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Old 07-19-2006, 10:39 AM
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Angela 212 Angela 212 is offline
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HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Plse help, I want to draw swords and fantasy weapons, where do I start? Are there any free lessons on here, or any tips anyone can give me?

Do people prefer to use rulers when drawing swords, or is it possible to do "straight" lines without them?

Plse help, I need advice!
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:52 AM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

When drawing swords I usually use the decorative ones I own as a guideline for the basic structure and proportions of such a weapon or the structure of the blade. Other than that I suggest you go ahead and find yourself images of swords via google, or maybe a few sites that deal with that kind of stuff. Once you have the basic principle down you can let your imagination take over with the details of your drawing.

As for rulers, I suppose that's a matter of taste. I use them once a sword gets to a size in the image that would easily betray wonky lines. If I'm just sketching I don't bother with rulers.
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:26 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

OH,I have problems with sword so i dont draw them often,they always look wonky.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:30 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Ok, here are my first attempts:


Please let me know what you think.
And if anyone does know any way I can improve them and make them better, please let me know.

Many Thanks,
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Old 07-19-2006, 10:46 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

This might sound like some odd advice, but when it comes to doing things that are very symetrical and have a lot of straight lines, I always get out my math set and use compases, rulers, and lots of measurements to help make sure that my lines are as accurate as possible! So, that might be an idea to help you fix up your gear!
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:04 AM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Thanks Axl, I drew these with a ruler, but always think I'm cheating! It's abit difficult to draw them straight otherwise though, isn't it?
At least now I don't feel so bad knowing others are doing the same. I hadn't thought of using a compass though, would have helped on the Grim Reaper's Scythe!
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:11 AM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Using tools to get something right has nothing to do with cheating, for if so you'd have to call using references cheating as well. You want to achieve as good a look as possible so use whatever is suitable to do so.

As for your swords, the only thing that strikes me is that they are almost a bit too straight, at least to me. With most of the swords I've seen, the blade has a slight curve towards the tip. And if they were indeed straight, the blades were broader. But that's just my two cents to the matter. Other than that their basic look seems fine to me.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:24 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

While there are many different types of weapons, both curved and not. I find most people draw the curved ones because they just look dang cool! One of my faves is the flamberge (a large wavy claymore-type sword).

You can have cutlasses and sabers which are curved, but also rapiers which historically were long and thin (flexible, too). But the Germans (I think - someone correct me if not) had a sword called an estoc which was long, thin and rigid. It was a thrusting sword used to pierce chain mail and the like (or just bodies). Another name was the English Tuck. And although claymores were usually two-handed, they can also be long and slim (I won't necessarily say thin).

Different weapons did different things - slash, pierce, crush, etc. I would recommend a good historically accurate pictorial reference book. I have two on arms, armor, and weapons throughout the ages. One even has crossbows and siege equipment *drool* love...siege...equipment....

And I, myself, am actually a big fan of pole arms.

Anyway, weapons come in all shapes and sizes - which delegates how they were used. This probably doesn't help answer your question about your weapons, but it's something to consider for future drawings. But I do like the top middle one...

And since your asking about fantasy weapons, you can always use the "But it's a magical sword!" excuse. Although a touch of realism always helps with fantasy drawings.

-BD
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:10 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Bayoudragon - The top middle one is my favourite too, it looks most like a fantasy sword! I hadn't thought of getting a reference book on swords from different era's, but it is a very good idea. It makes sense to know about what you're trying to draw, and there will be plenty of reference images in that!

Tayara82 - I haven't quite plucked up the courage to do many curved swords, worried what they'll turn out like! But I think I shall have to try lots of different types of swords, find out which styles I like the best. There are some nice straight swords and daggers, I'm a bit of a fan of the ninja, and I do like the sais they use, which are basically sharp pointy knives, I also like some curved swords, such as the ones Pirates use and the katana (ninja sword) is slightly curved as well. Guess I've got a lot of drawing practice ahead of me!
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Last edited by artdude : 08-08-2006 at 02:41 PM. Reason: copywritten material edited out
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:25 AM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Hi

Here is my two cents worth Well it is not so much actual technical advice on how to draw weapons, but it might be useful none the less It is my belief that your average fantasy artist prefers the more elaborate blades, but in my opinion that is a mistake that often creates more problems for the artist (and the viewers as well for that matter). There are several reasons for this (please remember that this is only my opinion;-)

First of all they are quite difficult to draw, and they often end up looking clumsy, crooked and very impractical. Often they ruin a perfectly good painting/drawing because a badly illustrated weapon draws all the attention of the viewer
And as a result of this the artist’s talent goes unnoticed (which is a shame). It is better to draw attention to your skills than your flaws . Therefore if I should offer any advice, it would be keep it simple and functional. I would take up Bayoudragons advice and buy some books about historical weaponry, which can be an invaluable tool for a serious fantasy artist (and weapons nut as myself;-). A second thing that might be worth considering is the purpose of the weapon. Every time you place a weapon in a painting/drawing you ought to think about this. Is your character a dragon slayer? if yes then a pole arm of some sort might be preferred over a short sword;-) another example: do never draw a dwarf with a long sword, no matter how much superhuman strength he posses he could never wield a sword of that size, simply because of his small stature. I know it sounds logical, but many fantasy artists simple do not think about these things or simply choose not to

To sum up my pearls of wisdom

1) Keep it realistic (realistic does not necessarily mean simple, but it is important to know ones own skill level, rather a simple weapon than a ruined picture
2) Always keep the functionality in mind;-) Think of your characters usage of the weapon and your characters physical limitations (we all have them….. even superheroes )

I hope that this is of some help to you If you do not agree with me then simply remember that art is about freedom of imagination and that you can do whatever you find is right for you

I wish you the best of luck, keep practicing on those weapons and keep posting the results


Best wishes

Anja

P.s
My favourite weapons are medieval war hammers they are so deliciously evil
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:42 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Wow, you have a lot of wisdom there Anja! Keeping things simple and drawing what you can in a picture makes sense, if I can't do something overly complicated yet, then simplify it to save ruining my picture!

I keep learning so much on this site - Thank you!
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:01 AM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

glad that I could help
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:31 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

swords and armour are a fav of mine. have attached a few pics with both.

in the image above I used a sword shape drawn on cartridge paper and scanned into the pc. I then took the sword as a separate layer, gave it some dark and light areas roughly toshed in, then took the layer to liquify and moved the various areas about until it looked chrome like.

in the image below I used the same technique for all the metal areas, but once the base b/w was finished I added colour in soft washes to pick up reflections fom the sky and other people in the shot. the figures are completely painted in photoshop, the trees in the background were sampled from a photo. I took some of the background colours and used them on the armour to make the two elements gell.


hope this helps

steve
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:19 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

I don't know if you are a fan of Peter Jackson's productions of the Lord of the Rings movies, but you might give them a look for some inspiration on different types of swords and other weapons. There were some pre-release production specials run for each of the 3 movies that showed a lot of the work that went into designing and making the weapons and armor used in the movies. I particularly liked the elvish weapons for their beautiful lines and decorative work. Elvish swords like Elrond's Hadhafang had a definite samurai influence to them.

There was a companion book published for the LOTR movies that dealt in particular on the weapons and armor. It is titled: The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare, by Chris Smith. It is loaded with photos of the weaponry and armor designed for the movie. Perhaps you can find some inspiration there.

There are a number of fine books about swords and other such weapons. If you search your local library (or better yet, the Internet) for sword info, you should find a wealth of sources out there.

Best of luck,

Beverly
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:21 PM
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Re: HELP! Drawing Swords and Fantasy weapons!

Thanks Beverly and Steve! Guess I need to look at and draw as many different swords as I can find. Metal is a difficult material to render, you've done really well Steve, I have heard that reflecting the colours from surrounding objects, sky and scenery makes it more realistic, I'l have to try that!

Thanks!
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