Before I get into that though, I want to take a moment aside and make it crystal clear to you that I really don't believe success will come from just what you're willing to do to get it. It's more than that. I think it is really going to come down to what you're willing to sacrifice to get where you want to be, whether it’s mindless TV binging, Netflix marathons, clubbing, or even constant outings with friends. You and I are going to have to treat this just like a job...better yet, as our small business. It's going to take 40-60-80 hours weekly of constant work to get this bad boy up and running and more still to turn a profit. That's okay though, because can you seriously imagine dedicating that time to anything else that would yield half as enjoyable results? Me either.
And for anyone thinking they don't have the time, or they can't find the time, let me just say, you have to MAKE TIME for this.
Do the math. 7 days a week, 24 hours in a week is 168 hours. You can work a 40 hour work week, commit 40 hours to art, and you'll still have 88 hours for sleep/food/gym/etc. Which, breaks down to an easy 36 hours sleep, 21 hours of food, 4 hours of gym time, with 27 hours leftover for commutes/bathroom breaks/hygiene/ etc. Obviously, these are not personalized but come on tell me again how we don't have time, exactly?
It was that realization that led me to make calendars, that and an old post by Dave Rapoza when he was studying. I strongly advise laying out a calendar like this, but not so that every detail of your life is laid out. No, this calendar is a goal, a structured ideal of what you want for every day. Life happens, shit happens, but when stuff starts going awry and you need to not think about what you're doing next the calendar has it laid out for you.
This is Dave Rapoza's study schedule he followed that led me to make my first one:
And this is my first one, clearly I was quite into micro managing my time:
It really helped and worked for a while there. My biggest problems are, and have been, when midterm or final paintings were due for class. That's really when you see if you've been budgeting enough time for projects or not.
What should I be studying?
Unfortunately, that really depends on your skill level. What do I think is needed for the beginner? It's gotta be the big three, understanding 3D form in 2D space, understanding human anatomy, and getting grips with value. Forget color until you can manage values well.
Scott Robertson is my favorite perspective and forms in space guy. "How to Draw" is the title of his book and just wow. Also, he does Free Tutorial Fridays on YouTube, check him out!
I used Quickposes.com for photo reference when doing gestures, and I still do. Proko YouTube channel is an amazing entry point to learning the human figure and Andrew Loomis' "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth" Aside from that I jumped in a figure drawing class ASAP.
Understanding values starts getting into painting itself and if you're going digital I'm going to recommend you start at Ctrl+Paint.com and check out Matt Kohr's extensive library. Consider strongly spending $10 on his basic rendering digital download. Fantastic aid for the cost.
Links to all these references can be found to the right, in my 'Awesome Links' section.
In my next entry, I'm going to talk more about intermediates, where I feel I am, and what I'm doing to improve. Also, I’ll include info about the upcoming Illuxcon Scholarship deadline, and my current projects.