Weight Is in the Rear but Coming Up Fast

Let's go back to those basic shapes you collected and practiced drawing in space. In Chapter 9, Step Up to a Still Life Composition, Composition, Composition, you drew them as contour line drawings. Now, try them as toned 3-D objects. Pick objects that are simple and not too richly colored or patterned for starters. 1. Establish a light source and direction. See how the light plays on the objects. See the gradation of tone relative to your chart of tonal range. 2. Squint at your arrangement,...

Detailing Make the Clothing Fit the Woman or

The detail in clothing adds to the pose and gesture of an individual and sets the scene for that person's activity in your drawing. You can sketch it in or you can spend time on the textures and patterns, the style, and the details. In addition, a few props can often add the detail you're after in a portrait. If you enjoy drawing people, as portraits or as characters in your larger work, you might amass a collection of prop hats, gloves, boots, jewels, flowers, and feathers, just for fun.

Caring for Your Work

Generally speaking, use the best materials you can, take yourself and your efforts seriously, present your work simply so it can stand on its own, take care of what you don't frame, and the archivists and art historians of the future will thank you. Caring for your work now means your children, grandchildren, and even your Great-great-great grandchildren will have it hanging on their walls (even if they'd rather have it in their closets). Whether it's storage, matting, or framing, here's some...

Making a Viewfinder Frame

How Make Viewfinder For Art

A viewfinder can be as simple as your two hands held up to make a frame. Through your hands, you see only what is framed by them. You can make a simple viewfinder using only your hands. A viewfinder frame is a window through which you see an image and can relate the angles, lines, shapes, and parts to the measuring marks on the frame and to each other. It is as simple as using your two hands to frame a view or making a cardboard frame. If you want to use more than just your hands, but don't...

Drawing in Circles Is not Going in Circles

Circles and ellipses can be seen as building blocks or basic shapes for a lot of objects in composition, because the shapes of all the parts are what make the whole. Use circles and ellipses to draw space into things right from the start. This will help in making sure that you have left enough room for things. A circle in space is a sphere, or a ball. An ellipse is space is an ellipsoid, rather like a rounded-off cylinder. Practice drawing them as a warm-up and practice seeing them in the...

Hands

Hands are the bane of many a figure drawing. There are dozens of small bones and muscles and ligaments in the hand and the wrist which allow us the wonderful range of movement we take for granted, even down to the typing of the manuscript for this book. Think of the hand as a flat, rather squarish shape, with a wrist joint at one end (it is amazing how often the wrist is ignored), and a curved edge at the other end from which four fingers extend. This plane is flexible and can rotate and bend...

Your Sketchbook Page

Try your hand at practicing the exercises you've learned in this chapter. V A warm-up for your eyes and hand is a good way for beginning artists to start a drawing session. V Drawing brings you into a higher state of consciousness. V Contour drawing focuses your attention and observation, while switching your cognitive brain function from the logical left to the relational right. V Looking carefully at the detail in any drawing subject will keep you working on the right side. V You can see as...

What Are They Doing Action Gesture and Detail

The body in action probably presents you with some foreshortening challenges. It's really quite simple, though If you think of people as cylinders in space, you'll know how to draw them. Measure carefully to see where the body parts line up with each other in the foreshortened pose, as opposed to the figure if it were standing straight up. To draw people at work and at play, concentrate on the action and the gesture in quick lines, adding detail as you can. Sometimes a small detail, like a hat...

Dress Em Up and Move Em

V Adding people to your pictures V Facial shapes and proportions I'm trying to capture something of the world I inhabit, but it's really about my own journey. Ed Hall, portraitist on the Long Island Railroad Because most landscapes seem to have as many people milling around as the houses they live in, it's time to get out there and start drawing these folks. Draw your family, your friends, or that elusive perfect stranger. You know, the tall, dark one Oh, wait that's a different book. In this...

Out of the House and onto the Patio Door

While your materials and subjects can vary endlessly, the process is essentially the same every single time you begin a new drawing. The minor variations are your needs at the time and your choices as to how to proceed, what medium to use, or how finished a piece you are trying for. Remember, for fun or for help, use your patio or sliding glass door as a big plastic picture plane. Put a few objects on a table right outside the door and try to draw them on the glass. Use a dry-erase pen that...

When a Cube Is a Cube in Space

Rectangular objects do their own thing in space. Not only are they affected by eye level (above, at, or below), but they also change as you see them from an angle other than straight on. As you see a rectangle from an angle, the face or plane that is slanting away from you starts to diminish or vanish. So a plane in space needs to reflect that vanishing as well as its place relative to eye level. This is not as hard as it sounds. Again, your practice in drawing basic geometric shapes should...

Animal Portraits

An animal portrait can be a casual sketch that captures the person ality of the animal, but often it is an attempt to get a more formal treatment and likeness. You will find lots of reference material out there books, magazines, stock photos, clip art, and Internet photos, to name a few. They can be handy, but will not be the best way to learn to see and draw. Looking at a flat image is not the way to practice shape and form. Even detail is best seen for real and then drawn. Use the world of...

Decorate Your World

V Creating illustrations and illuminations V Cartoons, caricatures, and fantasies Culture will come when every man will know how to address himself to the inanimate simple things of life Your drawing subjects are limited only by your imagination. Travel, both overseas and to the local nature preserve, for example, can be enhanced by carrying a sketchbook along with your camera. Then, there's decorating your world. Once you've learned to draw, you can create books of your own, or customize your...

Few More Tips on Planes in Space

To determine the middle of a plane turned in space, such as the wall of a house to position a door or window in the middle, or to find the middle of an end wall to position the roof, draw diagonals in the rectangle that represents the wall or plane. This works whether the plane is facing straight at you or at any angle, and whether it is above, at, or below eye level. As in the figure below, a line drawn through the crossed diagonals and parallel to the verticals will be in the middle. You can...

Computer Art Programs You Can Learn

Computer graphics programs are a different story, because they are a way of using your drawings after you have made them, for everything from cards, presents, posters, and all kinds of commercial uses, should you be so inclined. Adobe Photoshop and Quark are two great programs for using art. Lauren uses one or the other for everything, and they're well worth the time to learn. Photoshop can do anything you can think of to an image, or montage of images, with or...

What About Drawing Classes

Drawing classes, like any classes, are an additional opportunity to learn. The commitment you make to a class can help you focus your attention and prioritize your time. Drawing classes are everywhere. High school continuing education classes, community college classes, art museum classes, and small privately organized classes with local artists are some of your options. If you develop an interest in a specific medium, a good class can help a great deal, providing special instruction or access...

How to Choose a Computer Art Class

There are more and more computer classes out there, with the usual brochures and course descriptions to wade through, including schedules, prices, credits (if you care), and residual computerese (language designed to confuse you) to deal with and experience. Specific courses for complicated graphics programs like Photoshop, Quark, or Illustrator are very helpful places to start. Ask around. Chances are, someone you know (or their cousin) has already taken the course and can comment. Find out...

Cartoons Humor or Opinion

How funny are you Are you an opinionated type You might be a cartoonist in disguise. Cartoons are great drawing practice, and you don't have to have a lot of skill, as many of today's cartoons reveal. The trick with humorous cartoons like comic strips is consistency, making your characters look the same from frame to frame. With political cartoons and caricatures, it's a matter of discerning your subject's most prominent feature and then exaggerating it for recognition. Studying the masters can...

What We Have to Look Forward To

As the body ages, the flexor muscles shorten and tend to pull the body into a stoop. In addition, the spine curves more, the shoulders round or stoop, and the neck thrusts the head forward. At the same time, muscle tone changes, and the muscles become thinner and shrink. Joints, meanwhile, seem larger relatively. Skin and soft tissue gets softer and saggy at the stomach, breasts, elbows, and chin. More ice cream, anyone Children, with their longer more flexible muscles, are, not surprisingly,...

We All Love to Draw

In a nonthreatening environment, we all love to draw. That's because the hidden child comes out to play. But traditional instruction in drawing was for older children, usually those who drew well, and was focused on traditional European styles and models. It didn't leave much room for fun. Today, those of us who help children draw know that they can learn to draw realistically in a creative environment without sacrificing their natural creativity. With older children particularly, the...

Right LeftRight Your Brain Learns to Follow Orders

Even in the early exercises, you may notice a change in your state of consciousness a relaxed, focused peace though you're trying something very new. Time will pass quickly while you're working, and the rest of the world may fade into the background. The right side, after all, is not a timekeeper. As a first step toward learning to shift your brain from left to right, let's begin by exploring how you drew when you were a child.

Made by Man Out in the Landscape

V Adding human-made elements to your landscapes Some of the most unusual adventures I have ever had came as by-products of casual sketching trips made after breakfast on days off from my newspaper work. It is a hobby that leads to queer and uncommon human contacts. Not everything in our world was made by Mother Nature, and human-made elements are just about everywhere you look. Whether it's a fence crossing a field, a sailboat rocking in an inlet, or a satellite tower topping a mountain, the...

Evidence of Human Influence

Of course, there are landscapes without human-made elements, but they are getting harder and harder to find. These days, the human influence seems to be almost everywhere we look, even if it's only the winding road we are looking out at in the distance. Making peace with human-made elements in your landscape drawings is not so bad. In fact, you can use the many human-made things in your landscape to frame and order the space, draw the eye into your composition, or add contrast and textural...

Where Are They

Inside, the scale of people and things is not much of a problem, because the distances are not great and the people are probably easy to see. Try drawing a friend working in the kitchen, or a family member snoozing in front of the TV, or an intimate friend in the tub or relaxing in the bedroom. The setting of your drawing helps place the person and adds a special feeling about the moment. Placing people in your landscape can add both drama and character(s). Seeing and measuring the scale of...

Pick Simple Terms to Explain Things

Children might not understand all the terms that we assume they understand, so it's important to use simple language until you are sure of your explanations. For example, vertical is standing up. diagonal is leaning. receding or diminishing is getting smaller in the distance. A profile is the side of something or someone's face. A contour line goes all around the edge of something. You can probably think of more simple ways to describe things, ideas, or projects.

The Next Set Send Off the Logical Left

Here is a drawing exercise to buy an express ticket to send that persistent logical left packing. Your left brain will want to leave town, and not even call or write. Let it go it is a nuisance. You are going to try a contour drawing of your hand (not the drawing hand, the other one, as Pooh would say). You are going to do this drawing without looking at your paper, not even once This exercise is one developed by Kimon Nicolaides in his book, The Natural Way to Draw (Boston Houghton Mifflin,...

Learning to See Measure and Draw in Perspective

Perspective is not that hard, and for the more obsessive-compulsive of us, it is rather fun. So, with the addition of a ruler to help with the lines, you are ready to try it. 1. Site your object on your paper and decide on your eye level or horizon line. Hold your paper horizontal it will give you more room. Is your object correctly placed, relative to your eye level Is it above, at, or below eye level i Draw it on your paper. Most times, you will site your cube or cottage slightly below eye...

Tension Frustration Fatigue and Short Attention Span

Whole books are written on each of these, because children are apt to experience any or all of them while drawing. Be as patient as you can. Look for the reason behind the problem, encourage the child to explain his or her feelings, and remain the kind adult. The older a child is, the longer his or her attention span will be. If any of the above is exhibited at the beginning of the drawing session, it's possible that drawing isn't the problem at all. As a child learns to enjoy drawing, they'll...

The Virtues of Negative Space

We all have minds full of preconceived ideas about how things are. We often deal in symbols and abbreviations for things as long as we can identify them and they suit our needs. For seeing and drawing, though, what we think we know is not a help, but a hindrance. It is Old Lefty butting in to tell what he knows. And what does he know Sure, he has the chair in his head the size of the seat, the length of the legs (all equal), and the arrangement of all the other shapes. But when seen at an angle...

Docks Harbors and Shipyards

Docks and shipyards are challenging places to draw. A dock needs to be drawn carefully, and there is a lot to measure. Once you get the main plane of the dock drawn in space, use crossing diagonals to divide the space equally and then again and again for the piers or pilings. The activity in a boatyard can be daunting, but if you enjoy the subject, you will find a way to frame an amount of the activity that you can handle. Your viewfinder frame will come in handy for this. Plus, don't hesitate...

Using the Viewfinder Frame

Now that you've done all that and made a viewfinder of your own, let's try to use the viewfinder frame to make a drawing. 1. Decide on an object a wooden chair would be a good choice for this exercise. 2. Position yourself, your drawing materials in front of you and the chair out in front of you at an angle (45 degrees) so that you can see the whole chair. 3. Pick a viewfinder frame that surrounds the chair quite closely on all sides. 4. Draw a proportionally equal rectangle on your paper. 5....

Scanning Your Images

Most flat scanners are designed to read images up to 872 x 14, so if your drawings are larger than that, you'll have to scan them in sections. The process may be unwieldy and the results, less-than-desirable reproductions of your drawings. If you've been doing a lot of your sketching on the road, though, you probably did so in a small enough sketchbook. Is there a drawing that you particularly like Start with that one. Tear it carefully from your sketchbook and then lay it flat on your scanner...

The Art of the Child

Has your mother kept those boxes of your childhood drawings all these years Or maybe, when you moved into your own home, she insisted you put them in your own attic. If you can find any of your childhood drawings at all, we'd like you to take a look at them now. So either climb up to your attic, call your mom, or head over to that storage locker and dig them out. Spread your childhood artwork out and take a look at how your own drawing developed. Can you see where you moved from not worrying...

Contour Drawing of Your Hand 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 hand 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...

Isolate a Subject with the Picture Plane

Now you are ready to try one of the drawing devices favored by the old masters. This is an exercise that will help you get the idea of the picture plane in your mind's eye or is it your eye's mind 1. Look around the room and decide on a first subject. Don't get too ambitious at first. A corner of a room might be too much try a table or a chair, or a window at an angle. 2. It is absolutely necessary that you're able to keep the plastic picture plane at your eye level and that it be still. Rest...

Closing the Roof

Let's finish off your first perspective drawing and put a roof on that cottage or cube. A roof a simple one on a cottage or a cube, anyway is another set of planes that are parallel to one side wall of the structure and vanish to the same point. The roof is also centered on the end wall of the structure, which means that you have to determine the middle of the end wall. It's easy 1. Draw light diagonals in the end wall from corner to corner. 2. Then, draw a vertical line up through the X made...

Pencils

If you live in an area where there's a paper specialty store, you'll want to stop by at some point. Take the time to feel the paper, to note its grain and texture. There's more to paper than meets the eye Any 2 pencil will work, but if you're going out for a pad of paper anyway, do yourself a favor and get some mechanical pencils. In the past, these were used mostly for drafting, but they're readily available and are great for drawing. They make a clean, consistent line that can be varied with...

See the Detail in Each Object and Draw What You

When you have located and drawn the shape of each object in your composition, the rest is clear seeing and drawing of the remaining detail. Your finished drawing should reflect all the work you have done lately. An arrangement that you would have thought impossible to draw is now within your grasp. It is a great feeling. In the next chapter, we will look at getting things to look a little more full of volume and detail. We will look at volume, weight, light, and shadow, and how to draw them by...

Joshua Nava Drawing Foot

Foot Orthographic

Feet are similarly avoided in figure drawings. But because they are the base for the body at rest or in action, you need to pay closer attention to them. Think of the feet as wedged-shaped bases, higher where they are connected at the ankle joint, sloping down toward the front edge, with an arched shape underneath, and ending in five toes for added stability. Here, too, practice will best acquaint you with the shapes and positions. And you have two of these fine specimens to work with, as you...

Paper in a Variety of Types

General drawing paper in pads or sketchbooks Bristol board Watercolor paper Mechanical pencils in various hardnesses and leads Drawing pencils in various hardnesses Charcoal pencils, and soft-charcoal sticks and paper stomps Spray fixative Conte crayons Dry-erase markers and permanent markers Colored pencils and water-soluble pencils Oil pastels and crayons Colored markers Pastel pencils and soft pastels Watercolors, gouache, and acrylic paints Water-based crayons

Drawing Instruments

Pencils are best for beginning drawings they're both simple and correctable. As we discussed in Chapter 3, Loosen Up, pencils come in hardnesses from very hard technical pencils in the H range, to very soft, smudgy pencils in the B range. They are labeled at the end of the pencil (4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B). School or regular pencils are 2HB, rather on the smudgy side. Mechanical pencils, once used only for drafting and architectural drawing, are fine tools. They maintain a consistent...

Sunny Window

Window Draw

Does the sun pour through in the early morning or just before sunset Maybe it gets filtered northern light, a favorite of artists, or dappled light filtered through the leaves of a tall old tree. What's on your windowsill An arrangement of colored bottles can be the basis of a simple but lovely line drawing without one color pencil being used. If your window is framed by sweeping sheer curtains that flutter in the breeze, another nice drawing subject is at...

Closer to Home

You will want a larger sketchbook or supply of loose sheets in a portfolio for drawing close to home. Most of your learning drawing will be done in these. If you remember your dreams or have frequent flights of fancy, you may want to keep a separate expressive journal. Try to make a drawing that captures or reflects your memory, and write down what you remember. You may be surprised at the direction your work takes. Nonfiction and drawing in a journal combine differently, usually requiring a...

Whats Your Perspective

In my last letter you will have found a little sketch of that perspective frame I mentioned. I just came back from the blacksmith, who made iron points for the sticks and iron corners for the frame. It consists of two long stakes the frame can be attached to them either way with strong wooden sticks. So on the shore or in the meadows or in the fields one can look through it like a window. The vertical lines and the horizontal line of the frame and the diagonal lines and the intersection or else...

Part

Don't be shocked if your drawings truly surprise you. By now, you've developed basic drawing skills and are eager to practice what you've learned. Before you do, though, we'll be looking at journals and sketchbooks yours and those of a few other artists. Then, because you will need a portable drawing kit to take on the road, we'll suggest both essentials and nonessentials to pack. We'll also peer into some working artists' studios and see what's behind those light-filled windows and how they...

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...

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....

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...

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

Geometric Shapes Art 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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...