Improve your drawings – with one simple trick!

Happy Inktober Day number 26!  I missed yesterday so today’s a tip, too.
If you are drawing anything with hard edges, your work will look so much better if you use sharp, clean lines and good perspective. So, how can an enterprising artist keep their fluid, natural lines and combine them with correct mechanical structures without the whole thing looking stiff?

I find that what works best is to rough out my drawing in pencil, so that things still look natural, and then use a clear plastic ruler to redraw anything that needs to be exact. Simple!

That way the woman at the table can still have her beautiful, flowing hair and her frilly dress, but the stripes on her tablecloth will be even and the legs straight. Or the wild horses can still look dynamic and three dimensional, while the old fence posts they are standing near still stand straight and tall with good parallel lines. Think of how the impact might be different if those posts were drawn with wavering unrealistic lines. A great opportunity for contrast would be completely lost.
Paying some attention to how things are really shaped, even in your sketches, will give your work a more grounded, realistic look and bring a hint of professionalism. To me, nothing is sadder than seeing an artist draw a really beautiful figure, animal, or natural landscape – then completely ignore the structure of the piece, so the setting looks skewed and lopsided because none of lines are straight, even when they are supposed to be. It’s a fast way to ruin an otherwise beautiful work.
Best of all, this problem is not only easy to fix, but helps train your eye to be a better artist!

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