A written guide by Handdrawnbear
What is a line?
Lines don’t exist in nature, it is a two-dimensional construct of the mind in an attempt to understand and represent three-dimensionality.
One might be tempted to think of edges as lines, that is how we describe a cube after all, but there are plenty of objects such as a ball, which has no edges, that also must be described by lines.
Lines are statements about where one surface ends and the next surface begins from our point of view. A line is used to define the limit of our perception, when an object or surface goes beyond our view; like the horizon line, it means we can see this much and no further.
How do we use a line?
It’s more a question of where, rather than how. Lines can be used to describe any object, but first, determine your level of magnification. How lines are used will differ whether we’re drawing a forest, a single tree, one branch, or just one solitary leaf.
We are informing the viewer where the edges of our perceptions are for this particular drawing, which will be defined by the level of magnification of the subject.
Drawing a forest means defining the edges and boundaries of the forest, therefore we must not concern ourselves with defining the edges and boundaries of each leaf.
Likewise, drawing a chicken means we can’t be tempted to define each feather; drawing a bear precludes us from focusing on every hair. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Handdrawnbear’s approach to drawing.
I can only speak for myself here, but the approach I take with any drawing is to use the least amount of lines possible, and start with the most important lines. Just as brevity is to wit, economy of lines is to a drawing. No one likes a line-salad of a drawing.
Let me explain. Say we’re drawing a bear, if you could only use one line to describe that bear, what would that line look like? I usually choose the line of the spine from nose to heel, which describes the posture of the animal.
Next, if you could only describe the bear using two lines, which line would you add? I’d put in the head in this instance. And then from there we continue to build the drawing from most important to least important lines, also known as drawing from the general to the specific.
This approach not only helps organize the drawing process, but also ensures that if we’re drawing from life and the subject moves or wanders away, we have put down as much essential information on paper as possible.
These methods have served me well over the years, and I hope you find them helpful, too.
How to Draw Faces – A Quick Introduction
A written guide and video by Handdrawnbear
A written guide and video by Handdrawnbear
There was a fat little Asian kid who sat alone at every lunch break, furiously scribbling on stacks of scrap paper salvaged from the classroom recycling bins.
This is how I spent my public school days, not a minute was wasted on “learning.” Now, I confidently say that I can draw anyone I lay eyes on. It’s not a boast, quite the contrary, drawing is the only way I can truly understand what anything actually looks like. My husband is often exasperated by how mechanically illiterate I am, I answer him honestly, “Dear, I’ve never drawn a car engine.”
Now you might say, but Handdrawnbear, I’m not as weirdly wired as you, how can I learn to drawn everyone?
Let me first clarify, we are speaking here only of observational drawing, which differs from technical or architectural drawing in function and form.
Drawing is a language, but not a hieroglyphic one. Hieroglyphs are preconceived symbols, clichés if you will. How would you like to read a novel written only in clichés and figures of speech? You wouldn’t like it at all. Even though symbols may be a shortcut to meaning, they are also extremely limiting; if you don’t have a glyph for something, then you can’t describe it.
Instead, when you draw from observation, look at it with the eyes of a blind man who’s just been given his sight. Throw out your preconceived notions of what anything should look like and really see what you’re trying to describe with your drawing.
When drawing someone’s face, really look at them and see what makes it unique from other faces. These three legends below could all be described as “a bearded man”, but they are actually so very different from each other.
Woodshopbear has a very striking countenance, his eyes are farther apart than the average man which gives him a very intense look.
Westsidebear’s soulful eyes are like gems if you can find them in his sheer amount of hair.
BigBear’s cheeks are like tall shields over which his sharp eyes pierce through and sees your browser history.
Everyone has an ideal average face in their mind, but it’s the departure from the average that individualizes each face. There is a danger in exaggerating features however, as you veer further away from reality you may venture into the monstrous. The way to avoid this is love and charity, it may sound funny but it will show through your drawing. I am unable to make someone I despise look good, and I’m probably not alone.
Of course, practice makes perfect, or as close to perfection as we can get this side of the eschaton. So draw everything, draw all the time. Draw from life whenever possible. Don’t be precious about your drawings. Craft comes before art, it’s hard before it’s easy. But whatever you do, never trace a photograph. Tracing is a useless exercise that gives instant gratification but no lasting benefit.
Drawing is observation and adoration combined. Because this realm is full of beauty, drawing is a reply in kind, a dialogue with creation.
Don’t seek accolades, you’ll only find emptiness; instead, give with your craft relentlessly to those you love, and you’ll find tribe and so much kindness and gladness in return. This is the beautiful truth I’ve encountered with the community of Bears.
And that little fat Asian girl? Well, she’s still drawing and learning to see.
Beartaria Times Weekly Arts & Crafts Gallery 1/25/21
Greetings Beartarian Artists and crafters, We are starting this year of the blackjack with a powerful new gallery of creatives. The Beartaria Times App is crushing and the artists and crafters are displaying a unique set of creativity and skills. Take a look below at just a fraction of the amazing talent that is submitted through the Beartaria Times App.
Click on the gallery images to view at full proportion.
Holy Quail Bear
I’m continually amazed by the talent and skill that is community has to offer. I hope you continue to crush and seek the good the beautiful and the true. Onward to Beartaria!
Beartaria Times App Arts & Crafts Gallery
Good Day Beartarians! The Beartaria Times App is amazing and the Arts & Crafts is thriving. I’m amazed by the shear amount of talent, quality, and moral surrounding your work!
To celebrate the launch of the new Beartaria Times app and the wonderful art you all have shared, here is a gallery of just a fraction of the art shared within the past few days. I was planning on sharing every single post but due to the amazing volume of work, I could only share the first 100 posts!
Traditional & Digital Art
Craft and trade skills
Thank you all!
You’re the reason why the new Beartaria Times app is so great! I hope you continue to share your arts and crafts, processes and insights!