Drawing is one of the first tools our ancestors developed, and probably without it, no such advances in humanity would have been achieved.
From the cave paintings of more than 50,000 thousand years ago, through the anatomical representations of the Renaissance and ending in the technical engineering drawing; Drawing has helped us both to build houses and design airplanes, as well as to represent our creativity and share messages. Hence lies its great value.
Even if you are not an artist, drawing can help you transform abstract ideas into concrete ones, develop your spatial sense and why not, make beautiful Christmas gifts to your acquaintances. For that reason, we should all start drawing.
In this article, we bring you a list of 12 tips that will help you become a good cartoonist.
Learn to see
In essence, drawing is an activity of perception and understanding of things. That is, to understand what you are seeing.
Although, in theory, we all see the same thing, in reality, there are many important details that we take for granted and end up ignoring them. That is why it is important to train our observation skills.
A classic example to improve our cartoonist’s eye is to copy your hand.
The more you draw it, try to capture details that go unnoticed. For example, cartilage, joints or knuckle marks.
Know your materials
Pencils do not make the artist, but knowing them well and understanding their use, yes.
Commonly pencils are classified by hardness: H , F , HB and B. As well as numerically (from 2 to 9).
- H pencils are the ones with the hardest graphite, therefore, the ones with a lighter shade. They are widely used in technical drawing and to create clear details. By the way, they are the most difficult to erase.
- The HBs are basically the classic # 2 pencils of a lifetime.
- F pencils are a harder and clearer version than HB. As a feature, they last longer sharpened.
- The B are the darkest and softest. They are mainly used for artistic drawing
According to Fussell’s guide, every artist should have the following pencils: 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B. The lightest (the H) should be used for contours and the darkest (the B) for sovereigns or other details that require it.
Another technical option is to draw with pens and fountain pens. Although it is similar to pencil drawing, there are some technical variations that must be taken into account, for example, the outlined and shaded.
Lines and shapes
According to the theory, any image can be broken down into geometric figures and lines. Therefore, if you want to make complex and well-made drawings, it is essential to master the art of lines and shapes.
An exercise to improve is to draw parallel lines on a sheet of paper. Try to be as straight as possible and in the same way, try to vary with the angles without turning the paper. This will help you better control wrist movements.
As for the figures, make circles, ovals, rhombuses, etc. Try to make them quickly without marking on the paper.
Shading and playing with light are an important part of the technique, even if you learn the bases well, it is almost certain that the quality of your drawings will increase considerably.
But what is the shadow? In simple words, it is an area not touched by direct light. In the drawings it helps us to create a sense of depth and volume in the objects; something fundamental in the realistic works.
Although the theory of light decomposition is quite complex, the behavior of shadows can be reduced in two aspects: the direction and intensity of the light.
These are some of the most common features that are worth learning:
- The more intense the light, the darker the shadow.
- The smaller the angle of impact of the light, the longer the shadow.
- The shade of the shadow is usually variable. That is, the more you move away from the object, the more it will blur.
Search the symmetry
Our brain is programmed to consider symmetry as something right, therefore, when applied in our drawings they will make them look better (at least in theory)
However, not everything is symmetry. For example: in the compositions many times the visual balance and harmony of the elements are sought more. Hence the concepts of “the golden ratio”, the rule of thirds, etc. A theme that is certainly worth touching in another post.
Learn about perspective and space
So that your drawings do not look so “flat” and simple, it is essential to learn about perspective.
The definition of perspective drawing is basically a projection of a 3D environment on a 2D surface.
The topic of perspective is wide enough to see just above, however, there are very intuitive ways to create that sense of depth. The classic example taught in art classes is that of the cube:
- Draw a horizontal line.
- Mark two pints on the line. These are commonly called “vanishing points”
- Draw a line anywhere below the horizon
- Connect the vanishing points with the top and bottom of the line-
- Add two more perpendicular lines and then connect the vanishing points.
- Ready, you have a cube made with perspective.
1 Start drawing more often
Learning to draw is a process that requires continuous improvement, or as they say: “practice makes perfect”. So it is essential that you start drawing right now.
A related tip is to always carry a sketchbook, pen or pencil with you. This will help you practice anywhere and you will not have the excuse of “not having time”.
2 Stretch your hands
As mentioned earlier, the key to drawing well is knowing how to control the hand. Therefore, it is important to have it loose when you are drawing.
What many artists do before drawing is to shake their hands and stretch their fingers. This, in addition to helping you to make your eyes numb, can help you avoid cramping and wrist pain.
3 Copy other drawings and photographs
When you are starting and want to improve your technique, the ideal is to copy drawings of other artists or photographs.
It is usually easier for the mind to copy a two-dimensional figure, especially when you want to reproduce the edges. Likewise, copying the works of others can help you learn more about the technique and better understand the concept of composition.
4 Sign up for drawing classes
Yes, for many face-to-face classes may not be an option (for reasons of money or time), but it is also true that they are still the most effective method to learn to draw (or learn any other skill).
Unlike books, videos on the internet or distance tutors, having an in-person teacher can help you correct your mistakes and improve your technique. Similarly, taking classes at a school or academy will help you be more disciplined and responsible; Something fundamental to achieve your goals.
5 Create your own style
Already when you control the bases more or less well and it does not cost you much work to copy common objects, it is time to develop your own style.
Style is basically a mix between what you know, what you feel and what you believe. In other words: it’s your artistic fingerprint.
While the technical aspect is undoubtedly important, what will really give you value as an artist will be your ability to create images and convey sensations.
If you want to take the drawing as something serious or just as a simple hobby, try to create your own style.
Remember: Style makes your work represent you.
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