Archive | Drawing Lesson

Drawing Lesson No.11

Once again, we feel compelled to advance the act of drawing and impart a few anecdotal tips to that end. Hence, Drawing Lesson No.11 is presented here forthwith. Our subject is the United States founding father and first president, George Washington. The purpose of the drawing was to create a picture of Washington as an as yet undiscovered historical document.

There are countless examples of drawings, paintings, and engravings of Mr. Washington to choose from and study his likeness for this exercise. I figure as long as you get certain aspects of a person’s likeness about right, you’ll capture their image sufficient to identify them. The simple ink drawing is pretending to be a quick sketch by an artist (perhaps Remington Peale) done in preparation for a final painting. As a last touch, if the likeness is not perfect, we put George’s signature on the tattered page so that there is no doubt as to whose portrait this is.

In conclustion:

  1. Find a tattered piece of paper.
  2. Get a bottle of ink and a pen.
  3. Draw a person’s portrait.
  4. Label the drawing with the person’s name, so there is no doubt the identity.

There you have it, drawing lesson No.11

Drawing Lesson No. 10

Once again, we feel compelled to offer yet another bit of advice and instruction regarding the pursuit of drawing. If you have spent any amount of effort attempting to draw a picture at another’s request, you’ll soon discover a possible gulf betwixt them and you. Someone may ask you to draw a picture of a dancing couple, and you may well reply – ‘I’d be happy to draw that for you.’ This request could be the beginning of an enjoyable project with a beautiful outcome, as long as you remain calm and cool. Always remember the client usually has a vision as to how they expect the art will look. And since they already know your work style, they probably have expectations that the picture should look similar to other works you have previously done.

In some cases, your patron might attempt to scribble a drawing to show you their thoughts. Whatever the specific details are surrounding the project’s launch, you might think it wise to offer a preliminary sketch of your planned design. Be gentle with your client, patient, and understanding. Remember, everything in life is a work in progress.

Here is a preliminary sketch of our dancing couple entitled, ‘Let’s Dance”, with notes from the dear client. And if you like the sketch, perhaps you’ll like the final art also found here.

Drawing Lesson No. 9

It always amazes that no matter how many drawings one has under the belt, there are still things to learn about the craft. To that end, we like to impart little bits of our experience in preparing artwork for various clients over the years. Drawing Lesson No. 9 speaks to the ‘art’ of the idea or sketch presentation to the client.

First of all, when someone calls on you to render artwork for them, undoubtedly they know how you draw and have confidence you’ll be able to please them with your work. The sketch is the beginning process of communicating the artistic concept to the client. We like to present to our clients a bit of entertainment, along with the sketch.

Just keep in mind, some clients don’t have a sense of humor. Fortunately, The New York Times does.

Elvis Swift for The New York Times – CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK/JAMES R. OESTREICH

Drawing Lesson No. 8

Today’s topic for our Drawing Lesson is ‘Perspective”. Have you ever wondered why various accounts of events reported do not always agree with one another? The simple reason is due to perspective. Perspective not only plays a part in what we experience day to day but also as artists, how it is we portray the ideas and images we conceive. Every viewpoint of the same subject or object is slightly or wholly different dependant on the viewer, medium and intent.

The very first class in art school that I attended was figure drawing. I’ll never forget walking into the classroom, taking a seat on a wooden bench designed to accommodate a large pad of newsprint and a place to sit. While getting settled opening my brand new case of charcoal and Conté crayons and a large pad of newsprint, I hardly noticed the model walk into the room. No one was speaking, not the instructor nor any other students, and I recall that the last person who had entered through the door, walked up to a small elevated platform and casually and quietly disrobed. Now up to this point in life, I had seen and experienced many interesting things but this one took the cake. All at once we were sitting and staring at a naked person in our midst. With my jaw slack, I fumbled for a crayon and began in earnest to attempt to capture the utterly nude person standing just a few feet from me.

After drawing for about an hour, the instructor called for a break, we all set our charcoal or crayon down stood up and stretched, some of us headed out the door to the cafeteria while others chatted among one another. It seemed to me that I was the only one who thought this an awkward setting, as everyone seemed very matter of fact about the class. Instead of heading out of the room, I wandered around looking at my fellow student’s drawings. It was quite an eye-opener. Although we were all looking at the same naked form and attempting to render the figure before us, it seemed every drawing resembled a different person. One, because of the relative position a student was sitting to view the model, and two, the various levels of drawing skills. So it is with art, dependant upon the physical position of the artist to the subject, and their style and drawing acumen, the same subject will appear differently.

Today we have every form of three-dimensional rendering applications and tools to assist in the creation of imagery and objects, such as Autodesk Fusion 360, Adobe Photoshop CC extended 3D workspace and many more. Even your favorite smartphones and tablets have an AR (Augmented Reality) app that allows for placing realistic renders within the camera view presenting them in natural perspective context as though real.

Even though we have at our fingertips all the tools to resolve the mundane complexities of rendering objects and people in perspective, it is well worth learning to draw with an understanding of linear perspective, and it will help you bring your artistic ideas to fruition. Even in the abstract, it is good to have a technical foundation in the perception of the world around us.

Here is an excellent book to read for those of you who would like to understand graphics perspective:

Perspective by Jay Doblin


Drawing Lesson No. 7

Today’s drawing lesson has less to do with specific instruction but more to do with style. There are those who suggest that critical thinking but not manual dexterity should be taught to the young artistic mind. We, however, differ in that we are convinced that the ‘how to’ is as important to teach as is the means of forming ‘the idea’.

The example pictures shown are that of a glass factory and glass blower. Both of these images rendered in lino block are an example of a reductive method of creating art. Michelangelo reportedly stated, The more the marbles wastes, the more the statue grows.” Also, these examples touch on Chiaroscuro which is the study of using light and dark as the driving effect of depicting a drawn, painted, carved subject.

Get yourself a black piece of paper and a white pencil and draw the picture of your choice. You’ll have to sort of think backward a little, but that’s the fun of the exercise. In the end, you will have ‘…divided the light from darkness’.