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How did you learn to draw?

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
Monkey see, monkey do. Monkey also scream and throw pencil when having bad time.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
I suggest the tutorial series "How to draw really good" over on Youtube.
[video=youtube;xlCu1CbpRQQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlCu1CbpRQQ[/video]
 

Miranda

Draw all the things!
Neopets.

I know that sounds weird, but I joined neopets when I was in 3rd grade. I liked drawing since then, but seeing other people enter the BC with gorgeous art made me really push myself to get better at my skills and practice.
 

Hybrid Project Alpha

It's what's for dinner
I learned how to draw by first copying Sonic the Hedgehog. Then as I sailed through the internet and was exposed to many different styles I gradually weaved certain aspects of art I liked into my own style. There was a brief period 6-7 years ago where I got serious about my art and got a bunch of tutorials on anatomy and perspective and coloring, though it didn't last long enough for me to get really good. I still learned quite a bit and I'm pretty satisfied with where I am as an artist now. I've actually improved a lot in the last 2 years or so by hanging out with a bunch of other artists, they're a good influence
 

azure-anomaly

New Member
I always drew as a hobby. Started with tracing sonic the hedgehog comics and i've been drawing ever since. I improved gradually until college. I had a couple crappy chris hart books, and I took a couple art classes in high school plus a sketching class in college. Most of my improvement has been from pure practice and referencing real life and masters of the craft.

Things that helped me improve:
  • Tracing reference photos. Tracing a reference photo purely for practice and getting a hold of how a part is shaped helps you recreate that shape in the long run.
  • Google image searching what you're trying to draw and doing study drawings. Don't know how to draw a prawn? Look up the prawn. Study the prawn. Draw the prawn. Its the best way to learn to draw something new.
  • Study up on how to make a well constructed underdrawing. I studied a lot of basic perspective, line weight in sketches, basic shape layering, etc. (here's IDsketching.com. It's a great resource for sketch techniques).
  • Color Palette exercises. I sometimes go to a color palette site like kuler and use one to create a design/value study/what have you. This helps me build an understanding of relationships between colors.
  • Draw every day! This is still something I'm working on, but it's a great way to keep your creative muscles strong.
  • Seek other artist's opinions. I have a friend that's an artist. I've improved a whole bunch with her in a short amount of time because we play on each other's strengths and weaknesses.
 
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Aleu

Deuces
I always drew as a hobby. Started with tracing sonic the hedgehog comics and i've been drawing ever since. I improved gradually until college. I had a couple crappy chris hart books, and I took a couple art classes in high school plus a sketching class in college. Most of my improvement has been from pure practice and referencing real life and masters of the craft.

Things that helped me improve:
  • Tracing reference photos. Tracing a reference photo purely for practice and getting a hold of how a part is shaped helps you recreate that shape in the long run.

Not really. If anything, the other things are far better than tracing and it's not looked down as much. Tracing just helps you copy. It's far better to draw something in front of you than trace over a photo or someone else's work.
 

azure-anomaly

New Member
As a supplement to life drawing, however, tracing can assist in nailing the finer points of how anatomy works. I'm not saying that this should be a sole informant to drawing complex subject matter, I'm saying that it can help if you cant seem to nail proportions/lines/what have you just right.
 

Aleu

Deuces
As a supplement to life drawing, however, tracing can assist in nailing the finer points of how anatomy works. I'm not saying that this should be a sole informant to drawing complex subject matter, I'm saying that it can help if you cant seem to nail proportions/lines/what have you just right.

again, not really.
If you can't nail proportions, the solution isn't to trace. It's to figure out why it's wrong and do it again after studying real things and how they work.
 

azure-anomaly

New Member
Furthering this particular example, tracing can be a method of studying proportion. By tracing the material, or laying trace paper over it, the artist can further break down the subject into simpler shapes, or lines representing how long certain pieces are. Examples being:


(source)

Tracing paper and reference shots can do wonders for one's understanding of proportion, as it allows for a more direct visual reference to be made. As lines are drawn to measure different pieces of the subject, an observation can be clearly made: this line length is to this line length.

Is it a replacement for life drawing? Absolutely not. Should this be someone's sole method of learning proportion? No. Can it be a valuable part of breaking down proportions and adding to a study by allowing you to do your own direct analysis? Up to the person doing the study. I'm simply suggesting trace paper/volume analysis/proportion analysis as another method of breaking down what you want to draw.
 

ero-kimi

Oops
I think for anyone it boils down to practice.

I didn't go to any specialized school, I just doodled and sketched and it caught peoples' attentions. Eventually, I would ask people for their honest opinions (I didn't like comments about how good something looked, I wanted to know what was wrong or what wasn't working).
I fueled off of the negative comments because that's where I wanted to improve, so I'd keep shaping and sculpting those areas to improve on them. An artist never really stops learning how to do anything; but with each picture or doodle they improve their craft - for me, the more critical comments are what helped me improve along with practice.
 

kv195

Member
Personally, I did start with some odd anime and manga, then just went to still-life which helped quite a bit and probably the most. Now I do surrealism and figures mainly.
 

sixfoot

Member
Furthering this particular example, tracing can be a method of studying proportion. By tracing the material, or laying trace paper over it, the artist can further break down the subject into simpler shapes, or lines representing how long certain pieces are. Examples being:


(source)

Tracing paper and reference shots can do wonders for one's understanding of proportion, as it allows for a more direct visual reference to be made. As lines are drawn to measure different pieces of the subject, an observation can be clearly made: this line length is to this line length.

Is it a replacement for life drawing? Absolutely not. Should this be someone's sole method of learning proportion? No. Can it be a valuable part of breaking down proportions and adding to a study by allowing you to do your own direct analysis? Up to the person doing the study. I'm simply suggesting trace paper/volume analysis/proportion analysis as another method of breaking down what you want to draw.

The problem with tracing is not necessarily that it's 'valueless' as a method of study, I think the main problem with it is that it's way way too easy to stop paying attention and slip into the zone, becoming a human photocopier machine. You might learn something, but you'd learn the same thing way quicker by doing your own drawing, which forces you to concentrate.

edit for content:

After thinking about this 'how should you practice' question a fair bit recently the conclusion I came to was not just drawing more, but really thinking about what I was doing, making sure I was concentrating while I drew, and actively looking up bits of anatomy/whatever that I was finding difficult. I used to practice by just sitting down and pumping out a bunch of figures or whatever, and while I did improve doing that I think I'm improving a lot faster now that I know how to practice properly.

Now when I run into something I was find really difficult, I write it down. Then I take some time out to really study how other people got that thing right, and then try to apply it. The most recent thing was I thought my figures needed more weight - they looked a bit floaty. So I looked at a lot of animators drawings where they have a really great sense of gesture and weight then did a bunch of studies on my own.

Basically the usual answer of 'draw more' is always right, but I think it's possible to optimise your 'draw more' time so you're getting more out of it.
 
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CellarDwellar

Freelancer
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember.
Which is about, 5 years old.
I draw every day. I doodle every day. As I got older, I started buying sketchbooks, art supplies, moved into painting, digital art. Kept drawing, drawing, drawing. Went to Art in highschool, kept drawing after highschool, bought a proper tablet.
The list goes on.

I'm going to quote something for you too.
"You see I study art // The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint // The greats were great cause they paint a lot" - Macklemore.

Practice. Practice. Practice.
I didn't learn to draw anywhere but with my own imagination and a pencil.
Sure, I've had help, and sure, I've done a lot of studying. Like, anatomy and light, those things will help you a lot with artistic horizons.
My style has changed multiple times over the years, and is shaped by the styles of art I like.
If you have a passion, BE PASSIONATE ABOUT IT! <3
 
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