Exercises To Help Better Your Line Work in Illustration

By Mathieu Fortune

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Illustrating is all about being able to draw exactly what you see in your mind. The best way to ensure you can do so is to improve your technical skills with lots of practice. Here are some different exercises to help better your linework in illustration.

Start With Dashes

It can be tough to draw the perfect line when you’re just starting. Try sketching dashes instead of a single line. Since dashes are shorter, they’re much easier to keep straight the first time.

They’re also perfect for giving you a guide on where your lines will go. All you need to do is fill in the empty spaces, and you’ve got a completed line.

Watch How You’re Doing Straight Lines

While drawing straight lines, focus on the pressure on your pen and your movement speed. Try not to push too hard when you’re sketching. Your lines’ starting and ending positions will vary depending on how gently you touch the surface and how fast your tool travels.

Continue to practice drawing continuous lines in one swift motion. When you slow down your hand movements, you can mess up your drawings.

Practice Flow Lines

Place 5-7 dots randomly on a sheet of paper. Picture a curved line passing between these spots. Make an arc from the first to the second point and stop without putting much pressure on your paper.

Follow the line’s natural flow to the next point and repeat for every subsequent point. Afterward, practice the movement in a single continuous line without pausing at any step. You can then create parallel curves or trace over the lines several times without splitting them.

Go Back to the Basics With Shapes

You can practice drawing basic shapes to help you focus on being more consistent with your lines. Kind of like how playing sports like basketball enables you to run without getting bored; drawing different shapes helps you practice without simply drawing lines over and over.

You can improve straight-line drawing using squares, rectangles, and triangles. When drawing curving lines, circles and ovals can help you gain greater control. These shapes are essential for getting the most out of hand motions and are a fantastic approach to establishing muscle memory and gaining control.

The more you practice these exercises to help better your linework in illustration, the more you can better control your line movements. Taking a motion graphics design workshop from MoGraph Mentor can help you continue improving your abilities. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

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