BeLoose Graphic Workshop

Graphics

Attitude . Design . Drawing Examples

GRAPHICS PRINCIPLES & TIPS

A. Line Weight


1. Chisel the Point
A fundamental step in creating many line qualities in a drawing, such as FUZZY LINE, HIT-GO-HIT, and FREEHAND LINE, etc.
How: Hold the pencil as you would to draw, and CHISEL THE POINT on the paper to achieve a wide, flat edge. Keep the pencil at an angle close to the paper for a wider stroke. A soft pencil lead will provide a more fuzzy and wider line needed in good drawing.

2. Fuzzy Line
A light, delicate stroke rather than a hard, definite line. There are no lines or outlines in real objects. When a drawing is completed, the FUZZY LINE will become part of the object itself. It is used to draw man made objects such as buildings, cars, etc.
How: Chisel the pencil to make a wider point, then using consistent pressure, draw a line of the same thickness.

3. Variable Line
A VARIABLE LINE is a FUZZY LINE that varies in thickness, and gives a drawing more three dimensional and realistic look. It is used to draw life objects such as people, trees, etc. How: CHISEL THE POINT, twist the pencil and apply various pressure to create different thicknesses of line. Where light hits on an object, the line is drawn thinner or lighter, and where light doesn't hit, the line is thicker or darker.


4. Mechanical Line
A clean, crisp line drawn with a straight edge. It is quicker, consistent, and more accurate. It also allows you to draw a longer line easier.
How: Use a straight edge and apply FUZZY or HIT-GO-HIT LINE, OVERLAP CORNER, PROFESSIONAL GAP and PROFESSIONAL DOT to make hard lines look looser.

5. Freehand Line

A FREEHAND LINE is drawn without a straight edge. It is soft, organic, and can be used to sketch small scale drawings quicker. It allows you to be more creative and stimulates the right brain. However, it takes more time to draw than the MECHANICAL LINE.
How: CHISEL THE POINT, utilizing the FUZZY LINE, HIT-GO-HIT, CONTINUOUS LINE, PROFESSIONAL DOT and GAP, and draw a FREEHAND LINE.

6. Repeat Line

REPEATED LINES give an object a three dimensional look by adding depth and help stimulate creativity and looseness.
How: Loosely repeat FUZZY LINES or CONSTRUCTION LINES two or more times over the edges of an object. Apply more REPEATED LINES on the shaded side of an object.

7. Construction Line
A CONSTRUCTION LINE is a light, thin, and FUZZY LINE used in plotting out the preliminary drawing. It is a safe way to see an overall view of the drawing without commitment to a drawing that cannot be changed or erased easily. How: Use FUZZY LINES with very light pressure and apply to the drawing.

8. Continuous Line
A CONTINUOUS LINE is a single, non stop, and quickly drawn line of an object.
How: Using a FUZZY and HIT-GO-HIT LINE, draw continuously without lifting the pencil from the paper.

9. 3-Dimensional Line
The use of thick and thin lines next to each other can create a three dimensional look, FUZZY LINE image, and add quality to a drawing. How: Outline with a thick line, then outline again with thinner line, leaving a space between the two lines (about 1/16" to 1/8", depending upon the size of the object).

10. Punch Line
A PUNCH LINE, commonly known as a profile line, is needed when an object is not well defined. Because it gives a bold, loose appearance. This technique is usually not used if a high quality drawing is required. However, it can be used a lot on plan, elevation, and section drawings. How: Use the SAME LINE weight throughout the drawing, then use a heavier line weight to outline the object needing to be defined.

11. Hit-Go-Hit Line
A FUZZY LINE drawn with distinct beginning and ending points helps to develop interest and depth within a drawing, and creates an optical illusion that helps make a line look the same thickness. How: CHISEL THE POINT and draw the beginning point of the line about 1/8" to 1/4" long, go back and forth a few times, then draw a FUZZY LINE. End the line with a point using the same method as the beginning point.

12. Overlap Corner
Lines crossed at the corners make objects appear more square, sharp, and complete. It is quicker than drawing perfectly meeting corners, and gives the drawing a loose and professional look. How: Intersect two FUZZY or two HIT-GO-HIT LINES at corners, 1/8" to 1/4" in length, depending on the size of the object. (smaller overlap for refined drawings and longer overlap for loose drawings)

13. Professional Dot
A PROFESSIONAL DOT occurs as a result of fast drawing. It adds movement, life, and a finishing touch, like a period at the end of a sentence. How: Draw a FUZZY or HIT-GO-HIT LINE quickly, then add a small dot, with a gap in between the two. After a while, this will come naturally with speed.

14. Professional Gap
A small break in a line which helps to simulate light reflecting on an object. It also provides for easy transition when drawing curves or long lines. How: Draw a FUZZY or HIT-GO-HIT line, leaving an occasional gap 1/16" to 1/8" wide.

15. Outline-Thin / Dark, Tone Line-Thick / Light
In reality, objects do not have lines, therefore the outline of an object is usually thinner, but also darker to control the tone line used inside the object. The tone line is thicker and lighter. How: Slightly CHISEL THE POINT and draw the outline of the object with a thin line using heavier pressure (use FUZZY LINES, HIT-GO-HIT, and OVERLAP CORNERS). Then CHISEL THE POINT further to create a wider stroke and apply tone lines with less pressure to the inside of the object. The tone lines should have consistent thickness and not use HIT-GO-HIT strokes in order to avoid a pipe-like appearance.

16. Thick Strokes
Use thick FUZZY LINES to create toned surfaces. THICK STROKES help to complete a drawing faster and create a smoother tone effect. How: Chisel the pencil to its widest point and draw. Softer lead pencil such as 6B is recommended.

17. Same Line
There are no lines in our surroundings, therefore using the SAME LINE weight will allow a drawing to achieve a more realistic appearance. How: Once the line weight is decided, apply it throughout the drawing. Sometimes it is necessary to use different line weights to differentiate distances from the observer. In this case, use a sequential line weight (0,1,2 or 2,3,4). The bigger a drawing, the thicker the line may be applied to achieve better readability, although this doesn't necessarily provide a better quality drawing.

18. Thinner Line
Use of thin, light weight lines throughout the drawing give a more soft and lifelike appearance. Heavier lines are sometimes used to create a bigger drawing, because they are easy to read. How: Apply THIN LINES throughout the drawing. The line weight used will depend upon the size and detail of the drawing.

19. Over Edge
While applying a GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE to an object, slightly overlap the edge of the object to create a softer and more loose effect. How: When applying value to an object, intentionally overlap some of the strokes over the edge. How much overlap depends upon the refinement of the drawing.

20. 45 Degree Stroke

A series of parallel FUZZY LINES drawn at approximately 45 DEGREES. They are easy and quick to draw, and create consistency and a sleek appearance in a drawing. How: Draw from top to bottom only, allowing the pencil to slide lightly when returning to the top of the next line. Do not draw back and forth.

21. Grad. Value Change
Due to light reflection, a GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE exists in every object. Although the human eye does not immediately perceive GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE, it must be created in the drawing for a more realistic look.
How: CHISEL THE POINT, and use 45 DEGREE STROKE and draw tone lines from left to right, while gradually reducing pressure from dark to light. Always allow the strokes to touch each other, leaving a gap occasionally to give a sense of 45 DEGREE angle .

22. Stripes
STRIPES are used to create interest, sparkle, depth, movement and break the monotony while also depicting shadow patterns and slope. It also gives the drawing a slick appearance. How: Use any medium and spontaneously apply at any angle to desired surfaces.

23. Dots
DOTS create texture and detail in a drawing, and also create GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE needed in a drawing. How: Using an appropriate line weight, hold the pen/pencil vertically to avoid dragging, apply DOTS randomly.

B. Composition

1. Start Small

Starting a drawing on a small scale enables you to study the overall value and composition more easily. This also takes less time to complete and prevents you from ruining a drawing. How: Begin with a thumbnail sketch and up to an 8 1/2" x 11" size drawing. When you are done you can use it as a study drawing or enlarge it to any desired size for other purposes.

2. Less is More

Often when too much time is spent on a drawing, it is likely that one will lose the most important principle of graphics - WHITE SPACE. Applying less time may produce a better drawing. How: Allow yourself a limited time to spend on a drawing, and when the time is up, stop. Remember, you can never do a perfect drawing, because even the best drawing will have room for improvement.

3. Don't Touch Edge

Be careful not to let lines touch the edges of the paper, and leave a white border along the edge of a drawing. This helps to allow WHITE SPACE to flow around and create a good ZIG-ZAG composition, and gives the drawing a framed effect. The same principle applies to framing a picture. How: Allow 1/2" to 4" of WHITE SPACE along the edge of the paper, depending upon the size of the drawing and the composition.

4. Zig-Zag

A ZIG-ZAG composition is created by four edges of a drawing that do not look like geometrical shapes such as a square, triangle, or circle. It creates variety and realism because it is how our eye likes to see. How: To break the geometrical shape, strategically place entourage such as buildings, furniture, flags, fountains, plants, people, trees, benches, cars, etc., to create ZIG-ZAG edges.

5. White Space
A ZIG-ZAG composition is created by four edges of a drawing that do not look like geometrical shapes such as a square, triangle, or circle. It creates variety and realism because it is how our eye likes to see. How: To break the geometrical shape, strategically place entourage such as buildings, furniture, flags, fountains, plants, people, trees, benches, cars, etc., to create ZIG-ZAG edges.

6. Dark/Light-Same Material

DARK/LIGHT is when a subject of a drawing, such as the corner of a building, has a darker value on one side and a lighter value on the other side. This creates a three dimensional image that makes the drawing more realistic. How: At the corner of a subject, make one side (the smaller or shady side) at least twice as dark as the other side (the larger or lighter side).

7. Mass/Void-Diff. Material
We identify objects in the environment through their shapes, but most importantly, by the different values that are next to each other (such as darker grass verse lighter road or darker building again lighter sky.). Proper use of this principle helps to clarify different materials in the drawing, and can avoid spottiness and clutter. How: When materials change in a drawing, apply darker value on darker material (MASS) and lighter value on lighter material (VOID). For example, a darker building (MASS) should be placed against a lighter sky (VOID), and grass (MASS) should be next to a lighter road (VOID). This helps to identify the different materials and helps to create good ZIG-ZAG.

8. Value Connect
A spotty appearance is created by having very drastic value changes within a drawing. Realistically, this spottiness does not exist. VALUE CONNECT is used to join the dark and light values by using a medium tone and therefore creates MASS/VOID and GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE. How: Apply an appropriate value to a subject so there will be no very dark and very light value next to each other.

9. Shade & Shadow
A spotty appearance is created by having very drastic value changes within a drawing. Realistically, this spottiness does not exist. VALUE CONNECT is used to join the dark and light values by using a medium tone and therefore creates MASS/VOID and GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE. How: Apply an appropriate value to a subject so there will be no very dark and very light value next to each other.

10. Asymmetrical

An ASYMMETRICAL composition creates interest and excitement, as well as providing for a realistic setting and avoiding monotony. How: Use different elements such as people, vegetation, cars or furniture to achieve ASYMMETRICAL balance and create visual harmony and value balance. Avoid symmetrical placement of objects.

11. Eye Line Hidden
Generally speaking one can never see the EYE LINE (horizon line), unless overlooking the ocean or a large lake. Therefore hiding the EYE LINE can make the drawing more realistic and pleasing to the eye. How: Hide the EYE LINE with entourage such as people, trees, cars, mountains, buildings, etc.

12. Focal Point

The center of the drawing is the FOCAL POINT where your eyes are usually drawn. How: Provide more detail and darker values to the center of the drawing, still allowing WHITE SPACE within. This method is used when less time is available to spend on a drawing as opposed to the DARK FOREGROUND/LIGHT BACKGROUND method mentioned below.

13. Dark Foreground / Light Background
Realistically, objects appear to be darker towards the viewer and lighter towards the background. This is because of the filtering effect caused by substances within the atmosphere. Since this method takes more time to complete, it should be applied to a more refined drawing. How: When rendering, use LIGHT colors in the BACKGROUND, gradually DARKENING toward the FOREGROUND.

C. Color


1. Color Wheel
A COLOR WHEEL contains three primary colors of yellow, blue, and red, and three secondary colors of green, purple and orange. The secondary colors come from mixtures of the primary colors. When spinning the COLOR WHEEL, one sees white. When colors on the wheel are mixed, brown or black is produced.

2. Color Light

Apply lighter colors first in rendering. When a drawing is rendered too dark, it is too late. Using lighter colors first will prevent this. In addition, the human eye is generally like to see soft and lighter color, therefore, use of COLOR LIGHT is a good trick for the beginner. How: Render a drawing using lightest colors first, then gradually build up to darker colors.

3. Color Pair

The human eye is like a camera. When looking at a color, our eyes are constantly searching for its opposite color in the COLOR WHEEL (red to green, blue to orange, purple to yellow). These color combinations are known as complimentary color or COLOR PAIR. When COLOR PAIR is used, the two colors excite each other, but when mixed, they create an earthy tone, which depicts how our eyes see in the environment and makes a drawing look more real. In photography, a red dress on a color print will appear green on a color negative, and blue sky on color print will appear orange on color negative. How: When rendering, add a small amount of red to green grass and trees, orange to blue sky and yellow to purple carpet. An easy way to remember the COLOR PAIR is to apply the primary colors onto three finger tips. When any of the two fingers are put together, the color they create is the COLOR PAIR to the color on the finger remaining. Another easy way to remember COLOR PAIR is to associate red and green with Christmas, blue and orange with the sunset, and yellow and purple with the iris.

4. Color Next

COLOR NEXT is three sequential colors from the COLOR WHEEL, which creates harmony, GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE and is pleasing to the eye. How: According to the COLOR WHEEL, use groups of three consecutive colors. For example, the COLOR NEXT of a tree will contain yellow, green and blue, while COLOR PAIR of a tree is red. Therefore, all the above colors shall be included when rendering a tree.

5. Color Repeat
Rainbow colors exist throughout the universe and creates interest, excitement, and color, thus avoiding monotony. This technique will capture most of the previous color principles.
How: Include at least six dominant colors from the COLOR WHEEL and two to three shades from each color. Use the COLOR REPEAT discussed below to achieve a quality drawing.

6. Color Earthy
Frequently leaving pure WHITE SPACE between colored objects can create spottiness. Proper use of COLOR CONNECT, which is similar to VALUE CONNECT can help avoid this problem.
How: If possible, do not allow WHITE SPACE to completely surround an object. Use lighter color to connect two objects together. For instance, occasionally color the road to connect the grass on both sides.

7. Color Glow

Often when lighter colors are applied to a drawing separately without touching one another, they will create glow of light so colors will illuminate the space and excite your eyes.
How: Apply lighter or pastel colors directly on the white paper.

8. Color Rainbow
Rainbow colors exist throughout the universe and creates interest, excitement, and color, thus avoiding monotony. This technique will capture most of the previous color principles.
How: Include at least six dominant colors from the COLOR WHEEL and two to three shades from each color. Use the COLOR REPEAT discussed below to achieve a quality drawing.

9. Color Solid
COLOR SOLID is similar to `paint-by-numbers', but uses the principles of GRADUAL VALUE CHANGE and STRIPES to create a smooth, yet sleek look and avoid spottiness. This method also produces MASS/VOID in a drawing.
How: Apply color to an entire area, such as grass, carpet, or building, while still maintaining some WHITE SPACE and gradual value change. Remember to use COLOR PAIR to create excitement.

10. Color Connect

Frequently leaving pure WHITE SPACE between colored objects can create spottiness. Proper use of COLOR CONNECT, which is similar to VALUE CONNECT can help avoid this problem.
How: If possible, do not allow WHITE SPACE to completely surround an object. Use lighter color to connect two objects together. For instance, occasionally color the road to connect the grass on both sides.

 

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