How Tuji Started Drawing
Tuji likes to draw :3 He likes to capture a moment in time and to represent what is on his mind.
Tuji is not sure how, but his parents got him into an ink painting class for kids. It did not teach anything of consequence. The kids simply copied what the teacher told them to paint. Dip your brush into paints. Make it inhomogeneous. Twirl your brush on paper in S curve. And you get a disc with interesting colours. Based on discs, kids painted chicks which are essentially two fuzzy discs, grapes which consist of many more circles and roses which use ellipses as petals... Ink can be red BTW. Tuji never got beyond these and he felt quite bored with the limited subject matters. Then abruptly Tuji stopped taking classes, because school was busy.
He does not remember what happened in the intertweening years until he started reading and copying from manga all the pretty girls and boys. He also designed random good-looking people in manga style. He remembers absolutely nothing from art class in school. He was happy with manga pals.
Thus he kept drawing things without any knowledge of fundamentals... and produced not-so-good-looking scenes from imagination. but he would like to remark here that the designs look interesting even today. He just couldn't execute well.
At a certain point, Tuji got into contact with computers and somehow, as everybody initially does, acquired a pirated copy of Photoshop. He was thrilled by all the possibilities except that he couldn't harness those at all. He started with a mouse and then switched to a shitty drawing tablet and wrecked his wrist which never recovered. The end. [Currently he is learning human anatomy which may help him figure out what has broken as a side effect.]
He returned to pencil and paper and tried to get into ink and paper. At this point, Tuji got access to various resources. He bought some books on ink to read. The collected wisdom of human knowledge in art that took generations to crystalise is formidable though some may have been inaccurate and some may have been superceded by better methods. He followed exercises which made him more aware of the capability of his tool, the pen. He knew how to shade 10 steps in blackness by varying the density of strokes. This simple gauging exercise was extremely helpful. Anyway he didn't like ink much as he felt it was limiting. He preferred pencil and he did an analogous exercise in pencil of shading 10 grades of blackness. Another exercise that was helpful was first fixing 2 points on paper which are quite far apart and then connect them with a straight line segment. There two were the initial exercises. Tuji did not do the rest of the exercises which could have been beneficial but which just bored the hell out of him.
While on the topic of books, Tuji would like to mention Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. It is a book that enabled Tuji to see what he sees rather than what he thinks he sees. He didn't follow the exercises to the end either. He got the principle. Switch off interpretation and compare length or angles of lines on possibly completely irrelevant objects. With this, one can copy exactly what one sees. Once one can see one's mistakes, one improves fast. However at this stage Tuji has not solved the problem of representing his imaginary world... and actually everybody around Tuji holds the opinion that Tuji doesn't have an ounce of imagination.
Tuji wanted to be able to construct scenes. He remembered vaguely how objects look smaller when farther away, which is a property of perspectives. Initially he just eyeballed it and put in some lines to mark how objects of the same size should look in the picture. Well, intuition does not always work. Thus one day he worked out perspectives from the definition. Then he knew how to place things in a scene. Coupled with experience from copying real life scenes, he could flesh out his imaginary scenes.
Meanwhile Tuji returned to digital painting as he acquired an iPad and iPads have been improving fast. Meanwhile Tuji joined a gaming community and he drew quite a lot of fan art :3. The quantity advanced him.
Meanwhile apparently he read more tutorials on digital painting and got a tip on colouring. One should shift the hue of shadow areas in addtion to darkening it. Warm shadow if light is cool and vice versa. This is actually too much simplification, but it is crucial in breaking out of the shackle your intuition weaves for you.
Then he became more and more unsatisfied with his colouring and his characters and the static nature of the poses etc.
He embarked on reading James Gurney's book on Color and Light. One has to think of how light bounces around. There is a section on caustic which led Tuji to discover the gem of POV-Ray renderer, which he marked for the future.
Meanwhile he also tried to learn anatomy to figure out
how to resurrect how to construct more realistic characters and in more natural or dynamic poses.
He would like to learn the basics of Blender to help with complicated scenes, but he has not gotten time to. One does not write 'meanwhile' all the time!