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Off on a tangent

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It's always interesting revisiting artwork I haven't looked at in awhile. Invariably, I see things that need to be changed that I completely missed before. Usually this happens because I was so focused on getting individual details right, that I didn't step back and look at the overall picture with an objective eye. Not seeing the forest for the trees, as it were.With the RPS label, the problem turned out to be bad tangents. It's a pretty complex line drawing with overlapping objects, and those tend to invite bad tangents to happen.In art, tangents are shapes or lines that come together in ways that draw attention to themselves. While this can be used to your advantage, generally, they're undesirable. They start popping out of the drawing like arrows pointing at each other.tangent.gifIn this case, there are two curved horizontal lines that look like they should connect. However, the shapes they define are unrelated, so they really shouldn't line up at all. Secondly, there's a vertical line that comes down from where those lines would meet. Finally, there's another line coming in from above that also hits that intersection.The way to get rid of tangents is to break them. Either by overlapping the objects, or separating them. It's easy enough to do, but it meant going back to the line art and fixing it before getting into the coloring.notangent.gifHere, I moved the horizontal line on the left up slightly, and moved the overlapping triangular shape over. The change is hardly noticeable, but that intersection no longer calls attention to itself.So the tangents have been dealt with, and the rest of the line art has held up pretty well since I last looked at it. There's nothing glaring that needs to be fixed (there was plenty of that earlier), and the coloring is well under way. I didn't get as far as I would have liked this weekend, but I'm pleased with the progress so far. If I piece away at it, I can probably have it wrapped up in another week.

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It is always interesting to read that there are rules in art, just as in programming. Perhaps if I had been taught this way I would actually be able to draw something :sad: However, when I was at school the favoured method of art teaching was osmosis (expose the kids to lots of art and they should magically absorb the skills) and as a result I never got anywhere!

 

Chris

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I got taught both ways. The "watch and learn" thing never worked for me, either. I always needed to know the "hows" and "whys". I always wanted to know rules I could apply that would make my art look better. There are plenty of rules in art... the key is knowing when to apply them, and when to ignore them.

 

The other key is knowing when to cut your losses, and find another art class.

 

I was in a drawing class in college one day, and the instructor (a hippie in his mid-50's), had us sit on the floor, cross-legged, with our drawing pads in front of us.

 

He then took a piece of conte crayon, and told us, "Now, pretend this is a little bug. And it's walking across the beach... and oh! Here comes a wave! Now it's washing him back down the beach. Now he starts walking up the beach again... and here comes another wave!" all the while, flopping the crayon around on the page like it was a little bug, walking along the beach.

 

I sat there, dumbfounded for a minute or two, got up, walked out of the class, and ended up dropping out of the college.

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I sat there, dumbfounded for a minute or two, got up, walked out of the class, and ended up dropping out of the college.

 

I have never taken any art classes beyond high school. Each lesson would consist of a few minutes of vague instructions from the teacher and we would be assigned some kind of project. He would then disappear into a side room for the remainder of the lesson, while a distinct aroma of marijuana would waft from his hiding place! I don't recall learning anything from those lessons, and I soon lost interest. However, I have been keen on photography for the past few years, and I have been meaning to take some art classes to see if I can apply some of the same skills.

 

Chris

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