What's one of the best way to create a realistic camel drawing? Try blocking in the form with a large chalk brush and then swapping over to a smaller brush to detail the animal. It's straightforward when you follow this method in learning how to to draw a camel.
With all the weird shapes and angles, there is a lot of variety of skin and fur textures on the animal. As an artist, this will present a lot of learning and problem solving opportunities for drawing this animal. What's more, you do not need complex drawing tools. Just the simple ones will do.
Specifically, you will use the brush tool, the eraser tool, simple layers, the smudge brush, the dodge tool, the burn tool, and any layer options you are comfortably with using.
This means that you can use just a few tools and see just how effective the blocking method is for creating a variety of textures. So whenever you are ready, start up you drawing software and learn how to block in a camel drawing.
Your camel drawing should always start with just a simple gesture sketch. This sketch should allow you to see how the entire body flows and getting the right proportions down. A lot of time will be spent here as you may want to reference the animal from a pictorial source.
Focus on the saggy neck, the thin legs, a small tail, and of course, the hump on the back of the animal. You may also scribble out some lines to represent simple fur hanging down the animal.
After you're done that, create a new layer underneath it and fill it with a neutral color in the shape of a camel. Then, lock the layer down so you don't accidentally paint outside of it.
Here's where you will start blocking in the form. Using a chalk brush, gently dab spots of light and shadow to highlight the limbs, the body, and the face. When you are done that, go ahead and merge the layers together.
The advantage of using the smudge brush for your camel drawing is that it allows you to create simple suggestions of fur. I recommend a spatter or chalk brush as that will get you the proper fur textures as you smudge.
The beauty of your gesture sketch is that it will create patches of fur in a variety of tones when you smudge everything together. With the previously blocked values, smudging will make the entire camel come to life naturally without a lot of effort.
Once you are done smudging the blocked forms, go ahead and clean up the camel drawing. I recommend using a solid eraser around the legs and hooves. Around the body, continue to erase using the chalk or spatter texture brushes to retain or create additional fur on the outlines.
From there, lock the camel layer (again, so you don't paint outside of the object boundaries) to get it ready for some detailing work. This next part will probably the part you will spend the most time on.
You will be adjusting your brush sizes constantly in this step. For larger sections, use a large chalk brush and gently dab in light colors to depict muscles and bone structures. Constantly drawing with the chalk head will stack on cool textures that look like muscles, skin, or fur.
For example, near the face, switch to a smaller chalk brush and dab in the chin structure. Then, switch to a darker tone to stroke in the nose and mouth openings. Aside from the size of the brush, everything comes to life using the same brush and blocking procedure.
As for the hooves, just block in a light tone to suggest the two toes. Do so for the muscle groups and direction of where the fur is flowing. Finally, switch to a very small brush and gently suggest fur. The smaller the brush, the more details you can draw in.
Once you are done that, switch back to the smudge brush (still using the chalk shaped brush) and lightly smudge in the fur to unify it with the rest of the body. Again, a simple process where you are using simple tools to get the desired effect.
Your camel should almost be complete. All that is left is to bring out the color contrast and color tones. I recommend using the dodge and burn tools here to glaze in areas of light and shadow on the camel. Try to focus on the underbelly, the neck region, and the inner legs where the light doesn't hit.
Another method is to create a clipping mask (Photoshop only) to paint the light and shadows on a separate layer that conforms to the camel layer's shape. And since it's on a separate layer, you don't have to worry about the hard work done on the camel object.
One more method is to duplicate your camel object, lock that layer, paint in the light and shadows, readjust the transparency, and then merge it back to your camel drawing.
Otherwise, you can use any other internal color correction options in your digital art software of choice to bring out the right balance of contrast.
I hope you enjoyed this lesson on how to draw a camel using different blocking methods to get the right textures. The techniques you have learned here will be used in all forms of digital painting so make sure you spend some time perfecting it.
Other than that, it's all about practice and persistence. The more you draw using this method, it becomes apparent that there is a lot of time can be saved as well as the freedom to explore drawing many other different animals.
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