Lesson 4: Applying Construction to Insects and Arachnids

9:20 AM, Wednesday August 4th 2021

Lesson 4 - Album on Imgur

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I have attached the reference images in the post.

This exercise was quite fun but I felt that I ran into a lot of problems when drawing the legs. Namely:

  1. Whats the best way to add lineweight/shading to an insect's long thin legs? I've just been adding line weight to one side of the leg because its the easiest thing that seems to work, but I don't know if that flattens the form or not.

  2. What's the best way to draw the little sausages that form the legs? Should I draw the whole mini sausage in one stroke, or draw two half circles then connect them, or two circles and just connect both circles?

Thanks for checking my work. Any critique is appreciated.

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1:39 AM, Thursday August 19th 2021

Hi there!

I would suggest drawing the legs as one long sausage in one go, the more you practise this, the more you'll get used to constructing them accurately with a nice sense of flow too. Legs are difficult to get right, so keep practising.

From looking at your drawings, I'd also suggest using less line weight on the legs. Just a subtle extra touch here and there works wonders. Using too thick a line weight consistently across all the legs stiffens the whole drawing a little. Less is better. Also remember that adding extra depth to your drawings can be achieved by omitting line weight from the legs that are further away / on the side facing away from the viewer. This has the effect of 'pushing' those legs further away, and some subtle extra line weight on the closer legs facing the viewer will bring them forward. Adds some nice depth. Same goes for detail and texture.

I hope this helps!

1:17 PM, Thursday August 19th 2021
edited at 2:09 PM, Aug 19th 2021

Thanks for the reply!

For the sausage, would you recommend drawing a faint rough line to indicate the direction of the leg segment before drawing the leg sausage? Or would it be better to just start practicing drawing the whole sausage at once?

For the line weight, do you have any tips on how to better control pen pressure? I'm still working on that since I can't seem to add just a subtle amount of line weight, it always ends up rather thick and bold.

edited at 2:09 PM, Aug 19th 2021
11:49 PM, Thursday August 19th 2021

No problem!

Try ghosting a guiding line a few times then commit to a sausage segment in one go. The ghosting will really help you visualise the path the sausage will flow along.

In terms of line weight, practise quick, straight lines that taper from thin to thick line weight and vise versa. Fill up pages of A4 pages with line after line after line. Very quickly, you'll start to gain control over your pen pressure skills. Then after that, try practising line weight with curved lines instead! These types of exercises are great to warm up with before you start drawing.

Good luck!

2:53 AM, Friday August 20th 2021

Alright I'll try that. Thanks for the tips!

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