Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Analyzing form, part of Illustrator for Non-Illustrators.
- [Instructor] In this movie, I want to touch on a key fundamental of drawing, and that is analyzing form. It doesn't matter what your topic is, you want to observe it visually and deduce the content in your mind's eye. Look at the form of your topic and associate simple geometric shapes with it to help guide your drawing efforts. So let me explain this through demonstration. So if we're approaching a subject matter like a horse, and by the way, if you've watched any of my other courses, you know I loathe drawing horses, and I purposely picked a horse because you're more than likely going to be intimidated as you try to make drawing a daily habit and you try to work it into your creative work flow.
It's a skill you can use for a lifetime, but that doesn't mean it's not going to intimidate you. It will at times, and that's a good thing by the way. It pushes your comfort zone and it makes you stretch those creative muscles and get better at things. So I decided I'm going to pick a horse because I frankly don't like drawing horses. If I could pick any topic, I would pick topics I like, not a horse, but in this case we're going to select this path, it's going to preload the brush. You can see it preloads a blend mode and opacity is still 100%.
Actually on opacity, let's go ahead, we're going to adjust that. We'll go 30, I think that will work good, and we're going to go ahead and take the paintbrush tool. And so with those, when I look at this, a lot of people, when they think of drawing, they think okay, well I'm going to try to draw a horse and so they try to figure out the shape and whatever, and they go well this doesn't look like a horse, it looks like the Loch Ness Monster or whatever. It's like well you don't want to draw that way.
That makes drawing a whole lot harder. That's okay if you're doing experimentation with contour drawing. It actually kind of looks better when you make the contour look a little bit funky, and you're going to see that coming up in another movie, but what you want to do here is it's better to look at forms, look at his head. There's kind of a circular shape there, so we can just go like this and create a circle shape for the top there, then goes down at an angle like this, so we're just doing what's called an under drawing here, and maybe down below it's kind of like a circle, but maybe it's at an angle like this, and then this one kind of connects here like this.
This is the way you can approach it and make it easier. Maybe you look at the ear and they kind of look like half moon shapes, like this, and then maybe this one over here, going like that, and then this is arching up here, so it goes from the top of this apex and it arches out, kind of like this. So this is all it takes to start working out your proportions and start working out a basis for which you can then tighten it up and keep refining it and improving upon it.
Now this is crude, obviously, but this is how a drawing starts. You're never going to get it right the first time. You're going to have to then go in and figure this ear might look a little better if I shape it kind of like this, and on this one, this has a little bend to it, and we're going to go ahead and start kind of working this out, and you look at reference. Every artist, if you watch any of the special edition DVDs from Disney or Pixar, you'll always see videos in there with the artist drawing things that are represented in the movie that they go in and they're referencing the real things a lot of times, even though the style they're rendering it in is distinctly characterized and non realistic.
So it doesn't matter if you're trying to draw a realistic horse or trying to draw, maybe it's a graphic, it's going to end up being a graphic representation for a logo for an equestrian service or whatever, but this is how you can start off with basic shapes and then work it out. Now this kind of looks horrible, in my opinion, but it's getting there. It's not terrible. If I worked on it for another 30 minutes or whatever, it'd probably look a lot better, his mane would go up there, so it's all about setting a foundation and those foundations can start with geometric shapes.
Let's go to this one because what I want to do here is I want to reinforce that. Again, so if we have this horse here, we'll slide this over just a little bit, is once again, think in shapes, so some kind of circle shape here, circle shape here. These are just straight lines at this point, that's no big deal. Up here, this curve goes like this, actually this circle, you might even want the circle bigger, like this. The nice thing about digital is you can delete.
If you don't like it at all, you can start over and go like this, so you can have a big circle connected with lines to a little circle. This you can look at once again, associate it with a simpler shape, and it's all about shape recognition, big swoosh over here, down here like this, circular, so on and so forth. So think in shapes. Shapes is what's going to help you improve your drawing skills. Let's take another reference of a horse.
Here's the full body. We're going to turn it into gray scale, and once again, using the same principle here, it's all about connecting shapes so maybe on this one, starts with the circle again here, connecting those shapes like this, his ears kind of like this. Down here, his front end is kind of like a circle here. Actually I don't like that. Let's try that again, like that, a little smaller.
The back end once again, small circle. This underneath, and this is where you can take some artistic license. Let's go ahead and redo that circle again like this, is here I would get a little more artistic with it. He kind of has a gut. I'm making him more a cut horse, like he's in great shape, straight line, this curve kind of going down like this, and then up into that one like this, and this is how you can approach it.
You can use it to gauge perspective, like this, so once again connect these. There's rarely any straight lines in nature, so don't be afraid to bend them like this, but I'm not going to draw this all out, but you get the general idea to guide your proportions. Maybe, oh you know what I did? I actually drew on my reference layer. You're supposed to draw on this layer right above it like that, but I didn't, no big deal, but if you use these exercise files, draw on the drawing layer, that way if you don't like it you can just start over on a new layer.
I drew on the reference, oops. No big deal. Let's go ahead and turn that layer off. I'm going to have to select this though and delete it and we'll turn on another drawing I did using those same principles of starting with shapes. Now one thing I want to point out that's different from the reference to the final is reference is great to guide you in your general proportions, but if you look at the back leg in the photograph, the leg that's furthest away from the viewer is kind of hidden behind the other leg, and in a photograph, you don't really think about that or notice it, but when you draw something, those things pop out, and that looked weird to me, so I just drew my own leg in its own position because it aesthetically looked better, so drawing is a progressive process, meaning start with simple shapes and work from there, continue to refine, and go layer upon layer.
You might not even like this, in which case you could select it, set the opacity back, create a new layer, and draw on top of that again to keep working on it, keep improving on it. That's what drawing is all about. I encourage you to try this drawing yourself. Approaching subject matters like this will help make drawing more sustainable for you and don't get frustrated. No one starts off drawing perfectly, so keep at it and you'll see improvement.
- Creating drawing brushes
- Drawing with the Pencil tool and the Paint Brush tool
- Analyzing form
- Perspective basics
- Proportion and distortion
- Drawing methods
- Contour drawing
- Still life drawing
- Drawing doodles
- Inking and coloring a drawing