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Memfis

Learning to draw?

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I feel like designing levels for games is not always enough for me. It's hard to actually express something serious this way as the tools are rather limited (although it's not a problem for really talented authors). I'm considering trying to learn to draw, but there are so many ways to go about it that I'm rather confused at the moment. Anyone here had a positive experience learning to draw? Do you have any stories to tell or books to recommend? I'm not looking for academic drawing or anything like that, I don't want to draw realistic portraits or landscapes. Instead I would like to draw something you can't find in real life, or at least put a unique twist on real life objects. But perhaps before deviating from the norm I have to actually learn what that norm is, I'm not sure. Advice would be appreciated. For a start I would be fine with simple pencil drawing, no need to immediately go into that advanced canvas stuff I think.

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If you can draw faces, I would say go for caricaturing real life people like Donald Trump and Rowan Atkinson. That will teach you a lot about putting a twist on "real life objects".

 

But honestly your post makes it sound like you were explicitly forbidden to pick up a pen all the way back to preschool. Like it would unleash a curse or something.

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Not sure what you mean. :D Are you like trying to say that I should just pick up a pen and start drawing stuff even if I have no skills whatsoever? Do you think the best way to learn is to simply keep trying without reading any learning materials?

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Best way to learn is by doing. Repeatedly. Copy shit you like the look of. Repeat this. Try to learn from it by implementing elements in your own drawing. Repeat this. Repeat it all. Repeatedly.

Yes, I am saying "grind like a mofo" but it works. I remember reading something about Warner Bros. legend Chuck Jones being of the opinion that everyone has 10,000 bad drawings inside them; and the only way to get them out so nothing but good drawings happen is to draw those bad ones as quick as possible. That's a lot of drawing, but people who draw a lot usually draw well.

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@Memfis I do not know your skills but drawing has been a part of me all my life and then I only draw every 10 years or so.  If you think learning from a book will work, then by all means try. I can give you an other tip however: To draw a face - put three dots in a triangle then connect them.

 

e Jaye~ has some really good ideas actually.

Edited by NeedHealth

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have you tried YouTube? There's some pretty sick tutorials and time lapses

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I have come to understand that, on an elementary level, abstract pictures are a lot easier to draw than something that is supposed to be as close to reality as possible, because there are certain things you can "ignore" like realistic proportions, for example. The manual skill that is projecting your imagination on a piece of paper as close to being a copy of your imagination as possible, is something you will learn over time.

 

Echoing what 40oz said, there are probably some nice tutorials on YouTube that can help you speed up that learning process by providing tips on how to handle your pen (basic techniques), or maybe there are some nice excercises that may help you get better a bit faster.

 

I would also recommend you to try different methods of drawing. Some people feel more comfortable with a pencil, others prefer using a brush, or their fingers even. Experiment with different things, see what is fun for you. That certainly makes it a lot easier for you to find your comfort zone, or rather your preferred "medium".

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You need to learn the fundamentals first. No half-measures on this one, you gotta learn the basics, learn how to draw and compose various shapes and objects, and then you will be able to apply those skills to ANY drawing you do regardless of realism, abstractness, etc. YouTube is a wonderful place to learn how to draw. I think it's a lot more intuitive to learn from a video than a book any day. After you learn the rules of the pen, you can then start to break them. That's where one can produce beautiful pieces of abstract art that feel good to look at because the composition -- which is at the core of the picture -- is laid out well, and the different elements of art (line, shape, color, texture, etc.) are used wisely and effectively.

 

If I made it sound like a chore... to be honest, it can be. You'll need to practice your ass off to get good, but it gets a lot more satisfying once you get into a good rhythm. Either way, I always like to see a newcomer pick up the pen/pencil for the first time and give it a go. It's a rewarding experience, and it'll help you look at a lot of different mediums of art differently. Good luck!

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I've been drawing stuff for pretty much all my life, and I have no idea how to describe learning it. Just draw whatever shit you want, and it'll eventually turn out good.

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Drawing (like other art) is a way of realizing on paper, what is inside your head. The problem lies in the disconnect between your brain and your hand. For example, think of a circle, and then try to draw it on a piece of paper. At first you'll get less than stellar results. However, after some practice you'll produce decent-looking circles. This illustration (no pun intended) is meant to point out that you'll need to practice quite a bit before your hand can translate what your brain envisions. [Others in this thread have also indicated the benefits of practice.]

 

Start with simple shapes, then work with proportions, then graduate to assembling those shapes into meaningful designs - e.g., head, connected by a neck to a torso, connected by a waist to hips, etc.

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The Animator's Survival Kit is good to get an idea of movement, poses and silhouettes and everything related to that, and if you ever get interested its also the best starting point for animating in general.

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On 8/6/2017 at 4:32 PM, Memfis said:

Not sure what you mean. :D Are you like trying to say that I should just pick up a pen and start drawing stuff even if I have no skills whatsoever? Do you think the best way to learn is to simply keep trying without reading any learning materials?

That's how I learned to draw.

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But what might be good is finding online a picture and drawing it little by little.  Start in the middle and work your way outward.  Keep it up on your phone or something and don't get let down if it doesn't look amazing right away.  Always finish your drawings.  Just remember that every picture is just a series of shape of varying shading.  I suggest starting with a black and white photo.

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On 8/6/2017 at 5:05 PM, Memfis said:

I would like to draw something you can't find in real life

Like surrealism? I highly advise reading up on contrast, and trying to draw realistic textures. Check things out like sea horses skin (Giger), and other odd textural formations that apply in nature, then apply them to seemingly normal things.

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Something that's kind of fun to do is to pencil in a dark silhouette of an object and then use the eraser to buff out where your light source would be hitting the object, and rub it with a paper towel to kind of cloud up the pencil strokes. You can get some pretty realistic looking drawings.

 

it takes a few fucked up pictures to get the hang of it but if your ok with waiting until something is finished before deciding its crap and throwing it out prematurely, you'll probably get the hang of it after like 2 or 3 drawings.

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In high school art we played a lot of drawing games that were fun. Here's a couple you can play with artist friends:

 

- Everyone takes a sheet of paper and starts drawing whatever comes to mind, no matter how weird. After a few minutes, everyone passes their paper to the left and starts adding to the drawing they're given. Repeat til all pages are filled.

 

- One person puts a few random, meaningless scribbles on a sheet of paper and passes it to their opponent. That person must turn those scribbles into a coherent image, using all scribbles. Usually the scribbles are just one to three lines.

 

I also recommend taking life drawing with a mellow professor. Once you learn how to gesture draw, you can draw ANYTHING. It's not a bad springboard for people who don't draw, or for people who do draw but aren't good at anatomy or perspective or whatever.

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