Welcome, you've been brought here on an epic quest for talent. Whether you want to pencil comics or just want to learn how to draw so you can impress your girlfriend. These are the basics; not just intended for amatuers, keep reading even if your a pretty good artist, it will help you. We are going to look at the big picture.
The basics to drawing include resources, perspective, background, shading, style and techniques, and paying attention to life.
Believe it or not, most artists start their career with pictures. Because once someone begins sketching pictures for a comic or even something else; they find that they aren't quite sure of all the details to things. This is natural because people don't usually think that they are going to be drawing most things (ie. drawing vcrs, trucks, etc). To start your own career, or even if you've already started, you need to put together a resourceful file folder. I personally go through magazine after magazine; picking out pictures that I think will become a great resource to my drawing habits. Their are plenty of great magazines out there, choose them according to your needs. If you know that you can't draw electronics then get a Best Buy ad booklet.
Really, what you want to do is get a folder to keep your pictures in. Eventually, you might need to get a different folder for different picture types. One may start with one giant manilla folder and then work their way into grouping different types of pictures into different folders.
Alright, now pictures are great and all, but they aren't the only resource that can be used. There are also a lot of great books out there with either pictures to use as resources, or articles that include great tips and tricks (check out your local Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com).
Yet, their is even one more resource element: photos taken by yourself. You know what you're not good at drawing, why not take pictures of that subject and begin your sketching. Begin to concentrate on the details, begin to put yourself in unfamiliar places surrounded by unfamiliar things...and take it all in.
Great movies aren't only made by great plots; directors have alot to do with it because they determine the camera view and angle. Perspective is a big key to most art. You need to know how to present you're picture well through different angles of what your drawing. Looks at things from many different angles before you start sketching, and draw from a unique point of view.
Some ideas to keep in mind while selecting a perspective, if your drawing from real life objects, are to draw from an angle where the object can easily be identified. Also use an angle that presents the object with good shading and glare contrast for realistic effects.
Using the space given to an artist requires the artist to remember that pictures get boring with large blank spaces. Before drawing any piece, think of where everything is going to be placed on the page. If you keep finding yourself with large blank spaces, make sure you include a background that adds to the piece. Also remember that while imperfection is the ideal way to perfecting realism. Life is imperfect, drawing with even symetry can seem nice at times, but those pictures are always missing something: natural positioning and shape.
Spacing can be used well or abused. When drawing the key parts of a picture, don't put it in the very center of the picture unless your using that as a way of emotion or in context to other pictures. Instead, be different...user your God given creative juices.
Using emotion for the purpose of perspective sounds different, but it's actually used all of the time. One must draw their pictures from a perspective that best suits their emotion. If I feel powerful, I might draw from the perspective of looking down upon an object. If I feel weak, I might draw from the perspective of looking up toward a towering person, place or thing. These are generalized ideas that seem pretty straight forward, as long as you keep them in mind they will continually add a subtle yet necessary style to your artwork that will help you stand out from the crowd.
Background, as said before, is the main way to get rid of unwanted boring space. Background is easy to do too. Just think in context of the main point of the picture, and that's how you know what kind of a background to add. It's one of the basics of art as well. You know that saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Well a picture is only worth about five hundred words if you don't have a background. Learn to always add a background and use your space well.
Shading and realistic techniques are acquired with patience and experience. Every artist learns his or her own style and way of doing things. As you study resourceful books and photos you will gain a good handle on shading among everything else. Which brings us to our last topic of sketching basics: paying attention to life.
Most places that teach art techniques emphasize the fact that to be a great artist one must pay attention to the details in life. Whether you're at the mall or at work, pay attention to creases in skin, clothing and other objects. Note the glare that comes from the bald man's head, and don't just check out the hot girl at the counter for looks, pay attention to her curves and hair; what is it that makes her look different? Try not to go anywhere without paying attention to life around you. Go on your roof to get a different perspective of the life around you, or lay on the ground and watch people walk by for yet another perspective.
You can never go wrong with paying more attention to life. You'll become a better artist, you will notice things that usually go un noticed, and you'll have more fun too. You now know the basics, but don't stop there. Go draw something. Study it, and if it's not good then find out what is wrong with the picture. If the eyes don't look right, go get a magazine and study eyes. Don't stop drawing, everything that's of value takes work and patience. To be an artist, you must live the lifestyle of an artist.
- Joseph Lookabaugh
Drawing and other artistic endeavors can be a great relief for your mental health. As an advocate for mental health and psychologist, Cynthia Telles has been a been a business and public servant for the Latina community.