R

This exercise can go on forever because you will always come across objects that you have rarely drawn before, and there is always more to learn. However, try to find something made of metal, something made of glass, and something natural, like fruit or plants. The examples here are produced in watercolour because it is a very flexible medium, rather difficult to start with, but easy enough to handle when you've made the first steps. Here is an ordinary metal kettle, not very shiny, but...

Y

5 Having drawn these up, so that I had some idea of what they should look like, I then arranged them across the page, as though they were all in the scene together. I put the two girls in close and at one end. Behind them, I placed the solitary young man. Immediately next to them were the first pair of dancers and they took up most of the centre space. Visible behind them, slightly smaller, were the other two jazz dancers. Finally, I put the slow-dancing couple on the end. 6 Behind these main...

Info

Still life is in many respects the foundation of drawing practice because it is the one discipline where you can control your drawing set-up, and are able to return to it again and again, as long as you need to. The great thing is to learn to love your subject matter. Don't choose objects that don't arouse your interest in some way. Consider carefully before you choose your subject, especially as we are dealing in colour the combination of colour values should be a strong part of your...

Dlj

This image shows a central light surrounded by spheres or globes and how this illuminates one side of each sphere, causing a shadow on the opposite side. The sphere placed on the ground will also cast a shadow, stretching away from the light source. Notice that when the sphere is lit directly from the front or behind, it tends to lose a good deal of its three-dimensional qualities in the stark contrast between the surface that is lit and the other that is all in darkness. The maximum...

T

This view - drawn in coloured pencils - is from a position on the raised decking immediately outside my own back door. We can see a bit of the Mediterranean pine and fig tree in one corner, my studio summerhouse and the potting shed. I put the garden chairs on the lawn just to give the scene a point of focus. Your garden or backyard doesn't have to be particularly interesting or shown when the weather is good to make a worthwhile drawing or painting.

Wiv

A landscape frame comes in very handy. Not the sort that finished artworks are placed in, but a piece of card with a window cut out of it, which corresponds to the shape of the picture you wish to produce. Hold up the frame in front of the landscape you are about to draw, in order to decide which part of the view you really want to work on. You always need some way of limiting the parameters, so that the final picture doesn't become too broad for your drawing base. In the large picture below,...

Z

Now, we look at a picture, after Alma-Tadema's 7 e fiss (1891), that is less obviously geometrically arranged, but whose spatial qualities are such that I detect a strong sense of geometric design about it. First it seems that the horizontal divisions of the space are sevenths of the whole depth the edge of the lake at one seventh the top of the beacon ledge at two sevenths and the top of the steps at five sevenths. Then all the lines of the architecture recede towards a vanishing point at the...

U R

Here are my versions of some paintings by master artists who knew the value of colour and how to use it to their advantage. Different ideas demand different colour values and you will see several approaches here. This is a conventionally composed eighteenth-century portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, of himself, his wife and daughter. It may well have been a sample of his work, designed to be shown to prospective clients, demonstrating his expertise in making portraits of people of different sexes...

M

Having got out of the house, you might head next to a nearby town where there is some dramatic architecture. Most places have at least one or two buildings that stand out from the rest, and which could make a good subject for a piece of perspective architectural drawing. I am spoiled for choice, being close enough to London to get there within twenty minutes by public transport, and where there are plenty of extremely dramatic and even eccentric buildings. This view, which I have drawn in...

O

Looking at the tree drawing, note how the lighter parts occur at the top and the left side, but are broken up slightly by shadows, where the leaves overlie each other in large clumps. All down the right side and under the branches is in shadow, except where the side of the trunk catches the light. The tree will also cast a large shadow to the right.

Inq

This arm with the hand resting on the hip, shows clearly the main shape, including the large muscles in the upper arm and the delicacy of the wrist. 2. With the arm raised and the elbow closer to the viewer, the forearm looks bigger than the upper arm, which is foreshortened. 1. This arm with the hand resting on the hip, shows clearly the main shape, including the large muscles in the upper arm and the delicacy of the wrist. 2. With the arm raised and the elbow closer to the viewer, the forearm...

The human figure

Drawing the human figure in colour provides certain obstacles for you to conquer before you become really proficient. One major fact is that coloration of the human body encompasses a wide spectrum. There are few truly strong colours in the human skin range, but a host of very subtle tones. Apart from obvious differences in skin colour between various races, the complexion of each human being reflects any number of hues, according to whether you are looking at that particular individual in the...

Duf

First draw in the shapes of the eyes and the mouth and the nose very carefully. Notice how, in the three-quarter view, the far eye and the far side of the mouth are slightly shorter in shape than the near side. Next draw in the eyebrows. Again the far eyebrow is shorter than the nearer one. When you do the nose, the shadow side can be put in, too, because that helps to define the character of the nose more clearly. It is worth taking the trouble to get all these shapes right. The next thing is...

Lxg

To produce a still-life picture you have first of all to decide what effect you want your picture to have. When I produced the original of this still-life composition, I collected together a number of pots that I felt would make an interesting composition against the backlight of a window. I chose large metal and pottery objects, which were all fairly light in colour. As they were all circular in shape, I decided that I would play on this feature by choosing the perspective of looking down on...

Mastsrstrokss

A good way of getting your colours to flow easily in watercolour is to wet the whole area of the paper before you start. This allows you to flood on colours quite easily without leaving any edges or stains in the middle of your wash. Be sure to let it dry fully before you start putting in the more detailed colours. Having established the forms fairly clearly, put in the blue pattern on the jug quite loosely and then the red roses and green leaves on the cup and saucer. Wait until everything is...

Jgn

You will have noticed the formation of the average eye is not quite as you may have imagined before you began drawing the human face. The iris, that is the coloured part, features quite large in the centre of the eye and yet is hardly ever seen completely. Normally, what you see is a part of the iris hidden under the top eyelid, and the bottom edge of the iris just touching the bottom lid. 1. The lower eyelid shows its thickness, whereas the thickness of the upper lid is usually hidden by the...

Significant colours

Sometimes colour in a picture turns out totally different from the way that you meant it to be. But many great artists work very hard on their colour schemes and don't just arrive at them by accident. It is worth taking a closer look at some of their work before we close, although you have seen quite a number of examples already. This approach differs from the previous sections, where we have looked at the construction of a particular scene. Here, I will present you with a picture by an artist...

L

Ears, foreheads and chins can show just as much variation as noses, mouths and eyes. Study them carefully and work on building up a good bank of them in your reference sketchbooks. 7. Here are some examples of ears from the front and side. 8. And there are examples of foreheads, too, which as you can see are just as varied, although it's a feature that doesn't immediately grasp your attention. 9. Finally, we have some examples of chins, seen from the side. Most chins are either in line with the...

U

When it comes to reproducing moving figures, there is always the same problem. How much do you show clearly and how much should the drawing be blurred in some way to make it convey movement The question may be approached in two ways. You can either hope that your drawing is dynamic enough to hold up as a moving image, even if everything in it is crystal sharp and clear, or you can bring in some distortions and fuzzy edges to give an impression of movement, as if you have taken a photograph with...

N

In the next picture, I have a leopard running forward to pounce on its prey. The drawing is similar in style to the bird, in that the lines defining the animal are loosely drawn to give some idea of the powerful muscular activity of the beast. I decided not to represent the leopard's spots very accurately but merely suggested the arrangement of their pattern as this all helps to give an impression of the animal moving at speed.

Massrsrokss

The practice of composing a landscape is partly done for you by the area you happen to be painting in , and partly a matter for your own taste and discrimination in what effect you want your landscape to have. It is possible to adjust the landscape that you see in front of you, by moving your position a little or by leaving out parts of the scene, or even moving them around a little. Many artists do this, but you have to be careful that the results will all hang together.

S

Here is a hand in a fist, which has quite a rugged quality about it. 4. This hand is partly closed and partly open, demonstrating the versatility of hands. 5. A gesticulating hand suggests fluidity of movement. 6. A hand extended towards the viewer, relaxed but not totally open. Notice how the outside of the fingers are in shadow and contrast with the palm, which is lit.

B D

This simple device is very useful for demonstrating the relationships between the different colours of the spectrum and holds true for any of the mediums that you will be using. The diagram shows an inner circle of colour containing the three primaries, red, yellow and blue. 'Primary' means you cannot break them down into any components. They are the three basic colours from which all others are made. In the outer circle we have a number of secondary colours which combine two of the primary...

C O

Complements the linear construction of the glasses. The only really dimensional effect is the shadow cast upon the surface they are lying on, and the effects of dark and light in the frames. complements the linear construction of the glasses. The only really dimensional effect is the shadow cast upon the surface they are lying on, and the effects of dark and light in the frames. This second example, of an enamel jug in coloured pencil, is a simple shape a cone cut off at the top with handle and...

Animals

When drawing animals, the biggest problem is that they won't oblige you by staying still, so drawing them from life is quite difficult. It is really easiest to photograph them and then to work from the snaps you have taken. The best place to start is with the insect world because the creatures are relatively small and not too complicated in shape. csually, when it comes to insects, museums hold dozens of drawerfuls of them, and it is not too difficult to make quite careful drawings on the spot....

Composition and colour

Composition is always the hardest and yet the most interesting part of picture-making, once you have mastered the basics of drawing everything else. When you are only concerned with form and tone the problem is difficult enough but, when you come to add colour, it introduces a new element that will make a huge difference to your final design. Here some of the things that you will have to take into consideration. Some artists use colour as a medium in its own right and subject all their...

Knb

The second diagram shows two-point perspective to be more complex, because now we have a vanishing point at each end of the horizon line, with the pair as far apart as our paper will allow. This produces a good impression of three-dimensional objects in space, and I have placed three blocks or buildings on the ground (the area below the horizon line). They appear to occupy space exactly as we would see a similar series of buildings in real life. The blue construction lines indicate the areas of...

Wwk

G The back view of a pair of female legs (1), drawn in coloured inks, shows the full stretch of the thigh and calf muscles and gives a good idea of ideal proportions. The other two sets of legs show very clearly the appearance of bent knees - in one case, a large bulky shape (2), and in the other example, the way the two legs curve softly around each other when they are lying across each other (3). Notice how the calf muscle of the upper leg forms itself around the thigh muscle of the one...

Ezs

First the eyes, because they are the most dominant part of the human physiognomy. Check whether they are level from corner to corner. Are they angled so that the outside corners are tilted upwards Or are they the opposite, and tilting downwards at the outside corners 2. Then look at the eyebrows. Are they straight or arched It makes quite a difference to the look of the face. 3. Now look at the mouth. Mouths can be straight along the line of the join of the lips. Or they can be curved up at the...

Gok

When drawing several objects together, you must make sure the same methods apply across the picture or else the final drawing will not hang together as a unit. Here we have three groups in different mediums, which will give you some idea of how to go about your task. The first subject - drawn in coloured pencil - is a wooden bowl with three pears in it, which is lit slightly from behind and from the left. To keep it simple, I have not included any cast shadow, which would be to the right of the...

C r

U Monet is one of the great S colourists of all time and he wasn't afraid to lay on the colour with abandon, producing work such as this sunset over the church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. This is a pretty dramatic sight at any time but when it is blazing with the colours of the setting sun it really becomes almost overstated. How can you do your own version of this sort of sight Well, to start with you don't need to rush off to Venice you can look around your own area for a building that...

O M

The charm of painting landscapes is often in the pleasant experience of sitting out in the open. Sometimes you have to add bits to your work after you have returned home, but this won't hurt the main effect of your outdoor efforts. It is, of course, possible just to take a photograph of the scene and then start your painting when you return home. But this is not quite the same exercise and you will find that the results are quite different.

Cga

We generally use the frontal view of the face as the easiest way to get a good likeness and it is probably the best view for your first attempt at drawing the head. It shows you the eyes and mouth at their most recognizable, however, it is not the easiest way to draw the nose. Nor is it necessarily the most interesting method for portrait purposes. The profile is straightforward enough to draw in most parts, although some people have difficulty with the eyes at this angle. The most favoured...

Vjf

The first is the most straightforward, someone sitting upright in a chair directly facing you. It's not very imaginative but may be used to show an uncompromising attitude, which might suit certain sitters. 2. The second is the relaxed pose of someone lying across a settee or sofa. A good horizontal shape that can look both elegant and casual. 3. The third position is difficult to obtain, because you have to be above the sitter and it relies on you having a higher level to work from. However,...

Drapery

Drapery in the artistic sense means cloth, clothing or textiles. We will be looking at fabric used in still-life arrangements the clothes that people wear in our drawings and anything else connected with the activity of drawing. Initially, we have to examine the actual materiality of a piece of cloth. That includes the way it folds, how it hangs and how it drapes around an object. It also includes the sheen or surface texture and whether it reflects the light or absorbs it. When you come to...

Sdb

U Our first picture is by John Keane, entitled Fairy Tales of London N (1992) and is a sort of allegory of metropolitan life for a young mother and her family. In my version of the picture, the strong pastel U colours are punchy and contrast with each other, making the scene E look very hard, sharp and rather unsympathetic. The colours seem somehow to isolate the figures in the urban landscape. The second drawing shows a young black man wearing a sharp suit and, in a way, he is every bit as...

Dst

When you come to produce a picture with a number of figures in it, you will need to have some sort of theme or idea about how they are all going to fit together into the scene. It could be totally abstract in that it would only be a group of figures arranged in a format with no particular reason for being there. But usually there is more fun in choosing a theme to put your figures together in a more natural and narrative way. option the perennial holiday beach scene, which most of us have had...

Jla

These two open hands, showing the palm, will be very familiar to us, since they are seen from the viewpoint of the owner. Notice how the movement of the thumb changes the character of the gesture. 1. The open hand with its fingers straightened out looks flat and fin-like. 2. Another fist, obviously masculine, but with the thumb closed around the fingers. When the hand is in a fist, draw the whole shape first, picking out the detail afterwards.

Landscape

Actively searching for a landscape to draw may seem a rather artificial approach - there are landscapes everywhere we look -but you need an area with qualities that you find attractive. Before you start rushing around in search of a good view, consider the area you are working in and adapt your ideas to make the most of a particular environment. The first and most essential step is to compose your picture. As shown earlier in the book, this can be done with the use of a framing device made from...

Kbl

Paintings can provide a strong effect by their colour and many modern painters have used colour with some power. In all the examples here you can see how the colour really forms the basis of the pictures' impact and has obviously been designed to do so. Colour used in an abstract way to give a picture a strong presence is shown on this page by two painters of the Impressionist era. First Vuillard who, with his amazing eye, produced this extraordinary piece of graphic painting The Goose in the...

Bmf

These examples of feet, seen from the front, side, underneath and from three-quarter view, provide a lot of information as to their structure. They have been drawn in pen and ink, in pastel, in coloured pencils and in brush and watercolour. Feet are probably the most simple of all the details of the body and it doesn't take long to familiarize yourself with them. Try drawing your own hands, feet and legs in a mirror or directly the practice is always valuable. 1. The most difficult view is from...

Portraits

Portrait drawing is frequently the type of drawing that people would most like to be able to do, so that they can make reasonable likenesses of their friends and relatives. The first important thing is to understand the structure of the head. Without attention to its general shape, you will not be able to make a very convincing portrait, or even a caricature. When people start drawing the human head there is a tendency to concentrate on the face of the sitter, and it is often drawn larger in...

Kwn

The first stage requires a fairly loose brown line drawing on the grey-brown paper and then filling in some of the more obvious shadow areas, including, this time, the cast shadow on the table. Keep the strokes loose and light in touch. You can now begin on the other colours. I put in the blue edge to the bowl and then the basic yellow of the bananas and the yellow and green of the apples. Next, I drew the pattern on the plate and also the very light areas on it. I then deepened the shadows on...

Chw

These two nudes are drawn in different styles but both in the medium of pen and ink. The first is a copy of a Picasso ink drawing and I've tried to follow the method he used, giving a similar emphasis to the line. The second is drawn more heavily and I've added some colour washes to give a more spatial effect to the figure. The contrast between a simple line drawing and the addition of washes of colour shows how much even limited colour can achieve.

Kgd

When you begin to draw portraits, you may find after a few minutes of posing that people's faces tend to adopt a fixed stare and often a rather bored expression. This is why, in previous times, professional portrait painters used to employ musicians to keep their sitters amused, so that they would not find the business too tedious. Some painters rely on their talent for interesting conversation to keep their sitters lively, but you can see how that might be difficult. So, one thing you can do...

Wce

Dragon Drawings Colour

N In St George and the Dragon Z 1555-1558 by Tintoretto, the O use of colour is very traditional but extremely successful in R getting across the drama of the situation. The foreground is dominated by the frightened princess fleeing from St George's violent conflict with the dragon as she rushes towards the viewer with arms outstretched and cloak flying. To 'advance' her, she is shown in a shimmering deep blue dress, cloaked in a beautiful pinkish red. Her pale face and shoulders emerge from...