If you google practical drawing tips chances are you’ll read the same tips over and over again. Not in this article! I’ve combined drawing tips that really do make a difference. Plus, I bet you’ve never heard them before!
1. Use a component of your subject and use that to measure the ratio of other components
When doing a study chances are your canvas isn’t the same size as your reference. That’s why you need to make sure your ratios are correct. One way to do this is first to draw the most significant thing of your study.
Here’s an example:
When I draw eyes this significant thing would be the iris. Then, I measure everything using the iris. So when I look at my reference I use the reference’s iris to measure other parts of the reference. I do the same with my drawing: I use my drawn iris to measure how big the rest must be.
This way the ratios stay correct.
2. Imagine a straight line to determine the exact position of another component
When staring at a reference for too long sometimes you cannot tell which way is up or down. In order to know for sure if something is up or down, we imagine a straight line.
That’s why in my sketch phase I always keep a ruler near me.
3. Think of shapes instead volume
Discard knowing your subject is in 3D. This will often make you draw things bigger. Instead draw flat 2D shapes. This will eliminate the complexity of your subject.
Keep using rule number 1 for the correct ratios.
4. Look at the negative space instead of only the positive space
Look at both negative and positive space. Sometimes looking at positive space will give you a skewed shape. Go back and forth between negative and positive space to ”mold” your lines correctly.
For example in the image below you can draw a circle for the iris. But how round is it? Now look at the shape of the whites of the eye. Go back and forth between the two to get a correctly shaped iris.
6. Use a drawing box to avoid running out of paper
Sketch out the parameters of your subject so that you won’t run out of paper. Once you’ve done this you are able to sketch out other significant parts of your subject. It’s all about the layout.
Read here more in depth about how to use a bounding box.
Using a bounding box before you start your sketching process allows you to map out everything before putting in the hard work.
There you have it. Simple but super important drawing tips!
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