5 min sketch digital

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Torrilin 5 years ago.

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    Hey everyone

    I'm trying out figure drawing on a tablet just to kind of see, but I wanted to see what you all think as well.

    pic 1

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    Hey bgarcat, do you have any specific goals for what you're trying to learn right now other than "on a tablet"? That can help a lot in focusing our feedback. :)


    Mostly to get better at drawing in general and get a better sense of anatomy.


    If you're just trying out on tablet I'd say they look great, I remember when I tried - completely different medium, really got to feel how it was just starting out again. All I can really give advice on here is that you should try place your figures on a grid or indicate space so they're not floating. Is there anything in particular you feel you're struggling with?


    Getting a better sense of anatomy is a good goal! What specifically do you feel you struggle with the most?

    From the two sketches linked, I don't have a whole lot of critique on the anatomy. Am I right in seeing that you have two layers? (One with the basic shapes with a reduce layer opacity, and the other building on top of the basic shapes.) It might be worth it to try and draw everything on one layer and in one color, so you're forcing yourself to capture the gesture with less strokes, and maybe a thinner brush. This helps to simplify the form in your head and trains you to recognize complex shapes and draw them accurately as minimal shapes. It's a good exercise that can speed up your drawing and improve your sense of anatomy.


    Thinner brush is a good idea - one of my issues is that I tend to draw the legs short when compared to the body and I tend to focus in on a specific part of the body, but when looked at as a whole, it looks weird. In terms of tablet, it's really weird for me not feeling the same tactile feedback as you would get from a pencil or charcoal. I'm not sure if this is a common thing.


    In terms of tablet, it's really weird for me not feeling the same tactile feedback as you would get from a pencil or charcoal. I'm not sure if this is a common thing.

    It makes sense! Although it's been over 15 years since I first used a tablet, I do remember the feeling being very different from paper and pencil. If you're sensitive to tactile feedback it'll take some getting used to.

    Nowadays I can't even tell anymore, but I also draw almost exclusively digitally.

    • Sanne edited this post on September 17, 2018 4:09pm. Reason: Fixed formatting

    these look great! your lines are really expressive and fluid, and you've even got some solid shading in there. Tricky poses but no confusion as to where everything is which is awesome.

    I would take an eraser and use it to "carve" out the shapes of the limbs to make them even clearer if you can, sometimes i find it easier to render in that kind of "backwards" way. For instance, on the second picture, if you took a thin eraser tool and hollowed out the lines you made as fingers, it would take them from skeletal to fleshed! I hope that makes sense haha...

    other than that, the head shape and necks are a little off, I struggle a lot with this too, especially when there's hair obstructing everything. Unfourtunately it makes the head look disconnected from the body, so it's really worth focusing on. I would try to develop a "shape" in your mind that helps you draw skulls and necks, I try to imagine a sphere with a piece of paper taped on it sometimes, and then the neck as two triangleish shapes glued together down the middle. I would try the Faces/Expressions photos and just focus on the skull and neck!

    hope that helped - I was pretty unclear on a lot of things so feel free to ask!


    First off, thank you everyone for your help and support!

    Secondly, I've got an update on two 5 min drawings I did.

    I feel like it's gotten better, but now I'm running into the race against the clock as seen from my half a body.



    Hey bgarcat, the poses look nice but you have to draw through, the top one has her right leg severed from her body, besides that I say carry on good siiiiir or madaaaam! x)


    Drawing with a pressure sensitive big fat digital brush can actually do some neat stuff. The less you press hard, the easier it is on your hands. So if you’re able to keep squeezing out thinner lines of the big brush that’s good for your hands long term.

    Something I like to do is tone the canvas so I’m not drawing on flat white. For me a soft orange or brown works well with blue to the point where if I’m using an actual physical pencil I tend to grab a Prussian blue one and a toned paper sketchbook. Toned canvas drove me nuts at first, I hated it. But the more I’ve worked with it, the more I like it.

    If you have a toned canvas, instead of erasing to give form, you can draw on highlights instead. For me, the eraser can mess with my head and drawing on lights can work better. They’re not better or worse, just different approaches. Try them both.

    Physical pencils can have a pretty hard edge, or they can be really soft. Digital brushes often aren’t great at that shift, or it can be hard to get it to come out. And a lot of digital advice will say “well you can do anything with a hard round brush” which is technically true but maybe doesn’t help right then if you’re so uncomfortable you can’t think. So taking the time to think about your physical stuff and what feels wrong can really help.

    If you’re working with the slate style tablet instead of the draw on a screen kind, it’s a very rigorous course in blind contour drawing. It really really really pushes accuracy. Kinda. If you’re used to physical paper, it can get super weird if the cursor isn’t tracking the stylus. And that can happen a lot when you lift up. Basically it’s a very specific art tool and a lot of paper related habits don’t carry over. The draw on a screen kinds have a lower learning curve. Not no curve just lower. For me a mix of digital and physical is good stuff, trying to do only one never quite works.

    A lot of art software has some kind of straight line tool. Whether you use it or not in real drawings is up to you, but it makes for glorious fun if you’re playing with the envelope method or any other straight line focused study.

    Keeping a figure sketch to a single layer is a good idea. You can actually go farther and treat each layer as a page in a sketchbook. Make a sketch, turn that layer off, do the next one. Then you can easily do stuff like copy the sketch and paste it into a bigger composition.


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