Art: Need advice on line quality
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Thread: Need advice on line quality

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Need advice on line quality

    I've been drawing for 22 years, and while my understanding of anatomy, perspective, etc. is constantly improving, the one thing I can't seem to improve is the quality of my pencil lines. I really need advice on how I can improve. I see other people's sketchbooks and their lines, even when sketched out fast, are fluid and bold. But no matter how precise I try to be, my lines always have this shaky, sketchy, broken look to them, like this:



    When I want them to look like this:



    I know the typical anwers are always 'practice more' or 'just erase and go over them', but I can't escape that scratchy look and it frustrates me to the point where I don't even want to draw anymore sometimes.

    Can anyone give me some advice?

    thanks everyone

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    The way you hold you're pencil has something to do with it meaby?
    Try not to draw short lines but more long and fluid lines, and meaby you can't do this because you're holding the pencil in a wrong way...

    It's just a thought...

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    Good line quality comes from practice. Have you gone thru any while learning to draw (ie, drawing fluid straight lines, curves and circles)? Do you draw with your arm instead of your wrist?

    The attached article is a pretty good guide:
    http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/farp/t...pencil003.html

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    advice

    Mostly it looks like a control problem. It may be just a habit that you need to break at this point if that's how long you have been drawing. So, use the side of the pencil and hold it parallel with the paper with your hand on top of the pencil. This is hard to explain being that I don't have a picture to show you. Draw a straight bold line from point a to point b. Even if it doesn't go perfectly where it is supposed to. Bold not meaning dark but a bold confident unbroken controlled line comes from the sensitivity to pressure. Generally, more rounded edges have softer lines. Harder edges are darker sharper lines. For instance, on the human form, edges of the form where there's muscles or fat are softer, where bone tendon show through the surface is usually shown with sharper edges. Let me know if this helps at all but line is all about variation and control, especially in figures. Email me if you have any questions and maybe i could email you some examples of this. My email is info@learning2draw.com.

    Todd

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    ‡‡‡‡ BoneDaddy ‡‡‡‡

    Here is my 2 bits <> your lines are sketchy what I call the haystack effect <>

    To have confident line work you need to establish a starting point and a destination before you draw the line <> than start at point A and go to point B <> if you know where you are going you get there with much better line quality <> stop trying to "sketch" your way there <>

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    expanding on mentler (if i may) -
    with some drawings (like industrial design and architecture you can even actually put the dots in. then you ghost your lines (you do connect the dots but you have the tip of your pen hovering slightly above the paper) then you hit the paper. this way your arm knows where to go.

    but it also seems like your drawing too much with your hand and not enough with your arm. lock your wrist for a while, use only your arm, that will definitely get that scratching hesitant line quality out. to practice locking your wrist do some practice pages on large paper (A2 or as big as your arm) and draw lines 5mm apart from each other running from top to bottom.
    have fun.

    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)

    bLok


    Quote Originally Posted by strych9ine
    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.
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    Does anyone actually do those totally pointless exercises?

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    Quote Originally Posted by k4pka
    Does anyone actually do those totally pointless exercises?
    hm, yes..... I do

    but it turned out naturally, not that I was like "oh, yes, now I&#180;ll draw my lines like xyz described to do them"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mentler
    Here is my 2 bits <> your lines are sketchy what I call the haystack effect <>

    To have confident line work you need to establish a starting point and a destination before you draw the line <> than start at point A and go to point B <> if you know where you are going you get there with much better line quality <> stop trying to "sketch" your way there <>

    That or stop caring where the line goes altogether.
    I built my line quality through gesture drawing.

    DON'T CLICK THIS
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    There's nothing wrong with haystacking, imho....
    Start light with your sketch to get the gesture down and then either:
    A) refine your lines on top of your original gesture (and erase the other elements as you go. Or
    B) refine your lines on a sheet over your original gesture to clean things up.

    Both techniques work just fine and I think many artists here and abroad use either technique. As you get more sure of yourself, your line strength, fluidity and perceived depth of form will grow.

    Here's to your future!
    Cheers,
    Dave

    There is no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in pie. And there's an "i" in meat pie. Meat is the anagram of team...~Shaun "Shaun of the Dead"
    http://www.cognitionstudio.com
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    Epias, Arthog, Nafa, Mentler, Tensai, Redehlert - thanks for your suggestions, I've been trying these tips when practicing and I'm noticing they all seem to have a positive effect, so I'll keep working on it.

    Thanks again everyone~

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    Quote Originally Posted by k4pka
    Does anyone actually do those totally pointless exercises?
    when i was in architecture school, yes i did these and it helps a lot of people getting rid of using their wrists.
    they take a couple of minutes and teach you something, you dont have to fill a whole sketchbook with it. doing these is different from knowing them by reading about it. you have to feel it and make it second nature by imprinting that feeling. if you dont have a problem with your lines than you dont have to do them. if you do have lines that could be better, than these excercises are not pointless.

    hope it helped the OP.

    Last edited by tensai; April 25th, 2006 at 02:46 AM.
    tensai


    check the Tensai Tokyo Sketch Thread (Sketchbook)

    check the Tensai Cityscapes Thread (Finally Finished)

    bLok


    Quote Originally Posted by strych9ine
    Fuck backgrounds, who needs em.
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    You could always take a drafting / architecture class. the first thing you learn is how to have good line quality.

    ~Mr_S_14

    ~"With a little hope, and alot of try, anything is possible."~
    ~"The harder You work, the better life gets."~
    ~"The pain doesn't last, but the gain will last forever."~
    ~"Fear is my courage." ~Mr_S_14
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