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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been having a bit of trouble with my manes they look very flat. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice?

Here is a couple of my recent drawings



(excuse the huge head in this one^)


Feel free to give advice on anything else as well I would love it :D
 

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Ouch, I struggle with long hairs too, I'm still practicing and trying to find a better way to do it.
I start with the dark areas first. You need to work with your full tonal scale, 1-10. Unless you include a 1 and a 10 in your drawing, it will look flat. So for the mane, I put in my 10's, and gradually add more detail as I go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thankyou Kayty I try to put 1s and 10s in my drawings but I find if I dont put the drawing down for a while and come back to it I forget too include them.

Here are a couple more:





 

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You are getting very good since you first started posting your work here!

My suggestion is that now you have got your proportions and basic tones down pat, it's time to start tightening up your work. At the moment they are still in the sketch stage, you want to tighten them up a little, so a little more detail here, a little more depth there, some more sharp lines etc.
 
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Practise, practise, practise! And self critique too! I find it helps to hold your work in a mirror to see if it looks all in proportion.
It also helps to study the works of others you do like to make comparisons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thankyou to both of you! I agree with you Kayty I think they are still in sketch mode so I will try more detail. I need to start studdying other artists on here I wreckon I could learn a lot :)
 

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Looking good!
If I were just beginning and working on proportions maybe get a cheap light box and do some small tracings first before devoting time on your final drawing.
You are going in the right direction by blocking out the mane strands, now work on developing the shadows.
Another tip would be to break out the willow charcoal sticks and go to town on some quick sketches. Sometimes I do this and come up with some great pieces, then erase a bit and develope the final!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou Everyone :)
QHriderKE- I do need to soften my drawings I agree, thats something I will work on.
FlyGap- I know that for christmas I am getting a "sketch diary" That I am planning on doing very quick "sketchy" drawigs in so over the next month keep chhecking back here cause I should have aa heap of drawings to share.

Thankyou everyone for helping me I dont really have anyone around me that draws so I am very glad I can come to all you for advice :)
 

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I suck at trying to explain things, so let me try to show you. This is a picture that I did a bit ago. Not the best representation, and the quality takes a heck of a lot of the depth and detail out, but I can explain a bit better using this as a visual reference to what I'm trying to describe. The key is the shade. Instead of erasing the highlights, try leaving white spaces first. It gives some texture, therefore some depth. Erasing highlights is best used sparingly, IMO, because it gives such a large shine effect, taking away from the texture. Just draw individual hairs and use less for lighter parts and more for darker parts. Not sure if this is making sense, though, like I said, I'm not very good at explanations. But I hope I helped a bit. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankyou so much for the advice and dont worry I understand what your saying.
I always draw from a photo I can't draw from my head lol.
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When I was a kid I liked 2 local artists, thought they were awesome. I did a pic in high school (art contest) and ended up winning it, which Artist #1 was the judge. When I went to get my ribbon I asked the artist for advice and was shocked at how big of a jerk he was. I was sadly disappointed when he suggested I not waste my time with art.

Artist #2 (Ray Harm) was doing a "signing" and my dad dragged me up there with my art portfolio. Ray stopped signing his prints and took a solid 5 minutes to go through my work. In a nutshell Ray told me this:
Make your dark areas darker than life and the light areas lighter than life, to get the largest contrast you can. I never forgot his kindness that evening while 15 folks waited in line....that he gave to a 14 year old kid. The advice, was GOOD advice as well!

Try it on one of your pics.....make sure you aren't doing the entire pic with one pencil (guilty here :) )and make those dark areas darker...to make it pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thankyou Flintlock! I will try, and it goes to show how a little bit of someones time can mean so much.
 

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Hi are your ready? For the mane remember to make the top line darker. I use a mechanical pencil and do a lot of individual hairs. Then I take a smudger (stump) and soften the topline and make it darker with more pencil like an B4 or a B6 graphite. Then place more lines for individual hairs. There is usually a shadow underneath the ends of the hair against the neck so be sure to make a darker shadow along the under part of the mane. Make the shadow jagged up into the mane. E-mail me and I will send you an example from one of my drawings. I haven't posted any of my drawings yet but I may. I have been drawing horses for @ 55 years.
 

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Your drawings are beautiful! very good job! try to use a bigger variation between shades (lights and darks) to make the manes pop more? i love the second picture you posted! i like that his head is big and bulky adds depth to the picture! :) Your a very good artist!
 
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