Digital Drawing Techniques

Well after my feeble attempts at digital image editing I decided to try my hand at digital drawing!

My only previous experience with digital drawing has been trusty old paint, which as you can imagine was hardly a professional endeavor! I first had to learn the difference between bitmap and vector. These words meant nothing to me initially.  After reading through the flipped lecture I noted that bitmap images are made up of tiny pixels which all form together to create an image, whereas vector images are made up of a series of mathematical formulas used to draw lines and curves, that combine to create your image.

I decided to try working with vector images, using the free software download Inkscape.

Initially the software looked very daunting to me and I tried playing around with some tools, without much success. I began surfing the web for tutorials and instructions on how to use the software effectively. I came across a few videos that showed examples of how to ‘vectorize’ a picture – that is basically turn a real life portrait of someone into a cartoon image. I gave this a shot, however found it too complicated for my current skill levels, hopefully I can work up to something like that!

When attempting to make a cartoon picture of myself off of a portrait, I had to be very aware of the different layers I was working on. I made a different layer for every different part of my face I was tracing; skin, eyes, lips, teeth, hair, nose. Working with these layers makes everything easier, and you can always then revert back to your original picture if you need to. Unfortunately my cartoon drawing did not turn out as planned, so I decided to turf that one and start on something simpler. Many of the videos stated that the working time on converting a photograph to cartoon really effectively was about 7 or 8 hours…no wonder mine didn’t look too good!

I found a great video on some simple drawing techniques and decided to give that a whirl instead. The video I watched was showing the users how to create a simple drawing of an 8 ball. Following the instructions in the video I was able to come up with my own little picture.


It’s not as good as the one created in the video, but for a first try I was pretty happy with my end result! I found the use of the gradient tool pretty nifty and the ease of manipulating the circles made the task pretty simple!

Now I’ve just gotta start working on vectorizing some photos…that one may take a while!

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