visualengineer:

The Art of Studying

I get asked a lot how I got so good in such a short amount of time. Well it’s relative. I spent tons of long hours (Still do) practicing and finding ways to improve! So the follow up question is, what did I do, SPECIFICALLY, to improve. 

I call it A.S.A.P. (everyone loves acronyms)

Assess

Study

Apply

Practice

Let me explain.

-I usually ASSESS the problem at hand. Something like “I need to work on my anatomy, but more specifically the arms.” Once I have done so, I do one painting/sketch to evaluate how bad I am, and try to pinpoint details that generally stand out to me. Gesture, edges, values, structure. I pick one, and begin the next step.

-STUDY my ass off. Not literally, but you know what I mean. And when I mean study I mean, “a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation.” as found in it’s definition. It just doesn’t mean copy paste, it means to STUDY. I gather books, videos, tutorials, images, blogs, whatever I can get my hands on and begin to learn. I spend countless hours of analysis until I feel ready to start the next step. 

-Which is APPLY what I have learned without reference or any real guide. This is a great way to see what information I retained and what I left by the wayside. And what’s great is I still have my notes and studies as a guide to remind me and keep me informed on my findings. As I APPLY my learning to my new painting(s) and feel like there may be some progress I jump to the final step.

-PRACTICE until I get sick of it. You see sometimes things will slip your mind if you only do it a few times. Repetition and PRACTICE helps me cement my findings to more practical use later. Letting my study actually become something of use which helps propel me forward. 

But let’s say you don’t see much improvement. The next thing you need to do is just rinse and repeat everything I said. I assure you if you devote tons of times to this method you will see improvement. Do not just copy and paste what you see. It will help for sure, but you will benefit so much more if you approach it like a scientist looking for the truth. 

Good Luck,
AJ

Solid stuff here!