Art: Drawing with wrist locked & only arm movement?

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  1. #1
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    Drawing with wrist locked & only arm movement?

    I've noticed that when I sketch using wrist movement I often get inconsistent line shades and widths. Recently I tried locking my wrist and only moving my arm. What I saw was a mix of good and bad results. I was able to get extremely smooth line widths and shades, but I found it difficult to apply to subtle areas. I've seen a few professional animators draw on video, and they all seem to almost entirely rely on arm movement when drawing. I was wondering if I should continue to practice drawing this way, or to go back with bending my wrist and just trying to be more careful when drawing that way? In the long run drawing with my arm saves lots of time because I'm usually able to get draw one side of someone's body in one stroke, and then I just make minor corrections after getting the general outline.


    Any input on this technique would be really appreciated!

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  3. #2
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    i seem to be in the same situation,
    i seem to use my wrist when i am drawing small tight lines or complex shapes. When it comes to long smooth lines or big shapes i always use my arm. Im sure this is the same with most other people

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  4. #3
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    I also have experience in this. Here's what I suggest:

    Stop forcing your hands to do things they're not naturally inclined to do. This is what creates Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Arthritis. Learn how to manipulate lines within the context of what your hand/wrist/arm/shoulder(yes, shoulder) can easily do.

    I once visited an art studio in San Francisco, where there were two guys working, inking pencil art with brushes and quill pens. This one guy was SO DAMN GOOD at using the brush, getting strikingly beautiful flowing strong lines, ranging from subtle and small, to powerful and heavy lines. It was a marvel to behold. Then, I would go home and try to emulate what I had seen of his marvelous brushwork.

    It was a DISASTER. For a couple months, I had no idea why I couldn't get the same results.

    Then, it hit me! OF COURSE! DUH!! This guy was about 6'7" tall, with fingers twice the length of mine! I was trying to make my stubby short fingers do the same exact movements. IMPOSSIBLE!

    So, I started to compensate for the size differences. Kind of like I was doing my "stubby finger" division. Then, I was became VERY successful in getting my lines to look the way they were supposed to! I was able to achieve the same results.

    Then, an epiphany! IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW I HOLD MY BRUSH OR PEN, OR HOW I HOLD MY WRIST OR ARM! IT IS ABOUT ACHIEVING THE END RESULT SUCCESSFULLY!

    Don't overthink these things. Concentrate on what exactly you're wanting to achieve. Figure out a way to achieve it without forcing yourself to do anything uncomfortable. Go with what works, and if something doesn't work, then find a way around that problem to a solution.

    In other words, don't fool yourself into thinking that the key to a successful illustration is in how you hold your hand. The key to a successful illustration is how you apply your brain to your medium.

    Your end result is to be an illustrator whose work comes naturally from YOURSELF, without making yourself rely upon forced 'tricks'.

    Good luck!

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  5. #4
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    I agree that the end result is the only thing that really matters but still arm techniques are really important too for the artist and the picture since as they say above, they get smooth lines, long lines with the arm while they do the details with the wrist. I've tried using the shoulders more, but its been a disaster, mainly because my drawing paper is just too small.

    So keep it up and keep experimenting.. Its no use saying that it doesnt matter if you use photoshop or paint. Since both do color. (Hope I got my point through)

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    I didn't read all the replies but did you read that thread?
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...threadid=12548

    It is on topic I guess ...

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    IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW I HOLD MY BRUSH OR PEN, OR HOW I HOLD MY WRIST OR ARM! IT IS ABOUT ACHIEVING THE END RESULT SUCCESSFULLY!
    .
    I think this is the most important point. Therefore be fluid with your technique and suit them for the outcome you`re lookin.
    The worst thing you can do is stuck with just one....learn all the posibilities with your tools...
    I hope this helps a bit

    -diego

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  8. #7
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    I found that drawing with wrist locked is essential for good lines that are longer then a couple inches....but anything shorter and the wrist should suffice.


    The longer the line and the curve radius....the more important it is to use your shoulder. I have done stage painting with paintings that are 6 meters by 8 meters dropped on the floor....sometimes the pivot point for the drawing was best coming from my hip or my even my foot while the pencil was actually a yardstick with charcoal at the end.

    What you are doing is changing the pivot of the motion....and when there is a greater distance between pencil and the pivot....a smoother and more controled line is the result.


    Of course there is lot to do with the natural motions of the body. For myself....getting good lines with pulling motions towards myself is the easiest....while going perpendicular to that direction guarentees the weakest and least controlled lines.....

    so....just rotate that paper.

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