Some tips on how to effectively go about learning how to draw...

What you've got to do is look at art critically and remember that all lines represent something in real life. Sometimes it's hard to look at a real person or a photograph and figure out where to put your lines, so I think it's perfectly okay to go hunt out some artist you like and analyze how they've bridged reality to art and see if you can't do it that way yourself.

One of the big milestones in my art was figuring out how to draw noses. When I was in first grade, my art teacher told me noses were two lower case 'u's with one big U in the middle. That's absolute nonsense.. I ended up drawing noses like this for years:

It's rather automatic, with not a single thought of why a nose should look like that at all. If I'd dared to consider that the two parts on the side were the bulges around the nostril, I might have tried harder and come up with something much more noselike.

Watching Evangelion gave me more insight to noses. Look at this, it's a black triangle!

I figured if professional animators can do that, why can't I? So I tried it myself and drew noses like this for a while:

Here is the problem: I knew what a nose looked like, I could probably have copied one perfectly from a photograph, but I had no idea how to represent it with lines. I didn't think about how lines are always corresponding to something in reality. In this case, the shadow of the nose on one side cast against the face.

This is really bad today with people and anime eyes.. They copy something and have no idea what it's supposed to actually represent on a live person. That shape there is the pupil, that's the highlight, that's the iris, the big white part is actually spherical and sits into the head in an eye socket. Rules can be broken, but it's better to know the rules to begin with, and not copy blindly...

Here are some artists who finally gave me an inkling as to how to draw noses:

I saw that WOAH DUDE! The lines you draw for the nose represent shadows!

So now when I draw noses, I just think about where the shadows are. You can pick and chose what shadows you want to portray and how you want to do it depending on what your style is or what style you want to copy. I've ended up just drawing the shadow under the nose and sort of forgetting about the rest.

And here are some noses that my friend drew that have also taught me a thing or two about how to represent shapes with lines:

Next up, some anatomy tips. Next!

Random is God