Learning How to Draw

WMain00WMain00 Registered User
edited March 2011 in Artist's Corner
So, i've always been interested in attempting to draw sci-fi stuff, sketching it out on paper before loading it up into photoshop and creating what I want with it. There's only one problem; I can't draw for shit. :(

I have tried countless times and whenever I do I just feel like i'm not creating what I want, or it looks infantile. I sort of understand the rule of three principle from photography, but i couldn't for the life of me draw it. I'm quite good at architecture based stuff, but when I get to putting it onto photoshop I don't know what to do next. As if I don't have enough detail to do what I want.

Here's a scan of a basic mech I did a couple of hours ago (spoilered for size):

(see link below)

Basically i'm looking for advice on what to do. I do know that a good start is to draw circles, then build from there, but I don't know what to do next, or how to sort it out properly so that I end up with something good from paper to digital.

Any help would be much appreciated.

WMain00 on

Posts

  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    That image is very large, I was unable to see the whole image at once.

    You can use a website like imageshack.us to resize your image.

    ninjai on
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited March 2011
    WMain00 on
  • tracertongtracertong Registered User
    edited March 2011
    tracertong on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    tracertong wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »

    The problem with your "mech" is that it looks and has the feel of a chicken.

    Look, being one of those "in your face" types, I can appreciate where you're coming from. However, that's not a critique so much as an insult. In order to give a decent critique of someone's work, you need to point out what fundamental aspects of the drawings are broken and how it detracts from the peice overall. Like is lack of perspective or composition, the uninteresting viewing angle, or his lack of straight lines. Furthermore, you gave no indication of how the drawing could be improved on, like using a ruler or building with three dimensional shapes, or using shading to indicate form.

    Now use what I've taught you here and take another whack at it, buddy.

    Metalbourne on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think one of the first things I would recommend for an understanding here is to focus on geometric forms-- cubes, cylinders, spheres, cones. Dimensional objects with volume are easiest to understand when they are broken down into simpler forms.

    Your current drawing doesn't illustrate depth as it's a line drawing with no visual cues to illustrate volume. Think of each component as a "shape"-- limbs might be cylinders stacked together, a chest might start out as a cube shape with more dimension. I would focus on trying to get a grasp of basic form first in order to move forward. (I know, fundamentals, lame, right? but so helpful!)

    I am a big fan of practicing from-life, even when it is something simple, silly or unusual.
    My art teacher in high school used to give us really weird/"boring" homework of drawing from-life with weird objects as models-- we'd get an assignment like "Draw an empty container." I HATED those assignments with a passion but it made me a lot more conscious of form, both in two dimensions and three. Now it's an exercise I rely on when I am creatively stumped or when I need to figure out how to draw something even more complex, by analyzing the forms that add up to the final object.

    Now, mechs, in addition to being a relatively complex figure, are generally also inherently functional. A mech styled robot should be designed with its usage in mind. Is it a recon unit needing to be light, quick, and reasonably defensive? Is it an assault unit designed to house a nuclear weapons specialist? Every detail or feature of a mech should be functional, they don't usually have nonfunctional decorative elements beyond, say, color of paint or perhaps insignia of a fleet/battalion/what have you. I can't tell by looking at it what this unit might do.

    tapeslinger on
  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    As someone who who never had any art classes or went to art school at all, i know how it feels to try and just put stuff on paper and realise you don't know how to put what's in your mind onto a sheet of paper. Finding online stuff is daunting as well, since so much of it is bloated and not useful info. I'm gonna keep it short and just put this in points, because I tend to ramble.

    1. Check out the questions and tutorials sticky. This thing is a goldmine, honestly. have a look at Bacon's tuts on stuff people drew here, watch some videos, and get inspired. Then get to the links to tutorials and work on learning how to draw out basic geometric forms, learn how to render things in space before you do anything else. Learn your perspective. one point, two, three, whatever. look at it and practice it.

    2. Go further along with the tutorials and render a variety of things, look at the figure drawing and try to understand everything in terms of mass, volume, and solid objects. practice, and practice a lot. draw from life, draw from photographs, draw from everything: draw your own hands just looking at them, draw household objects, try to get comfortable putting things you see onto a piece of paper.

    3. Looking at other people's work can be hugely helpful, so long as it doesn't hinder you from actually drawing things on your own. Get inspired, tackle new forms, styles and objects you aren't comfortable with (you're good at architecture? draw organic forms, still lives, draw models, et cetera). Learn how light works, relying on the tutorials linked and the help of people on the forums, and work on colouring things to make them feel voluminous and dynamic.


    It's hard to give help on how to get on the basics, but I really hope this helps. Honestly, check out the tutorials, they help a lot. Once you have the basic stuff down, you can always move on to more advanced things.

    kevindee on
  • tracertongtracertong Registered User
    edited March 2011
    tracertong wrote: »
    WMain00 wrote: »

    The problem with your "mech" is that it looks and has the feel of a chicken.

    Look, being one of those "in your face" types, I can appreciate where you're coming from. However, that's not a critique so much as an insult. In order to give a decent critique of someone's work, you need to point out what fundamental aspects of the drawings are broken and how it detracts from the peice overall. Like is lack of perspective or composition, the uninteresting viewing angle, or his lack of straight lines. Furthermore, you gave no indication of how the drawing could be improved on, like using a ruler or building with three dimensional shapes, or using shading to indicate form.

    Now use what I've taught you here and take another whack at it, buddy.

    tracertong on
  • WMain00WMain00 Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Elitism from tracertong aside, thanks for the advice folks.

    WMain00 on
  • SpinalCrackaSpinalCracka Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I think one of the first things I would recommend for an understanding here is to focus on geometric forms-- cubes, cylinders, spheres, cones. Dimensional objects with volume are easiest to understand when they are broken down into simpler forms.

    Your current drawing doesn't illustrate depth as it's a line drawing with no visual cues to illustrate volume. Think of each component as a "shape"-- limbs might be cylinders stacked together, a chest might start out as a cube shape with more dimension. I would focus on trying to get a grasp of basic form first in order to move forward. (I know, fundamentals, lame, right? but so helpful!)

    I am a big fan of practicing from-life, even when it is something simple, silly or unusual.
    My art teacher in high school used to give us really weird/"boring" homework of drawing from-life with weird objects as models-- we'd get an assignment like "Draw an empty container." I HATED those assignments with a passion but it made me a lot more conscious of form, both in two dimensions and three. Now it's an exercise I rely on when I am creatively stumped or when I need to figure out how to draw something even more complex, by analyzing the forms that add up to the final object.

    Now, mechs, in addition to being a relatively complex figure, are generally also inherently functional. A mech styled robot should be designed with its usage in mind. Is it a recon unit needing to be light, quick, and reasonably defensive? Is it an assault unit designed to house a nuclear weapons specialist? Every detail or feature of a mech should be functional, they don't usually have nonfunctional decorative elements beyond, say, color of paint or perhaps insignia of a fleet/battalion/what have you. I can't tell by looking at it what this unit might do.

    I have to second this. Starting with geometric forms is a great starting place. Last year I caught myself struggling to move forward with perspective and went back to this. It paid off big for me in moving forward with making more "realistic" images from my imagination. I really got a mental "feel" for the shape of the object I was trying to draw. I recommend checking out Frank Ching's "Design Drawing". It helped me "connect the dots" on a lot concepts.

    http://www.amazon.com/Design-Drawing-Francis-D-Ching/dp/0470533692/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_6

    SpinalCracka on
  • tracertongtracertong Registered User
    edited March 2011
    WMain00 wrote: »
    Elitism from tracertong aside, thanks for the advice folks.

    tracertong on
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    What the hell is that?


    Also, take a look at the stickied threads in this forum! They're great resources.

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • meatpilljunkiemeatpilljunkie Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Below is a link to a book that i think is great for beginners.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0874774195/ref=ed_oe_h/002-5450444-4780047

    i agree with kevindee and tapeslinger. you'll have to understand shading and perspective to advance into your illustrating hobby.

    random objects lying around with a single, stable light source (i.e. desk lamp) and draw them paying attention to the perspective and lighting of the object. a lot of art classes start off with a sphere, block and solid triangle or smooth fruit; pear, apple, mango. i generally start friends off with a pint glass or red party cup and tell them to use rulers to help with planes of perspective.

    as for the illustration, it looks to be patterned after a tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:

    http://ghostintheshell.wikia.com/wiki/Tachikoma

    the tachikoma illustration is fairly simple, though gives great examples of perspective and lighting. do a comparison with that and the mech and see what can be changed.

    meatpilljunkie on
    currently addicted to tiny tower...
  • tracertongtracertong Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Visti wrote: »
    What the hell is that?


    Also, take a look at the stickied threads in this forum! They're great resources.

    tracertong on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    that was my first art book, meatpill! That's a great one.

    I am trying to think of a few more that might be helpful, I have a ton of drawing books but I culled my collection down to the ones that are most relevant to comics and illustration because I went through a phase where I stubbornly convinced myself I wanted to do nothing but draw comics (HA!) so I don't know that much of what I'm looking at is relevant, though once you have boned up on the basics, WMain, this book is fantastic for learning about how to do just about anything with depth and dimension. It's styled for comics artists but I'd be hard pressed to say that it would be a waste of any artist's time.

    Another thing I haven't seen here yet: draw every day. Every day.
    Even when I am not in "art mode" I try to waste at least one sheet of dead trees on something or another, just to keep from losing it altogether. (I'm not what I call a "talented" artist, I am a "skilled" artist. That is to say that I don't feel I have any innate talent, but I've learned enough skills to get by.)

    Trying again and again and again is good for you, in the art world. Try again every day, even if it is just for ten-fifteen minutes.

    tapeslinger on
    daveshortpants
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