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Postby supremeleaderbobo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:51 pm

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Subject title: thoughts on ethan becker? (he's an artist on youtube)

so i stumbled across this guy when i was watching some @moderndayjames, specifically the video "FIXING MY TRASH ART" (, which was a video james posted in response to ethan becker's criticism but also praise of his work. i was kind of taken aback at first, because i was expecting him to just be an artist who trashes artists for fun and has little to no respect for the time and energy put into it, but i was super surprised to find that he had truly brilliant insight, and for the most part the title of his video was just to get more viewers ( he's not even a year old yet on youtube, but i feel like in five years he'll have an incredibly massive following on youtube considering all of the attention he's getting from really, really brilliant videos.

anyways, i feel like this guy is the best thing since sliced bread, and opinions on learning faster are brilliant in my opinion, but i would love to hear some thoughts. i feel like he bears similiarity to sycra in that he stresses that nobody really cares about perfect anatomy, but rather the big picture. check him out and let me know what you think.

also i have to happy vent: his animatic pitch is super cool:
hey man you like drawing wow crazy me too what are the odds wow small world wow


Postby fi_le » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:57 pm

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Well, being honest I'm not very impressed at all.

I'm not a big fan of his style, solely due to personal preference.
What I can say beyond gut feeling though: His latest "confrontational" drawing videos are a little lazy. The point of not focusing on single muscles has been articulated very often and therefore much better, too. Simplifying is much harder than drawing every single muscle if you want to do it right, that's why the stage of learning anatomy comes beforehand. I don't think he's got anything on the artists he talks about at all.

I personally enjoyed learning from - for example - moderndayjames a lot more. I've articulated my love for Sinix enough elsewhere, so no need to elaborate on that.

Anyways, more drawing education is always a good thing, so best of luck to him and all the people who learn from him. I'm also curious where the situation will go. see, it's supposed to be fi_le like the file from the computer... the one where you put the data things in.

my sketchbook on here and my Instagram


Postby supremeleaderbobo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:40 pm

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that's really interesting actually; i would say i'm initially attracted to his stylistic preferences to begin with, so that probably has a lot to do with it. no doubt his roast videos are for views, which i get, i mean it's a business. but all in all, his critique of marco bucci like really helped me a lot, trying to understand everything in lemons.

but the whole lemon thing was just a different understanding of the thunderbolt method, which i'm not really sure where that came from.

i feel like him bashing the silhouette method is a bit silly. that method is crazy awesome, like just looking at something and going "oh HEY that looks like a blah blah blah", but otherwise i felt like his critiques, as bombastic as they are, are super super accurate, and moderndayjames response to his work with more energetic gesture was really interesting. i'm kind of hoping james does some more really energetic gesture work like he did in the video; it would make his incredibly vast visual library really shine.

i guess its a different school altogether though, as its kind of hard to compare stuff by sinix to ethan becker.

anyways @fi_le , thanks for the feedback. btw, you want to do an arena thing?
hey man you like drawing wow crazy me too what are the odds wow small world wow


Postby Ambiguity » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:30 pm

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Going only off of that James video of his, I'd say he is only putting James in the title for clicks. He said himself multiple times that the anatomy thing depends on what you're doing/what your job is. All the examples he gave as to why it was bad were cartoony works, which are meant to be simple because you have to animate them. Also, the part where he is talking about how adding all that anatomy only made his works stiffer in his experience is just that, his experience. Glenn Vilppu is known for his gestures for instance, and he even taught a lot of animators, and yet he has a ridiculous amount of anatomical knowledge to the point where he can even draw the non-subcutaneous muscles too. The trick is knowing which muscles to define in each situation, not flexing all the muscles at once or treating them like an écorché.

As for his work, I don't like it, too much tumblr house style influence for me, but I think that's exactly what will help him become really popular. The whole Voltron crew looks like they came from tumblr actually.


Postby Josephcow » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:53 pm

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He's okay. Like he said in that MDJ video, he's a storyboard artist, mainly. And his work that I've seen is good, and works well for what he's doing. But it's not really what I'm interested in myself, so eh.

He also seems to be jumping on a trend of offering flashy advice with kind of of clickbait titles which kind of turns me off.


Postby supremeleaderbobo » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:48 pm

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yeah he definitely is very clickbaity...

to a certain extent though i feel its justified as youtube is an industry in a sense. rossdraws is super clickbaity too, although he's incredibly good. sycra's videos are just like "this is what you will learn" in the title, which is my kind of title.

i have a bias towards ethan becker's work because i love the more cartoony, less illustration stuff, generally (not always), but its really interesting to see what people think. probably my favorite thing about his videos is how he just simplifies it down to the nth degree, although i think as someone mentioned it before, that can be a disadvantage when you're cutting corners all the time.
hey man you like drawing wow crazy me too what are the odds wow small world wow


Postby Mystipen » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:48 pm

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Kind of late to the discussion, but I think Ethan has a point. Putting the roasts aside, he emphasizes that learning skills based on what your primary job will require you to do is more important than just getting skilled at everything. He is a storyboard artist, so his main concern is communicating the idea through clear composition and perspective, so he does not need to know anatomy to the bone to know how to draw figures convincingly enough to be able to sell his idea. I think he is doing a good job at disillusioning the misconception that in order to be a good artist you need to be capable of mastering the fundamentals before you can accomplish anything that looks good.

Yes, stylizing the figure is based off the simplification of the original anatomy, but really all there is to designing stylized characters is simply playing with the proportions and shapes of the figure. The anatomical information on top is just glazing of detail. I think that you can get away with just knowing basic anatomy and be able to create convincing stylized characters. So that is why I agree with Ethan's statements, since he emphasizes efficiency towards achieving your goals. You don't really need to know anatomy to an advanced degree if you are not going to use that information that you learned on most of your characters, since all you really need to know is how the joints articulate and how the muscles contract and stretch when they are in certain positions. I mean, how many concept artists do you know of that constantly think of how the cranium changes in relation to the front plane of the skull when the proportions are exaggerated? probably none, and I do not think it is good to make assumptions based on opinions other people told you. A person that does figure drawing for a living might give biased advice to a wannabe concept artist that will waste a lot of time, so doing your own research and making decisions for yourself on what you want to learn in my opinion is a much more valuable skill then just doing what the status quo tells you to.

On a personal level, I do not really enjoy Ethan's style but his videos are entertaining and I think he is doing a great job. Although, none of his advice is applicable to me, the way he challenges the status quo allowed me to better adjust my goals so that I do not just waste time learning things that I am not going to use anyway. Just my two cents on the matter.


Postby supremeleaderbobo » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:15 pm

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yeah i am vibin with that @mystipen.
I think he is doing a good job at disillusioning the misconception that in order to be a good artist you need to be capable of mastering the fundamentals before you can accomplish anything that looks good.
<- this in particular was one of the things that definitely made him attractive to me.

and same thing for sycra and ahmed aldoori's videos. sinix's explanations to art problems are a bit more complicated, but even still they all make the claim that you can get quite good without knowing everything at a proko level.

also i'm an animation junkie, so ethan becker's stuff is just fun to me.
hey man you like drawing wow crazy me too what are the odds wow small world wow

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