You are a cartoon fan who loves to draw, and show off your master pieces to your friends, parents and teachers. And you are appreciated by them for your work. But at times you yourself be engulfed by a feeling of inadequacy a feeling that the drawings that you create lack life of their own. True what you make is good in terms of details but still for some reason unknown to you it looks flat.
If the above lines describe your situation do not be frustrated. Let me tell you that you are not alone there are many beginners who face this problem. But fortunately you are different, you are reading this article, and it shows you are brain storming to take some action to address the problem. I would ask you to keep on reading, you are about to discover a number of simple things that when applied to your drawing will make it more lifelike.
Many times beginners highly concerned with getting the basic form right ignore this area. They spend considerable amount of time to be good at drawing hands, practice for hours to learn about various shapes of human nose.
Do not get me wrong I am not out here to say these exercises are not required or to suggest that you can draw beautiful figures without being good with these skills. Only thing I am trying to stress upon here is along with these details some more softer aspects are also important to make the characters and whole composition life like.
So equal importance needs to be given to the softer skills and these will help to add depth to your drawing. Here in this article I talk about the soft skills that will make your drawing stand out in the crowd.
1. Do judicious use of shadows in your drawing.
Please keep in mind adding shadows to your drawing need not be difficult. Because you won’t be adding perfect real life shadows in your drawing instead what you will be adding is indicative shadows, this is basically to serve two main purposes.
a. It will convey the weight of your fingers,
without this your characters will appear to be floating on thin air. Just imagine how unbelievable that will make your work to look at.
b. Using shadow in your drawing you can convey the time of the day and mood of your composition.
If it is midday [or the mood of the composition is bright] the shadows will be deeper whereas in the evening or the mood is not so euphoric shadow will be lighter.
2. Ensure that your characters are wearing garments that are in line with current fashion unless of course you are trying to portray historic characters. If you do this your viewers will relate to the character in better way subconsciously. While selecting color and patterns of the clothing make sure those are compatible with the mood of the composition. Bottom line is the more you align your characters with your viewers imagination the more acceptance you will receive.
If you are trying to represent a historic period in your drawing then make sure your knowledge of the period you are trying capture is sufficient for the work. Even if you are creating a comic strip you will require to do your research diligently and sufficiently. Just think of Asterix and how detailed those funny characters are in terms of garments, hairstyles build of the characters etc.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of action lines: action lines are lines that are used mostly in cartoon drawings to convey motion of the characters. When telling a story with your drawing the task at hand would demand drawing figures that are jumping, running or engaging in different kinds of interesting activities. And there is no better way to represent and make this actions believable than using action lines. Carefully used action lines can infuse life in your action heroes.
4. When you are not clear how to express an emotion through your characters body language. Go in front of a mirror and hold and process the thought that your character is supposed to have in your own mind and closely observe your body language and facial expression. Then create the character using the image that you just saw in the mirror.
5. Props are also important, unless the style of props and their organization go smoothly with the story your character might look like fish out of water. But on the contrary if the props are compatible it will enhance the believability of you creation hugely.
6. Use line thickness to your advantage: Do not create your whole drawing with lines that are all of uniform thickness, especially when you are creating outdoor scene. Use thinner lines to represent distant objects, and thicker lines are to be used for objects that are close to the viewer. Also do not forget to make distant objects smaller than equally sized objects that are close to the viewer. Following this two guidelines will automatically add a sense of depth to your composition.
7. Learn to draw animals: When talking about making good drawing people normally remain oblivious to the fact unless we attain a certain level of proficiency in drawing animals especially common animals like cats, horses and dogs we will have hard time in making a drawing that really will be a pleasure to look at. So here I would suggest to give some thought and time for enhancing this skill.
Take this as an wide open opportunity because many artists invest so much time to perfect their skill of human drawing that the animal drawing skill is hard to come by. If you be even moderately good at drawing animals you will be in a distinctly advantageous position as an artist.
So if you are serious and want to make improvements to the drawing that you produce read the above tips and suggestions again and start utilizing them from today itself.
As a simple fun exercise have some of the drawing that you have produced now in a safe place where you can reach them easily whenever you want. Now follow the given suggestions for 2 months. And at the end of 2nd month compare both set of drawings and see the difference if you have been sincere you yourself will notice the difference.
Remember the techniques presented here are simple and doable, so you do not have any excuse of postponing their adoption.