Author Topic: How did you learn to draw?  (Read 2484 times)

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Offline Arbutus

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How did you learn to draw?
« on: May 19, 2005, 03:14:31 am »
I get the feeling this doesn't really belong in Artwork Techniques, because the general level of discussion in this forum is so much higher than what I'm about to post.... ::cringe::

I don't know how to draw. At all. It's really sort of pathetic-- I can't even doodle little toons in the margin of my notebook. I never really realized this before, but I'm feeling it acutely now... for a while now, I've been bursting with ideas about how I want my fursona to look, ideas that I want to put down on paper and try out, but I just have no idea how I'd go about doing it. I picked up a sketchpad and tried, and the results weren't pretty.

I've done a few (very few) sketches before, most of rabbits, and a some of them actually turned out fairly well-- but the reason they turned out well was because I kept on erasing my lines over and over and over again until they finally happened to fall right. I must have redone some of those lines about 30 or 40 times. That's the brute-force method of drawing, and can't be mistaken for technique or talent by anyone.

I want to learn to draw, not how to rub a pencil and paper together until something vaguely recognizable happens to fall out, which is what I've done in the past. So I come to you and ask you: How did you learn?

Offline whitedingo

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 04:07:43 am »
l just picked up a pen and started to draw .lt sounds like your trying to hard get a pic you like and study it see how the lines go together and copy it dont trace though art should'nt be forced you have to want to draw it. Hope this helps a bit
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Offline Nocte

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 04:44:59 am »
Whitedingo's suggestion is a good way to start. You can pick photos to learn about anatomy and proportions, or other's artwork to learn different styles and techniques. (I'd recommend to concentrate on photos first, you don't want to pick up bad habits from others right from the start). When copying a drawing, work from the big picture down to smaller and smaller details.

For example; if you're drawing a simple standing pose, start with a vertical line. Indicate where the top of the head, the chin, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet are with some short horizontal lines. Check the proportions. If everything is in place, add a little more detail. Use an oval for the head, quickly outline the torso, use a few straight lines to roughly indicate the arms and legs. Check your proportions again (try looking at it in a mirror), correct whatever is necessary, and move on again.

You'll still have to redo the lines 30 or 40 times, but this will become less with practice. Don't worry about it, you can always put a new sheet of paper over your sketch and trace it to clean it up.
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Offline Ulario

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2005, 08:52:03 am »
I learned from many different places.

Mosly I'm self-taught.  I have read lots of different books about human anatomy (anything by Burne Hogarth is great for that), and even looking at porn magazines gives a good sense of the human body  (I owe my knowledge of the male body to playgirl magazine.  lol.)

I also have a friend who is a published comic book artist that helped me fine tune a few things.

But my advice would be to bring a sketchbook with you at all times and practice, practice, practice.
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Offline Tabuu

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2005, 11:04:35 am »
I basically learned by tracing, and emulating various styles I encounteres that interested me.

I used to trace pictures in comics when I started out, and add little extra details onto them. It was sort of adding my touch to a particular drawing. Then trying to draw from reference. I did that with many pictures and many characters, eventually improvising more and copying less. All of the styles I have encountered sort of amalgamized into one style only recognizable as my own. It grows and changes with every artist I see, giving me a new point of view and approach to the details they work with that most catch my eye.

And hey, I make good use out of my eraser '<img'> Sometimes I even sort of wear out the paper from erasing so much x.x But that's not bad either, since the most important part is to make progress. Art isn't something that just flows out for all of us. It's sometimes just a game of trial and error with different lines and poses.
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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2005, 01:16:15 pm »
i started drawing at 5. from then on ALL of my money has gone on pens (inking and biro), pencils, canvases and plenty of painting paper.  '<img'>

i started on anthros when my non-fur friend Rosie showed me a picture by Ulario. i got the general idea and have now developed my own style. i got the anatomy part from Rosie as well. she likes that sort of thing  '<img'>

Offline Dragonfox

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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2005, 01:30:09 pm »
I was self taught, then I started going to college for Art classes.

I would suggest checking out children's drawing books at first (they are simpliest) or going to your local Art League and seeing if they offer classes.

I learned from trial and error, mostly.

My best suggestion is to sketch and sketch, and then go over your drawing with an ink pen and erasing the pencil.  You could also invest in Non-photo blue pencils for scanning.
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Offline Savaaha

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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2005, 05:06:11 pm »
I would love to say Im a natural but that would be the biggest lie of all time. I didnt draw at all til I came to furtopia and friends here encouraged me to practice. I still have to work very hard and have good referance pics in order to have my art come out half decent.
 What I can say its that Lee Ames Draw 50 Series is great for a beginner. For anthros Ulario has a book thats excellent. Also HollyAnn had this site Drawing Furres
ID have to find it again but Black Unigryphon has a great wings tutorial as well.

Offline Cesarin

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2005, 05:30:48 pm »
6-7 years drawing nonstop....
You should have seen my first pictures.. just.. TERRIBLE :P

anyway im at an aceptable position now.
but im still envious of other people who draw way better than me and that are way younger! '<img'>
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Offline Prince Karo

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2005, 09:33:00 pm »
I just started one day.



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Offline Nocte

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2005, 06:56:04 am »
Quote (Savaaha @ May 19 2005, 11:06 pm)
ID have to find it again but Black Unigryphon has a great wings tutorial as well.

Ah yes, that's one's great. It's right here.
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Offline Om

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2005, 11:14:06 am »
Practice.... lots of practice.

Used to be the same way about my art as you are - tearing up the paper with an eraser. Try not to aim for perfection (you'll never get there... even really good artists like Goldenwolf and Kyoht have things about their stuff they dislike), just aim for doing better than you did "last time"...

I'd also highly highly recommend that you keep copies of all your stuff. I have mine archived on my Deviantart site... for contrast:
 An early work from summer 2003
My most recent pic, Summer 2005.

In the time between I just drew... alot.

I'd also recommend posting what you do here, there are a lot of experienced folks who will give you feedback and guidance without tearing your art to shreds.  They helped me out a lot so far. '<img'>

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Offline BANANA!!!

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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2005, 02:26:40 pm »
I used to draw just lines until a picture started to form. Then worked off of that. As for drawing what's in your mind, just pick up a pencil and don't think too hard. That usually ends up making it harder than it really is.

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Offline Shadow-Da-Wolf

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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2005, 04:13:24 pm »
i learned through my dad copying and watching others
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Offline Sleet

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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2005, 07:06:33 pm »
My mom draws all the time, so I sort of picked it up from her. I've bought a few how-to-draw books, which have given me the basic idea for making a body, using sticks to make a skeleton, then drawing ovals around those lines to make the body parts...

Don't get discouraged, though, that's my advice. You may be getting these elaborate ideas in your head, and for a while you might not be able to put them on paper. Heck, i've got the exact same problem. But keep trying, and you'll get it.

Relax when you begin to draw. Put on some music that helps convey the mood of the drawing. It'll help you.
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Offline HockeyRaven

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2005, 10:23:52 pm »
I've been drawing since I was three or four, and my advice is practice, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. The eraser can be your best friend.
Art classes really can help. There may be people in the class a lot better than you, there may be people in the class a lot worse than you. Even if you think the assignments are silly or boring, they do help. I drew so many self portraits through high school, I thought I might go crazy, but I didn't.
Speaking of self portraits, they're a good way to practice drawing. If you've got a mirror, you've always got yourself. Just start drawing.
Copying pictures from books is a good idea for practicing. Tracing doesn't help nearly as much as copying, but if you want to start at that and step up to copying eventually, go ahead.
Then, after you feel pretty good with the copies, Pick some simple objects and make a still-life and draw that.
The Ames "Draw 50..." books are a good idea, too. What i'd do with those was pick parts from two (or more) different animals and try to combine them in some logical fashion.
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Offline Tevnon

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2005, 04:29:29 pm »
While I always drew some, most of what I learned is from my highschool art classes. My teacher was totally into the phsycology of creating art. There are actually two totally different approaches to creating art, left brain art and right brain art. Left brain art is the style of art where you reduce your subject matter down to its geometric shapes (an oval for a head, a cone for a muzzle, ect.), draw those, then layer detail upon detail on that to get a finished picture. Right brain drawing is totally different. First you must clear your mind of all things left brain oriented as any snippet of left brain thought will totally wreck a session of drawing in the right brain. All logic, thoughts of time, language, numbers, and any notion of anything being correct or incorrect must be eliminated from your thinking for the duration of your session. You are actually aiming for a mild altered mental state where the right hemisphere of your brain (the creative, spiritual, and emotional half) is allowed full reign. Now, once you enter a peaceful, still, clear mindset free of any of the previously mentioned things you begin drawing. The best way to learn is to draw things you are looking at. Try to see everything as a collection of lines, not for what they are. If you look down at a carrot, say to yourself "I have to draw a carrot" then try to draw it you will fail as this will yank you back into left brained thought. Instead don't look at it as a carrot. Don't think about it. Just let your hands mimic and follow the lines of the carrot (or whatever) until it forms on paper. Once you master this you can then adopt the ability to draw things you see in order to morph animals into furries, or whatever else it is you wish to do. However, I find that while this method is better for most art it is difficult to adopt to furry art. I suffer from a cronic lack of subject matter as I almost need a live animal present to draw antros this way, and most of our dogs are far to hyperactive to serve as good subject matter. I can draw without, but that uses mainly left brain methods which don't give particularly good results for me.

Anyway, your description of difficulty sounds like the left and right brain hemispheres are fighting when you try to draw (a common occurance when you first learn). Having a picture in your head you want to draw has a habit of doing that anyway. At any rate your perpetual erasing tells me your left brain (being the critical judgemental half) is jepordizing your attempt to draw in the right brain (seeing a subject matter, even one in your head, and trying to draw it tends to use the right brain).
You will need to choose one method or the other for your picture. For example if you choose the right brain mode first find an animal, statuet, plastic animal toy, or animal photograph with the animal traits and general look you want as well as some human photographs with the general poses you will need (or a good mirror). Enter the altered mind set I described (hard to do at first; I recomend a few minuts meditation followed by a while randomly sketching any object near by to get you into it) then simply draw what you see when you look at the materials collected, then work on morphing them together later while in the same still, quiet, peaceful mental state.
On the other hand if you want to try the left brain approach try to reduce the imagined images into their most basic geometric shapes, put those down on paper, and go from there. There are also many books on anatomy from an artistic perspective which teach how to construct the anatomy from basic geometric shapes (including one I once saw dedicated exclusivly to drawing furries!'<img'>.

Neither method is any better or worse than the other, and I would suggest trying both approaches to art, but never both at the same time as that tends to lead to failure. I suspect this (trying to use both the left and right hemispheres at the same time) is actually what you are doing without knowing that that is what you are doing. Like I said, that's quite common at first.

Edit: The left hemisphere will ALWAYS tell you your drawings are awful if you let it. Brute force drawing with lots of erasing is a perfectly fine method if it works for you, especially for the left brain geometric construction methods. It's when you let the left brain do that when attempting use of the right brain that you have a problem.




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Offline Kitsuken

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2005, 06:47:07 pm »
The main thing to do is to go get a pencil and some paper and just draw ;-)

More detail? Ah, ok Well, first I'd recommend that you try and find a life drawing class. I know it isn't fury, and that seems to be what you want to do, but it's one of the best ways of learning to draw the figure, especially if you're a beginner. Don't worry if you're just starting, just keep going regularly and you'll get there. If possible, try and get a class that actually has a tutor at first too so that you can get some ideas of how to approach it.

One of the hardest things I found when I started was that, although I'd see one line, I'd draw a different one. One of the best exercises I've done that helped this was sitting with something (or someone, this is an exercise that can be done in life drawing classes) in front of you and, without ever looking at the paper, try to draw what's in front of you. The results will be awful, but if you keep trying this you'll get better at it. The other upside is that by doing it you'll start to focus on what's actually there rather than what you thing should be there (one of the reasons perspective drawing can be so difficult, it doesn't make sense until it's actually on the paper)

Since you want o draw furry, another good idea would be, if possible, make regular visits to a zoo and sketch the animals in real life.

Other than that, just keep drawing. As some people have mentioned, learn anatomy, learn the theory and draw constantly. As for *what* to draw, try drawing whats around you (people places etc), draw animals, draw people, draw furs, whatever you want. But, while you're doing that make sure to pay attention to what you're drawing. As I mentioned, the brain stores patterns throughout your life. Since you're starting drawing late you need to get over those patterns, and the best way to do that is to override them with new, more *accurate* patterns. Pay attention to the way a muzzle slopes at the end and sides, notice the way that the fur lays at the back of the jaw line (with some animals it's like two seperate layers, one over the other, with others there's almost no join) and learn what it is you should be drawing.

Lastly, and most importantly, no matter how bad your drawings right now might seem, no matter what other people *say* about your drawings,  if you want to be able to draw then you will improve with practice. Just don't give up '<img'>

EDIT: Oh, nearly forgot to add this. Some excellent books on learning to draw at http://www.saveloomis.org/ They've got a large collection and they're well worth reading





Offline Roach

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2005, 07:06:23 pm »
i learned (and am STILL learning) by pure practice, ive drawn something everyday since i could hold a pencil, even if its just scribbling  cracked out stick fihures on my desk at school.
i slowly started forming a specific style from constant practice, and from the constant inspiration from my many admired idol-y/artist people and furs
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Offline Ulario

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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2005, 09:54:02 am »
Quote (Vulpentinas @ May 19 2005, 1:16 pm)
i started drawing at 5. from then on ALL of my money has gone on pens (inking and biro), pencils, canvases and plenty of painting paper.  '<img'>

i started on anthros when my non-fur friend Rosie showed me a picture by Ulario. i got the general idea and have now developed my own style. i got the anatomy part from Rosie as well. she likes that sort of thing  '<img'>

I'm glad you learned things on your own after seeing me.  You'd be surprised at how many new artists have created a dependancy on myself (or other artists).  Flattering, yet very annoying.  I think trying to directly copy another artist's style is just plain tacky.  I don't know why anyone would want to emulate my style anyways... I make too many mistakes.
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How did you learn to draw?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2005, 09:55:59 am »
I started drawing when i was like 6, out of boredom first, then i started to like it and do it alot.. still need to improve tough  '<img'>