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Hopefully this isn't too vague a question.. I'm just curious as to best practises when it comes to making the first marks on your page when you're drawing something in front of you..
I've been drawing for about 2 years now, but I still haven't found a style/method when I sketch. I'm pretty happy now with how I begin portraits or a stand-alone facial features because I find it easy to describe the face using tone/shadows.. and I spend nearly all of my time - when drawing - studying the face and the body... but say I wanted to draw this picture of a t-rex..
..I'm sitting here with my blank page, and I can't interpret this how I would somebody's face, a pair of lips or a nose.. I don't want to render the t-rex until I'm pretty happy that I have the body blocked out nice and loosely on my page and everything is in proportion.. but where do I even begin? I really don't like to use outline... If I'm drawing a pair of lips I'll tilt my pencil and rough in the shadow of the upper lip usually, and then bring out the bottom lip with some more shadow.. but with this picture I don't see this as an option, the shadow-to-light ratio seems far more complicated?
The t-rex is only one example of something I want to draw but don't know where to start.. I guess it applies to any sort of object I want to draw from life, or any other type of animal.. why do I find it not too much of a problem to draw good parts of a face but can't structure this t-rex?
Last edited by Pau1Winslow; December 7th, 2008 at 09:51 PM.
Drawing something like this starts long before you attempt to draw something like this. A good fundamental education in drawing and painting allows you the skills to render the imaginative as if it were real and extant. The rule to always remember is that you go from the basic to the specific, the simple to the complex. Research would be required for this specific critter, study what we think we know about its anatomy, watch and draw from some recent dino movies to get a feel for how it moves. Get comfortable using your developed art skills to create something without it posing for you; imaginative drawing.
Some time (months, years) later:
Start with the composition; how the basic, most important shapes sit on the page. How the simplest lighting plays across the forms and keep developing until satisfied or the deadline requires you to stop.
If you're doing a painting, why does it matter if you use outlines? Many illustrators start with a very detailed line drawing before starting to paint. Dos Santos, James Jean, to name a few.
If you're absolutely bent on using shading, then just shade where you want the shadows to be on a general blocky shape, for example a cylinder on the ribcage of the rex.
I appreciate both your replies.
I'm sure approaching a painting is different, I'm strictly talking about pencil-to-paper in this thread, though, mate. (Although obviously there's no this-or-that way limitation, everybody does their own thing so I'm not knocking you. I dunno, maybe approaching either is the same?). In fact after reading through William Whitaker's portrait painting tutorial I probably would brush on some outlines first if I were painting. With drawing, though, I find that I can describe form far better by roughing in shadows rather than lines.
Definitely, man. I'm only at the very beginning of my journey (I'm an aspiring concept artist for films) and I will definitely be getting stuck into more hands-on research like watching movies, going to museums, etc. In fact I've been trying to dig out a VHS of a dino documentary I taped a while ago for the last couple of days, I'm really interested in studying them for a while.Drawing something like this starts long before you attempt to draw something like this. A good fundamental education in drawing and painting allows you the skills to render the imaginative as if it were real and extant. The rule to always remember is that you go from the basic to the specific, the simple to the complex. Research would be required for this specific critter, study what we think we know about its anatomy, watch and draw from some recent dino movies to get a feel for how it moves. Get comfortable using your developed art skills to create something without it posing for you; imaginative drawing.
For now, in this thread, I was just curious if people have a general approach that applies to all of their drawings/studies.. what part of the dino do you look at first? What comes first when you're drawing a cup? Or a chair? A bird? What end of a rose do you look at first? Etc.
Last edited by Pau1Winslow; December 7th, 2008 at 11:09 PM.
Big to small, general to specific, constantly refining. Continually check angles, proportions, alignments, negative shapes.
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