Materials for Kids

The next step in encouraging kids to draw is to stock up on whatever you don't already have Markers, fine and broad-tipped, in lots of colors Dry-erase markers for drawing on plastic Mechanical pencils, with a thicker lead (0.7) in a few hardnesses Colored pencils, as big a set of colors as possible Erasers, an assortment tape, scissors, clips Paper inexpensive, and lots of it Boards, plywood to work on Water-based paint, watercolor or acrylic, depending on the child's age India ink and pen or...

Where to Start Location Location Location

Basically, you start with a spot and a shape of negative space. Perhaps we can call this a spot of space, a basic shape that you can see, from which you can proceed to the next. We will base our seeing of the negative space on this first spot of space. Remember that it is a spot of space somewhere in or around the chair. Hold the viewfinder frame very still and frame the chair in the window. Rearrange the chair if necessary to see it at an interesting angle. See the relative angles of the seat,...

Wheres the Beef Where the Ice Cream Goes

Fat deposits are shapes to contend with when drawing the figure. Muscle development varies from person to person of either gender, but male musculature is generally heavier than the female. Fat distribution is different, too. Men carry weight at the middle, on the upper back, and lower back. Women tend to carry weight on their buttocks, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and the backs of the upper arms. While today's culture doesn't always consider this attractive, it's a natural part of human anatomy....

Why You Draw and Why Sometimes You Stop Drawing

You learn most of your basic skills when you're young, so you're largely unaware of the time you put in to learn and practice those skills. Some of you may remember learning to read, especially if it was difficult for you, but most people don't remember the learning itself, once a skill is acquired. On the other hand, you might remember the learning involved for skills you learned later, such as learning to ride a bike or learning to write, or you may remember when you learned to drive a car....

With Our Best Wishes

We have both enjoyed researching and writing this book. Besides the fun we have had our own selves, we've also found pleasure in developing the ideas for the book, trying out the exercises, and writing and honing the text and the directions. Watching it become a book was a pleasure. Lauren has enticed her friends over to draw for their dinner to make some of the drawings for the book (she is a good cook), and worked with her mother's drawing group for some of the others. Still other drawings...

Work on a Blooming Stem

Okay, enough studying It's time to try drawing a blooming stem. For your first subject, you'll want to look at buds, seeds, and stems, and decide what you'd like to draw. Once you've picked out a subject, use the drawing checklist that appears on the tear-out reference card in the front of the book, and get to work. As the season progresses, look at seeds, pods, berries, nuts, cones anything you can find in your garden or any other garden, and draw those, too. The more you draw, remember, the...

Your Backyard and in the Neighborhood

Our backyards are full of animal subjects birds, butterflies, squirrels, chipmunks, as well as frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, and snails. Because they are busy with their own lives, they are disinclined to pose for you, but you can make quick sketches to capture first the action and gesture, then the proportion, shape, and form. If you live in the country and can sit quietly in your yard, you may be lucky enough to spot deer, a fox, even a coyote the big guys like bears and mountain lions, you...

Your Journal Is All About

A place to explore ideas and save them for later. A verbal and visual vocabulary. A place to get past first solutions. A place to see the detail past what is predictable. In The Artist's Way (New York Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1992), Julia Cameron suggests writing three morning pages every single day While you don't have to do something quite this structured, knowing that you can use a journal to get rid of the extraneous details of life can be a very freeing experience. Try it, and you'll see what we...

Your Kitchen Is a Storehouse

A good place to start is right in your kitchen you'll be near the cof-feemaker. However, you'll want to avoid the refrigerator, for obvious reasons you'll end up snacking instead of sketching. What you will choose to draw in the kitchen or anywhere around the house, for that matter will fall into three categories 1. Objects seen up close and personal 2. A composed still life arrangement 3. A corner of a room as is, or you can rearrange the furniture Anything from around your house is fair game...

Your Sketchbook Page

Try your hand at practicing the exercises you've learned in this chapter. V Now that you can draw, why live in a world without your own personal touch V Illustrations, developed from drawings or done for a specific purpose, can decorate, explain, expand, reflect, or accompany anything. V Presents and cards are among the uses for your drawings. V Decorate your house and world, but do yourself a favor and stay away from the driveways. V Try your hand at expanded uses for your drawing skills as...

Zen and Drawing

Zen in drawing is actually what this is all about, getting to a meditative, intuitive place (the right side) and letting go all the disturbance (Old Lefty) in order to just be, see, and draw. When it comes to drawing, having a Zen approach means allowing things to develop as they will, without the need for control that marks so much of our lives. A Zen way of life incorporates everything from meditation to ordered simplicity in order to better appreciate the interconnectedness of all things. It...

Seeing Your Way to Drawing

When you draw, you live in the present. You are always entertained, and you always have something to do. Your delight in each day and the detail of the world will show you the power of small things. Drawing makes you see the relationships between things, as well as the relationship between yourself and the world. You will experience the deep pleasure of self-expression I am me. I did this. In addition, you'll reconnect with your inner child's joy. Your drawings will range from learning...

Special Uses Special Structures

And then there are all the unusual erections in the landscape, from mountaintop warming huts to lighthouses on rocky shores, just waiting to challenge you and enliven your drawings. If you are out and about and feel like creating an unusual drawing, try one of the more striking structures that decorate the landscape. Lighthouses, windmills, and towers add height, but they can also be the focus of an interesting drawing. For you outdoorsy types, there are huts, sheds, cabins, fishing shacks,...

From Figures to Frogs And a Few Deer and Gnomes

Statues, from figures to frogs, with a few deer, wheelbarrows, and gnomes thrown in for fun, can be present in your garden and your drawings. The somewhat diminutive scale of garden ornaments can be fun to play with in a drawing. Flowers are fun with scaled-down garden statues because they become relatively larger than usual. Ornamentals and statues go from classical to comic, from flashy to peaceful and contemplative, from natural materials to designer high-tech looks. Whatever you choose,...

Simple Geometric Shapes to Practice

In the next chapters, you will begin to make choices, arrangements, and compositions. You will see that the world is full of geometric shapes, and that you can use the geometry to draw things more easily. The more you draw, the more you'll be trying to see objects in your drawings as being based on geometric shapes, seen flat or in space. For now, begin to collect a few simple shapes, such as spheres, cubes, cylinders, cones, and pyramids. Household objects like cans, boxes, tins, fruit,...

Getting to That Finish Line

Do you see how your shapes now have a sense of volume and they seem to really be there in space As you practice adding tone to an accurate contour line drawing, you will begin to add it sooner, after the first planning lines are there to define the shapes and spaces of the composition. Take your time building up tone and balancing the tones in your drawing. It takes patience and discipline, but you can do it. You will be pleased with the result, and your drawings will have the added dimension...

The Marks That Can Make a Drawing

The warm-up exercises in Chapter 3 are always good to refer to for artists, calligraphers, forgers, and you. Take a moment and limber up your drawing hand with some circles, curves, spirals, sweeps, swoops, smooth lines, and squiggles, just as you did in Chapter 3. Then, try some dots, dashes, crosses, hatches, and stripes. Find out which marks you like. Try to develop a vocabulary as you go along. Drawing is a language without words but it does have a vocabulary we will be exploring in later...

Take Your Sketchbook with

What if you haven't got a garden of your own What a great reason to head for the hills or the botanical garden, or even the ritzy section of town. Pack up your drawing supplies in the trunk. For drawing al fresco, you may want to add the following to your drawing kit as well An easel or drawing board, for setting your pad on Clips, to hold your sketchbook in place An umbrella or hat, for shade No matter what the weather, make your garden subject as special as it is through all the seasons....

Drawing as a Form of Healing

Often, giving yourself the present of time and solace, and even silence and solitude, can be a healing gift. Whether you use drawing as a therapeutic adjunct or as a therapy of its own, its healing aspects are one side effect that's worth pursuing. Like anything that takes you out of yourself, drawing can be a way of channeling negative energy in a more positive direction. Why throw that pot at your beloved when you can draw a picture of how you're feeling instead...

See the Object Through the Space Around It

As you draw more and more of the negative space shapes, it will be easier and easier to fit in the remaining ones. The spaces around your chair will be defining the chair itself When you have drawn all the negative spaces on your drawing, check each one in turn against the chair itself. Make small corrections to the shapes of the negative spaces as you see them. You can lightly shade the negative space shapes as you refine them, if you'd like. Your chair will take turns with the space around it...

Correct It Now Render It Later

Continue to add or refine the lines you draw to say as much about the shape of your objects as you can. Look for little details in the shapes and make them part of your drawing. See as much as you can and draw as much as you can see. When you're finished, your drawing should be a reasonable representation of the simple arrangement you chose. It should reflect the choices that you made, including Side view, above, below, or partway in between. In addition, the basic shapes of your objects and...

Draw the Holes not the Thing

Check your spot of space shape and the lines that make it, the angle, whether they curve or not, which way, and how far. Check again against the frame. Even if your drawing is larger than the frame, the two are in proportion, so all the relative positions will be the same. Now, stay focused on the space. As for the chair forget about it Keep one eye closed and find your next spot of space. Find the shape of that spot by seeing it relative to your grid marks. Draw the holes, not the thing. Here...

Your Learningto Draw Cheat Sheet

We thought it might be helpful to have a cheat sheet, with all the rules in one place, so we created this Learning to Draw Cheat Sheet, which also appears on the tear-out card inside the front cover of this book. You can paste this list inside the cover of your sketchbook or tack it up on the wall near your drawing table, referring to it as you work. Meanwhile, you'll always be able to find it right here, in case that tear card gets too dogeared from constant use 1. Take yourself and your work...

Seeing Arrangement and Composition

Arrangement and composition are the first steps in making a good drawing out of your chosen objects. As you play around and change the combination and arrangement of your chosen objects (feel free to change your mind), take time to look at your choice through one of your viewfinder frames, picking the one that best frames your composition. Turn it horizontally or vertically to match your arrangement and your paper orientation. Make sure you have chosen your objects, arrangement, composition,...

Line and Shape Are in the Lead Form Follows Close Behind

For many drawings, a clear, sensitive contour line can say as much as you need to say. You may enjoy the line quality as it is, feel the shapes and spaces between shapes to be accurate, and have enough detail to feel your drawing is finished. In other drawings, it helps to define the form or fullness of things by rendering them with tone. Light and shade come into play here, and the direction from which an object is lighted will determine the play of light upon it, the direction of the shadow...

Accentuate the Negative

In Chapter 6, Negative Space as a Positive Tool, you learned how to draw negative space. Here's an exercise to help you review what you learned there. 1. Divide your paper into four equal quadrants. 2. Hold the viewfinder frame very still and frame your subject in a window. 3. Pick a spot of space somewhere inside your subject to start, and really see it. Close one eye and see that spot until it becomes more real than the subject itself. You will know when this has happened because it will pop...

Uv

Unusual structures, drawing, 251-252 van Gogh, Vincent, 197 vanishing points (perspective), 200-202 vantage point, 102, 106 vegetables, 185 still life, 104 vehicles, 235-236 vellum surface (paper), 84 vertical orientation (paper), 92 Victorian houses, 249 viewfinder frames, 59-60, 152-154 drawing with, 63-65 making, 60-62 viewpoint, 102, 106 views, 171 landscapes, 214 plastic picture planes, 159 planes), 49-50 visual development, 305 visual learning, 303

To Show to Publish or Just to Draw

Sometimes you just need to get out of the house with your work to get a better look at it and where you want to take it next. The white walls of an exhibition hall can allow you to see your work differently, for better or worse. Even if the experience sends you back to the drawing board, you will have learned something and can go on from there. Publishing your work is a thrill in itself. There's nothing like the printed page and that credit line underneath your image. Start with your local...

The Very Young

Start drawing with kids when they're young you can give the gift of visual experience to a very young child and likely affect the child's visual abilities, encouraging his or her ability to be visually inclined and gifted. One possible activity is to play games with basic shapes. Recognition and duplication of those circles, squares, and triangles is good for visual perception and for developing the motor skills and coordination needed for drawing. By determining the child's particular...

The Artists Life

V Taking the Zen path to drawing V Inspiration is where you find it Paintings must be looked at and looked at and looked at they, I think, the good ones, like it. They must be understood and that's not the word either, through the eyes. No talking, no writing, no singing, no dancing will explain them. They are the final, the 'nth whoopee of sight. A watermelon, a kiss may be fair, but after all have other uses. Look at that is all that can be said before a great painting, at least, by those who...

Tactics

There are a number of steps you can take to make drawing a positive experience for children. 1. Set up a friendly and supportive world. 2. Talk as an adult, kindly and supportively, but not condescendingly. Kids treated thusly will act more maturely. 3. Talk nonjudgmentally. Avoid performance words, competition or comparison words, and definitely fear or failure words. Eliminate good, bad, better, best, right, wrong, easy, hard, mistake, and cheat from your vocabulary. 4. Follow their lead on...

Part

It's time to meet some of the tools of the trade, including the view finder frame and the plastic picture plane. We'll show you how to make your own view finder frame and plastic picture plane to take with you wherever you go, and how to use both of these tools to help with your drawings. Your first drawings will concentrate on learning to see an object in space, using a contour line to describe the shapes, and looking at the negative spaces in and around those objects. If you've come this far,...

More Form and Weight

Okay, ready to try a figure drawing of your own 1. Start your drawing with a few gesture or action lines that are the main limbs and direction of movement. Then, think of the body as a collection of spare parts, drawn as geometric shapes of various sizes and on various angles relative to each other. 2. Use quick lines to establish gesture, proportion, and shape. 3. Use ellipses for form, particularly ellipsoids. In longer efforts, the same is true just continue to add detail, check proportion,...

Contour Drawing of an Object Without Looking

If you would like to really see what a difference it can make to concentrate on just seeing and drawing what you see, you can make a drawing of your object before you start these exercises. Just do it, to the best of your ability, and set it aside. Then you can compare it to the second drawing that you do, when you can look again. 1. Start by setting up your area to draw. Your pad of sketch paper on your board and a pencil will do. 2. Seat yourself in a comfortable chair, angled away from your...

Contour Drawing of Your Hand While Looking

Now, take a stab at that drawing while looking. Hands as a drawing subject are usually avoided, but you can actually get a decent drawing if you do just as much looking and relating of one line to another as you did in the first exercise. 1. Change your seated position so you can rest your other hand on the table. 2. Take another good look at your hand and the lines in your palm. 3. Pick a place and a line on your hand to start with. 4. Pick a place on your paper to place your pencil and begin...

Natural History Museums and Centers

At the natural history museum, you will find everything you can think of, from a look under a microscope to a dinosaur's skeleton, as well of lots of books to study. Knowing roughly how an animal's skeleton works will make those action and gesture lines mean more. The business of adding form and weight will come more easily the more you study, so check it out. Practice drawing animal skeletons wherever you find them. Take a trip to the local natural history museum, if need be, or copy them out...

Perspective Simplified

Perspective can be divided into a number of subcategories, which we'll keep as simple as we can Informal perspective is a way to see the relationships between objects in space. It's what you see on the picture plane, drawn on paper by observing and measuring things against things, shapes against shapes, spaces against spaces, and one against the other. Aerial perspective is the relative blurring of objects, color, or detail in space. Scale is seeing that objects get smaller as they recede in...

Right Side UpUpside Down

Here are two exercises to help you see how you feel when the familiar is somehow changed. Write your name (this is something you're used to). Now look at it in a mirror is it hard to read Look at it upside down. For some, this is even harder to read than a mirror image. Try looking at your signature upside down and backwards. Does it appear to be hieroglyphics or a foreign language or no language at all Try looking at your signature upside down and backwards. Here's Lauren's. Now, look at...

Contour Drawing of an Object While Looking

Object Drawings

Now, we'd like you try the same drawing, only this time, while looking. Even if it is a complicated object, you can get a decent drawing if you do just as much looking and relating of one line to another as you did in the other exercises. The contour drawing while looking should be done with the same focus on seeing the lines, but you get to follow your drawing hand by looking. Stay focused on what you see. 1. Change your seated position so you can look at the object you are drawing. 2. Take...

Taking a Stab at a Colored Drawing

The best is 140-lb. hot-press watercolor paper, and 90 lb. is fine for sketches. If you foresee adding water to the water-soluble pencil sketch, however, the heavier paper will work better. You will find that you can very naturally grab a handful of colored pencils and start in on a simple arrangement. That fistful of colors is important. Keep switching colors. Look at each object and see the range of colors you can use, or the layers you can build up to get a tone and a color....

Cabinets and Furniture

You can use your drawings as the basis for painting on cabinet doors or the drawer fronts of a dresser that needs help. For your first project, here are some simple steps you can follow. 1. Pick a simple stem and bloom or a length of vine with some leaves. 2. Make a photocopy of the drawing you intend to use and establish a color scheme with colored pencils. Keep it fairly simple. 3. Buy yourself enough colors in acrylic paint to mix the colors that you will need. If you'd like, look ahead to...

Transfer the Drawing to Paper

To transfer your picture plane drawing to paper, you will need A piece of paper, preferably 11 x 14. One of those new mechanical pencils, with HB or B lead in it. A kneaded eraser. A ruler. 1. Measure and draw the center vertical and horizontal lines on your paper. A piece of 11 x 14 paper would have a vertical center line at 572 and a horizontal at 7. 2. Measure and draw a box that is 8 x 12, centered, or you can put your piece of plastic directly onto the paper, line up the center vertical...

How to Use a Picture Plane

For a dramatic example, we will begin with that hand of yours. Hands are good models you don't have to pay them much and they are always available. 1. Place your hand comfortably on a table keep the Plexiglas and the washable marker at reach . Scrunch, ball, twist, or turn your hand into the hardest position you can imagine or not imagine drawing. Find a position with a lot of foreshortening your fingers coming straight out at you and imagine trying to get it to look right. You can add a prop,...

Through the Looking Glass

Going back through your drawings can be a revealing experience, even if you only started them a few weeks ago. Your first surprise will be just how much progress you've made in your technical skill. That's because just drawing something every day means you're practicing, and practice will improve any skill. Before you start judging your work too harshly don't let Old Lefty have any say , why not use the checklists in this chapter to see what you've learned. You may even want to tab this chapter...

Preparing a Plexiglas Picture Plane for Drawing

A fine-point permanent marker. A fine-point washable marker that will hold a line on plastic. A ruler. To make a grid on your picture plane 1. Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner on the piece of plastic with the permanent marker. First, draw a set of diagonal lines. 2. Measure and draw center lines vertically and horizontally in the center of the plastic. Add horizontal and vertical lines to the diagonals. 3. Measure and draw lines dividing each of the four...

Resources for Learning to Draw

Devon, England David amp Charles, 1998. Box, Richard. Drawing for the Terrified. Devon, England David amp Charles, 1997. Brookes, Mona. Drawing with Children. New York Jeremy P. Tarcher Putnam, 1996. Calder, Alexander. Animal Sketching. New York Dover Publishing Co., 1973. Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way. New York Jeremy P. Tarcher Putnam, 1992. Codniat, Raymond. Twentieth-Century Drawings and Watercolors. New York Crown Publishers, Inc., 1968. Crispo, Andrew....

Chairs in the Grass

Chairs in the yard are just like chairs in the house, except you can get a little tan while you are drawing. Adirondack chairs are a challenge, picnic tables need to be drawn so they stay flat on the ground, round tables with umbrellas are well worth the time to see and draw, and even a line of clothes drying in the breeze can make a nice drawing. Be aware of shadows and the shapes they make. They can add a lot to a simple drawing of a chair in your yard. The possibilities in your garden and...

Ellipses Are Your Friends

Circles become ellipses when viewed from above or below eye levels. An ellipse is a curved geometric shape, different from a circle. A circle has one central point, from which can be measured its radius, or all the way across for its diameter. An ellipse has two points that determine its shape and proportion, the farther away from center the two points are, the flatter the ellipse is. A 3-D ellipse is called an ellipsoid something to remember for advantage in Scrabble games and is a shape to...

Plastic Picture Plane Practice

In Chapter 4, The Picture Plane, we introduced you to the plastic picture plane. We've referred to it since, but it's possible you haven't used yours again since Chapter 4. If that's the case or even if it's not , why not get out your plastic picture plane and practice with it Say that 10 times fast. 1. Pick a subject for your drawing. 2. Line up your plastic picture plane with your eyes, keeping it perfectly still. Rest it on a table, or hold it straight up and down at a level that you can see...

Fun Drawing Exercises for Kids

What Kids Like Draw

Be as inventive as you can as you look back through the exercises in this book and adapt them for your young friends and family. We've done some of that for you, but don't let us stop you from coming up with some variations of your own as well. For the very young Recognize and copy. Young children enjoy copying sets of shapes or lines. It's good practice for observing the differences and good for coordination, too. Try thinking of lines and shapes as animated, with personalities. Be funny about...