Art 'tips' - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-17-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Art 'tips'

I've been asked to write an article in a horse magazine in which I will be advertising. The article will be a little blurb on me and my horses, but focus on my art.
The editors have asked me to give some tips on drawing. The audience of the magazine are mainly children-young teenagers ("HorseWyse Magazine - It's quite big in Australia, not sure how familiar people O/S are with it).

However, I am struggling to decide on the theme of 'tips' to give. I can critique and give advice to more experienced artists or children/beginners who are looking to improve their skills, by looking at pieces they have drawn and working from that, but I have no idea what type of generic tips to give to a young audience.

So essentially why I am posting here, is to ask what type of drawing tips you guys would want to know, if any. That would help me immensely as I am struggling badly and the close date is fast approaching.

Thanks guys :)
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 12:22 AM
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Oh no, that's a tough assignment! After all the basics (use every shade from white to black, read a lot, draw even more, try out everything, copying is not a sin, tell a story, sketch what you see, etc.) it's very hard to give tips that are useful but generic.
Humm, have to think about this.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thankyou kayhmk, I'm very stuck with it haha! The magazine is to be published in September, but the article needs to be submitted by the end of August so I have just over a month to get it in.
It is so difficult to come up with generic helpful tips, as I said above, I have no problem critiquing a work and giving the person tips on how to improve their style, but I have no starting point for this one!
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 01:45 AM
Green Broke
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I know NOTHING about art... so im just going to through out some things i would like to know, and i think a bunch of people my want to know! :) (well, more like beginners!)
Do you draw a painting in pencil, then paint over it?
how do you decide on where the shading goes? (if you dont have a photograph)
How do you make the picture look real?(practice)
HORSES EYES! its something i learned, but they are SO HARD TO DO! you could give tips on doing horses eyes :)

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
ridergirl23 is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi ridergirl, thankyou so much for that, it helps me a lot! I will also answer them here for you ;)

Ok, your first question about starting out in pencil, yep ;) I work in a fairly soft lead before I start any piece, marking in the stand out shapes and highlights of the subject on the paper. From there, I will begin blocking in the underlying colours of the subject and work from there. You will end up covering all traces of pencil in the end.

As for where the shading and detail goes without a reference photograph, it is all about studying your subject. Say you're drawing a horse, try to look at as many horse photo's as you can and really study how the muscles and bones are structured. You eventually become some familiar with the basic structures and muscle layouts that you can improvise from your mind into the drawing. I draw primarily from a photograph due to my line of work, but often I am sent very bad quality images that do not show much detail at all, or one of the animal's eyes is in total shadow thus removing all trace of detail. To combat this, it is as I said above, all about studying the subject and working it out on your own, until you can take a step back, look at your drawing and be happy with the proportions. Compare it to a photograph of a horse that is in a similar stance to the horse you have drawn to help you determine whether you have your proportions correct.

Making the picture look real... hmm tough. LOTS of practice, I can't stress how much practice you must put in to get enough detail to make a portrait look lifelike. The eyes are the most vital part of drawing an animal, as the eyes are the window's to the soul. If they eyes are correct, the rest will follow. I like to draw in each individual hair of the animal, layering the media (pastel more so, but I also apply up to 20 layers of graphite to get to the depth I want) to create a sense of depth. Kayhmk mentioned about, about tonal values. You want to work with all tonal values from 1-10 in a drawing and also spread them throughout the piece, so make small area's of the eye black, then add black to small sections of the nostrils, ears and under the jaw. You also want whites in a drawing to give highlights, often whites are shown next to blacks to give the greatest sense of depth. Do not be afraid of dark tones, they give the portrait a sense of realism, if you stay within tones of 3-8 as I see many people do, the drawing will look flat and not 'pop' how you want it to.

Ahh horses eyes, tricky things they are! I love drawing eyes of any description, but horses can be very difficult as often there is no striking detail in them. Find photo's of horses eyes zoomed up, and practice drawing them. Start by gettign the basic shape correct, then add small circles were each tone lies, so say the highlights from the camera flash, the dark pupils, the lighting along the edge of the eye etc. Then start to block the colours in.
It takes a alot of practice, and eyes are very tough as if you don't get them right, the entire portrait it ruined- or at least will not look anything like the individual animal. When drawing eyes, keep in mind that you are drawing windows to that animals soul. You want to capture it's emotion. If it looks excited, you can use sharper strokes and lots of highlights to give a 'glint' in the eye, and of course if the animal looks depressed, you can use softer strokes and deeper tones.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 02:03 PM
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That is an awesome privilege! So happy for you.
And wow-I can see how you'd be stuck
What you've come up with so far is great. I always remind myself to remember that there is a skeleton underneath the skin and that helps determine points of shading, levels, tones, and such.
Sorry I can't contribute more~if I come up with anything, I'll let ya know!

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~Aristotle
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thats ok! haha you would get why I'm stuck too, you just draw and don't really think about the process, when I work I just keep adding layers until I'm happy!
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 07:19 PM
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Here are just a few key points I learned in my last art class that I enjoyed.

-Loosen up! Don't have too tight of a grip on your pencil and always remember to take chances to step back from your piece to look at it. Also don't be afraid to leave it and come back later.
-Blind contour drawing is a fun exercise that anyone can do and feel like an artist! It also results in some very interesting pieces.
-Experimenting with tons of different types of lines is not only creatively challanging and fun but can help your drawing. One of our first assigments in class was to fill a page with rows of lines that varied. Some thin and curly, some thick and jagged, some that varied between thick and thin and even curly and jagged. It's like glorified scribbling haha but helps to demonstrate how varied lines make a piece more interesting.
-If you see a medium you think you might like, try it! Art is all at experimenting with your creativity. Don't get stuck in the same old rut all the time.
-Don't worry so much about everything looking super realistic all the time, art should be worry free.
-Try to draw big! So many people get stuck drawing really small and then lose the ability to add detail.

hmm...i know there are others, and some of what I've said over laps but hope that helps a little!
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Zeke :) I can certainly use and expand on some of those pointers, I'm having so much trouble thinking about the things that helped me when I started out, now I just sit down and draw and it just happens I guess.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-18-2010, 09:54 PM
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How much space they have for your tips? If it's a magazine for kids-teens, what if you did a couple of "how to draw" step-by-steps? Like the "drawing an eye" thing.
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