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I've decided that I need to learn how to draw robots and mechanical things. I'm not really sure how to start... Do you think I should begin by drawing cars, computers, heaters, etc from life? (And is this the right place to post this question?)
Hmm, well maybe start by trying to understand how simple machines work. Even the most advanced robotics still come down to hinges and joints. How those hinges and joints are actuated is a matter of technology. So study hydrolics and other things as well. If possible, study them from life and manipulate them to understand them.
That I think would be a good starting point. I cant say I've done this as I'm not good enough to draw such things though, hehe. Just the thoughts that came to my mind.
jtriska @ mcleodusa.net
Yeah - I have to agree with loken. working out the practicalities of joints and hydraulics.
It's then a case of playing around. I've recently had do design a mech type thing. After sketching out Ideas for aesthetics I went along to an aircraft museum - checking out and taking piccies of the planes and their gear systems and engines etc . for reference.
If you can't find something like that near you, drawing cars is still cool - check out the body work and how the shapes interact with each other for function. plus it's good to study them for how the paint work looks, the gloss etc. any little badges etc.
I dunno if you've seen a comic book by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow called 'Hard Boiled' there are robots in there and they look like they've had some 1950's car design influence in them even down to the style of the manufacturer's badge. it's also a feast for our arty eyes, so I recommend having a peek. I couldn't find much on the actual robot I'm talking about but you can see a bit below.
more on Geoff Darrow here
of course you can also look atHajime Sorayama
most well known for the 'Sexy Robot' pictures.
but he has done animals as well, so well worth studying - a master of painting chrome.
doesnt show much in the way of hydraulics and joints though.
anyway - I hope Ive been of some help.
Thank you both so much for your input.