to smooth paper, however, is that large areas of tone may seem somewhat flat. A textured paper is just the reverse: used in conjunction with charcoal or chalks, it gives a lively, broken characteristic to lines or areas of tone. Take note of the weight of the paper too so that if you use watercolours, for example, the paper will be heavy enough not to buckle.
The point at which a drawing ceases to be a drawing and becomes a painting is both a philosophical issue and a practical one. You can "draw" with colour using coloured pencils, pastels or chalks, or you can add colour to what are essentially linear drawings. You can essentially mix and match - start with pencil and add a watercolour wash, or start with watercolours and strengthen certain details later with pen and ink. By combining such media in this way you can build up a more substantial drawing and create dramatic effects.
Just as there are endless possibilities when mixing media, so too are there quite different procedures. There are no rules about what you can and cannot use, and no set order in which you work with your materials. For instance, you could start a drawing with a pencil, then perhaps add some watercolour. You could then refine the drawing with pen and ink and perhaps cross-hatch over certain areas with chalks or pastels to create different textures.
Working in this way, you introduce a new medium at various intervals because it strengthens the previous one or creates a new, interesting effect. On the other hand, you could make a decision from the outset to combine a selection of materials and use them in conjunction with each other. It is a question of what effect you wish to achieve and the best way to go about it. As with your drawing skills, learning to make the most of your materials is a matter of time, practice, and pleasure.
Learning to draw is ultimately about j learning how to see and interpret the world around you; it is vital that you observe images correctly if you want to be able to draw convincingly. Train your eye to look for specific factors as you analyse objects or a scene. You need to be able to distill the information and translate it into an original drawing in your own distinctive style and through your own personal perspective. The best way to begin practising this process is to take a sketchbook everywhere with you and jot down ideas and sketches for future drawings. Use drawing materials that you are familiar with so that you can concentrate more on how you perceive an image and start to gain confidence in your drawing.
Looking for depth
Every scene consists of a foreground, a middleground, and a background (shown by the black outlines, left). Features in the foreground are large and clearly visible, objects in the middleground appear smaller and less conspicuous, while images in the distance are hazy and undefined. In drawing on a two-dimensional surface, these three divisions create the necessary illusion of depth. Another way to detect these divisions is to look for an intensity of colour: the foreground often consists of strong, powerful hues while the background is full of pale, often bluish tones. This atmospheric condition is known as "aerialperspective".
The effect of light on an object or a scene is crucial as it can throw whole areas into obscurity, or illuminate one aspect so that it appears to radiate and shimmer. It is worth observing how the sun moves across an object through the course of one day and noting how radically its appearance alters. A variety of warm and cool colours and elongated shapes and shadows transform the look of this building (right) according to the particular time of day. This exercise should help you to judge the best moment to draw a scene or to create a particular mood.
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