I was just wondering how much time people spend doing research/ studies for an assignment compared to actually working on it. Every project I get there's something I don't know anything about and I can't do a decent job unless I learn about it first by studying. What I've found most effective is at the beginning of an assignment I spend an hour or 2 getting reference and doing studies of things I haven't drawn or painted before. This way I learn enough to make my work easier and it gives me better ideas for the final project since I've gained a bit of knowledge of an unknown subject. I also see improvement in every new assignment I finish which is great.
If I split studying and working into a percentage I probably spend 25% of my time studying and 75% of my time working on assignments.
However recently I went to Donato Giancola's site and looked at his tutorial on book cover production where he said "Half of the time I allot for a cover commission is spent on sketches and research."
That surprised me because I remember Feng Zhu said in one of his videos or website that some of his students spend too much time getting reference and not enough time working on the assignment and I'm sure Feng spends most of his time working on finished artwork (considering how much he gets done!)
What makes sense to me is maybe this is an illustration vs concept art thing where illustrators get more time to do preliminary work since the deadline is longer whereas concept artists have to produce more work in less time which means they have less time to study? Then again it looks like a lot of concept artists use photoshop tricks to speed their work up too whereas a lot of illustrators paint everything (especially the traditional illustrators like Donato).
Personally I'm just a student and I still need to work on my fundamentals, so maybe I should be studying more than 25%? Or maybe I could still spend 25% of a project studying and 75% working but also dedicate 2 hours a day of studying purely fundamental stuff?
Another thing I find crazy is Feng Zhu expects his students to produce 20 assignments per week for his school, but I usually only do 7-8 on a good week? I'm not drawing enough? BTW I mean finished art not sketches.
What do you think?