NeoMetallixBlizShadow's Guide to Drawing
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#2
BUILDING BLOCKS FROM SQUARES


To cater to direct beginners and drawers that aren't quite up to speed, let's focus on the most basic of basics and advance to better techniques. You'll be practicing this the most- even when you're good- so you'll probably find it tedious. But Rome wasn't built in a day, or even a week, or a month, or a year. Probably not even a decade, but you get the point. 

First, you have to know how to draw convincing geometric shapes. Triangles, quads, and ovals are the two-dimensional shapes that'll most make up the three-dimensional forms you'll begin utilizing in more convincing characters, like so:

[Image: part2example1.png]

Before beginning, know that you need to be as loose as possible. Plain copy paper is barely four-thousandths of an inch thick and is usually pure white; trust me, your pencil lines will show up on there without your hard pressing. 

Aside from not being paper abuse, drawing loosely will give you some advantages: You'll get faster at putting things down on paper, you'll possess more hand and finger control, and imposing details on top of sketches and erasing will be much easier achieved. Surely we've all had drawings ruined because we couldn't erase the lead we'd gouged into the paper. 

So practice having a light grip as demonstrated here and in other similar videos. Know that the less of your drawings you can see, the better off you are. Also, practice drawing basic shapes in the meantime. Try your best to make the shapes visually balanced. Their sides should be as solid as you can make them within three to five seconds:

[Image: part2example2.png]

I'm being literal on that time; you shouldn't need to spend longer than that on a single shape. Speed will be key on getting you to be able to reproduce these shapes intuitively, which will allow you to put your time and energy in drawing the character which is the most important and fun part. 

As you get comfortable with practicing good posture and sketching skills, you'll probably be chomping at the bit to work on some living things. Indeed, once you've become proficient at these things, it's then that you're moved on to yet another basic skill which will better allow you to produce sketches like these:

[Image: tutorial_1_2_2.gif]

These are "gesture drawings," sketches that focus on the pose of a subject versus the details. Despite their squiggly-ness they're still multi-functional: They keep your speed, precision, lightness of grip, and intuitive knowledge of drawing forms up to par. These human figures were probably each rendered within 15-30 seconds. Needless to say, you don't have time to be distracted.

The aforementioned new skill involves training the eyes to see complicated objects and creatures in real life as merely a mass of the shapes. Underneath this artist's messiness, these figures can still be broken down as a conglomerate of ovals, quads, and triangles. However, he's gotten to the point where he can travel from one form to the next with lines instinctively whilst focusing on more important things such as the pose and the proportions. Here's another demonstrative video, although this artist opts for one-minute timing.

More on your eyes: There's another technique called "sighting." This is fairly formal and usually used for accuracy in things like still lifes, rooms, and humans, but you should be aware of it. Sighting is just using your drawing tool as a ruler to establish the proportions of your subject. You've probably seen stereotypical artists in film and television holding up their pencil or paintbrush and have probably wondered what they were doing- This is it.

Gesture drawing along with sighting are just a few ways to train your eyes how to see and establish basic shapes and proportions. The last link provides further information and techniques too vast to cover in just one post. But hopefully you've gotten an idea on how to lay a foundation down for yourself in order to either begin drawing or strengthen the talent you've already accrued over the years.

OVERVIEW
  • 2D shapes like triangles, quads, and ovals are the basis of any good drawing. Know how to draw them quick and well.
  • Practice drawing.
  • Learn to loosen your grip on your pencil too. A loose grip increases your speed, precision, and allows you to easily add and take away detail.
  • Practice drawing.
  • Understand what gesture drawing is and how it uses both understanding of shape and good posture.
  • Practice drawing.
  • Train your eyes along with your hand. Gesture drawing also helps with this, but sighting does as well. You need to be able to see well to draw well.
  • Pratice drawing.
Did I mention practice drawing? I cannot stress this enough. Even with this basically free college-level education I'm giving you, you still have to sit down and draw if you want to get good at drawing. So do it right now, and have fun with it. =P
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