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Learning to Draw?

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So, im learning to draw as a relaxing hobby.


Currently i have:

Mechanical Pencil 7mm leads, unknown rating, probably HB

A5 notepads to draw small pictures on.

Some Rubbers, unknown quality


Im a complete novice, i want to learn more but obviously need the right equipment. Expensive isnt out of the option but ideally it would be cheap (would need to save up to get things if expensive)


I like the feel of mechanical pencils, Does anyone suggest anything specifically (even better if i can order it online rather than trying to find it in a shop that i will to travel many hours to get to).


Also does anyone have any online tutorials they recommend?

Any help or suggestions are welcome :)

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when i draw something it is usually not very different from my 14 year old brother :))

two artist i know, and perhaps the rest of them, said they were born with "it"

but i dont think its about equipment, its about spirit:)

well, that is the case with poetry :D

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Well, it depends on what you want to draw ofcourse. But getting a set of 3b to h3 pencils will help. Mechanical pencils ( I am going to assume those are the ones with the thin little rods that come out by clicking the end) tend to feel a bit more like the harder pencils due to create finer lines by the nature of their design.

I myself couldn't draw a 'clean' picture with minimalistic lines if my life depended on it, but for others, that's the style they enjoy and fine lines are nice for such (clean would be something like nadrolski's avie). Paper wise the stuff they sell in hobbyshops works better, allows for some easier erasing, it's a bit thicker and so on.


That all said, I've always considered materials to be of a second or perhaps even third concern. I did my own avie with a ballpoint pen on some printer paper during work lunch breaks.


So what would be the first two concerns.

Creativity/inspiration/source material. I draw stuff from some mental image that occurs to me at some point . (I at times even just scribble some lines and then come up with what it should become). But having some good idea of what and how you want to draw, how much of your ideas you need to 'borrow' or how much you just come up with on your own. (Will I do these dragon scales like this artist did in this picture.... or here's my dragon, i will just start and see where it leads me scale wise).

Anatomy and relational sizes. You can draw a perfectly shaded picture. Marvelous details. But if the head is a bit too big for the torso, or if that arm is twisted in a wrong way, it will look horrid. Unless it's cartoony style of course. It's a bit akin to the 3d cgi issue, the closer you approach reality, the more small faults will be recognized by the brain to be wrong. They have these anatomical dolls for such, I never used those (this is one of those talents I seem to be born with) but I have in the past posed before a camera. Yes, it will look stupid, but you got a nice picture of anatomy that works to start from, in exactly the pose you like.

I suggest not diving into perspective poses at first (like a hand pointing towards the viewer, stuff like that) cause they can be a real pain i the ^%#. The big thing is, you need to get the measurements right at the START. Because if you're trying to fix things when half the shading is done it's going to be messy as hell, if not completely impossible.


And finally, recalling how I learned drawing... no, perhaps not learned, how I improved drawing (because there's a certain degree of natural talent that people just have or don't have. And I have no clue if this can be trained easily) is by using tracer paper. So add that to the shopping list. Trace some picture, perhaps of some artwork you like or of a photo. Pick a facial one and a full body one. Trace contours, try to mimic the shading, just get a feel for the stages of a drawing, for the required techniques.

After feeling comfy with the techniques, try your own. I think I posted some pics in my drawing topic with 3 stages of dark's avie. I tend to start out by drawing one of those anatomical dolls (even though I don't have one), fiddling with the body parts till happy, then a moment of roughly 'clothing' and outlining the body to finally detail it and shade it.

So, that's about it. I can't really say if there's any grand tutorials, seeing I started drawing when i was 4. (and eventually stopped drawing for a long long time till I got into this place) But the inert skill always has been there. I know I practiced by copying some images. But in the end, it's just start with something. Hate the result. Find the flaws (see them yourself or ask for feedback). Start a new. Hate it again. There's always going to be someone better, always room for improvement and if you are anything like me, you will always be dissatisfied with the end result. Your own worst critic.(which is  a good thing at times, because other people will often be to nice (which is nice of them) and say things like 'different styles' and such. But in the end, you will know your picture is not as good as x or y's picture, or the art you used as inspiration. And no amount of cuddly comments will help that feeling :) )

And do holler if you at some point want a bit of feedback. I promise I will point out what is done well (purely my opinion) and what looks bad (again opinions can differ).

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Spirit? Maybe Bashaw, I feel i can draw therefore i can. :D


Achievement unlocked: Tooled Up! - I have now purchased a set of pencils (urgh, sharpening them...)  Thanks biermann.


I shall get some tracing paper also, thats a nice idea i will see how that works for me. Its really good to hear from you biermann, i hoped you would reply because i like your style :)


Any specific rubbers/erasers? Or just "get one that works"?

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You could make a small sketch of a random object/thing every day, even in 1 minute, what matter is to do it each day. It will improve your observation skill and help you to "understand" shapes, which will help you in drawing in general, not only for objects.


This is an advice that really helped me, even if i often forgot to draw something ^^. I hope it'll help you, and don't forget to persevere, it took me a lot of time to do decent drawings and i still get a lot to learn =).

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Erasers: there's the kind with 2 sides, a rougher and a finer grit, tend to be red and blue. They have a tapered end to each which is nice to allow you to erase with a bit of a finer line.

Personally I erase very little, only in the beginning stages of a drawing where I use fine lines which are erased a bit more easily.

I'm often guilty of just 'drawing over' errors later. If you draw darker things it's fairly easy to just take a strand of hair, a black belt or a flap of a cloak or such to draw it over a flaw. But this is partially due to my tendency to draw during lunchbreaks with a ballpoint (try erasing that) or using crappy printer paper when I just had an urge to draw and have nothing better in my immediate vicinity.

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FYI the standard pencil "lead" is 2B (at least in the US it is).  That's probably what your mechanical pencil is.  It is actually a good weight to sketch with. 


For erasers, I often use the common "Pink Pearl" eraser because of its grit.  There are fancy erasers like gum and kneaded erasers that I've used in the past, but none worked as well.  One thing I would suggest is keeping one end of the eraser for tiny line erases and the other for broader areas.  That way only one end of the eraser gets rounded while the other stays pointy.


Dolomich's suggestion of sketching is what my teacher used to suggest to us. :)

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I have taken many art classes in both high school and college, I personally can NOT draw without looking at something. This right here is the best advice I could give to someone starting out:




Read that as it is exactly what I would have wrote out except I'm lazy and don't have to since she did. :P


Also I suggest practicing drawing with the picture that she used as the example as it is the same one my art teachers used.


If you are having trouble with a good eraser I would definitely use either rubber erasers for charcoal if you ever get into charcoal drawing, and white erasers for pencil. The white erasers are by far better than the pink as they do not cause smudges and removes the lead completely. The pink ones go bad after a while and start smearing on the paper.

Edited by VertuHonagan
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when i used to draw a lot i would use a standard eraser, but a decent make, and use a craft knife to cut the rubber into different pieces depending on the shape/size that i needed, so if i need to do something really small, i would cut out a tiny point into a piece of rubber, or a flat wedge shape for small broader pieces like neatening lines



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when i used to draw a lot i would use a standard eraser, but a decent make, and use a craft knife to cut the rubber into different pieces depending on the shape/size that i needed, so if i need to do something really small, i would cut out a tiny point into a piece of rubber, or a flat wedge shape for small broader pieces like neatening lines



Thats a really nice idea actually.

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