PDA

View Full Version : Beginning sketching/drawing tips wanted



The Pressman
2010-09-15, 12:42 AM
I have always admired good art, but I'd really like a chance to be able to make some at least preliminary sketches. Drafting is fine, but humans and landscapes elude me still. Also anything that needs proportions. I kinda suck.

So do you have any tips or resources on learning to draw? I'd like some on drawing people specifically, and also drawing on the computer. I have a small tablet, no screen, and I've done some rudimentary phototracing in the past, but that's the extent of it.

Exit
2010-09-15, 02:58 AM
You probably don't want to hear it, but most of the work comes down to practice. Like drawings all the time, having sketchbook and pen with you, trying to do a whole drawing instead of just doodles...

Some people on DA have some pretty good tutorials, a lot of which I have in my favorites gallery (http://exitstageleft.deviantart.com/favourites/#Tutorials). I've got anatomy, digital painting, color and perspective tutorials amassed in there. Somebody with good tutorials for drawings people is alexds1 (http://alexds1.deviantart.com/gallery/?1604172#Tutorials), but a lot of what he says is tips on how to get a good variety of different body types. A lot of people get good at drawing maybe two different body types and then stick to that forever.

Another good exercise it to copy (not trace) photographs. You can get all crazy and decide to copy the shading as well, but the main point of this is to make your brain begin to understand shapes and forms that make up people and objects. Don't feel the need to draw every eyelash and every strand of hair, or every leaf and fold; it's the basic shapes that count. DA is also good for this because of the sheer plethora of stock photography (http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/stockart/) on that website.

Don't expect to get amazing right away. It literally takes years of consistent drawing to improve. Lately there's been this one meme floating around on DA about progress, which shows the artist's work evolve over the past six years. Some of the stuff was pretty terrible up until they hit the three year mark.

But I suppose the real secret is to love it. It'll be a lot easier to become a good artist if you love drawing.

Glass Mouse
2010-09-15, 11:56 AM
@Exit: Nice! I'm gonna go through those later :smallsmile:

As Exit says, practise! And just as important, experiment! Don't ever settle for something just because it "looks all right." (okay, I guess you can settle when you're Royo or Vallejo, but that's not gonna happen for a few years).

Personally, when I draw humans, I have a very... mathematical approach (not the right word, but close enough). Eyes are in the middle of the face, a human is 6-7 heads high, fingers end on the middle of the thigh, stuff like that. There are a lot of these "this and this is so and so long/short/big, the distance between this and that is roughly so and so, etc." It's a tremendous help. The more you can memorize, the better (and the best way to memorize it is to draw it).
There's probably a tutorial with most of this in Exit's bunch. Otherwise, I think I've got one... I'll check Exit's gallery first.

If you've got the basic pencil-drawing, drawing on computer is not that much different. There's a lot of neat tricks in various programs, but that depends on the program, and there's tons of tutorials for that.

Dr.Epic
2010-09-15, 12:18 PM
Drafting is fine, but humans and landscapes elude me still.

Buy some books on human anatomy.

Glass Mouse
2010-09-15, 12:30 PM
Or start here (http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&global=1&q=human+anatomy+tutorial#/d1tc4t6)(a really nice and simple tutorial) or here (http://cedarseed.deviantart.com/art/Big-Guide-to-Drawing-the-Body-15014442?q=boost:popular+human+anatomy+tutorial&qo=38)(a much more detailed, awesome tutorial).

Deviantart is awesome.

Domochevsky
2010-09-15, 12:52 PM
Also make use of this (http://posemaniacs.com/) for human posing. It's quite useful to get a basic idea of perspective, especially for the more complicated stuff. :smallsmile:

licoot
2010-09-15, 01:21 PM
seeing as this is already here I figured that there was no point in making a new thread, I have a similar problem, although i already have the ability to sketch reasonably well, and I can draw people, I can only ever do it from sight, I have absolutely no ability to draw complected things without a picture or it being right there in front of me, because of this despite attempting several times I have never really been able to draw manga, so does anyone know of a good step by step guide, or any advice on how to get started

fil kearney
2010-09-15, 03:59 PM
Malcolm Gladwell discussed attaining "mastery" in his book, Outliers.
He asserts that it really boils down to 10,000 hours. To be a true Master at your craft, the magic number apparently is 10k hours of performing that craft, whatever it may be. as slow or as fast as you please, after investing that much time, you are going to be INCREDIBLE at it.
10,000 hours = 4 hours a day -- every day-- for a bit less than 7 years.
I've been drawing for about 20 years, and I wouldn't be surprised if I only have 7,000 hours under my belt, because I drew at lunch, in study hall, at home, then later-- after work, and then a job I could actually draw WHILE at work, then I quit my job and painted full time for a bit. I'll tell ya, I started off drawing cars and robots, which evolved into men in armor and monsters upon discovering DnD, then the scenes got more complex, and I wanted less armor and more anatomy, then better scene composition, and further refining, and further refining, and further refining.. I've still got a LONG way to go before I can really be able to call myself a MASTER... but I'm only in my thirties... I have my whole life to accumulate more hours of refining technique.
It's ART. we express ourselves through it. If we love it, we can never stop.


No real useful information here, more of a "go for it, champ!" message... but at least you have a time table now. :)


anyone know of a good step by step guide, or any advice on how to get started

There's a whole series of books called, "how to draw manga" that are pretty fun... but if you can only draw from a visual reference... get a library of manga and anime to reference. Vallejo is a celebrated fantasy artist, and he uses professional models for everything.

minored108
2010-09-18, 08:02 PM
Y'know, I think tutorials are all well and good, but really the only true formula for good art is the scarey one: practice, practice, practice. Whenever you got the chance pick up some paper and draw. That's how I did it, and its served me well.

Guyinthestreet
2010-09-18, 10:55 PM
seeing as this is already here I figured that there was no point in making a new thread, I have a similar problem, although i already have the ability to sketch reasonably well, and I can draw people, I can only ever do it from sight, I have absolutely no ability to draw complected things without a picture or it being right there in front of me, because of this despite attempting several times I have never really been able to draw manga, so does anyone know of a good step by step guide, or any advice on how to get started

First, learn proportioning and how to break human figures into shapes. This (http://www.elfwood.com/farp/figure/williamlibodyconstruction.html) seems like a good website for that.

After that, get Andrew Loomis (http://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Falexhays.com%2Floomis%2F&rct=j&q=andrew%20loomis&ei=UYOVTJOdEIHGcP2FjKQF&usg=AFQjCNE0u5c5DSa2hrxjyG9fgTuOOR63sg&cad=rja)'s books. Specifically Figure Drawing For All It's Worth.

Then practice his exercises like hell.

Case in point: My work before practicing on Andrew Loomis's exercises -

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/3820/img077r.jpg

How long did it take me to draw that to my satisfaction? A few days (I spent hours each day sketching and throwing away sketches that I didn't think good enough).

My work after a bit of practice on Andrew Loomis's exercises -

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/386/img078z.jpg

How long did it take me to draw this? About 3 hours, I think.

Also, as Exit said: "You can get all crazy and decide to copy the shading as well, but the main point of this is to make your brain begin to understand shapes and forms that make up people and objects. Don't feel the need to draw every eyelash and every strand of hair, or every leaf and fold; it's the basic shapes that count."

I would add that it's the rationale and logic behind the image. What do I mean by that? Well, look at a clenched arm. Why is the outline of the arm so different in shape from a relaxed arm? It's the muscles, obviously...right?

Sure. It's the muscles. But do you now know how to draw a clenched arm or a relaxed arm? Probably not. So you've got to learn the muscles. Which muscles generally come to the fore or change shape when doing different actions?

Or take a face. Why does a face look a certain way when you shine light on it? It's got to do with the light source, the contours (and the skull structure). You got to reason out why an image looks a certain way. Copying can only take you so far.

But the first thing to do is to practice with shapes. Do not use a wooden mannequin for practice. It doesn't work fully, because the joints are so damned restrictive that you're likely to go down the wrong path with the dummy.

My teacher taught me to use cylinders and boxes to approximate a human figure first. It's a method I've used at the start (and discarded once I got better). But you're free to try any practice you like.

Go search for drawing exercises on the net. Look at the teacher's works FIRST. You don't want to learn from a crappy teacher. I went to Conceptart.org with a drawing, and quite a few recommended me to learn from Andrew Loomis. I looked at their works, I looked at Andrew Loomis's works and I decided they were right.

Kara Kuro
2010-09-18, 11:53 PM
If you want to get good at drawing humans... Then, DRAW HUMANS. Honestly, while books, tutorials and mathematical layouts help, NOTHING beats DOING it. Not just practicing, I'm talking about either going to live figure drawing classes (a lot of college campuses will offer them open to the public) or begging/press-ganging/persuading friends to sit still long enough to sketch them. Seriously.

Nothing is going to give you a better realization of how weight is distributed about a body when its posed in certain ways, or the angles that an arm can bend, or how a foot looks when its toes are curled versus flat better than drawing from an actual LIVE model.

sciencepanda
2010-09-19, 04:40 PM
A lot of people will recommend drawing people from books or magazines and the like, but personally I disagree with this approach. Frankly, the best way to learn to draw people is to do so from life.

If you are unwilling or unable to shell out for figure drawing classes (which is perfectly reasonable, I will admit) as your friends or family to just sit on the couch for an hour or so while you draw them. Start with shorter drawings at first, just to get the proportions right, then work your way up to longer, more detailed ones.

As said before, the most important thing to pay attention to when doing this is bodily proportions. Compare how big the head is compared to the torso. How long the arms and the legs are. Where the body tilts or bends. Its often helpful to use your pencil to measure it out.

HellfireLover
2010-09-19, 05:09 PM
Take a sketchbook everywhere and draw anything which catches your eye. Speed drawing is a good way to improve - try catching the likeness of passersby, or a small flighty animal - anything which is likely to move before you have a finished or even half finished picture.

I have nothing against using pictures either. It can be an excellent way to capture a position which a live model would be unable to hold - dynamic poses, a falling body, &c.

Draw lots. Study your own hands and feet. A mirror will be good for you. Ask for critiques and take them gracefully even if you haven't. Keep practicing, and don't throw anything away - it can be useful to chart your progression, and regression sometimes, over the months and years.

sciencepanda
2010-09-19, 05:23 PM
The reason I have a personal distaste for drawing from photographs is that it generally fails to capture the "solidity" of objects, if that makes sense.

Actually, this is a good idea. If there are any museums nearby, go there with a sketchbook and pencil, and sit and draw the sculptures for a few hours at a time. This way you can better get a sense of depth for things, while not having to worry about them moving around.

bitter_howls
2010-09-25, 10:14 AM
Practicing is definitely key, but like Hellfirelover said, all that practice without constructive feedback from peers will get you nowhere slowly.

Don't be a afraid to post whatever you're doing and have people comment on it. Try to encourage comments other than "it's good", and ask for specifics, like what could be better, what they liked about what you did, and maybe even similar artists. That way when you sit down to practice you know what to work on.