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Thread: The Drawing Learning Diary of a total rookie (and I really mean NOOB).

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    The Drawing Learning Diary of a total rookie (and I really mean NOOB).

    Hello!

    So here is the deal: as a artist I am an ABSOLUTE EXTREME noob and beginner. I mean it: I TOTALLY SUCK. I was trying to learn how to draw since 2009.

    I spent 300 days drawing only lines and ellipses and they all sucked, as I expressed here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...HHHHHHHHHHHHHH - Then some nice folks explained to me in that topic that I was doing it all wrong, focusing only on dexterity and accuracy skills while neglecting all the other skills.

    With the tips posted on that mind opening topic (thank you everyone!), I decided to start from zero. From now on, instead of focusing on a single skill, everyday I'll start something new or a mix of subjects.

    I intend to study initially from:
    Scyra Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5d...V0cSvGtbBtHw_w
    Mark's Drawing Tutorials https://www.youtube.com/user/moatddtutorials
    Hogarth's Dynamic Figure Drawing
    Scott Robertson, How to Draw book and videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaZmwHU7vZo
    Figure Drawing: Design and Invention - Michael Hampton
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...ing?highlight=
    Andrew Loomis

    My end goal is to be able to draw characters, objects, environments, etc for games. But not the high complex concepts painted in Photoshop. I just want to create sketches, then trace and paint in Illustrator. My end goal is to create Characters and coloring similar to this guy, which is my biggest inspiration: http://www.fullyillustrated.com/portfolio/illustration/

    As a starting point, I'm going to attach one of the 3000 pages that I did with lines and ellipses as I reminder on how I was wrongly focused:

    Name:  dynamic-sketching-result.png
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    Entry #001 - 23/05/14 - Drawing is a game

    What should I learn/practice first? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJtriGiRJzE

    Learn to Draw is a Game: there is no order to learn. You keep learning and adapting.

    * Agency: one thing connects to another.
    * Parameter-Driven (like Endurance, Strength, etc in game characters)
    * Experimentation: play a RPG, have a build. Then you reach a tough monster and you see your build is not enough, so you learned from that, you aren't doing the right thing.
    * Observation
    * Adaptation: You learn to deal with the problem.
    * Dependency

    Drawing:

    * Subject: what?
    * Scope: what size, what stays and what is left out
    * Arrangement: what goes in front/behind, who is doing this or that
    * Simulation: apply real physics, etc.
    * Rendering

    Drawing is a deep and complex branched tree, where you can't choose to climb one branch and reach there without the other branches. Like a jigsaw, what piece do I put on the table first? There is no first piece, you drop them all on the table, start categorizing them and then start assembling.

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    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)

    When tutorials say like "Here is how to draw a realistic eye". What they are really doing is just revealing one little branch of the tree. Don't treat these tutorials as the end way of learning. Doesn't work that way.

    -----

    Don't "master" the basics -- _USE_ THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The basics what they mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk84EpHmZKQ

    Don't try to create the perfect X, try to create the most solid X that you can.

    - How can I get an ellipse out of a plane?
    - How can I get a plane out of an ellipse?
    - How can I get a head out of a box?

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    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)

    ---

    How to start a drawing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lfPxmkGvZI
    Not so useful right now, but basically start with the overall arrangement

    ------

    10 minute drawing techniques Episode 01
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsQ1WVyPHvU

    Use point to point: draw points to guide the line, proportion and position.

    ----------

    Drawing and Painting - Episode 1: The Power of Boxes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25x7MuSrQGU
    Form Building - the smart way.

    Name:  Imagem 013.png
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    (not my drawing, screenshot from the video as learning reference/attachment)
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    Good idea starting a sketchbook. Now let's see some of YOUR drawings. Terrible and basic as you might think they are it's the only way people can help and give feedback/pointers on them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blankstate View Post
    Good idea starting a sketchbook. Now let's see some of YOUR drawings. Terrible and basic as you might think they are it's the only way people can help and give feedback/pointers on them.
    Well, they are absolutely crap. Pre-schooler quality and level. Anyway made 2 today, so attached here.

    Sorry the quality, I took with a cellphone and I couldn't fine better angles to go without shadow. If I'm doing this frequently I'll buy a scanner.

    This one is an adaption from the book "Flatland", I title it "Protecting Flatland from the US bombing":
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    Another one (I said that they were the ultimate shit):
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    -----

    Entry #002 - 23/05/14 - Perspective and Inspiration

    Studied perspective, using a ruler. The idea was to understand the 3 kinds.


    Scott's Robertson Basic Drawing Videos:
    - 1, 2, 3 points perspective using a ruler

    Perspective as a drawing tool:
    - Use it to make a drawing convincing as a 3D piece.
    - Understanding what parallel lines do.

    These are my studies (as I said with a ruler):
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    ----

    SUPER SECRET tip for INSTANTLY improving your drawings
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epMc7ZtIlQc

    Make a drawing that tells a story. People won't forget a good story.
    Before starting sketching, think about: what is the story here? What story do I want to tell?

    Like when people goes to a theme park, they are buying the experience. Not just the characters over there.

    Provide a experience, something that people will see and will talk about it. They have to say "what's the deal with it then?"

    It has to start a conversation.
    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 24th, 2014 at 07:17 PM.
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    In 2009 I spent a lot of money buying books, video courses and resources. They were all resting in my external HD because of frustration those years. Now that I want to finally learn, I found Vilppu and a bunch of other expensive courses. Already watched the first part of Vilppu, gonna totally try the gesture drawings in the way Vilppu suggests (capture only the action, 30 seconds max), but using online posers.

    Also one of my purchases was a Wacom Bamboo tablet. I wasn't using it. Tried again and I know why it was locked out: if drawing with pencil/pen and paper is hard to me, with a tablet the task turns to be almost impossible. Why is it so hard to use a tablet?

    My lines are completely jittered/flickered/whatever. I tried a dozen different Photoshop brushes and even with the smoothest one I still get bad lines. Probably because my arm keeps trembling when I'm holding the pen on the tablet. Even writing is a pain in the ass (don't mind the typography. I'm 27 years old I swear, even although my writing with the tablet looks like similar to a kid that is learning how to write hahaha).

    Here is a try:
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    Name:  alaskan.jpg
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    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 24th, 2014 at 07:34 PM.
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    It's a start. Keep working at it. I think the perspective studies turned out well. Try other shapes as well as boxes.

    Side note: Hey Cool!! You use Unity? That's what I've started to learn and why I want to learn C#!

    Anyways, have you thought to try and emulate the artist that you said inspires you? as a way of helping you learn? I don't see any problem with that. Look for the basic shapes he uses and try to get those down. Here let me show you what I mean.

    Name:  fully-illustrated_drawing basic shapes.jpg
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    Name:  CartooningGirl.jpg
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    Yo dude!
    You're still doing it wrong other than the perspective part!
    lol

    Basically your drawings look flat and you gotta fix that

    I think you have to know about the stages of learning to draw. I'm going through them and I can understand what it's like to be stuck in the frustration stage.


    And for starters, watch this video on line control and stuff.
    It knocked some sense about line quality in my head and fixed my lines a bit or at least made me aware of how to fix my crappy lines:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPBkhAB6KM4




    1. Learning to See/Observational Drawing:
    This is the first stage. If you skip this, your drawings will forever suck even after practice since you don't see with the artist's eye. Sounds like baloney I know but it's actually true. You gotta start with some contour drawing and still life drawings. Best way to learn this is buy a Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain book and also, watch the videos on Ctrl+Paint/ in the video library, chronologically/sequentially and do the assignments strictly as you're told in the videos and post them in your sketchbook. You could also try out Vilppu's Drawing Essentials on his website though that's expensive.

    Spend some time doing observational drawing like a few days straight until you're comfortable with the actual feeling you experience when you use your right brain to draw. You're drawing with your left brain now and that's why your drawings look noobish/childish.

    2. Perspective
    Few options you have. Marshall Vandruff's Perspective Series (highly revered, very detailed, lots of content IMO and only $12 for those awesome lectures) Other than Marshall Vandruff, you've got the Perspective 101 thread at the CA forums here and it kickstarts your progress and Alphonso Dunn's Video on Perspective on Youtube helped me a lot in understanding about the basic laws of perspective, especially the difference between drawing with and without perspective. (I'd highly recommend his video before you even touch Scott Robertson or Vandruff's videos)
    Gary Meyer's Gnomon DVDs on Perspective (3 Volumes) are also pretty good but he is a bit boring, kind of.(his voice lol)
    So to sum perspective up, watch the perspective videos from 1 point to the rest from this Youtube channel first:

    Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jmI...31rZG&index=20
    Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCsaWiqSEiI
    Look into his channel/playlists. He has a video on foreshortening too somewhere.

    And then move on to CA's Perspective 101 forum and do the exercises there.
    THEN, move on to Marshall Vandruff's Perspective Tutorials OR Gary Meyer's Perspective Tutorials OR the Perspective course at New Masters Academy and THEN to Scott Robertson's tutorials.


    2.5 Light and Form (for shading) and Composition: Sycra Yasin has playlists on them in his Youtube Channel. And also Scott Robertson's Rendering Matte Surfaces Gnomon DVDs videos. As for a book, Andrew Loomis's Successful Drawing (the section on light and form)



    3. Figure Drawing/Anatomy:
    http://www.deviantart.com/art/MANGA-...-ONE-215317699 (teaches stuff about faces) (other parts included in DA description in link)
    http://foervraengd.deviantart.com/ar...rt-I-220251993 (Starts with Anatomy)

    For videos, the options you have are - Stan Prokopenko's Figure Drawing DVD (only covers figure drawing, not anatomy of the human body but good stuff really) and Portrait Fundamental DVD, Drawing from the Model by Jeffrey Watts (this should serve as supplement)Gnomon Anatomy Workshop by Charles Hu, Neil Fontaine's Anatomy Course on Udemy, Structure of Man HD by Riven Phoenix on Alienthink, Vilppu's Anatomy DVDs, CGMA Analytical Figure Drawing course/workshop by Michael Hampton. And then New Master's Academy figure drawing/anatomy video series.

    4. Color Theory, Landscapes, Design and other stuff - PencilKings, Gnomon DVDs, CGMA Master classes, Digital Tutors( DT has lots of content)

    Dope tutorial on Color Theory: http://shesta713.deviantart.com/art/...t-01-175258352


    And if you want structured learning/guidance/critiques then sign up for the Level Up workshop/course here at CA.

    But yeah, start with Betty Edwards and Ctrl+Paint
    Once you finish with that, move on to the other resources on perspective, anatomy etc and study em up nice and slow.

    For books, you've got Andrew Loomis's books on figure drawing, successful drawing, heads and hands and then michael hampton's and vilppu's books and even burne hogarth's books on anatomy/figure drawing (whatever floats your boat) and tons more (I think I saw a huge list at CA somewhere)



    But what I'm saying is don't skip the basics.
    Observation first, then other drawing subjects and finally color once you master grayscale.

    And finally the Youtube channels you should check out:
    Will Terrell
    Sycra
    Sinix
    Cubebrush
    Ctrl+Paint
    Alphonso Dunn
    Polaara (Good coloring tutorial with color pencils)
    Virtual Instructor
    Mark Crilley
    Stephen Silver
    Feng Zhu
    Xia Taptara
    ProkoTV
    Draw Space (A website which has tons of material on observational drawing and some fun stuff)

    And if you plan to learn by copying that's great too. Copying helps build up a good visual library. Watch Sycra's Youtube video where he explains that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPY7d23fScQ

    And finally, set yourself a goal and stick to it. Helps a lot and don't get depressed/frustrated. Cheer up. Watch anime/movies, read comic books/graphic novels/manga, be inspired, have fun And then channel that energy slowly and make it positive and have fun drawing.
    Fundamental rule of art is having fun. And that's the only real rule You have to love drawing even the most boring stuff to be able to enjoy drawing. You gotta love the feeling of pulling each and every single lines. Enjoy the process, not the results. You'll get the results sooner than later when you least expect it


    And here's another tip: When you're doing observational drawing, you should have fun and you should experience a calm, meditative, concentrated state of mind, like trance kinda. And you'll see so many details you;ve never seen before. You have to learn to tap into this state and maintain it when you learn/practice drawing in order for it to be most effective. Make notes and post whatever you draw in the sketchbook thread even if it is utter crap. Nobody told me this and I suffered really bad until I realized all this stuff. So put it to your advantage and go Go GO!!!!
    And regarding improvement, don't aim to improve in a day/week/month. Have a long term vision or else your visions/ambitions will crumble with disappointment. But that doesn't mean set 10 years to just hone basic drawing/fundamentals lol. What I mean is, say for instance 1 month = observational drawing and assignments, 2nd month to 4th month = anatomy and then other fields like illustration study/animation etc etc etc for few months while going back to basics once or twice a week. Like that and you'll be improving before you know it and having tons of fun!

    And let's be friends I'm a noob too

    As for buying materials/tools and stuff, Sycra made another video on this. Hope it helps. Ah, and another anatomy book I forgot to mention was the one in his video by the Rogers Peck guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxZbsLBd3oU

    And lastly, you have to determine the type of learner you are, visual or the reader type. If you learn best by watching videos, then go for it, I've mentioned you all the resources I know of so far. If you're the reader type, then there are tons of books mentioned in various threads. What you pick to learn from will depend on your tastes/preferences. Or why not both if you love videos and you reinforce the concepts by practicing from books and stuff?
    Oh yeah, and another thread to definitely check out (Includes the Perspective 101 thread in this at CA):

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...oncept-Art-101
    Last edited by Kaioken20XGoku; May 24th, 2014 at 11:15 PM.
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    Your drawings on the tablet look like barf (on a pure technical standpoint) because you are not using its main feature, which is pressure sensitivity. Make sure you have the right drivers installed.

    If you want to know how to configure the brush settings in Photoshop you can take a look at the CTRL Paint video library. http://www.ctrlpaint.com/library
    Under 8) The Brush Tool you'll find everything you need to know.
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    I can't draw a circle very well but that doesn't really mean much. Dexterity practice is cool and all but I think it's important to learn all different aspects and keep plugging away at them. I started out by trying to copy things. When I was reasonable at that I then started drawing things from life. Then started understanding form, then started understanding light. One thing filters into another and eventually all these skills will converge giving you superhuman abilites that can be used for good or evil. World domination awaits just be patient and keep practicing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blankstate View Post
    It's a start. Keep working at it. I think the perspective studies turned out well. Try other shapes as well as boxes.
    Nice, thanks.

    Side note: Hey Cool!! You use Unity? That's what I've started to learn and why I want to learn C#!
    Yes, I work with it fulltime for 4 years already and more recently Unreal Engine 4. But Unity is still (and will probably be for a long time) my main source of income

    And keep learning C#, it's a powerful but amazing language to work with. It is a fun language, because you have so many ways to do something.

    Anyways, have you thought to try and emulate the artist that you said inspires you? as a way of helping you learn? I don't see any problem with that. Look for the basic shapes he uses and try to get those down. Here let me show you what I mean.
    I tried copying exactly that dinosaur from him, but turned out terrible. I'll try in the way you also did: break in basic shapes and move on. Hehe funny thing about your cartoon design is that is almost what I envisioned, but then the final result is the one you saw. But thanks a lot for making it polished. It's good to see something that you thought about really taking the shape of a drawing (your drawing that is), this way I can just copy it for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaioken20XGoku View Post
    Yo dude!
    You're still doing it wrong other than the perspective part!
    lol

    Basically your drawings look flat and you gotta fix that

    I think you have to know about the stages of learning to draw. I'm going through them and I can understand what it's like to be stuck in the frustration stage.

    ... Lots of links here...
    That's a lot of links and materials, thanks! I saved them all in my Drawing Materials note in Evernote. Also the order of study that you post is higly appreciated.

    I actually knew most of them (have on a study list), and I also had already most of the videos and books cited (as I said I spent a lot of money on this in 2009).

    My biggest problem now is choosing what to study. I am burned out with so much available material, so your study order is welcome

    As you suggested I already read and did all exercises from Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain, but here I stand. Anyway yesterday I started watching CTRL+PAINT videos, but found some of his paid videos in my external HD, including his perspective videos.

    I also have:
    - Vilppu book and videos (those were really expensive lol!).
    - Bruce Hogarth - Dynamic Figure Drawing
    - Bruce Hogarth - Dynamic Hands
    - Michael Hampton - Figure Drawing Design and Invention
    - Andrew Loomis - Figure Drawing for All it's Worth
    - 6 different cartooning books
    - Marvel Way - Stan Lee
    - Gnomon Workshop - Fundamentals of Perspective Gary Meyer - All Volumes (those were expensive too)
    - Ernest Norling Perspective Easy
    - Imaginative Realism - James Gourney (this I recall being extremely advanced and frustrating for me)
    - Some more I can't recall now...

    And finally, set yourself a goal and stick to it. Helps a lot and don't get depressed/frustrated. Cheer up. Watch anime/movies, read comic books/graphic novels/manga, be inspired, have fun And then channel that energy slowly and make it positive and have fun drawing.
    Fundamental rule of art is having fun. And that's the only real rule You have to love drawing even the most boring stuff to be able to enjoy drawing. You gotta love the feeling of pulling each and every single lines. Enjoy the process, not the results. You'll get the results sooner than later when you least expect it

    And here's another tip: When you're doing observational drawing, you should have fun and you should experience a calm, meditative, concentrated state of mind, like trance kinda. And you'll see so many details you;ve never seen before. You have to learn to tap into this state and maintain it when you learn/practice drawing in order for it to be most effective. Make notes and post whatever you draw in the sketchbook thread even if it is utter crap. Nobody told me this and I suffered really bad until I realized all this stuff. So put it to your advantage and go Go GO!!!!
    And regarding improvement, don't aim to improve in a day/week/month. Have a long term vision or else your visions/ambitions will crumble with disappointment. But that doesn't mean set 10 years to just hone basic drawing/fundamentals lol. What I mean is, say for instance 1 month = observational drawing and assignments, 2nd month to 4th month = anatomy and then other fields like illustration study/animation etc etc etc for few months while going back to basics once or twice a week. Like that and you'll be improving before you know it and having tons of fun!

    And let's be friends I'm a noob too
    As for inspiration, I play lots and lots of games. Then when I see something I want to make in terms of art, I take screenshots, videos, etc. As for schedule, I created one yesterday, thanks for the tip. I'll share it later today I think, because in there I put what I'm going to study/what video, book, etc. A mix every day to not get bored.

    And if you plan to learn by copying that's great too. Copying helps build up a good visual library. Watch Sycra's Youtube video where he explains that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPY7d23fScQ
    Finished watching this. Really really good points that open the mind! My favorite part is when he says something like "these people were copying with a high amount of detail, and this learning already from a high level, learning all the foundations to later develop their own style".

    And lastly, you have to determine the type of learner you are, visual or the reader type. If you learn best by watching videos, then go for it, I've mentioned you all the resources I know of so far. If you're the reader type, then there are tons of books mentioned in various threads. What you pick to learn from will depend on your tastes/preferences. Or why not both if you love videos and you reinforce the concepts by practicing from books and stuff?
    Oh yeah, and another thread to definitely check out (Includes the Perspective 101 thread in this at CA):

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...oncept-Art-101
    I am a mixed one. I like to watch/do a video course and then read along. Most of my learning resources I bought video + book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggeraz View Post
    Your drawings on the tablet look like barf (on a pure technical standpoint) because you are not using its main feature, which is pressure sensitivity. Make sure you have the right drivers installed.

    If you want to know how to configure the brush settings in Photoshop you can take a look at the CTRL Paint video library. http://www.ctrlpaint.com/library
    Under 8) The Brush Tool you'll find everything you need to know.
    Oh yeah I fixed it yesterday right after posting those drawings. The drivers weren't installed. Also coincidentally watched the CTRL Paint videos after installing the drivers and got his brushers. Really helpful!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bri in the sky View Post
    I can't draw a circle very well but that doesn't really mean much. Dexterity practice is cool and all but I think it's important to learn all different aspects and keep plugging away at them. I started out by trying to copy things. When I was reasonable at that I then started drawing things from life. Then started understanding form, then started understanding light. One thing filters into another and eventually all these skills will converge giving you superhuman abilites that can be used for good or evil. World domination awaits just be patient and keep practicing.
    Thanks, another copy tip. I think it is my way for now until I can at least reasonably do shapes. And how would you know my master plan! Dominate all pity humans with the power of drawing.
    Last edited by Maquiavelli; May 25th, 2014 at 10:34 AM.
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    If you fill ~3 pages with some kind of practice and see absolutely no improvement in you drawings or comprehension in the subject try something else. Different kinds of exercises work differently for different people. Being self-taught, it's your task to discover what works for you. You can get ideas for exercises from books and good teachers, and compliment them by raiding the Sketchbook section here and trying other random new exercises people do. (:

    It's good to see you studying the 1, 2, 3 points perspective. It's the very basic concept you must always have in mind when drawing anything in perspective. How do you feel about it? Can you imagine a solid in a specific angle and place the points correctly to get that specific angle or do you still feel awkward and out of control?

    Speaking as someone who is bad at perspective, I noticed an improvement on my "visualisation" skill when I went for small things: Simple cubes. I would look at cubes in various angles and try to mimic these angles. It gave me confidence and somehow I got better and visualizing what I wanted to draw. In your case in particular:
    1. Be aware of the perspective points when drawing your edges, they must converge to their respective points.
    2. Connect your edges properly. Your sides aren't always connecting and it's one of the top reasons it looks so off.

    Strive to connect the vertices first, it'll give solidity to your geometry even if the perspective is freehand and a wrong. The intimacy to straight lines will come in time. You'll earn bonus points because connecting dots trains your accuracy as well, it's 2 exercises in one. A nice way to go around is to sketch the solid, mark all the vertices then connect the vertices. You can make corrections on the final stage as long your edges still connect:

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    See? Even with the freehand inaccurate lines it looks a bit more solid.

    Another thing: Drawing fast doesn't equal to drawing without hesitation. Take your time do draw every line and curve, apply the right pressure, feel the paper, guide the pencil. Increase the speed when it helps; if it becomes an obstacle, slow down, apply more/less pressure on the pencil and let the paper texture help your accuracy.

    Also, I advise to always mix studies with works from imagination. Drawing from imagination allows you to apply what you've observed in your previous studies, keep track of your weakest points and keep away the boredom. Study a lot, study hard, but remember to have fun!
    Last edited by Vielmond; May 25th, 2014 at 01:22 PM.
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    You have a very clean, straight, orderly beginning. That's probably good-- Nip the bad habits in the bud, and focus on technique.

    I myself am very sloppy and need to work on technique.

    You will go far, just work hard, and follow the awesome advice provided here.
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  21. #13
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    You know what? Post the Betty Edwards exercises you did here in your sketchbook.
    Maybe we can analyze something and some artists here can give you better feedback.
    Or it's just that you're digging way too deep into this and rushing to learn.

    Slow down 20X and draw with a calm mind with all the time in the world - that's the perfect condition for drawing You have to not be aware of being aware of the state you're in when you draw. It's like time flies, that sorta state. If you worry too much and draw you can't focus.

    And make it a point to post a sketch or a couple few sketches in your sketchbook EVERYDAY. Be it good or crap.
    I'm a scribble ninja! Hah!
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