that and take a vacation.  If you haven’t had a week away from your art in a 2 year spread, do it.  It’s necessary.  Gain perspective, allow your hands to rest, and brain to take in more information about other vital things to you.

    Good luck, hope it helps

    Cheers,

    Bean

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  • AnonymousIf you hate the work you make and you feel like you haven't changed at all in ten or so years, how can you start to pick apart your images to find those things you hate to change them? I know that experimentation is the thing that will get me past this, and I've been experimenting like crazy in my sketchbooks, but I don't understand how to apply anything I've been playing with to the finals and I'm not sure how to critically analyze the work?
  • Wow…you people ask tough questions…where are all the easy one’s like, “What’s a pencil do?”  And “how long do you cook a 3 minute egg?”

    OK.  First, maybe identify what part of the pieces you “hate”.  It’s a strong word and maybe what you should do is reverse that thought.  So Here:

    Start 4 new folders.  Label them Colors, shapes, draftsmanship, composition.

    Start saving art that inspires you into these separate folders.  AND BE SPECIFIC! Be very conscious of the images you choose and where they go. (And don’t do the whole grab an entire folder uploaded from school BS stuff either)  (Or grab all of the art from one artist that your teacher said was good into a folder)  BE VERY SPECIFIC

    While you are doing that, start to unfold the reasons “WHY”. WHY does the composition of this one speak to you? WHY do the colors say so much to you.  Is it because they reflect light so well? Is the WHY, because the colors that artist chose are so unbelievably fake and otherworldly and that’s appealing?  WHY are those shapes so fun?  Because they are unique?  They say something about the subject matter?  The flow?  Did you choose that piece of art under draftsmanship because it’s so detailed?  Or the opposite?

    If you can start to understand and pinpoint aspects of the reasons why something speaks to you, maybe you can begin to add it to your own art.  It’s hard for sure, and easier to go on default mode.  But look at the positives and bring those into your world.  It seems like you’re stuck picking your world apart, maybe piecing it back together might be in order….

    As for the 2nd half of your really tough question….

    Ask yourself, “what is final?”

    There are so many final pieces of art and artists that range from pencils to finished oil paintings.  If the inner artist is satisfied, it’s final.  If the client who is paying you isn’t satisfied…it’s not final…..

    Maybe ask yourself how do you want an audience to react to this piece?  Is is a sense of rhythm?  Action?  Colors?  depth?  Get lost in the environment?

    So it’s “final”  when you think you’ve achieved that.  It’s tough to critically analyze oneself for sure.  I try to think of it as a fan/peer/client when I look at my work when the artist inside says, aw, I think that’s good.  I take a step back, move on to something else with my artist mentality.  Then later when I’m more engrossed in a  new thing I look at the old thing and it’s easier to see what I would change or fix.  When I think of what my original intent was, I downplay things that crept in or don’t stand out.  So as an audience member, it feels more like what I meant in the first place.

    I’m sure you analyze and critique art from others in some fashion.  Take a less personal stance and do the same.  But less hate, that’s not constructive.  That’s just mean, even to yourself and probably creates a negative wall that’s even harder to climb over or break thru.  If you look through your sketchbooks and aren’t great at something, tackle that.  Go from there.  Have a plan.  Experimenting doesn’t always work out if you have no plan.  Some happy accidents like the polio vaccine, pasteurization, and beer were all happy accidents but most experiments are thought out.  So plan it.  This week, small thumbnails.  Next week, spaceships.  etc etc.  I call it Intelligent mileage

    Then look at your folders, add elements you like to your own thoughts and sketches

    Then figure out what “final” means to you and try your best to achieve it.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Bean

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