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Author Topic: Good programs for aspiring artists.  (Read 968 times)

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nukie

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Good programs for aspiring artists.
« on: April 18, 2017, 09:33:27 am »
My niece is, in my opinion, a great budding artist and in an effort to help nurture that we bought a drawing tablet.  I want to get a program or two installed as well so that she can hopefully flourish.

I know there are quite a few great artists out here so I was wanting to get your thoughts and opinions on what programs would be the best.  Leaning towards free or cheap to start while she gets the hang of the tablet and then we will look into pricier software if they truly are better.

Please let me know what software you have experience with or would recommend.

opt2not

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 11:07:32 am »
This is all she'll need for a while:

Serious. Fundamentals are key to master first before learning software.

Not sure the age of your niece, but you really want to nurture her talent, get her lessons or enrolled in classes, or books on Anatomy for artists, books on perspective drawing, or how to draw the x way ( x = cartoon/comic/realistic/etc...).

But if your dead set on getting her into the digital realm, I would have got her a digitizing pad instead of a full-fledged tablet. The Wacom Spark is a good example:
http://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/smartpads/bamboo-spark
You can still work on fundamentals as well as have your drawings digitized and cleaned up (these devices vectorize your images on the fly).

nukie

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 03:14:36 pm »
Thank you for the response Opt; you were one of the people I was hoping would chime in.

To add a little more background, my niece is 15 and has been drawing for years.  She has been involved in art classes, both in and after school, for as long as I can remember.  I would say that she has good fundamentals, but am admittedly no expert.

My wife and I felt that getting a tablet would be the next logical step.  We are looking at the Wacom Intuos as it appears to provide a bit more than the spark.


opt2not

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2017, 05:29:49 pm »
Understandable you feel that way, but I disagree with a full-fledged tablet being the next logical step. If she only draws, getting something like a Spark caters more to line art.
At 15 I guarantee she has a lot of room to learn the fundamentals. Things like perspective, proportions, value, materials, composition, colour coordination...these are all techniques you learn throughout the more maturing years of art creation.

Getting her a tablet now will also introduce some bad habits like relying on undos, using transform tools to fix proportions, and relying on layers to bypass planning out the image.

She's your niece, and of course do what you feel is best, but from an opinion from an artist that has made a career out of this, my advice is to not allow her to dive into the digital realm just yet.
Get her to learn more of the traditional skills...in different mediums. It will strengthen her knowledge and abilities in the long run.

Baring all that, if you still wanna go this route, get her Painter 5 essentials. It's like $50 these days and is fine for painting/drawing.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:00:04 pm by opt2not »

nukie

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 08:35:54 am »
Once again Opt thank you.  I came here because as her uncle I am biased and knew that I would get a more honest opinion from someone not related.  My art abilities culminate in having difficulties drawing stick figures.

I am definitely re-thinking getting any form of digital tablet at this point.  I'll continue on with the getting her classes in different aspects of art.

She is very interested in cartoon/comic style art and I've heard that most of that art is done via digital means now so thought getting her familiar with how to use it earlier would help her, but didn't even think about it instilling poor practices. 

mahuti

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 09:41:59 pm »
Speaking as a guy that *could* use a tablet... I choose not to. I personally don't find it any more useful than any other tool, but I do find it a little more constricting and soulless. I personally think the mistakes give character, finding a way around them adds it too. Unless you're really looking to do some kind of technical drawing, or high-speed illustration, I don't see the use of a tablet. 

As for being a budding artist... the #1 things:

1. practice constantly,
2. always push where you feel uncomfortable.
3. you learn a lot from "master drawing" (or painting). Pick an old master... something like Leonardo... or one of the other turtles, and copy a portion (or whole drawing) as accurately as she can. Need to make sure you have a very clear, close up view.
4. composition... she should read up on basic composition.
5. when drawing, use a hand mirror to get an instant self-critique of what you're doing. Seeing it in a whole new way will open your eyes.
6. Seek difficult-to-hear critique and use it to get better. It hurts. Bad. But it's good for you.
7. draw from life. Sometimes colleges have open model days where anyone can go and draw live models (there may be restrictions as some are nude)
8. draw the same thing multiple times. Eitehr trying to make it better, or trying different methods.
9. practice drawing without looking.

As for just raw skill & refining techniques, I'd recommend number 3 & 7 from my list... you really can learn a lot from masters, and from looking hard at reality. Whenever I get stuck for inspiration, I draw from masters or life. Even after doing this stuff professionally for 20 years, I'm still amazed at how little I see until I try to see. My drawing almost instantly gets better in some little way.
Formerly known for the (apparently now defunct) arcadeartlibrary

GrizzlyThunder

Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 06:31:37 am »
Third, what everyone else is saying. I have a Wacom tablet and it's wonderful and can be used for many different mediums but learning the hard way from the basics will set her up with much needed skills.


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morton

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Re: Good programs for aspiring artists.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 10:44:14 am »
I've seen some older artists who were more traditionally taught that have recently taken to using tablets and created some amazing art work, but I have to think the skills that were already there are what made their finished works what they are, not the tablet or technology. Cant deny the workflow would be smoother and quicker, but it's something that can always be adopted down the road.

While she is young, the best advice I have would be exposing her to great art and teachers... soak that sponge with knowledge while she's still got some sponge-like abilities... eventually teenagers tune everyone out  :lol

  
 

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