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 through and draw on at the same time.

3. Close one eye and take a good long look through your picture plane. See what you can see, not what you think.

4. See the image through the lines that you put on the picture plane, but try to note where things are relative to the lines:

What part of the image is in the middle?

What part is near the diagonal?

What part is halfway across?

On which side of each grid is each part?

Does a particular line go from top to bottom or across?

Does a curve start in one box and travel to another before it disappears? And then what?

5. Uncap your marker and decide on a place to start.

6. Start to draw your subject, line by line.

7. Keep drawing.

Try Your Hand

No matter where you look, or what you're looking at, see it with the wonder and first-time awe of a child.

Isolating an object with a plastic picture plane.

When you have put in all that you see in your object, take a moment and observe the accuracy with which you have drawn a complicated drawing. Try to see where the plastic picture plane made it easy for you to draw a difficult part, like a table in perspective, or the scale of two objects, or the detail on the side of a box, or the pattern of a fabric that was in folds.

These potential problems are no longer problems, once you really see and draw what you

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