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Forums > Social Chat > Is it possible to learn how to draw?

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:The other day I heard that it's possible to learn how to draw.



I always considered drawing beyond me. Since I've now learnt many things that I used to think I'd never be able to do, I've begun reconsidering many of the assumptions I made about myself in the past.



So is it possible? Surely you can do anything you want?



Is it just practice? Any hints or tips?



smile

EDITED_BY: DeepSoulSheep (1075204478)


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:the best advice i could give you is to look at what you can see - i mean what you can ACTUALLY see and not what you know is there. Shapes are weird when you look at them from different angles.

It depends a lot on what you want to draw, but to be honest you need someone either there with you or to look at what you've done and make suggestions.

if you want any specific advice you can always PM me. smile


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:Tony Hart reckoned anyone could learn to draw
and i'm not gonna argue with him

um yeah, practice lots, and look at other drawings to see the cunning tricks of other arty types

it helps to become really addicted to drawing little pictures on every piece of paper you see. Although that can get you in trouble if your job involves handling important documents... ubbangel


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay, Austral...

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Specifically, what is it you want to draw?

A good draftsman will be able to faithfully represent something put in front of him or herself, but chances are they cannot go beyond that. It's a case of recognising angles and the relationship between lines.

Mechanical things have form following function, virtually anyone can see if something is wrong with, say, a car, even if they can't say exactly what it is, whereas trees and flowers and other natural items are far more free-form and absorb mistakes.

A step further is to be able to draw without reference, a good visual memory is essential for this. Think of a chair. Can you see it in your mind and rotate it in all directions or do you just get a flash of it and an impression of chairiness. Children have the ability of visualise but lose it as they grow up. Spend a little time every day just picturing things if you can't do it already.

From an incredibly biased point of view some of the most talented people from a drawing point of view (not necessarily painting) are the comic-book artists who have to be able to cover an A3 sheet with clear and concise lines and be able to draw anything the writer needs whilst telling a story to a deadline. Rather than search through tomes of art books from the old masters take yourself down to a comic shop and see how these guys reduce complex forms into lines whilst maintaining expressiveness and individuality of style. Particular pencillers who I look out for are: early Joe Quesada for dynamic action; Gene Ha for someone who can do instantly recognisable characters who don't need costumes or hairstyles to set them apart; Darick Robertson for deep foreshortening and expression; Mike Mignola for his reduction of stuff into graphic simplicity and his much imitated use of black; most manga artists for their representation of mechanical items.

The forums at digital webbing always seem to advise people to go to life drawing classes, which in some respects might help, but if you've never really attempted to draw people it can be off putting as they're the hardest thing to get right and you tend to be very self-critical.

Numerous "how to draw X" books are available, these help enormously as they show how to break down a complex structure into componant geometric shapes. The ones I've found to be essential references (and bearing in mind I'm a sad geek wannabe comic artist fanboy and they may not necessarily be right for the stuff you want to do) are: Dynamic Figure Drawing and Drawing the Human Head by Burne Hogarth; Perspective for Artists by Rex Vicat Cole and the How to Draw series which I think is now out of print.

Start doodling, just let lines run away from you and gradually build stuff up as a shape takes form (interestingly, this is how H R Giger does his enormously complex and often rather rude airbrush work). Study pictures in magazines as the relationship between items in 2D is easier to follow than in 3D, and work your way up from there.

And most importantly, don't let failure put you off. If you're not drawing for anyone else's benefit you don't have to listen to anyone else's opinion of your work, though criticism is great if it makes you better.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:absolutely it is possible to learn to draw. Take a serious drawing class sometime (e.g. at a university or community college) and you can actually watch people do it. there are loads of techniques to figure out how to render things well on paper. Perhaps the most important is to realize that a lot gets changed in the translation from 3-D to 2-D. Other stuff, like using "negative space" (instead of drawing the outline of an object, it is actually often easier to draw the shape of the space around it), figuring out how perspective works, the golden rules for proportions of faces and bodies, and stuff like that go a long way in helping people develop drawing ability. The there is more subtle things, like actually making interesting lines that vary in darkness and width instead of being uniform, which have nothing to do with actually rendering the object, but go a long way towards making a drawing a lot more interesting.

But just like with anything else, the most important thing is practice. the more you do it, the better you'll get.

Some people have a certain knack - perhaps some sort of innate spacial analysis that has nothing to do with their concious mind, but pretty much anyone can develop that if they try. you may never be able to make up for that other person's natural head start unless you work harder at it than them, but it is possible.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Mr Hands


member
Location: Cardiffy, Londony places

Total posts: 64
Posted:Yes... It is...

Even the worlds best artists keep practicing because they are always learning...

Its more fun if you enjoy it....

And don't subscribe to someones ideals of 'good' drawing and art, the beauty tis that it is an exploration of expresion that you alone are treading.... (its your drawing...)


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Jello


ambiguous
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:Before I entered college I knew nothing about drawing. My only arts education ended in the 6th grade and I'm pretty sure all I did was make little clay pots that looked more like ash trays. Than I got into the engineering program, dropped out, and am now about to graduate with a BS in Architecture, plus I'll be going to grad school in the fall. So yes, it is possible to learn how to draw smile though I still don't consider myself an artist tongue

_________________________________
Fuzzy Dice.......................................

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:I bought this book the other day on Celtic animal patterns. It breaks down the patterns in to stages. That make even really complicated knotwork possible...

It contains stuff like :

Non-Https Image Link
and
Non-Https Image Link


I want to learn how to do it so that I can put better designs onto the staffs I'm making. I've had some success so far, but just enjoyed drawing so much that I began to wonder what else I could do.

I may keep my eyes open for a book and see what happens. smile


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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musashii


musashii

starring Skippy the green llama
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1148
Posted:ahh, celtic knotwork wink It can be broken down into patterns pretty easily, I've found some good books on it here and there. There are books out the that teach you the celtic patterns well, let me know if you have problems finding them. I'm learning tribals at the moment, kind of breaks down into the same steps as celtic knotwork..Pick your outline, number of lines, and then work on your fill. Trickiest thing with celtic knotwork is making sure you're alternating over-under correctly, and your lines remain the same width...Try it using a prog like illustrator mebbe if you can't get it right using pencil n paper..BTW Hows the flash coming?

Think I learned how to draw after a bad car accident, sat down with a book of pen n ink drawing and drew for hours, mimic your fav artists til you find your own style wink


First intention, then enlightenment..
Ars Pyronomica

" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Cool, I'll give you a shout when I need more books. Tribal sounds interesting too...man so much to learn in one life isn't there.....the flash is absolutely non-existant.....as in zero.
I'm so busy ubbangel (doodling?) at the minute I don't see it happening any time soon... smile


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Faberg
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 1459
Posted:Quote:
Trickiest thing with celtic knotwork is making sure you're alternating over-under correctly



a bit like learning the weave biggrin ubbloco biggrin


My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely smile

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:I have no idea how this thread escaped my attention, but YES it is possible to learn to draw

I come from a fairly artisitc family, and always thought that drawing ability was just something you were born with rolleyes

I'm dumb sometimes....

I got a copy of: Drawing on the Right hand side of the brain hug kiss

This book changed my drawing life! It taught me how to 'see' properly, and walla, the secret of drawing was revealed - and what's more, I actualyl started to enjoy drawing!

You can do anything, if you give it a go.

You learnt poi didn't you rolleyes tongue


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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:Quote:

I got a copy of: Drawing on the Right hand side of the brain hug kiss




I'm working my way through Flynt's copy smile

There's a fair bit of text that I think could be chopped down a bit but it's working wonders for me so far.
At the risk of making this post a cheesy home shopping channel style advert, I'm quite surprised at the results wink


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:tis indeed an awesome book, but i didn't find it very helpful. As i remember, it's mainly concerned with techniques for accurately drawing from life, and i prefer drawing the inside of my head smile

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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TheBovrilMonkey
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England

Total posts: 2629
Posted:
What d'you use to get the right kind of goopy brain texture?

My guess would be spagetti sauce, that'd probably work quite well with a little grey added.


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:partly cooked minced beef gives a great chunky consistency biggrin

"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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jemima (jem)
SILVER Member since Dec 2002

jemima (jem)

Pooh-Bah
Location: london, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1750
Posted:deep, how are you using the celtic knots on staff, are you actually tieing knots or drawing them and adding them to staffs ? sound very interesting either way biggrin

i find that drawing from life does significantly improve your drawings from your uncounicouse, drawing should actually be called "mark making to represent or suggest" an idea, a form, a shadow, a light, a symbol, a shape a feeling etc

i think there are two distinct categories of drawing

1 RECORDING/REPRESENTING

2 DOODLING/IMAGINATION..............but then this is still represinting and recording but of the unconciouse as opposed to the conciouse what we see with our eyes

3 (sometimes there is a mixture of both


peace


Never assume
Always Acknowledge

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Of course you can learn to draw. Celtic work is fun to play with, but it really depends what you want your style to be. Celtic and tribals lend themselves to more of a flashwork, 2d illustration style. To go from that to full 'true to life' drawing can be difficult for some people, it depends on your way of thinking.

Here is an old celtic drawing I did...

The idea that you must draw exactly what you see is slightly flawed, I think of it the same as I think of my photography work, in that I keep things acurate to the laws of nature, but you only see what I want you to see. If there is something annoying in the background why draw it if you don't want it there and it only detracts from the work?

It is true when working with stillifes especially to actually draw what you SEE (to a certain extent). For example people will draw the top of a box because they see it in their head, regardless of whether they actually see it in real life. Work from life as much as you can, not from photographs no matter how tempting it is. And if you want to draw people, I would definatly suggest taking classes.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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woodnymph


woodnymph

member
Location: london,uk

Total posts: 313
Posted:I think you lot have said it already,but i have to agree with Vanize aboout negative shapes....this involves looking at the space around the object rather than the object and tricks you into using the side of your brain that you need.Otherwise,say if you want to draw an eye, your brain will dredge up its symbol for an eye instead of what an eye really looks like...just get the book (drawing on the right side of the brain)and i'll stop rambling....... smile

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