Line Quality Question

1:30 PM, Monday December 12th 2022

Please, does anyone have experience inking drawings or tracing your own drawings to transfer them, where you need both smooth lines as well as accuracy? I know Uncomfortable says to work on the former and the latter will come, but for me it still hasn't really. When inking my drawings I can only stick to the lines by drawing from the wrist more slowly and doing the course correcting thing where the lines come out wobbly and look like crap, but if I try drawing from the shoulder and making the lines smooth they go off course and ruin the drawing too. I've completed Lesson 1, the 250 Boxes, almost all of Lessons 2, stuck by the 50% rule (and done tons of other warmups, exercises, and have been drawing and painting for years) but I haven't really noticed any improvement in my line quality and precision. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

1 users agree
11:35 PM, Monday December 12th 2022

When it comes to going back over drawings (in the sense of starting with pencil and inking them, or taking a rough sketch and cleaning it up), this is something I struggled with a great deal when I was younger, and I ended up shying away from lineart as a whole as a result, gravitating more towards painting instead. As I've been teaching Drawabox however, the reasoning for why it didn't feel right became fairly clear.

It comes down tracing as a process. Tracing requires us to focus entirely on the lines we're trying to recreate, which in turn makes us pay attention to them only as lines on a flat page. Two dimensional things, without flow or fluidity - just stiff, lifeless things. And so, we may be working off a lively, energetic sketch, but the end result lacks those positive qualities.

The solution is not to shift back to drawing from your wrist because that is the only way to maintain accuracy, and that is for the exact same reason that we stress the confidence of our strokes as our main priority in this course as well. Sacrificing confidence for accuracy simply won't give you the results you want.

Prioritizing a confident execution helps a great deal in pushing us to think about each stroke as the edge it is meant to represent in 3D space, and to think about how it actually moves through that space instead of focusing on them as static, stiff marks on a flat page.

Now of course, continuing to draw with confidence and accepting that your accuracy is going to suffer won't result in pretty drawings, and will likely result in plenty of smaller mistakes - but that's what practice is for. Continue investing your time in the planning and preparation phases of the ghosting method, so that you can reinforce your eventual confident execution with everything you can to increase your chances of executing the stroke you want, and as your experience and mileage increases, you'll find those chances naturally increasing as well - but only as long as you apply that process.

That said, I should reiterate that what we do here in Drawabox is intended to provide you with plenty of mileage and experience to have those principles sink in deeply, to the point that you end up employing them in your own work whether you mean to or not (assuming you are at least being mindful of their use as you work through the course material) - but of course, you mentioned that you're almost finished with Lesson 2. That's good progress, but you're still closer to the beginning of the course than the end, and will have plenty of additional such mileage of using the ghosting method for each and every one of your freehanded marks ahead of you.

10:49 AM, Wednesday December 14th 2022

Wow Uncomfortable, thanks so much for sharing your experience with this and recommitting me to the proper path! I think I was stuck because I kept vacillating. Now it's clear continuing to do the turtle with tremors thing isn't going to get better.

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