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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArtWorkshopDrawing exercises
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Bones
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« on: December 15, 2010, 10:07:06 AM »

(whoops hit the Post button too early was still typing this out)

Don't think there is a thread existing for this...
Basically this is a collection of practices and drills which you should do as practice to get yourself better.
Feel free to add to or comment on how you feel about any of the existing exercises.

I am not claiming to be a professional artist, or expert of what I am talking about.
Though I do sell my art and there for am considered a "professional" but anyone can sell art so it's not much of a boast.

My personal belief is that art is a combination of shape recognition, hand eye coordination, and muscle memory of your wrist. So it's very important that you train your muscles, or wrist to properly do what you want it to. True "talent" can arise from excelling at all three of these categories, without the need of practicing and fine tuning their senses, but for the rest of us we need to work out just like an athlete.

1. Drawing from life
Just as it sounds, observe whatever you see and draw it, just do your best to break each object into basic geometric shapes.

2. Spend at least two hours sketching a day (practice)
This can be quick doodles of nothing, or sketches of objects you see around you. But be quick with your sketches, don't worry about refinement, move on maybe spend 5-10 minutes on a sketch at most unless your practicing your shading.

You can break this 2 hours up through-out the day, I'm just suggesting to try and get into the habit of spending a decent small portion of time to practice sketching daily.
Even if you don't have any ideas for something to draw, draw a shape, draw an object draw or something that doesn't even exist.

I find waking up a bit early gives me plenty of time to get some daily sketching done.

3. Sight/Blind contour drawing
With or without looking at your paper attempt to draw an object as best you can. If you can attempt to draw the contour lines along the image without looking down, this will immensely increase your hand eye coordination.


This is an extreme example, you don't need to use as many lines and you don't have to make the lines stretch across like that, just even the object alone with contour lines is fine.
As this also helps with your ellipse receding in perspective. (Fig 6.)


4. Warm-up Exercise




I don't care what the comments on youtube say, this exercise is damn helpful in the long run.
Take what you can from the video, it's just the easiest way to show the exercise without typing it all out...


This video shows you a quick and easy way to warm-up your shoulder, arm and wrist while drawing.
This exercise can help with cross-hatching, straight lines, sketched perspective, circles, even cubes and shading if you'd like to go into the sphere's or cubes and shade them. (The video doesn't show you to shade the objects just an option you have and with this quick "checker board" grid you can make cubes fairly easy)
I sometimes do this at a smaller scale so I can do it more times then once on a paper, though getting your whole arm involved is very important.

5. Linear or two-point perspective
Alright folks grab your rulers.
Linear perspective, draw a flat horizon line, draw a vanishing point anywhere on your horizon line.

Aim your ruler at the dot and start firing off some lines in it's general direction.
This will help your objects recede in space.

Two point perspective, again start with your horizon line, and draw two vanishing points.
The further apart your two vanishing points are, the more believable and less "squished" your objects will feel.
So if you can, get a meter stick... OR you can also photocopy your piece and zoom it down in size, so your ruler can reach the vanishing points easier.
Start with a straight vertical line, then cast two lines to each vanishing point, and close up those lines with verticals to close your cube shape's side. Then to get either the top or the bottom of the box, cast two lines crossing through each other directly at the vanishing points.

This example may be confusing, but each object has it's own two vanishing points rather then casting to simply only two vanishing points.

6. Ellipses
These are probably the hardest shape to get right in perspective.
There is also a few different methods you can use to practice casting your ellipses.

You can free hand them in, with some proper technique of opening their face up to the viewer as it gets further away from the vanishing point.

Just avoid getting your edges to pinch creating a "cat's eye" my found example nearly does just that so it's not perfect.

7. Repeating length in perspective
This exercise is handy for drawing; Light posts, trees, windows, bricks ect objects that repeat that need to recede in space.

First you must decide the initial length of your two objects, so draw one vertical line and then another receding towards the vanishing point. From there you will draw a line through the middle of the verticals this line is known as the "Perspective center", also receding towards the vanishing point. Now draw a diagonal through where the middle line meets the vertical line on the next line, where the diagonal touches along the ground line is where your next vertical will go.

Continue and repeat as needed.


I hope some of this is useful, and I will continue adding/formatting this post as I think of more.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:46:42 AM by Bones » Logged

Sit down and relax,
Keeping focus on your breath,
This may take a while.

jwk5
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 10:44:50 AM »

Some of those are pretty interesting, I'll have to give them a try.

One drawing exercise I do often is I put headphones on and turn up my music load so it drowns out background noise and starting with the pen tip on the paper (or tablet) I draw up and down (moving the line forward) to the beat, tempo, or general loudness of the song I am listening to. It looks something like so:

After a while my mind starts to "zone out"(almost making me feel like I am getting high) while my hand just follows along to the sound patterns. When I finally do start to draw figures and whatnot (while still listening to music) I keep a very relaxed state and my mind still "zones out" leaving me drawing almost subconsciously. This is especially useful to me during gesture sketches because my mind is focused on being rhythmic and fluid and too "zoned out" to think about details.

I usually have to turn the music low or off when I go to the detail work though or my mind starts to wander and I end up not being able to pay attention to what I am trying to do.
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Jrsquee
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 01:45:27 PM »

I find that doing quick (5-30min), timed figure/gesture drawings is really important and helpful. Drawing your hands is also a really really good way to warm up. just make sure you contort your hands into an interesting pose, drawing it straight-on or flat will make you see 'hands' more rather than 'lines+shapes'
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Greg Game Man
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 05:52:55 PM »

it's very important that you train your muscles, or wrist to properly do what you want it to. True "talent" can arise from excelling at all three of these categories
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Bones
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 06:17:06 PM »

Were you quoting me in agreement or questioning the "3 categories" part
Was a little confused by your post.

Quote
shape recognition, hand eye coordination, and muscle memory
Noticed the quote sounded a bit weird, the sentence placement is a bit off.

Edit: No, Elk you have cool avatar.  Epileptic
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 09:01:01 AM by Bones » Logged

Sit down and relax,
Keeping focus on your breath,
This may take a while.

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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2010, 02:41:14 AM »

Were you quoting me in agreement or questioning the "3 categories" part
Was a little confused by your post.

Quote
shape recognition, hand eye coordination, and muscle memory
Noticed the quote sounded a bit weird, the sentence placement is a bit off.

you have cool avatar
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Alistair Aitcheson
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2010, 03:17:24 AM »

I love number 7. I'd never thought of doing that before, but it makes perfect sense geometrically Smiley
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