Dylan Jansen (nuked)

5 replies · posted

Absolute beginner trying my best to start somewhere, any tips?

Hey everyone, I've been really interested with concept art for a while now to bring ideas to life and tried starting recently, even having bought a tablet and such. I've also used Unity and Blender before and have a solid foothold in those two. This site very much starts at the absolute bottom with those and I was pleased to review that and even learn some things I didn't know (especially in Blender with its intricate interface).

However, I started out in concept art with absolutely zero experience with concept art let alone drawing at all. The courses are good fun and contain great theory, I watched up until the colour section and I thought that the courses seem like they were intended for people who have already had a grasp on it and were pushing forward but I'm a little lost. Especially when I can hardly draw a line that doesn't look like mangled spaghetti that's cooked in certain parts and uncooked in others.

Probably just a lack of practice, I have to apply these concepts is what I thought... so I ventured into the exercise section, and boy, even the most simple exercise looked daunting when peeking into the submissions. Over the past few days I've tried to employ shading but the object just looks like an uneven spray can tint, I cant even really do sharp shapes like a cube at this point with the whole soft brush hard brush combo. I'm at a bit of a standstill at the colour section because I'm afraid if I advance even further then the material will be even more overwhelming and I won't be able to apply it. An example of this is in the shape language section which was great but there's no way I can dabble in that at this stage.

Is there any wisdom you nice fellas with stunning works can spare? I'd like to just know how to move forward from here because everything feels like too much of a jump at this point. How do I work on these techniques? What should I know about? What's a good start to draw? Maybe it's not that hard and I'm trying to jump in at the deep end but I have no clue.

Sorry about the wall, thank you for reading this and I look forward to any replies!

  • Hey there!

    That's a very long post you have there, I didn't mind reading it, but I would keep it more to the point next time. 

    First of all, I think it's really cool you started with concept art, you will be able to create beautiful things when you put some time into it. 

    I would advice you to look up Andrew Price (Blender Guru), because he started digital painting as a complete beginner and has some great articles and videos about it.

    Another thing I would do is get some traditional drawing knowledge first, so you understand the fundamentels like shape and value.


    I hope this helps!

  • Fellow drawing/concept art beginner here, bought myself a tablet too despite having practically zero experience with drawing (though that was also because I could use it with blender). I had/have the same problems as you, with being intimidated by the courses and exercises and I'll share what I've learned/discovered, albeit what little I have.

    Whilst my end goal is to primarily use a tablet to draw art with software like Photoshop and GIMP, I think baukepost is right in that having a fundamental understanding of traditional drawing is vital. I've personally been using the website Draw A Box which teaches you the absolute basics (and some more advanced subjects later on) for free (though you need to pay to have your work critiqued by the website owner, but can post it to the subreddit instead) and I'd concentrate on this for now, learning things like posture, how to draw straight lines , 3D perspective among other things is universal in art and will greatly benefit you when you decide to put down the pen and pick up the stylus (website link: http://drawabox.com/lesson/1).

    This will take a bit naturally, I've been doing it for about 2-3 weeks now and whilst I'm not drawing characters or environments yet I've noticeably improved, and this is something you'll forever be improving over the years. If you do this I'd recommend you log/date your practice, so you can compare when you started to how you're faring now.

    I haven't done much of the digital art courses yet, but I understand how you feel, though personally I feel (at least with me) it's more to being unfamiliar with the software and the more you become familiar with it (and the more you practice traditional drawing) the better you'll become accustomed. Hope this helps you in some way!

  • Thanks for the replies and encouragement! I am well familiar with Andrew Price, the great Blender Guru but I didn't know about him and digital painting, I'm really keen to check that out. 

    Also, based on the description on the homepage, Draw A Box sounds like music to my ears. I'll give that a go too. I have saved the little I've done but haven't put a date to it, guess I'll start from now. A quick side question though, how useful is the tablet in Blender, have you gotten much use out of it so far and what for? Sculpting and texture painting?

    Looks like I gained somewhat of a lead on the cold trail, I appreciate the help. Best of luck in your own endeavors too.

    • From what I've done and seen, texture painting and sculpting are what you're mostly gonna be using it for (and other similar things such as weight painting), otherwise a mouse is just as efficient in my experience. This is also due to the fact of the tablet I'm using (Wacom Intuos) seems to be a little on the ol' sensitive side and sometimes struggles to differentiate between a tap and a drag (not to mention the drivers are as of now rather sensitive with Chrome so it can be a pain to navigate websites with it, rather irrelevant if you focus on one thing when using your tablet). I prefer using my mouse on things such as hard surface modeling, but this is mostly down to personal preference such as preferring right clicking over left clicking which is something you'll be doing a lot of in HSM and is rather clunky with a stylus. 


      Overall I'd say unless you're doing things such as sculpting a bunch it's probably best not to get a tablet solely for Blender (but fortunately this wasn't the case) because there just seems so many things that a mouse is more or less the same at doing, but in certain areas a tablet can truly shine.


      Glad we could help you, if you have any more inquiries I'm sure one or some of us will be able to help you. I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to what you create!

  • One of the things I'm also looking to work on is airbrushing and there is a single course hidden under the clay sculpting section. Although the info on how an airbrush works doesn't really apply, there are some practice exercises that could be a place you could start with adapted to Photoshop on doing lines and dots and circles. Even traditional artists will often do these types of things as warm ups. Being new to using a tablet these types of exercises can help with developing a sense of feel for the pressure sensitivity. 

    Also, don't be afraid to practice tracing by loading up an image you like with low opacity and then tracing over it on another layer. You can even use Blender to pose a model, position it front of the camera and do quick render to use as a base reference to trace over. Then as you get better at tracing, move your reference to another screen and practice drawing it.