Aaron Blaise is an animator/all-encompassing artist/ teacher who’s worked with Disney and several other animation studios for the past three decades (don’t quote me on that number). He directed Brother Bear, and was the supervising animator on multiple different characters in other Disney films. His YouTube channel is an absolute gold mine for any artist to tap into—anybody can get something out of watching his videos. Unfortunately, his following is pretty meager in comparison to what it should be, especially considering how great his videos are! If you get a chance, you should really check out and subscribe to his channel. I’ve already watched through all of his videos twice!
macintyrerath asked: I love everything you do! Thank you for creating all the great things on here. Question; how do you approach drawing practice? I'm feeling kinda stuck lately, and I want to try other people's methods of getting going, and are there any resources that you would suggest? (Books, videos, the like.) I really appreciate it!
Thanks for the kind words! I’m just another art pilgrim like you so please take everything I say with a grain of salt.
When I’m feeling like I’m in a rut, there’s a few different things I like to try:
- Go outside and draw from life, or attend a life drawing session with a model. This is where I like to explore new things and not have to worry about accuracy or whether or not a drawing is “good” or “bad”. Just draw.
- Observe and replicate a piece you admire (this is where keeping reference or “art” folders on a computer come in handy). This should be purely for practice, not for showing off. How did this artist treat the arm, legs or anything? Why did they do this? How did they do this? Always ask questions. So much can be learned by what others have already discovered. This is a great way to become versatile with “style”, whatever that is.
- Be honest with yourself and determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If all you find yourself drawing are monster heads (hahhah)or muscle-bound dwarves THAT’S FINE, but chances are you haven’t taken the time to try much else. Draw everything! Coffee mugs, chairs, plants, clouds, dogs, anything and everything. Don’t expect the first drawing to be any good, that’s not the point. The point is to expand your visual vocabulary while trying new things. Sometimes making a list can help ("I’m good at ___, but not great at ___" etc).
- Walk away from the drawing board and do something different before coming back. Read a book on philosophy, whatever. Chances are you’ll come up your best ideas when you aren’t even holding a pencil (but when they do come go write that shit down!).
Don’t try to force greatness upon yourself. Be patient. Work hard but don’t forget to go outside and live a bit of your life away from art forums and blogs. Art books and how to’s can only get you so far. Let experience inform your art and try to have fun!
Here’s some extra reading from the brilliant Wouter Tulp on taking your time: link
Posting this publicly in case anyone else out there is struggling (aren’t we all though?).
Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to respond to this! I really appreciate it.