Drawing mechanical objects

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  1. #1
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    Drawing mechanical objects

    Always when I am drawing mechanical objects: cars, planes, boats etc. I have the feeling that I am cheating when I'm using a ruler to draw straight lines. It just doesn't give me a nice feeling although the finished drawing looks fine.

    Am I the only one?

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  3. #2
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    its not cheating, but if you don't want to use a ruler just practice drawing point to point.

    but rulers,protractors, computer ect are tools to be used so use em if ya got em

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  5. #3
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    Nah, using a ruler to draw some straight lines is not cheating at all. It can be considered as a tool for you to use on your art. A resource of creativity. A detail of artistic essence. A style of drawing.

    You're not the only artist who uses a ruler. Several engineers, mechanical artists and other professions do use rulers often to design products and sketch ideas in drawings with purposes (like cars or inventions) for their companies to approve before finalizing them into objects (or finished-up drawings) for people to use in their lives. Some of these designed products require rulers to be used with mathematical formulas to perfect products without any errors (like perfecting axles in cars).

    I do use a ruler too in my drawings because it helps me to achieve details I want to use and shape ideas accurately on the paper. If you still think that using a ruler is cheating, just think of it as an advantage to expand your creativity with a style accurately.


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    Thanks for the quick replies

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    I know the feeling!

    But what are you making these drawings for?

    I ask because it might actually be in your best interest to not use a ruler. No, not because it's any less cheating, but because it's actually faster! That's what most industrial designers seem to do when it comes to previs sketches. It's also what I started doing in these past few months.

    I know it's counterintuitive, but you can actually get surprisingly precise drawings with almost-straight lines by going totally ruler-less. In fact, drawings made in this way tend to look more dynamic and full of energy. And the more organic approach lets you make more creative decisions as you draw.

    It's also not terribly hard to train your hand to draw bold, straight lines. All you really have to nail is doing one angle, and then you can just turn the paper to get angle variation. (I have examples of drawings made in this way in my sketchbook, many of them on the 3rd page. A better example would be to look at some of the ruler-less stuff that Scott Robertson does. I hear he has some good DVDs out about the subject.)

    That's not to say that a ruler shouldn't be used for a tighter drawing. Plus there are some other good tools like french curves and ellipse stencils. All I'm saying is, don't feel compelled to use a ruler for structural stuff!

    (And perhaps you already knew this and were asking the question specifically about the "tighter" drawing process and I just wrote all that for nothing...)

    Last edited by Zirngibism; December 29th, 2009 at 06:03 PM.
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    I'm trying to draw with reference pictures and today it happened to be helicopter day Basicly I'm trying to copy pictures from my computer screen in my sketchbook. Don't know if this is a good way to practise but I like doing it.

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by n00dles View Post
    Always when I am drawing mechanical objects: cars, planes, boats etc. I have the feeling that I am cheating when I'm using a ruler to draw straight lines.
    You are correct, this is VERY VERY BAD, and you should be ashamed of yourself. In fact, even using a pencil is cheating, if you were a REAL artist you would be able to burn the image onto your paper using only the power of your mind.


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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    You are correct, this is VERY VERY BAD, and you should be ashamed of yourself. In fact, even using a pencil is cheating, if you were a REAL artist you would be able to burn the image onto your paper using only the power of your mind.
    WRONG!

    Paper is SooOOOOooo last week!

    Wacom only!

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    Why ruler when you have Line tool .

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    WRONG!

    Paper is SooOOOOooo last week!

    Wacom only!
    Don't you know??!? Computer is biggest CHEAT of all!!!!!!!


    Tristan Elwell
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  15. #11
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    Remember, there are no rules, only tools. - Glenn Vilppu

    Again, Vilppu's trademark quote saves the day.

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwell View Post
    don't you know??!? Computer is biggest cheat of all!!!!!!!
    Dammit!!!

    Why didn't I get that memo!

    Dammit!!


    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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