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Do you struggle with a simple circle from the first step of every tutorial? Do your straight lines keep bending no matter how hard you try? Do you seem to be unable to draw two points with a given distance between? Do your pictures look wrong even after repeating carefully every single step from a detailed tutorial? These problems may come from lack of basic skills that are ignored when learning how to draw. In fact, these skills are obvious for someone who’s been drawing a lot, but they also can be easily forgotten after a few years without a pencil in your hand. So, are you ready to catch up?
Break the Straight Line
Your problem: you’re not able to draw a straight line/perfect circle.
Straight lines aren’t real. They exist only in vector, as the shortest way between two points. You can cheat and use a ruler, but most likely your hand will never learn to draw a perfectly straight, long lines. Even if it starts as something perfect, the longer you draw it, the more mistakes can be made. What does it mean?
If drawing a long line is almost impossible, we can use short lines that our hand is more adapted for. Just look at the picture below. The shorter the lines, the closer to the original the picture is.
Let’s say you want to draw a flower like below. You can see it’s built of a straight line, a perfect circle and a few of curves with precise angles. I guess you can draw it very slowly, very carefully driving the lines from point to point, with your tongue stuck out and sweat on your face. But… why? Drawing isn’t a chore, it should be fun!
Technical drawing (straight lines, perfect circles) requires concentration. It’s about drawing things exactly as they are. There’s no space for creativity or personal style, since style comes from diversity. Is it really what you want to do? Draw the same things exactly the same way all the time?
If you do, well, there’s no tutorial for you. Because drawing – creation – is about keeping your hand relaxed while being focused on a final effect instead of creating a series of perfect lines. That’s what you need to learn – how to keep relaxed, sketch fast and carelessly. Let’s try to draw this flower once again, shall we? But this time follow these simple rules:
- Divide the long lines into short ones;
- The more curves, the shorter the lines;
- Touch the paper very lightly, don’t press your pencil hard;
- Keep it fast!
Wasn’t that fun? If you narrow your eyes, it even looks quite done. Now, fill the spaces between the lines with the ones it’s lacking. The rules from the previous step still apply.
You can now stress the defined lines with a marker or pressing the pencil harder. This step isn’t necessary, you can skip it.
It’s done! It doesn’t look exactly like original, but you can see some style in it, a bit of your personal character, a real work of your hands! You can notice it even looks more natural than the original, because nature isn’t perfect. What’s most important, once you cross the boundaries, you can easily change everything! Paradoxically, the less accurate your lines, the more natural the drawing.
What to practice?
- Divide the lines into short ones;
- Draw circles made of short lines instead of long, ever-bending one;
- Draw lightly – this way your little mistakes won’t be visible.
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