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Thinking of trying drawing, need some tips


Utage

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Hey guys, I'd like to learn how to draw, though I'm not really sure where to start. So a few questions:

 

- Where should I start? I literally have no idea how to draw anything other than some fancy, high-quality stick figures. I'm trying to go for a chibi style, any good guides on that for starting from scratch?

 

- Should I use a tablet for drawing? Any recommendations for one?

 

- About how long will it take to be able to draw decently?

 

Thanks for any answers!

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My drawing style is not chibi, but I can help you with the choice of tablet. The best ones for beginners are Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch but an Intuos Manga can also do the work for you (Intuos are best, in my opinion, but are a little more expensive). Try not to spend too much money if you're trying to figure out if you really like drawing or not, I recommend starting to draw traditionally - with pencils etc -. Don't be discouraged if, after having purchased a tablet, you can't draw how you'd want on it: it needs a little bit of practice to learn. 

 

Then again, I don't draw in a kawaii/chibi style but the universal way to learn how to draw is copy every art style that you like to create your own. Copy a lot of drawings and you'll improve fast. A little bit of anatomy study wouldn't hurt, too. 

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Your best place to start would be studying facial structures and using shapes to build a face. Once you know where everything is, it makes it very easy to stylise it. Check out any tutorials on the internet to help you out, there are plenty of artists that are willing to give you some of their knowledge.  As Tokei said, take things from other styles that you like and implement them into your own art, that's how you get your own unique style. :D Practice, practice, practice!

As for drawing decently, it can take quite a few years, it's a slow learning process.

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Thanks for your help guys! I appreciate it.

 

12 minutes ago, Tokei said:

The best ones for beginners are Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch but an Intuos Manga can also do the work for you (Intuos are best, in my opinion, but are a little more expensive). Try not to spend too much money if you're trying to figure out if you really like drawing or not,

Yeah that was the idea, I've always been envious of people who can draw, so I thought it'd be interesting to try it myself. I'm already quite good at Photoshop CS 6 so I have some slight experience in that area.

 

I don't want to drop too much money in what could just be a passing interest though, so the Wacom looks pretty good. Thanks!

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Drawing is sumthin you can learn, however it takes lots of patience, persistence and practice to become "good" which this can vary from person to person as to what is considered good. Draw what makes you happy, dont get discourage about comparing your work to others and keep practicing. 

 

Drawing with a tablet is alot different, or can be hard to adjust than if you were drawing in the traditional way. I had years of experience in drawing traditionally then finally got myself a tablet, it was frustrating at first as you are looking up at a screen while drawing instead of down on the paper while drawing. I ended up putting the thing away for years until i decided to try again. Now all I do is draw with my tablet and hardly ever traditional. I highly suggest starting traditional first, as this is considered a foundation for most artists.

 

You could post some of your work here, im sure other artists as well as myself can help critique and give you ideas on how to improve in the areas you are seeking to practice in. As far as chibis go, there are several types of styles of chibi dealing with different proportions of the body parts compared to the head size, eye sizes and such. Is there any particular reference chibi images you have that you could share that you like and want to draw like? It would be easier to make tutorials explaining on drawing chibis if you show examples of chibis artwork you like already. xD

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37 minutes ago, Roxefeller said:

Drawing isn't something that you learn to do. You can either draw or you cannot. However, you CAN learn techniques to improve your drawings. Mind you, every artist has their own style. Find your style and learn new techniques.

That's either pretty stuck-up of you or just pessimistic. Please don't assume you're a special blessed snowflake for being able to draw or that you're a special unblessed snowflake for not being able to learn and excusing yourself out of practice. There's no such thing as being born with a magical ability to draw in your skill list.

 

Different people might have a slightly different starting points at the time they decide to start drawing, but it does come down to how much do you want to draw and how much effort and practice you'll put into it. Some people may take longer than others, or will have to do a few more perspective changes, but there's no such thing as "you're not able to draw 4 lyfe". Unless you don't have hands, but even in that case some people drew quite fine.

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18 minutes ago, Kyandeisu said:

 Is there any particular reference chibi images you have that you could share that you like and want to draw like? It would be easier to make tutorials explaining on drawing chibis if you show examples of chibis artwork you like already. xD

As a matter of fact there is! This artist's style in particular is what I'm aiming along the lines of. You can see his stuff here:

http://lilybin.tistory.com/2052

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1 hour ago, Enhance said:

That's either pretty stuck-up of you or just pessimistic. Please don't assume you're a special blessed snowflake for being able to draw or that you're a special unblessed snowflake for not being able to learn and excusing yourself out of practice. There's no such thing as being born with a magical ability to draw in your skill list.

 

Different people might have a slightly different starting points at the time they decide to start drawing, but it does come down to how much do you want to draw and how much effort and practice you'll put into it. Some people may take longer than others, or will have to do a few more perspective changes, but there's no such thing as "you're not able to draw 4 lyfe". Unless you don't have hands, but even in that case some people drew quite fine.

Clearly you don't read whole messages; only first sentences and then react/base your responses off of those first sentences. I did say, "However, you CAN learn techniques to improve your drawing. Mind you, every artist has their own style. Find your style and learn new techniques." But I guess you ignored that and jumped to a defensive stance.

 

By the way, yes actually there are people who are just blessed with the gift of drawing and some who are not. There are people who can't visualize and therefore cannot put what is in their mind to paper. There are people who can. Hm.. sounds an awful lot like being born with the talent or not being born with it.

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Don't start out with chibi drawings, learn basic anatomy first.  Learn how body parts move, their limitations, etc. it will help immensely when you try to draw anything even vaguely humanoid, including chibis.  As for a tablet, monoprice has a nice 6x8 inch tablet for around $40 you can buy online, it's a nice start that won't cost you an arm and a leg like wacom's $200~ intuos

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1 hour ago, Roxefeller said:

Clearly you don't read whole messages; only first sentences and then react/base your responses off of those first sentences. I did say, "However, you CAN learn techniques to improve your drawing. Mind you, every artist has their own style. Find your style and learn new techniques." But I guess you ignored that and jumped to a defensive stance.

 

By the way, yes actually there are people who are just blessed with the gift of drawing and some who are not. There are people who can't visualize and therefore cannot put what is in their mind to paper. There are people who can. Hm.. sounds an awful lot like being born with the talent or not being born with it.

I read your whole message. It sounds like "You can't learn to draw unless you're born a drawing god but you can learn ways to draw", makes little sense to me. You can't just out right literally sit down and "learn to draw", but you can practice drawing and techniques and get better at those, therefore learning to draw.

 

Yes, some people have an aptitude to drawing, the right mindset letting them catch on quicker than some others, but no unreachable heights. Well, I've argued about that too much in my past time, I don't want to start it up again. I doubt it's something that can be proven either way. Most of the time I just see people who fail to  draw Mona Lisa on their second day of drawing and excuse themselves blaming their "lack of talent" and other in-born qualities rather than lack of effort and perseverance, and that ticks me off.

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So, any good guides for me to start with? In hindsight, It doesn't look entirely chibi, but a bit of a blend between the two.

I actually tried looking up guides for chibis, but all I found were the American-ized looking ones that just look really off. I'm trying to do something a bit more like this guys work which is like an odd blend of normal/chibi, but I've found nothing that looks close.

 

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6 hours ago, Roxefeller said:

Drawing isn't something that you learn to do. You can either draw or you cannot. However, you CAN learn techniques to improve your drawings. Mind you, every artist has their own style. Find your style and learn new techniques.

This actually isn't true at all. I've seen plenty of people come from stick figures to beautiful art with years of practice and dedication. Anybody can draw if they practice and try.

No artist ever drew a perfect anything on their first try.

 

Now to OP, as somebody mentioned a great place to start tablet-wise would be Wacom Bamboo. They're the most affordable as far as I know, and should serve a beginner fairly well.

Practice on human forms, faces, and drapery, and once you feel you have it down you can experiment more with stylizing it. If you're going for a more chibi style however you may be able to get away with just learning the basics of things, but it'll serve you better to really learn as much as you can about any given subject.

 

Learning to draw well may take a long time, or you may get it quicker. Everybody is different. I took many years to get where I am, but i've seen people achieve the same in a third the time. The important thing is keep practicing and trying to improve.

 

A big thing to remember though. If you must compare yourself to others, NEVER see it as "i'll never be that good". Look at the art and think to yourself, what can you learn from it? What can you do to get yourself to that level? Push, and don't give up.

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I don't know how far you are experienced with drawing anatomy and such, but I'd recommend you breaking down the body into simple shapes. Just like you would draw a mannequin. It's a good way to practise proportions. After that you can continue with adding more details like muscles and if you don't know how to do it - references are your friends!
For chibi's you do the same just in a smaller ratio. Most guides measure the high in heads. An average human is about 7 heads while Chibi's are at 1-3 heads. The style you showed should be around 3-5. Here an example if you don't know what I mean.
learn_manga__create_your_world___cc_prop

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6 minutes ago, Utage said:

Thanks, @Bahiti @Peo ! Those are some useful tips. That image is pretty useful too.

Hopefully in a month or two I can go from stick figures to advanced stick figures.

 

 

Most important thing of all is to remember to enjoy what you do. If you're not enjoying what you draw, then it will show.

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7 hours ago, Utage said:

As a matter of fact there is! This artist's style in particular is what I'm aiming along the lines of. You can see his stuff here:

http://lilybin.tistory.com/2052

ooo okay,this is pretty close to the style of chibis I do myself. I can try to make up some guides today since I got a free day off work today.  But as others suggested it is always better to start off learning basic human anatomy, referencing off more realistic proportions than starting on chibi work right away. If you dont mind spending sum money on grabbing art books off amazon which can run really cheap if you hit the timing right (like right before school starts) I would suggest a few of the following books. These are ones I personally use in my own collection of reference books for work.

"Drawing Human Anatomy" by Giovanni Civardi
"The Artist's Complete Guide to Figure Drawing" by Anthony J.Ryder

 

Also I forgot to add a few sights for just learning to draw in realistic proportions in different poses

http://www.posemaniacs.com/

http://posereference.tumblr.com/

http://reference.sketchdaily.net/en/

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10 hours ago, Utage said:

I have no idea how to draw anything other than some fancy, high-quality stick figures.

There is nothing wrong with these. They are more charming and impressive than other types of drawings.

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Hi Utage,

 

The first question I want to ask you is, are you doing this just for fun or professionally? Because my answer will differ for both scenarios.

It looks like the chibi style you're after is chibi manga. If you're just drawing for fun, then you can just grab that entire comic web page that you find the art style inspiring, then here is your best and fastest way to learn it: copy panel by panel, every single panel, (except for some repetitive ones) for the entire comic. If you have trouble copying the lineart freehand, you can sketch out grids to help yourself, like how we were in year 1, they give us the grids and make us copy the letters of the alphbet. At first, the grid is dense and full of mini squares, then slowly, month by month, the mini squares disappear, being replaced by bigger squares and when it comes to a point when you're confident, no grid at all. By the end of it, you can replicate the entire alphabet closing your eye. 

Ok, I need you to trust me on this. Chibi is VERY easy to soak up. If you can copy for roughly 6 hours per day, by the end of the first month, you should be able to close your eye and just swing your pencil and the lines are there. That is for muscle memory training. Nothing fancy. 

 

If you really want to WOW people and take your art to the next level, shade all your lineart. This will become very tricky especially when you don't have the basics, like lighting strategy, lighting principles, anatomy, etc. And no, give the edges a different colour is very beginner shading, like the avatar icon of this forum, but for this case, less is more. 

 

If you're slightly more of an analysis type, you can analyse the entire style. Ask yourself, why does this style look so appealing to you, while other styles don't. Is it because it is easier to draw? Or is it because it is cuter? If you have a quick search through the internet, there are a lot of illustrators who draw cute characters with very tiny body but you don't find them likable. Ask yourself why. Also try to draw from realism from here and there. Oh, something to tell you here. If you start off drawing realism, you'll find it easier to learn the chibi style. Going from no-line (realism) to thick heavy lines (cartoon) is a breeze, but going from heavy thick lines to no lines is very difficult. I went through this. I drew manga since I was 6, barely drawing anything from realism. It was only when I go to college, when I got my tablet that I wanted to take drawing to the next step: drawing mascular guys. The trick is, drawing muscular people is equal to knowing anatomy which is equivalent to knowing the proper human figure and the best way to learn that? Draw realism! Books can only teach me half of a half of a half. Nothing beats drawing from the actual thing. That was when I regret drawing manga and not learnt the basics first. Like right now, though better, I'm still trying to train my muscle memory to FORGET all the manga stuff cos I know they're just wrong in so many ways yet my muscles just swoop swoop. I have to rub a lot and have to actively think to get out of manga style. I fight with that almost every time I draw. It's getting less and less intense everyday. Don't get me wrong, I still love manga style,  just that now I want to go realistic manga. I bet you know the Final Fantasy series, That's my dream! 

Anyways, yeah, if you plan to go for chibi style, ask yourself this question. Do you want to be producing something that is exactly the same as 70% of people who draw chibi style? Or do you want to be the other lower yet rarer population of artists who have a unique chibi style that still have all the great looks? Before you answer this question, just open a new tab real quick, do a search on "manga chibi drawing". I guarantee you, almost 75% of them have the exact face contour, just different hair and eyes, clothes, skin colour, etc. What does that mean for you? It means that it's very hard for character design if you're going for story telling. If you're not going for making comics, then it's w/e it's oh kay to copy. But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need something special in your art, like a signature. Oh, ask yourself this question as well. If you were a successful artist out in the world drawing for a living, and by chance you have a very determined apprentice under you. Would you like them to a) Copy everything you do and stop just that? Or b) Do everything you can do and surpass you, have their own unique style and become more successful than you? If you get your apprentice to follow option a), then well, congrats for training an exact replica of you in terms of arts. I would go for the option b) of course, for the prestige, and high praise as "art teacher of the year". You will definitely get more apprentices that way, and the money will flow like flood to your wallet. I'm not sure if I make any sense here, I just hope I did.

 

Finally a conclusion, it depends on how hardcore you are with drawing and your ultimate goals. If you're just drawing for funsies and impressing people (like I do all the time) then yea, draw what makes you happy. But if your ultimate goal is professional, drawing from life and study the fundamentals FIRST, stylise SECOND is the best way to go. If realism is too hard at first, work your way up. Remember, if you do something for a living, you will find your tears and sweat in blood, basically it will be painful. 

 

Cheers :)

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@TVincent I'm already an IT wage slave, I doubt I'd have enough time to get around actually doing it professionally, so it would just be a hobby of course. I'll likely just start out copying other works, and add my own flair later down the line. One of my strongpoints is that I have a really easy time with with muscle memory so I usually use that to help kick me off when I try something different.
 I actually read your whole post--really informative! I appreciate you taking the time to type that out. Even though it's unlikely, I'll keep what you said in mind about doing it professionally.

 

Huge shout-out to everyone in this thread, you've gone above and beyond what I was expecting to get, so it really does mean a lot! Especially @Kyandeisu for taking the time to even make a tutorial.

 

Had I asked this anywhere else, I probably would've got "git gud" or extremely vague/joke replies on what to do. You've all been a huge help, so thanks again!

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