- Level: Intermediate
- Subject: Tutorial
This tutorial, would be on a similar technique as the earlier tutoril on drawing a fish. The subject is a little bit complicated – that is the difference. But inspite of that, you will notice that even this subject can be approached with the ‘simply and build over’ method of sketching and drawing.
You can either work on pencil, eraser, pen and paper, or on digital medium using GIMP or Photoshop. You will be able to download the digital file either as XCF or as PSD for your study. The different steps are in different layers.
The tortoise basically consists of the carapace, the limbs and the head. The tail too, but it is not visible from the angle I will be drawing it. You will see that my ‘simple’ shapes are not that simple as compared to the earlier fish tutorial. But if you squint your eyes, you will notice that they are all still the basic shapes. The carapase is an oval, the head is a rounded rectangle, the limbs are triangles. After a while of sketching you can actually imagine these guides as you draw.
If you feel uncomfortable with the slightly complex shapes, you can start from the basics of simpler shapes and build to this point.
If you are doing this on paper, rember to use a HB or lighter pencil. Put in the strokes lightly. On the computer, do the rough lines on a layer called ‘Rough’.
Over the rough, you will be sketching. Again, imagine the below guides. The red and browns are marking the eyes, and creases of mouth and neck.
The blues are the nails/claws. The green is the segmentation of the shell/carapace. If you feel you are uncomfortable imagining the squished brick like structure, draw it out lightly over the rough.
Start sketching over the rough with darker pencil like 2B or 3B, trying to hold true to your rough work.
In GIMP or Photoshop, create a new layer called ‘Sketch’ above, and reduce the opacity of ‘Rough’ layer to 30% or 50%. Take a pressure sensitive brush and start drawing on the ‘Sketch’ layer.
Do not worry if the lines are not clean, that is what we will be doing in the next step. The focus here would be to make the form solid.
If you are working on paper, run the eraser over the drawing lightly, to make your sketch light. Your rough work should have disappeared. Take a pen and draw the lineart over the sketch. Once you are done, erase all the pencil markings.
On the digital end, turn off the ‘Rough’ layer, bring down the opacity of the ‘Sketch’ layer, and create a new layer called ‘Lineart’ or ‘Basic Lineart’. Use a simple brush/inking brush, with pressure sensitivity turned off for opacity, and turned on for size.
Once the basic lineart is done, on the paper, go in and thicken some of the lines. On the digital medium, you can either create a new layer, or work on the ‘Lineart’ layer itself, and using a thicker brush than the previous, thicken some of the form defining lines – like the carapace/shell, the head and neck, and the limbs.
Do not thicken each and every line, that defeats the purpose of keeping variation.
Download XCF version if you use GIMP and PSD for Photoshop. All the steps along with the guides are placed as different layers. You will need to switch the visibility on and off on those layers.
Drop in a comment below if you would like some drawing tutorials on specific subjects (or you can contact me).
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