Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

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Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

Postby Bleu » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:56 am

Hello Everyone,

I will try to keep this as short as possible and I apologise if the title is a tad crass I was trying to be descriptive however I can see that I may be somewhat misleading. I have had "mental health issues" from a young age and have always used art as expression to try and deal with my conditions of which there are several sadly. I was not taught how to draw however as my Art Teacher in High School was a bit of a bon vivant preferring the odd drink and cigarette to actual lessons.

I've made do up until a few years ago when my hand started to behave oddly; I ended up in extreme pain and was eventually a year later once it had happened to the other hand diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis. Since then it has affected my ablity to walk and has left me mostly house bound. Except on good days which are completely random where I can walk and get out with friends these are at present months apart.

I would like to learn how to draw again and I would have to start from scratch as even holding a pencil was a challanage. Thanks to my "Physio" and Occupational Therapist however I got there. I guess one would say I had a talent for drawing before I'm not sure if that's gone now. I certainly didn't "know" anything I had no skills I know nothing about the principles of drawing etc. There is so much information out there though I don't want to start learning the wrong thing as in my experience it's much harder to break bad habits once you've learned them. Can you offer any advice on what to do? I am prepared to put in the time as I have lots of it.

I obviously have years of paints, pencils, pens and paper etc at home but I did not invest in quality materials. I didn't see the point. I know this is off lesser importance but if you could shed some light on what is best to use thus I won't waste too much money. A friend bought me a mechanical pencil (which was kind of her) a Rotring 600 and I like that a lot I have to say it's the first time I've used a mechanical pencils for any length of time.

Thank you for your time and I apologise again if this is not what this forum is for I just feel alone and helpless.


Regards,


Bleu.
"We are all born mad. Some remain so" ~ Estragon

Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett

(My avatar is Albrecht Dürer's Praying Hands.)
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Re: Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

Postby Andre Jute » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:36 pm

A pencil is ideal. Just start taking a line for a walk (the striking phrase is from Bert Dodson).

If you buy new pencils, Lyra makes a thick pencil in lines called Ferbie and Super Ferbie; I saw them at a school art materials supplier recently; also, Faber Castel makes thick pencils and some triangular ones.

But it strikes me that a propelling or clutch pencil is just the business for you. I don't know the Rotring 600, but it doesn't matter if it is thin. You can buy a short foam tube to slide on it, again at office/art supply stores, or wind some tape or foam (cut off the end of a kitchen sponge) around it.

The reason I mention thick pencils is that my hands cramp up if I hold thin pencils or brushes for long periods of time, which is not of the same order as your problems, I know, but makes me wonder if you could not handle a thick (or thickened) pencil more easily and for longer than a thin one.

Good luck.
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Re: Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

Postby RajeshS » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:33 pm

Hi dear Bleu,

It is heartwarming to hear you desire to draw :) I hope you stick to it and I hope it provides the peace and relaxation everyone who draw experience

There are several very good, talented artists here. We also a mix of hobbyists to the highest level of professional artists - at least I've seen - so I hope that if you stick along you will surely get some good tips and encouragement

I personally am an amateur hobbyist - but I've always liked drawing and had the same approach as you do - to want to learn it 'right' (if there is such a thing)

There are tips I got here that helped me

Do take a look at Russ' "online book" on sketching here.

At the cost of repetition - one tip I can provide is the two books: Key's to Drawing and Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain. I think both have great concepts to drawing right (again in my opinion)

Since my experience and knowledge are very limited. Have only used a pen most of the time and a little regular pencils. I still wonder if something like a graphite stick or the size of the pencil make a difference in terms of the stress on a hand.

Enjoy :)

rajesh
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Re: Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

Postby mdmattin » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:13 am

Hi Bleu, and welcome to this community. I second what Rajesh said about the range and diversity of the people here, and I would add that they are united in being supportive and generous with their knowledge. Besides experimenting with different drawing tools, you might also try different ways of holding them. I did a post on this subject a while back, and it turned out that the alternative grips helped someone who had been having pain in his hands from the standard way of holding a pencil. You could try drawing with a brush or fountain pen, which takes very little downward pressure to make a mark. Somewhat challenging at first, because you can't erase or be timid in your actions, but great for learning to loosen up.
You don't need expensive art supplies to learn to draw. Regular printer paper and pencil or ballpoint pan are what many artists start with, and some stick with. The most important thing is to do it lot, so you don't want to feel miserly or intimidated by fancy paper. If you find you like brush drawing, invest in a decent brush - it will make a big difference.
Try searching on this site - there are a lot of great artists who posted here in the past, (and for alll I know may still be lurking but too busy to post anymore) and their art and insights remain.
Matthew
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Re: Looking for Advice: "Learning Difficulties"

Postby RajeshS » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:51 pm

Hey Bleu - how's it coming?

Hopefully you've drawing / sketched - do post them!

rajesh
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