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A Rat's journey in oil painting.

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cause the rat:

This is taken from a post on an oil painting facebook page. This is actual advice giving to people.

I'll take this number by number.

#1 Don't compare your work to others. Compare the new work with the old.

If you have an art style you like try to make a copy of it by hand. This is called 'master studies'. It improves your understanding of how it was done. This has been taught in high end art schools for hundreds of years. Comparing your old work with your new. If your not actively trying to get better it should look about the same.

#2 You don't have to go to an art school. But doing so will get your further, faster.

The only bit of advice on this list that makes any sense. Unfortunately the first sentence is about as far as most people get. I would love to have the time to go to an art school.

#3 Someone, somewhere will love what you do. And pay for it. Find them.

Furry fandom? This should not be an excuse to not get better. Because furry fandom you should get better.

#4 Really good work takes a really long time. Be patient with yourself.

This is the very reason people spend years putting out crap. Or worst, never get better. NO, don't work on what your bad at. Keep doing it over and over again. There's no reason to be hard on yourself.

5 Create every single day. Even if it's all garbage. You can't improve on a blank canvas."

 Just have fun everyday.

This has only been up for two hours. It already has 127 likes and 33 posts praising it like it's cannon. Folks this is horrible advice. I"m not going to reply to this on that page. All that would happen is a lot angry responses to my post. Because that bad advice is what's been given for years.

cause the rat:
Sorry, double post. But that really needed to be a stand alone statement.

As people we like contrast. It's the first thing that we notice in a good piece of art. That's how we see things in real life. We create contrast to better focus on what we are looking at. This is my hurdle. This is why I'm struggling with doing value studies. I'm training myself to see contrast as a whole. Not just what I happen to be looking at.  If a value study was nothing more than painting blue, adding white to it and paint that color. Then add more white and paint that color. I"m DONE! Value included every color needed in that part of the art work. Not just blue and green. This is just a starting point. And how those values compare to the values in the rest of the painting. Understanding value is understanding how colors come together to make a good piece of work. And man do I need more work :) Hopefully have a pic to post soon.

Jade Sinapu:
I agree Cause,
I found a few GOOD examples of furry art by well known people and STUDIED that, and only that, and discarded the junk examples.
I practiced and drew what I could.  Then I improved.  I ended up making a copy of the original, but... seriously... it looked good.  And if you saw the 10's of previous images, you can see the progression. So I say study good art, improve on what you are bad at, and have fun!
I think your advice is sound

cause the rat:
Thanks Jade. Glad to hear you took the time and effort to get better. Now you know you can get better faster just by breaking your drawing down and only working on the problem area.  Then go back and do a real drawing. it wont take 10's to get better.

I would like to add to my response to #1. Actually started thinking about this at work.

 Always compare your work with where you want to be. Never compare what you do today with what you did yesterday. The idea is to get better by comparison. Where you where yesterday no longer matters. Progression is never achieved by looking behind you. Looking behind you may reinforce bad habits.

That list of horrors doesn't just come from folks on line. It comes from teachers and people with 'how to do art' youtube channels.

cause the rat:
Jade, In my last thread you asked about color shift in oils paints. Came across a video on Titanium White. Apparently titanium will yellow if it's not exposed to natural light. However if it does yellow all you have to do is expose it to a window without direct sun light. In a few hours it turns back white. It's like the blue sky will bleach it.

Nothing yet to show. Just a gab thread. I've had two value studies that almost worked!!!  :) After doing this for a bit its becoming easier to see value ( the shade of the color ) instead of just the color. Even better is I'm to the point where when the value is wrong I see it right away. Judging one color to the next has gotten me a lot farther than I was. However I think I'm hitting a wall. So I'll continue doing value studies. Because just how much fun could anyone possibly have by painting seven stripes of color by value? Ya, that's about the jest of it. Like the brush control exercises I continue to do. Boring, tedious and mind numbing. Am I getting better because of it. Yes. Anyway, back to the wall. Going to do partial painting studies. Try to copy very small sections of actual paintings. Choosing these small sections for their value and contrast. then judging my copy both by how well it matches what I'm looking at. And how well the color values are working with each other. Even if the colors are off. Value, not color, is what makes a painting.


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