Art: Line confidence?
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Thread: Line confidence?

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    Line confidence?

    So the number 1 crit I've been receiving is that the scratchy lines in my sketches show a lack of confidence, and I have such a weak grasp on what that means, I was hoping some of you guys could help me understand it. What makes a confident line and how do you go about breaking the habit and reprogamming yourself to intuitively draw with that confidence after years of drawing the other way? It's hard for me to understand because I don't consciously feel any hesitation or lack of confidence when I'm working, but if I'm showing common signs of it and it's aesthetically unpleasing, I want to understand it and know how to fix it.

    Examples of my sketches:
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...tch/Edward.jpg
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...cesketches.jpg
    http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...tch/smoker.jpg

    So, thoughts?

    Last edited by BlackGuy; July 3rd, 2006 at 04:07 PM.
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    *lol* i hear that about my line art all the time when i draw..
    sketchy lines just means.. when you draw a line.. your only suppose to draw "one" line. if there are many lines surrounding the "main" line to make the line.. then its sketchy.
    So you have to learn how to create one solid line. But learning how to do fix that habit is very possible.. but a hard habit to break..

    here what kitsu told me.. maybe it might help for you too..

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showpos...4&postcount=41

    btw... your line art...looks confident to me.. yeah there is a little sketchiness.. but nothing that doesnt show lack of confidence......

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    I'm not sure if I agree with the "confidence" crit as much. One problem that is common when laying in multiple lines to represent one is that the line weight isn't easily controlled and conveyed. Laying in light guidelines to give a good track and then putting in the one properly weighted line can often help out the viewer in seeing what you want them to see. When you lay into a curve and bear down on the pencil (or lighten up), you're giving that segment a relative importance. When you just toss in several lines to do the same thing, it's often hard to figure out whether you meant to make the line thick or were just having a hard time finding the right curve. That may be what they mean when they say you're lines lack confidence.

    It's all about interpretation of the viewer.

    One thing I will say in direct crit, it seems you're using one ear pattern for all of your people. I do that a lot, but it seems yours is more intricate than many. It's drawing attention away from the rest of the face.

    Things are looking good, though. Just keep referring to real things when you draw from the head and things will really come together.

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    when your using construction lines on a figure or a vehicle, would those should those lines be erased to make your drawing look more confident?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Sloth
    when your using construction lines on a figure or a vehicle, would those should those lines be erased to make your drawing look more confident?
    I kinda consider this as cheating. Not the erasing construction lines part, but the "to make it look more confident" part. I always knew it as having the ablitiy to draw the right line the first time;

    It's beyond "So you have to learn how to create one solid line.", you have to learn to create the RIGHT line. Again, it's so your pic conveys more with less, but also so you can see better. So you are more "confident" with your observing.

    Last edited by Pixeldragoon; July 5th, 2006 at 08:18 PM.
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    you see construction lines in general as cheating? Or when doing these kinds of exercises?

    White Rose and Christian223, great links guys, thanks! I'm still very curious to see everyone else's thoughts on the matter. How did you go about laying your lines down in one smooth stroke? Were most of you doing it like that from the beginning, or was it something you had to consciously learn?

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    "you see construction lines in general as cheating? Or when doing these kinds of exercises?"

    Nononono, I see erasing unconfident lines afterwards for the purpose of giving the illusion that you are more confident, without actually being more confident as cheating.

    Last edited by Pixeldragoon; July 5th, 2006 at 08:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon
    Nononono, I see erasing unconfident lines afterwards. It's giving the illusion that you are more confident, without actually being more confident.
    wow, just wow...

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    Pix, buddy, I'm not sure if you're joking or not, in reference to the recent threads on what people consider cheating and not cheating. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and chuckle at the thought of erasing being cheating.

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    The more I learn about art the more difficult this question becomes. It comes down to what you're trying to convey with the picture, and what type of artistic philosophy you subscribe to. Since our visual perception sees no actual lines an argument could be made that it doesn't matter how many lines we use in a sketch since any line is an abstraction of the truth and therefore impossible to be right. Having many lines can involve the viewer more, sinse they have to actively figure out where the real line should be, J.D. Harding gives this a few words in "On Drawing Trees and Nature".Many people say that lines are closely related to the sense of touch, so having a fuzzy line around a person would be wrong for that reason. I think the unacceptability of fuzzy lines has to do with the way which we interpret visual perception, we see lines as 3D objects so if a line is broken into pieces it appears not to enclose a 3D form but instead looks more like a collection of unrelated lines, a book I just read about this is "Visual Intelligence" - Hoffman. The goal of art is unity and variety.
    "How did you go about laying your lines down in one smooth stroke? Were most of you doing it like that from the beginning, or was it something you had to consciously learn?"
    My lines, before I started studying, were somewhere between the petted line and the smooth line. I'm still not particulary happy with my lines, when I get confused and uncertain I revert back to the petted line. Really what's keeping me from using line properly is that I'm aware of several theories on it's use but I'm never quite sure which one to use at a given moment. Line confidence, like all confidence, comes from knowing what and why you're doing something. I suppose there could be things called "shape confidence" and "color confidence", but I've never heard of anyone talking about those things.

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    I don't get it. I mean, a sketchy drawing is far more confident than a carefully traced drawing. It's fluid, it's fast, its automatic, its full of movement and feeling. Sketchy drawings are confident. They're just not accurate lol. It's like over-confidence. You're like so confident in your noob skills that you don't even pay attention to some important details. I think you just gotta balance it all... and never erase of course. cuz that's cheating

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGuy
    So the number 1 crit I've been receiving is that the scratchy lines in my sketches show a lack of confidence,...
    I don't see a lack of confidence in the drawings you posted. They're sketchy since, well, they're sketches. You can work on making the lines more 'economical' by making fewer longer lines that are more fluid, but that doesn't necessarily make the drawing better, just 'cleaner' for whatever that's worth. Another approach is to draw as you are now, but lighter, and finish up with single darker lines that are more simplified.

    (Edit: another idea is to think more in terms of forms and shapes. The drawings above seem to concentrate more on the edges. If you sketch out the ovals and such loosely and lightly that might free up your drawing some.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Rose
    when you draw a line.. your only suppose to draw "one" line. if there are many lines surrounding the "main" line to make the line.. then its sketchy.
    Yeah, this guy really sucks
    You guys worry too much. If it looks good, it is good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smart People (Not an actual member!)
    Everything elwells says, practically ever - is usually awesome
    Nice!

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    Hey guys, I just found proof that Leonardo Da Vinci is a cheater:


    Look carefully, HE ERASED AN UNCONFIDENT SHOULDER LINE!!!!!! italian traitor, I knew it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon
    you see construction lines in general as cheating? Or when doing these kinds of exercises?
    Nononono, I see erasing unconfident lines afterwards. It's giving the illusion that you are more confident, without actually being more confident.
    That's BS. Simple as that. The issue of confidence mainly lies in what other people think about your stuff. An accomplished artist, even he draws anatomy like shit, but makes some good looking abstract or anything non figurative for the matter, will be deemed "confident". & he really is. He knows that anything he makes will be good for him and specially his audience. Maybe the trick to being confident is just don't care too much about the sketches. In my case, I would suggest not erasing much, drawing stronger and more fluent lines (that means longer lines), Using fewer lines. But anyways just keep drawing... & don't let those critics of yours distract you with nonsense.

    PS: Your sketches are rocking man! just stay here & keep doing your thing.

    greetings!
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    Okay, lets get rid of the phrase "confident line", and substitute "knowledgable line"... maybe "knowledgable art" would be better? In Leornardo's notebooks he mentions the difference between the constant fluctuating aspect of a thing(it's appearance) and it's 3D form(I don't remember the exact wording he uses) which maintains constant proportions. Rennaisance art was highly concerned with the representation of form, and you can see that in the Leonardo drawings. In the first one he seeks out his line, misses a few times but finds the one he wants, since there are no lines in nature the drawing remains truthful and expresses movement. Note he's also making a comparison between human and horse anatomy/structure, via the use of outline and some shade lines.
    Note in the second drawing he clearly knows what he wants and what he is doing, the lines describe the structure of the face. Everything has a clear form.
    The difference between this and a beginner's drawing is that the beginner doesn't know what they're trying to accomplish, are they copying shapes? interpreting form? etc. They go in with no plan and no goal, but hope to make a pretty drawing in the end and learn nothing in the process of making that drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesmerga
    I don't get it. I mean, a sketchy drawing is far more confident than a carefully traced drawing. It's fluid, it's fast, its automatic, its full of movement and feeling. Sketchy drawings are confident. They're just not accurate lol.
    By your use of the word fluid, I take it you mean a drawing like the one Elwell posted. We're not arguing the use of many lines but the use of the "petted line". The petted line is simply visually unappealling, it's not really possible to argue for it's use. Fast, automatic, movement, we percieve these things because of visual cues which the artist chooses to show us, a drawing isn't successful by accident or magic. The petted line, too, is a visual cue, but it contradicts the nature of the object which it depicts. Maybe it would work when drawing a catepillar?

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    Laying in light guidelines to give a good track and then putting in the one properly weighted line can often help out the viewer in seeing what you want them to see
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    I feel like laughing here because when you are talking about not confident drawing style Im reminded of my mother and how she draws, god bless her she is the best and I love her, so anyways its so amusing because she will be shaking the pen in the air imitating the movement of the line she is about to draw about 3-5 times before she actually dares to press the pen on paper and make a mark. However I know that this is because she dont have much practise, yet she can still draw pretty well, she mostly draws women if she ever draws anything or funny cat.

    I have artskills in the family also my father is naturally talented however he never pursued it seriously and from my mothers side one of her sisters has been paintings since rock of ages and has been holding several exhibitions too, her daughter the oldest one is wohow perfect, even that she is two years younger than me she has always outshine me, not anymore however I have now climbed over her .......... she must get back on track and serious again about this thing , it is so her she is even pisces from horoscope and she is soooooo artsy than anybody !!!!!!!!!!!


    Anyways I can see what you are talking about in the first picture your drawing looks a bit like my mothers drawing many careful lines etc but what I would say here is that does it really matter then how they are because its yet a sketch, maybe you just simply dont have enough experience and the confidence then and that shows in the art, what can you do about that, you cant really cheat the amount of skills and knowledge you have gathered within you that are dictating your drawing style.

    If it is worrieng you so much I recommend continue excercising until you are confident enough, how about this one then, it looks very confident to me: http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i2...tch/smoker.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Egets
    ... so anyways its so amusing because she will be shaking the pen in the air imitating the movement of the line she is about to draw about 3-5 times before she actually dares to press the pen on paper and make a mark...
    Lol! I usually do that when I'm drawing with a tablet

    Anyway like was said before - Its really just about making a choice. Find the line you want and make it. If it's wrong you need to train more.

    Elwell: I agree with what you say, but the final lines in that sketch are very confident, it's just that in ink all the screwing around is still visable (and cool looking).

    Bwarg! I could have made dozens of confident lines in the time it took to write this

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    What I said (or meant) was that if you are erasing your lines purely so people will be quiet about you not being confident I think it's cheating.

    And dogfood: What threads about cheating? I have no clue what you're talkin about...


    And Tristan, sorry to argue, I really hate to butt heads with you; But "sketchy" isn't the same as and artist sucking.

    "We're not arguing the use of many lines but the use of the "petted line""
    Thank you =)

    Last edited by Pixeldragoon; July 5th, 2006 at 08:22 PM.
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    I'm sorry, I should have clarified what I meant. The petted line is exactly what I was talking about, thanks armando. You guys all bring up some valid points, I like how this conversation is going. The light construction lines thing seems to be working well enough. Up until now I had been using a mechanical pencil, and was doing my construction lines with that. Those construction lines would often become the end result because I had done them too dark. When i got a lead holder though, I started doing my construction lines lightly with the side of the pencil, it made quite a bit of difference.

    Last edited by BlackGuy; July 6th, 2006 at 03:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon

    And Tristan, sorry to argue, I really hate to butt heads with you; But "sketchy" isn't the same as and artist sucking.
    That's OK, I keep forgetting irony is lost on the young .


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    erasing your lines purely so people will be quiet about you not being confident
    I think it's more so that your drawing will look better. It doesn't really have anything to do with what people think, unless you want them to think, y'know, that the drawing looks better. So are you fooling them into thinking you're better than you are by improving your ability? Wait... huh?

    It's like saying that if you only put your best pieces in your portfolio, you're misleading the client.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pixeldragoon
    What I said (or meant) was that if you are erasing your lines purely so people will be quiet about you not being confident I think it's cheating.
    this just gets better and better

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    You know what, fuck you all. The internet is bad for communicating.

    BTW stephen you haven't even tried to contribute shit to this thread, so please stfu.

    EDIT: Thanks stephen, I appreciate it.

    Last edited by Pixeldragoon; July 6th, 2006 at 06:05 PM.
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    haha, pix, there is no such thing as cheating in art.

    technically every time you're putting a pencil to paper you're cheating, it's all cheating your eye to see 3D space on a 2D plane. Any trick you can use to help that illusion is always okay.

    And to the OP: You're drawing the same line over and over again. You need to have the confidence to put a line down. If you're not happy with it, erase and draw it again, but you should NEVER worry about having the perfect line the first time.

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    I feel like line confidence, while its nice to have for visual reasons, has more to do with clearly communicating to yourself.. As a noobie and even still now a lot of times, I think I tended to peck at (use lots of small lines) different areas that you really havent forced yourself to conceive of all that confidently. Trying to really stretch lines out and describe things with a minimal amount of lines definitely helped me think of things more clearly and think ahead a lot more.. and it looks a lot cleaner also.

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