Thanks for the comment!
I had my first art class in school when I was 12, then took another when I was 16, and did a studio course the year after that. In these classes I learned about still-lifes, elements of design and how to use pencil, paint, etc. In college I majored in studio art at a public California university with an "emphasis" in oil painting. I put quotes because the art program at my school wasn't that great. They emphasized experimentation and abstract art, so I never really got to sharpen my skills. They were into Contemporary and Performance art and didn't have anything for digital art. Most of the teachers were convinced that there was no need to know anatomy or lighting. I did have a drawing teacher who taught anatomy and perspective, but they were more like sampler classes because they were offered once a year and weren't that demanding. I didn't start using references until my last year of university, and that was because a student said something during a critique instead of a professor : /
So as far as formal training, I learned how to explore my imagination but my skills were subpar and never really fine tuned.
I never took a class for digital art, but I had friends who did in high school and they introduced me to it. I got my first tablet when I was 15/16 and just did my own thing until recently. I love the content from this course and I'm definitely learning more than I've had since I took those first couple of art classes when I was a younger. At the same time I only think I'm able to get so much out of it because of my previous experience. There's things that I'm only able to tackle or understand because of what I learned from school or others online like Istebrak or Irshad Karim and his drawabox website. And those years in university taught me how not to study art In a nutshell though I think this is a fantastic course and one of the best investments I've made. I'm glad I got it during a promotion though, but still
I really like the sound of that Russian academic approach. I tried to use straight lines and angles here and there, but if there's a whole technique out there I'm interested in learning! I don't like the scratchy look, I can only get rid of it if I draw over the initial drawing. I don't think there's anything wrong with using that sketchy look when brainstorming, but I want to learn how to be more economical with my lines.