How do you like your lines?
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: How do you like your lines?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    102
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    How do you like your lines?

    I was sitting in the class studio today, and usually most people in our class (it's a digital arts class) use their computers/tablets, however the past few weeks we've been purged to use paper and pencil/pen - I always draw in digital mostly, but I also do my pencil studies too when I can (I find it tiring though...)

    While we were comparing sketches, I didn't realize how dirty, messy my lines are, and it made me think - I've been learning about art and digital art for a while, but I've never heard anyone or even a tutorial or lesson on line, how to draw such pretty lines.

    What makes a line drawing good? How do you control your lines and draw/sketch?

    I've been searching high and low for a book or a tutorial one how to change your line expression, how to sketch/draw - anyone couldn't point me to some resources?

    I don't like the way I draw in pencil/pen, I've been changing my techniques and what I do constantly and Ive even tried imitating other artists, it just doesn't work - so how can I scrap the way I draw with line and learn again into something better?

    Here is an example of linework (I don't like this style of line!)



    Here's pencil line work I do like!!



    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Asatira's Avatar
    Asatira is offline an amateur trying to figure things out Level 9 Gladiator: Hoplomachi
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    1,414
    Thanks
    305
    Thanked 336 Times in 220 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with your lines. But I understand why you wouldn't like it. I like the sketchy nature of my rough drawings, but usually go over them to make clearer, smoother lines (or use a lightbox to ink on a fresh page and save the original. Best of both worlds!).

    To answer your question about getting those lines, there's two factors. First, confidence. You have to have confidence to make the stroke and the determination to carry the stroke all the way through. You gain that through the second factor, practice and building up your control. Through practice, you both build up the strength of your arm so you can make the longer strokes, and you know the most comfortable ways to make the strokes. People do turn their paper when they draw every now and then.

    If you look closely at the sample of the kind you like, you can see that most of his lines are straight lines, or arcs. Most likely, he had very light construction lines that were erased and/or drawn over with a darker pencil (you can see some sketchy lines on the right edge of the witch's dress). If he didn't get the width from varying the pressure on the pencil, he may have gone back over some lines to get the line width variation.

    For me, a good line is one that has variety to it. A line that varies its width reads as an active line. You usually get that by varying the pressure on the pencil or brush. With softer pencils, like a B or softer, it's not that hard to do. Pigma microns are harder to get the variety with because they are limited to one size and are blunt nibs, but possible. I'd prefer to use a nib pen, brush or brushpen.

    "It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance, over brute force and cynicism." Craig Ferguson on Dr. Who
    sketchbook :: my dA gallery :: my art blog :: old sketchbook

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Asatira For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK, Warwickshire
    Posts
    1,693
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 154 Times in 81 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I like the fact that people treat lines differently, it makes things more interesting and individual.
    For me deciding on the quality of the line depends on what the context is. For example If I was preparing a sketch for a painting I would go about it differently than if I was going to render a drawing out, or if I was sketching in a park. I think it's a good idea to keep things loose. Try single contour drawing while drawing from life. I found it helped me a lot with the confidence thing. Don't worry about making mistakes, just go for it.
    If you are going for a smooth line then draw with your arm and not your wrist, it's much more fluid when you use the arm. Also scale makes a difference.
    Being messy isn't necessarily a bad thing, I wouldn't shunt it completely.

    Here are some examples that you might find interesting. I tried to get a mixture of line "styles".

    James Jean


    James Jean


    Marko Djurdjevic


    Marko Djurdjevic


    Adam Hughes


    Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form, Form.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mr Man For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    183
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 61 Times in 60 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I think that lines are the most individual and expressive things about a drawing. A line even tells me a bit about the character of the artist xD

    Those examples are Mr. Man, the second one is awesome.

    Don't bother looking at my sketchbook. I haven't updated that thing in years. :/
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    194
    Thanks
    111
    Thanked 43 Times in 28 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I tend to think more in terms of shading than lines. The outline of a figure can either be sketchy or precise (I have no preference), yet there are many different ways to shade.

    I don't see any great difference between your portrait and the Grim drawing, other than

    a) the Grim drawing has a rather wonderful contrast between thin, sketchy details and strong, decisive outlines.

    b) the blended areas of the Grim are smoother.(eg, the trees)

    c) the Grim drawing is a bit more cartoony (this is more a question of style and anatomy)

    I would recommend not using pen. It has zero contrast, and it can't blend. The hair in your portrait needs more blending. Use good drawing paper, like Stonehenge.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Gislebertus For This Useful Post:


  9. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Haifa, Israel
    Posts
    3,843
    Thanks
    2,291
    Thanked 2,230 Times in 1,350 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    To achieve good quality of line, you need to work with your whole arm, from the shoulder. Little motions with the hand will produce wobbly, hairy, fumbling, dull line. Wide flowing motions with the whole arm will produce flowing, expressive line.

    Also, you need to use a proper pencil grip: http://chiseledrocks.com/main/musing...old_the_pencil - the habitual "writing" grip will kill your line too. You need to use the violin bow or gesture grip, reserving the rest only for detailing.

    And look at how other artists handle their line; that you said that you like the line in your second attached image is a little alarming. The linework in it isn't at all that great. In fact, it's rather fumbling and dry. Artificial. If you can't see it, then you definitely want to expand your familiarity with line.

    Mr Man's examples are much, much better.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to arenhaus For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,525
    Thanks
    6,808
    Thanked 348 Times in 275 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Thumbs up

    Aim for lines like Ingres'! There's another artist whose name I forgot, who also has lots of line weight variety in his lines and his was even more energetic than Ingres.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    202
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 19 Times in 19 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Understanding form will help the quality if your lines as well as your shading. Lines aren't placed in specific areas with a certain thickness for no reason. It is to indicate shifts in plane. The same thing applies with shading. If you understand which structures overlap others, how rounded they are, etc, you will be able to convey those things effectively through line. I hope that made sense. And yeah, like other posters have said, technique makes a difference.

    Last edited by Disciplette; October 1st, 2010 at 01:41 PM.
    See my Sketchbook!!!!!!!!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Disciplette For This Useful Post:


  15. #10
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by neovirtu View Post
    Here is an example of linework (I don't like this style of line!)

    ***

    Here's pencil line work I do like!!

    ***
    I honestly don't see a whole lot of fundamental difference between your two examples.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  16. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    94
    Thanked 58 Times in 38 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'd suggest reading "On Drawing Trees and Nature" J D Harding.
    and mb trying this in case you didn't know.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  17. The Following User Says Thank You to c0ffee For This Useful Post:


  18. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    311
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 32 Times in 27 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'm not picky about my intial lines, I usually have a general/basic Idea of what I want the composition and result in the end to be. So my drawings or lines can look very chaotic or fluid until after cleanup or tightening up , sometimes I'll draw an arm in three or four positions one on top of of the other, etc. The messiness gives it a look of being alive but it isn't beautiful, As much as I like a crisp drawing, for me drawing is about hunting for something out of nothing. and sometimes there's a few misses... alot of misses. One instructor said to me that I "draw Very-Heroically" I don't know what that meens, but it was hella cool to hear. I took it as, "I own the paper, the paper doesn't own me", and it may also be that the muscles and bones in subjects look a little exaggerated, but not innaccurate, probably from the sharp angles I use.

    Well that's how I see my drawing, but there's also a checklist I go through when drawing. let's see, I need to find it...

    1. I don't do Kitten-Scratching (also known as chickenscratching), with as many lines as I'll have on the paper, if I want to maintain precision, this just adds one more thing to wade through when I tighten it up.

    2. Ok, here's a funny one, I have No Erasing on my list.

    3. Long Lines and More lines-Erase Later.

    4.Continuous line

    5. Do not Restate line- Make statement of line Confident.

    6. Landmarks, gravity, centerlines, angles, etc.

    7. Resolution Vs. Participation, this one was given to me by an instructor, it basically meens to have the veiwer in mind while drawing, you dont have to explain every detail of a contour to your audience, there can be softer lines, darker lines, or empty spaces in lines. The veiwer fills in the empty spaces, and it will assist in drawing them into the image.

    8. Another thing I do, that isn't really part of the list is I extend my lines beyond where they may actually stop, that way I can be fluid with any other lines that go to that one. they dont have to connect to the end of it, just anywhere along it.

    9 Soft edges to turn form to creat illusion of receding into space. I've heard this one from a couple instructors I think it's like the opposite of Spontaneous contrast, and you can use it without values.

    10. Crisp drawing >_< lol it's a goal, but hardly ever happens

    Some things in the list are contradictions, but I try to find a balance.
    While I'm drawing, I also make a bunch of notes on the paper. usually simple reminders of my checklist, or things I observe in what I'm drawing, I have a drawing beside me that says WTF is up w/ the ARMS ! and another one that has a drawing of a cat on it, to remind me no scratchy lines. Anyways, It works for me, but it isn't clean, my logic is I make the mess now while fighting the monstrous blank peice of paper. I'll clean up the bloody mess of lines later.(no blood actually involved)

    Last edited by Mr_S_14; October 1st, 2010 at 03:07 PM.
    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mr_S_14 For This Useful Post:


  20. #13
    Black Spot's Avatar
    Black Spot is offline Pew, Pew, Pew Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    9,696
    Thanks
    3,228
    Thanked 5,370 Times in 3,593 Posts
    Follows
    1
    Following
    0
    In other words, draw with pen. You need to concentrate more to get it right as there is no erase.


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to Black Spot For This Useful Post:


  22. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    SLC, UT
    Posts
    311
    Thanks
    67
    Thanked 32 Times in 27 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    In other words, draw with pen. You need to concentrate more to get it right as there is no erase.
    Who me ?

    I think that's a good idea.

    Way to oversimplify it. lol Actually it's kind of funny =D This post/thread must have made me think of it, because I just went to the store to buy a few pens for drawing. Then I get back and read your post, and it says "draw with pen."



    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  23. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    102
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Wooo, I haven't been online since this thread

    Asatira: You're right, I can see what you mean now - confidence is a great thing, I think lines can look nice if you can draw what you want in the longest one gesture possible, but for example if you're trying to draw the shape of something and you get it wrong the first time - you have to go back and erase or just go over your lines again and I think that's what happens to me. I like the light box idea, it just seems like double work though! : ( in Photshop, I'll use multiple layers but it's always still messy even if I know what I'm drawing.

    Mr Man: Those line examples from James Jean is amazing, so much life, I know exactly what you mean, a line can say alot about an artist if the artist is just ..free flowing, if that makes sense, my lines show frustration

    I prefer messy lines most times, but there's still an order/craft to it!

    Gislebertus: I hate drawing with pencils but they can be so beautiful and I don't draw with pen unless I'm going over something, I think I posted a bad example, I don't usually draw like that with pencil, I'm a bit more messy if I don't know what I'm drawing.


    arenhaus: I do use my whole arm for life drawing and the lines are much cleaner and pretty but on a desk on an A4 sketch book is a bit different, on an easel it's much easier to do it. That grip link is exactly what I was looking for too, thanks ♥ I agree, Mr.Man's examples are much better!

    Xeon_OND: Ingres ! waaah! Do you mean Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres?

    Elwell: Thanks? As I said, I think I posted a bad example, I don't usually draw like that.

    c0ffee: I love you so so much - exactly what I was looking for!



    Mr_S_14: I like your check list, I am going to adopt this!



    Black Spot - yes you hit it on the nail! >_<

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •