Intro from beginner SVS learner

  • Hello!

    I am an amateur artist just starting to use the SVS courses. I have liked drawing since I was a kid, and I did a lot of art up through high school and then mostly stopped throughout college because I focused spending my time on other things. The university I went to had an "introduction to drawing" class that I attended but beyond that all of the art classes were for majors only. I got a degree in chemical engineering and then a law degree, and now I work full time as an intellectual property attorney. Almost all my experience is with patents, but if you have questions about copyright or trademark law feel free to send them my way!

    My wife recently decided to go back to school to be a nurse practitioner, and it made me think that it would be fun to go back to school to learn about something I enjoy. I live in Utah and I was actually considering trying to take art classes at UVU or another college nearby, but I decided that online courses would probably be a better fit for me since I already had the "university experience" and I have a job and a family. I am glad that I found SVS and I have loved the courses I have viewed so far.

    I went through the "How to Draw Everything," "Light and Shadow," "Creative Composition," "Visualizing Drawing in Perspective," and the "Rabbit Cycle Demo" classes. I feel like if I just watch the courses and do the exercises in the courses then I am going through the material too fast. Do any of you have advice about what I should do to study in addition to just watching the courses and doing the exercises? Should I do sketchbooking, or rewatch classes multiple times, or do different exercises, or something else?

    Thank you for your advice! I admire all the work I have seen posted on the forums. Here is a mech I drew after I watched Jake's Rabbit Cycle demo, tying to use some of the things I learned.


  • Hi!

    I have finished 2 classes: How To Draw Everything and the Light and Shadow course and I am working on 2: Drawing Fundamenals and Beginning in Photoshop along with Inktober. But I tend to go back for refreshing when I need to. Are there subjects or themes you like to work with? You showed us a mechanical unit digital painting. I would focus on continually learning the classes with a subject or theme in mind. As well as notice how you create line or use colour etc and practise keeping those elements consistent. Finding artists and illustrators that inspire you or you like looking at can help too, I love Pinterest for that. And last what is your goal or aim in creating work? Where do you imagine yourself being? A direction towards picture books or comics or character design can help focus your work as well.

    I hope these thoughts help.


  • One of the best ways I've found to practice is to start a project of some kind. A comic, or a collection of drawings (draw 100 somethings) or kid's book or art challenge (inktober, or the monthly SVS challenge). Ideally, even with watching the videos and doing the exercises you should be drawing as much as you can, and adopting a project of some kind can keep you plugging away at something even on days where you'd normally have 'nothing to draw'.

    The online courses are definitely a good choice. I've gotten more out of SVS courses than I ever did at the drawing courses I took in university.

  • @heather-boyd I will need to think about what I hope to accomplish - right now it is mostly just that I know I enjoy drawing and I want to learn to do it better. I would like to be able to create personal projects, not replace my day job. Although it would be great to eventually make some kind of side income from things I create. I think I'm interested in making my own comics, and it is hard not to become interested in children's books when listening to the SVS podcast. I will definitely watch the courses about drawing comics. Thanks for the tip of looking for illustrators I like on Pinterest! I have found a few illustrators and concept artists that I particularly like.

  • @art-of-b Thanks, I like the draw 100 somethings idea, and I probably should start some kind of project like that. I tend to feel like I want to be better at drawing before starting a project, but I should probably just jump in and start something and learn as I go. Maybe I'll start a comic short story or something. I'll try to remember to apply things I learn in the courses to what I'm working on.

  • @dlarmantrout welcome! I'm relatively new here as well-and like you have a full time job I enjoy but want to get better at drawing (which I also enjoy). I've watched Inking (1.0), Fundamentals, and am watching sculpting a model (my sense of "gesture" can only get better). Do you listen to the podcasts? They are awesome. They sent me to listen to Neil Gaiman's commencement address (on Youtube)-which has me thinking a lot about what is "my mountain." And Jake's outline in Episode 2 of what to do in the year before to get ready to go to art school (at a university or online)--it's given me a lot of very practical suggestions. I'm collecting images and identifying artists that would be in my ideal portfolio. Then I plan to consider Lee's ideas about studying them to identify WHAT I like, and using that as a guidepost to my next practice. Welcome to the fun!

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