Your Learningto Draw Cheat Sheet

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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 seriously. Make yourself a place to work that is just for you.

2. Set a time to work. Make a date with yourself.

3. Look around for some first subjects as ideas.

4. Arrange yourself comfortably so you can see your subject and your paper easily.

5. Select your objects or your view.

6. Arrange your objects, still life composition, or move the furniture to suit.

7. Look at things flat or at angles to see how they vanish—that is, become smaller—as they recede. Ellipses get smaller or flatter as the object is turned away. Look at the main angles in your view.

8. Decide on your viewpoint and eye level.

9. Adjust the lighting if necessary.

10. Establish a format and size of drawing.

11. Decide on your medium and paper.

12. Use the viewfinder frame to see your choice.

13. Make a box on your paper that is proportionally equal to your viewfinder frame at your chosen size.

14. Remember the diagonals keep the box and frame in proportion.

15. Use your plastic picture plane or your viewfinder frame to see the arrangement or view in space.

16. Site what you see on your page.

17. Start with light planning lines for the simple shapes, lines, angles, and the general outline.

18. Check your initial light drawing for accuracy.

19. Check the shapes and the spaces. Look at the negative spaces, how things overlap, which way the angles are. See the basic geometric shapes in space.

20. Look to see objects as if they were transparent. See their space. Imagine a dotted line at the back of where they are to ensure there is enough space for the object to really be there in space.

21. Use your viewfinder frame to gauge any angle relative to horizontal or vertical and the grid marks on the edge of the frame. Use your pencil to do the same. Hold it at horizontal or vertical next to an angle and see the difference.

22. Use your carpenter's angle measure to see an angle and transfer it to your drawing.

23. If you have a problem, use the plastic picture plane and transfer what you see to your drawing.

24. Draw a box for something that is hard to draw. Put the box in space, then draw the thing in the box.

25. See relationally. As you are sure of one shape, relate the others to it. Keep checking and adjusting until you are happy with your drawing.

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