Everyone says NEVER TRACE!! THAT'S ART THEFT! Ok but we can do a little crime in the name of Learning.
Trace to learn, not to earn.
I like to take my own photos, but you can study whatever you want. Link back to original photos, and don't post copied artwork unless the artist is dead, cool with it, or both.
As always with learning, start every sketch with the intent to throw it away (trash for paper, quitting without saving for digital) This takes the pressure off and lets you make Bad Art, which is very important.
So let's make Bad Art of a Deer
because I happen to have one handy
Start with a photo of your subject in a nice/neutral pose with all four feet visible. (so not like me)
Freehand copy it. Try not to stylize, focusing instead of matching proportions and pose. Don't get too detailed!
It's ok if your art looks terrible and has broken legs. I've drawn LOTS of deer so I have a leg up. Everyone's art sucks in their own eyes and here's where mine went wrong:
Either lasso-distort (recommended for beginners) or redraw a copy of your first sketch with your reference behind it (scaled to match the main body of your sketch)
Put the original and modified sketches together and compare the differences. Write it down if you want. This shows you where your eyes saw things the wrong size, so you can correct for that next time.
After learning about both deer and yourself, try freehand copying again.
Marvel at your newfound knowledge and skill!
but there's always room for improvement
You can stop here and move on to your real drawing, Or do another freehand-fix-compare cycle. I actually overcorrected my "draws heads too big" and veered into "heads too small."
Another note on tracing: Learning HOW to trace is more important than anything you could learn By tracing. Draw the Anatomy, not the outline. In real life, things don't have outlines, they have bones.
These are from the same shoot which is extra useful for consistency. The lines are minimal and follow where the animals joints are, and only important parts are drawn.
You won't know what Important Parts means right off the bat, which is where in-depth study comes in. You need to do learn the hard parts to do the easy parts right.
A quick guide on how I draw sleeves. Especially oversized ones. To figure out the arm's direction, I'll divide the arm into three sections by drawing two curved lines. I use these lines to figure out how to draw the end of the sleeve. Works every time!
⚡️ Dynamic Character Illustration
Learn professional drawing and coloring techniques for creating dynamic characters full of movement!
A little quick tutorial (if it even counts) on how I do lineart on ears. It's a pet peeve of mine to see ear anatomy so off even in fancy commercial artwork, but I realize it can seem harder than it actually is to simplify the anatomy of the ear.
Of course ears can vary wildly- feel free to take this as a template, and then push the lines around to achieve different shapes! The simplified contours help serve as a baseline for most ear shapes, even fantasy ones.
It is much, much easier to add real-life, relatively anatomically correct piercings/ear jewelry onto ears that have at least the proper base of contours and shapes. This simplified format allows for a lot of piercings to believably sit snugly on your character's ears.
I hope this helps! I know it is easy to just do guesswork on the inside of the ear when drawing it- even famous illustrators seem to do it, or are in the bad habit of drawing some really odd ear anatomy. It's not perfect, but definitely a bit closer to what you'd see on a real0life person in a nice simplified format.
tutorial on how I draw mouths.
DISCLAIMER: I am not trying to say that the way I draw mouths is the only way to draw mouths. I am just trying to help people by showing a process and giving tips. My art style is pretty cartoon-y, so this may not help with more realistic art styles. The tutorial starts off simple, and then expands some ideas.
If you did not find this tutorial helpful, then I strongly apologize and will try to do better in the future.
Hey I just wanted to thank you for that studying anatomy post. I'm trying to support my kid's art education as best I can but I am not, technically speaking, a good artist at all, so resources like what you have put together is incredibly helpful for our home ed. Anatomy is something they have been really wanting to learn lately and I think this is going to be very exciting for them!
(How I study Anatomy)
ILL DO ANYTHING FOR CHILDREN i think I took out the swears in that post? did I take out all the swears???
My blog in general is not safe for kiddos because I didn't want to cut out that part of my personality as an online persona, but individual posts can be!
Depending on their ages beware setting kids loose on my blog because I swear a lot, draw Sometimes Really Realistic Gore, body horror, and the occasional Fish Tiddies.
Art tips is usually ok tho I think?
I've been meaning to follow up on the reference gathering step. Showing how to get good reference is important because it impress the importance OF reference
Recommendations for further anatomy study!!!!!!
These were super important to me as a young artist, because "draw three circles and add stripes for a tiger!" were completely boring and taught me nothing. But these books were something else entirely.
I recommend buying most of these books rather than borrowing from a library, because it takes a long time to properly chew through them the first time, and there's always concepts that go over your head for a while until you're a stronger artist and can comprehend them.
As for buying books, please buy from a book merchant rather than Amazon if you can afford it. Amazon exploits their workers, including crew for their streaming shows, which are artists like me! Check used book sites like ebay and Thriftbooks for cheap prices if you need those.
Dragonart by Jessica Peffer and the sequel, Dragonart Evolution
She has multiple books for different level artists
This one is great for kids and it illustrates important concepts like anatomy, realism vs stylization, and teaches a ton of important art concepts. This is one of my foundation books as a young artist.
The believable anatomy here is what made me so anal about dragon wings having enough surface area and connecting down the the tail. I haven't read the sequel, but I imagine it's probably even better and higher quality than the first.
I was selftaught until I was 21, so by the time I realized how-to-draw books were a thing, it was hard to find one advanced enough for me.
Drawing Wildlife by J. C. Amberlin
This book is INTENSE, dude. Absolutely perfect for a more advanced artist. It talks about techniques to render fur, how muscles work, why deer are built like tables, etc. It is really intense so if you get it for a child or young teenager they may look at it and then put it aside for a couple years.
I cannot recommend this art enough for people who want to draw animals. it REALLY elevates your technique and skill.
Draw Horses by Lee Hammond
This is a really typical book. Very short, check out from the library type. It's easily interchanged with whatever other horse book is out there, but this is the only one I've read. It was not advanced enough for me after reading Amberlin, but it's a great introduction to the basics of form and shading, as all good art books should be.
As much study as I've done, nothing compared to the leap of improvement as when I started cleaning skulls. Let me tell you, as soon as those kiddos figure out that a jaw hinges behind the eye instead of opening off the bottom like a trap door, they will be unstoppable
Skulls are easy to acquire, actually. I linked to etsy where you can search for replica skulls at affordable prices. Most of the time when you search for replicas, you're get hundred dollar museum-quality pieces, and that's not what we need to learn to draw. As long as they are cast from real bone and have a jaw that separates, they will be useful.
Real skulls are, in my opinion, much better than the replicas, but you need to consider the source when buying. Most bones you can buy are sourced from hunting, fur farms, meat processing, or souvenir shops. You need to know what business you will be supporting with your purchase. All of mine were animals that I found dead, or were given to me by their owners after they died.
Having something you can hold in your hand is super valuable. You just don't get the same kind of understanding from photos.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MUSEUMS!!!!!
My parents suffered from Have-too-many-kids disease so I can count on one hand the number of zoos we went to, and I think we only went to One science museum. They didn't really care about art so I never went to an art museum until I was 23 and took myself. I had never seen an oil painting in real life before and I started crying right then and there. Please nurture their love of art with everything you have in you. My family didn't care about art and actively discouraged me from pursuing it, yet here I am. Can you imagine how powerful I would be if I had that backup my whole life?
Oh yeah and at science museums some (Like the cal academy of sciences) have sets of skulls, pelts, rocks, and whatever else that are specifically for kids to handle and touch! Ask if yours has any because when I asked I got access to a treasure trove and got to touch an otter skull!
Super important! Grab a sketchbook and go! Make sure everybody works super loose and doesn't fiddle too long or get frustrated. Living animals move, so trying to do something really detailed won't work, it's not like reffing off a photo!
My sketches are on the left, but I went searching for some looser sketches that are good for little hands. The artist talks about their trip.
That's all the images I'm allowed and all the ramble I've got left for tonight. I refuse to proofread please enjoy
It feels weird when art tutorials approach "how to draw boys!"/"how to draw girls!" as if they're different species. Certainly study why something looks feminine/masculine to you, but don't let it limit you!
I've been getting some requests to make a tutorial on how to draw fabric. It's really not that complicated when you break it down, but it's still something people get stuck on and over complicate. Here's my "bare bones" simple explanation as to how to draw fabric!
Guess what I learned today?? Yes, to draw frills, they are in those maid outfits, frocks and all, they look pretty and elegant kinda royal look so here's how I do it My Instagram @creadivity_
Draw the normal curves
Then draw curves under it, the folds and the troughs
Then draw the lines to make the crest look more like a crest, yeah lol right
Yes and then add the lines for finishing touch
You can do more complex ones too, the method is same, don't be too stiff and let the frills flow, they shouldn't be stiff
Thanks you so much for keeping up with this, I know it's not in the best quality, I actually drew this in a corner but next time I'll make a better one. I really really hope it helped, I used it in my art too.
Here's what mine looked like
Thanks follow me on twitter @creadivity__ and here I'll post more tutorials in future to help
Here's the complete art of this frill work, colored finished version