Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

any good drawing tips?
yuna at 2:29PM, May 21, 2009
posts: 2
joined: 1-29-2009
Does anyone know any good drawing tips?
I would be very grateful if anyone would share any.
Thank you.
MUAHAHA! Random person coming through!! ^_^
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:53PM
BlkKnight at 3:18PM, May 21, 2009
posts: 1,101
joined: 5-28-2007
That is quite broad. Anything specific you had in mind?
That's “Dr. BlkKnight” to all of you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 5:03PM, May 21, 2009
posts: 1,340
joined: 9-2-2007

In fact, practice so much that you are so sick of drawing that you would much rather watch grass grow.

And practice even more after that.

Then, practice some more.

That's about all.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
korosu at 7:19PM, May 21, 2009
posts: 1,063
joined: 1-28-2006
Yeah… You need to give us some more help on this one. How good of an artist are you right now? Can you post an example of your work?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
Thomas514 at 1:26PM, May 22, 2009
posts: 27
joined: 5-18-2009
In college what they are gonna make you do from day one of Drawing 1 to the very last day of Drawing 4 (or what ever is the most advanced drawing class you take at your particular school of choice)is life drawing. My advice to you is get a pencil and sketchbook and sit and draw things in life you see. Draw real people, kids, plants, animals, bugs, that rock on the ground that looks boring but after looking at it just right you notice it's actually pretty interesting especially the way the light works off of it, draw the grass (the ones you are watching grow because you are so bored practicing drawing). Get magazine pics and draw them, exactly. Draw other people's drawings and paintings. Draw naked people, male and female (eh, you liked that huh?) in short, draw everything and draw all the time.

I know, it's cliche sounding, but as the poster above said about practice, drawing all the time will only make you better, but you have to make sure that you see what shapes make up what, how things work together, how light plays off objects. My advice, now that I have made a post worthy of brain death outta this, just draw, even if you suck, just draw, draw what you see. As a professor once told me, in order to draw well you gotta get all the bad drawings out of your head, drawing all the time will do that :)

Hope this helps.

One last thing, go to the library or go buy some books on how to draw starting with your most basic drawing books. Once you have mastered all there is to know in those books, go get ones that deal with drawing things a little more advanced and so forth until you've read and mastered all the books you can find (all the while still drawing everything as well). Then go over the basic level stuff again and sharpen up what you may have lost. Drawing all the time and everyday is a life long process, you will never be as good as you want to be, but you can always be better.

Ok, I'm done now :)
Thomas Clemmons

Follow me on Twitter
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:29PM
Joneko at 2:56PM, May 22, 2009
posts: 31
joined: 4-23-2007
Always ALWAYS keep your roughs. No one ever told me this, but after spending several hours on a picture just to mess it up and have to start literally from scratch, you learn. Make sure you hold onto gesture drawings, references sketches, first drafts, etc., so that if anything ever happens to the work-in-progress you'll know exACTly what you were doing to begin with.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
mattchee at 3:32PM, May 22, 2009
posts: 347
joined: 1-18-2008
Understand what you are drawing. Any good drawing instructor will tell you that you need to spend more time looking at the subject of your drawing than your drawing of the subject.

Get a process. This is different for everyone and certainly different depending on your medium. This is something that takes time to develop, but its a good thing to keep and mind, and good to know that you need one. Lots of folks think they need to turn out a finished drawing from the first line they put down, but unless you're some crazy virtuoso (or you're drawing the same thing over and over and over again), there's going to be steps along the way to a finished drawing.

Practice. This could mean just sitting down and drawing a lot, or it could just be the exercise of working on your comic every day. Relentless practicing is the best way to get better at just about anything. Crap, I'd been drawing for decades when I started Mastorism, and just keeping that on schedule, has really propelled my skills in just a years time. At cons, people almost ALWAYS go for the first book to see what you're about, and I'm always wanting to say, “Hey the art gets better!” Hhahhaha…

Anyway, these are the three most important basic things to improve your drawing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
cartoonprofessor at 5:35AM, May 23, 2009
posts: 396
joined: 9-2-2007
There are SOOOoooooo many tips and techniques to drawing… I actually teach Cartoon Art four days a week.
If you go here you will get some lessons.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Air Raid Robertson at 3:11PM, May 24, 2009
posts: 292
joined: 5-7-2009
There's a lot of good stuff up there. Draw from real life as much as you can and practice until your hands bleed. Both are good suggestions.

I'll go a little more broad in terms of tech for my suggestions.

Use different sizes in terms of your linework. The pencil or pen you use to draw the outline of a person should be broader than the pencil or pen you use to draw their nose or shade the beads of sweat on their forehead.

If you use the same size for everything the picture will look too busy.

You should learn to use the “rule of thirds”. That means that you divide the image into three equally sized thirds with a pencil. The focal point of the image should never be exactly in the center of the middle third. Skewing it to the left or the right will add drama to your dymanic images and it'll add poignancy to your sentimental ones. It'll add to the humor of silly drawings and it'll give sophistication to the stately ones.

This is an especially important technique for comics.

Mastering the use of negative space is an important artistic step for anyone. Balancing your dark colors with the lighter ones is also essential. If you're unsure about whether or not your drawing looks “muddy” or “busy” you should hang it up and stand fifteen feet or so away from it. If you can still make out the jist of the image then you're doing okay. If it appears cluttered you're in trouble.

Always do thumbnails and concept sketches before you try to create the finished product. Construction workers never work without a blueprint and the first draft of every great novel sucked eggs. Give yourself a basic sketch to work from, even if it's just stick figures.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
CharleyHorse at 6:13AM, May 25, 2009
posts: 627
joined: 12-7-2006
All if the advice offered up in this thread has been golden. You can't go wrong by following it yuna. One tip I'll offer is to think of water filled balloons. For instance there is a robot that I draw from time to time. He is simply various sized cylinders crammed together. I needed some way to humanize him and so I began pretending that all those rigid cylinders were actually malleable or flexible and filled with water. Although the effect is rather subtle it now bends and stretches just a little bit, just enough to humanize it a touch and now it looks much more alive while still resembling a robot.

A good cartooning course, many of which are now available over the internet in free segments, will offer these sorts of tips. Heck, just enter the term ‘cartooning tips’ in a search engine, and then see what kicks up. :spin:
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
AwesomeUnicorn at 10:23PM, May 25, 2009
posts: 62
joined: 5-19-2009
I love all the advice given in this thread so far, all of it is great and all of us have to go through it all if we want to get better. I've heard this time and time again, and the truth of it becomes more apparent the longer I draw, and I'm no where near reaching my peak or some semblance of expertise: There is no shortcut to drawing well. Sometimes it feels so horrible that there is none, especially when you see other students in your art college who are years younger than you but blow you out of the water with some of their pieces.

In the long run, almost every one of those younger students that started out with a natural talent for art hit a plateau, or quit because they're frustrated. Most of them had it come so easy that when they actually had to work hard to improve (like most of us), they quit. Or they throw temper tantrums. Or they think there's something suddenly wrong with themselves. There's no shortcuts, and even the people with natural talent sometimes have to work harder at improving than the ones without.

As far as tips go, this has helped me improve the most. Start with just a line, and keep drawing. Don't have a picture formed in your head, don't start the drawing with a goal. Just start drawing lines, and then shape the lines there into the first picture you see. Just scribble out a shape and build on it. Some of my very best and most bizarre or surreal drawings, and a lot of my favorites, started out as a random scribble. Once you get used to it, it just feels like the drawing flows out of your hand and completely skips the thinking process.

In a lot of ways, it feels like a more natural way of drawing to me. Actually, most of my drawings are done this way now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:13AM
confusedsoul at 10:55AM, May 28, 2009
posts: 269
joined: 1-9-2006
One thing I like doing is making myself a reference book of pretty much anything I think I'll need to draw or colour so I can have it on hand whenever I need to look up stuff. That way, you can also use it for drawing if you're unable to draw from still-life.

Don't rely on other people's drawing styles too much. I don't mean the tutorials that offer you advice on drawing, but the books that encourage you to do nothing other than copy their style to “get the feel of it”. They arrived through their style by studying multiple sources, and you should do the same.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
kmajor at 1:28PM, May 28, 2009
posts: 5
joined: 1-29-2009
I'll agree with the oft repeated “practice!” I also really recommend pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It's easy to fall into the habit of only drawing the things you think that you're better at, or which come more easily. Drawing comics is actually a really great way to practice and improve, partly because comics will push you to draw everything. Portraits, gestures, landscapes, architecture, still life. You don't have to dive head-first into all of these things at once, of course, but there's a lot of opportunity to challenge yourself.

Drawing from magazines and photos can be useful, and drawing from life, while it can be more difficult, is really useful. Try to do both!

If you're just warming up, or hit a slow spot, speed drawings can be a good thing. In my figure drawing class we did a lot of thirty second gesture drawings which was great at getting me out of the rut of worrying about details and losing the bigger picture, and just got me more comfortable putting pencil to paper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
threeeyeswurm at 1:39PM, May 28, 2009
posts: 106
joined: 10-26-2007
Life drawing, life drawing aaaaaand life drawing.

Quick 1 min to 2 min poses to start. Practice that for a few weeks then move into longer poses.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
TheMightyDM at 12:10PM, July 27, 2009
posts: 8
joined: 7-27-2009
Circles and lines…

What is a head? A circle.
What is a Neck? A line.
Chest? Bigger circle, maybe an elipsoid.
Arms and Legs? A couple of lines connected by circle joints…OR…A single, sharply curving line with a circle to represent the elbow/knee placement.

That will at least help you with limb positioning and stance. After that, flesh it out.
Someting to keep in mind though: The circles and lines are only guides. It's ok if your character's hips are not the same width as the circle that represents them. It's ok that the arm guidelines do not coincide with he actual arm. What is important is that you get a feel for where each part of the body is in relation to the other parts.

It's funny, because I think almost every “How-To-Draw” book has this tip in it, and so do many tutorials online, but so many people I know (and don't know) overlook this tip, thinking that they don't need to do it. If you actually and honestly DO NOT need to use this tip, fine, more power to ya, but I'm willing to bet that most people could benefit from using it.
So many people were so fed up about Michael Jackson's alleged child *ahem* “issues”… All I could think about was, “Holy crap! I wish I could do the Moonwalk!”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM

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