Art: I need help drawing straight lines... or consistent lines in general

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  1. #1
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    I need help drawing straight lines... or consistent lines in general

    I'm having tons of trouble drawing lines consistently on my tablet (and on paper, but I'm trying to get better with the tablet as that is what I want to be using).

    I must be doing something drastically wrong, I can spend an hour or two a day just drawing straight lines and I'm not improving at all. I've tried drawing two dots and connecting them with a straight line and this produces an even worse line than if I imagine the two dots in the first place.

    Same goes with circles and pretty much any other shape (but curved lines look less bad when I "miss" just because its harder to see how much they've deviated from the original curved line I was going for).

    But since I cannot draw circles or straight lines, I pretty much can't draw anything I want to, since it will always come out looking completely different from what I'm envisioning.

    Even loading up a line art in photoshop and tracing over it takes me several hours for something really simple, just because I cannot reproduce the nice lines of the original drawing.

    I try drawing from the wrist but that gives me arc'd lines, drawing from the arm gives me straighter lines with much less accuracy (ending at a different point than I was aiming for, and much farther off...) if I draw with my fingers, then one straight line has to be made of several really small ones, which "works" but definitely gives broken lines and whatnot.

    Anyone have any ideas? or maybe somewhere I can go to watch videos of people's hands and movements... I'm stumped.

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  3. #2
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    For straight lines draw with your arm, from the elbow or shoulder depending on preference.

    For circles and curves draw from your wrist or your fingers, again depending on preference.

    Find what works best for you then practice that over and over. I struggle with circles myself but am decent at most other line work. With many days of practice though I am getting better at our friend the circle.

    There really isn't any rules, just what is most comfortable and what makes the most sense.

    If you have an important project due that needs absolute straight lines... just use a ruler. Being quick with a ruler is a skill as well. You'd be surprised how slow people use those things...

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  4. #3
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    It is difficult to really guage the problem without actually seeing you in action, but I would have to say anyway that you should practice drawing with the shoulder and elbow rather than the wrist.
    Most people like to rest their arm on the table when they draw and move the wrist, which gives a short, curved stroke. However, if you elevate the arm to let it move and keep the wrist locked, the shoulder and elbow in combination can provide a fairly long, straight movement at the pencil point.

    Also, don't be afraid to draw a line more than once. When you put down a line, if it is not to your liking, leave it there while you draw another one. The combination of looking at the incorrect line as a guide along with the repetition of the movement will eventually lead you to put down the correct line, at which point you can erase the bad ones.

    As the ego shrinks, so the spirit expands.
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  5. #4
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    I'll try to draw from the arm / shoulder from now on and have nothing resting on the paper / tablet at all...

    I've tried just leaving all the bad lines, but it quickly becomes one big thick black crooked line regardless of how many times I try to repeat what I "want" over top of what is "wrong".

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  6. #5
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    Also, it's not a crime to move the paper.

    If your arm is more comfortable going in the same direction over and over... but you need a line in another direction... just turn the paper!

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  7. #6
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    I find it hard to turn the tablet and figure out what angle that will come out as on the screen. I guess if I had one of those fancy tablets with the display built in I could see that...

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  8. #7
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    You can see by moving the cursor first. fast moving your pen just above the surface to see how your arm movement looks on your screen-on paper it's drawing imaginary lines while making the arm movement first.when it's the right angle just apply the necessary pressure for your line start with light lines first.
    Never look at your tablet when drawing.

    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."
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  9. #8
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    Try drawing bigger lines with the movement coming from your arm instead of your wrist. Do this while the paper is perpendicular to the floor( i.e. place your drawing pad on an easel). Just keep doing it until you make fairly straight lines.

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