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View Full Version : I cannot draw a straight line if my life depended on it


NicNac
03-16-2005, 05:13 PM
The main problem? My hand shakes subtlely every second. The line starts out fine then gets squiggly half way. Same thing with circles. Am I just not meant to be an artist? Is there any way to control my shaky hands? Am I lacking any vitamins related to muscle control? Does this happen to anyone else? Awaiting a reply that will allow me to transfer a brilliant image from my mind to my hand....

stewartjones
03-16-2005, 06:06 PM
The main problem? My hand shakes subtlely every second. The line starts out fine then gets squiggly half way. Same thing with circles. Am I just not meant to be an artist? Is there any way to control my shaky hands? Am I lacking any vitamins related to muscle control? Does this happen to anyone else? Awaiting a reply that will allow me to transfer a brilliant image from my mind to my hand....

Use the pen tool! Or go to the doctors and ask if you can trade your hands to medical science in return for someone else's!!!

zzacmann
03-16-2005, 06:14 PM
The secret is to do it fast and don't think about it.

Try this

Draw one circle and take 30 seconds to draw it.

Now draw 30 circles in 30 seconds.

For most people, the 30 fast circles they draw look just as good, if not better than the 30 second one. They problem is your brain is trying to over analyze ever little mark you put on the page and then your hand tries to compensate when you feel the mark line isn't going where you think it should be going. This usually results in squiggly lines and oval shapes.

Doing it as fast as you can does not give yourself time to think and overanalyze the shape.

One of the best things my teacher had us do in one of my art classes was to draw as many circles as I could in an hour. After drawing them over and over again, they actually started looking better and better as I thought about what I was doing less and less.

Swizzle
03-16-2005, 06:45 PM
Bah! Don't do anything that requires precision without some sort of aid. If you want to draw a straight line and don't want to bother with vector stuff (why would you?), then just click somewhere with the paintbrush tool and then Shift+Click somewhere else and BAM! You have a straight line. You can even hold Shift and go on a clicking spree and there will be connected straight lines everywhere! Drawing a circle requires slightly more brain power, but only by a little bit.

First, select the Circle Tool. It's pobably hiding under the Square Tool, so do this:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/xkostolny/clickage.gif
Now you'll want to click the middle button of these three: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/xkostolny/moreclickage.gif Once you've done that, click and drag in your image. Hold down Shift to constrain it to a circle, and hold down Alt (or Option on a Mac, I believe) to have it expand from the center. You can hold down both to get both effects.

Now, that skinny little line isn't really going to help you right now. You're going to want to Stroke it with the Paintbrush. Go to the Paths palette, hiding under the Layers palette, and click on Work Path after you make sure your brush settings are how you'd want them. Note that the Work Path is the thing that looks like a layer. Click here:
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/xkostolny/evenmoreclickyness.gif

You now have a perfect circle. You can do the same thing with rectangles, bajillion-sided polygons, custom shapes, and all sorts of other fun stuff. If you want a solid-colored shape click the button farthest to the right. If you want a shape layer, click the one farthest to the left.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/xkostolny/moreclickage.gif

NicNac
03-16-2005, 07:09 PM
Thanks guys, I like the extra effort you put into helping me swizzle, but I'm fine in photoshop, it's in real life drawing that I fail miserably. zacmann probably is on the right track. I will try that out zacmann. But what do I do about trembling hands? I'm only 23! The trembling will take my lines out of the "path" that my brain tells it to go. Might be another reason why my penmanship sucks.

Swizzle
03-16-2005, 07:14 PM
Thanks guys, I like the extra effort you put into helping me swizzle, but I'm fine in photoshop, it's in real life drawing that I fail miserably. zacmann probably is on the right track. I will try that out zacmann. But what do I do about trembling hands? I'm only 23! The trembling will take my lines out of the "path" that my brain tells it to go. Might be another reason why my penmanship sucks.Curses! Well, if you find an answer tell me. I can barely draw ovals!

Edit: By the way, I didn't have anything better to do. What can I say, I like visual aids. :p

Tryn
03-16-2005, 07:58 PM
exercise your hands. And not like that. Work the muscles with steady, resisted movements. (I know what you're thinking...) It'll improve circulation, and your hands will be steadier as a result. I have the same sort of problem sometimes, and am working on following my own advice. :)

bumskee
03-19-2005, 03:34 AM
yeah...just keep drawing mate, noone does perfect circles... I shake and make weird lines with my wacom all the time.. I simply keep doing it..ctrl+z till I do it... practicemakes things good. Take other people's advice and don't get too attached to the thought ur hand shakes..

I think zzacmann gave the best advice.. keep at it..:>

CLONEOPS
03-19-2005, 06:36 AM
buy a ruler.
Are you drawing with a mouse???

gardocki
03-22-2005, 05:06 PM
A couple suggestions:

--Try changing where you hold your pencil (i.e. experiment either closer to the tip or further away)
--Use more pressure. It will create more drag/inertia between the pencil and paper and small shakes from your hand will not disturb the line so much.
--lay off the coffee! ;-)
--Possible medical solution: have your doctor check your thyroid. Although by no means the only cause of trembling hands, this was my problem a couple of years ago. Apparently over-production of the thyroid hormone will cause jitters.

carn1fex
03-22-2005, 10:20 PM
Circles are just plane hard, i almost always use an aid. Straight lines are best done with a quick stroke. Practice drawing parallel lines as quickly as you can. Another suggestion is to loosen your grip on your pen. I find when im using inks and im very nervous about ****ing up i grip the pen too tight and it makes my hand shake. But mostly the key as someone said earlier is to draw the lines quickly.

lanternkid
03-23-2005, 04:36 AM
methinks a lot of people who draw have to battle this :sad: unn, have you tried clearing your workspace? sometimes it's because your drawing area is cluttered or toosmall orwhat, and so it limits your movement. you could try drawing in a different posture, and making sure you don't overly tense your arms...

highsk8
03-24-2005, 09:04 PM
Hehe, I never even realised that there is stuff you can do about it., it ought i wasnt born for drawing.
I'm 18 and i write as bad as when i was 6 and i had alot of practice.
I'm probably doing it all wrong.
I think experimenting on how to hold youre pencil will have the biggest chance on effect.
Thx all! (altough i never asked a thing :))

Mac Guru
03-24-2005, 09:20 PM
To be honest, after two drawing classes, my best with a pencil is STILL a stick figure. That's why I stick to digital. If it wasn't for vectors and people like Adobe, I couldn't make anything like this WIP of mine.

http://www.jamesmeister.com/postimg/Pitt.png

Thank god for Digital :D

steelblade
03-25-2005, 03:34 PM
Hey mac nice WIP.. ya do that in photoshop? dya use the vector tools much in it or is it a balence of vector and wacom type painting hehe?

Latas

nendo_3d
03-25-2005, 03:46 PM
u know when drawing a line if u hold down shift when u start drawing it should creat a perfct line. same with shapes. hold down shift while making a circle and u get a perfect circle. u do mean photoshop or with ur hand?

steelblade
03-26-2005, 12:28 PM
dunno if that was ment for me? erm was just wondering if he actually drew the shapes out in photoshop with a mouse etc with vector tools or drew it out with a wacom by hand

highsk8
03-26-2005, 01:42 PM
I think we are talking both digital as sheet paper here.

.:ZRDwD:.
03-29-2005, 02:34 PM
I have a "twitch" in my hand, therefore, no longer draw like I used to back in the day.

Now, i just apply that 'twitch' into my art. Don't get me wrong... the guys here that said do it quick, "it'll more than likely look better" than the slow paced style, are correct. But, when I have something that I want very fine detail (eyes, hair, texture for skin, etc), I can't help but get a sudden movement that squiggles my piece.

So, I just create things now that incorporate that "mistake". To me, those "mistakes" make the piece original.

zzacmann
03-29-2005, 04:46 PM
So, I just create things now that incorporate that "mistake". To me, those "mistakes" make the piece original.

Charles Shultz used this to great effect. When he was old with trembling hands, his illustrations still looked the same because the Peanuts were always drawn kind of squiggly.

.:ZRDwD:.
03-29-2005, 05:10 PM
However...:) ... I'm not close to being that age (only 30 here), and my work isn't really child appropriate. :D

NicNac-- if you're still watching this thread, don't let the quivering get you down, even when you are doing life drawings. Look at Monet, Picasso, and the greats. Does their stuff look like anyone else's? What made them great (besides composition) was their technique. It was unique... unlike anything of its time and before. If you can't draw a straight line... create one by crosshatching, smearing, pointillism... anything. And if you have a teacher that reprimands you for doing such or not following directions, it is like as if they are yelling at a blind child for not reading what they can not touch.

You never know... what you believe to be troublesome may be your greatest gift.

BrokenHope
04-01-2005, 06:24 PM
I'm 23 and since I was about 16-17 I started with the shakes as well. Wasn't from cofee (I didn't drink it at the time) or stress or anything like that. The only thing I could find to help my drawings was to change my style to suit. I use small quick lines to make one big one, same with circles. Also I've found that my jittering increases when my workspace is not completely clean and "perfect". Right now my office is too cluttered... I've managed to turn myself into a minimalist and I'll most likely clean my office again today (once a day every day). If a piece of paper is out of place I can't make myself concentrate on the art, nor can I draw any sort of piece that's comprehensible as being what I want it to be. When I get the room to be well lit and cleanly white immediately my hands become more stable (not perfect, but better) and I can actually work with confidence. Maybe I have issues, maybe not, but it seems to work for me. Physical excersise does seem to help too, it relieves a bit of the stress which you may not know you have, that may be causing some slight tremble due to nerves ;)

I ramble... bye now.

steelblade
04-02-2005, 12:36 PM
nice to here your thoughts peeps thanks for that :)

BrokenHope
04-02-2005, 02:49 PM
np ;) I actually just realised, that was my first post. Been here for quite some time now lurking... way to go man, you drew me out of the shadows. lol

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