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Is learning how to draw necessary?

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2014, 07:34 AM
Isolde Isolde is offline
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Is learning how to draw necessary?

Hello everyone! I am new here, and I am blown away by how awesome and full of useful info this forum is. I just wanted to ask you all a quick question because I am going through a bit of a struggle. I have always enjoyed taking pictures, and the reason why I do that is that I cannot draw a single line to save my life. I would like to learn how to retouch my pictures, and because from what I see there is a big correlation between photo retouching and painting, I have started taking some art classes. The fact is that I am not making any progress whatsoever. I am in my 20s and do not recall having ever drawn a single picture even as a child. They keep making me practice drawing straight lines (and I cannot even accomplish that) and nothing else. My question is: is it necessary to learn how to draw in order to learn how to retouch? I understand that retouching has got a lot to do with painting, but is it possible to learn what is necessary to know about colors and lights and shadows while working directly on the photographs and following tutorials rather than by learning how to draw and paint a picture from scratch first? As far as drawing goes, I am a lost cause for real!
Thank you all for your help
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:37 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

…………....No.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:55 AM
Isolde Isolde is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

That is good to hear! Are you sure about that? Because I keep hearing how important it is to be a good illustrator in order to be a good retoucher and I do admit that sometimes I wish I knew more about painting when I need to work on a photograph. I plan to work on that but I really wish there was a way to learn all about that which doesn't require actually drawing and painting from scratch because I can't do that.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:20 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

The people who say that are BFA grads or dropouts who fell into retouching in order to pay the bills, and who want to feel superior to other non BFAs working in the field. Or maybe they are using Photoshop as a tool to do illustrations, which isn't retouching.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:30 AM
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

You don't have to be able to draw or paint but it does help. Art school or classes teach you how to see which in turn determines what you produce. Constant practice improves draughtsmanship and composition skills which IMO are essential especially for creative retouching and complex montage. If you are using a stylus and tablet it stands to reason that your capability in making strokes will determine the speed and accuracy of your results. Ultimately the more core skills you have in your bag the better!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:56 AM
Isolde Isolde is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

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Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
You don't have to be able to draw or paint but it does help. Art school or classes teach you how to see which in turn determines what you produce. Constant practice improves draughtsmanship and composition skills which IMO are essential especially for creative retouching and complex montage. If you are using a stylus and tablet it stands to reason that your capability in making strokes will determine the speed and accuracy of your results. Ultimately the more core skills you have in your bag the better!
So far my manual dexterity looks like an absolute zero, which is a bit discouraging. I hope it is true that if you keep practicing you actually do get better. The fact is that I am 21 and I feel like it is a bit late to learn those skills seriously, which is what discourages me
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:41 AM
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

LOL 21 - I've got clothes in my wardrobe older than you! Look, many people are just starting at 21 so you're ahead of the game already. You're under no pressure to be a great figurative artist and not all retouchers have formal training; the point is that improving your hand/eye dexterity will yield results, even if only from time to time.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:18 PM
klev klev is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isolde View Post
So far my manual dexterity looks like an absolute zero, which is a bit discouraging. I hope it is true that if you keep practicing you actually do get better. The fact is that I am 21 and I feel like it is a bit late to learn those skills seriously, which is what discourages me
It's not late. I'm probably one of the bigger advocates of learning some basic illustration, but there are a couple reasons. One is it helps you think beyond the scope of the individual tools provided by photoshop. The other is that it helps build dexterity. You're more likely to notice specific strokes that are off than a subtle adjustment to a photo, yet dexterity helps a lot when it comes to speed and accuracy. The other things are issues like perspective scaling, convergence, and choice of colors. Learning to break down what you see and repeat it helps in these areas. It helps even more if your initial learning is independent, where you would not be able to learn technique by emulating the actions of others within a given shop. Drawing exercises are also fairly fast in photoshop. Set your tablet mapping however you find it most comfortable. Try more than just straight lines, but try 500 of them before bed. Try the same thing the next day. Muscle memory will build up quickly.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:53 AM
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

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Originally Posted by klev View Post
One is it helps you think beyond the scope of the individual tools provided by photoshop. The
That is a key point. It is liberating to approach retouching problems in terms of what you can achieve by your own hand.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:28 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Is learning how to draw necessary?

I know retouchers who used to work on physical prints and transparencies and they suck in Photoshop. I know people who can draw amazing images on paper and in Photoshop and they are great at retouching. I know people who will never create a good drawing on paper but are great at retouching in Photoshop.

Retouch is a skill that can be learned and improved over time, like most other arts. The key is to practice, practice, practice. Even the best sketch artists drew body parts over and over and over again until they perfected their skill.
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