May 11, 2006
Hi, and welcome to Learning2draw.com's newsletter. This issue includes:
1) Our Q&A Answer Session, where you will learn exciting secrets
of the artworld exposed through answers to your questions.
2) Video Game Artist Description for Starting out as an Intern
3) Send us Your Success STories- Congrats to Kelly Walters
4) Da Vinci's secrets to the human figure. What was the Mona Lisa
Hiding from us? Proportions Part 4
5) Tip of the Month- Don't Split Hairs-by Butch Kreiger
6) This month's quotes by:
Henri Matisse and DaVinci, inspiration pieces to help.
You will not want to miss this!
7) Learning2draw.com Announcements, upcoming changes to site!
Natalie Portman and more!
Feel Free to Pass This Newsletter On to Anyone Interested!
1) Question and Answer Session with Todd
QUESTION: from Rebecca
Hi, I am an artist who has been drawing for several years
seriously and I am really struggling with what to do. Do
you have an opinion on line drawing vs. something like
digital art? Should I just study technical programs more
or art more? Do you have any advice that might help me?
ANSWER: from Todd
Hi, thanks for your question. I hope that I am under-
standing your question correctly. I'll give a stab at it.
Me, being an artist who works in the digital world of
video games, has quite a different opinion than what some
would think. I believe whole heartedly that there's
more of an appeal to the imagination in line drawing than
in anything else in pictorial art. Line art gives the
emotional stimulus, the power a line posseses is of utmost
Talented artists whose work makes a large appeal to the
imagination are strong on the value of line. Blake, who is
such an example of this, whose visual knowledge was such
a negligible quantity, but whose mental perceptions were so
magnificent, was always insisting on its value. And his
designs are wonderful examples of its powerful appeal to
That is why I preach over and over to people that
the most important skills for video game art, or any other,
is to hone in on traditional skills and master those first.
They will take you to any art avenue that you may want to
Ihope that I answered your question sufficiently. If not,
let me know.
(Okay so I leave this in every Q&A, but it's so worth it.)
Let me finish by saying the old addage, Practice, Practice,
Practice. Oh yeah, did I say Practice? That sounds really
cliche' but there isn't anything that is going to give you a
better understanding to your art than practicing.
Thanks for your question, please let me know if you need any
other questions answered.
Please, if you have a question you would like answered by Todd,
email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Video Game Artist- How do I get Started?
It's often asked of me, how do I get my foot in the door with
a video game company. So, I thought it would be fun to explore
a section on Video Game art. If you have a question that you
would like answered in this section, please email us at
As an Intern Artist you'll start your game career with very
basic skills, but with great passion and talent. Most game
companies have interns in their pool of employees. The team at
your first job will teach you the craft as practiced at that
company - (every company is geared a little differently and
as an intern you will learn how the particular company you are
working for is structured,you will be expected to learn the
way it's done there among all the possible ways to do it. It's not
glamorous, and it doesn't pay much, but it's a great way to get
the foot in the door. As the most junior member of the art team,
you will be expected to do a lot of the 'grunt work' and take a
lot of the less rewarding tasks. Nevertheless, it's much easier
once inside to find opportunities to show your talent,
and to learn the latest graphics tools. With perserverance and
hard work, you'll soon be given a more creative role, and
probably offered a job with the company. At very least, you'll
have real game credits to add to your portfolio.
Show some passion and you will quickly move up the ranks.
3) Send Us Your Success Stories!
Congratulations to Kelly Walters, who received our starter kit
full of strathmore paper, pencils, charcoal and kneaded erasers.
We would love to hear from you on how our site and ebook have
helped your art! So much so, that we will enter your name in a
quarterly drawing for an art supply starter kit. Just email us
your story to email@example.com with the subject line
Success in Art Stories, and we will enter your name for a chance
to win pencils, paper, kneaded erasers, and more. Please email
your story by Aug 5th for our second drawing.
4) Da Vinci's Secrets! Proportions...Part 5
So what was Mona Lisa really smiling about? Find out in our
series on proportions by Da Vinci. Learning from the masters
is a privileged step in being successful and mastering skills
that will transform your figures into masterpieces.
Relative Proportion of the Torso and Arm by DaVinci
The Torso from the front and back.
1) The width of a man under the arms is the same as at the hips.
2) A man's width across the hips is equal to the distance from
the top of the hip to the bottom of the buttock, when a man
stands equally balanced on both feet; and there is the same
distance from the top of the hip to the armpit. The waist, or
narrower part above the hips will be half way between the arm
pits and the bottom of the buttock.
Proportions of the Arm
1) The arm when bent is 4 heads.
2) The arm from the shoulder to the elbow in bending increases
in length, that is in the length from the shoulder to the elbow,
and this increase is equal to the thickness of the arm at the
wrist when seen in profile. And the space between the bottom of
the chin and the parting of the lips, is equal to the thickness
of the 2 middle fingers, and to the width of the mouth and to
the space between the roots of the hair on the forehead and the
top of the head
3) All these distances are equal to each other, but they are not
equal to the above-mentioned increase in the arm.
4) The arm between the elbow and wrist never increases by being
bent or extended.
5) The arm, from the shoulder to the inner joint when extended.
6) The arm when folded will measure 2 faces up to the shoulder
from the elbow and 2 from the elbow to the insertion of the four
fingers on the palm of the hand. The length from the base of the
fingers to the elbow never alters in any position of the arm.
7) In the innermost bend of the joints of every limb the reliefs
are converted into a hollow, and likewise every hollow of the
innermost bends becomes a convexity when the limb is straightened
to the utmost. And in this very great mistakes are often made by
those who have insufficient knowledge and trust to their own
invention and do not have recourse to the imitation of nature;
and these variations occur more in the middle of the sides than
in front, and more at the back than at the sides.
8) When the arm is bent at an angle at the elbow, it will produce
some angle; the more acute the angle is, the more will the
muscles within the bend be shortened; while the muscles outside
will become of greater length than before.
9) From the top of the shoulder to the point of the elbow is
as far as from that point to the joints of the four fingers with
the palm ofthe hand, and each is 2 faces.
So...There is so much to learn from the masters and especially
DaVinci. Next newsletter, however, we will focus on a new subject.
If there is a master you want us to study about or a subject you
struggle with, that you would like us to explore, send us an email
Da Vinci has a lot to say on proportions, We can't possibly fit
it all in.
You can always check out our page
at www.learning2draw.com for more info on how to draw faces and
the human form.
Also, on www.learning2draw.com/how.htm we have an article that
simplifies proportions and measuring. Check it out and let us
know what you think!
5) Tip of the Month
Don't Split Hairs
To draw realistic hair in your portraits, learn to see it as a
whole form instead of just a collection of strands.
By Butch Krieger
Lifelike hair is an indispensable feature of a natural-looking
portrait. Hair is not only a key indicator of how skillful a
realist the artist is, but it’s also one of the most expressive
parts of a person’s body. Perhaps because it’s both so adaptable
and so prominent in our appearance, the way we wear our hair
can reveal a lot about our character, whether we want it to or
not. So if you really want to capture the essence of a person in
a portrait, try starting at the top.
The Big Picture
The most important thing to understand for drawing hair is that
it’s futile to try to draw all the individual hairs on a person’s
head, or even to draw half of them. There are simply too many for
even the most patient and persistent artist to render, but even if
this weren’t the case a single hair is thinner than the narrowest
pencil line you can draw. You may have seen drawings in which the
artist seems to have meticulously drawn a head of hair in very
fine detail, but if you look closer you’ll find that the artist
has merely created the illusion of having drawn each and every
To create this illusion yourself, ignore all those thousands of
separate shafts of hair and concentrate instead on the major shapes
in the body of hair. You must see the hair in this simplified way
before you can draw it this way, however, so a good way to begin
is to close one eye and squint while looking at your model’s head.
What do you see? Is it one distinct outline containing an even
distribution of mass? Or is it a major shape with several smaller
shapes protruding from it? Or is it a roughly consistent series of
waves? Also, don’t just note the positive shapes but the negative
ones, too. Are there any significant gaps in the hair? Where are
the major shadows? Answering these questions at the beginning
allows you to bypass all the superfluous details and go straight
to what’s most useful for you as an artist.
6) Inspirational Quotes
Inspirational Quotes by Henri Matisse and DaVinci
Henri Matisse- Work cures everything." ~ Matisse.
DaVinci- "As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well
spent brings happy death." ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
* I chose these two quotes because they go along well
with the theme follow your passion. Work hard and you'll have
no regrets! It give us great advice on becoming better artists
and advice on better understanding!
7) Upcoming changes to site!
Something new this way comes! We are a week late,augh, we're sorry
for this inconvenience. Check your email this coming week
for a special announcement from learning2draw.com.
We are excited about the upcoming changes to our site. We are
in the process of adding more illustrations to the site. Check out
the new 30 minute sketch of Natalie Portman at
www.learning2draw.com. More are on the way!
Peace and Have a Great Weekend!
Todd Harris Learning2draw.com
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