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25

You can use an artist's bridge as well. It's basically a long metal ruler with either rubber feet at either end or a thin foam on the bottom. You can easily make your own out of a sturdy ruler as well. These are used by illustrators but could be useful to the fine artist as well. Here are some examples: The bridge is great for horizontal work but for ...


23

Get an erasing shield/stencil: An erasing shield is a metal stencil that can mask off the parts of your drawing you want to protect, while exposing only the area you want to erase, so you can erase with more precision.


23

One of the most common techniques to avoid this problem is using an extra sheet of paper. Place the paper so it's under your drawing hand and on top of the part of your drawing you're not working on. Be careful not to move it around too much, using masking tape to stick it to your desk if necessary. If you use tracing paper, you'll still be able to see ...


22

There are several advantages! Ergonomics We'll start with the one you mentioned. If you regularly draw on a horizontal surface, you'll spend a lot of time with your head down. This is terrible for your neck! It can lead to sore, tight muscles. Or, if you have neck problems (like I do), it can be downright painful to even try to draw like that for any ...


20

I would first suggest a kneaded eraser, if you don't use one already. A kneaded eraser can be shaped like putty. This means you can form points, lines, and a variety of other erasing surfaces with it. This allows you to easily erase just the place you want. Additionally, it doesn't erase the same way as your rubber or Mars plastic (polymer) erasers, ...


18

The blurring you're talking about sounds like blending, which is the technique of evening out or gradating values and colors. Fingers Probably the simplest way of blending your regions together, whether matching values or values you want to merge together, is by rubbing it with your finger tip! You'll want to make sure your fingertip is clean, and oil-free,...


15

You can use the 3-4-5 method of creating right angles. Begin with a construction line and mark a zero point and a 3 point. Make a mark. Notice that I'm not using units of measure. You can use millimeters (preferred) or inches or anything in between. Draw from the zero point at a right angle as closely as possible. Measure from the zero point to a 4 point. ...


14

A common practice is to first create a thumbnail. You can do this when drawing from real life or from imagination. The idea is to get a rough, small, quick concept of what you're going to be working on down on paper. This lets you get the idea out and reference it later as you're working. When drawing from imagination, you can utilize multiple thumbnails, ...


11

Other options: Eraser pencils: Imagine a pencil that is filled with eraser instead of graphite - that's an eraser pencil. Some models have a small brush on the back end for getting rid of eraser dust. Sanford Magic Rub Peel-Off Eraser Pencil: Basically the eraser equivalent of a peel-off grease pencil. The eraser core is wrapped in paper, and as you ...


11

These are simply portrait sketches. There's not, to the best of my knowledge, a specific term for the technique other than "sketching". Sketching doesn't just mean an unfinished work, a doodle, or lack of detail. I think this phrasing from Painting.About.Com defines it well: A sketch is painting or drawing capturing the essence of an object or scene, ...


10

In addition to the suggestions by @CreationEdge, you can get workable fixative that allows you to continue to work on drawings after spraying it. This is handy if you can't finish the piece in the whole session and want to protect it against accidental smudging, especially if it's in a sketchbook, until you can work on it again. You'll still want to apply ...


10

TL;DR: Generally speaking, printer paper is not designed to last long, and is intended to hold ink rather than graphite, charcoal, paint, etc. The same is more or less true of notebook paper. Printer and notebook paper have very little tooth (roughness); lack weight (i.e., the sheets are thin); and have relatively high acid content, which means they will ...


10

If there isn't enough separation in the levels of the values used in rendering an image then the image can look washed out or the shapes poorly defined. Someone saying, you need to "push the values", means they think you need to add more separation in the value levels you used to define your shapes and areas in the image as a way to help build greater depth,...


10

So, when I first looked at it my reaction was "mosaic" was the root of the style and so I did a little digging and came across the concept of "doodle mosaic" that really seems to fit. The other reason that worked for me its the there is a Zen Doodle feel as well, the sense that the sum of the parts are creating a bigger result.


10

There is a natural temptation when drawing hair to think in terms of individual hairs and equate these to pencil lines. However this tends to get in the way as there is no reasonable way to draw every individual hair even in hyper-realistic styles. Instead forget that hair is lots of individual strands and concentrate on what it looks like as a surface/...


10

That's just how erasing works, for pencils. Erasers don't really just pick up pencil marks. They work by abrading away a thin layer of the paper, to which the pencil medium (generally graphite) has adhered. The abrasion is a sort of side effect, as the real intent is to disturb the bonds of the graphite to the paper (or cellulose) and allow the erasers to ...


9

If the light is coming from a candle, or group of candles, you're going to have very dramatic chiaroscuro lighting. Shadows should be very black, with not a lot of grey tones. Keep in mind that only the elements very close to the candles are going to be visible. Also, candles have yellow light, so basically all colors are a shade of yellow or orange. ...


9

Here are some key differences I noticed between the reference image and your drawing: The relative location of the pupils. If the subject is looking up at you, the pupils should be at the top of the eyeball, so there should be more white showing at the bottom of the eye. The relative locations of the mouth/nose/chin. Since you are viewing the face from an ...


9

This might seem like a cop-out answer, but... practice! Practice is the main way for you to improve your control and line quality. I've been using a drawing tablet for 10 years and I still make mistakes. The key to drawing lines is to use long, quick strokes rather than trying to hold your hand steady while you trace your outline. Each stroke will likely ...


8

This can be a somewhat complicated process, to draw shadows in perspective. There are many great resources, but I'll show a simple demo here. This is using a single light source and a simple box form. Here are the construction steps I used to create that final image: Lay down your horizon line and choose your vanishing points (VP). Draw your shape (here ...


8

If using graphite make sure to spray a few coats of fixative over the graphite drawing prior to painting. What should I use instead? You could also try: charcoal Water color pencils diluted ink


8

Modern scanners, cameras, and digital editors pick up the non-photo blue pencil marks that earlier scanners did not. However, this color is still easily removed from the scanned image by switching to grey scale and altering the brightness and contrast. You could do this with another colored pencil pretty easily as well. The answer to your question depends ...


8

Lifting something like the Prismacolor line with a hand-held eraser is going to require a lot of elbow grease. So, when the need arises, either for a misplaced line or trying to get an effect, then the best answer is an electric eraser. There are a few options out there, Sakura makes one that is quite popular and I have the Derwent model. Are they perfect? ...


8

I can only think of a few options. Don't worry about masking or hiding the sketch. Make bold, dark outlines on purpose. Sketch the pattern you want in graphite, then draw the lines very dark (in graphite, or even ink). This does give the final result something of a "coloring book" feel, which may not be what you're wanting. Sketch outlines in the color of ...


8

I am not an expert but here is what I gathered from my experience. Pencil have different hardness rated as follow: Harder (very light strokes) 7H -> ... -> 2H -> HB -> 2B -> ... -> 7B Softer (dark strokes) Start with a 2B or HB to "draw" (contour, shape, ...) Then add a 4B or 6B for your first shadings (I would go with 6B to widen the range of shade you ...


8

The reason for drawing wire frames, or any construction method, is to properly develop the forms of the object. By laying out the underlying structure, you can get a better sense of volume, proportions and arrangement of the 3D object you're trying to map into a 2D art form. This lets you get the foundation ready before laying down time-consuming details ...


8

There's a famous story about a ceramics professor who separated his class into two groups of students. The students in Group A were graded solely on a single pot they presented at the end of the semester, whereas the students in Group B were graded on how many pots they produced during the semester: quality vs. quantity. During the course of the semester, ...


8

The flocculent beauty of the work you show is not that the artists drew a single hair (that would never achieve the effect) the beauty came from the artists layering one drawn hair "over" another and repeating it until the desired depth was achieved. I can think of two artists on Youtube who demonstrate this layering process (with explanations for their ...


8

If you want to draw objects (humans, animals, or whatever) that are stylised (i.e. aren't too realistic) you need to learn how to draw them realistically first. The idea is the same as “learn the rules first in order to know how to break them properly” (sorry for the cliché). You need to understand your subject (what it actually is) in order to reveal it in ...


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