Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

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sayuri
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Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#1 Post by sayuri » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:05 am

Well, I'm not the most artistically talented person out there but I do want to improve my (lack of) skills. I get easily frustrated when it comes to drawing so I'd all but given up until I realized how much people can improve in a short amount of time if they practice. I'd really appreciate any help/guidance of any sort. While I'm at it if you've ever written a tutorial or you just know a really good one, please be so kind as to post the link :).

Please ignore the EXTREMELY creepy stare. It gives me the bejeezus when I look at it and I drew it :lol:.

Image

I know this one is really light, sorry :oops:.

Image

Image


Okay, I might as well mention what I think my issues are. First, I think I concentrate too much on making straight, perfect lines. Truth is I have low blood sugar and shaky hands and cannot even draw a straight line. Or a good circle. Very. Frustrating. All these drawings took at least 3 hours each and it sure as hell doesn't show. Bleh. Maybe if I could learn to sketch? :?

Secondly, hair and I don't get along. It's connected to my battle with lines I believe. I try to not pick up my pencil when drawing each chunk of hair. The alternative is that I go WAY overboard and it looks like a porcupine sat on their head :(. Oi.

Anyway, please give me some advice or links to learning tools.

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HumbertTheHorse
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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#2 Post by HumbertTheHorse » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:29 am

http://www.youtube.com/user/markcrilley
http://www.youtube.com/user/idrawgirls
http://www.youtube.com/user/Sycra

Pure gold in some of their videos. Just copy them over and over. I'll keep an eye out for other material that my be helpful.

Keep up the practice - copy, copy, copy - and post them. You will be pro before you know it. :wink:

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#3 Post by Samu-kun » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:51 am

Truth is I have low blood sugar and shaky hands and cannot even draw a straight line.
You actually don't draw straight lines with your hands or your wrists. The movement actually comes from your elbows and arm. You have to hold your wrist and hands rigid and move your entire arm.

In my experience with drawing, I think the only way to get better is to just stick with it even if the results are bad. However, I can think of some various specific tips that might come in handy.

First, it's good to look at art of all varieties and decide what it is that you want to draw. Pick out a handful of master artists who draw things in a similar style to what you want to create and then try to study how they make it.

Second, try to copy those artists until you can draw any of their works from memory. Try to resketch everything you see that you want to draw. Copy the same image multiple times. The only way for you to get better is pretty much burn anatomy into your head through thousands of repetitive actions. Once you've done that, then you can begin to draw your own stuff.

Third, draw fast and impulsively. Put little emotional investment in any one of your lines. Your lines will never come out smooth if you're too focused on drawing the perfectly shaped line. It's actually a lot more quicker and better looking if you draw ten quick strokes and then decide which one looks the best instead of agonizing over making the single perfect line. In general, there's no correlation between the amount of time you've spent on a sketch and the final quality.

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#4 Post by Jake » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:49 am

Samu-kun wrote: In my experience with drawing, I think the only way to get better is to just stick with it even if the results are bad.
This is definitely the important part. Whatever else, don't stop practicing.

And as Samu-kun mentions: copy stuff you like. Copy stuff you don't like, if you think it's good. A lot of people get this crazy idea that copying is wrong and they won't learn anything, but so long as you're actually copying and not tracing, it's likely that you'll learn a lot about where your favourite artist places what kind of line, how they vary colour, what volumes they try and portray and stuff like that. Don't pass it off as your own and it's perfectly fine and pretty good practice.

Also important: show your drawings to other people and take on board the advice they give you. Don't hide your stuff away 'cause you're embarrassed, or you might find that you're continually making the same mistake and you never noticed. Don't show your stuff and cherry-pick only the positive comments, because the ones which complain about particular parts of your drawing are the ones you're more likely to learn from. (Ignore anyone who's being outright insulting, of course.)
Samu-kun wrote: The only way for you to get better is pretty much burn anatomy into your head through thousands of repetitive actions. Once you've done that, then you can begin to draw your own stuff.
I would add that IMO it's generally more useful to learn 'proper' artistic anatomy than learn from ultra-stylised stuff like manga. Once you've learned how the human body actually goes together you can set about stylising it to suit your tastes, but if you don't learn it, then you'll end up making some silly mistakes that make your work look a bit odd.

(The three hardest parts of the body to draw are probably the face, hands and feet. All three are particularly complex groups of muscle and bone. Everyone draws faces; don't neglect the other two when you start practicing regularly.)
Samu-kun wrote: Third, draw fast and impulsively. Put little emotional investment in any one of your lines. Your lines will never come out smooth if you're too focused on drawing the perfectly shaped line. It's actually a lot more quicker and better looking if you draw ten quick strokes and then decide which one looks the best instead of agonizing over making the single perfect line.
One thing I found helped me a lot was leaving pencils entirely and sketching in ballpoint pen. You can get a lot of line variation out of a good ballpoint - I mean the ones with thick, sticky ink where you have to press to make a line rather than the ones with free-flowing liquid ink - and the best part is that you can't erase it, so you have to live with what you've already laid down. It means you can't agonise over single lines, you're forced to just get on with it and make the best of what you've got, and that helps get you over the "must... be... perfect before I continue" problem.
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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#5 Post by fortaat » Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:51 am

Jake wrote: I would add that IMO it's generally more useful to learn 'proper' artistic anatomy than learn from ultra-stylised stuff like manga. Once you've learned how the human body actually goes together you can set about stylising it to suit your tastes, but if you don't learn it, then you'll end up making some silly mistakes that make your work look a bit odd.
I approve this notion.
Go over to Loomis Figure Drawing For All It's Worth. Practice pages 38-41, then read 26-37. Memorize the proportions, and draw the male and female bodies a couple of times. It doesn't have to be perfect, what's important is that you get a sense of "proper" proportions and volume.

Samu-kun wrote: Third, draw fast and impulsively. Put little emotional investment in any one of your lines. Your lines will never come out smooth if you're too focused on drawing the perfectly shaped line. It's actually a lot more quicker and better looking if you draw ten quick strokes and then decide which one looks the best instead of agonizing over making the single perfect line.
I agree you shouldn't aspire to "perfect", but there's a problem with Samu-Kun method. The "pick and choose" method sometimes mean that you use two different lines as one, which harms the fluency of the line.
when you draw a couple of lines instead of one, the eye automatically picks the prettiest. As in, one of them is half OK, the another is half OK as well, and the brain joins them together. This method is fine if all you want to do is sketching, but once you apply colors to your drawings, you'll want to have as few lines as possible, which means you have to draw the "right" line yourself.
If you're familiar with the comics industry, this is what inkers do. Since you can't afford one, you have to draw the right lines by yourself. Jake's pen suggestion will help you in that regard.


Hair - drawing hair will be much easier once you'll get better at drawing in general, Since drawing it well requires understanding of how to draw a head, and how material lays upon the body (clothing).
For now, just draw fluffy circles around the face, or a smooth undefined waterfall. You don't have to be precise about it - imply there's hair, don't try to draw it:

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#6 Post by Meems » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:52 am

Draw everything. Draw all the time. Draw from life. Not just manga. Not just people, either. Take a mini-sketchbook with you when you go out, if you see something cool, sketch it.
If you can, think about taking life drawing classes. They are honestly invaluable when it comes to developing your figure drawing, plus it helps train your eye.
I heartily agree with the people who've said to learn "proper" proportions; it really does help, even if you're going to deliberately stylise your drawings later.

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#7 Post by dstarsboy » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:15 pm

Warning: I'm not a very good artist, but these are the concepts below that seemed to help me get better in the best way.

Suggestion #1) Sketch out a base skeleton with circles and lines and stuff before drawing any details. This helps immensely. Judging by the sketches you did up there, it doesn't look like there was a base sketched so some of the proportions seem slightly off. Just be sure to draw lightly for your sketching and bit harder for your details.

Suggestion #2) Line-weights! Research it! I always wondered why my drawings came out looking so flat. Learning this seemed to help quite a bit.

Suggestion #3) I find it difficult to come up with my own "style" while learning to draw, so find an artist on deviant art or from a manga with a ton of content who's style you really enjoy and copy the crap out of everything you can get your hands on from him. Once you've got a "feel" for it, you can add your own touches to the style to make it more you.
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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#8 Post by Lekhaka » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:26 am

As mentioned already, it is best to study realistic anatomy first as opposed to emulating anime style.

As for the drawings you posted, it seems like you have made the common mistake of making the eyes too high. Also, from what I can see, you did not use guide lines to give structure to the head, neck, and shoulders, instead letting the hair cover their contours. Basic facial proportions should be easy enough to find on the internet. A standard I use has the eyes half way up the head, the bottom of the nose half from chin to eyes (or a quarter of head), and the mouth half way up to the nose (or one eighth of head).

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#9 Post by neowired » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:23 am

You actually don't draw straight lines with your hands or your wrists. The movement actually comes from your elbows and arm. You have to hold your wrist and hands rigid and move your entire arm.
I disagree. Arm and wrist drawing largely depend on what the artist prefers. Generally, drawing with your whole arm is needed when you draw/paint on large canvas, while for formats like a5 or for using a tablet wrist drawing works much better.

As for anatomy, you need to learn both, how the realistic muscles go and how to draw them simplified for a comic (drawing muscular characters can, in a way, be much easier than drawing for example, children).
Having said that I highly recommend earlier mentioned Loomis, mostly his Drawing The Head and Hands ( http://fineart.sk/index.php?cat=14 ). He is a great artist and writer, very inspiring.
For simplified artistic anatomy I found the How to draw manga: Anatomy ( http://www.amazon.com/How-Draw-Manga-Bo ... 4766112385 ) was the best simplified anatomy guide I've seen up to today (in before how to draw manga books are bad, this one is great).
Other than that - life is your best anatomy guide ; p

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#10 Post by rioka » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:51 pm

She has a creepy stare because her pupils a so tiny compared to her iris. If you make her pupils larger, then her stare won't be as creepy.

Books:
Betty Edward's Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Any of Burne Hogarth's anatomy books

Aside from those, look at the link in my siggy
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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#11 Post by FunkyRaspberry » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:12 pm

I'm not exactly a renowned artist (but I consider myself to be at least averagely skilled) but I do have a few things that are helping me learn faster :P

The first time I ever drew something in "manga-style" was like a year ago. Before that, I only drew concept art of environments... forests, cliffs, castles, cities etc. The rather strict laws of anatomy was completely new to me in other words. At first, most of the rules seemed pretty random to me and whenever I tried to do something on free hand (my term for drawing without any reference in the context) it turned out HORRIBLY.

However, when I first started making progress, was when I stopped trying to copy other artists. I drew something shitty, and then (no matter how painful) I watched it for a long while, trying to realize what was so off. Then I drew something similar again, trying to correct myself. In the process, I saw a new error. ...and so it goes on :P I guess forgetting your past can mess up your future ^^ Right now, rather than doing alot of images, practicing alot and such. I draw one image every now and then - and then I study it until I draw something next. That way I'm making a huge amount of progress with each drawing ^^ But in the end, that too is a form of practice ;P

so... as everyone have already said in different way... - practice makes perfect

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#12 Post by Mikan » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:16 pm

I'd say begin with a smaller, simpler story and draw artwork to fit it:
Something simple like three little pigs or red riding hood ought to do the trick.
What would red riding hood look like, and why? What would the pigs look like, and why?

There's no reason to you have to draw to resemble an anime character.
Draw to suit your needs and wants.


---
Anyway, moving on to actual advice: if you find a drawing you like, trace it, or at least, eyeball it until you figure out what's so good about it.

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#13 Post by surelyyoujest » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:31 am

I don't think I can really say anything that hasn't already been said by the folks above....

But! Just some advice based on my own experience: don't worry too much about clean lines. Your inner perfectionist must be tucked away if you want to improve because it's just a distraction and it will (more often than not) lead to frustration. What you do need, I think, is to loosen up your lines. You'll feel less annoyed (at least, I sure did :lol:) and slowly improve on getting what you want down quickly as well. Additionally, check out this wonderful advice post to learn of the confident line and then some.

Another way to improve drawing people (aside from anatomy books) is to carry around a small sketchbook and draw what you see when you're out and about. Don't just draw animanga-style because that won't get you too far... at least, that's how I feel. It's incredibly stylized, as previously mentioned, so you won't get a real feel for what the human body is really like/how it works/etc. So, drawing from life is one of the better things you can do to improve your understanding of the human body. :wink:

Also, if you ever want to get into perspectives, I recommend the tutorials by fox-orian on dA.

Always remember that the road to improvement takes time. Take things slow and everything will fall into place. :)

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#14 Post by mugenjohncel » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:32 am

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Re: Beginning Artist Looking for Advice

#15 Post by sinto » Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:08 pm

Hi sayuri. I see that you are willing to push yourself further into the wonderful and borderless world of art.

I won't give any advice that's been already mentioned (Lol, no I'm just sleepy, so I'll just give you one thing I learned from one of the greatest anatomy masters before I fall asleep on my keyboard)

Since most peeps here already told you to take up realistic anatomy, I'd like to point out something. Normally when learning artists are given anatomy books, they tend to simply copy and memorize what they see on the diagrams. This is correct to a certain extent, since you can't draw something if you don't know what that looks like. But a better approach to referencing is, not to copy, but rather to ANALYZE and UNDERSTAND what you are looking at.

Sure let's say you know what an apple looks like. But a memory of an apple's image is only good for the purpose of projecting that memorized image on paper. If you analyze and understand what makes the apple look the way it is; its contours, its surface, its change in hue, its specularity, and other factors affecting its appearance, THEN you could probably draw it in any given angle with ease, since you have a complete understanding of what it is.

The same goes for anatomy. You'll be surprised how enlightening it is to actually understand at least even just the skull of the human body, and how it greatly helps in drawing a face.

goodnight!

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