Author Topic: Tips and Tricks  (Read 1888 times)

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Offline Nox

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Tips and Tricks
« on: September 23, 2008, 05:29:54 pm »
Well I've been doing commissions and other art for a long time now and i think its time i gave something back to an art community, so ill share a few tips and tricks I've learned over the years. Although these tips don't really go into specifics of how to draw a furry per say but can be carried over into any aspect of drawing. These can be used to draw anything from skyscrapers to landscaped and then to furries.

a) Start with the basic supplies. the ones I usually use ill go over here and those include (but are not limited to) a 4h, 6b and 2hb pencil, a roll of blank newsprint, some printer paper and a few cheep pens. not to much rite? you can pick all of this up at your local craft store for under $5 (assuming your American, and if your another nationality, you get the point, its cheep).

keep in mind that you don't NEED the things listed above, but there good to have laying around  (:

1) Basic rule of sketching: there is no "finished drawing" only polished sketches. If you have the need to get something "frame-able" out of every drawing session.... drop that thought rite there. Out of 4-5 hours of drawing only a few gems emerge, so keep at it. if you need to practice a certain aspect, make a few drawings only up to that aspect for practice.

most of the time you'll end up with "throwaways" such as this

(tablet in cs2)

Not very good, but don't get discouraged when faced with a bad sketch! Keep at it!

2) Every drawing usually starts with a contour drawing. Contour drawings are an essential step in building the "character" of your sketch. Usually even before you start a session, start it with roughly 5-10 minutes of just contour drawings to get the feel for what you want to draw. This loosens your mind/ body up and it helps to get rid of that "I NEED SOMETHING FRAME-ABLE OUT OF THIS NOW!!!!!" attitude. for those of you who don't know what a contour drawing is, its a drawing you do without picking up your pencil at arms length away from the paper. you try to capture the form and structure of your subject.

3) Pay attention to the light sources. These add that extra "punch" that your drawing needs to do good (or painting for that matter). pay attention to the mood you want to set with your picture as a hard light creates a lot of tension and power and an overcast painting creates more of a calming effect. Also one of the most essential parts of your drawing hinges on it. The eyes. The light source reflects in the highlights of the eyes and makes them look solid and glassy. without proper lighting, the eyes look flat and not very appealing (this is a critical point I'm trying to make as it can turn a flat off beat drawing into a polished sketch in no time).

(digital painting)

see how the hard light creates almost an awe of the subject? The hard light in this one creates almost a tension of awaiting what will happen in say 10 minutes when the planet passes that any other light source could not achieve. This same concept also applies to animals and furries.

4) Constantly check your anatomy. I usually carry around a small animal anatomy book when i go to the zoo to draw or paint. Whats underneath the fur is just as important as the actual fur itself. Without proper anatomy of the muscular structure, your sketches look flat and boring, but combine the lighting of the muscular structure, and slight shadows that muscles make and your going to get a more favorable result. Not to mention the obvious reasons ie. make the eyes the rite size (not super HUGE AND INTENSE) and the tail not coming out of the chest and so on.

5) Work from one point out (on top of the contour). This makes the process of checking your anatomy way easier. You can visually see the relation of the snout to eye width and to ears and so on if you sketch from one point out so you have a reference point. I usually draw like this but some artists may disagree. I'm stating what usually makes me comfy here, but if you have a different way of doing things and it works for you, Great! stick with it and get better at it (as there's always room for improvement in any art).

(2hb/6b pencil on lined paper)


I started at the head and worked my way down to the feet. You can see where I stopped. This is a great example of a work process.

6) If you find working from one point out frustrating and/or demoralizing, you can always try to work on the entire thing as a whole and in layers. first, block in basic shadowing real lightly, then do the same for lights and highlights. After that's done, go back and do the same thing only refining the details a little more in each step you do, and the more steps, the more your drawing will be frame-able. (note this procedure is the basics of watercolor painting as well)

(2hb on lined paper)


This one I worked on in the manner above. The shading is gradual and no single step defines the drawing.

7) Study others work. Pick an artist that really moves you. Now what did he/she do to make her painting/ drawing catch your eye. Question the composition and line variation/ shading and critique the drawing in your head. Look for aspects that you like and dislike and try to include/ omit them in your own drawings. What people call "style" is a composition of all the different aspects you like from many different artists and your interpretation of them.



Ill update the list if i think of anything else that might be of use for a starting point for any aspiring artists out there. (:

And lastly, keep drawing and don't loose faith. You'll get better with practice. :)

Your friendly Dingo,

Nox

ps** if you have any questions/ comments or just want to talk about art or anything in particular, hit me up on msn. Ill be happy to answer any questions.

msn: Got-moose@hotmail.com

pps*** im sorry for any compositional errors here, I'm currently eating a grilled cheese and  playing a game of poker with my m8  (:
http://s139.photobucket.com/albums/q301/mongoose957/
artist by day, fighting crime by night

Offline Wolvenblaze

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Re: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 07:31:42 pm »
I have a question.  I've always worried that I draw too slowly.  I mean, it's easy to compare my level of experience or skill to other artists (which I know is a bad thing to do), but what remains hidden is the time put into the drawings.

How long, if you remember, did it take to draw that mech biped?  And how long did you spend outlining, shading, etc?  For me to draw aomething like that with that level of detail would take about 3-4 hours, maybe more.  Help me!  x_x
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Offline Temperance

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Re: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 01:51:09 pm »
Meh, if you're a pro, you have to draw fast to meet deadlines and produce enough product to live on.  If you're just drawing for fun, take all the time you want.  All that matters is you enjoy doing it.

Every artist will draw at different speeds.  I do a lot of sequential work for comic books, so I tend to compare my time to the number of pages I can draw in a day.  Comic book pages are 11"x17" and the level of detail can vary depending on the page content and number of panels.  I can usually draw one to one and a half comic pages a day.  I draw pretty fast.  Most comic pros draw at about this speed.
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Offline Nox

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Re: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 05:22:36 pm »
it took me round an hour and a half to two hrs to draw the mech. If your worried you draw to slow, try number two a little longer. The fact that your worried that your taking to much time on your work stems from not being "loose". Start with the contours, then with enough practice, you get faster over time with the detail because you will have found your style that your comfortable with. the time it takes to get the degree of the completion of the drawing depends on the artist's skill level and the ammount of detail they choose to put into it, so there is no set time limmit that you should set for yourself to sit down and draw a picture :) its all about comfort (:
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artist by day, fighting crime by night

Offline Wolvenblaze

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Re: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 06:31:59 pm »
Wow, thanks a lot!  It really helps.  Since I joined Furtopia, I've been inspired to draw a lot more than I used to, so if I keep everything I've learned in mind, I should be on the road to massive-scale improvement!
"Don't forget to cash all your checks before you legally change your name" ~ Me

"A winner is a person who's present when someone loses." ~ also Me

"The only room for these goods in the city is right here in my cart!" ~ Deliveryman from Zeus