I have a real thing about curves.I'm not talking about anybody's figure, I'm talking about lines in art. Curved lines. I have a thing about smooth curves, that's what it is. There are undecipherable (for me) mathematical descriptions and definitions of what a smooth curve is, but to me it is more a "know it when you see it" sort of thing.
For example: top=clunky, un-smooth curve. Bottom=smooth curve.
In my opinion nice smooth curves are something that you don't really notice (as it should be) but clunky curves make a piece look amateurish and graceless.
I really want to avoid those clunky un-smooth curves. To me they jump out of an otherwise nice piece of artwork like a sore thumb. I really worked hard on the curves in my 12 x 12 volcano piece (last post). There is still one little bobble that bugs me. I won't tell you where it is, but I'm sure if you look closely you will see it.
Drawing smooth curves takes practice and has a lot to do with using your whole arm and drawing the curve in one action rather than just your hand making ee-ee-ee little curve sections. Painting, the same. For technical drawings there are templates called "French Curves" that are made to assist in drawing smooth curves. My Dad had a set of these in his mechanical drawing supplies. I was always intrigued by them and thought the one on the top right looked like a sled. Kind of pretty, aren't they?
Another curve drawing tool is called a "flexible curve". It is like a flexible ruler. You can bend it into a variety of curves, then trace along the edge. I have one that I used a lot when drawing up patterns to sell.
Nowadays one uses a computer drawing program for most of these kind of tasks and the Bezier curve pen tool is the best tool for making smooth curves.
So, there's a little tip that might be useful to someone else.