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I practice as much as I can, but I've always had trouble drawing confident curves. I'm an industrial design major, so being able to draw and curves in perspective accurately and confidently, is very important to me.
Say for instance I draw a curve, and then I want to offset that curve to show a radius... well that's where my problem begins. I can't seem to effectively match it. Are there any particular things I could practice to help me gain control of my curves? I know there's no easy way, but maybe there's a refined method of practicing curves?
The ability to draw a freehand curve comes only from practice...and one other fact/recognition...
Drawing a curve is more vector-oriented than realistic in its mechanics. You have to determine firmly in your mind's eye where the line starts and ends. Without those two points of reference, you cannot draw a curve that does what you want it to. The end points are the most important part of the curve--the line connecting them is a matter of confidence and comfort (you can't draw a long graceful curve easily from left to right that bows toward you when you're in your "normal" drawing position, for example...no matter how skilled you are. Your arm doesn't want to work that way.)
A curve (or any continuous line for tht matter) is similar in mental construction to those proportion exercises you hated in art school--"bounce your pen-ZIL from zee leetle point at the NA-vel to ze leetle point at zee breasteseses's nibble and immediatlyness back to zee NA-vel ovair and ovair, you skanky smelly leetle bastardseseses..." It's proportion. That's what that exercise taught you, and that's the way a line is executed. Going from point A to point B without being overly conscious of the mechanics of it. Think about it--you start at A, but if you don't have any firm idea where B is, you might as well give your pencil/crayon/brush to the 9-year-old in the passenger seat and let him drive at that point. You DO still have control of the breaks...if you only knew when to apply them...
No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary
Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary