When I mirror my drawings, they suck

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  1. #1
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    When I mirror my drawings, they suck

    Just as the title says folks. I've been doing some self portraits, and everything looks kind of ok, but when I put them to the test and use a mirror they suck, like REALLY suck, they have like weird eyes and some stuff is leaning heavily to the right and so on. I make a concious effort of having the right shapes and have them "even" and all but everytime I mirror the drawing some new stupid error appears. I have a reached a bump here guys, should I just keep doing the portraits and the problem dissapears? or what can I practice to erradicate this problem? it's very discouraging cause when i think I got a nice drawing, I see all the errors and really puts me down. I would post samples but my sacanner isnt working right now, I will post them if i fix it, but trust me they blow.

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    Use more construction lines and draw THROUGH forms instead of around them. Also focus on vertical/horizontal relationships between things such as features, and use shape to reinforce the accuracy of the forms from the construction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sonea View Post
    Use more construction lines and draw THROUGH forms instead of around them. Also focus on vertical/horizontal relationships between things such as features, and use shape to reinforce the accuracy of the forms from the construction.
    I know this is not my thread, but I'd really like to know what you mean with drawing through forms?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixtar View Post
    I know this is not my thread, but I'd really like to know what you mean with drawing through forms?
    Using ellipsis, like for example on the upper leg. At it's most basic form you can translate it into a cylinder. So draw the cylinder, and show all of the ellipsis. Like when you draw a see through cube and you can see what's through the form.

    This also helps with perspective because depending on how the form is oriented in relation to the horizon will determine whether you see under or over the ellipses.

    In my opinion drawing through the form has A LOT to do with perspective. I mean, you can't really have a form (3 dimensional object) without perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggnasty View Post
    Using ellipsis, like for example on the upper leg. At it's most basic form you can translate it into a cylinder. So draw the cylinder, and show all of the ellipsis. Like when you draw a see through cube and you can see what's through the form.

    This also helps with perspective because depending on how the form is oriented in relation to the horizon will determine whether you see under or over the ellipses.

    In my opinion drawing through the form has A LOT to do with perspective. I mean, you can't really have a form (3 dimensional object) without perspective.
    Cool thanks, I thought it was something totally else that was mentioned here

    Well, at least I can say I try my best doing that already, although "my best" still needs to increase significantly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixtar View Post
    I know this is not my thread, but I'd really like to know what you mean with drawing through forms?
    its better with a picture

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    To mirror something effectively pay attention to the negative as well as positive shapes. Measure to the edge of the surface from the outside of the contour and measure angles too.

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    Bingo. Everybody does this to some degree, especially beginners. That's WHY you have to mirror your drawings. The more you do it, the more sensitive to your individual skew you become. (P.S: You're drawings don't look "kind of OK" before you mirror them, it's just that it allows you to see what everybody else already can.)


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    I know its hard for some people to do, but you could try making your initial framework with the subdominate hand. Our brains are crosswired when you rely on one hand you're relying on one side of the brain. When you mirror the image you're using the otherside to view it. Also you could try turning the drawing upside down if you can't manage the switching hands thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shorinji_Knight View Post
    I know its hard for some people to do, but you could try making your initial framework with the subdominate hand. Our brains are crosswired when you rely on one hand you're relying on one side of the brain. When you mirror the image you're using the otherside to view it. Also you could try turning the drawing upside down if you can't manage the switching hands thing.
    Um... sorry, but that piece folk neurophysiology isn't quite true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Um... sorry, but that piece folk neurophysiology isn't quite true.
    It's a gross generalization, but it is still correct and entirely applicable. I was attempting to help without becoming too technical. The idea is to force yourself to think differently.

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    When your eye first looks at an image it's excited by the different values, the colors, the shapes, etc. The longer you look at it the less stimulated your eyes becomes.

    I know this works big time with seeing values. The more you stare at them the harder they are to pick out but I'm not sure how much it might have to do with natural skew that most folks start out with.

    Somebody more sciencey than I can chime in.

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    A mirror gives you new eyes on the thing you've been staring at for a while. Try and turn it upside down while you're at it.

    "A mirror is a good judge for you to have, it is marvellous how every weakness in a painting is so clearly revealed in a mirror"
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    This is not a new thing that you are experiencing.

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    Well i guess it IS somethign many artists go through, thanks guys, I'm gonna pull an all nighter here, see how that goes. Im gonna smash that skewed pesrpective one way or another, been buging me for so long.

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    To avoid massive disappointment after you've finished a drawing, try checking it upside down and/or in a mirror early in the drawing phase when you're working out the basic construction and placement. Then hopefully you can correct it right from the start. (And keep checking periodically as you go, so you can catch mistakes as they happen...)

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    All the points in this thread are great, but Elwell touched on something that's worth reiterating- we don't see our own work objectively. Much of the challenge of making art is getting around this- for whatever reason as we work we tend to very literally not see it properly. Something can be wildly off that is plainly obvious to someone else, but we just don't see it.

    It's good to have a strategy for dealing with this. The mirror, viewing upside-down, squinting, and stepping back are all your friends in this effort. IMHO it's not something you just work on for a while and then you're over it, although you can learn your individual tendencies and work on them. But even for experienced artists it can sneak up on you if you let your guard down, so it's better to just make a habit of doing this throughout a piece- more often is usually better. Most of the artists that I admire that I've had the fortune of watching work are doing this *more* rather than less- they are constantly squinting, stepping back, using the mirror, or some combination of all three. Some of them even seem to spend just as much time doing this kind of looking as they do actually working on the piece.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    All the points in this thread are great, but Elwell touched on something that's worth reiterating- we don't see our own work objectively.
    This also explains the art teacher's authority, at least to some extent. He has a trained eye, he has an experienced eye, but above all, he has a fresh eye.

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    Keep mirroring as you draw
    And it gets better with practice

    do not worry, have fun

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    Thanks dpaint

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    Instead of waiting until the end, mirror the drawing at an earlier state while it's still easy to fix any problems with the initial framework.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    Instead of waiting until the end, mirror the drawing at an earlier state while it's still easy to fix any problems with the initial framework.
    Better yet, mirror constantly throughout the whole working process...

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    I've been trying to do this more, but a lot of my work recently is studies from photo reference. Anyone know of an image viewing program that allows easy mirroring and doesn't eat up too much ram while I'm painting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomanDavis View Post
    Anyone know of an image viewing program that allows easy mirroring and doesn't eat up too much ram while I'm painting?
    Microsoft Paint can flip horizontally and it's about as lightweight as you can get. I usually just do everything in Photoshop.

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