Have ideas, but cant draw or model them..



I always have ideas that I want to 3d model or draw out, liek characters or something, but then when I attempt to draw them out so i can use as a reference when modeling it looks like total crap and I get mad and give up… Anyone have any ideas what I could do to keep myself going or something. I always do this, and I hate it.



close your eyes and imagine them in as much detail as you can. Then transmit to paper… Repeat as needed… Learning to concentrate is important…


Sometimes it just takes ALOT of time to go from idea to sketch even. You make the basic outline which looks like a scribble, and start fixing it up area by area until you have a better sketch, rince and repeat.

At least that’s how I do it, and I usually have to work through 5 to 10 scribbles until I get it down a way I like to progress even further.


Matt, give this a go:

  1. Buy a small inexpensive sketchbook w/a hardcover that you can take about

  2. Pick basic 2d shapes (square, triangle, ellipse, circle, rectangle, etc) and draw them in 3d, at any angle. Do this for 10 pages straight. Do not combine any of the shapes, just draw each form in every angle possible using 1pt, 2pt, and 3pt perspective (do not attempt 4, 5, or 6 point perspective, they’re rarely used, leave those to extremely advanced things).

  3. Now for the rest of the sketchbook, i want you to combine the shapes in every way imaginable, as complex as you want. You can 1)add forms 2)subtract forms 3)intersect forms, etc. Try doing wireframe type sketches for 10 pages, then move to simple solid forms for another 10 pages, then move to simple shaded for another 10 pages, etc.

This is simply an exercise in drawing that gets your mind working in 3 dimensions, so that when it comes time to draw your chr, your ship, your car, etc, you think in 3 dimensions, and visually projecting that becomes so much easier.
Happy drawing :slight_smile:


And if you do pongball’s procedure (hehe… the Pongball Procedure, sonds dirty) the repetition alone will massively improve your control over the pencil to the point where you’ll truly develop technique and in the few weeks it will take your drawing abilities will improve 10 fold or more… I have witenessed it myself.


That’s your problem right there. It IS going to look like total crap. It will look like total crap for a while. What you’ve got to realise is you’ve got to start somewhere, and that you’ve got to continue working on something even though you think it looks like crap. Giving up isn’t going to make it look any less crap next time. You have to keep hammering out sketches until you’re happy. It’s a cliche, but practice does make perfect, and with sketching you have to practice all the time! Grab that sketchbook and take it everywhere with you, even to bed and the toilet. I’ve improved dramtically in the last 3 months just by sketching every opportunity I get. Even chatting with friends down at the pub, bring the sketchbook. They’ll understand… eventually. My girlfriend finally gets it.:smiley:

The most important thing is observation. Observe the real world, learn it’s dimensions and weight, then apply that to your ideas. Like the technique suggested above, thinking in dimension and weight is the first step to great sketching.


I feel much better now :slight_smile: So all ur saying is that I have to get a notebook, take it all over with me, and just draw basic shapes alot at different perspectives,.shading,wireframe,combiniations, and I will be better? I will give it a try and start doing this alot over the course of a day for a week or so and see if it improves my drawing :wise: But, im not that good at shading or anything, so how will I know it if looks good, or how could i improve it? Also… when i watch ppl draw in my cartooning class, I get discouraged because there drawings are so good and they can whip them out so fast, and it take me forever to think up a character and then it turns out bad cause i have to rush it and wasted to much time thinking.:sad:



DO NOT look at what other students are doing. Create your own style, get references from the everyday world. Work on your sketchbook everyday for a year, and you can probably surpass them even without you knowing. As well, when you feel comfortable enough, buy an anatomy book and copy everything. Pay attention in figure drawing classes, where you’ll learn to block out basic forms before you do anything. Good luck!


I guess you are going for complex things right from the start. So come down to simple things, that are simple to draw and then build on.
I agree with copying advice, and can’t stress its importance enough. Copy the simple drawings often. Trace them, if you feel. Its learning process afterall. Get a childrens drawing book and start copying. Then get simple objects and start drawing as if you are copying.
I did it when I was lil kid. Practice made me decent, if not perfect :wink:

Dont try to draw whole thing, just the parts. Dont try to shade. Dont worry about proportions, just get the shapes right. Later on, you can merge it together and redraw it more accurately.


I’d have to disagree with that somewhat. When you’re first starting out, you have to focus on the basics. Anatomy, value, linework, composition, etc. Lots of life drawing and anatomy studies. You have build up a library in your head. Only after you have mastered these things can you really develope you own style. Actually, your style sorta follows naturally. Just give it time, don’t give up, and keep your eyes on the goal. Everyone started out like this. Just know that the only thing that stands between you and your artistic goals is practice, dedication, and determination.



Yeah the word is Practice Practice Practice ! and of course Love of what you do !

Life drawing is very good because it will improve your imagination, i really think that when you got a good technique and a good sense of observation your imagination is much better because you got much more self-assurance and you’re sure of your lines !

Go on and never stop, i usually do 2-3 hr/day drawing since 2 months and it begins to come, trust me, everybody can become a very good drawer/modeler !


Practice your modelling skills with tutorials and such. Drawing in a 3D app is more closely related to drafting than drawing, consider taking a drafting/CAD class. I know many here might disagree, but in drafting you draw an object in an isometric view. When modeling in a 3D app, you draw the object and let the program worry about the perspective.

Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such.

Experiment with some original work, when that fails:

Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such. Practice modelling with tutorials and such.


I still feel like learning to model before learning to draw is a sure-fire way to become frustrated, apathetic, and stuck. Modeling is just sculpture. Sculpture is drawing in 3d. If you can’t draw what you want to sculpt, then chances are, you won’t be able to make anything worthy of note.

Yes, there are many who are great modelers but can’t draw worth poop, but IMHO, these people are the exception, not the rule. (flames sure to follow)

Draw. Draw. Draw. There is no magic bullet, no special tool, button, or technique.

First learn the pencil. Then the brush. Then the polygon. You will suck at first, we all did, but trust us when we say you will get better. If you’re dedicated, it can actually happen rather fast.

It’s cool to learn the technical side of modeling, the methodologies, the software, and techniques…but do so along side a piece of paper and a pencil. Don’t expect much at first.

Pencils are cheap, and so is paper. They require no batteries, are utterly portable, and do not require extensive patching to make useful.

I just recently bought a ream of copy paper, and filled every page(front and back) in a day. I can’t tell you how much I learned.

My $.02. Take it with a grain of salt, but I wish this had occurred to me way early on, instead of spending years wondering why I sucked, and feeling like a failure. (and yes, I still suck, but my current suckage is of a much milder form, and is losing it’s potency with every passing day.)



To follow up the method pongball suggested, there is a series of lessons available at awn.com from Glenn Vilppu that teaches drawing from the imagination.



this was most helpfull, thanks


if you can look at your own drawings and anylitically state that “they suck”, you are a full step ahead of most begining artists; even the ones who you may think have more skill than you.

this was sort of touched on in one post, but drowned out by all of the “just take a sketchbook and keep drawing, you’ll get better”

in part this is true, you need to practice alot, but noone offered an explanation why. its only half an answer, and in fact, its only half the solution. “practice” alone in this case, i must admit, does not make perfect.

when people look at my own 2d artwork, i usually get the “wow, your just a natural born artist”. this i am proud to say is absolute b.s. :slight_smile: in truth i am completely and uttely terrible. when put on the spot to draw an image, chances are any employer who saw the first 2 minutes of progress would fire me on the spot. yup, i suck that bad.

now, if that same employer were to come back a mere 3 minutes later, he’d be overjoyed with the result and offer me the keys to the executive washroom.

so, what happens in those 3 minutes to make such an awe inspiring difference? well, its basically the exact same thing thats happening to you. you imediately realize that your work sucks. however, rather than giving up, i analyze the image.
i make mental notes as i go scribbling rough shapes as to what exactly makes it suck. and then adjust them untill they suck less.
whether you are drawing from photo reference, a live model, or straight out of your head, you KNOW when something looks wrong. the thing that will put you 2 steps ahead now is finding out WHY.
if your drawing a face, think to yourself, why does it suck. maybe the nose is too big, eyes too far apart, ears too low. in the earliest stages of your scribbling you should be analyzing these things and correcting as you go. without even knowing anything technical about perspective or light and shadow, you should easily be able to pick out and correct aspects that are “wrong”.

this concept is fairly universal and can be applied when analyzing form, lighting, mood, etc.
as you progress and practice, your early sketches will become alot more refined, especially if you draw the same subject alot.

every thing else is technical. the use of a pencil and how it functions, all the way to a 3d software, are fairly simple to grasp, and generally just involve practice and experimentation.

basically what im saying is that the key to becoming good at drawing or 3d or really anything else is understading why you arent good at it in the first place. and as far as style, thats all in your imagination, and if you can learn to draw out your imagination onto paper or pixel, you’ll be a few steps ahead of even some of the experienced artists.


and yes, i have fought with every art “teacher” i have every had…
and won :slight_smile:


Consetration without love is like waking up in a cheap motel next to a girl you have no clue what’s her name is.

But your problem is that you seek to impress. You want to be desired and adored. But that won’t happen.

There is no formula to success. Or to love.

So it all comes down to “do you want it or not?” But no one truly gets what they want.They just compromise.

Art is not a string of imagination pulled from thin air, It is technical and cold. What gives life to it is your exprerience displaced on it.

In the end, the things you make or do is just an expression exposing your inner secrets long forgoten by time.


hey, we’re common in this way… and everytime i pull out my sketchbook same thing happened… though we all have differences i want to share some thoughts based on my own…

each time i fall into this habbit i always take time to browse for others work, artists which i look up into, for inspiration… then i get back or trace back what’s left on my mind and thru this i always found myself holding a scratch paper and started to draw-rough… then i look into something that would help me (a method or something) to begin and whenever i caught in the situation that my brains/imagination suddenly freezes bcuz of desperation/work-crapness i’ll stop awhile and stop focussing on what i am doing and ponder on others creation or leave do something else sometimes push back and look into my work… and i think that gives me the momentum…


hey mate…
did step1 last week.
doing step2 currently. its fun.
will do step3 in time to come. life drawing and all.

hey matt…
the boat just got warmer, man.
i animate. been doing so for 2 years now. and i never did draw earlier. till i read hundreds of interviews which only emphasised ‘thumbnails’ above all else.
i’m determined. it’s possible. i will swim ashore. and i know you too will, with all the determination you got.


Really thanks for your advice :D. I had the same problem as the topic starter, and always give up.

Tomorrow i go to the local bookstore or something and buy me a sketchbook.

Really thanks :thumbsup: