How do you learn to draw?

Discussion in 'User Created Art' started by Overread, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Sooooo someone got themselves a drawing tablet to help with photo editing (mostly because its easier to draw selections and fine editing choices with a pen than it is to mouse select them).

    But also because drawing is interesting in itself, but a lack of pens/pencils/paper nearly always ends up with me finding many excuses to never actually bother learning - digitally I don't have that excuse. So as a result I'm after some tips/hints/resources/ideas on how to get from just being able to draw capable stickmen to being able to draw something far more detailed and - well - not rubbishy looking

    Ps - extra points for any drawing resources/references not about drawing people's faces - as a fantasy fan dragons, monsters, beasties etc.. are far more interesting
     
  2. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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  3. Moonlance

    Moonlance New Member

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    As an undergraduated in Visual Arts, there is so much that could be suggested for improving Drawing learning.

    At his stage, and considering you're focus,
    one interesting experience I'd recommend is taking as a good example of practice the periodic activity of this artist,

    http://chromasketch.blogspot.com.br/search/label/sketches

    who often blogs lots of his fine sketches of human figure observation drawing (real life observation drawing from random people; but you may do it from pictures too); that should be a challenging experience for almost any student. The interesting point of this for-life-exercise is that structural sketch techniques aren't necessary to produce a good sketch; so you don't need any particular luggage knowledge to start with. Of course, there are many possible approaches to Human Figure Drawing, and if you practice it, you might want to try some of them, like:

    a) 30 min sketch (more detailed)
    b) 15 min sketch
    c) gesture drawing: 1 min sketch; lots of them (very little detailed)
    d) 1 min sketch without taking pencil (pointer) out of the page (tablet);
    e) there are many other possible exercises, but those cited should be a good idea to start with.
     
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  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Try this... if you feel you lack a natural talent for drawing, then get a tracing pad, or use a photograph and scan it into Photoshop. Create a layer above the scanned art or photo and do your sketching on that layer. It's a much better way to develop the eye-hand coordination you'll need.
     
  5. Stormborn

    Stormborn Well-Known Member

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    This is something I used to do a lot when I first started drawing, I used to be soo bad! But now my artwork looks ok. :)
     
  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    You would be surprised at how many professional artists, even very well known artists who use the technique. The first that comes to mind is fantasy legend Boris Vallejo. I've always had plenty of natural talent and can either draw from scratch or off a photograph, but I'll usually use the tracing technique. Much easier getting proportions right.

    Here's a drawing I did from a photograph I took of my girlfriend at the time... if you just use the photograph as a starting point and kind of let yourself go, it usually works fine.
    View attachment 8629
     
  7. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    Life drawing. Do lots and lots of life drawing. Any artist worth a damn will tell you the same thing. ;)

    And Sparrow makes a good point there. I too employed this technique back when I was learning to improve my drawing skills.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Thanks for the ideas and references guys and gals :)

    The idea of drawing the photos is certainly a good suggestion - especially as my other use of the tablet is going over photos and drawing zones for adjustment. Also I do like that sketch of yours Sparrow!

    Moonlance - a neat approach and I can see the value in learning both technique and pose structure at the same time, esp with the focus on getting natural looking poses and building up a repertoire of such positions of the body.
     
  9. PerFolmer

    PerFolmer Citizen of Urth.

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    I agree with the ones who speak of life drawing. It will brutally teach you what is important to emphasize in a drawing.
    I make no definite claims with this post, I hope you all understand. I cannot tell you how many hours I've spent in anguish. The only thing I know is that
    those hours are to my advantage later on. If Lovecraft ever wrote of the confusions of an novice artist, that would well explain my feelings.

    For someone who didn't have the luxury of a light-table, digital painting has helped alot in understanding drawings and colors as one can
    alter and redo into infinity. However I strongly recommend traditional drawing as well, something I believe to have priority over digital drawing, but that's only my opinion.
    With that out of the way;

    When sketching, I like to make thin, soft lines first and build upon that, using layers if I feel I tread upon new ground I'm unsure of.
    I recently discovered the value of experimenting with the silhouette and the lines. How thick they are, thin or transparent.
    I recommend to beside your digital adventures sit and spend time on paper and pencil. And not to work only with your wrist,
    try your arm as well. Perhaps to hold the pencil in the palm of your hand facing up (!?) sometimes and try that.

    I did a little sketch of two layers in photoshop for you.

    thanks!
    easy lines.jpg
     
  10. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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  11. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    That's very good, Per. You have excellent technique!
     
  12. PerFolmer

    PerFolmer Citizen of Urth.

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    Thank you Ephemeral.
    I remember once I did some artsy tutorial to a friend.
    It all began with that great feeling of optimism and power. I will do this and that and it'll look awesome I'm sure.
    Turned out sh*t. "Why oh why have my hands forsaken me?!" I ranted for days, whilst the candles on top of my preciously boiled skulls of exotic animals burned down into a mesh.
    Thunder and lightning seemed to follow wherever I went and the bad luck with it. (yeah I filled out the spaces a bit.)

    Then the hysterical laughter followed as I realized; this tutorial is as good as any other, especially for those new to sketching and painting.
    There'll be so much failure together with the success and I think that's the whole point. To nourish what you fail to do better next time.
    Just keep at it, invest the time and allow yourself not to fail, but to accept it as a part of learning.
    I still have to buy candles by the ton, and that's the way it's supposed to be... OR IS IT? (i like to think so...)
     
  13. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    LOL :D

    I hear you on the trial and error thing. And it doesn't matter how good you get as an artist, you will always have that. :p
     
  14. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    I've always believed (and hoped) that drawing is something you can learn. When people think drawing is all natural talent well... yeah I don't buy that. It's just in practice. I never had any natural talent in drawing but over years of practicing have improved a bit. I'm still learning more everyday. Try not to do big amazing things all at once. Start really simple.