What are your bad drawing habits?

What are things that you catch yourself doing when you draw that you wish you could change.  I don't necessarily mean your style or your execution. More like how clean your work area is, what materials you use and wish you used instead, paper, posture while drawing, etc.  
 
For me when I first started drawing heavily is when I was in school. I would always pretend like I was writing notes in class laid back while trying to draw. The paper was kind of at a A angle.  
 
 


 
So when I drew pictures it looked proportionate to me leaning back, but when I stood the picture up everything had like the opposite foreshortening and all of the proportions on the characters were off.  
 
It's like something I couldn't stop doing for the longest time.  
 
Also when I used to crosshatch everything and it's mom, I never really blended the crosshatching in any way, and when I tried to it looked like a mess.  
I eventually was shown by a senior colleague how to do crosshatching properly and that helped a lot. But stopped using it so much because I noticed digital coloring was doing all of the work for sub par artists in the comic books I collected.  (Travis Charest and Greg Capullo however still drew how they drew which is why I love them.)   
  
Basically on the left I was hatching but I was doing the strokes from all different directions and one thing that helped was to do the strokes starting from the darkest part and letting up towards the lighter part. And controlling my pen pressure.  The second I picked up from Travis Charest as I saw it more in his art was the curved strokes to diversify the shape of my lines. Last but not least where you really need to make it dark you just make long lines.  
  
(assume these are going upwards and overlapping each other) 
___________ 
_________ 
_____ 
___ 
__ 

_
 
and just darken the smallest set of lines and you will have the result on the right.  

Here's a quick example (using a pen and printer paper. gah)  
 


 
The most recent vice of mine which I haven't been able to shake in the last 19 years of drawing is I SQUINT while drawing. Like I have to turn my assassins creed eagle eye on to draw pictures or something. and while this does nothing much but enforce that I will have wrinkles on my face. It also makes my vision VERY blurry when I try to look at anything else besides the drawing.  
 
 Inferior Ego Eyes
I really need to stop doing this, but I get so caught up in my work and have this intense vision that I only notice I'm doing it when my face starts to hurt.  
 
So I've shared a few things that I catch myself doing I wish I didn't do or improved upon. What are your vices when it comes to drawing and what would you like to try and do to break the habit or learn something new?  
 
- Wayne
49 Comments
49 Comments
Posted by tonis

Excellent self analysis Wayne, and I like how you presented the examples. It's a little different with digital and 3d work although the perspective issues still creep in a lot of the same ways. Even the tilt of my monitors affects a lot of the colors and shading noticeably. Most of all, the squint, which I do for far too many hours straight and get the same out of focus fog vision on everything else. I'm probably going to drive myself to blindness ironically visualizing too much :)

Posted by CATMANEXE

I've been told by the pro's that my only problem is composition of page layout. in otherwords no exact 2 inches on every side
of the drawing itself border, no centering, ect. i never changed it because my style is supposed to look that way. on paper
its supposed to look as if the paper itself was a square hole or window cut into life and peering through into another world.
it would be centered as such.

Posted by Om1kron

you're all free to share examples as well if you have a digital camera or a cell phone and a photobucket or facebook/myspace just snap a picture and upload it there and either post it or upload it here to comic vine. I think growth posts would be fun and another way to not "challenge" the artists here to pump out a drawing they don't feel comfortable doing. As opposed to just sharing their work and what they would like to improve about their style or methods. 

Posted by NathanDavid

I've had problems with paper being angled like that too. I can still have issues with it if I'm away from my drafting table and am not being completely conscious of it. 
  
BUT I'd have to say my two worst habits are.. 
 
- Finishing my work. For the longest time I just didn't finish stuff. And I don't mean like putting in backgrounds, I just mean making something LOOK finished. I would always just sketch and move on. As a matter of fact, the few things I've posted on this site are the only things I've actually started finishing. Because of that, while I feel like my knowledge of anatomy is pretty decent, I think my rendering still needs some work. 
  
- Dragging graphite everywhere. I'm left handed, and until recently I always made a mess all over anything I drew. It would result in a lot of erasing areas that simply just had smudge on it. I've known of putting a sheet of paper under my hand, but I guess I was too stubborn to do it. BUT I gave it a shot recently and it 100% works! Go figure. 

Posted by tonis
@NathanDavid: finishing is an art in itself. There are times when I feel it's never going to be complete and others where I can't wait to show it. Having deadlines and contests like on here really help with exercising that into a happy middle. 
 
Man I so know the left handed dilemma, I stopped trying with paper long ago because everything I used from crayons to pencils would just smear everywhere unless I held my hand up perfectly. Thank God digital tablets didn't suffer from that :)
Posted by NathanDavid
@tonis said:
" @NathanDavid: finishing is an art in itself. There are times when I feel it's never going to be complete and others where I can't wait to show it. Having deadlines and contests like on here really help with exercising that into a happy middle.  Man I so know the left handed dilemma, I stopped trying with paper long ago because everything I used from crayons to pencils would just smear everywhere unless I held my hand up perfectly. Thank God digital tablets didn't suffer from that :) "
I really haven't had any problem with paper making anything smear. It might be because I use 2h lead though.
Posted by Om1kron

hahah I don't see the disadvantage from drawing left handed to drawing right handed. If you saw the progress pictures I posted of the comic vine staff picture I was working on. I will normally thumb the composition out and as much as I want to focus on drawing one thing. I try to finish everything from left to right to avoid said smudging. 
 
That was also  a bad habit of mine. starting to chisel in the details before everything was done because I just wanted to be finished with it and move onto the next thing. And that comic vine staff picture still isn't 100 percent complete.

Posted by tonis
@Om1kron said:
" hahah I don't see the disadvantage from drawing left handed to drawing right handed. If you saw the progress pictures I posted of the comic vine staff picture I was working on. I will normally thumb the composition out and as much as I want to focus on drawing one thing. I try to finish everything from left to right to avoid said smudging.   That was also  a bad habit of mine. starting to chisel in the details before everything was done because I just wanted to be finished with it and move onto the next thing. And that comic vine staff picture still isn't 100 percent complete. "
you hit the nail on the head for the approach to take, it's kind of like painting the floor of a room while you're in it and avoiding getting stuck in the wrong corner at the end :) 
If you find your happy place with the vine staff pic and want some color I'd volunteer the time in a heartbeat.
Posted by spawndon

My bad habit is that I do not ink. I just pencil the sketch, then pen the actual outlines, rub and get down to color.
Fact is that I do not have any knowledge of inking. I know that many artists give the shadows using pen ink, but I cannot seem to figure it out...
 

Posted by tonis
@spawndon said:
" My bad habit is that I do not ink. I just pencil the sketch, then pen the actual outlines, rub and get down to color. Fact is that I do not have any knowledge of inking. I know that many artists give the shadows using pen ink, but I cannot seem to figure it out...   "
I'd say you're safe from the title of bad habit there,no need to always do everything, especially if you don't feel it's your forte. There's some really great inkers on here, best part of making magic is working with other wizards to make it sometimes.
Posted by Gambit1024

I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason... 

Posted by tonis
@Gambit1024 said:
" I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason...  "
hands are tough in all arenas. In 3D it's the posing I hate the most if it's not like a simple fist. Everything else has personality that's very difficult to capture. For drawing I'd say the best way to perfect that is actually do a bunch of hand gestures close up and solo. If you ever need a bunch of reference poses for that I have zillions of em. 
 
Hairs a whole other level of battle, if I had to draw what I use I'd probably rip my own hair out trying. It can get so complex in lines, I have to say on some of the artists styles we have on here, that's one of the aspects I admire most in their submissions.
Posted by Om1kron

maybe sometime i'll post an entry tutorial on how to start inking your own work. its very intimidating at first. but just like drawing you're not necessarily tracing your own artwork. youre double drawing. but that would be better explained through video.

Posted by tonis
@Om1kron said:
" maybe sometime i'll post an entry tutorial on how to start inking your own work. its very intimidating at first. but just like drawing you're not necessarily tracing your own artwork. youre double drawing. but that would be better explained through video. "
yea video is definitely best way to get that lesson across right. That'd be awesome if you did something like that Om1kron. I've thought about doing some on photoshop coloring and such. The things I get asked about on a regular basis type of techniques. You do yours and I might find some inspiration to give it a shot too :)
Posted by Gambit1024
@tonis said:
" @Gambit1024 said:
" I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason...  "
hands are tough in all arenas. In 3D it's the posing I hate the most if it's not like a simple fist. Everything else has personality that's very difficult to capture. For drawing I'd say the best way to perfect that is actually do a bunch of hand gestures close up and solo. If you ever need a bunch of reference poses for that I have zillions of em.  Hairs a whole other level of battle, if I had to draw what I use I'd probably rip my own hair out trying. It can get so complex in lines, I have to say on some of the artists styles we have on here, that's one of the aspects I admire most in their submissions. "
Hey, I'll take you up on some of those hand references is you don't mind :)
Posted by tonis
@Gambit1024: don't mind at all, I'll collect them up into a zip and let you know where I put em.
Edited by Om1kron

i normally use my own hands for reference when draing them. My first art portfolios focus was actually hands. i like to draw things that are hard for me to draw to help expand my art skills. the only way you will learn is to work on your bad habits and also work on your weakness. the easiest way to learn things is to draw from real life as much as you can. there is obviously techniques you can use. 
 
i will post a link to one of the members of my deviant art page. they normally post a lot of good tutorials on lips eyes figure drawing tips etc.

Posted by tonis
@Gambit1024 said:

" @tonis said:

" @Gambit1024 said:
" I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason...  "
hands are tough in all arenas. In 3D it's the posing I hate the most if it's not like a simple fist. Everything else has personality that's very difficult to capture. For drawing I'd say the best way to perfect that is actually do a bunch of hand gestures close up and solo. If you ever need a bunch of reference poses for that I have zillions of em.  Hairs a whole other level of battle, if I had to draw what I use I'd probably rip my own hair out trying. It can get so complex in lines, I have to say on some of the artists styles we have on here, that's one of the aspects I admire most in their submissions. "
Hey, I'll take you up on some of those hand references is you don't mind :) "
Here's a zip file with about 500 or so varieties to reference, there's some duplicates but it's small at about 3mb, less than a song. It's definitely nice to be able to zoom in and angle how you need in 3d, but these are some starting points. 
http://www.tonydumont.com/hands.zip    

Posted by Amegashita

  I always sketch to heavily.  Lol, =]

Posted by Om1kron
@Amegashita said:
"

  I always sketch to heavily.  Lol, =]

"
Hey that's a start, but then again it's sketching it doesn't have to be clean or perfect. 
Posted by Amegashita
@Om1kron:  True enough.  Still, it does become a problem.
Posted by Om1kron
@Amegashita said:
" @Om1kron:  True enough.  Still, it does become a problem. "
Have you tried using different types of led that are softer when drawing? in my personal opinion if you have to draw with a pencil I would stay away from mechanical pencils if you can. If that's all you use, try to find HB led for them as it's probably softer than the stuff offered in supply stores.  
 
I use a staedtler lead holder for drafting for my pencil work (if it's something I take serious.) I use a hard lead for it however because I have a tendancy to draw really soft. If I use something like HB lead it's too hard for me to see what I'm drawing and I normally GOUGE the drawing paper with it making it impossible to ink.  
 
I tried drawing with blue pencil a few times but it's like breathing underwater to me. 
Posted by Amegashita
@Om1kron:  I started drawing with 2B pencils, but the buying of new ones gets really expensive.  I should try and find 2B pencil lead.
Posted by Om1kron

You could always buy a lead holder. I'm going to throw up another quick blog since what I was going to post isn't related to the subject matter. 

Posted by Om1kron
@tonis said:
" @Gambit1024 said:

" @tonis said:

" @Gambit1024 said:
" I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason...  "
hands are tough in all arenas. In 3D it's the posing I hate the most if it's not like a simple fist. Everything else has personality that's very difficult to capture. For drawing I'd say the best way to perfect that is actually do a bunch of hand gestures close up and solo. If you ever need a bunch of reference poses for that I have zillions of em.  Hairs a whole other level of battle, if I had to draw what I use I'd probably rip my own hair out trying. It can get so complex in lines, I have to say on some of the artists styles we have on here, that's one of the aspects I admire most in their submissions. "
Hey, I'll take you up on some of those hand references is you don't mind :) "
Here's a zip file with about 500 or so varieties to reference, there's some duplicates but it's small at about 3mb, less than a song. It's definitely nice to be able to zoom in and angle how you need in 3d, but these are some starting points. 
http://www.tonydumont.com/hands.zip     "
As promised earlier, this girl puts up some nice drawing tips and she does her stuff in photoshop with a tablet obviously.  http://moni158.deviantart.com/
Posted by Gambit1024
@tonis said:
" @Gambit1024 said:

" @tonis said:

" @Gambit1024 said:
" I have problems drawing hands. Idk what it is about them, but I just can't get them right. Hair is also a problem for me for whatever reason...  "
hands are tough in all arenas. In 3D it's the posing I hate the most if it's not like a simple fist. Everything else has personality that's very difficult to capture. For drawing I'd say the best way to perfect that is actually do a bunch of hand gestures close up and solo. If you ever need a bunch of reference poses for that I have zillions of em.  Hairs a whole other level of battle, if I had to draw what I use I'd probably rip my own hair out trying. It can get so complex in lines, I have to say on some of the artists styles we have on here, that's one of the aspects I admire most in their submissions. "
Hey, I'll take you up on some of those hand references is you don't mind :) "
Here's a zip file with about 500 or so varieties to reference, there's some duplicates but it's small at about 3mb, less than a song. It's definitely nice to be able to zoom in and angle how you need in 3d, but these are some starting points. 
http://www.tonydumont.com/hands.zip    

"
Cool, thanks a lot sir
Posted by tonis
@Gambit1024:  anytime buddy, I've also got tons of poses, hair designs, etc, that I work with if you ever need anything else to reference. Anyone else is welcome to them as well if they'd like em.
Posted by Manarg

When applying my line weights to finalize my pencils I always have to rotate my paper, round and round it goes. For some mysterious reason I can not apply proper line weights if the paper stays in a vertical position.

Posted by Joe_E_Nigma

i'm a cartoonist first and foremost, so when i'm drawing something that requires realism and a good amount of detail, i get lazy some times and i'll add curves and other little things to escape having to go into great detail, i also have a bit of trouble drawing the female face, i usually get nervous when doing it because there's so much you have to do for the eyes, nose, and lips to make sure it doesn't look like a man. lol

Posted by tonis
@Joe E. Nigma said:
" i'm a cartoonist first and foremost, so when i'm drawing something that requires realism and a good amount of detail, i get lazy some times and i'll add curves and other little things to escape having to go into great detail, i also have a bit of trouble drawing the female face, i usually get nervous when doing it because there's so much you have to do for the eyes, nose, and lips to make sure it doesn't look like a man. lol "
sometimes those curves and other little things go a long way if you're passing the work along for color and effects. It's a good practice to use when you want a backgroundish effect but don't have the time / inclination to stab at it completely. 
For the female face conundrum all I could think of was Mrs Swan from MAD TV saying, 'he looka like a man' :)
Posted by danimal_furry

I tend to get ADD-like with my stuff and just want to finish and that's when I get sloppy. But it helps because I have to figure out ways to keep myself entertained in the work. My stuff get's really busy. So maybe that is two things.
Posted by Quirky

Drawing faces looking to the paper's left. I'm not as good with faces looking right ;[

Posted by Om1kron
@Manarg said:
" When applying my line weights to finalize my pencils I always have to rotate my paper, round and round it goes. For some mysterious reason I can not apply proper line weights if the paper stays in a vertical position. "
I don't necessarily think this is a bad habit, all artists do this, inkers even more. The muscles in the arm are just more stable in certain directions than others so it's best not to go against the grain and fight your own body to draw in an uncomfortable manner.  
 
@Joe E. Nigma said:
" i'm a cartoonist first and foremost, so when i'm drawing something that requires realism and a good amount of detail, i get lazy some times and i'll add curves and other little things to escape having to go into great detail, i also have a bit of trouble drawing the female face, i usually get nervous when doing it because there's so much you have to do for the eyes, nose, and lips to make sure it doesn't look like a man. lol "
I think when trying to draw realistic it's hard to stick to "realism" without your style showing through in your work. I don't think any artist can conform to someone elses style without their own artistic hint be it line weights, eye shapes, or proportions, perspective, etc showing through. It's your signature and what makes you different. So I wound't worry about that so much. As far as drawing the female face I completely understand you there. I have noticed a lot more artists being bold and actually trying to capture the female nose in their art with a bit more detail now instead of just omitting a nose completely and letting colorists do the work for them lol.  
 
@danimal_furry said:
" I tend to get ADD-like with my stuff and just want to finish and that's when I get sloppy. But it helps because I have to figure out ways to keep myself entertained in the work. My stuff get's really busy. So maybe that is two things. "
I think all artists are like this. to be quite honest, I always have a great idea on my mind, but I don't want to spend too much time working on any one thing. That is the main reason I refused to properly learn how to paint with acrylics and halfway made it through using watercolours. I think they're great mediums but the whole concept of laying base colors, standing back to see if everything looks good then mixing colors, then applying, then standing back, then mixing some more... yeah fuck that. My hats off to you guys that have the patience for real art. 
 
@Quirky said:
" Drawing faces looking to the paper's left. I'm not as good with faces looking right ;[ "
Practice, Practice, Practice! Draw things you dislike more and you will become better, stay where you're comfortable and that's where your growth as an artist will stop. 
Posted by mpgeist
@Amegashita Me too!
Posted by ragdollpurps

I squint also and after a while it starts giving me a headache. One of the worst things I do is that I'm too much of a perfectionist so if I'm not able to get on paper exactly what I see in my head I get frustrated and stop drawing.

Posted by tonis
@ragdollpurps said:
" I squint also and after a while it starts giving me a headache. One of the worst things I do is that I'm too much of a perfectionist so if I'm not able to get on paper exactly what I see in my head I get frustrated and stop drawing. "
the battle between the head and the hand is an endless one, the best you can ever really do is find the happy medium between what your hands will do and what of your imagination will let through. 
 
Frustrations a tricky one, sometimes it is better to stop and step back. Usually when you've gone hours and it's reached a point of headaches. Other times you find your strength in playing through the pain and just pounding it out, those are the times when victory is sweet :)
Posted by IcePrince_X

Two that I can think of the moment... 
 
1) I have a bad habit of not finishing my work. 
2) I always like doing women than men, that is why it takes more time for me to do men. I never really make men as the center of my work.

Posted by tonis
@IcePrince_X said:
" Two that I can think of the moment...  1) I have a bad habit of not finishing my work. 2) I always like doing women than men, that is why it takes more time for me to do men. I never really make men as the center of my work. "
I'm sure there's something mental about it but I prefer doing women too.
sorry couldn't resist the innuendo :)
Posted by Om1kron
@IcePrince_X said:
" Two that I can think of the moment...  1) I have a bad habit of not finishing my work. 2) I always like doing women than men, that is why it takes more time for me to do men. I never really make men as the center of my work. "
1.) If you don't finish something, don't throw it away. I have stuff I've drawn 10 years ago unfinished and always either go back and try new techniques on old things, or see where my weak points are as an artist and try to grow from them. Or just like our newest art contest, I try to reinvent an older drawing to what a newer version would be. There are so many things you can do with old artwork it will blow your mind, finished or unfinished.  
 
2) It's a preference, I'd prefer to draw men instead of women. 1 most all comic book heroes are men, so that's what I drew, 2. the female body is very damned confusing to draw. it's like two triangles pointing at a circle with appendages and trying to get that right when drawing poses drives me absolutely up a wall. I've tried to focus more on women lately but even my recent purgatory drawing really doesn't show off any ability or vast improvement in that area.  
 
Some artists just draw what appeals to them.
Posted by IcePrince_X

Thanks Om1kron... 
I do keep them even my finished ones. Sometimes I think, I prefer my style then rather than now in terms of details. But anatomy wise, I believe I am better. 

Posted by Manarg
@Om1kron:  I am some sort of freak of nature like J Scott Campbell. I draw females far far faaaaaar better then males. And that is contrary to the norm from what I have read. On average a man will draw males better and a female will draw women better.
Posted by HarlequinKiss

I make the facial features of characters I'm trying to draw. I imagine it's funny watching me doing comics when I have to make a lot of crazy looks. I usually don't noticed until my face starts hurting from the strain lol.

Posted by Om1kron
@IcePrince_X said:
" Thanks Om1kron... I do keep them even my finished ones. Sometimes I think, I prefer my style then rather than now in terms of details. But anatomy wise, I believe I am better.  "
Good as you should.  
 
@Manarg said:
" @Om1kron:  I am some sort of freak of nature like J Scott Campbell. I draw females far far faaaaaar better then males. And that is contrary to the norm from what I have read. On average a man will draw males better and a female will draw women better. "
I don't think J.S.C. is a freak of nature lol. I think his drawing style just caters better to the female body than it does the male figure. Obviously it's working for him and he's still getting paid to draw his ass off. It all depends on your preference as an artist and what you enjoy drawing. A perfect example is Richard Bennett's run on Brass from 1996 with Wildstorm Studios :  http://www.comicvine.com/brass-/37-158415/ This dude drew CRAZY detailed robots, backgrounds, even used MANGA shading techniques in his pencils and inks. But his human's or people per say were the weak point of his art. But the dude could craft a bitching story and his visuals were just bonkers. If anything he was a freak of nature. I would sit for hours just analyzing his ink line weight on the covers of his books.  Seriously it made my hand hurt thinking about how much work this guy put into drawing that book. It took Travis Charest Years for him to finish it. I believe the first Promo was in 1993 and it finally was published in 1997. 
 
   
 
@HarlequinKiss said:
" I make the facial features of characters I'm trying to draw. I imagine it's funny watching me doing comics when I have to make a lot of crazy looks. I usually don't noticed until my face starts hurting from the strain lol. "
I know you have a camera phone or some kind of camera with all of those little avatars you post lol. Try snapping a shot of your face in the expression you're trying to convey. I do this all time time.  
 

Look at my face on the left, and then Warblades face on the right. Just be careful to draw within the proportions of the face and don't start drawing the lines of your face first and then try to make them fit the head, everyone tried to point out Warblades head was ridiculously huge. LOL
Posted by CATMANEXE

 link deviant art in art thread as requested.
my bad drawing habits already listed, mainly composition by the industry standards.
http://nakedcatman.deviantart.com/
examples of my art for a job i'm getting, as requested. all old and quick sketches.
will be uploading new stuff as well as a video of me drawing to gauge
my speed, which is my biggest selling point.
hope everyone is doing well, i'll still stop in from time to time, but
less and less as the ball rolls. don't dream it be it.

Posted by Om1kron
@CATMANEXE said:
"  link deviant art in art thread as requested.
my bad drawing habits already listed, mainly composition by the industry standards.
http://nakedcatman.deviantart.com/examples of my art for a job I'm getting, as requested. all old and quick sketches.will be uploading new stuff as well as a video of me drawing to gaugemy speed, which is my biggest selling point.hope everyone is doing well, i'll still stop in from time to time, butless and less as the ball rolls. don't dream it be it. "
Thanks for sharing Lucas, I put you on my watch list for DeviantArt My internet is being all whacky but I'll leave some thoughts on your work over there. It reminds me a lot of the Drawn Together cartoon which is amazing we don't have a wiki entry for it. I'll look forward to seeing your new uploads.
Posted by The Jeff

sometimes I'll rush something and suffer... :(

Posted by Om1kron

I'm jamming on this spider man picture using all kinds of mediums lol and of course I didn't even think to set some paper down to prevent this. DAMNIT 
 

Posted by hydrabob

well let's see bad drawing habits i'm going to with drawing ability or lack there of
unless photoshop counts in which case it still sucks but i can alter other images pretty well :)

Posted by TheSheepHerder

I have a bit of OCD. Whenever I finish a drawing and I see a minor quirk, I have to fix it. And when I do that the drawing is often ruined.