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Self-Critique and The Growth Mindset


Self-Critique and The Growth Mindset

The growth mindset can be very helpful to someone trying to learn to draw, or to improve their artwork. The growth mindset says,

"I can get smarter." "Learning is my goal." "Effort makes me stronger." "I'd spend more time and work harder." (Source: https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/) Many people see artistic ability as a 'natural talent'. What they don't seem aware of is that anyone who is very good at drawing has put in hours of work, and usually hours of studying and learning from others as well. (And for those who are even more advanced, they may have spent 10,000+ hours drawing.) There are many incredible sources for learning ways to improve your art, including classes, books, youtubes, and online courses. However, although they can give you information and techniques, you need to work on how you apply them. Most artists feel badly about their art at some point in time. Emotions can bring up useful information, if you use them as information and not as a judge of your worth as a human being. The first step is to ask, "what are my emotions telling me?" They may be saying, "something about this drawing is off." Now, use the analytical side of your brain to figure out what, specifically, is off, and how you can fix it. 1) Identify the problem. Be SPECIFIC. For example,

"This face looks lopsided."

"This drawing feels flat."

"My lines look choppy."

2) Identify a solution. "To keep my drawing from looking lopsided, I can use a T-square to draw a straight line down the center of my page, and draw horizontal lines to align the features. I can then compare the details of my image to these 'guide' lines." (Note: I took a shortcut and drew my 'straight lines' freehand; If you use a ruler, it should be more precise.)

"To give my drawing more depth, I can go back to the basic forms, fitting my image inside a box and relating all the details to the sides of that 3-d image."

"To keep my lines from being choppy, I can do a rough, very light sketch before drawing the final lines. Then, I can think before each line - where does this line begin? Where does it end? How thick or thin does it need to be? How dark or light? Then, carefully draw each line in one stroke, controlling the thickness and darkness of it."

3) Execute the solution. If it works, great. If not, repeat steps 1 and 2. 4) If repeating these steps doesn't work, get critique from someone who can help you. When you ask for critique, whether from a teacher or on a forum, be specific about what the problem is. Another person may be able to help you to see things you couldn't see without their help.

#Arttips #Inspirational #Pencil

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