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Design Software Weakens Classic Drawing Skills 268

mosel-saar-ruwer writes "A recent conference, hosted by UC-Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, sought to 'examin[e] the need and role for drawing today in the design professions and fine arts'. In this Reuters summary, via C-NET, the participants seem to agree that the emergence of sophisticated graphics software has coincided with a startling decline in the basic drawing skills of university students. Apparently teenaged boys don't need to practice drawing their nudes when they can just download them off the web."
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Design Software Weakens Classic Drawing Skills

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  • Skill? (Score:2, Informative)

    by LividBlivet ( 898817 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:26PM (#15081533)
    Calculators certainly caused my long division skills to deterioate.
  • Re:duno about this (Score:5, Informative)

    by macthulhu ( 603399 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:51PM (#15081651)
    I've been a computer graphic artist for 20 years. Back when it was SuperPaint, Deluxe Paint, Pixel Paint Pro... I still drew with traditional tools on a very regular basis. Today, my drawing skills are just about shot. I'm having to re-learn basic drawing skills. It's embarrassing, but that's what years of Photoshop will get you if you don't keep up on the basics. So, I don't know what the details of their study are, but I can personally vouch for the validity of the concept.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:37PM (#15081837)
    Actually you're wrong. While it's true a lot of jobs no longer require traditional artist media skills, there are jobs that do. And those jobs tend to be a lot more rewarding and provide mcuh more creative control.

    Comics are still drawn pretty much the same way they've always been - with pen & ink.

    A concept artist or storyboard artist has a lot more influence on the overall look of a film than any one of the CG modellers tracing and clicking vertices.

    In terms of pure visual communication power, someone skilled with a pencil is way ahead of someone who can only use computer software.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by c_forq ( 924234 ) <> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @10:53PM (#15081909)
    Many comics have moved to digital production. Almost all, even if they start as sketches, are early in their life scanned and almost all coloring and refining done digitally. In the same way more and more story boards are moving to the computer realm. There was an article here recently of LucasArts working with its game division on story boards that are interactive, or at least dynamic. In both computers are being used more and more as the digital form can be quickly manipulated and more importantly copying and transporting is trivial.
  • by munpfazy ( 694689 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:36PM (#15082090)
    This is news?

    I just hope the author got a decent kickback from Adobe. At least that way *someone* would be getting something of value from this meaningless piece of drivel.

    A point by point summary the article, for those who want to save a minute that might otherwise be spent reading the whole thing:


    Grandiose title, largely unrelated to the text.

    "University instructors" and "teachers" say students can't draw today, and the reason is because they use computers.

    Drawing with a computer is easy, and doing so makes one lazy.

    A professor of architecture who hosted a conference on the topic says, "I see an increasing passivity on the part of students." (But we're not going to give you enough context to guess at what the hell his actual point might have been.)

    "Teachers say" drawing with computer is easy. Not using a computer gives one the qualities of a saint.

    Another professor of architecture says "it" takes a long time, and adds some meaningless spiritual gobbledegook. (What "it" is, or why on earth we should care that he finds drawing a spiritual experience, or indeed why he would bring up the subject when he's meant to be discussing the decline in his student's artistic abilities, are left as exercises for the reader.)


    Drawing is good, says the director of an art school.

    Computers are good too, says the director of a computer-art school.

    Some drawings sell for a lot of money.

    An art auctioneer says that many people buy drawings.

    Drawings are cheap compared to paintings and sculpture. (Err... didn't this set out to be an article about computers?)

    It doesn't cost much money to draw on paper.

    An artist says, it doesn't cost much money to draw on paper.


    I sure am glad I read that. My world view will never be the same.

How come financial advisors never seem to be as wealthy as they claim they'll make you?