Drawing small and detailed
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    Drawing small and detailed

    I've learn't how to draw faces not a master still need a whole lot of practice but getting there. I've learnt to draw them using the Loomis "Drawing heads and hands" as well a a few others to mix it all up a bit and get incite into other ways of doing it but Loomis was my main focus.

    Now I am reasonably confident in drawing heads at a large A4 or A3 size id like to go smaller like you see in a illustration. While working digitally I can zoom in but id also like to be able to do it in pencil.

    Is the key to not try to over detail the facial features? but to hint at the forms of the face? Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Yes, the key is to hint at the form of the face, no matter what size you are working at. Adding just enough detail for the face to "read" without overloading it helps to keep the drawing fresh and attractive.

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    The key is to define the form in light and shadow...beginning with the larger relationships and structure first, then refining as necessary to the level of detail you wish.

    Something to keep in mind is that illustration work is generally done at 200% the size you see it printed. In traditional fine art painting that can even be much, much larger.

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    It depends a little on the context of the work, too. How far away will it be viewed from? Will it be reproduced?

    Cartoonists, for example, must be very conscious of the level of detail that will actually print without becoming an unreadable blob. Next time you're looking at comic books or the more detailed type of comic strip (i.e., one where the figures are not all on the same plane, at the same distance, in every panel) pay attention to the change in detail level of faces in long, medium, and close-up shots. The facial features of distant figures may be reduced to dashes and dots, and yet still yield recognizable faces and expressions (or not, depending on the cartoonist's skill). The amount of simplification necessary will vary depending on the reduction ratio and resolution of printing.

    On the other hand, the miniature paintings popular in medieval Europe, Persia, India, and Turkey are often insanely detailed, because they were intended to be viewed in person and close up.

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    i have no idea how people draw so small and detailed sketches in those little sketchbooks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by creeptool View Post
    i have no idea how people draw so small and detailed sketches in those little sketchbooks.
    Skinny pens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    Skinny pens.
    That's what she said (I had to)

    Your question does make me think of an interesting point. I know that when I was young I drew too small, as did many of my peers. I remember many kids drawings, mine included, barely utilized the work-space of canvas. It seems as though many people when drawing have to learn to draw "big" as there is an apprehension to fill the page. It's, would the word be ironic(?) to think that once we learn how to draw large enough to be able to really incorporate details and textures, and to understand how lines and angles effect an image, we then have to relearn how to draw small.

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    Years ago, I did a series of life-size paintings of plants and animals. Some of them were 1 inch square. It's definitely a whole different thought process at that scale; you are forced to stick to the essentials.

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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Skinny pens.
    Is that where they keep the fashion models?

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Is that where they keep the fashion models?
    'Cause that would be cool...we could go visit them! I kind of like the idea of a petting zoo...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Is that where they keep the fashion models?
    Just throw in the occasional leaf of lettuce.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    Just throw in the occasional leaf of lettuce.
    Make sure to have a bucket or bathroom nearby.

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    Well this post took a turn in some weird direction lol but thanks for the information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Something to keep in mind is that illustration work is generally done at 200% the size you see it printed. In traditional fine art painting that can even be much, much larger.
    It blew me away when I first saw Beatrix Potter's originals -- they were actual size! Little teeny things. I don't know if there was a technical reason she worked to size, since she was in at the very beginning of color reproduction.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Something to keep in mind is that illustration work is generally done at 200% the size you see it printed. In traditional fine art painting that can even be much, much larger.
    Twice up is not uncommon for illustration work, but I wouldn't go so far as to say "generally." It totally depends on the degree of detail required, what print size is, and the individual artist's markmaking style. Anything from half up to four or five times up wouldn't be unusual, and working print size isn't uncommon for people who do highly detailed work, like Stoat's Beatrix Potter example. Every artist has to strike their own balance.


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