Complicating Your Edge Line

Complicating Your Edge Line

Have you ever wondered why your figure drawings look stiff? Perhaps they look too stylized for your liking. The antidote to stiffness is eliminating all straight lines.

Straight lines on the edge of your figure drawings without a doubt create a stiff look and feel. No doubtably there are no straight lines on an organic figure. Now if you are in a life drawing class sitting fifteen feet away the model, all of the edges will look straight.

However armed with the knowledge that there should be no straight lines on the figure it’s your task to curve and complicate your edge line. There are specific areas to do this.

For instance you will want to complicate edge lines at the joints. Specifically the knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder etc. You do not want to complicate the middle of a limb. Keep the middle of the model’s limbs curvy and smooth, remember complicate at the joints.

Take a look at your work, tape of few of your figure drawing on the wall. Look at them as a unit, do they look stiff? Do you see a bunch of simplified edges? Do you see straight lines on the edge of your figure drawings?

Now you know what to incorporate into your drawings to to eliminate that stylized look. You now know how to create more of a realistic look and feel.

 

 

If you are looking to learn some new drawing techniques to help improve your figure drawing definitely consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. I’m particularly proud of this new twenty-eight lesson course.

All of the lessons are really short, most under ten minutes. Each lesson focuses on a different technique. The course focuses on line, proportions, shading, structure as well as form.

Not to mention you can get your figure drawings critiqued on a weekly basis in our gallery. If the technique taught in the lesson above speaks to you please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

 

Start Your Figure Drawing From An Abstract Shape

Start Your Figure Drawing From An Abstract Shape

I recently added a twenty-eight lesson figure drawing course in the member area of Drawing Tutorials Online. I wanted to share with you some of the lessons over here at my blog. This first lesson in particular is very important.

Too many artists give themselves artificial rules. These rules can sometimes take the fun out of drawing, especially figure drawing. One of these rules is that you must start your figure drawing from the top of the head. I disagree completely.

Do I sometimes start my figure drawing at the top of the head, the short answer is yes. When do I do this, mainly when I am deliberately trying to draw the figure from head to toe. This is something you want to do especially when working on short duration gesture drawings.

Working from head to toe using the Opposite C technique enables you to see proportions in a quick way. However when I want to work on a long duration drawing I like to switch things up.

Starting your drawing from an abstract shape is a great way to begin. I have been drawing this way for years both from life and from photos. The idea here is that drawing an abstract shape is a whole lot easier then drawing an actual body part.

For instance in this particular figure drawing I start in essense with the abstract shape between the model’s legs. Some artists like to call this a negative shape or negative space. Either way it’s abstract.

Starting with an abstract shape is a great way to start because it allows you to start building up confidence. It allows you to see proportions in a different way.

I highly suggest that you give this technique a try. Practice drawing a bunch of abstract shapes. Try copying each shape exactly, this great practice and will help you with your accuracy.

 

 

If you are looking to learn some new drawing techniques to help improve your figure drawing definitely consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. I’m particularly proud of this new twenty-eight lesson course.

All of the lessons are really short, most under ten minutes. Each lesson focuses on a different technique. The course focuses on line, proportions, shading, structure as well as form.

Not to mention you can get your figure drawings critiqued on a weekly basis in our gallery. If the technique taught in the lesson above speaks to you please leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

 

How To Draw The Structure Of The Lips

How To Draw The Structure Of The Lips

In this screencast portrait drawing lesson I share with you how I think about the structure of the lips. Thinking about the structure of the lips is completely different than using angles, shapes and tone to map out the lips on paper.

 

The key element to keep in mind when drawing lips is that you are simply drawing two horizontal cylinders on top of one another. You are not drawing lips via a harsh outline, you are drawing two soft cylinders.

 

The key element to look out for is how is the light hitting these two horizontal cylinders. Usually the light comes from up above. This places the upper lip in shadow, the lower lips usually catches a ton of light. The lower lips casts a shadow on the chin. Again avoid outlining the lips completely.

 

Too many artists tend to separate the lips from the face with a dark harsh outline. You will really want to allow the lower lip to merge with the skin tone. The value of the lips is just about the same value as one’s skin tone. Again their are no absolutes but this tends to be the case most of the time. Of course dark lipstick throws a monkey wrench into this theory.

 

You will also want to add multiple angles on the line that separates the two lips. Avoid using an overly simplistic straight line to separate the upper and lower lip. If you implement some of these techniques you should see improvement no doubt.

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in learning more consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. You will gain access to every lesson in the course, plus be able to download the PDF that compliments this portrait drawing course immediately.

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch.

 

How To Draw The Structure Of The Eye

How To Draw The Structure Of The Eye

In this screencast portrait drawing lesson I share with you how I think about the structure of the eye. Thinking about the structure of the eye is completely different than using angles, shapes and tone to map out an eye on paper.

The key element to keep in mind when drawing an eye is that you are simply drawing a sphere. You are not drawing an eye, you are drawing a sphere. That sphere has lot’s of distractions, eye lashes and highlights. However if you can wrap your mind around the light that hits that sphere this will help you.

Too many artists cling onto the eye lashes like they are gospel. Worse yet many artists outline the eye with linear looking lashes. It’s super important that you approach drawing the eye from the standpoint of, what type of light source is hitting the sphere of the eye.

Most of the time light is coming from above. This simple fact will help you to see that the lower lid is in shadow and the upper lid is catching light. Stay away from using sharp outlines when drawing the eye. Definitely break your line on the lower eyelid. 

I can go on forever in this post, but I think I’ll let the video tutorial do the talking.

 

 

If you are interested in learning more consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. You will gain access to every lesson in the course, plus be able to download the PDF that compliments this portrait drawing course immediately.

Thanks so much for taking the time to watch.

 

Shea Portrait – Shading In The Hair

Shea Portrait – Shading In The Hair

This may not be my most exciting lesson, however it is an important one. Sometimes drawing a realistic portrait takes time. In this short three minute YouTube world that we live in it’s easy to loose sight of the fact that quality takes time.

Now every artist obviously is different. Every artist has their own personal style. For my portrait drawings I really do enjoy spending long hours working on blocking in the tone.

In this particular video tutorial I’m sharing with you how I start blocking in the soft tone of the hair on the shadow side of the head. When drawing hair it’s important to build up your middle tones first before diving into pressing down super hard on your pencil.

The key takeaways from this portrait drawing lesson, hair is soft, draw it in a soft way. If hair is long, use long pencil strokes. Hair is made up of many cylindrical shapes, think of how the light is hitting those cylinders.

It’s so very important to be clear on your personal style of portrait drawing. You might decide that you really don’t want to draw every strand of hair. You might want to leave some areas of the hair void of detail. Remember, make it fun and keep it original.

If you got something from this very quiet video please leave a comment below.

 

 

Improve your portrait drawing skills to today with a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. Select from a monthly or annual plan, cancel anytime.

 

Shea Portrait – Drawing The Mouth

Shea Portrait – Drawing The Mouth

In this portrait drawing lesson I share with you how to carefully lay in the mouth. By using a series of targets you can make sure you get proper placement of the lips. Simply put targets are little marks you place on paper. They help you to place the features of the face without fully committing to using super dark line.

In this video tutorial you will learn how to place the corner of the mouth with little light targets. You will also see how to map out the ear and edge of the head. Unfortunately a lot of artists press down hard on their pencil immediately with out using targets. I know I was one of them. My best friend was the eraser.

This style of drawing is a light to dark style of drawing. It’s very different than say completing a gesture drawing. In that case you want to press down on your pencil immediately in order to create a confident powerful gesture.

If this style of drawing interests you definitely consider a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. You will gain access to multiple drawing courses just like the one up above. Plus you can post your portrait drawing up for a critique ensuring that you receive timely feedback on your work.

 

 

 
 
Improve your portrait drawing skills to today with a membership to Drawing Tutorials Online. Select from a monthly or annual plan, cancel anytime.