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CharacterAsCalligraphy

By ObscureStar
1Min Time-Lapse Video Link ==> www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMj109…

This is sort of some notes on learning how to quickly draw a character for use as a daily strip or something of the link. A formula for learning to quickly render something.

0) Do some freeform warm-up and experimentation. There are no mistakes here. Whatever you do, you learn something. Helps you clear your mind and prepare to draw.

1) Figure out a character design you find appealing an identifiable. Pay attention to how you can simplify forms to simple shapes.

2) Trace a copy of this character with a pen or brush tool, indentifying what strokes feel natural to reproduce the forms you liked in the sketch.

3) - n) Refine your process. Turn the sketchbook, tilt the pencil, find the natural arcs of your wrist, your arm, your shoulder, your hip. Reduce the drawing to the most effortless movements to give you an appealing rendition of the original. Your consistency and smoothness will rapidly increase.  

n+1) Never get discouraged! Be okay with where you are. The story of you creating is every bit as valuable as the story you wish to tell. Recognize the balance between them. You want to tell stories with ease.

EDIT: The part I forgot to mention above that makes it more like calligraphy is to pay attention to the order in which you draw the lines and how you start. In the video you can see, I start with the face/chin curve (defining the form of the head) Next the nose, top to bottom, then the mouth. Upper lip first because it is more 'fixed' to the skull. Then lower lip. Starting from the nearer the-viewer corner. Next the eyes:Upper lid from Middle of face, outward (as I find this more expressive) then lower and pupil. Then the large volumes of the hair and finally fill in the detail pieces.

The overall concept being: Draw the large fixed forms first (the skull) then the parts that change less and emote least (nose) followed my mouth and eyes. For all the facial features, I draw them with a stroke consistent with what gives me the best result. Nearest corner of the mouth is where the muscles are that best define the expression so if it gets a bit more sloppy towards the other side, it's less noticeable. Nearest features read strongest. Once I have the nose and mouth defining the shape of the head fairly well, the eyes become easier to place. I start with inner corner of upper eyelid because it is the more expressive part of my face (according to sitting with a hand mirror and making faces at any rate) largely controlled by the brow. This also gives me the best resulting placement for the eyes. I find it easier to start where more precise positioning is needed and work towards where less precision is okay. I had tried placing the brow first but I felt it restrained my drawing of the eyes and it worked better doing eyes before it. Etc.

Learning the strokes required and the stroke order, I eventually boil down the character to something I can draw effortlessly and have it be recognizable as 'that character' without the underlying structure.
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© 2016 - 2021 ObscureStar
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