drawing Drawing Tutorial

A Theoretical Approach of Lines

In this tutorial I will explain how lines affect your drawings and how various effects are created from simple usage of lines.

Tutorial category: drawing  
Tutorial type:
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Tools used: PaintTool SAI




Step 1

First of all, in art there are only two types of lines:
1- Straight Lines
2- Curved Curved

Straight lines convey order and continuity. They create shapes that have edges and vertexes. It is said that people who prefer straight lines are realistic. They should be drawn by hand as artists should not rely on rulers too much for these. (of course using a ruler is essential sometimes)

Curved lines are easier to draw than straight lines and convey harmony in a certain aspect and chaos when disposed in a different way. People that prefer curved lines are more idealistic by nature and are dreamers.


Step 2

Harmony and Contrast are created by intercoursing line thickness and position. Here are a few examples:

1. This area creates a harmony effect by combining thick cuvred lines.
2. This area also creates harmony by applying curved lines and creating a pattern which "works together"
3. This area creates contrast by applying two different kinds of lines, thick and slim.

The main part in creating harmony is "lines work together" but ,any art teachers will force you to draw many of these telling you you are wrong because they want you to be able to grasp this part very deep. The essence of art lies in understanding these.

Most characters of manga, comic or abstract arists use these basic techniques to convey that so called "crisp" and "life" It's all a matter of taste really. Anime uses clean lineart and comics use more "sketchy" designs, which brings out more mood but makes the whole look less like a game.

Cleanest works of art should only be done in realistic drawings. Most sketches and coloring seem like semi-realistic in fact. Most artists like to erase sketch lines, but in my opinion it makes the whole drawing look less rich and diverse.



Step 3

Important when drawing anything is to keep certain rules and patterns.
There are too many of those that will tell you to use 1 , 2 or even 3 focal points for a drawing. This is in fact a simplyfication of art. Art is about the way you will organize things. There is an old saying that states that : "Whoever follows the shell rule will never have an empty drawing.

Basically, the shell rule is what we have on the left. And as long as there is an object that changes the flow alongise separate parts of the thicker lines, then the drawing is being completed. Meaning if this were a landcape and a girl was running in the center of the spiral, then adding a lake on bottom right, flowers on bottom left and a castle on top left , then the drawing would have more consistency than simply an open plain with dry grass.

It's really hard to explain but it's a very practical hint.


Step 4

Finally creating effects in art is really transcibing in lines how you would feel in real life (irl). So how to do that well:

Isolate the emotion. Does it make you feel small, angry, frustrated, happy?

Here top left conveys a sort of diversity, it reminds a bit of a tree bark and thus conveys a sort of liveliness.

Center conveys a clash, or a strife, as the nothern and southern dashes are fighing to gain into the center. In comics or mangas, seeing these type of curves is often seen when the two most opposing forces are unleashing their final attack or something in that mood. Edges and vertexes convey devision and willpower.

Bottom Right converys organization to a certain point, the lines are not perfect at all, but in a way they seem to accept each other, it may remind of a wheat field or a more wide space.

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