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December 31, 2012
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How to improve your lines!

:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This has came up a lot recently, and is making me frown a little when people blame their computer, or tablet, pens or anything else.

If your lines are wiggly, sketchy, dodgy, this is because of YOU.

This is quite easily fixed, so don't be disheartened:
:bulletpink: Confidence - This is a big one, when people aren't entirely sure of what goes where, they press harder, draw slower, while trying to figure out where things go!

How to improve this:
:bulletpink: Draw a sketch first, understand what you want, where things will go. Without this, your drawing will suffer, because, well you just don't know what is going on!

:bulletorange: Strokes - a lot of very young artists do really quick, almost pigeon scratch type lines. You know the ones where people draw short little lines for one big line, about ten hundred in? Yeah, this is bad.

:bulletorange: How to improve this:
Draw, as before, confidently, lines are about the flow, nature and mood, draw with that, draw naturally and none hesitantly. I bet sometimes when you draw little sketches they look better, because you just don't care. As soon as you do, FFF you mess it up!!

Its okay!

::bulletpink: Tablet users!

Your tablet is not responsible for your art, it will not make you better, nor worse. There is a saying "A good Craftsman will never blame his tools!", because he knows he is responsible for his ability. It is easy to say OMG TABLET MAKES ME DRAW BAD, but you're either not taking into account that either you are a new user, or, just not good yet.

Practice, and stop blaming everything for your shortcomings, the quicker you accept these and practice, the quicker you will improve.

~ peace.
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Devious Comments

:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thank you! And may I also add for tablet users - there is no brush that will suddenly make you a better artist! It bugs me when people ask 'which brush are you using' in an attempt to get some insight into suddenly becoming a good painter. There's no magic trick, only practice and experimentation.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Brushes don't make you better, BUT they are helpful, its like traditional brushes, having a flared out brush is different to a hard round brush. They do have their advantages.
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:icondinysrawr:
dinysrawr Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Woops it just occurred to me that this has nothing to do with lines P: Oh well, still a good tip.
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:iconmemyone:
memyone Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I applaud you! I have been telling a few people this as well, and some of them take it to heart, but a few others get mad at me for pointing out the truth.

I made these same mistakes. It wasn't until I started practicing, studying, using the darn shoulder and elbow instead of the wrist, and gaining confidence that my lines started to look clean and looked like they were meant to be there and not just some random floating chicken scratch. xD
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Totes man, we all do it. Except me, I didn't do the chicken scratches, I did however use the damn soft round brush to colour :P and didn't erase the edges. Oh my.
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:icontuxedodemon:
TuxedoDemon Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"If your lines are wiggly, sketchy, dodgy, this is because of YOU."

Thank you. Nobody ever believes me when I say this.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Lul, I once read someone who said that a tablet had a "chip in it which made your drawings better".

I really, really wish I was joking..... D:
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:icontuxedodemon:
TuxedoDemon Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
WHAT
NO
THAT'S NOT HOW ANYTHING WORKS oh my gooooood wow.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, I know right? :p I called them a fucking idiot, they didn't appreciate that :P
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:iconsilvershadowess:
SilverShadowess Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
Sometimes I've noticed that when I'm using my tablet, my lines get wobbly. I'm still getting used to my tablet, so the other day I realized that my lines look a lot better if I'm drawing more gently and not pressing down so hard. Still, it's harder to get precision when drawing with a light touch... gah!
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Really? I use a different method, I use a big brush, stroke the lines in, then erase, it gives me more control for those cute shapes, but the lines are strong because at the beginning they were strong.

Perhaps try that? Or, perhaps just scan in lineart :)
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:iconsilvershadowess:
SilverShadowess Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I try that sometimes, but I erase crooked sometimes, too. :XD: I am getting better though. I think I just need more practice. I haven't been motivated to do much of anything for months so I haven't used my tablet more than ten or so times yet.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh me too, I know what you mean. Its all been a little shitty, I blame the cold weather D:
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:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013   Digital Artist
Great thread! :la:

Also it's good to never stop practicing traditionally or experimenting further in trad inking. A lot of young artist tend to drop pen and paper soon as they get a tablet. This causes them to not get a full understanding and have issues with techniques.

Learning to ink with different instrument like pens, nibs, brushes can help artist understand inking. It those that do transition to digital much easier.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I was SO messy with ink, paint, and well, anything traditional :P

I feel bad for my poor mother :P
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:icongeekysideburns:
geekysideburns Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013   Digital Artist
God, I was too. I'm fine with it now that I'm older and I'm so cheap I would die if I used anything more than I have to.

•_•; Man did it take me forever to learn how to NOT smear, though.
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:icondeviousvampire:
DeviousVampire Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Confidence...good gravy I lack that...trying to get better at drawing with more confidence, but dayum is it hard XD And call me naive but it wasn't until I came on DA that I learned about people that blamed whatever medium that they used for their lack of skill..it just seems so...silly...I mean if a person can't spell a word then they wouldn't blame their pen, so why would someone blame a program for a bad drawing... :shrug: I dunno that just seems crazy.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Yup, I can understand it if you're a musician, I've started piano and going from a cheap keyboard to an old piano that is out of tune AND misses keys, can be frustrating. But, if I fuck up, its still my fault.

People are bums :P
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:iconchantellyheart:
ChantellyHeart Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student General Artist
I realised my mistakes. I will be a good girl and fix them. :|
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
G'luck :)
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:iconjei-art:
Jei-Art Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Also stop using your wrists so much, that's a fast train to carpal tunnel town. Get confident in your lines and use your whole arm to make strokes.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
The wrist though, you can use your pink and draw your wrist that way. Feng zhu, the concept artist does that technique.
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:iconjei-art:
Jei-Art Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You may want to retype that, having trouble understanding what you mean.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
Well basically, you draw with your pinky. It acts like a compass, and is more fluid then resting on your wrists.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Actually its not so much a compass all the time though, but basically its to be more loose and fluid. If you want to see how it works, Feng draws with his pinky in his traditional media.(Link goes directly to the video time.)

[link]
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:iconjei-art:
Jei-Art Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
oooohhh. :)
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:iconsilvershadowess:
SilverShadowess Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Student General Artist
That's interesting, I never heard of that technique before!
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Definitely, I find the common reason for this is that tablets have a very small space, and self taught artists usually don't realise this at all!
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:icongraphics-pp:
Graphics-PP Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yup, that plus my chair being lower than my desk, plus the disconnect between the tablet and the screen makes it that much harder.
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:iconcosmic-doodle:
Cosmic-doodle Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Someone, sticky this right now! :eager:
I can't agree more with the confidence. You have to have confidence in your inking. :nod:
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The amount of times I fucked up a drawing when I was younger because I was so focused on not ruining it!
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:iconschris91:
schris91 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Filmographer
Yeah well skills come first...for traditional.

Maybe you aren't ware but there are techniques in digital programs for making smoother/cleaner lineart.

Anyone looking on this thread for any actual technical help, don't bother with dA in general for help with lineart, Youtube is a great source to watch and learn people's techniques for making clean art. Don't waste your time waiting on forum responses, there's limitless tutorials for everything on google.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Have you eh, looked at my artwork?

If you have nothing to say, how about not bothering, all you're doing is going OMG LISTEN TO ME, when I was actually aiming at the amount of people who have been moaning about line art for the past month.
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:iconambientdream:
ambientdream Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
My friend taught me the secret of how to have smooth digital lineart in Photoshop is to make use of the resolution at least 300 -400 dpi and zoom in the drawing while doing the lineart. After that, when you zoom out, you'll get a nice stroke without any jiggles :D
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:iconageen:
Ageen Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
That is what I do every time. I work on huge canvases and it usually pays off, I can fully control my lineart and make it as bold or subtle as I want.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
zooming in is good, but if you can't draw the lines irl, you wont be able to digitally, either.
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:iconambientdream:
ambientdream Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah that's kinda true, skills come first. But I'm just sharing a tip, hopefully it will be useful to anyone :)
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Great advice! I noticed how much better my lines got when I started using my shoulder to draw instead of my wrist (which causes those 100-lines-a-second chicken scratches). It's impossible to not do big sweeping strokes with your shoulder.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yes this is true, you learn this a lot more if you work on canvases and easels but a lot of those who are self taught lose this.
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:iconthisismyboat:
thisismyboat Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Definitely, especially people who learned almost entirely on tablets. Many of them are so small that they don't allow for much shoulder movement.
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yup! The more you know, hu?
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:iconcrimsonmagpie:
CrimsonMagpie Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with everything here, especially what you've said about the chicken scratches! :iconbritishplz:
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:iconsuchimangolassi:
suchiMANGOLASSI Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is just a tip for SAI users: to get smooth lines, you can go to the stabilizer in the top bar and make it higher. You should play around with the settings to see which one works best for you.
I hope that helped someone .. ^^;
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:iconkyo-kyo123:
kyo-kyo123 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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:iconsuchimangolassi:
suchiMANGOLASSI Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome, I'm glad I could help someone XD
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:iconladykuki:
LadyKuki Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh gosh... finally some tips on how to do decent lineart. :stare:

But drawing lines confidently? I'm not sure if I do draw my lines confidently. I just don't worry about it, but for some reason it doesn't come out neat. :confused: Maybe it is neat and I'm just not thinking about it? =P
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:iconself-epidemic:
Self-Epidemic Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Well you're probably not doing swift lines, confidence is about drawing lines in one quick movement, the quicker the less hesitant, basically :P
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:iconladykuki:
LadyKuki Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Ohh... =P Thanks then.
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:iconnokari:
nokari Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
It means don't think about "does this belong here?" or "this isn't looking the way I imagined". Don't second guess yourself. And like she said, practice with sketches first, which sometimes requires you do the same sketch over and over until you get it right.
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:iconladykuki:
LadyKuki Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Ah... okay. Thanks!
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