Motivation to continue learning

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    Lise Dupuis


    I wonder if it’s a great idea (for me) to work on a personnal portfolio while I’m taking classes. Since I started this, my motivation to draw in an academic way has decreased a lot. I do not like this because now I have to push myself to watch the videos and practice the proposed figures that I find boring unlike all my portraits projects. There is still so much to learn from DTO. I do not know if other members have the same difficulty? For me, I think it’s more important to stay focused on my classes but it’s hard for now.

    What do the other members think and especially you, Matt?


    Arjun Khode

    Hi Lise. In my almost 5 months at DTO, I remember doing only one drawing that was a homework type assignment and that was a skull taken from the photo reference gallery. I always choose subjects that directly align with my passion. For me, academic style and realism mean everything, but I try to apply the techniques I learn to the things I really really love. What is your endgame? For me it is drawing the most beautiful women with a perfect likeness. I have been following your art and I really admire your sincerity with the homework assignments. I would love to know what you love to draw the most?

    I also get to learn how to select reference images better when I pick external subjects, which is quite important. For example, today I failed a portrait drawing and learned that I find drawing slightly tilted heads very hard because I have a tendency to straighten things a lot. Sometimes, I feel as though I am forgetting things to think of while drawing, or feel as though I am inadequate in some aspect that really troubles me. Then I definitely commit to studies very seriously.

    I remember I tried to do a lot of sculpture paintings in a series because I used to think that is what academic artists do. But it completely burned me out and I could not draw anything for 2 weeks after that. From then, I made it a point to remember that if I am going to draw something, I have to really connect with it emotionally first. I know that might be considered a ‘fine-art’ type mindset, but even now sometimes it happens with me that I don’t ‘feel’ a connection with the subject after I have begun to draw it, I have two choices, either stop that drawing, or go learn the technical skills required to capture that subject and come back to it. Sometimes I come back to the subject, and sometimes I just move on to another subject, but keep it in my mind that I need to learn that skill. That’s how I try to balance it.


    Lise Dupuis

    Hi Arjun,

    My goal is the same as yours: to make very realistic portraits. At the same time, I want to improve my drawings generally. I think my problem is that I am a very methodical person. I like doing things from start to finish and I want to practice everything Matt teaches us, but I’m a bit tired of drawing the same person.

    In addition, it seems to me that it is difficult to find another model that fits a particular course. I think the best thing is to take my pain patiently until I go to the portrait class.
    In any case, I thank you for your response that made me feel good and made me realize that ultimately, the choice belongs to me.

    Magnus Burén

    My advice would be – practice the classes you feel you “must” do when you have time/need for those, but also make sure to study the classes you’re passionate about – at least as much.

    Art should imho opinion be about joy, passion and self expression. Focus on that and study the “tools” as a necessary mean to express yourself the way you want to.

    10 years ago, starting to draw daily I hated value scales and drawing basic shapes over and over. I wanted to draw big castles, epic battles including hundreds of figures etc 😀

    The more I draw the more I find the need to (in a passionate, joyful way) really dive in to the subtleties of values, transitions, how to render shade on a sphere etc.

    To put it simple: Don’t force yourself to do things that make the passion that is making art burn less bright. After all: If it is not fun (or a beneficial and therefore important step towards a goal) – why do it?

    Best of luck, keep drawing/doing what you love and the pieces will surely fall into its proper places 🙂

    Lise Dupuis

    You are right, Magnus. That’s what I realized when I changed the module in DTO. I started the one of the peanut shape form from imagination or from de life and that fascinates me more. I decided to listen to each video and concentrate on what I like most. Thanks for your comments.



    I would love to hear more replies on this question. But no doubt, I will talk to this in Monday’s podcast.


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