I need to learn how to draw!!

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by fluidedge, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm going back to uni next year and i've discovered that "drawing will be a key skill of the course" (the course is in computer visual/digital effects)

    But i haven't drawn for years!!

    what do you suggest? I don't need to draw true to life but in a sketchy/comic/storyboard/sin city/scene layout type way!!

    I'm attending life drawing classes as part of the course which should be fun but i'd like to get a bit of extra help from somewhere

    do you think going and getting a "Drawing for beginners" book from the library would be a good start.

    I know there are some drawing DVDs on the Gnomon Workshop website that look good, but how much can you learn from them?

    What equipment do you suggest i get too? Just a HB pencil and a rubber?
     
  2. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

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    #2
    Well, the true, you can't learn drawing. I mean, yes, you can learn the technics, but you have to have a "bit" of talent.

    ... and a paper (block).

    I suggest you, that you try to use bigger formats aka 50x70 cm (the B/2 here in Europe) or even B/1 70x100.

    First try some contour style drawing, sketches. You need to find yourself again. You need to master the line, the feeling, how to draw (again). Lights and shadows etc. should you do in a second phase.
     
  3. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #3
    When I was younger (around 5 to 10 years old) I used to trace stuff... lots of stuff... anything! Trucks, animals, houses, all kinds of stuff.

    Doing this taught me how to draw without tracing as the subconscious took in all the 'info' about perspective etc while I consciously followed a bunch of lines.

    Its a bit like learning to write. You trace the letters until you remember how to do it by memory. When tracing images etc you learn how to draw certain things in certain ways and you can then utilise that knowledge in other drawings.
     
  4. macworkerbee macrumors 6502

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    Jun 14, 2008
    #4
    I don't know how much I agree with not being able to draw if you don't have talent. I have met some pretty amazing artists who started out drawing horribly. With the proper teaching and a large amount of practice on their part, they learned how to see and draw things like perspective, value, contour, etc.

    I'm not saying talent has nothing to do with it but you can learn and grow a TREMENDOUS amount simply with the proper instruction.

    To the OP, those how to draw beginner books are mostly crap. Gnomen videos are awesome but not necessarily a great place to begin learning (because you will just be in awe of their skill :D). If you want to go the book route I would look at Amazon and see what the top reviewed books are for drawing and start with one of those. The best advice I can give you is to practice every day. Draw everything around you. Start with pencil, charcoal, chalk, pastels, or anything else that you find enjoyable to work with.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Muncher macrumors 65816

    Muncher

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    Apr 19, 2007
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    California
    #5
    My advice is to trace things. Trace and draw as much as you can. When I was five I would spend hours drawing bigger versions of the pokemon on pokemon cards. It was sort of a cross between tracing and drawing, and it helped my skills a lot.
     
  6. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Actually, no. Anyone can learn to draw. It's about learning to truly "see" and having the patience to control your mark-making tools.

    OP, there is a similar thread from last year in which I highly recommend Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

    Please read this thread to see what was discussed.
     
  7. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    There are lots of books on drawing and ways people will tell you to draw. However, a lot of the consumer, "quick" learning to draw books have bad habits and bad technique.

    I wouldn't recommend tracing as the above poster said. It teaches you to NOT observe what you are drawing. Seeing correctly is like exercising a muscle. Tracing is like riding in a car instead of running when trying to get in shape. In the end you think you've covered ground, but you haven't exercised anything.

    Tracing is fine for kids growing up, or for a certain project that might call for it, or even as a relaxing art therapy. But if you need to learn to draw for real, in a short period of time, tracing will stunt that growth.
     
  8. hessdesigns macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    #8
    I went to school where classes were 5 weeks long. The first day of "Drawing Bootcamp" we did a portrait of another classmate. As most of us were motion graphics students, the results were mostly laughable. We proceeded to draw every day, for approximately 12-16 hours per day. At the end of 5 weeks (even after 2.5 weeks), we were producing some truly amazing works. For us, I mean. I don't think I could have sold any of my pencil drawings, but they pretty darn good.
    While it's good to learn from someone, this is my advice: just draw. And we were taught to see everything basically in grayscale, because that's how you're drawing with a pencil -- in shades of gray. It's amazing when you look at the world like that, just dark areas and light areas and everything in between. It might seem weird now, but trust me, it works!
     
  9. fluidedge thread starter macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

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    Nov 1, 2007
    #9
    thanks for responses, i have bought a sketch book and plan to start seeing the world in monochrome :D
     
  10. opeter macrumors 65816

    opeter

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    #10
    You can also try colors (pastels, etc.), but OK, try first in monochrome...
     
  11. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    das Fort
    #11
    A "Drawing I"-type course would probably help you a lot. I took one last year just because I realized I hadn't drawn anything seriously in a long time (just sketched out ideas or doodled absentmindedly). It helped me immensely, even though I was far beyond everyone else in the class because I had done all of the techniques before. Sometimes it's good to just get back to basics.
     
  12. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    In response I'll add two drawing books for consideration:

    1) Nickolaidis "The Natural Way to Draw"
    2) Robert Hale's books "Drawing lessons from the Old Masters"

    The "Natural Way to Draw" I consider one of the best I've seen on drawing because his approach is strictly one of observation. If you follow only one exercise in his book, his ideas on "blind contour drawing" will make the most immediate difference to your drawing.

    Drawing is about seeing and sharpening your ability to observe. Drawing provides the foundation for your visual abilty to represent the world as you see it. It's a selective process. You look at the mass of visual information and judge what is essential. Drawing is the act of putting down on paper what is the essential.

    When Nickolaides champions "blind contour drawing" he is showing the beginner that you cannot hope to draw a subject if you are not looking at it. I do tons of life drawing classes and I notice most people are hardly looking at the subject when they draw. You will notice an immediate improvement when do "blind contour drawing". All aspects of drawing will be stronger as a result, especially proportion.

    You cannot go wrong with any of your efforts learning how to draw because you are learning how to see - and the act of translating that onto a two demensional surface which is essentially what graphic design is about.

    Mike
     
  13. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Nickolaides for the win! His principals are truly solid. All my drawing courses were taught around the work he had done. I totally agree with this entire post and second the importance of blind contour drawing for building observation "muscle".
     
  14. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

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    #14
    Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain -- By Betty Edwards


    http://www.drawright.com/

    this is pretty sweet -- you don't need to get the whole kit ... but I recommend the work book to go with the textbook.

    Drawing can be learned -- it's a mechanical process.

    What it more difficult, and unlikely to be learned is imagination. -- BUT to learn to draw what you see? that can be learned.
     
  15. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #15
    I'll have to add if there is any open drawing (after hours and not applied toward a grade) in any local Uni donate $5-10 and go practice even if you feel your drawings look bad at first. Most of my professors go to them every week just to stay loose and to regroup as some have put it. Also they tend to help out others just starting out without the classroom pressure placed upon yourself. If that's not your thing look at an art store for a plastic model (these resemble a more natural figure than the wood models do) as they bend nice and late at night or whenever you can start where you left off drawing.
    Also try to refrain from using any rulers or templets as this will improve your shapes over time (I tend to feel it helps you judge the look of your beginning composition as in trust your eyes).
    As everyone has or will say, practice, practice and you get the picture, have fun :D
     
  16. Toronto Mike macrumors regular

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    Toronto
    #16
    As for what materials to use for original poster's query I'll make another suggestion. A black Conte 2B pencil that you sharpen yourself with a knife. You can bring the pencil to a tapering point if you wish. I prefer removing the material back with the knife, allowing the thick centre to develop a wider rounded point. Everything happens at the tip of the pencil. This larger tip allows the greatest variation of line thickness by adjusting the angle of the pencil as you draw a line and by the variation of pressure.

    Other reasons for choosing the black Conte 2B is the pencil has a beautiful smoothness as you draw, taking the material off evenly with more resistence than a regular graphic pencil. It is the resistence that gives you control. A graphic pencil slides so quickly on the surface that I liken it to a team of wild horses. It is a matter of preference, and I prefer the Conte for it's control. Black Conte is an extremely deep rich velvet black with a very high contrast, offering an excellent variation of tone when used on the appropriate surface. This brings me to my second suggestion for materials.

    A pad of 18"x24" newsprint is one of the most enjoyable surfaces to draw on. It offers:
    -a nice light grey toned surface that allows marks to visually sit well without
    the harshness of stark white paper
    - it grabs your Conte beautifully and smoothly - I don't know why it does this
    the best out of all the papers I've tried.
    - newsprint comes in different batches to the stores every 6-8 weeks of
    various grades of hardness and textures. This keeps it interesting to your
    drawing as you continually adjust your technique deal with it.

    The biggest downside to newsprint is that it will quickly yellow and eventually deteriorate. There is nothing you can do about it. It is not a permanent material for your art. This is a tragedy I must tell you. I have hundreds of excellent drawings that are falling apart as I write this. But, I cannot stop drawing on newsprint because of the sheer pleasure of using it.

    I hope this helps. Good luck with your journey.

    Mike

    p.s. I wholeheartedly agree with Artful Doger's suggestions about life drawing from the nude models. Most cities offer drop in sessions at very little cost. We are all familiar with the human body. If you draw an arm wrong, everyone knows it. This will help you stay focused to get it right. You cannot cut any corners. Hence you will progress at a much faster rate. And drawing the live human body is exciting, and you'll be surrounded by many like minded people. A winning situation if ever I saw one.
     
  17. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #17
    Thanks Toronto Mike, I feel my professor was correct when he reviewed my portfolio and told me about this type of learning method because as he put it, once you learn how to draw a human body or any part of one, any cartoon character or illustration can become much more since you know just how and where to manipulate your lines.

    Supplies for drawing can also be a bargain if you look through your Sunday paper at fabric supply stores or art and craft stores. I can usually get 40-50% off from coupons and that buys a nice range of pencils, Conte sets with different weights and it really saves on paper costs. Last thing, try keeping a small ringed sketch pad with you to practice in as they go around $10 @B&N and some Fine Art departments will accept them in with your portfolio, sometimes ;)
    Good luck!
     
  18. kwood macrumors 6502a

    kwood

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    #18
    I always used to trace things.. then my mom told me tracing wasn't as impressive as actually drawing. I stopped tracing and I still suck at drawing.
     
  19. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #19
    I remember having a light table when I was like 5. Took things like space shuttles and added tractor tires to them. *shrug*

    Anyway, I suggest a nice lead holder+pointer as a pencil alternative. :) Doesn't get smaller and saves trees. Always having the same weight is good.

    A lightbox would be nice, or a nice bright window and some tape would do the trick.

    Draw what you see and not what you think you see.
    Draw some 1 minute gestures without looking at the paper.
    Etc.

    Stuff to get you started, and any of the books listed above would be great. As well as any anatomy books.
     
  20. onegirlcreative macrumors member

    onegirlcreative

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    Colorado
    #20
    Life drawing is an excellent start. Learning how to draw the human body will enable you to draw anything else 2D/3D. The human body is the most difficult subject to draw, so master that and your drawing skills will improve 100%.

    My first 3 semesters of life drawing foundations in college, no joke, I would practice my drawing from Playboy magazines. There was no such thing as the internet back then, so I actually had to purchase these magazines to draw the nude body. Nobody I knew would pose for me (chuckle) so this was the way to go. I have pages and pages of nude drawings because of this, and as a result, my drawing technique was amazing.

    Remember, use your eyes! Always, always, always draw with your eyes.
     
  21. BoingoBongo macrumors regular

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    Mar 27, 2008
    #21
    Practice. Practice. Practice.

    There are thousands of fantastic books and websites, but what really matters is practice. Spend some time everyday drawing, and be sure to save your stuff so you can see your progress, it's extremely encouraging. :)
     
  22. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

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    #22
    Duff-Man says...no real help from me as I can't even draw a stick man, but when I saw the thread title with the two ! it read to me as "I need to learn how to drawl!" and I was going to suggest a few years living in Texas....oh yeah!
     
  23. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

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    Scotland
    #23
    Drawing technical drawings and even art do not require talent but skills you can learn and develop, you wont be a artist in a day but if you learn the basics and work from there drawing is just basic shapes and doing shading well.
    There are many books you can learn the basic techniques from out there that will give you the groundings in drawing, look to see if there are any night classes in your area you can attend and explain to your teacher your needs.
     
  24. adamzx3 macrumors regular

    adamzx3

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    Sep 8, 2007
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    #24
    I agree 100% that tracing will only hurt you in the end, It has crippled my skills in highschool art. One thing it does do is let you practice your shading very well, if you can shade it then

    One thing I used to do was trace the outline on a lightbox then freehand the same thing, the first run lets you see where you need to go and the 2nd time allows you to do it yourself.

    heres one that I did a few years ago....traced unfortunately...now I can shade decent but I cant draw what I see, if you notice the inside of the headlights and wheels etc.. there out of perspective and wobbly, those where mostly drawn by eye if detail couldnt be traced.....something that could be fixed with practice though.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    #25
    Made me laugh pretty hard and don't forget to wear a big hat ;)
     

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