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What I've learned about drawing people so far... Aug. 17th, 2011 @ 03:41 pm
Drawing humans, especially human faces, is hard. Crazy hard. It's all too easy to lurk in the uncanny valley, where it's close enough that you can see what it's supposed to be, and far enough away that it's still wrong.

I've recently had a sharp upsurge in the quality of my drawings. Here's how:

A serious problem with teaching yourself to draw is that you can look at something you've drawn, know it's wrong, and yet struggle to work out where it's wrong. In the absence of an expert teacher, I've found a home solution.

Tracing paper - not for tracing the whole drawing, but just for being able to correct your lines.

Draw from a reference photo, for practice this way. Print the photo - a crappy black-and-white printout using my very cheap, not-meant-for-images-at-all laser printer has been more than adequate for my needs - and use tracing paper (or baking paper, or something like that, if you don't have any and don't want to get any) to go over it, marking all the lines and shapes out on that.

Then draw. When you've done some of your drawing, and you're at the frustrating point of "it looks wrong... somehow" you can lay the tracing paper over the drawing, and compare your lines to where they ought to be. Then edit, and correct, and learn, with something to tell you where your errors are.
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