Friday, July 24, 2009
I was playing around with coloured pencils and discussing technique with some others in a learning environment, so said I'd try this tutorial by Brian Duey, along with others and see how it turned out.
As I went through the exercise, I think it was fairly well explained if not a little weak on words regarding technique, and illustrated, however my only criticism is that there wasn't a reference image or a master line drawing to show areas of shade/light, so I was drawing 'blind' as it were. Simply following the images provided with some guidance from words. For a tutorial, these, to me, are crucial elements. Creating art involves a lot of observational skills as well as practical techniques and it made me think about what makes a good tutorial.
First I believe that a tutorial on drawing needs to be completed by an artist. No one else could understand the intricacies and problems that drawing involves except an artist who encounters them every day.
Secondly, a tutorial needs to be written by someone who can communicate effectively and who understands the learning process and how to enable it in others.
There are many artists, but few who can do both things well.
There are endless tutorials on every aspect of art technique and medium, from professionally made kits to DVD and online video. There are a lot of very good ones and also a lot of very poor ones.
Its true that a lot of beginning artists rely heavily on tutorials to give them a grounding in technique, but more experienced artists also use tutorials to help familiarize themselves with new mediums or techniques.
Because there are simply overwhelming numbers of tutorials, and the range of quality so vast, it would be impossible to recommend any. People always are asking for 'good' tutorials on various aspects of drawing or coloured pencil or painting etc. I understand that definition of 'good' as meaning providing answers to questions about a technique and making it easier for the individual to understand and apply it to their own piece. Many tutorials are aimed at beginners in whatever medium is being shown and often the quality of the tutorial usually speaks for itself and should provide answers to several questions:
1. Is the technique clearly explained and illustrated?
2. Does the tutorial explain what materials I need and how to use them?
3. Does the tutorial provide clear illustrations or photographs of an example of the technique. Is there a reference image and a final piece shown?
What do you need to find in an art tutorial to make it worthwhile? Do you use online tutorials or do you print them and use them for later reference? Do you use video tutorials and are they useful in seeing a technique being applied? Do you buy DVDs or CDs on art techniques or workshops and once viewed, do you return to them repeatedly?