Five basic skills of drawing

The Colored Pencil Course

Ebook On Drawing Pencil Portraits

Get Instant Access

The global skill of drawing a perceived object, person, landscape (something that you see "out there") requires only five basic component skills, no more. These skills are not drawing skills. They are perceptual skills, listed as follows:

One: the perception of edges

Two: the perception of spaces

Three: the perception of relationships

Four: the perception of lights and shadows

Five: the perception of the whole, or gestalt

I am aware, of course, that additional basic skills are required for imaginative, expressive drawing leading to "Art with a capital A." Of these, I have found two and only two additional skills: drawing from memory and drawing from imagination. And there remain, naturally, many techniques of drawing—many ways of manipulating drawing mediums and endless subject matter, for example. But, to repeat, for skillful realistic drawing of one's perceptions, using pencil on paper, the five skills I will teach you in this book provide the required perceptual training.

Those five basic skills are the prerequisites for effective use of the two additional "advanced" skills, and the set of seven may constitute the entire basic global skill of drawing. Many books on drawing actually focus mainly on the two advanced skills. Therefore, after you complete the lessons in this book, you will find ample instruction available to continue learning.

I need to emphasize a further point: Global or whole skills, such as reading, driving, and drawing, in time become automatic. As I mentioned above, basic component skills become completely integrated into the smooth flow of the global skill. But in acquiring any new global skill, the initial learning is often a struggle, first with each component skill, then with the smooth integration of components. Each of my students goes through this process, and so will you. As each new skill is learned, you will merge it with those previously learned until, one day, you are simply drawing—just as, one day, you found yourself simply driving without thinking about how to do it. Later, one almost forgets about having learned to read, learned to drive, learned to draw.

In order to attain this smooth integration in drawing, all five component skills must be in place. I'm happy to say that the fifth skill, the perception of the whole, or gestalt, is neither taught nor learned but instead seems to emerge as a result of acquiring the other four skills. But of the first four, none can be omitted, just as learning how to brake or steer cannot be omitted when learning to drive.

In the original book, I believe I explained sufficiently well the first two skills, the perception of edges and the perception of spaces. The importance of sighting (the third skill of perceiving

The global skill of drawing

"You have two brains: a left and a right. Modern brain scientists now know that your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters, and words_

Your right brain is your non-verbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, composed of 'whole things,' and does not comprehend reductions, either numbers, letters, or words."

"You have two brains: a left and a right. Modern brain scientists now know that your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters, and words_

Your right brain is your non-verbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, composed of 'whole things,' and does not comprehend reductions, either numbers, letters, or words."

From The Fabric of Mind, by the eminent scientist and neurosurgeon Richard Bergland. New York: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1985, p. 1.

relationships) however, needed greater emphasis and clearer explanation, because students often tend to give up too quickly on this complicated skill. And the fourth skill, the perception of lights and shadows, also needed expanding. Most of the content changes for this new edition, therefore, are in the last chapters.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

How To Become A Professional Pencil Drawing Artist

Realize Your Dream of Becoming a Professional Pencil Drawing Artist. Learn The Art of Pencil Drawing From The Experts. A Complete Guide On The Qualities of A Pencil Drawing Artist.

Get My Free Ebook


Responses

  • MARCO
    What are the five basic skill of drawing?
    1 year ago
  • mary
    What are five basic skills of drawing?
    10 months ago

Post a comment