Day 11: Edges and levels of shading

We are going to look at ways to tackle shading depending on how much time you have. As always, these are not rules but just ideas and suggestions that you can take or leave. If you don’t have much time – 1 minute – just draw the edges of the simplest shadow shapes. It’s not […]

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Day 12: Hatching, smudging and other shading methods

So we have looked at seeing and drawing the shadow shapes, and today we’re going to talk about different ways to fill them with tone – ways to shade. The approach we often suggest is hatching like this, but we’ve noticed a lot of people like to use smudging.  Smudging is excellent and powerful, especially […]

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Day 13: How to move past the details

When you’re looking at the figure, you can see so many details and so much complexity. One of the most common struggles beginner artists have is getting caught up in details and complexity that isn’t worth their attention.  Look at the shade on this figure. Overall, it’s darker on this side than on the other […]

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Day 15: Draw bigger with whole arm

You may have heard that it’s good to start drawing less with just wrist and fingers and move with your whole arm. There is nothing inherently wrong with drawing this way, but being able to use your whole arm opens up a lot more range of motion and different types of lines, including bigger, smoother […]

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Day 16: Getting used to the overhand grip and when to use it

You might not remember what it was like to learn to write as a kid, but it was probably really awkward and strange. You had to think about each movement consciously. But now writing using this grip, called the tripod grip, feels completely natural – you don’t even need to think about it. We are […]

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Day 17: Shorthands in detail areas

We talked yesterday about using the overhand grip and not using the tripod grip much in short poses because it drags you into too much detail. Sometimes you may have enough time to add a feature or two without detail and still keeping that grip.  We sometimes use little shorthand marks that just give some […]

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Day 18: Observe and commit

The Croquis Cafe poses are quick, which is great. Quick poses help you focus on just what is important. But when time is short, it’s our instinct to rush. To jam as many lines in as we can, to cram in information because there is more information than we have time to put down on […]

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Day 19: Building layers

Here’s how drawings, especially drawings of 5 minutes or more, would often go for me. I would put down some lines, trying to keep things light to start with, but struggling to. But the lines would seem wrong, so I’d go over them again quickly to try to correct them. I didn’t want those wrong lines […]

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Day 20: You could probably ride a unicycle

Improving any skill starts out frustrating because, by definition, you don’t have that skill yet so you start off trying to do something you can’t do yet. So if at this point, you’re struggling or getting frustrated, that’s normal. And drawing with a different grip, with different joints in the arm and trying to make […]

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