The trick to drawing is understanding 2 important things. The first is almost any drawing can be broken down into basic shapes that, when compiled correctly, become a more complex object. This is especially apparent when you look at cartooning. For instance, Fred Flintstone’s face can be broken down into 5 components: 5 pieces of a puzzle that, when put together, make up Fred.
Subtle changes to those shapes change his expression from happy, to sad, to angry, etc. The second trick is practice–but what that really means is muscle memory. By drawing an object over and over again, your hand and eye begin working together allowing you to more easily get the result you see in your mind’s eye. I’m sorely out of practice and sometimes my hand can’t do what my brain is telling it to. It’s a line of broken communication, like if I understand the gist of what a person speaking Spanish is trying to say to me, but lack the linguistic skillset to communicate back for greater clarification. Today I had a devil of a time trying to get the eyes of my new character right, so to purge the poison of my lacking technique I’ve been practicing the techniques of ohers. When I can’t get a particular feature right, I like to see how someone else does it. Practicing their technique is a way for my hand to find the memory it has lost. The eye study above is the result of my labor. None of them are what I’m looking for, exactly, but in going through these motions again and again, my eye begins to see the commonality in the shapes, and my hand begins to remember how to make those shapes.
Tools of the Trade
Here are some of the tools I use when making art.
For larger artwork I use Strathmore Bristol Pads 11X14.
For art on-the-go I adore my Sketch Wallet.
My pencil of choice is a Pentel Graphgear 500 with .7mm blue or red lead. <— This and my Sketch Wallet are the two tools that go with me everywhere.
For inking, I’m digging Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens.
While I’ve tried lots of different writing software solutions I keep coming back to old reliable: Microsoft Word.