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Thread: From the Start: Learning to Draw
March 2nd, 2013 #1
From the Start: Learning to Draw
Hello! So, I'm a writer with basically no experience in drawing, however through viewing other artists' work became inspired to build my proficiency, primarily to allow me to draw my own characters, but also because I find the work of so many artists inspiring. My ability to draw is probably less than zero, but I'm determined to get better. I decided to start a sketchbook here in hopes of receiving lots of criticism and critique to help me improve. Thanks (:
Hide this ad by registering as a memberMarch 2nd, 2013 #2
Hey nixe, welcome to the forums. Good idea starting with the skull, learning the proportions of that really helps when drawing faces, not to mention you don't have to worry so much about likeness.
If I could give any advice to you it'd be make sure at draw what you see, not what you know things to be("symbols"). Also, I think it'd be a good idea to draw basic shapes in perspective, if even just as warmups. Bad perspective tends to be the first thing I see everyone have trouble with, and it affects pretty much everything in a drawing.
My Sketchbook Feel free to drop in and offer advice
March 2nd, 2013 #3
Thanks very much. I just did a page on perspective and will do some more tomorrow, as well as some practice drawing lines. The perspective exercise reminded me a lot of when I learnt to draw 3D cubes in primary school - they went over *everything*!
March 2nd, 2013 #4
That's great! The ruled lines are nice when you want to do things perfectly like complex architecture, but I suggest you try to practice "feeling out" the perspective of the shapes a lot too(like you've done on the top right); It's pretty easy to tell when you've done it wrong(things won't line up), this type of practice will help you more later on when you start getting into visualizing the figure in perspective.
Anyways, keep working hard, I will look forward to your progress ^_^.
My Sketchbook Feel free to drop in and offer advice
March 2nd, 2013 #5
Thanks (: Hopefully with practice every day I'll progress to drawing heads that really look like heads, haha. Everyone here is so amazing, it's intimidating and inspiring at the same time.
Sorry for the sketchbook spam today!
March 2nd, 2013 #6
Hey, I know exactly what you mean about the intimidation and inspiration felt when browsing here. Hopefully that should become a driving force to keep you drawing and improving! I don't have a great deal else to tell you apart from go mental. You'll improve very quickly if you try to churn out practice after practice. That's what I'm attempting to do now!
March 2nd, 2013 #7
Good start. It is clear you have good observational skills. Keep posting here for motivation Fun to scroll back through work and be able to see that you have progressed.
March 2nd, 2013 #8
Thanks! I definitely plan to keep posting here. I've know a couple of people who've kept a daily sketchbook and the transformation in their drawing in just a year is amazing!
Here's a couple of pages from this morning. I think my heads are slightly improved.
March 2nd, 2013 #9
March 3rd, 2013 #10
I went rollerblading last night for the first time, which was horrifying, but I actually learnt how to do it by the end of the night, which was a skill I never thought I'd possess. I figure that if I can learn to rollerblade, then I can learn to draw as well.
Some quick contour and gesture drawings as well as another perspective page. Hoping to be able to sit down and draw for a while in university today as well.
March 4th, 2013 #11
Thanks for stopping by my sketchbook! I know how you feel with rollerskating. I did both roller derby on quads and speed skating on inlines, and I still feel like a total spaz on skates because I don't practice nearly as often as I should. Moral of the story is practice as often as you can with both art and skating!
If you ever need advice with skating, shoot me a PM. I may be a bit out of practice but I still know the theory quite well.
You're definitely on the right track with your art. My advice to you would be to try and draw a line of action to give your gesture drawings some fluidity. This tutorial covers what I'm talking about. Try not to feather your lines so much, too. I know it's a tough habit to drop (probably because you're afraid of messing up the shape, right?), but two bad lines look better than a thousand good ones. Here's my quick example I did in MS Paint:
Check out my sketchbook! Socially acceptable opportunity to yell at a teenage girl!
March 5th, 2013 #12
Somebody I knew was holding a fundraiser at the roller-center, so I went to support that, but it ended up being really fun. I'm hoping to go back soon without so many people there to watch me fall over.
Thank you! The tutorial was really helpful. I used the lines to try and quickly capture some people while I was waiting to go into a lecture (I didn't have much time, so they kind of came out like stick people). It was difficult not to use the short lines - I forgot I was doing it at first - but I tried to keep note of it. I borrowed out Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards from the library, so I'll go through some of those exercises over the next few days as well and hopefully that'll help with the way I see things.
March 5th, 2013 #13
One generall advice I would give you is to start with really small steps. Start very easy and simple. For example I´d suggest you not to try to capture expressions or positions but to learn how to draw a simple stick figure first with correct proportions. You have to build your skill pice by pice. Maybe you could take some time and instead of drawing you search tutorial resources on the web. Pick a topic for yourself. For example just focus on facial structure for one month. Search for tutorials about that and if you got the money buy books. Then practice your ass off that one topic. Then jump to another topic like figure drawing or expand your field of studys to facial expressions or whatever. By time you´ll be good enough to try more complicated stuff like fancy positions and so on.
I think at the beginning when one can´t really do much yet and doesn´t have a genereal comprehension of fundamental knowledge it´s very important to learn from tutorials and books even if it´s maybe more boring.
I wish you good luck with your studys! Keep the work up!
March 6th, 2013 #14
I think that knowing where to start has been the biggest trouble I've been having, just because even though I know the simpler exercises are necessary, sometimes I get worried that they're not really doing anything or that I won't know when to move on. At the moment I'm trying to focus mainly on training my eyes to "see" like an artist on on making my lines more confident. Thank you!
I'm doing a design course at university at the moment, which is mainly computer based, but my tutor had us do gesture drawings of our hands (one blind and the other one seen). I also completed the first exercise from the Betty Edwards book, to draw a self portrait, but I don't think it looks much like me, haha.
March 6th, 2013 #15
If you have this problem then I really highly recommend books. If you have a highly recommended art book you can be sure that it´s exercises will help you. You got to consider that it´s written by an artist with a lot of knowledge of his/her craft and experience with teaching. You then just move on when you are able to do the next step without messing up entirerly. But it´s important that you inform yourself about the art book. There are many crepy once out there. Check out Andrew Loomis.
March 6th, 2013 #16
Yeah, I'm working through Betty Edwards' book at the moment to help with my mentality. I'm definitely going to start reading Loomis again though - I used one of his books to help with the heads above
I finished exercises #2 and #3 from Miss Betty (sounds better than writing out her full name). The first one is a portrait of somebody I know from memory, so I chose one of my friends. The other is a drawing of my hand. I always hate those types of exercises because my hand gets sore from holding it in one place for so long, haha. I did Art as a subject in high school and that was one of the pieces of homework on my first day in the senior school when I was fifteen or so, so I included the drawing I did then as well, which is drawn from a hand reference I found on Deviantart. I just remember being filled with this force to make it perfect and locked myself in my room for hours until it was done, and I didn't even really draw then. I'm hoping that the more I draw, the more patience I'll learn and so I can get into that mindset and draw better
From high school:
March 6th, 2013 #17
hello mate,I thought Ill throw a couple of resources at you to help you on your way.
amazing site with videos of the fundamentals of drawing(more digital but traditional as well)
a free download(legal) of a life drawing book-has concise and effective techniques for life drawing
successful drawing and creative iilustration by Andrew loomis
these resources focus on the basics- construction proportion,perspective,composition,values,measurin g,gesture.
March 8th, 2013 #18
Thank you! I'll sit down and go through the links when I have a chance to look at them properly - have been so busy the past couple of days!
The first practice is something for my design course, since we have to complete a "pencil license" (so cute, haha). The second was an exercise from Miss Betty Edwards. It's one of those visual mind-tricks in that it's both two profiles and a vase. I got really confused drawing the mirror version. The last is just some more head practice
March 8th, 2013 #19
Welcome to the jungle buddy. Alright all the other guys have given you some pretty solid tips to begin. A few more things that I'll suggest that I hope help.
1. Try breaking things down into simple shapes. It's part of the reason for the shape in perspective warm ups. Everything is made of simple shapes when you get down to it. Eventually you'll be able to see the simple shape breakdown in everything from the hand to the head to the figure as a whole and all the objects in an environment.
2. Turn your paper. One of the things I'm noticing with your heads is something me, and half my class struggled with at one point or another and still do. You've got a tilt. Your heads fore example tend to stretch and get a bit wonky. Turning the paper upside down and drawing that way helps you to see when it's happening.
3. When doing gesture drawings perhaps you'll want to hold the pencil farther back. It can help with blocking in and it helps you press down on the paper less to make finer and lighter lines.
4. Try some more skull studies and stick figure drawings. They really do help.
Just keep going and going man. You'll always get somewhere that way.
If you're wish my blog and thus portfolio are available for comment. I can always use critique.
Also, my concept art sketchbook can be found here
Definition: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
"You must first learn the rules. That way, you can learn to break them properly"-Dahli Lama
March 8th, 2013 #20
Keep going! Definitely can tell you have a good approach in your studies!
I actually started drawing because I used to write novels in elementary school and wanted to illustrate the characters from them, and nowadays take art more seriously because as a game programmer I feel I need to understand the artists more too. So I understand learning to draw to help out with your other abilities and such.
Gotta draw everyday! And no matter what keep on going!
March 10th, 2013 #21
Thanks so much guys! All of the feedback means a lot to me, since sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing, haha. I think that I've gone past the initial enthusiasm and hit the wall where drawing every day starts to become a chore, but whatever. I'm determined to do this, so I'll keep going! I make sure to stop by the pages of some of the artists I admire to inspire me to keep going
The first page is just a drawing of the same box over and over, trying to get the angles right from sight, plus two more pages of skulls. I also did a digital painting just for fun! I didn't use any references, so it's pretty wonky, but just wanted to play around.
March 11th, 2013 #22
Just some quick drawings done at university. Makes me so frustrated, I just want to be better! Progress is a slow goal ><
March 11th, 2013 #23
Soo, I just woke up, so not drawings for today yet! But on my morning visit to tumblr, I happenstanced upon this:
So I made this promise to myself that once I reach six months of drawing, I was going to buy myself a bigbig set of Prismacolours to start using coloured pencils, but I this a clause needs to be added to that (added and not replaced, because I kinda still want the Prismacolours within the next century or so of my life). In a year or a couple of years (i.e. When I have the $1,700. Who needs vital organs?) and I'm good at drawing, I am getting that case.
March 12th, 2013 #24Registered User
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keep at it. even if you feel like your failing. your at least learning what not to do or in process of doing just that.
March 12th, 2013 #25
I'm loving your sketchbook so far. If you keep this up you will be awesome
March 12th, 2013 #26
Thanks so much guys! The encouragement means so much and helps keep me going 333
I had university for 12 hours today (*buries self*) and had study to do in the breaks, so I just did a digital painting in between eating tea and ice cream :3 I used Clemence Posey as a reference, but I don't think it came out much like the photo :/
At least five pages tomorrow! Or I have to eat something raw and disgusting out of the cupboard, like tuna!
Last edited by nixe_dreamer; March 14th, 2013 at 01:53 AM.
March 13th, 2013 #27
Five pages from yesterday as promised! I would have uploaded them last night, only there were still a couple of glitches from the server, so it was easier to wait until today
March 14th, 2013 #28
Yeah the repairs and such are making it harder to post and I think it deleted some of the previous attachments and got rid of all the emoticons, wonder when how long before everything is fully migrated properly to the new servers.
Anyways yay for more pages of sketches, drawing eyes is really fun! I remember when I first got a big pretty picture of an eye, amethyst color cause that's my favorite and then I just studied it and drew every detail of it.
Best way to learn is to draw from what is actually out there! Glad to see another beginner updating and drawing everyday as much as they can, makes me feel motivated to keep on doing so also! Hope we both become awesome!
March 14th, 2013 #29
ji-li - Yeah, I feel kinda cold not having any emoticons :3 It is! But I have a bit of trouble with the detail in the middle which I guess just means I need to draw more eyes! I'm going to have to start annoying people to sit still for me while I draw them soon. I went by your sketchbook and you're wayyyy ahead of me, but it's awesome to know that we're both on the road to greatness!
My line confidence is awful :/ Thinking I might have to *keep that pencil down*, no matter how much the urge to scratch takes me.
March 15th, 2013 #30
I have to admit, it's not uncommon for me to just not be in the mood to draw at all, but once I get started it's a lot easier to focus. I bought some Omega 3 vitamins today and they're super cool because they're, like, gummies! I thought they could help me focus more and also I like the idea of having candy that's *good* for me. I have these orange flavoured Vitamin C tablets I carry around as candy too and I recently found multivitamin mints (Vitamints!). I also recently discovered that Pandora is available in Australia (there was licensing issues for a while), so I've been playing that in the background, which is way better than my iTunes Genius.
Anyways, I did some studies on noses and lips and I understand how they work a lot better now. I still have some ways to go with rotating them properly and angles, but it's a start.