Alright the logical progression from simple shapes usually leads to perspective, but fuck that, alot of you guys don't seem to understand something even more elemental and basic.
Remember how all things are made out of those simple shapes? But what are those simple shapes made out of?
Everything you will ever draw or have drawn before will be made of these three things. Call these the holy trinity of drawing, the supreme subatomic particles of all drawings, indivisible and absolute.
The mighty Line, simple, elegant, the particle of choice for so many who would dare tread in the land of the visual arts. They come in many forms but they can be boiled down to two types. Lines with static width and lines with variable width. While in real life there are no such things as 3-d shapes created with lines, its the simplest way for our minds to grasp that something exists that can still be recognized as a 3-d object. Static width lines can be attractive but they usually illustrate unnatural things, a step toward fantasy, it can be quite complex, but those who wish for realism, you must use variable width lines. http://www.quilt-around-the-world.com/sites/default/files/im ages/story/959/martha_washington_line_drawing.jpg Observe how flat and unnatural this looks. Variable width lines are much more effective at giving the illusion of a 3-d form across, with them you can simulate depth in objects. http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lisdjtGvZM1qbmkaoo1_500.jp g Observe how much more realistic that is despite clearly being a cartoon character.
Here's where people fuck up alot, typically newbies lines look like shit. The whole point of a line is to define a shape, when your lines are all fuzzy, blurry and pixelated you lose clarity and things end up looking like cocks. Confused, you blunder about adding lines, seeking clarity but creating only a confused mess nobody understands. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NUq5U_LDHrA/TYQAp_r-4nI/AAAAAAAAAJ M/-xVmC3A4HUs/s1600/bad%2Bdrawings%2Bof%2Bfamous%2Bmusicians %2B001.jpg The lines are torn, incomplete, inconsistent, shapes made half thought out, without no rhyme or reason. http://oldprints.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/apokalypse.gif Behold here a master's work, notice how each line serves a purpose, to define a shape, to make thing clear, not muddle it all up. If a line serves no purpose Everybody can learn to use lines to create art.
The next particle is the mightiest of them all, the Gradient. Alot of you think of color and take it for granted. Humans see in color and even things without color have value and that is part of a gradient too. We don't really pay attention to it because its all around us everyday. Ever wonder why some artwork looks so realistic that you could mistake it for a photograph? Its because FORM IS ALL AROUND YOU, EVERYTHING HAS FORM. If it doesn't have form its intangible and cannot be drawn. The greatest masters of art aren't merely people who take a paint brush and smear some random colors on a canvas until it looks pretty, they are GENIUSES THAT UNDERSTAND SPACIAL CONCEPTS USING COLOR AND VALUE AS A MEANS TO EXPRESS 3-D DATA INTO A 2-D MEDIUM. Thats -why- it works, at the highest level your brain will not be able to distinguish a perfect 2-d drawing from a 3-d object. Unfortunately we cannot make a perfect image. Not even a camera can do it. Yet. Art is a science, and most of it involves understanding the form of something in space. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_qjUt6oT1j3c/S8dXF1fWUfI/AAAAAAAAAE w/oaIftOmMVYY/s1600/andrewwyerth.jpg That looks real because all of the value, all of the colors involved are almost perfectly in the places that they would actually be if she was real. It has real spacial data based entirely on the colors, which consists of light and shadow, tint, hue, satuation, form, ect. ect. This is the real shit, and not many get to master it, it requires understanding elements that are extremely complicated. But for the simplest of shapes you may find your current ability adequate at rendering them in a convincing way. To improve in this to the understand the truth of what things really are.
The last particle is not really a particle at all, it is the absence of something. Silhouettes are probably the easiest was to imagine it but everything has it. Negative space. It has alot to do with composition, and it is just as important as what you choose to draw in regards to making an object more convincing. To be honest its not something I worry about right now but it is very important. http://volcanoeditions.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/p osfigureground41.jpg Observe how using negative space, this is actually two illustrations. A man with an instrument and a female face.