Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Learning to draw less poorly?
irrevenant at 6:38PM, Jan. 14, 2018
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So I'm kind of thinking I'd like to be able to draw less badly. >_>

I've looked into some of the fundamentals that I really need to hone up on: things like form and values and construction. But I'm not real sure how to go about turning that into actual practice.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about honing those basic skills, please?

Assume I'm starting from zero and you won't be far from the truth…
KimLuster at 8:55PM, Jan. 14, 2018
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irrevenant wrote:
So I'm kind of thinking I'd like to be able to draw less badly. >_>

I've looked into some of the fundamentals that I really need to hone up on: things like form and values and construction. But I'm not real sure how to go about turning that into actual practice.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to go about honing those basic skills, please?

Assume I'm starting from zero and you won't be far from the truth…

By no means am I am master, but one thing I tell anyone who wants their art to look better is to not be afraid of the eraser (or Ctl Z button, or whatever can undo what you just did…). If it doesn't look right, don't continue. Erase and do over… and over… and over. Don't settle until it looks right, no matter how many do-overs it takes.

We know if a face, or arm, or hand doesn't look right, but we get tired and just settle… Don't settle! Erase and do over!!

With time, it'll take fewer and fewer do-overs (but I've yet to do anything where I didn't do any erasing whatsoever…)
last edited on Jan. 14, 2018 8:56PM
bravo1102 at 7:46AM, Jan. 15, 2018
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You know it also be all a matter of semantics or what words you use.

Rather than saying “less poorly” just say “better” . Having some faith in bettering yourself as opposed to being less awful helps you get better at any skill. Creative visualization and positive mental attitude help a lot.

And that's from someone who routinely calls his work garbage and drek. At least you're drawing, try to get any respect, let alone readership around here using any other medium especially if your name is bravo. ;)
last edited on Jan. 15, 2018 7:48AM
usedbooks at 8:49AM, Jan. 15, 2018
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I may not be the best person to weigh in on this. But I would say to keep going. Just draw and draw and draw. As Kim said, erase a lot, but in practice, also draw lines over lines. When something looks good, draw it again and again so you don't lose the knowledge and “feel” of the technique.

I also approach it like writing. Make a draft. Put it away for a day. Check it with a fresh eye. What is good? What doesn't look good? Can you figure out why it doesn't? Look at references before the next draft. Find someone who will provide extra eyes and a good critique. Make sure it is someone whose critique style can help you better yourself (not someone who tells you everything is good or bad but who will focus on what you can do and change).

Honestly, I don't let my artistic inabilities govern my work. If there is something I want drawn, even if I am certain I can't do it, I just try. And fail. And try again. Having something on paper is a crucial starting point.
last edited on Jan. 15, 2018 8:52AM
Genejoke at 9:04AM, Jan. 15, 2018
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What everyone else said, but also… experiment with different methods.
fallopiancrusader at 9:12AM, Jan. 15, 2018
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As you pointed out, practice needs structure. I would say a guided hierarchical approach is best.

First, get really obsessive about learning the principles behind drawing, such as mechanical perspective, composition, and color theory. There are many books available for this. “How to draw” by Scott Robertson would be one among many examples.

Then, apply those principles to a progressive program of exercises. You want to progress your subject matter from simple to complex. Set yourself a structured series of milestones, like “I will Get really good at drawing coffee cups and salad bowls before I start drawing cars”. You also will want to progress your media. Get really good at drawing with a pencil before you worry about using paints or Photoshop. That is so you can limit your variables. It's easier to learn if you can just focus on one thing, like a contour line, rather than having to juggle lots of simultaneous factors, like color, shadows, materials, etc.

ThE other important factor is guidance. Get lots of feedback. There are websites like concept art.org which have critique forums where you can post stuff. I'm sure there are many others as well. You want to find as much feedback as possible from other artists, but in the end, I feel that nature is often your best teacher. Try to draw from the real world as much as possible. Find references, or just go outside and draw stuff.

There are tons more things that I can think of, but those are the princples that I try to follow for myself. Of course, I am mostly self-taught, so take my opinions with a grain of salt :)
KimLuster at 2:04PM, Jan. 15, 2018
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Do NOT take FC's advice with a grain of salt - take it as GOLD!! Good God look at his stuff!!
irrevenant at 6:19PM, Jan. 15, 2018
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KimLuster wrote:
Do NOT take FC's advice with a grain of salt - take it as GOLD!! Good God look at his stuff!!
I confess that was my reaction too. xD

I've already ordered the book he mentioned. It looks like it does a great job of breaking drawing down into the individual elements, which should work great for me.

Thank you everybody for your advice! It all looks very helpful.
mks_monsters at 9:18AM, Jan. 16, 2018
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I find that it helps to use references and models. Also, drawing concept art first and bodies using sticks and shapes helps a lot.
Hawk at 4:00PM, Jan. 16, 2018
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My art teachers always told me that getting good at figure drawing can help you get better at drawing everything. I think it's because the human form is so complex that if you can train yourself to draw its subtle features then you could do the same or a car/building/etc.

You can usually find local figure-drawing classes and sessions, but luckily you don't absolutely need to. You can draw friends, people you see in the park, or even pause Youtube videos.

And probably the biggest commonality I see between beginners of drawing is that they immediately draw their final line to paper. They'll drawn a body part like a face or arm and then go on to other body parts until the character is done. But more practiced individuals build their characters. They start with simple shapes or a stick man like mks_monsters said, then when the shapes and proportions are good they start adding details.
 
sunseeker25 at 7:27PM, May 2, 2018
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Heh heh… I have some advice for you all right, because until a few years ago I couldn't draw at all.

Make a habit of studying of whatever you have trouble drawing. Learn to not just see the overall picture, but the contours and edges. You want to start seeing things analytically; make it second nature to see the curve of a forearm, or the perspective shift as an object moves into the distance away from you. When you no longer have to think about it, you'll be directly absorbing the understanding of how to draw what you see.

Let's just say that as a result of this I gained an entirely new appreciation of female anatomy as well as many other things. I could still get a lot better, and definitely want to, but at least now I think I am not bad.

ozoneocean at 12:20AM, May 3, 2018
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sunseeker25 wrote:

Let's just say that as a result of this I gained an entirely new appreciation of female anatomy as well as many other things.

Hahaha, sounds like when happens when you grow up :D
 

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