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When creating art


Dire_Wolf
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There is so many things i want to hear from you artists, but for now i want to limit this topic to sketching.

 

I have always wanted to draw great stuff. Just like Tripsis and Misterxman. But whenever i try to for example draw a Wolf, i always feel like meeting a wall. It¨s kinda hard to describe. But i just loose all hope.

So i am very curious:

 

What tools do you have at disposal that helps you in creating your art? Drawing methods, programs, etc.

Also please tell what kind of research you do before drawing something that you have never drawn before.

 

 

Short: I want to know how a artist thinks before drawing what he/she is about to draw. And everything he/she uses.

 

 

I ask this because i am annoyed, because i want to specialize in drawing wolfs. Because wolfs are awesome, and i got a good way to combine Runescape history with my "Wolf art". But i can¨t seem to progress much. I think i am just not used to drawing wolfs, and that in order to really make art that is really "Great" i must first experiment and fail alot.

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When it comes to computer art I usually use Photoshop CS5 (see signature). But if you want to draw things in real life the best thing to do would be to find a picture of a wolf that you like, see how the features link to the overall shape and texture and just draw. It takes practice, obviously, but that alone is good practice.

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Most professional artists use reference pictures almost every time they draw something. Expecially if it's something they haven't drawn before. The most important thing to realize that you don't need to know WHAT you're drawing, it's what you're DRAWING. That means, that if you want to make a wolf, you don't draw a wolf. You draw what a wolf looks like, feels like, acts like. You have to know the anatomy, behavior, muscles, texture, weight, and so on. That's what's most important if you want it to look realistic, and believable. Otherwise, it's not gonna look like a wolf, only what you think a wolf looks like. I hope that makes sense.

 

If you know that, then it doesn't matter what medium you're using. You could do just as well with photoshop as with a simple pen and paper.

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Basically what Myu said. The way I have heard it put is that if you don't know what you are doing, you will draw a symbol, not the object. A symbol for a person might be a stick man, or the symbol for a chair might be a kind of h shape. You have to learn to objectify what you see in your reference picture. Don't see a wolf, see lines, contours, gradients etc.

 

+1 About the medium. Photoshop is one way, but ultimately it's not up to the tool or the medium, it's up to the artist.

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In response to the above, I think there's actually a great comment from the TV show White Collar that fits well. When Neal is explaining how to forge a signature he says that he does it upside down. Because when you look at a signature normally, you see letters and a signature. So your own style creeps in since you know you're writing letters. But when it's upside down it's just random shapes. So instead you're not writing a signature, you're drawing shapes, and that makes for a more accurate signature.

 

Anyway some of the same ideas can apply to art. If you think, "Okay I'm going to draw a wolf!" you'll end up drawing what you think a wolf looks like, and unless you're an expert on anatomy, etc., there will end up being flaws.

 

As for me, I have PhotoShop CS5 and a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. When drawing something I've never drawn before, I have PhotoShop open on one monitor and browse Google and/or deviantART on the other for references. With things like architecture and machinery, there's often a lot of raging, erasing, and refining involved. I can never seem to get the hang of those :P

 

Sometimes it can be frustrating because practice does make perfect. But in order to get good, you have to spend weeks looking at your crappy results, which is oftentimes very discouraging!

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I use references when I'm drawing something that doesn't exist solely in my head, and sketch out what I'm going to do, or think fully about it before I start. Then I grab a pencil and start sketching for real, and about halfway through I make a decision about what I'm going to do with it; if I'm going to ink it, use colored pencils, regular pencils, or maybe markers.

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In response to the above, I think there's actually a great comment from the TV show White Collar that fits well. When Neal is explaining how to forge a signature he says that he does it upside down. Because when you look at a signature normally, you see letters and a signature. So your own style creeps in since you know you're writing letters. But when it's upside down it's just random shapes. So instead you're not writing a signature, you're drawing shapes, and that makes for a more accurate signature.

 

Anyway some of the same ideas can apply to art. If you think, "Okay I'm going to draw a wolf!" you'll end up drawing what you think a wolf looks like, and unless you're an expert on anatomy, etc., there will end up being flaws.

 

As for me, I have PhotoShop CS5 and a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. When drawing something I've never drawn before, I have PhotoShop open on one monitor and browse Google and/or deviantART on the other for references. With things like architecture and machinery, there's often a lot of raging, erasing, and refining involved. I can never seem to get the hang of those :P

 

Sometimes it can be frustrating because practice does make perfect. But in order to get good, you have to spend weeks looking at your crappy results, which is oftentimes very discouraging!

 

That reminds me of a piece of advice I've heard: If you draw something and you think it looks alright but then you flip everything horizontal and things are out of whack, then you've done something wrong and your eyes are playing tricks on you!

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Lots of great advice here.

 

If I may add, you might be feeling a bit discouraged because you're attempting to do too much at once. You have to find a way to make your progress more evident to yourself, which in turn will help with your motivation.

 

How about this : if your ultimate goal is to get good at drawing wolves, why not start with parts of it? I.e.: start by drawing wolf eyes or paws or whatever and do only that until you get good at it. Since each part is less complicated to master in itself, it shouldn't take too long for you to start seeing results. Then it's only a matter of time before you know how to draw an entire wolf. (of course, putting all the parts together is also a piece of the puzzle which will require practice)

 

Oh, and tools don't matter as long as they're not restrictive.

 

Good luck!

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If you can get a hold of a book on dog/wolf anatomy, that may help you a lot in terms of attaching muscles and drawing legs specifically. I have a book on dragons that has a few really useful diagrams with muscles and bones and such.

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DeviantART.com>Search 'wolf tutorial'

 

For wolves in general:

Anatomy of a Wolf - A Tutorial

Wolf tutorial

Tutorial: How To Paint A Wolf

Wolf Paw Tutorial

 

for fur:

http://yellow-eyes.deviantart.com/art/Wolf-fur-tutorial-2-38826575?q=boost%3Apopular%20wolf%20fur%20tutorial&qo=0

Small and Simple Fur Tutorial

Fur and Eye Tutorial

Updated Fur Tutorial

 

So use these or look for more on DA, plus they've got tons of references as well.

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Thanks for those links. Some of them are to advanced for me to deal with and the fur tutorials use programs to fix. I was more thinking of drawing fur with pencil by hand. Anyhow i have sheets with some tutorials, among them being the wolf skeletal. And i have been looking through DA too! I often don't choose tutorials that have best realistic drawings possible.

 

And i drew a bit yesterday, but i will try to pick up my "sword" and pick the battle again some other day. Oh and i would love to use a program to work with pencil drawings/sketches. But for now i want to become good at simply drawing with a pencil.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The trick is balance your use of references, try not to use other people's art too much, you risk hampering the development of your own unique style though you will improve more slowely than if you just spam references. I prefer to use real-life references whenever I need assistance sketching. Also I can't stress enough how ridiculously awesome using a graphics tablet is (Wacom Intuos ike Tripsis said is the way to go) and if you can't get your hands on photoshop, just download SAI, it's free and has a nice feel, don't use it without a tablet though, it's near impossible.

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