Monday, February 12, 2007

Beginner's Guide to Drawing (For Adventure Games?)

Alrighty then... I am going to outline several (common?) mistakes that face beginner artists when creating their first backgrounds. All of these mistakes I made myself, and I hopefully have outgrown them by now.

1 - Make A Sketch
When I first started drawing, I had some idea of what I wanted the background to look like, but ideas always work better when fleshed out first. After making a sketch, you can re-evaluate your ideas and change them if necessary.

2 - Color Choice
I think this is quite a common mistake that beginners make. When I first started drawing, I used alot of highly saturated colors. In real life, you won't come across pure blue, red, or white that often. You should choose colors that are less saturated and don't strike out of the screen very brightly (but it all depends on what you're drawing).

3 - Perspective
Many beginner drawings look flat, fake, and unrealistic because of bad perspective. 1 Point perspective is easy once you learn it, and it can help make the leap from a fake drawing, to a more realistic one.

4 - Objects
Rooms exist with alot more than bare walls, blank ceilings, and just a chair or table. This seems quite obvious, but many people (myself included) just draw rooms as bare as can be, until they start thinking about it. There are many things that can be added to a room besides the basic furniture. These could be lights, vents, baseboards, outlets, switches, or other pieces of furniture.

5 - Shading
Shadows can add life to a picture, and make objects stand out, or appear realistically. There's some kind of special rules for shadows, but I forget them or never learned them.
6 - Broken & Dirty

When I first started drawing, I would draw objects as clean as possible. This meant that all tables, chairs, and walls looked liked they were just built yesterday. But as in the case of real life, things get old, dirty, and they wear out over the years. You could add cracks, dried out paint, smudges, or anything that would happen to the item in question if it existed for awhile. You don't have to go overboard though. Some things actually do manage to stay clean :P.

7 - Lighting
It gets dark outside when it's late. Night and day should always be conveyable in your pictures. Make the scene darker or lighter if necessary, depending on whether it is an interior or exterior scene. Always pay attention to your light sources, whether these be lamps, the sun, the moon, or a single light hanging from the ceiling. Lighting is very important to a realistic picture.

Teh Secret Trick! Okay everybody knows this, but flipping a picture horizontally will expose errors that you did not see previously. This is because of something in your brain/eye.

This guide is not based on any proven techniques, professional or otherwise. It is mainly based on my personal experience, and the advice of some other people.

The End.

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