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azozel
06-08-2005, 01:18 PM
Hi I was wondering what techniques there are for improving your line quality.
I can shade the hell out of anything but my line work needs improvement.
Generaly I draw with short hashey looking lines. Then I go over them with a thicker defining line and start shading. is this normal? I never had any formal art training or anything like that.
Also are there any books out there for improving linequality that you know of?

Squibbit
06-08-2005, 01:49 PM
what techniques there are for improving your line quality

photoshop paths :D


.

eks
06-08-2005, 02:16 PM
you really should try an art school, or a drawing class, or something like that. it can really help.

but if you want to pursue the self-taught way, try doing really fast 5 minute or less drawings. a life model changing poses can help a lot (and thatīs where an art school can come in real handy).

in the end, i found out that improving my line quality was all a psychological thing. almost all the drawing teachers i had went nuts when they saw me drawing with hash lines, even if it was just a rough sketch. it made me to draw straight lines, no matter how much insecure i was about them or my fear of them "coming bad". then, suddenly, i realized they werenīt so bad.



eks

frog
06-08-2005, 02:20 PM
If you're talking digital then you might find this article I wrote interesting:

http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/lines.htm

Photoshop isn't all that good for doing linework, you can use paths as suggested, and stroke them with the brush tool using the stroke path command but it's a pretty slow way of working, and the results don't always look hand-drawn.

Ilikesoup
06-08-2005, 05:37 PM
IMO using hashy sketch lines is a problem if it keeps you from seeing the big picture.

Whenever you start a piece of work try to envision the whole scene first, then block out the major elements quickly and roughly. I find this easier to do with broad strokes. Short strokes slow me down. Similarly, if you're doing a figure study block out the head, shoulders, torso and limbs before adding smaller features. Start by looking at the whole picture and and then get progressively more detailed. If you're already doing this and using sketchy lines to do it I see no problem -- especially since you're "inking" over your sketch lines.

Hope that helps.

Kargokultti
06-09-2005, 07:00 AM
But there's a problem if you have to ask about it.

Drawing is about having the guts to mess up a nice bit of white paper, and believing you'll get away with whatever is the end result.

Or that's the artsy-fartsy way of looking at it. If you're aiming for a clean style, then all I can say is: practice. First try to see in what you want out of the image, and then go for it.

Rikolas
06-09-2005, 02:00 PM
Generaly I draw with short hashey looking lines. Then I go over them with a thicker defining line and start shading. is this normal?

I do the same thing when im drawing. Sketch it out, bulk it up, tighten it up, and then whether you develop it on paper or scan it in there's no real problem there. if you scan it just Threshold the bastard in photoshop and it'll cut the lines down as neat as you want.

Lunatique
06-09-2005, 03:57 PM
The only way to be able to draw clean, confident, expressive lines without scribbling, is to practice. Force yourself to use one line for every contour everytime you draw. Practicing inking comic books--that is a sure way to drill your line quality skill.

ashakarc
06-09-2005, 04:57 PM
One more thing to add to practice is to make sure, absolutely make sure that your hand is not tight, relax it with confidence, and you will see the pencil starts slipping out while you are holding it from the middle. More to that, keep your eyes a bit far from the paper, throw away your eraser, use a knife to sharpen the pencil. Hey, I didn't say sharpen your Wacom pen, I still have to figure that out ;]

Atwooki
06-12-2005, 07:14 PM
A well-drawn line (curve) takes not only a lot of practice, but confidence also.
It should be made (by you, the director) to convicingly behave much like a well punctuated and expressively written sentence, in that along the entirety of its length, the stroke should convey feeling, weight, mass, depth, shade and movement (amongst other attributes...)

For example, analyse carefully what is hapenning in the inked line-work of many successful artists - Uderzo (Asterix) springs to mind - where a line starts thinly and lightly at the bridge of a nose in profile, reaches the apex of the nose, then curves beneath it to suddenly become a bold thickened line, ending in an sharply abrupt accent, not unlike a 'full stop'.
These same linear actions are to be found reccurrently throughout a piece, each line describing a particular set of visual circumstances and cues peculiar to how it is intended to fit into that part of the image to make it work as a whole.

In a word: Orchestral

Atwooki

DaddyMack
06-12-2005, 08:59 PM
A well-drawn line (curve) takes not only a lot of practice, but confidence also.
It should be made (by you, the director) to convicingly behave much like a well punctuated and expressively written sentence, in that along the entirety of its length, the stroke should convey feeling, weight, mass, depth, shade and movement (amongst other attributes...)

For example, analyse carefully what is hapenning in the inked line-work of many successful artists - Uderzo (Asterix) springs to mind - where a line starts thinly and lightly at the bridge of a nose in profile, reaches the apex of the nose, then curves beneath it to suddenly become a bold thickened line, ending in an sharply abrupt accent, not unlike a 'full stop'.
These same linear actions are to be found reccurrently throughout a piece, each line describing a particular set of visual circumstances and cues peculiar to how it is intended to fit into that part of the image to make it work as a whole.

In a word: Orchestral

Atwooki

Heavy... You're just oozing pure wisdom there Chris...
I've always had great respect for intuitive line work, or brush strokes for that matter... Their ability to communicate a mood or feeling is often more impacting that the overall concept they depict... I'm a bit of a style junkie myself when it comes to stroke... (hand goes slowly in the air as a big Goskinny and Uderzo fan still at 34..) I've spent many moons trying to emulate and learn the styles of other great artists...

One of my all time favourites (for line, among many other aspects) is the legendary comic artist Vaughn Bode (hah, I have a nephew named Bode) I think I've succesfully attached some of his bentness


And azozel, as for your original question, I think it's best to develop a really sketchy style of building things up, as well as evolving the ability too boldly lay down lines to communicate an idea... Reading through this thread has made me remember so many priciples that often fall by the wayside when I get all digital so :beer: Cheers you guys!

Atwooki
06-13-2005, 12:09 AM
Hi there, Rob, how yer doin'? Heavy? I've hardly bitten :D
I'll dig out some bits on composition / color when I get home to my PC....

Here are some other great line-artists tho':

Robert Sherriffs:

http://www.npg.org.uk/live/OC_Data/images/weblg/1/3/mw01213.jpg (http://www.npg.org.uk/live/OC_Data/images/weblg/1/3/mw01213.jpg)

http://www.npg.org.uk/live/OC_Data/images/weblg/8/6/mw06686.jpg (http://www.npg.org.uk/live/OC_Data/images/weblg/8/6/mw06686.jpg)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ARTsherrifs.jpg (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ARTsherrifs.jpg)

Al Hirschfeld:

http://www.herndonfineart.com/images/Hirschfeld/hirschfeld_astaire_rodgers.jpg (http://www.herndonfineart.com/images/Hirschfeld/hirschfeld_astaire_rodgers.jpg)

http://www.classicstars.com/tonycurtis/hot/images/slih-hirschfeld.jpg

http://www.graiai.com/carrie2/images/hirschfeld.jpg (http://www.graiai.com/carrie2/images/hirschfeld.jpg)

Chris

azozel
06-13-2005, 06:37 PM
Thanks a ton guys. I'll post my new stuff soon. But in the mean time checkout my thread below.

DaddyMack
06-13-2005, 09:01 PM
Hi there, Rob, how yer doin'? Heavy? I've hardly bitten :D
I'll dig out some bits on composition / color when I get home to my PC....

Here are some other great line-artists tho':

Robert Sherriffs:

Al Hirschfeld:



Hey again Chris, good to see you 'round mate;) Hope all is dreamy (or at least that you and yours are getting some sleep) I'm just in the web/advertising design stage of the next phase of my biz, as well as a few side projects.. Would love some guidance on composition especially (big weak spot for me)..

Re the lines man, Hirschfeld is untouchable... I humbly bow, one of the most refined caricaturists of our time, and been on my hit list since fantasia 2000.. Sheriffs' got great flow too.. If you've hardly bitten yet then bring it mun! Who'd've thunkit a theorist in our midst.. LYW!


azozel.. Nice work inking that piece man:thumbsup:

kgb
06-14-2005, 01:35 AM
Some things that will help you drawing better line quality.

- Blind Drawing
- Countour Drawing (looking back and forth. 90 % looking 10% checking proprtion of your paper)
- Using pen
- Use your non dominant hand.
- Not caring about the outcome. Be bold. Don't strive for line quality, just draw and it will come. Believe me.

tAstyBITs
06-14-2005, 07:36 AM
Hundreds to thousands of quick sketch studies where you try and draw a figure in 30 seconds then 1 minute then 5 minutes then 15 minutes. do it as much as you can and it will help you lossen up when you sit to do more controled work. That and one of those neaded erasurs.

Gord-MacDonald
06-15-2005, 04:02 AM
If you develop an understanding of an objects form, drawing its contour will come much more easily.
If you really want to learn how to draw - get Kimon Nicolades 'Natural Way to Draw' and follow it through (required big commitment - 300hrs)

Gord

(I wish I had the time to redo it - but not enough hours in the day :sad: )

adam-crockett
06-17-2005, 03:41 AM
Fred Burton, my figure drawing teacher at Memphis College of art, stressed 8 principles to good line quality. These are kinetic elements that influence the quality of your lines:

dark/light
thick/thin
fast/slow
push/pull

Dark and light refer to how hard you press on your pencil.
Thick and thin refer to which side of your pencil lead you use, the side or the tip (or somewhere inbetween).
Fast and slow obviously refer to how quickly you make the line.
Push and pull refer to pushing or pulling the pencil.

All of these attributes combine to make your line quality, all at the same time. Do not lift your pencil off the page when you are making a line, making nervous little hatch marks. Make your line in one long, confident stroke. Vary the above attributes WHILE making the line. You could have a thin,dark,slow,pushed line that changes into a thick,light,fast,pulled line, and then back again.

Thats all i can think of right now. PM me if you have questions or something.

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