Drawception Tutorial, Guide, and Tips

Hi there Drawception fan!  If you’re like me, you probably can’t get enough of this social telephone picture game and desire to hone your skills.  The following is a detailed guide that will teach you how to make the most of your 10 minutes, improve the quality of your drawings, and connect with other Drawceptioners eager to help you out.  Reading this guide will not make you the next Corvax but you will notice your completed panels becoming lovelier and better than before.  If you have any questions after reading the guide feel free to leave them in the comments and you can always follow the rest of my Drawception antics hereWinking smile

Table of Contents

Mouse or Tablet?

Mouse versus tablet.

The first choice you’ll make when embarking on your Drawception adventure is whether you wish to use a mouse or tablet.  I firmly believe that neither really make a significant difference in the quality of what you produce.  However, speed-wise, drawing with a tablet is often quicker as it is usually easier to sketch with a pencil-like device than a mouse.  A great tablet that several Drawceptioners, myself included, use is the Wacom Bamboo.  It is incredibly affordable and easily matches the performance of expensive tablets.

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To Stick Figure or Not to Stick Figure?

Cute as a button!

Generally, stick figure drawings do not attract that much attention and are often passed over.  There’s nothing incredibly wrong with stick figures but they are too bland to really pop from the panel.  There are several ways you can remedy this.  If you want to stick (no pun intended) to drawing people in this fashion you can do it in the style of Cyanide and Happiness.  The benefit of this style was first pointed out by talented Drawceptioner Ackter on his web blog.  To the left is an example of the C & H version of my Drawception avatar.

While the body and appendages are simple, it still conveys the subject successfully and looks visually appealing.  You can practice drawing characters like this in the sandbox.

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Do I Really Need Color?

This is a gray area (puns again) where many clash.  There are artists on the leaderboard, like the delightful Nyancatimusprime, that rely on sketching using solely black.  The advantage of abolishing color from your palette means that you have more time to insert detail work.  Sketched panels do not always pop out amongst the others however.  I notice this phenomenon especially when there are several top games with bright eye-catchy backgrounds.  This is when bold splashes of color can come in really handy.  My advice would be to experiment and find which you feel the most comfortable with.

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Shading and Highlights

Even a little bit of shading helps.

Shading is a nice way to give your drawings more dimension.  The simplest way to execute a shade or a highlight is to choose a color that is a shade darker (if you’re shading) or lighter (if you’re highlighting) than your base color and drawing a half moon shape along the edge of your subject.  You can fool around and try other shapes to illustrate different sources of light when you get more used to it.  If you find you have some extra time on the clock you can go more detailed with it and scribble along the edge with the tiniest brush to soften the shading.  You can even throw in a white dot or two to hint at a twinkle in the eye.

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So Many Brushes!

…ok not really.  To a beginner though, all the other brush sizes seem like unnecessary extras.  Switching up your brushes will become a vital exercise the more and more you play.  The biggest brush is great for filling in the background, which I highly recommend, and creating the basic shape of a human head ‒ especially when you are drawing a close up.  The medium brush is good for drawing outlines for subjects at a medium distance such as torso crops.  The small brush is good for drawing figures at a long distance, human eyes, hair on the head or face, appendages for animals or humans, etc.  Lastly, the tiniest brush is really your go-to for subjects that are really far away, detail work of any kind, and writing.

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How Do I Report a Panel?

You may run into a panel that does not abide by the site’s SFW (safe for work) rating or deliberately derails the game.  An example of the first case would be a panel that has gratuitous nudity.  If you run into a prompt that calls for nudity, throw down a censor bar or use the environment to cover the nudity in a comical way.  In regards to the second case, an example that illustrates this is a prompt describing cookie monster and the player draws a gray dot with a circle in it.  In both these cases you can click the flag icon under the panel to report it.  You can also flag panels while playing the game by clicking “Skip+Report” but please be careful and use your judgement wisely.  If you badly want to see a reported panel, you can always click on the “” text and selecting yes on the confirmation box.

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What are Top Games?

Top Games are a collection of recent games that have attracted several favorites and likes within the past 24 hours.  While it is certainly a nice way of honoring the work of several artists, games do not achieve such status based on the quality of their art alone.  Sometimes a game lands a spot on the leaderboards thanks to the wit and charm it has.  So you do not have to be an amazing artist to be bestowed the honor.  If your game moves up to the sixth position on the top row, you will be featured on the home page!

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What are Bounty Panels (Star Panels)?

Bounty panels are a feature that work alongside the dustcatcher.  When a prompt gets skipped several times it risks being deleted by the dustcatcher.  Before this occurs though, the prompt will go through bounty levels.  At this time, bounty panels and their star level are not revealed until the game completes.  There are three star levels for a bounty panel.  The first level multiplies your likes by 2, the second level multiplies your likes by 3, and third level multiplies your likes by 4.  You can tell if you got a bounty panel and what level it is if you see one, two, or three stars next to the like score.

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How Do I Level Up and Get More Likes?

First and foremost, Drawception is not a numbers game or a popularity contest.  I follow several underappreciated artists who often have their work go unnoticed for a variety of reasons.  Your Drawception level does not necessarily indicate how good of an artist you are, how good a comedian you are, or how many people know your name.  At the end of the day, I view “likes” as a measure of how successfully or wittily you conveyed the prompt…even this can be seen as a misconception because it is entirely subjective.  However, it is understandable when someone just starting out prays to advance fast so they can get access to more features and games.  My words of advice would be as follows:

  1. Draw, draw, draw!
  2. Post a comment on a game you were involved in about what you enjoyed.  Oftentimes, if people see your comment, they may be curious and take a look at your panel.  If they are pleased with it, who knows, you may get a like out of it!

    Poked to death.
  3. Return the gesture and like drawings that met your criterion of “successfully or wittily conveying the prompt.”  Favoriting a really funny game doesn’t hurt either.  This may just lead you to the front page.
  4. Try out the Rate the Drawception User Above You game in the Art Room and see what other’s think of your work.
  5. Join the Drawception Facebook Fan Group and have other fans give you some tips, advice, or laugh at your handiwork.  PRO TIP: If you participate in a game that involves poking YesNoMaybe or refers to the group in general ‒ you’ll receive instant likes. (Note: This hypothesis has not been scientifically proven and please do not spam countless games with a caption or drawing of YesNoMaybe suffering.)
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Conclusion

Hopefully this guide motivates you to keep on Drawceptioning and create hilarious new works of art.  As I stated above, you can take a peek at my Drawception shenanigans at this link and share your Drawception profiles, panels, or whatever you wish in the comments below.

Mitra Faridian

Mitra Faridian

Mitra Faridian first joined the site in 2011 under the handle “Persian Poetess.” Her gaming and entertainment taste is very eclectic and she’s always open to a fun new virtual adverture. Email her at the following address: mitra [at] dragonblogger.com
Mitra Faridian
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