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Drawing
by Lauren Jarrett and Lisa Lenard

201 West 103rd Street


In d ian ap olis, IN 46290
A Pearson Ed u cation Com p an y

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Text Copyright 2000 by Amaranth


Illustrations Copyright 2000 by Lauren Jarrett
All righ ts reserved . No p art of th is book sh all be rep rod u ced , stored in a retrieval system , or tran sm itted by an y m ean s, electron ic, m ech an ical, p h otocop yin g, record in g, or oth erwise, with ou t written p erm ission from th e p u blish er. No p aten t liability is assu m ed with resp ect to th e u se of th e
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th is book, th e p u blish er an d au th ors assu m e n o resp on sibility for errors or om ission s. Neith er is
an y liability assu m ed for d am ages resu ltin g from th e u se of in form ation con tain ed h erein . For in form ation , ad d ress Alp h a Books, 201 West 103rd Street, In d ian ap olis, IN 46290.
THE COMPLETE IDIOTS GUIDE TO an d Design are registered trad em arks of Pearson Ed u cation , In c.
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Publisher
Marie Butler-Knight
Product Manager
Phil Kitchel
Managing Editor
Cari Luna
Acquisitions Editors
Mike Sanders
Susan Zingraf
Book Producer
Lee Ann Chearney/Amaranth
Development Editor
Amy Gordon
Production Editor
Billy Fields
Copy Editor
Amy Borrelli
Illustrator
Lauren Jarrett
Cartoonist
Jody P. Schaeffer
Cover Designers
Mike Freeland
Kevin Spear
Book Designers
Scott Cook and Amy Adams of DesignLab
Indexer
Greg Pearson
Eric Schroeder
Layout/Proofreading
Angela Calvert
Mary Hunt

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Contents at a Glance
Part 1.

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

1 Th e Pleasu res of Seein g an d Drawin g


Drawing is all about learning to see.

2 Toward Seein g for Drawin g


Rediscovering seeing as a child.

15

3 Loosen Up
Right brain practice.

33

Part 2. Now You Are Ready to Draw

45

4 Th e Pictu re Plan e
Drawing on plasticand on your patio door.

47

5 Fin d in g th e View
Using the viewfinder frame.

59

6 Negative Sp ace as a Positive Tool


Seeing whats not there.

67

Part 3. Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

77

7 A Room of You r Own


Creating a place to draw.

79

8 How To Get Started


Tips to start you on your way.

91

9 Step Up to a Still Life: Com p osition , Com p osition ,


Com p osition
Learning to draw the still life.

101

10 Toward th e Fin ish Lin e


Finishing touches.

115

Part 4. Developing Drawing Skills

125

11 At th e Fin ish Lin e: Are You Read y for More?


Balancing all the elements of a drawing.

127

12 Th e Jou rn al As a Path
Your drawing journal.

141

13 Th is Is a ReviewTh ere Will Be a Test


Putting it all together in one handy chapter.

151

14 All Arou n d th e Hou se: A Few New Drawin gs to Try


Household objects as drawing subjects.

165

15 In to th e Gard en with Pen cils, n ot Sh ovels


Botanical drawing and more.

179

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Part 5. Out and About with Your Sketchbook

195

16 W h ats You r Persp ective?


Getting technical about perspective.

197

17 Th is Lan d Is You r Lan d


Landscape drawing.

213

18 Mad e by Man : Ou t in th e Lan d scap e


Drawing what you see outside.

229

19 Hou ses an d Oth er Stru ctu res


Making your structures real.

241

Part 6. Drawing Animals and People

255

20 Its a Ju n gle Ou t Th ereSo Draw It!


A guide to animal drawing.

257

21 Th e Hu m an Bod y an d Its Extrem ities


Drawing the human anatomy.

271

22 Dress Em Up an d Move Em Ou t
Its all in the details.

287

Part 7. Enjoying the Artists Life!

299

23 Ju st for Ch ild ren


Teaching your kids to draw.

301

24 Decorate You r World


Using your drawings to decorate your world.

315

25 Exp ress You rself


Using your drawings as vehicles of self-expression.

327

26 Th e Artists Life
Living the good life, artists style.

337

Appendixes
A You r Artists Materials Ch ecklist

345

B Resou rces for Learn in g to Draw

347

C Drawin g Glossary

349

In d ex

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353

Contents
Part 1:

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

1
3

W h at Is Drawin g? ..........................................................................3
Drawing is ................................................................................4
The Artists Answer ......................................................................5
Exp ress You rself ............................................................................6
Why You Draw, and Why Sometimes You Stop Drawing ................7
Looking Through the Barriers ........................................................8
Learn in g How to Look ..................................................................8
Open Up Your Eyes ........................................................................9
The Gallery of Life ......................................................................10
Seein g You r Way to Drawin g ......................................................11
Techniques as Tools of Expression ................................................12
Developing a Way of Seeing and Drawing ....................................13

2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

15

Free You r Min d , You r Eyes Will Follow ......................................15


The Wonders of the Human Brain ..............................................16
Are You a Lefty or a Righty? ........................................................17
From Logical Left to Relation al Righ t ..................................18
Right-Left-Right: Your Brain Learns to Follow Orders ....................18
The Art of the Child ....................................................................19
Sim p le Materials to Begin ..........................................................21
Paper ..........................................................................................21
Pencils ........................................................................................22
Eraser ..........................................................................................22
Drawing Board ............................................................................22
A Few Other Things ....................................................................22
Exercises to Get You on th e Righ t Sid e (of th e Brain ) ................23
Profile/Vase-Vase/Profile ..............................................................23
Reviewing the Exercise ................................................................24
W h en th e Fam iliar Gets Un fam iliar ..........................................26
Right Side Up/Upside Down ........................................................26
Copy a Complicated Drawing ......................................................28
Keep Up the Good Work ..............................................................29
Exercisin g You r Righ t(s) ..............................................................29
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................31

3 Loosen Up

33

Now You See It ............................................................................33


Warm-Up for the Eyes and Hand ................................................34
Entering the Flow ........................................................................35
To Begin ....................................................................................36
Th e Next SetSen d Off th e Logical Left ....................................36
Contour Drawing of Your HandWithout Looking ......................37
Contour Drawing of Your HandWhile Looking ..........................38

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An oth er Set to Keep It Gon e ......................................................40


Contour Drawing of an ObjectWithout Looking ........................40
Contour Drawing of an ObjectWhile Looking ..........................41
Farewell, Old Lefty ......................................................................42
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................43

Part 2:

Now You Are Ready to Draw

4 The Picture Plane

45
47

W h at Is a Pictu re Plan e? ............................................................48


How to Use a Picture Plane ..........................................................48
Historical Uses of Drawin g Devices ............................................49
How a Pictu re Plan e Works ........................................................50
Prep arin g a Plexiglas Pictu re Plan e for Drawin g ........................50
Isolate a Su bject with th e Pictu re Plan e ......................................52
Tran sfer th e Drawin g to Pap er ....................................................54
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................56

5 Finding the View

59

A Viewfin d er Fram e ....................................................................59


Makin g a Viewfin d er Fram e ........................................................60
Usin g th e Viewfin d er Fram e ......................................................63
Draw W h at You See in th e Viewfin d er ......................................65
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................65

6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool

67

Fin d You r Sp ace ..........................................................................67


The Virtues of Negative Space ......................................................68
Learning How to Use Negative Space ............................................68
Select an Object to Draw: Th eyre Everywh ere! ........................69
A View Th rou gh th e Viewfin d er ................................................69
Where to StartLocation, Location, Location ............................70
Draw the Holes, not the Thing ....................................................71
See th e Object Th rou gh th e Sp ace Arou n d It ............................72
Gettin g Negative ........................................................................73
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................74

Part 3:

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

7 A Room of Your Own

77
79

Fin d in g Sp ace an d Tim e ..............................................................79


Setting Up Your Drawing Room or Table ......................................80
Studio Beautiful 101 ....................................................................80
The Best Time to Draw ................................................................82
What About Drawing Classes? ....................................................83
Begin n in g Materials You ll Need ................................................83
On Paper ....................................................................................83
Drawing Instruments ..................................................................84
Storing Your Materials and Work ................................................85
Begin n in g Tech n iq u es to Use ......................................................85

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The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

The Marks That Can Make a Drawing ........................................85


Simple Geometric Shapes to Practice ............................................86
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................88

8 How to Get Started

91

W h at Are You Goin g to Draw? ..................................................91


Select Your Objects and Pick Your Subject ....................................92
Choose the Format and the Paper ..............................................92
How Will You Arran ge th e Objects? ..........................................92
Seeing Arrangement and Composition ..........................................93
See the View and the Distance ....................................................93
On th e Page ................................................................................95
Next Step: Establish Eye Level ....................................................96
Site the Image on the Paper Using the Center Lines ....................96
Makin g a Sim p le Con tou r Drawin g ............................................96
The Lightest Sketch to Begin ........................................................97
Check It Over ..............................................................................97
Correct It Now, Render It Later ....................................................97
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................98

9 Step Up to a Still Life: Composition, Composition,


Composition

101

W h at Is a Still Life? ..................................................................101


Picking Objects: Classic, Contemporary, and Out There ..............101
Why Artists Love to Draw Fruit and Vegetables ........................104
A Few Th ou gh ts on Com p osition ............................................104
Off Center Is Often Better ..........................................................105
Centering on Purpose ................................................................105
Charming Diagonals ................................................................105
Other Shapes to See in the Shapes of Things ..............................105
Com p osin g a Still Life ..............................................................106
Choosing from a Group of Possibilities ......................................106
Filtering and Framing for the View You Want ............................106
Sp ace in a Still Life ....................................................................106
Vantage and View ....................................................................106
More Work on Eye Level ............................................................106
Makin g Th in gs Sit Down , or Roll Over, an d Stay ....................107
Ellipses Are Your Friends ............................................................107
When a Cube Is a Cube, in Space ..............................................108
When a Cylinder Is a Rectangle, with Curves ............................109
Fitting Other Shapes into the Boxes They Came In ....................110
Drawin g Th at Still Life ..............................................................110
See Your Still Life in Space ........................................................110
Site the Arrangement on the Page ..............................................110
Start with a Light Sketch to Position ..........................................111
Check Your Spacing ..................................................................111
See the Detail in Each Object and Draw What You See ..............111
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................112

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Contents

10 Toward the Finish Line

115

Lin e an d Sh ap e Are in th e Lead , Form Follows Close Beh in d 115


Weigh t Is in th e Rear, bu t Com in g Up Fast ..............................119
First Th in gs First: Sh ap e an d Sp ace ..........................................119
Now Start Again ......................................................................119
Gettin g to Th at Fin ish Lin e ....................................................122
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................123

Part 4:

Developing Drawing Skills

11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

125
127

New Materials ............................................................................127


New Papers ..............................................................................128
More Drawing Tools ..................................................................128
More Tech n iq u es ......................................................................130
Drawing in Circles Is not Going in Circles ................................130
Scale Is Sizing Things in Space ..................................................131
Measuring Angles in Space ........................................................131
Back to Th at Race to th e Fin ish Lin e ......................................132
And Its Details in the Endby a Hair ....................................132
Take a Closer Look and See the Detail ......................................133
Natures Detail Is Unending ......................................................133
At th e Fin ish Lin e Again ..........................................................136
On ward s an d Ou tward s ............................................................138
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................139

12 The Journal As a Path

141

W h y Keep a Sketch book Jou rn al? ............................................141


Artists on Th eir Work ..............................................................142
How They Feel About Their Studios and Tools ..........................142
How They Feel About Drawing ..................................................142
Differen t Kin d s of Jou rn als ......................................................144
Travel Journals ..........................................................................144
Closer to Home ........................................................................144
You r Jou rn al Is All Abou t You ..................................................146
Usin g You r Jou rn al ....................................................................146
Expressive Drawing ....................................................................147
Drawing as a Form of Healing ..................................................147
Therapeutic Drawing ................................................................148
Spontaneous Drawing ................................................................148
Zen and Drawing ......................................................................148
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................149

13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

151

Th rou gh th e Lookin g Glass ......................................................151


Seeing as a Child ......................................................................152
Look/Dont Look ........................................................................152
Gu id es Are W h at You Make Th em ..........................................152
Plastic Picture Plane Practice ....................................................152

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ix

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

A View Through Your Viewfinder Frame ....................................153


Or, Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide ......................................154
Accen tu ate th e Negative ..........................................................154
Makin g Arran gem en ts ..............................................................155
Slowly You Draw, Step-by-Step ..................................................156
Making a List and Checking It Twice ........................................157
Form and Function ....................................................................157
Getting Some Distance on Your Work ........................................158
You r Learn in g-to-Draw Ch eat Sh eet ........................................158
A Form for Form ......................................................................160
Exercising Your Rights ................................................................161
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................162

14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawing Ideas to Try 165
You r Hou se is Fu ll of Id eas for Drawin g Practice ....................165
Tim e Is of th e Essen ce ..............................................................166
You r Kitch en Is a Storeh ou se ....................................................166
Silverware ..................................................................................167
Pitchers and Bowls ....................................................................168
Not Ju st for Sleep in g An ym ore ................................................168
Fabrics ......................................................................................169
Shoes ........................................................................................170
Hats and Gloves ........................................................................170
Drawin g in th e Livin g Room ....................................................171
Try Another Chair ....................................................................171
Antique Lampsand Antique Things ........................................171
Objects Th at Reflect You ..........................................................172
Bath room Basics ......................................................................172
A Su n n y Win d ow ....................................................................173
Ou t of th e Hou se an d on to th e Patio (Door) ..........................174
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................176

15 Into the Garden with Pencils, not Shovels

179

Botan ical Drawin g Is an Art ......................................................179


Take Your Sketchbook with You ..................................................180
It Started with Eden ..................................................................181
Be a Botan ist ..............................................................................182
Work on a Blooming Stem ........................................................183
Butterflies, Insects, and Seashells, Too ........................................183
Go Wild! ..................................................................................184
The Almighty Vegetable ............................................................185
Garden Pots and Tools ..............................................................186
Gard en s Oth er Th an You r Own ................................................187
W h at Else Is in You r Gard en ? ..................................................188
From Figures to FrogsAnd a Few Deer and Gnomes ................188
Birds, Birdhouses, Feeders, and Squirrels ....................................189
Chairs in the Grass ..................................................................191
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................192

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Contents

Part 5:

Out and About with Your Sketchbook

16 Whats Your Perspective?

195
197

Un d erstan d in g Persp ective ......................................................198


Perspective Simplified ................................................................198
Perspective and the Picture Plane ..............................................199
Perspective in Pieces ..................................................................199
Tools for Lan d scap e an d Persp ective ........................................203
Gettin g Sm all an d Sm aller in Sp ace ..........................................203
Learn in g to See, Measu re, an d Draw in Persp ective ................204
Closing the Roof ........................................................................205
Measure for Measure ..................................................................206
A Few More Tips on Planes in Space ..........................................208
Detail, Detail, Detail: God Is in th e Details ..............................209
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................210

17 This Land Is Your Land

213

Go Ou t for a View ....................................................................213


But Which One? ........................................................................213
Framing the View ......................................................................214
On th e Lin eth e Horizon Lin e ................................................215
On the Page: Siting Your View ..................................................215
Some Thoughts on Landscape Space ..........................................215
Tools for Lan d scap e an d Persp ective ........................................216
Seein g an d Drawin g th e Lan d scap e ..........................................216
Ph otograp h s: To Use or Not to Use, Th at Is th e Qu estion ......217
Th e Lan d scap e in Pieces ............................................................217
Trees and Shrubs ......................................................................217
A Tangle of Textures, Vines, and Grasses ..................................220
Beaches, Rocks, and Cliffs ........................................................221
Sky and Clouds ........................................................................222
Water and Reflections ................................................................223
The Best for Last: The Small Things ..........................................224
As You r Drawin g Progresses ......................................................225
Light, Shadow, Atmosphere, and Contrast ..................................225
Detail Is, As Always, Detail ......................................................226
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................227

18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

229

Evid en ce of Hu m an In flu en ce ..................................................229


Roads, Fences, Gates, and Walls ................................................230
In the Farmyard ........................................................................231
Sp ecial Uses, Sp ecial Stru ctu res ................................................232
On th e Dock of th e Bay an d Beyon d ........................................232
Docks, Harbors, and Shipyards ..................................................232
From a Canoe to the QE2 ..........................................................234
Th e World of Veh icles ..............................................................235
Bridges, Trains, and Tracks ........................................................235
Moving Vehicles ........................................................................236
You r World Is W h at You Make It ..............................................237
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................238

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xi

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

19 Houses and Other Structures

241

A World of Bu ild in gs ................................................................241


City Mice and Country Mice ......................................................241
The Old and the New ................................................................243
Makin g It Stan d ........................................................................244
Informal Perspective ..................................................................244
Formal Perspective ....................................................................245
Keeping the Pieces in Proportion ................................................245
Its in th e Details ......................................................................245
In the City ................................................................................247
In the Country ..........................................................................247
Materials and Techniques ..........................................................248
Period Pieces an d Sp ecial Places ................................................249
Classical Beauty ........................................................................249
Down on the Farm ....................................................................250
Out on the Edge ........................................................................251
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................253

Part 6:

Drawing Animals and People

255

20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

257

Drawin g An im als ......................................................................257


In a World of Action, Gesture Is First ........................................258
Basic Proportions and Shapes ....................................................258
Bulking Them Up ......................................................................260
Fur and Feathers, Skin and Scales ..............................................260
Go Ou t W h ere Th ey Are ..........................................................261
Your Backyard and in the Neighborhood ....................................261
Field and Stream, Mountain and Lake ......................................263
Natural History Museums and Centers ......................................263
Farms, Stables, and Parks ..........................................................264
Zoos, Circuses, and Animal Petting Parks ..................................265
Safaris ......................................................................................265
An im al Portraits ........................................................................265
Problems in Portraiture ..............................................................267
A Bit on Materials and Techniques ............................................267
An im als in You r Drawin gs ........................................................268
Scale and Detail, Indoors or Out ................................................268
Detail and Scale, Close Up or Far Away ....................................268
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................269

21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

271

Drawin g th e Figu re ....................................................................271


Getting Some Practice and Help ................................................272
Use Your Sketchbook ..................................................................272
Th e Gestu re of Life ....................................................................272
Direction and Gesture ................................................................272
Thoughts on Quick Action Poses ................................................273
Bod y Parts an d th e W h ole: An atom y, You Say? ......................274
The Hip Bone Is Connected to the ........................................274

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Contents

Muscle Is Good ..........................................................................275


Some Basic Proportions ..............................................................276
Age an d Gen d er: Som e Basic Differen ces, As If You
Did n t Kn ow ............................................................................278
Body, Age, and Proportion ..........................................................278
Wheres the Beef? Where the Ice Cream Goes ............................280
What We Have to Look Forward To ..........................................280
Extrem ities: Gettin g Over Han d an d Feet Ph obias ..................281
Hands ......................................................................................281
Feet ..........................................................................................282
Head and Neck ..........................................................................283
More Form an d Weigh t, Now ..................................................283
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................285

22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

287

Ad d Th at Hu m an Tou ch ..........................................................287
No Flat Head s Here: Head s an d Faces ......................................288
Types and Proportion ................................................................288
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat ....................................................289
Especially for Children ..............................................................290
Liken ess an d Portraitu re ............................................................290
Some Basic Proportions and Shapes ............................................291
Setting a Scene for a Portrait ......................................................292
When You Are Your Subject ......................................................293
Fold s, Drap es, Bu tton s, an d Bows ............................................294
Over and Under: Folds and How to Draw Them ........................294
Detailing: Make the Clothing Fit the Woman or Man ................294
Pu ttin g Peop le in You r Drawin gs ..............................................295
Where Are They? ......................................................................295
What Are They Doing? Action, Gesture, and Detail ..................296
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................297

Part 7:

Enjoying the Artists Life!

23 Just for Children

299
301

From Sym bols to Realism ..........................................................301


Ed u catin g th e Righ t Sid e ..........................................................302
From Hunter to High Tech ........................................................303
Visual Learning for All Reasons ................................................303
We All Love to Draw ................................................................304
Kids Draw at Any Age ..............................................................305
The Very Young ........................................................................305
Stages from Symbol to Image ....................................................305
Tactics ........................................................................................307
Materials for Kids ......................................................................307
Reference Materials ....................................................................308
Retraining the Critic ..................................................................308
See the Basics ............................................................................308
Pick Simple Terms to Explain Things ........................................309

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xiii

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

W h en Problem s Arise ................................................................310


Distractions and Quiet ..............................................................310
Tension, Frustration, Fatigue, and Short Attention Span ............310
Fu n Drawin g Exercises for Kid s ................................................310
A Place for Everything: How to Start ..........................................312
For Mistakes or Problems ....................................................312
Above All, Have Fu n ..................................................................312
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................313

24 Decorate Your World

315

Have Sketch book, Will Travel ..................................................315


Usin g You r Own Im ages ............................................................316
Trad in g In form ation : How-Tos or Recip es ..............................317
Illustrating an Idea or a Technique ............................................318
Illustrating an Idea ....................................................................318
The Story of You ........................................................................319
Illu m in atin g You r Person al Life ................................................320
Rein ven tin g You r World ............................................................321
Cabinets and Furniture ..............................................................321
Ceilings, Walls, and Floors, but No Driveways ..........................321
Exp an d ed Uses for You r Skills ..................................................322
Focus on Fashion ......................................................................322
Cartoons: Humor or Opinion? ....................................................323
That Twisted Look: Caricatures ................................................323
Fu rth er Ou t: You r Fan tasies ......................................................323
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................324

25 Express Yourself

327

Movin g In to th e Realm of Color ..............................................327


Some Brief Words on Color ........................................................328
New Materials You Could Try ....................................................328
Into the Field of Color ................................................................329
Taking a Stab at a Colored Drawing ..........................................330
Carin g for You r Work ................................................................330
On Storage ................................................................................331
Matting and Framing ................................................................331
Tu rn in g a New Page: Fin e Art Meets Tech Art ..........................331
Creating a Virtual Sketchbook ....................................................331
Scanning Your Images ................................................................332
Printing Your Images ................................................................332
E-Mailing with Your Own Art ....................................................332
Creating Your Own Illustrated Home Page ..................................332
How to Learn Abou t Drawin g on th e Com p u ter ....................333
Computer Art Programs You Can Learn ....................................333
How to Choose a Computer Art Class ........................................334
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................335

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xiv

Contents

26 The Artists Life

337

Followin g th e Mu se ..................................................................337
Where Artists Find Inspiration ..................................................338
What They Have to Say About Their Work ................................338
Mu seu m Walks ..........................................................................340
The Wealth of Museums ............................................................340
Styles of Drawing Through History ............................................340
Learn by Looking, Then Try a Copy ..........................................341
What Do You Like? ..................................................................342
Sh arin g You r Work ....................................................................342
To Show, to Publish, or Just to Draw ..........................................342
Take a Path to th e Zen of Drawin g ..........................................342
Encourage and Support Your Creativity ......................................343
Knowing When to Push Yourself Higher ....................................343
One Inspiring Tale to End ..........................................................343
With Ou r Best Wish es ..............................................................343

Appendixes
A Your Artists Materials Checklist

345

B Resources for Learning to Draw

347

C Drawing Glossary

349

Index

353

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xv

Foreword
W h en d id you stop d rawin g?
As a p rofession al artist I am often asked : W h en d id I begin to d raw? Or in oth er word s, h ow lon g h ave I
been d rawin g. I h ave tried to an swer th is q u estion , bu t th e tru th is th at Im n ot exactly su re. I d o kn ow
th at I h ave d rawn as lon g as I can rem em ber. Most ch ild ren en joy d rawin g as on e of th eir gam es. I gu ess
I ju st n ever stop p ed .
I h ad th e great fortu n e to be born in to a fam ily sen sitive to th e visu al arts: My m oth er was a p rofession al
ceram ist before m arryin g m y fath er. My fath er h ad an ad vertisin g agen cy an d h is best frien d (an d h is
agen cys p rin cip al illu strator) was th e acclaim ed p ain ter Ezeq u iel Lop ez. It seem s p erfectly n atu ral to m e
th at in ad d ition to m yself, two of m y fou r siblin gs are p rofession al artists.
Growin g u p in Sp ain , I rem em ber m y m oth er always en cou ragin g ou r artistic an d cu ltu ral in terests, takin g
u s to visit m u seu m s an d galleries an d keep in g u s well stocked with art su p p lies. You see, wh en sh e was
a little girl, Sp ain was goin g th rou gh th e p eriod in its h istory kn own as p ost-gu erra, th e d ecad e wh ich
followed th e Sp an ish Civil War. Art su p p lies were a lu xu ry at th at tim e. My m oth er rem em bers wan tin g
to d raw as a little girl an d , h avin g n o p en cil or p ap er, scratch in g th e wh ite stu cco walls of h er h ou se with
coin s to create gray m arks, cratin g a kin d of ru stic silver-p oin t graffiti th at u n d erstan d ably d rove m y
gran d p aren ts n u ts. So as a p aren t, m y m oth er m ad e certain th at h er ch ild ren always h ad arts an d crafts
m aterials available for p lay.
W h en I was abou t ten years old , m y m oth er took u p p ain tin g as a h obby. Sh e arm ed h erself with all th e
p rop er tools for m akin g art, in clu d in g an en cyclop ed ia on h ow-to-d raw-an d -p ain t. I rem em ber th e first
tim e I set eyes on th e black cloth h ard bou n d cover of its first volu m e. Prin ted across its au stere cover in
bold wh ite letters was Drawin g is Easy (Dibu jar es fcil). I op en ed th e book an d d iscovered step by
step m eth od s for creatin g im ages th at, u n til th at m om en t, h ad seem ed im p ossible to p u t d own on p ap er:
p ortraits, lan d scap es, figu res, an d an im als. I was am azed ! From th at p oin t on , I d evou red th e in form ation
in th at en cyclop ed ia, com p letin g m ost of th e assign m en ts th at th e books p rop osed ju st for m y own en joym en t. As th e years p assed , I received exten sive train in g in art: As a teen ager I en rolled in a p rivate acad em y
th at tau gh t trad ition al d rawin g an d p ain tin g. Later, I atten d ed th e Un iversity of Mad rid , th e Marylan d
In stitu te College of Art an d Towson Un iversity. I h ave been teach in g college cou rses in art for th e p ast
fifteen years. Th irty years later, th e lesson s I learn ed in th at en cyclop ed ia are still p resen t in m y m in d . I
u se th em in m y own work as well as m y in stru ction of oth ers.
W h ich brin gs m e to The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing. Don t let th e fu n n y title fool you . Th is book
is a seriou s an d p ractical in trod u ction for th ose in terested in learn in g th e basic asp ects of d rawin g. Its ton e
is casu al an d frien d ly. It assu m es th at you d on t kn ow an yth in g abou t art, bu t are seriou s an d willin g to
learn . Its con ten ts are ap p roxim ately th ose of a basic com p reh en sive cou rse in stu d io d rawin g at a first
rate art college. In oth er word s, it is ligh t years beyon d m y beloved Drawin g is Easy, wh ich , sin ce it was
p rin ted in 1968, is by n ow q u ite lim ited an d d ated . The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing, on th e oth er
h an d , in corp orates all th e cu rren t id eas on h ow to learn to d raw. Desp ite th e h u m orou s n am e, th is is
n ot a book fu ll of tricks th at wou ld sh ow you h ow to d raw flash y p ictu res if you can d o certain effects.
You won t fin d a sin gle recip e in sid e on h ow to d raw a h ap p y clou d , like you wou ld in th ose m islead in g
learn to p ain t television p rogram s. Th is is th e real th in g. W h at you get from th is book are th e basic
con cep ts for seriou s art m akin g. You will learn to see like an artist, to ch oose a su bject, to com p ose a
p ictu re, an d to brin g it to com p letion . An d of cou rse, you ll learn h ow m u ch fu n th is all can be.
Drawin g is th e basis for all form s of visu al fin e arts. Pain tin g, p rin tm akin g, scu lp tu re, illu stration , p h otograp h y, m ixed m ed ia, grap h ic d esign , fibers an d d igital art all rely on id eas th at are gen erally exp lored
by first learn in g to d raw. W h atever you will even tu ally d o artistically, wh atever m ed iu m or style, you
will ben efit greatly from bein g exp osed to The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing. So d on t waste an oth er
p reciou s m in u telets get started ! W h at are you waitin g for?
Jos Villarrubia, MFA, is a p ain ter, p h otograp h er an d d igital artist, born in Mad rid , Sp ain , bu t resid in g
in Baltim ore for th e p ast twen ty years. Sin ce 1986, h e h as been in clu d ed in over n in ety in tern ation al
solo an d grou p exh ibition s in th e Un ited States, Eu rop e, an d Latin Am erica. His work is in th e p erm an en t
collection s of th e Baltim ore m u seu m of Art an d th e In ter-Am erican Develop m en t Ban k. He is a fu ll tim e
facu lty m em ber at th e Marylan d In stitu te College of Art, wh ere h e h as been teach in g d rawin g an d d igital
art for th e p ast fou r years. He tau gh t for twelve years in th e art d ep artm en t of Towson Un iversity, an d h as
tau gh t at th e Walters Art Gallery an d for th e Brigh t Starts Program . His n u m erou s lectu res in clu d e th ose at
th e Joh n s Hop kin s Un iversity an d th e College Art Association . En tertain m en t Weekly h as called h is work
Grou n d breakin g, a treat for th e eyes!
Sin ce 1992 Mr. Villarru bia h as been th e art reviewer for th e literary m agazin e Lam bd a Book Rep ort. He is
cu rren tly writin g Koan , a book abou t th e p ain tin gs of Jon J. Mu th an d Ken t William s to be p u blish ed later
th is year by Allen Sp iegel Fin e Arts.

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Introduction
If you ve got d raw-o-p h obia, you re n ot alon e. Million s of Am erican s (in clu d in g, u n til th is book, on e
of its coau th ors) are afraid to p ick u p a p en cil to try to rep resen t an im age on a p age. You d rew as a
ch ild we all d id bu t m aybe you were lau gh ed at by you r p eers or siblin gs early on , or m aybe a
well-m ean in g art teach er d iscou raged you r earliest efforts. Su d d en ly, you felt critical of you r d rawin gs,
u n h ap p y with you r attem p ts, worried th at you wou ld fail, an d u n willin g or afraid to try.
Drawin g is th ou gh t of as m agic by som e, an d an in h erited trait by oth ers, bu t n eith er of th ose id eas
is tru e. Th e good n ews is its n ever too late to learn to d raw or learn to d raw m ore con fid en tly an d
sen sitively. Th e first step , in fact, is as sim p le as p ickin g u p a p en cil an d som e p ap er an d ju st d rawin g a
sim p le im age on th e p age.
Pick a sin gle flower, leaf, or bran ch , an d sit an d see it for th e first tim e, th en m ake a sim p le lin e
d rawin g.
Give you rself a little tim e to d raw. Try it n ow, h ere:

How d id you feel wh ile you were d rawin g? Did you relax an d en joy it? Did you feel n ervou s abou t h ow
you wou ld d o? Workin g th rou gh th e exercises in th is book will h elp you get p ast th ose fears an d th e
ten d en cy to be too critical. You will h ave fu n d rawin g an d exp erien ce you r own creativity. See? It won t
be so h ard . Th e rest of learn in g to d raw will be a breeze, too.

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The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

How to Use This Book


Drawin g is a basic skill, like writin g, or rid in g a bicycleit m u st be learn ed an d p racticed , bu t is with in
you r grasp . Weve arran ged th is book so th at you start off with easy stu ff, like seein g, an d th en slowly
m ove th rou gh exercises th at will take you fu rth er an d fu rth er alon g in you r d rawin g skills.
Th is book is d ivid ed in to seven p arts:
Part 1, Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing, in trod u ces you to th e p leasu res of d rawin g an d
seein g, in clu d in g d iscoverin g th e d ifferen ce between you r critical left brain an d you r creative righ t
brain . Tap p in g you r own creativity m ay be th e m ost excitin g th in g you h ave ever d on e. Plu s, righ t off
th e bat, well be p rovid in g exercises to h elp you loosen u p an d exercise you r d rawin g h an d , en tice you r
creative righ t brain , an d ban ish th e left sid e, Old Lefty, ou t to left field , wh ere h e belon gs. Learn in g to
ju st see, an d to d raw wh at you see, is fu n an d th e begin n in g of an ad ven tu re in d rawin g th at can take
you alm ost an ywh ere. A con tou r lin e d rawin g of an object is th e p lace to start.
In Part 2, Now You Are Ready to Draw, you ll m eet som e of th e tools of th e trad e, in clu d in g th e
viewfin d er fram e an d th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e. Well sh ow you h ow to m ake you r own viewfin d er fram e
an d p lastic p ictu re p lan e to take with you wh erever you go, an d h ow to u se both of th ese tools to h elp
with you r d rawin gs. Th en you ll exp erim en t with n egative sp ace, th e sp aces in an d arou n d an object or
objects. Seein g th e n egative sp ace can greatly h elp you r com p osition an d d rawin gs.
Part 3, Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw, h as a lot of work to d o. First, you n eed som e
m aterials an d a p lace to work, becau se you n eed to take you rself an d you r work seriou sly. Well begin
with sim p le grou p s of objects in a d rawin g an d th en m ove on to th e fu ll still life, exp lorin g wh y artists
th rou gh ou t th e ages ju st love th ose fru its an d veggies. Well also h elp you begin to ch oose wh at to
d raw, wh at to d raw it with , an d h ow to m ake you r way from a con tou r lin e to a con sid eration of form
an d weigh t. Th en we will look at th ose all-im p ortan t d etails.
By Part 4, Developing Drawing Skills, you ll be feelin g m u ch m ore con fid en t abou t you r d rawin g
skills. Well d iscu ss som e n ew m aterials an d h ow to acq u ain t you rself with th em . Jou rn als an d sketch books are n ext, a way for you to p ractice d rawin g every d ay. Well p eer in to som e workin g artists stu d ios to see wh ats beh in d th ose ligh t-filled win d ows an d well look at th eir views on d rawin g, th eir
stu d ios, an d th eir feelin gs abou t th eir work. Th en , well work on you r p ortable d rawin g kit to take on
th e road , an d p oke arou n d you r h ou se an d gard en (an d ou rs) to fin d som e good su bjects for you r
sketch book.
In Part 5, Out and About with Your Sketchbook, well get you ou t of th e h ou se. Well look at p ersp ective, th at all-im p ortan t way of seein g th ree-d im en sion al sp ace th at all artists u se, an d th en well get
you ou tsid e to u se you r n ewfou n d kn owled ge. We will look at th e lan d itself, elem en ts in th e lan d scap e,
an d th en h ou ses an d oth er stru ctu res, so you will feel con fid en t to tackle an y an d all th e d rawin g ch allen ges in you r n eigh borh ood or an ywh ere in th e world .
Part 6, Drawing Animals and People, looks at an im als, h u m an s, an d th e h u m an figu re as d rawin g
su bjects. Action , gestu re, p rop ortion , sh ap e, an d form are th e bu zzword s h ere, for an im als an d th e
h u m an an im al. Well exp lore wh y th e n u d e h as always been th e object of artists
affection san d wh y it m ay tu rn ou t to be you rs as well. Well also look at gestu re an d m ovem en tan d
h ow to ren d er th em on th e p age.
Part 7, Enjoying the Artists Life! will p u t it all togeth er, h elp in g you exp ress you rself in you r d rawin gs. Well d iscu ss h ow to fram e an d care for you r work an d h ow to exp an d you r skills in to n ew m ed ia,
p rojects, or in to cybersp ace. Well also go to th e m u seu m with you , an d h elp you learn h ow you can
learn m ore abou t you rself by fin d in g wh at art you re d rawn to.
Last, in th e back of th is book, you ll fin d th ree ap p en d ixes, in clu d in g a list of m aterials you m ay wan t
to p u rch ase, a list of books for fu rth er read in g, an d a glossary, ch ock-fu ll of art-y word s.
An d , in th e fron t of th e book, you ll fin d a tear-ou t referen ce card to take with you wh erever you d raw.

Extras
In ad d ition to h elp in g you learn h ow to d raw, weve p rovid ed ad d ition al in form ation to h elp you
alon g. Th ese in clu d e sid ebars like th e followin g:

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xviii

Introduction

Artists Sketchbook

Back to the Drawing Board

These margin notes introduce


you to the language of drawing,
so youll understand the terminology as well as the how-tos.

These margin notes can help you


avoid making drawing mistakes
as well as learn from the ones
you do make.

Try Your Hand


Everyone could use an extra tip
here and there, and this margin
note is where youll find them.

The Art of Drawing


This is the place youll find those extra tidbits of information that you may not have known
about learning to draw.

Acknowledgments
We both th an k Lee An n Ch earn ey at Am aran th , for gu id in g th is book th rou gh its assorted
h oop s.
Lau ren th an ks th e lon g list of frien d s, stu d en ts, an d fam ily m em bers wh o h ave agreed to th e
u se of th eir work as exam p les in th is book. Sh e esp ecially th an ks Stan , h er gran d fath er, h er
m en tor as an artist an d h er sou rce of in sp iration , an d Virgin ia, h er m oth er, an d a fin e artist
h erself, wh o h as always en cou raged h er in an yth in g sh e tried , in clu d in g th e writin g of th is
book. An d Lau ren th an ks Lisa for m on th s of in sp irin gly ap t an d fu n n y e-m ails an d h elp
writin g th is d rawin g book.

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xix

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

Lisa th an ks h er sister in lau gh ter, Lau ren Jarrett, for m akin g th is book a p articu larly easy an d fu n -filled
jou rn ey. Not on ly d o we sh are warp ed sen ses of h u m or, Lau ren can ou td raw th e best of em .

Special Thanks to the Technical Reviewer


The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing was reviewed by an exp ert wh o d ou ble-ch ecked th e accu racy of
wh at you ll learn h ere, to h elp u s en su re th at th is book gives you everyth in g you n eed to kn ow abou t
d rawin g. Sp ecial th an ks are exten d ed to Dan Weld en .
Dan Weld en took tim e from h is own bu sy sch ed u le of p rin tin g, teach in g, an d writin g a book abou t h is
own sp ecial solar etch in g tech n iq u es. He is u n failin gly h elp fu l an d en cou ragin g to all wh o ask h is h elp
an d exp ertise.
Dan Weld en is a p rin tm aker an d p ain ter wh o h as h ad m ore th an 50 in tern ation al solo exh ibition s in
Au stralia, New Zealan d , Belgiu m , Switzerlan d , Germ an y, an d th e Un ited States. His teach in g exp erien ce
in clu d es 10 years of fu ll-tim e teach in g at th e State Un iversity of New York at Ston y Brook an d Cen tral
Con n ecticu t State Un iversity, as well as m an y years as an ad ju n ct p rofessor at Su ffolk Com m u n ity
College an d Lon g Islan d Un iversity.
As a Master Prin tm aker, Dan Weld en h as collaborated with or p rin ted for m an y p rom in en t artists in clu d in g Willem an d Elain e d e Koon in g, Esteban Vicen te, Ibram Lassaw, Eric Fisch l, Lou isa Ch ase, Robert
Rau sch en berg, Jasp er Joh n s, Dan Flavin , Jim Din e, Robert Moth erwell, an d Ku rt Von n egu t.
Dan Weld en is d irector of Ham p ton Ed ition s, Ltd ., an d resid es in Sag Harbor, New York.

Trademarks
All term s m en tion ed in th is book th at are kn own to be or are su sp ected of bein g trad em arks or service
m arks h ave been ap p rop riately cap italized . Alp h a Books an d Pearson Ed u cation can n ot attest to th e
accu racy of th is in form ation . Use of a term in th is book sh ou ld n ot be regard ed as affectin g th e valid ity
of an y trad em ark or service m ark.

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xx

Part 1

Drawing and Seeing,


Seeing and Drawing
Learning to draw is learning a skill, and, like other skills that require practice, you can do it if
you try. Getting past your fears and the thought that you cant draw is the first step. It will
help to discover the difference between your critical left brain and your creative right brainand
then learn how to banish Old Lefty out to left field, where he belongs. He is no help when
learning to see and draw, and learning to just see will send him packing.
In this section, we provide exercises to help you loosen up and warm up your drawing hand, as
well as help you begin to see as an artist does.

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Chapter 1

The Pleasures
of Seeing and
Drawing

In This Chapter
Realizing the magic of drawing
Learning that drawing is seeing
Looking through the barriers
Understanding the two sides to every brain

When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He
disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for a better understanding. Where those who are
not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.
Robert Henri, Th e Art Sp irit (1923)
You m ay th in k of d rawin g as som eth in g m agical, m aybe even as som eth in g beyon d you r
grasp or u n d erstan d in g. Bu t d rawin g is really an elem en tal skill, on e th at you can learn with
n o m ore effort th an learn in g to walk, rid e a bikeor even tie you r sh oes!
Qu ite sim p ly, d rawin g is a way of sh owin g oth ers wh at an d h ow you see. Even at its m ost
basic stage, d rawin g is abou t seein g th e m iracle of all th in gs, of ad m irin g th e essen tial
p oetry in th in gs. Viewed th is way, d rawin g isn t an y m ore m agical th an an yth in g else
its sim p ly p art of th e larger m agic th at is life itself.

What Is Drawing?
A way of u sin g lin es to con vey m ean in g, drawing is on e of th e m ost basic ways to com m u n icate. Tod ay, we kn ow th at d rawin g p reced ed th e written word an d it m ay h ave p reced ed
sp oken lan gu age as well. For early h u m an s, d rawin g was as essen tial a resp on se to life as

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Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

kn owin g wh ich roots were good to eat an d wh ich were good to ru b on wou n d s. In p reh istoric tim es, d rawin gs were u sed to
Exch an ge id eas an d in form ation .
Celebrate an d record th e d etails of life.
Solve m ysteries.
Revere an d give th an ks.
Wish an d d ream .

Theres no magic to drawingits as simple as recording what you see.

Alth ou gh th ese d rawin gs were, accord in g to scien tists,


very u tilitarian in n atu re, th ey are con sid ered works of art
by th e artistic com m u n ity, in th at th e works were d on e
with h eart; n o two d rawin gs are id en ticalsom e
d em on strate m ore exp ression th an oth ers.

Artists Sketchbook
Drawing is a way of representing what we see by placing lines
onto a surface.

Drawing is
W h ile you m ay believe th at d rawin g is on ly for artists, its
really a basic skill like talkin g, read in g, or walkin g. On ce
you ve learn ed to d raw, in fact, it becom es au tom atic,
alth ou gh as with an y basic skillth e m ore you p ractice,
th e m ore you ll be able to im p rove on it.

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Chapter 1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

As this sketch of ancient


petroglyphs shows, humans have been using
drawings to communicate for millennia.

Th e secret of d rawin g is n o secret at all: Its all abou t seein g, an d


th en rep resen tin g wh at you see on to th e p age. In Drawing on the
Right Side of the Brain (New York: Jerem y P. Tarch er/ Pu tn am , 1999),
artist/ writer Betty Ed ward s con sid ers learn in g to see an d d raw a
collection of five skills:
1. Th e p ercep tion of ed ges

Try Your Hand

2. Th e p ercep tion of sp aces


3. Th e p ercep tion of relation sh ip s, or sighting
4. Th e p ercep tion of ligh t an d sh ad ow, or form
5. Th e p ercep tion of th e wh ole, or th e gestalt

The Artists Answer


We believe th at d rawin g m akes life rich er, every sin gle d ay.
Drawin g is a skill th at op en s u p th e world , an d so it can p u t you
in tou ch with th e balan ces an d beau ties of n atu re. Drawin g an d
seein g allow, if n ot d em an d , th at you live in th e m om en t, see th e
n ow, stop th e ch atter, an d sim p ly look. In th e silen ce wh ile you
look, th ere is a p eace an d cen terin g th at can tran sform you r life.

Beyond these basic skills are


memory and imagination, which
are used by artists to create new
works and move beyond the beginning skills necessary to learn
to draw. The more you draw, the
more you will progress from seeing and drawing line to space,
shape, form, value, weight, light,
shadow, texture, and detail.

This is a travel drawing


by Laurens grandfather,
who was a fine draftsman and painter of
landscapes.

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Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Art of Drawing


We like to think of drawing as a door to the world that many, for one reason or another, dont
use. This same door opens to the miracle of life and the myriad of rich detail that you can experience, and is a way into your (and others) thoughts and emotions. This door is also a window
to the soulmaybe, for the souland so its a way beyond the cares and preoccupations of daily
existence to an altered state that is at once a challenge and a rest.

Express Yourself
Learn in g to d raw is abou t learn in g to see th in gs in a n ew way. Lets start by takin g ap art
you r brain . Well, n ot literally. For n ow, well ju st sep arate it in two.
Scien tists n ow accep t th at th e brain h as two h em isp h eres. You h ave a ration al, logical, verbal, an alytical, an d seq u en tial way of th in kin g or p rocessin g in form ation , wh ich is on th e
left sid e of you r brain , an d an in tu itive, visu al, p ercep tive, sim u ltan eou s, an d h olistic way,
wh ich is on th e righ t sid e of you r brain . You r left brain p rocesses p arts
of th in gs an d word s, tries to id en tify an d organ ize, an d works to m ake
sen se of th in gs. You r right brain p rocesses th e wh ole, in p ictu res an d relation sh ip s between th in gs.

Artists Sketchbook
The brain is comprised of two hemispheres, the analytical and logical
left brain and the more intuitive
and holistic right brain. While
Westerners tend to use their left
brains far more, drawing is largely a
function of the right brain.

Drawin g is a skill th at u ses righ t-brain p ercep tion s, wh ich m an y


p eop leesp ecially th ose in th e western world h ave d ifficu lty accessin g. Bu t th ere are ways of en cou ragin g th e righ t sid e of th e brain to
take over th e m ore d om in an t left sid e. Th ese exercises can actu ally
ch an ge th e way you see. You can m ove from bein g largely verbal an d
an alytical to bein g visu al an d in tu itive. An d , learn in g to u se you r righ t
brain is th e first step in learn in g to d raw.
In th e logic-cen tered western world , you sp en d m ost of you r life workin g on th e left sid e of you r brain a ban ker, for exam p le. You re tau gh t
to th in k cogn itively, ration ally, an d logically. Th is is fin e for m an y
tasks, bu t for th e m ore creative an d , we th in k, m ore reward in g p u rsu its
in life, you n eed to cu ltivate th e righ t sid e.

The Left Brain

The Right Brain

p rocessin g is:
rational
verbal
analytical
sequential
looks at:
the parts

p rocessin g is:
intuitive
visual
perceptive
simultaneous
looks at:
the whole

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Chapter 1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

The Art of Drawing


In order to help children learn to develop both sides of their brain rather than just the left,
educator David Galin suggests three tasks for teachers.
1. Teach to both the left- and right-sided functions: the verbal, symbolic, logical left, and
the visual, relational, holistic right.
2. Teach the ability to use the style of thought best suited to a particular task.
3. Teach the ability to integrate both systems to maximize potential.

Why You Draw, and Why Sometimes You Stop Drawing


You learn m ost of you r basic skills wh en you re you n g, so you re largely u n aware of th e
tim e you p u t in to learn an d p ractice th ose skills. Som e of you m ay rem em ber learn in g to
read , esp ecially if it was d ifficu lt for you , bu t m ost p eop le d on t rem em ber th e learn in g itself, on ce a skill is acq u ired .
On th e oth er h an d , you m igh t rem em ber th e learn in g in volved
for skills you learn ed later, su ch as learn in g to rid e a bike or learn in g to write, or you m ay rem em ber wh en you learn ed to d rive a
car. If you ever learn ed to ski or p lay th e p ian o, you p robably rem em ber som e of th ose lesson s (an d m ay h ave som e p retty fu n n y
stories to tell, toowe kn ow we d o!). W h at all of th ese later skills
h ave in com m on is th at you accep ted th e n ecessity of p ractice an d
learn in g in stages.
For som e reason , m an y seem to th in k th at th e skills n eed ed to
d raw are m ore d ifficu lt to acq u ire, esp ecially wh en th ey take in to
con sid eration ou r n eed as ad u lts to accom p lish th in gs q u ickly.
Maybe th e fact th at we d esire su ch im m ed iate gratification is p recisely th e reason we th in k we can t learn to d raw. Bu t its really n o
m ore d ifficu lt th an an y n ew skill, an d its certain ly easieran d
saferth an learn in g to d rive a car!
Creativity research su ggests th at th e reason ad u lts are so afraid of
th eir creativity is th at th eyre literally afraid of m akin g a m ess.
By th e tim e you ve reach ed ad u lth ood , you re carryin g m an y m ore
voices in you r h ead th an m erely you r own ; you ve got you r p aren ts, you r teach ers, you r frien d s, an d p ossibly even you r bosses, all
tellin g you wh at you ve d on e wron g. No won d er you cen sor you rself before you even try! In th is book, were goin g to h elp you go
ou t an d p lay again with ou t th ose voices tellin g you th eres a righ t
an d wron g way to d o so.

Back to the Drawing Board


Children are more immersed in
the moment, or the now, than
adults, and so its easy for them to
draw. Children are less concerned
with judgmental responses to their
efforts, a concern that seems to
develop as we try for greater accuracy and specificity as we mature.
In fact, the more we develop our
largely analytical skills, the more
trouble we have drawing. We lose
the spontaneity and joy that simply making a mess can bring.

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Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Anyone can draw! This


simple line drawing was
done by a 7-year-old boy
who managed to really
look and draw the contours
and shapes of a sleeping
dog very accurately, because he was following
what he could see.

Looking Through the Barriers


Th e ability to d raw is really th e ability to seeto see wh ats really
th ere, an d tran sfer it to p ap er. Th e key is to see as an artist sees.

Try Your Hand


The ability to draw is really the
ability to see something and then
transfer it to paper. Its as simple as
that!

Artists p rocess visu al in form ation d ifferen tly from th e way m ost
Western ers d o. Most are tau gh t a m ean s of p rocessin g th ats m ore su ited to oth er tasks, so to learn to p rocess (or see) as an artist takes som e
p ractice. Most p eop le get d iscou raged before th eyve tried very lon g,
an d soon feel th eyll n ever get th ere. Th ey th en say, Ill n ever learn to
d raw, forgettin g th at all skills (an d d rawin g, rem em ber, is a skill) take
p ractice.

Learning How to Look


Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to seeto see
correctlyand that means a good deal more than merely looking with the
eyes.
Kimon Nicolaides, Th e Natu ral Way to Draw (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1990)

Back to the Drawing Board


Because of our analytical approach
to thinking, a common belief
among Westerners is that creativity
is limited to artistic endeavors such
as drawing, creative writing, or
musical performance. Nothing
could be further from the truth!
Creativity takes many forms. You
may be someone whose talents lie
in putting others at ease, or you
may take a creative approach to
getting from point A to point B.
Whats important is to let your
right brain do the work; its got a
lot to offer, and its just waiting
for a cue.

In th e ch ap ters th at follow, we will be en cou ragin g th e righ t sid e of


you r brain to d o th e work. To h elp you , well be p rovid in g exercises
th at will sh ow you h ow to see wh ats before you r eyes, with ou t th in kin g m u ch , an d to d raw wh at you see. As you p ractice, it will becom e
easier an d easier for you to d o th is; you ll soon be able to switch con sciou sly from left brain to righ t for th e sp ecific p u rp ose of d rawin g, or
to access you r in tu itive sid e ju st to relax an d en joy it!
Ch an gin g from th e verbal p ercep tion of id eas to th e visu al p ercep tion
of in tu ition is of trem en d ou s valu e for m ore th an ju st d rawin g. With in
ou r in creasin gly h igh -tech , h igh -sp eed , 24/ 7 world , you ll d iscover
great p leasu re in ju st th e accom p lish m en t of learn in g to u se you r righ t
brain . At th e sam e tim e, as you learn to u se th e righ t sid e of you r brain
to see an d d raw, you r own in n ate creativity will becom e m ore read ily
available to you .
To tap you r in ven tive an d creative en ergy is a great p ower. You m ay
feel trem en d ou sly en ergized by th e p rocess, wh eth er you d raw or

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Chapter 1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

ch oose an oth er exp ression , su ch as writin g or m u sic. Even con ven tion al p roblem solvin g is en h an ced by creative growth .
Drawin g is first abou t seein g, an d a few basic skills an d su p p lies
are n eed ed to get started . Th en cu riosity, en ergy, an d p erson al in terest take th e p rocess to its n ext stage. At th e very least, d rawin g
will en h an ce you r life. At th e m ost, wh o kn ows? As you r righ t
brain will be th e first to tell you , th e p ossibilities are en d less!

Open Up Your Eyes


It is the unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the
world is big far beyond my understandingto understand maybe
by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the
horizon or just over the next hill.

Artists Sketchbook
Filter is the word we use to describe the process of noticing only
what we need to in any given
scene. A frame is a similar sensory
device, where we ignore whats
outside of what we want to
look at.

Georgia OKeeffe, 1976


So ju st h ow d o you learn to op en u p you r eyes an d see wh ats arou n d you ? Lets start by
talkin g abou t filters an d fram es, two im agin ary sen sory d evices th at you u se every m in u te
you re awake.
W h en you look at an y given scen e, you filter ou t all th at isn t im p ortan t to wh at you re
lookin g at. You d on t read every word on every billboard as you re d rivin g d own th e h igh way, for exam p le; th is wou ld p u ll you r atten tion away from th e task at h an d d rivin g. At
th e sam e tim e, you p ay little atten tion to th e traffic on th e oth er sid e of th e h igh way m ed ian . Th is is fram in g wh at you see, an d ign orin g everyth in g th ats ou tsid e th e fram e.
In Ch ap ter 5, Fin d in g th e View, well be in trod u cin g you to th e viewfin d er fram e, a d evice th at artists u se to d o ju st th is. W h ats im p ortan t to rem em ber n ow is th at filterin g an d
fram in g are alread y p arts of th e way you see every d ay, so you ve alread y taken th e first step
to learn in g to d raw.

Drawings can be scenes from every part of your everyday life.

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Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Gallery of Life


In Ap p en d ix A of th is book, you ll fin d a list of m aterials you ll p robably wan t to h ave on
h an d as you read th is book. Bu t to begin , even if you h ave n on e of th e oth er m aterials, at
th e very least wed like you to h ave som e blan k, u n lin ed p ap er an d a p en cil. In fact, go fin d
th ose n ow. Are you back? Con gratu lation syou ve ju st taken th e secon d step in learn in g to
d raw!
Ch an ces are th at, righ t n ow, you re sittin g in a room in you r h ou se, read in g th is book. Look
u p from th e book. W h at d o you see? Use you r p ap er an d p en cil to sketch th at im age. Don t
worry th at you kn ow n oth in g abou t learn in g to d rawju st d o th e best you can . (Note: We
realized th at m akin g a list was very left-brain ed , so rep laced th is with a m ore righ t-brain ed
en d eavor.)
W h at d id you see? You p robably n oticed th e fu rn ish in gs in th e room , th e p ictu res on th e
walls, m aybe th e titles of som e books in a bookcase, or som e h ou sep lan ts th at you kn ow by
n am e. Th ats good ; you re seein g wh ats in th e room you re in . Bu t n ow, look again , ign orin g all of th e th in gs you ju st d rew above. Th ats righ tlook beyon d th e books an d p lan ts.
W h at d o you see n ow?
W h at d id you see th is tim e? Did you n otice a p lace th at n eed s som e tou ch -u p p ain t on th e
wall? Did you see th e p attern of you r ru g or carp et, wh ich you h aven t really n oticed sin ce
you first bou gh t it? Maybe you saw a face in th e wallp ap er th at isn t really th ere, or you r
own face, reflected in th e television screen . W h en you start seein g th ese d etails, you re begin n in g to see like an artist. Pretty excitin g, isn t it?

10

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Chapter 1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

Seeing Your Way to Drawing


W h en you d raw, you live in th e p resen t. You are always en tertain ed , an d you always h ave
som eth in g to d o. You r d eligh t in each d ay an d th e d etail of th e world will sh ow you th e
p ower of sm all th in gs. Drawin g m akes you see th e relation sh ip s between th in gs, as well as
th e relation sh ip between you rself an d th e world . You will exp erien ce th e d eep p leasu re of
self-exp ression : I am me. I did this. In ad d ition , you ll recon n ect with you r in n er ch ild s joy.
You r d rawin gs will ran ge from learn in g op p ortu n ities to ap p reciatin g th e wealth of d etail in
th e world , an d from a feelin g of con n ection to th e relation sh ip s between th in gs to a p erson al m ed itation an d resp on se to you r own in n er bein g.

Your drawings will be as diverseand as particularas your world.

The Art of Drawing


Wed like to share some thoughts for you to take along as you begin your journey toward
learning to draw.
The uniqueness of youyour eyes and mind and soulis a gift. Use it!
Being an artist is like being an athlete. Stay in shapedraw every day.
Individuality comes through practice and ongoing observation of detail.
God is in the details.

11

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Techniques as Tools of Expression


Begin n in g in th e n ext ch ap ter, we p rovid e you with exercises th at will h elp you exercise
you r righ t to d raw. Th ese exercises will sh ow you h ow to keep you r p ercep tion in th e in tu itive m od e, by n ot lettin g th e left, or logical, sid e take over. For exam p le:
Well sh ow you h ow to stop th e left sid e from d oin g all th e th in kin g, wh ich m akes
it d ifficu lt to ju st see.
Well teach you to con cen trate on sh ap e an d form (righ t brain ), rath er th an con ten t
(left brain ).
You ll learn h ow to ju st look.
You ll learn to con cen trate on sh ap e rath er th an con ten tto look at th e big p ictu re.
You ll exp erim en t with n egative sp ace d rawin g.
Youll learn how to draw
a variety of things as
you go through the exercises in this book.

In ad d ition , well be p rovid in g warm -u p exercises to lim ber u p you r h an d for th e job of
tran sferrin g wh at you see to th e p ap er, an d to h elp in th e d evelop m en t of you r own p erson al style an d set of p referred m arks, from sim p le lin es to crossh atch es.
Lastly, th rou gh ou t th is book, you ll fin d a series of exercises, id eas, exp lan ation s, an d tip s to
h elp you try in creasin gly ch allen gin g su bjects an d d evelop you r own p erson al m eth od of
d rawin g. Th e last p age of each ch ap ter will featu re You r Sketch book Page, a p lace wh ere
you can p ractice wh at you ve learn ed , righ t on th e sp ot, if you d like.

12

Chapter 1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing

Developing a Way of Seeing and Drawing


Am on g th e m an y p leasu res of d rawin g is a som ewh at altered state of con sciou sn ess th at is
fam iliar to artists, writers, an d m u sician sor an yon e d eep ly im m ersed in a com p ellin g p roject. In th is altered state, tim e ju st seem s to fly by, h ou rs can d isap p ear, an d you feel h ap p y
an d relaxed , th ou gh very con cen trated on wh at you are d oin g. Som e rep ort th at th is state
feels rath er like floatin g, or an ou t-of-bod y exp erien ce, wh ile oth ers call it bein g in volved in th e m om en t or th e n ow.
No m atter wh at you ch oose to call it, certain activities h ave been fou n d to m ake it easier to
ach ieve th is state. Mu sic, m ed itation , walkin g, skiin g, joggin g, an d d rivin g are ju st som e of
th e activities th at can in d u ce an altered state of con sciou sn ess.
Drawin g n ot on ly p u ts you in to th is lovely p lace, it req u ires bein g th ere. W h en th e righ t
sid e of you r brain d oes th e p rocessin g, you can tru ly see, with ou t th e an alytical sid e of you r
brain tellin g you wh at to th in k. Th en , you can see wh ats really th ere: see to d raw.
Th e rest is u p to you !
Being in an altered state
of consciousness helps
you see and draw whats
really there.

The Least You Need to Know


You dont have to be a magician to learn how to draw.
Drawing is a way of showing others what and how you see.
Logical thinking and analysis are left-brain activities.
Drawing is largely a right-brain activity.
You can learn to use your right brain more often and more effectively for other
things in life.

13

Chapter 2

Toward Seeing
for Drawing

In This Chapter
Seeing as a child
Beginning to draw
Copying a complicated drawing
Exercises to get you started

To see itself is a creative operation, requiring an effort. Everything that we see in our daily life
is more or less distorted by acquired habits. The effort needed to see things without distortion
takes something very like courage.
Henri Matisse
You n g ch ild ren live in a won d erfu l world of d irect exp erien ce an d resp on se, wh ere th ey
see th e world with ou t a lot of th e logic an d an alysis th at we d evelop as ad u lts. In stead ,
ch ild ren see as artists d o, u sin g th e righ t sid e of th eir brain s, wh ere p ictu res are m ore im p ortan t th an lan gu age.
In th is ch ap ter, you ll retu rn to you r ch ild h ood . You ll red iscover th e ch ild s way of seein g
th at you lost as you grew old eran d you ll red iscover th e joy of m akin g p ictu res th at com e
straigh t from th e righ t sid e of you r brain .

Free Your Mind, Your Eyes Will Follow


Maybe you ve always wan ted to d raw. Or m aybe you d rew a lot as a ch ild with ou t th in kin g,
an d th en grew fru strated as you got old er (an d m ore ju d gm en tal) an d gave it u p . Th e fact is,
wh en you were a ch ild you were u n worried abou t you r d rawin gyou ju st d id it. Havin g
everyth in g correct d id n t both er you m u ch ; you h ad you r own id eas abou t wh at you
wan ted to d raw an d th at was en ou gh .

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Children draw what


they find interesting,
without worrying about
why or how theyre
drawing it.

Soon , th ou gh , ed u cation an d exp erien ce ad d th e p owerfu l left brain to th e m ix. Som ewh ere
between th e ages of 10 an d 12 years old , all th at lovely righ t-brain ed n ess starts to ch an ge.
As ch ild ren learn th e n ecessary skills of lan gu age, read in g, an d m ath em atics, th e an alytical
left brain takes over, an d th ey see th e world d ifferen tly. Drawin g, wh ich was so easy wh en
th ey saw with ch ild ren s eyes, becom es a p roblem , a q u an d ary, an d a fru stration as th ey
work with th e exactin g, ju d gm en tal left sid e of th eir brain s. Th ey stru ggle for correctn ess
an d often give u p becau se th e joy of d rawin g h as gon e.

The Wonders of the Human Brain


Few people realize what an astonishing achievement it is to be able to see at all . When
one reflects on the number of computations that must have to be carried out before one can
recognize even such an everyday scene as another person crossing the street, one is left with
a feeling of amazement that such an extraordinary series of detailed operations can be accomplished so effortlessly in such a short space of time.
F.H.C. Crick, winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for discovering the
structure of DNA.
Th e h u m an brain is an am azin g th in g, as celebrated in th ose won d erfu l word s from British
m olecu lar biologist, Fran cis Crick. It is cap able of ligh tn in g-fast, com p licated com p u tation s,
con n ection s, resp on ses, an d reaction s sim u ltan eou slyallowin g for am azin g feats like walkin g an d ch ewin g gu m , or, m ore seriou sly, seein g an d d rawin g.
Ju st h ow th e brain works an d h ow h u m an s are evolved beyon d oth er sp ecies fascin ated
early scien tists, still d oes, an d p robably always will. We kn ow th at th e brain h as two h alves
an d th at th e two sid es h ave d ifferen t fu n ction s. For th e last 200 years or m ore, scien tists
an d su rgeon s h ave kn own th at fu n ction s th at con trol sp eech , lan gu age, an d cogn itive
th ou gh t are on th e left sid e, an d th at visu al fu n ction s are th e work of th e righ t sid e.
As lan gu age, sp eech , an d logical th in kin g are so cru cial to th e h u m an race an d ou r sen se of
d om in an ce, th e left sid e of th e brain h as lon g been con sid ered th e stron ger, m ore im p ortan t, d om in an t sid e. Th e righ t sid e h as been th ou gh t to be weaker, less im p ortan t, m aybe
even d isp en sable.
It h as also been lon g kn own th at th e two sid es of th e brain con trol p h ysical op eration s on
th e op p osite sid es of th e bod y. Dam age or in ju ry to on e sid e of th e brain is reflected in loss
of fu n ction on th e oth er sid e of th e bod y. Dam age or in ju ry to on e sid e of th e brain is also
reflected in loss of fu n ction sp ecific to th e skills m an aged by th at sid e.

16

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

Are You a Lefty or a Righty?


The main theme to emerge is that there appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and
nonverbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively, and that
our educational system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of
intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere.
Roger W. Sperry, 1981 Nobel Prize winner for research that separated and identified functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
It wou ld seem th at th e n otion of th e relative d om in an ce of th e left
sid e of th e brain h as been arou n d for a lon g, lon g tim e. Ou r lan gu age
an d th e way we refer to th in gs are resp on ses to h ow we th in k or feel
abou t th em . Lan gu age is fu ll of n egative referen ces to an yth in g
left, wh ich m ean s left h an d an d th erefore righ t brain . Righ t is
righ t, m ean in g righ t h an d an d th e d om in an t left brain . Th ere is su ch
p reju d ice again st left-h an d ed n ess an d th e left gen erallysocially, p olitically, m orally, an d cu ltu rallyan d early con cep tion s an d lan gu age
reflected th at p reju d ice. Th is p reju d ice still goes on tod ay; th e righ t,
th e righ t h an d , an d th e logical left brain overp ower th e u n d ervalu ed
left, th e left h an d , an d th e m ore in tu itive righ t brain .
Th e fact is th at th e two sid es of th e brain each h ave th eir own jobs,
stren gth s, an d skills. Th e verbal left sid e is often d om in an t, wh ile th e
righ t, n on verbal sid e resp on d s to feelin gs an d p rocesses in for-m ation
d ifferen tly. W h ile th e two sid es can work in d ep en d en tly or togeth er
for well-rou n d ed resp on se, th e left sid e often takes overeven for
tasks its n ot su ited for, like d rawin g. So wh en it com es to d rawin g,
facilitatin g th e switch from left to righ t is th e id ea, n o m atter
wh ich h an d h old s th e p en cil.

Back to the Drawing Board


The longstanding bias against the
left has been behind the practice
of insisting that children who are
naturally left-handed learn to
use their right hands. This is a
real mistake. Brain function and
left- or right-handedness are
connected and exist from birth.
Insisting on switching a childs
hand can cause real problems in
learning, reading, and cognitive
processes. Dont do it!

Th ere d oes seem to be a d ifferen ce between left- an d righ t-h an d ed


p eop le. Brain fu n ction is u su ally less lateralized in left-h an d ed p eop le
th an in righ t-h an d ed p eop le. Left-h an d ed p eop le ten d to p rocess in form ation on both sid es, bilaterally, wh ile righ t-h an d ed p eop le ten d
to p rocess in form ation on on e sid e. Bilateral, left-h an d ed p eop le
can be m ore likely to h ave con fu sion in som e areas, su ch as read in g,
bu t th ey are often h igh ly creative p eop le, excellin g in art an d m u sic.
Am on g th e left-h an d ed , for exam p le, were th e brillian t Italian
Ren aissan ce artists, Leon ard o d a Vin ci, Rap h ael, an d Mich elan gelo.
Up u n til very recen tly, bein g left-h an d ed was so m u ch d iscou raged
th at m an y left-h an d ed ch ild ren were forced to becom e righ t-h an d ed
wh en th ey were very you n g. Not su rp risin gly, in ad d ition to con fu sin g th eir h an d d om in an ce, th is also con fu sed th e bilateral organ ization of th eir left- an d righ t-brain fu n ction s. If you su sp ect you r h an d s
were switch ed at birth , you m ay wan t to try th e exercises in th is
ch ap ter with each h an d .

Artists Sketchbook
Lateralization is the way specific functions or tasks are handled
by the brain, whether by one
side or the other or both.

17

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Art of Drawing


Laurens mother did her graduate work in dyslexia, and, as part of her studies, tested each of
her four children for handedness. They came up as one solid righty, an ambidextrous righty, an
ambidextrous lefty, and a solid leftya perfect sample range for her study! As the solid righty,
having a seemingly laterally organized brain, Lauren nonetheless finds her typing filled with letter
inversions, one sign of a bilaterally organized brain, common in creative people. She thinks that
shes a bilateral, right-handed, right-brainer in a left-brained world. Not a pretty sight. At least
her co-author, Lisa, presents a similar picture!

W h ich ever h an d you u se, you ll wan t to learn to switch between you r left brain an d righ t
brain as you learn to d raw. Th is becom es easier an d easier th e m ore you p ractice, an d d rawin g p ractice is on e of th e best exercises to im p rove you r switch in g fu n ction .

From Logical Left to Relational Right


Pooh looked at his two paws. He knew that one of them was the right, and he knew that
when you had decided which one of them was the right, that the other one was the left, but
he could never remember how to begin.
Well, he said slowly .
A.A. Milne
Pooh was p robably a bilateral typ e; a bear of very little brain , h e was a creative th in ker,
esp ecially abou t h on ey jars an d h ow to get in to th em . So all you n eed is a little p ain less rearran gem en t of you r brain fu n ction an d all will be well. Th e followin g exercises are d esign ed to sh ow you , first, th e fru stration of tryin g to d raw wh ile you r m in d is seein g with
th e logical left, an d secon d , th e su rp risin g d ifferen ce th at seein g with th e relation al
righ t will m ake in you r d rawin g.

Right-Left-Right: Your Brain Learns to Follow Orders


Even in th e early exercises, you m ay n otice a ch an ge in you r state of con sciou sn essa relaxed , focu sed p eaceth ou gh you re tryin g som eth in g very n ew. Tim e will p ass q u ickly
wh ile you re workin g, an d th e rest of th e world m ay fad e in to th e backgrou n d . Th e righ t
sid e, after all, is n ot a tim ekeep er.
As a first step toward learn in g to sh ift you r brain from left to righ t, lets begin by exp lorin g
h ow you d rew wh en you were a ch ild .

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Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

The Art of Drawing


Why are artists different? The artists way of seeing involves the ability to consciously make a mental
shift from the left brain, in which we mostly function, to the reflective right side when they work.
They are used to the more expansive state of consciousness, a somewhat floaty sensation, outside of
time, focused and attentive, but also a peaceful state. This is the way artists see and work.

The Art of the Child


Has you r m oth er kep t th ose boxes of you r ch ild h ood d rawin gs all th ese years? Or m aybe,
wh en you m oved in to you r own h om e, sh e in sisted you p u t th em in you r own attic. If you
can fin d an y of you r ch ild h ood d rawin gs at all, wed like you to take a look at th em n ow.
So eith er clim b u p to you r attic, call you r m om , or h ead over to th at storage locker an d d ig
th em ou t.

19

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Spread your childhood artwork out and take a look at how your own drawing developed. Can you see where you moved from not worrying about what was correct
to a more judgmental approach? What difference did it make in your work?
Okay, read y? Sp read you r d rawin gs ou t an d con sid er th e followin g:
Can you see wh ere, as a you n g ch ild , you d rew with ou t p articu lar regard for correctn ess, an d in stead d rew to tell a story or as a resp on se to life?
Did you d raw you r fam ily?
Can you p ick ou t you rself in th e d rawin gs? In Lau ren s, sh e always h as lon g blon d e
h air, an in terestin g p sych ological p oin t as sh es always h ad brown h airlon g, bu t d efin itely brown ! Lisa always m ad e h er eyes very large, an d it tu rn s ou t th eyre n ot p articu larly big at all. So wish fu l th in kin g p robably p lays a p art as well.
Did you fin d d rawin gs d atin g from wh en you were an old er ch ild ? If so, can you see
evid en ce of m ou n tin g fru stration as you tried to d raw com p licated th in gs or th in gs in
sp ace or p ersp ective? Can you see wh ere you began to stru ggle for correctn ess to
p lease th e exactin g left sid e of you r brain ?
If you r m oth er wasn t a p ack rat, try lookin g at th e d rawin gs of an y ch ild . W h at you ll n otice is h ow th e p rocess of d evelop m en t is alm ost always th e sam e. As th e ch ild grows old er,
h is or h er p u rely visu al resp on se to th in gs is h am p ered by th e on goin g d em an d s of th e left

20

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

brain as lan gu age, id en tification , an d exactn ess take over an d p ass ju d gm en t on th e m ore
in tu itive righ t-brain resp on ses, p articu larly d rawin g.

Here are two of Laurens childhood drawings of her family.

Simple Materials to Begin


W h ile you r first exercises req u ire on ly p en cil, p ap er, an d som e tim e, we will ad d m ore an d
m ore m aterials as you r d rawin g skills im p rove. For n ow, wed like to in trod u ce you to th e
sim p le m aterials th at will get you started . Th in k th at p ap er is ju st p ap er an d a p en cils ju st
a p en cil? Th in k again !

Paper, pencils, eraser, and a place to keep it alland youre on your way!

Paper
A p ad of d rawin g or sketch in g p ap er (9" 12" or 11" 14") is n ice to start, bu t you can also
begin with som e sh eets of typ in g, com p u ter, or fax p ap er. No excu ses accep ted h ere; begin
on th e backs of en velop es, if you h ave to. Even tu ally, you ll wan t to exp lore wh at th e
sh elves of you r local art su p p ly store h ave to offer in th e way of p ap eryou ll be am azed at
th e variety!

21

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Pencils
An y #2 p en cil will work, bu t if you re goin g ou t for a p ad of p ap er an yway, d o you rself a
favor an d get som e m ech an ical p en cils. In th e p ast, th ese were u sed m ostly for d raftin g, bu t
th eyre read ily available an d are great for d rawin g. Th ey m ake a clean ,
con sisten t lin e th at can be varied with p ressu re. Plu s, th ey n ever n eed
sh arp en in g!

Try Your Hand


If you live in an area where
theres a paper specialty store,
youll want to stop by at some
point. Take the time to feel the
paper, to note its grain and texture. Theres more to paper than
meets the eye!

Look for a p en cil with a sm ooth barrel th at feels good in you r h an d .


Mech an ical p en cil lead s com e with d ifferen t th ickn esses an d h ard n esses; a good ch oice is a variety of 0.5 lead s in a ran ge of h ard n esses.
For starters, HB an d B will d o; th ey are less sm u d gy th an a stan d ard
#2 p en cil, alth ou gh a B is m ore sm u d gy th an an HB.
Mech an ical p en cil lead s are labeled as to th ickn ess an d h ard n ess on
th eir little storage boxes. Ch eck to m ake su re th at th e p en cil barrel an d
th ickn ess of lead corresp on d . It is h an d y to h ave a p en cil for each
h ard n ess th at you wan t to u se. You can also bu y th e p en cils in a variety of colors to color cod e th e h ard n esses you are u sin g so you kn ow
wh ich is wh ich .

Eraser

Artists Sketchbook
Pencil hardnesses range from
the very hard Hs, which you can
use to make a faint line, to the
very soft Bs, which are smudgier,
ranging from 6H all the way to
6B. Regular pencils are numbered
as to hardness on the point.

A kn ead ed eraser is best. You m ay rem em ber th is typ e of eraser from


gram m ar sch ool d ays. Like kn ead ed bread d ou gh , it can be stretch ed
an d p in ch ed in to sh ap es to get at wh atever you wan t to ch an geeven
th e sm allest lin ean d sh ou ld be con sid ered as m u ch of a tool as you r
p en cils an d p ap er. Don t settle for less th an a good q u ality kn ead ed
eraser. Its th e clean est way to erasean d you ll be d oin g lots of erasin g!

Drawing Board
A sim p le p iece of p lywood (1 / 4 " 3 / 8 " th ick) with san d ed ed ges an d th at
fits com fortably on you r lap is fin e as a d rawin g board . You can also
bu y m ason ite board s at an y art su p p ly store, a p lace you ll begin to freq u en t m ore an d m ore. Th e im p ortan t th in g is to h ave a stron g, flat,
h ard , sm ooth su rface on wh ich you can work with ou t worryin g abou t
bu m p s an d bru ises.

A Few Other Things


Here are a few oth er art su p p lies you m ay wan t to con sid er bu yin g n ow. Th eyre n ot absolu tely n ecessary th is early on , bu t you m ay fin d th em h elp fu l.
W h ile you re u p an d abou t, you m ay wan t to bu y som e m askin g or artists tap e.
Artists tap e d oes less d am age to p ap er th an m askin g tap e, bu t th e latter will work if
you re p ickin g u p a few q u ick su p p lies alon g with th e groceries an d its all you can
fin d .
A ru ler will often p rove h elp fu l. If you h aven t got a ru ler, an yth in g th at offers a
straigh t ed ge will com e in h an d y soon er or later.
A few stron g clip s to h old you r work to th e board are an altern ative to tap in g an d are
h an d y to h ave. More on th ese later.

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Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

Exercises to Get You on the Right Side


(of the Brain)
So you ve got you r p en cil, p ap er, eraser, an d d rawin g board or h ard
su rface. Its tim e to get over to th e righ t sid eof th e brain , th at is.
Were goin g to p rovid e you with two exercises th at will h elp you begin
to see th e d ifferen ce between h ow th e two sid es of you r brain see, th e
classic Profile/ Vase-Vase/ Profile exercise, an d a cop yin g exercise.

Try Your Hand

Profile/Vase-Vase/Profile
Th is d rawin g exercise is u sed by Betty Ed ward s an d m an y oth er art
ed u cators to d em on strate th e d ifficu lty of d rawin g wh ile th e brain is
fu n ction in g on its left sid e. Th e logical left is n ot h elp fu l wh en it
com es to visu al tasks best given to th e relation al righ t, as you ll d iscover wh en you take a stab at th e exercise an d exp erien ce you r left
brain tryin g to p erform a righ t-brain task.
1. First, d raw a sim p le p rofile, eith er th e exam p le h ere or an im agin ary on e.
2. As you d raw, th in k abou t each p art of th e p rofile, n am in g th em
to you rself as you d raw: foreh ead , eyes, n ose, u p p er lip , m ou th ,
lower lip , an d ch in .

If you go to an art store to purchase your first materials, let yourself look around and enjoy the
place. Poke into the piles and
boxes. Get acquainted with all the
toys (they are toys, and you will
like playing with them!). Dont be
afraid to ask questions. Learning
to explore this new territory is an
important aspect of learning to
drawand its fun as well!

Heres an example of a
profile/vase-vase/profile
drawing. Yours may or
may not resemble this
one.

3. For this exercise to be


most effective, righthanded people should
work on a left-facing
profile, and left-handed
people should work on a
right-facing profile.

23

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

4. W h en you ve fin ish ed d rawin g th e p rofile, d raw a h orizon tal lin e at th e top an d bottom of you r p rofile, m ovin g ou t from th e p rofile itself.
Draw a horizontal line
at the top and bottom
of your profile.

5. Now, retrace you r p rofile, th in kin g again abou t each featu re an d n am in g it to you rself
as you d raw.
6. Last, switch sid es an d try to d raw th e m irror im age p rofile th at will m ake a sym m etrical con tou r d rawin g of a vase.
Draw a mirror image of
the profile.

Reviewing the Exercise


Did you fin d th is exercise d ifficu lt? It m ay su rp rise you to learn th at m ost p eop le d o. Th ats
becau se th e n am in g of th e p arts of th e p rofile wh ile d rawin g gets u s th in kin g on th e logical
left, th e sid e of th e brain th at likes to n am e an d organ ize everyth in g. It th in ks it h as it all
figu red ou t: Th e foreh ead , eyes, n ose, lip s, an d ch in m ake a p rofile.
Rep eatin g th e n am es after you d rew th e h orizon tal lin es on th e top an d bottom of th e p rofile rein forces th e left brain : Yes, th at was itforeh ead , eyes, n ose, lip s, an d ch in , a p rofile,
all righ teven with th e lin es!
Next, th e q u ick switch to d rawin g th e op p osite, m irror-im age p rofile is a p roblem . Th e logical left is con fu sed by th e task of rep eatin g th e p rofile backward s. Th is is a task th at req u ires
sen sitivity to sh ap es an d relation sh ip s, som eth in g th e logical left is sim p ly n ot good at. Th e
p rofile is n ot th e sam e as th e oth er sid e; in fact, you m ay h ave fou n d it d ifficu lt to d raw it

24

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

at all. Plu s, th e vase isn t even sym m etricalsom eth in g th at strikes h orror in to th e h eart of
th e left brain (if it h ad a h eart!).
You m ay h ave tried a tactic or two to com p lete th e p rofile an d m ake th e vase sym m etrical.
If th ats th e case, h ow d id you d o it? Were you con fu sed ? Did you settle for a p rofile th at
was d ifferen t? Th at wou ld be lettin g th e left sid e stay in ch arge of th e p rofile, bu t th e vase
wou ld en d u p asym m etrical.
Did you ign ore th e n am es for th e p arts an d con cen trate on th e
sh ap es? Did you con cen trate on th e vase an d try to m ake th e lin e
sym m etrical with th e first sid e? Did you m easu re or m ark th e
cu rves or relation sh ip s between th e cu rves? Did you start in th e
m id d le or at th e bottom an d work backward s? An y of th ese solu tion s wou ld h ave been righ t-brain ap p roach es to th e p roblem ,
p ayin g atten tion to th e visu al an d n ot wh at you th ou gh t you
kn ew.
All righ t, we ad m it it: You r first d rawin g was a set-u p , p u rp osely a
left brain er, fu ll of id en tification an d n am es. To m atch it on th e
oth er, righ t sid e req u ired a switch to th e visu al, to see th e sh ap es
in stead of th e n am es. Drawin g is easiest wh en you th in k th e least,
an d ju st see th e sh ap es, with ou t n am in g th em .
Th e first p rofile is con cep tu al an d im agin ary, d rawn from m em ory,
bu t n am in g th e p arts m akes it a left-brain activity. To really d raw
as you see, you m u st be able to m ake a p ercep tu al or relation al
d rawin g, a righ t-brain activity. In ord er to m atch th e sh ap es, relation sh ip s, an d cu rves on th e secon d sid e an d m ake th e vase sym m etrical, you m u st focu s you r eyes an d m in d on th e first p rofile
in ord er to d raw th e secon d an d ch an ces are, you r left brain
wou ld n t let you d o th at.

Try Your Hand


What this exercise asked you to
do was make a shift mentally from
your normal cognitive function
the left sidethat named all the
pieces, to the visual sidethe
right sidethat cares about the
shapes and the relationship between them. Thats because the
nonverbal right is better suited for
the business of seeing than the
linguistic left.

The left profile, the first


one drawn, corresponds
to the left side of the
brain; the right profile,
the one copied, draws on
the right side of the
brain.

Th e ability to switch m od es of brain fu n ction is th e ability to see d ifferen tly. On ce you


m aster th is switch in g, you ll fin d th at its very h an d y for all sorts of p roblem solvin g in
you r d aily existen ce!

25

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Student samples of the


exercise drawn righthanded and left-handed.
The numbers indicate
the order in which each
profile was drawn.
Right-handed

Left-handed

When the Familiar Gets Unfamiliar


Now th at you re aware of th e d ifficu lty of d oin g a righ t-brain task wh ile you re op eratin g
on th e left, lets try an exercise th at h elp s get you over th e fen ce on to th e righ t sid e.
We recogn ize an d id en tify th in gs in ou r world based on ou r fam iliarity with th em . We see,
id en tify, n am e, categorize, an d rem em ber, so we th in k we kn ow. Th ats fin e for facts:
n am es, d ates, n u m bers, con cep ts, an d id eas. For seein g an d d rawin g, th ou gh , a m ore flexible, resp on sive way of observin g is better, becau se th in gs are n ot always as th ey seem .
Mostly, were u sed to seein g th in gs on e way, righ t sid e u p . Ou r left brain easily id en tifies an
object an d n am es it for u s, an d th en we kn ow wh at it is an d feel con fid en t an d secu re.
Bu t th e fam iliar becom es in stan tly u n fam iliar wh en its u p sid e d own or backward s. We exp ect to see it righ t sid e u p an d are con fu sed wh en its n ot. Up sid e-d own sh ap es an d relation sh ip s are stran ge to u s becau se th eyre d ifferen t from th e m em ory weve stored from
p ast exp erien ce. Ou r brain d oesn t like th em .

Right Side Up/Upside Down


Here are two exercises to h elp you see h ow you feel wh en th e fam iliar is som eh ow ch an ged .
Write you r n am e (th is is som eth in g you re u sed to).
Now look at it in a m irroris it h ard to read ?
Look at it u p sid e d own . For som e, th is is even h ard er to read th an a m irror im age.
Try lookin g at you r sign atu re u p sid e d own an d backward s. Does it ap p ear to be h ieroglyp h ics or a foreign lan gu ageor n o lan gu age at all?

26

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

Normal signature

Try looking at your signature upside down and


backwards. Heres
Laurens.

Upside down

Backwards
(in mirror)

Upside down and


backwards

Now, look at you rself in th e m irror. Th is, too, is wh at you re u sed to.
Look at a p h oto of you rself; it will look sligh tly d ifferen t becau se we are all a little
asym m etrical, an d th e m irror im age is th e on e were m ost fam iliar with .
Look at th e p h oto of you rself u p sid e d own . Does th is look a little od d to you ?
Now look at it u p sid e d own an d in th e m irror. Th is looks even stran ger, d oesn t it?

Photos of Lauren, right side up and upside down.

27

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Try Your Hand


If you need a new career, you
might be interested to know that
forgers practice new signatures upside down, to pay more attention
to the shapes of a particular hand
and less to the letters themselves.
You might want to try this even if
you are gainfully employed. Just
dont try to pass one of those
checks with a forged signature!

Use these images to


practice copying a drawing right side up and upside down.

28

We kn ow ou r world or th in k th at we d obecau se we can id en tify


an d rem em ber. Up sid e d own or backward s, th in gs look a little od d or
even u n settlin g, p articu larly faces an d h an d writin g, becau se th eyre
asym m etrical. Ou r logical left brain is easily con fu sed wh en ou r m em ory is d ifferen t from reality, an d visu al tricks or p roblem s are fru stratin g. Th e organ ized m em ory is of n o u se h ere an d often gives u p or
over to th e relative righ t. For u s, th ats good n ewsits ju st wh at we
wan t to h ap p en !

Copy a Complicated Drawing


W h en it com es to a com p licated d rawin g with d etail, p rop ortion , an d
foresh orten in g, it can be m u ch easier to cop y th e im age u p sid e d own
as forgers d o, con cen tratin g on th e sh ap es an d relation sh ip s rath er
th an on th e d rawin g itself, wh ich can seem in tim id atin gly d ifficu lt. A
com p licated d rawin g can th row th e logical left in to com p lete revolt
an d sen d it p ackin g. Th ats th e id ea beh in d th is exerciseto see with
th e relation al righ t.

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

1. Select on e of th e p reviou s im ages above an d cop y it righ t sid e u p .


2. Now, tu rn th e sam e exam p le im age u p sid e d own .
3. Begin a n ew d rawin g of th e u p sid e-d own im age.
Here are som e tip s to try as you work on th e u p sid e-d own im age:
Con cen trate on th e sh ap es, n ot th e im age.
Don t try to d raw th e wh ole th in g first an d fill in th e d etail.
Start wh ere you can see a sh ap e an d d raw it.
Th in k abou t lin es. W h ich way d o th ey go? Do th ey cu rve or stay straigh t? W h ere d o
th ey con n ect to oth er lin es?
W h ere are th e h orizon tals, th e verticals? W h ich way d o th ey go?
Com p are sh ap es rath er th an id en tify th em . How d o th ey relate to oth ers?
Work on on e area at a tim e. You can cover m ost of th e exam p le d rawin g an d on ly
look at th e p art you are d rawin g.
Resist th e tem p tation to see h ow you are d oin g or even th in k abou t it.
Try n ot to th in k at all. Ju st look an d d raw wh at you see.

Keep Up the Good Work


You r secon d , u p sid e-d own d rawin g sh ou ld be a sign ifican t im p rovem en t over th e first,
righ t-sid e-u p on e. Problem s like scale, p rop ortion , liken ess, an d d etail th at were very d ifficu lt righ t sid e u p are m erely sh ap es an d relation sh ip s wh en viewed u p sid e d own , an d so
th ey can be observed an d d rawn easily, on e by on e.
You m ay h ave ju st d on e th e first d rawin g th at you liked in years by con cen tratin g on
sh ap es an d relation sh ip s with th e relation al righ t an d sen d in g th e logical left off to sleep .
Fascin atin g, isn t it? Am azin g, even an d th ats ju st th e begin n in g. W h en you can sen d th e
logical left on vacation at will an d con cen trate on seein g wh ats th ere rath er th an wh at you
th ou gh t you kn ew, you ll fin d th e d oor to d rawin g swin g op en !

Exercising Your Right(s)


Right side up

Right side up

Upside
down

Upside
down

29

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Right side up

Upside down

Right side up

Upside down

Right side up

Upside down

Right side up
Upside down

No two right-side-up/upside-down drawings are alike, as these childrens


student samples show. If yours doesnt look like any of these, in fact,
thats great!
Now th at you ve begu n to d raw on th e relation al righ t, n ext com es a ch ap ter of con tou r
d rawin gs, to d o first with ou t lookin g an d th en wh ile lookin g. Th ese d rawin gs will h elp you
fu rth er you r n ewfou n d ability to see as an artist sees, u sin g sh ap e, sp ace, an d relation sh ip s.

30

Chapter 2 Toward Seeing for Drawing

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

31

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Least You Need to Know


In daily life were taught to function on the analytical, verbal, left side of our brain.
An artist, while working, makes a conscious shift in cognitive function from logical
left to relational right.

Learning to draw is really learning to see as an artist does, on the right side of the
brain.

Creative thinking and problem solving can be useful in other areas of work and life,
too.

32

Chapter 3

Loosen Up

In This Chapter
Warm-ups for the eyes and hand
Drawing without looking
Drawing while looking
Farewell, left brain!

Drawing is a language without words.


Harvey Weiss
Now th at you ve p racticed switch in g from you r left brain to you r righ t, its tim e to warm u p
you r relation al righ t for th e exercises th at follow in th e rest of th e book. Learn in g to d raw is
like an y oth er skill; its abou t p ractice, p ractice, p racticebu t its a fu n kin d of p ractice.
To begin you r p ractice, get ou t you r p ap er an d p en cils, as well as you r artists board . In th is
ch ap ter, were goin g to d ood le th e n igh t (or d ay) away, an d bid Old Lefty farewell.

Now You See It


Rem em ber wh en you were learn in g to write an d th e lon g p ractice session s you p u t in before
you m astered th at skill? You r d rawin g h an d also n eed s p ractice to m ake attractive an d sen sitive m arks in reaction to you r n ew awaren ess an d observation . Calligrap h ers warm u p before th ey work, to get th eir h an d back in to th e swin g of beau tifu l writin g, an d p robably ou r
frien d s th e forgers d o, too. So sh ou ld you .
W h en p racticin g Palm er Meth od writin g, try rep rod u cin g you r sign atu re u p sid e d own .
Lau ren u ses blocks th at sp ell th e letters of h er n am e, L A U R E N, wh ich is fairly sim p le to
cop y. If you h ave an y blocks arou n d , wh eth er in th e attic or belon gin g to you r ch ild ren ,
you can try th is, too. Arran ge th em u p sid e d own an d cop y th e lettersas well as th e p ictu res on th em .

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Art of Drawing


Are you old enough to remember the Palmer Method? It was once the preferred method of
teaching and practicing penmanship, based on observation of shapes and the practice of letter
shapes, rather like practicing scales when you are learning to play the piano. Generations of
schoolchildren (and the adults they became) can be identified by their careful os and wsnot
to mention their ps and qs.

Warm-Up for the Eyes and Hand


Ju st as you m ay h ave p racticed you r p en m an sh ip by form in g as or ss over an d over again ,
wh y n ot try a p age of m arks before you start d rawin g? Practice circles an d ovals an d ellip ses
(a lon g, skin n y oval, often a d ifficu lt sh ap e to m aster). It is good for you r h an d to d o a series of th ese, or of grad u ated sizes, ch ain s of circles, con cen tric circles, sp irals, eggs, bu llets,
an d even som e calcu lated sq u iggles.
Warm up your hand
with a page of circles,
ovals, spirals, ellipses,
and similar curving
lines.

Next, try p racticin g oth er m arks or kin d s of lin es you m igh t fin d u sefu l to m ake d rawin gs:
Straigh t
Cu rved

34

Chapter 3 Loosen Up

Parallel
Crisscrossin g or cross-h atch in g
Overlap p in g
or
Sin gle
Sm ooth
Scratch y
Wiggly
Th e sep arate lists are m ean t as two p ossible op tion s of on es ch oice of m arks. W h en you
m ake sm ooth lin es, you d on t p ick u p th e p en cil from th e p age, bu t m ake a con tin u ou s
sm ooth lin e, as op p osed to scratch y lin es, wh ich req u ire rep eated liftin g of th e p en cil.
Try th em allbu ild u p a vocabu lary of lin es an d m arks!
Doodle a page of marks
and lines to warm up
your hand as well.

Entering the Flow


If a certain kind of activity, such as painting, becomes the habitual mode of expression, it
may follow that taking up the painting materials and beginning to work with them will act
suggestively and so presently evoke a flight into the higher state.
Robert Henri

35

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

On e of th e won d erfu l th in gs abou t d rawin g is th e ten d en cy to m ove in to a d ifferen t, h igh er


state of con sciou sn ess wh ile workin g. Th e atten tive, observan t righ t brain focu ses on wh at
you are really seein g, rath er th an on wh at you r left brain tells you , leavin g you op en to th is
lovely state an d p lace.
Tim e seem s to fad e in to th e d istan ce, an d you can exp erien ce a rare floatin g feelin g as you
work, rem oved from th e m om en t-to-m om en t world . Even m u sic in th e backgrou n d can virtu ally d isap p ear. Of cou rse, alm ost an y in tru sion can swin g you to left-brain reality; th e
p h on e rin gin g is th e worst offen d er, bu t you can swin g you rself back, too, ju st by seein g
in stead of th in kin g.
Drawin g is a m ed itation , a way to get in tou ch with som e of you r in n erm ost feelin gs an d in sigh ts, an d a rest from th e con cern s of ou r
h igh -p ressu re lives.

To Begin
The Art of Drawing
When practicing marks, try to get
your whole arm involved, not
just your hand. Develop a sense
of your hand, almost suspended
above your paper, with just a
light touch for stability. Let your
arm move your hand as it works
to make the marks. You will find
that your line is smoother and
can reach out further in any direction to follow an edge or
make a shape without becoming
fragmented and scratchy.

Before you begin d rawin g, you ll wan t to get you rself in a d rawin g state
of m in d . Th ese step s can h elp you get you rself th ere. Becau se step s are
a left-brain ed arran gem en t, you m ay wan t to record you rself sayin g
th ese step s slowly an d th en p lay th e record in g wh en you wan t to arrive
in th is state.
1. Arran ge you rself an d you r h an d or su bject.
2. Close you r eyes an d m ed itate for a few m om en ts. Try to clear
you r m in d of clu tter.
3. Sit com fortably, an d arran ge you r p ap er an d board .
4. Relax for a m om en t. Try to forget abou t th e rest of th e world
an d th e oth er th in gs you n eed to d o tod ay.
5. Close you r eyes for a m om en t. Breath e slowly an d try to let all
th at you n orm ally th in k abou t p ass ou t of you r m in d .
6. Con cen trate on th e m om en t. Sit com fortably. Op en you r eyes.
7. Look closely at you r su bject. Try to see it as if you were lookin g
at it for th e first tim e.
8. Let you r eyes travel arou n d th e ou tsid e of you r object.
9. Try to see all th e d etail in sid e th e ou tsid e sh ap e.
10. Now, focu s on a lin e. See h ow it cu rves. W h ich way? How
lon g? W h ich lin e d oes it m eet? Does it go over or u n d er th at
lin e?

Artists Sketchbook
A contour drawing is any
drawing in which the lines represent the edge of a form, shape,
or space; the edge between two
forms, shapes, or spaces; or the
shared edge between groups of
forms, shapes, or spaces.

36

11. Try to see all th e lin es as sp ecial to th e wh ole. Th en p lace you r


p en cil on th e p age an d begin to d raw.

The Next SetSend Off the


Logical Left
Here is a d rawin g exercise to bu y an exp ress ticket to sen d th at p ersisten t logical left p ackin g. You r left brain will wan t to leave town , an d
n ot even call or write. Let it go; it is a n u isan ce.

Chapter 3 Loosen Up

You are goin g to try a contour drawing of you r h an d (n ot th e d rawin g h an d , th e oth er on e,


as Pooh wou ld say). You are goin g to d o th is d rawin g with ou t lookin g at you r p ap er, n ot
even on ce!
Th is exercise is on e d evelop ed by Kim on Nicolaid es in h is book, The Natural Way to Draw
(Boston : Hou gh ton Mifflin , 1990). It is a way to com p letely con cen trate on wh at you see,
with ou t lookin g to ch eck, an alyze, an d ju d ge you r work. In oth er word s, ju st d o it. Plan
on abou t 10 m in u tes for each p art th at you try.

Contour Drawing of Your HandWithout Looking


If you wou ld like to really see wh at a d ifferen ce it can m ake to con cen trate on ju st seein g
an d d rawin g wh at you see, you can m ake a d rawin g of you r h an d before you start th ese exercises. Ju st d o it, to th e best of you r ability, an d set it asid e. Th en you can com p are it to
th e secon d d rawin g th at you d o, wh en you can look again .
1. Start by settin g u p you r area to d raw. You r p ad of sketch p ap er on you r board an d a
p en cil will d o.
2. Seat you rself in a com fortable ch air, an gled away from you r d rawin g board .
3. Take a good look at you r oth er h an d . Make a bit of a fist so th at th ere are a lot of
wrin kles in you r p alm .
4. Decid e on a p lace to start on you r h an d , on e of th e lin es on
you r p alm , for exam p le.
5. Pu t you r p en cil d own on you r p ap er. Con sid er th at sp ot th e
sam e as th e sp ot or lin e you p icked on you r h an d . On ce
you ve p laced you r p en cil, d on t look at th e p age again .
6. Look very carefu lly at th e lin e th at goes off from you r startin g sp ot.
W h ich way d oes it go?
For h ow far?
Does it cu rve?
How m u ch ?
Is th ere an oth er lin e th at it m eets?
7. Move you r p en cil, slowly, in resp on se to wh at you see.
Rem em berd on t look at th e p age!

Try Your Hand


One way you can gauge your
absorption and higher state of
consciousness is to set a timer
while you are working on these
exercises. Set it for 5 or 10 minutes to start. If the timer goes off
unexpectedly, then, my friend,
you have been off in the void!

8. Look at th e lin es in you r h an d on e by on e as th ey tou ch each oth er an d try to d raw


exactly th ose lin es th at you are lookin g at.
9. Keep at it. Don t look!
Rem ain observan t an d sen sitive to th e wealth of lin ear textu re, sh ap e, an d p rop ortion in
you r h an d , an d try to p u t it in to you r d rawin g.
Keep workin g u n til you h ave d rawn all th e lin es an d sh ap es in th e p alm of you r h an d .
Th at it won t look like a h an d d oesn t m atter. You r absorp tion in a p u rely visu al task is
wh at cou n ts. Has you r left brain left yet?

37

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Here are some examples of students contour drawings without looking.

Contour Drawing of Your HandWhile Looking


Now, take a stab at th at d rawin g wh ile lookin g. Han d s as a d rawin g su bject are u su ally
avoid ed , bu t you can actu ally get a d ecen t d rawin g if you d o ju st as m u ch lookin g an d
relatin g of on e lin e to an oth er as you d id in th e first exercise.
1. Ch an ge you r seated p osition so you can rest you r oth er h an d on th e table.
2. Take an oth er good look at you r h an d an d th e lin es in you r p alm .
3. Pick a p lace an d a lin e on you r h an d to start with .
4. Pick a p lace on you r p ap er to p lace you r p en cil an d begin you r d rawin g.

38

Chapter 3 Loosen Up

5. Make th e sam e carefu l observation s abou t you r h an d as before.


How far d oes th e first lin e go?
In wh at d irection ?
Does it cu rve?
W h ich way?
W h en d oes it m eet an oth er lin e?
Th en wh at h ap p en s?
6. Draw wh at you see, n ot wh at you th in k you see.
7. Work slowly an d carefu lly u n til you h ave gon e all arou n d you r h an d an d record ed all
th e lin es th at you can see.
You r d rawin g sh ou ld h ave all th e sen sitivity th at you p u t in to th e m akin g of it. If you d id a
d rawin g of you r h an d before you began th ese exercises, take it ou t an d com p are th e two.
You r exp erien ce d rawin g with ou t lookin g (an d sen d in g Old Lefty off again ) sh ou ld h ave
h elp ed with th e secon d d rawin g of you r h an d wh ile lookin g. Th e m ore you p ractice really
seein g an d d rawin g wh at you see rath er th an wh at you th in k you see, th e better you r d rawin gs will be.

Here are some student contour drawings, done while looking, for you to ponder.

39

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Another Set to Keep It Gone


Th e it, of cou rse, is th at left brain of you rs, ju st waitin g for a ch an ce to com e back in an d
tell you wh at it th in ks abou t all th is d rawin g stu ff. Keep it ou t of you r life for a wh ile. Try
th e sam e exercise, bu t with a h ou seh old object, like a corkscrew or a p air of scissors. Pick an
object with a com p licated sh ap e th at will req u ire th e sam e carefu l lookin g an d relatin g to
sh ap es.
As you see an d d raw, you r own in n ate creativity will be accessible to you . Th e sp ecialn ess of
you r eyes an d m in d is a gift. Use it! You ll fin d th at th e p leasu re of sim p le accom p lish m en t
in a h igh -tech world is a p erson al triu m p h .

Contour Drawing of an ObjectWithout Looking


If you wou ld like to really see wh at a d ifferen ce it can m ake to con cen trate on ju st seein g
an d d rawin g wh at you see, you can m ake a d rawin g of you r object before you start th ese
exercises. Ju st d o it, to th e best of you r ability, an d set it asid e. Th en you can com p are it to
th e secon d d rawin g th at you d o, wh en you can look again .
1. Start by settin g u p you r area to d raw. You r p ad of sketch p ap er on you r board an d a
p en cil will d o.
2. Seat you rself in a com fortable ch air, an gled away from you r d rawin g board .
3. Take a good look at th e object th at you h ave ch osen . Make su re th at you can n ot see
th e d rawin g itself as you d raw.
4. Decid e on a p lace to start on you r object. On e of th e lin es th at m akes th e sh ap e is a
good begin n in g p oin t.
5. Pu t you r p en cil d own on you r p ap er an d con sid er th at sp ot th e sam e as th e sp ot or
lin e you p icked on you r object. On ce you ve p laced you r p en cil, d on t look at th e p age
again .
6. Look very carefu lly at th e lin e th at goes off from you r startin g sp ot.
W h ich way d oes it go?
For h ow far?
Does it cu rve?
How m u ch ?
Is th ere an oth er lin e th at it m eets?
7. Move you r p en cil, slowly, in resp on se to wh at you see. Rem em berd on t look at th e
p age!
8. Look at th e lin es in you r object, on e by on e as th ey tou ch each oth er, an d try to d raw
exactly th ose lin es th at you are lookin g at.
9. Keep at it. Don t look!
10. Rem ain observan t an d sen sitive to th e wealth of lin ear textu re, sh ap e, an d p rop ortion
in you r object, an d try to p u t it in to you r d rawin g.
11. Keep workin g u n til you h ave d rawn all th e lin es an d sh ap es in you r object.
Th at it won t look like th e object you ch ose d oesn t m atter; you r absorp tion in an oth er
p u rely visu al task is wh at cou n ts. Has you r left brain called h om e?

40

Chapter 3 Loosen Up

Here are some contour drawings of objects done without looking.

Contour Drawing of an ObjectWhile Looking


Now, wed like you try th e sam e d rawin g, on ly th is tim e, wh ile lookin g. Even if it is a com p licated object, you can get a d ecen t d rawin g if you d o ju st as m u ch lookin g an d relatin g of
on e lin e to an oth er as you d id in th e oth er exercises.
Th e con tou r d rawin g wh ile lookin g sh ou ld be d on e with th e sam e focu s on seein g th e lin es,
bu t you get to follow you r d rawin g h an d by lookin g. Stay focu sed on wh at you see.
1. Ch an ge you r seated p osition so you can look at th e object you are d rawin g.
2. Take an oth er good look at you r object.
3. Pick a p lace an d a lin e on you r object to start with .
4. Pick a p lace on you r p ap er to p lace an d begin you r d rawin g.
5. Make th e sam e carefu l observation s abou t you r object as
before.
How far d oes th e first lin e go?
In wh at d irection ?
Does it cu rve?
W h ich way?
W h en d oes it m eet an oth er lin e?
Th en wh at h ap p en s?
6. Draw wh at you see, n ot wh at you th in k you see.

Back to the Drawing Board


Looking while youre doing the
blind contour drawing is just the
chance Old Lefty needs to come
back in and try to tell you what
youre doing wrong. The point
here is to do a drawing that has
nothing to do with anything
except seeing the lines.

7. Work slowly an d carefu lly u n til you h ave gon e all arou n d
you r object an d record ed all th e lin es th at you can see.
As with you r first set of d rawin gs, you ll fin d th at th e m ore you p ractice really seein g an d
d rawin g wh at you see rath er th an wh at you th in k you see, th e better you r d rawin gs will be.
To tap in to you r creative en ergy an d realize you r p oten tial is a great p ower, on e you can u se
for m ore th an ju st d rawin g.
You m ay feel trem en d ou sly en ergized by th e p rocess. You can u se th is creativity to solve
p roblem s of all kin d s, by lookin g at all sid es of a p roblem rath er th an seein g th in gs in th e
u su al ord ered way. You ll be able to see th e big p ictu re, m ovin g beyon d th e con cep ts to th e
relation sh ip s.

41

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

Weve provided a set of


sample contour drawings
of objects done while
looking.

Farewell, Old Lefty


Th ese exercises sh ou ld h ave m ad e Old Lefty h ead for th e h ills for good . Th ey also sh ou ld
also h ave sh own you som e begin n in g p ractice at seein g an d relatin g sh ap es an d lin es,
wh eth er you were lookin g at you r su bject or n ot.
In th e n ext ch ap ter, well be takin g a look at u sin g th e p lastic p ictu re fram e, a su rp risin gly
sim p le m eth od of p rojectin g an im age on to p ap er.

42

Chapter 3 Loosen Up

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br

Part 1 Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing

The Least You Need to Know


A warm-up for your eyes and hand is a good way for beginning artists to start a
drawing session.

Drawing brings you into a higher state of consciousness.


Contour drawing focuses your attention and observation, while switching your
cognitive brain function from the logical left to the relational right.

Looking carefully at the detail in any drawing subject will keep you working on the
right side.

You can see as an artist does and keep the left side out of the mix.

www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br

44

Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw


Its time to meet some of the tools of the trade, including the view finder frame and the plastic
picture plane. Well show you how to make your own view finder frame and plastic picture plane
to take with you wherever you go, and how to use both of these tools to help with your drawings.
Your first drawings will concentrate on learning to see an object in space, using a contour line to
describe the shapes, and looking at the negative spaces in and around those objects.
If youve come this far, youve already developed some real drawing skills. Now its time to start
thinking about your studio and some more materials for your new work.

www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br

www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br

Chapter 4

The Picture
Plane

In This Chapter
What is a picture plane?
Building a picture plane
Using a picture plane
Transferring your drawing to paper

What the eye can see, the hand can draw.


Michelangelo
If Mich elan gelo said it, it is so. If you can learn to really see, you can d raw. Its th at sim p le.
In Ch ap ter 3, Loosen Up , d rawin g th e lin es th at are on you r p alm was an exp erien ce in
learn in g to really see, by takin g th e tim e to see each lin e in you r h an d . Drawin g is abou t d etail an d relation , rep resen ted on p ap er as a d irect resp on se to wh at you seen oth in g else
ju st wh at you see. Drawin g you r h an d sh ou ld h ave becom e easier after all th at con cen trated
seein g!
It m ay su rp rise you to learn th at artists d on t always d raw freeh an d . Th eres even evid en ce
th at, as early as th e fifteen th cen tu ry, artists su ch as d a Vin ci m ay h ave been u sin g p ictu re
p lan e-like d evices to p roject im ages on to p ap er.
In th e n ext two ch ap ters, well be sh owin g you h ow to m ake an d u se sim ilar d evices of you r
own . In th is ch ap ter, well be d iscu ssin g th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e, an d in th e n ext ch ap ter,
th e viewfin d er fram e.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

What Is a Picture Plane?


In stead of begin n in g with a d efin ition , we will exp lore th e picture plane an d h ow to u se it to
see even m ore clearly an d easily.
You will n eed :
A p iece of Plexiglas 8" 12". You can get a few p ieces. A larger
p iece can be h an d y becau se you can rest it in you r lap an d
work on th e top h alf. Try a few sizes. Later in th is ch ap ter you
m ay fin d th e larger p iece works better for you .

Artists Sketchbook
A picture plane is the imaginary
visual plane out in front of your
eyes, turning as you do to look at
the world, as if through a window.
Leone Battista Alberti, a Renaissance artist, found that he could
easily draw the scene outside his
window by drawing directly on
the glass. He called it a window
separating the viewer from the
picture itself. And German
Renaissance artist Albrecht Drer
was inspired by the writings of
Leonardo da Vinci and designed
himself a picture-plane device.

A fin e-p oin t p erm an en t m arker, like a Sh arp y or fin e lau n d ry


m arker.
A fin e-p oin t wash able m arker th at will h old a lin e on th e
p lastic.

How to Use a Picture Plane


For a d ram atic exam p le, we will begin with th at h an d of you rs. Han d s
are good m od els; you d on t h ave to p ay th em m u ch an d th ey are always available.
1. Place you r h an d com fortably on a table (keep th e Plexiglas an d
th e wash able m arker at reach ). Scru n ch , ball, twist, or tu rn you r
h an d in to th e h ard est p osition you can im agin e (or n ot im agin e) d rawin g. Fin d a p osition with a lot of foreshorteningyou r
fin gers com in g straigh t ou t at you an d im agin e tryin g to get it
to look righ t. You can ad d a p rop , if you d like, som eth in g d ifficu lt to d raw, like scissors or a corkscrew.
2. Un cap th e wash able m arker.
3. Pu t th e p iece of Plexiglas on you r p osin g h an d , with or with ou t
a p rop , an d balan ce everyth in g as best you can .
4. Stay m otion less excep t for you r d rawin g h an d .
5. Look th rou gh th e p lastic at you r h an d . Th en look at you r h an d
as you see it on the plastic.

Back to the Drawing Board


Try out all these items in the art
store where you get the Plexiglas. Say we told you to do it!
They may think youre crazy, but
you dont really care and you
can consider it the beginning of
building your reputation locally
as an artist. We are all a bit crazy;
its part of the fun.

48

6. Close on e eye an d carefu lly d raw exactly wh at you see d irectly


on th e p lastic. Take you r tim e. Draw each lin e th at you can see
of you r h an d an d wh atever you are h old in g.
7. Draw on ly wh at you can see on th e p lastic.
8. Keep goin g u n til you h ave d rawn every lin e you can see.
Sh ake ou t th at p oor m od elin g h an d an d take a look at you r d rawin g. A
d ifficu lt, foresh orten ed , even con torted , p osition of you r h an d an d
wh atever you were h old in g sh ou ld be clearly visible on th e p lastic. You
h ave d rawn you r h an d in d rastic foresh orten in g becau se you drew only
what you could see on the plasticth e p ictu re p lan e between you an d
you r h an d .

www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br

Chapter 4 The Picture Plane

A hand drawn on a picture plane.

If you d id it on ce, you can d o it again . Try an oth er. Each on e will be easier. Fill you r p iece
of Plexiglas with d rawin gs of you r h an d , or start a n ew p iece. Keep th e best on e or two, an d
com p are th em to th e first h an d d rawin gs th at you d id , th e d rawin gs of you r p alm , an d th e
d rawin g of you r h an d after you d rew you r p alm . You sh ou ld see a ch an ge!
Hand drawings done on
Plexiglas can be placed
on a copy machine or
scanner for duplication.

Historical Uses of Drawing Devices


From th e High Ren aissan ces Albrech t D rer to th e Im p ression ists
Vin cen t van Gogh , th e old m asters m ad e good u se of variou s
d rawin g aid s an d d evices. Min d you , th ey were still great d raftsm en , bu t th ey h ad th eir tools, n ot u n like wh at we are u sin g.
In reality, th e p ictu re p lan e is a visu al con cep t, an im agin ary, clear
su rface th at is th ere in fron t of you r face, tu rn in g with you wh erever you look. W h at you see, you see on th at su rface, bu t in reality th e view exten d s backward s, from th ere in to th e d istan ce.
W h en you see on th e p ictu re p lan e, you visu ally flatten th e d istan ce between you an d wh at you see. Qu ite a trick? Not really. Its
like a p h otograp h , a 3-D view on a 2-D su rface. You see th e 3-D
im age (in sp ace) as you look in to th e d istan ce, bu t you see th e 2-D
(flat) im age of it on th e p ictu re p lan e. You can d raw wh at you see
d irectly on th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e, th en even tu ally on p ap er.

Artists Sketchbook
Foreshortening is the illusion
of spatial depth. It is a way to
portray a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional plane
(like piece of paper). The object
appears to project beyond or recede behind the picture plane
by visual distortion.

Easy, h u h ?

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

The Art of Drawing


The development of photography grew out of early experiments with the picture plane and
lenses which were used to project an image down on to a piece of paper, something like a projector does today. It is now thought that the old masters used projector-like devices to help
capture likeness, complicated perspective, or elaborate detail in their very realistic paintings.
After the development of the camera, artist interest began to move away from perfectly represented realism to more expressive ways of seeing and painting.

W h at you see on th e p ictu re p lan e is m agically flatten ed . Th is is becau se th e d istan ce between you an d wh at you see an d th e d istan ces or
sp ace with in th e su bject are foresh orten ed .

How a Picture Plane Works


Try Your Hand
If you want to keep one of your
picture plane drawings as a
record, you can try putting it on
a copy machine or a scanner. Or,
you can place a piece of tracing
paper on the plastic and make a
careful tracing of your drawing.

To get a gen eral id ea of h ow a p ictu re p lan e works, grab a n ew p iece of


Plexiglas or clean off th e on e u sed for th e p reviou s exercise if its th e
on ly on e you h ave.
1. Hold th e p iece of Plexiglas even ly in fron t of you r face.
2. Look arou n d th e room , at a corn er, at a win d ow, at a d oorway
to an oth er room . Look at a table from th e corn er, across or
d own th e len gth of it. Look ou t in to th e backyard or go look
d own th e street or u p th e h ill.
All th at you can see on th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e is d rawable, first on
th e p lastic, an d th en , wh en you ve got th e h an g of it, d irectly on
p ap er.
So, we will start with a few ad d ition s to you r p iece of p lastic an d set u p
for d rawin g.

Artists Sketchbook
2-D is an abbreviation for twodimensional, having the dimensions of height and width, such
as a flat surface like a piece of
paper. 3-D is an abbreviation for
three-dimensional, having the
dimensions of height, width, and
depth, an object in space.

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Preparing a Plexiglas Picture Plane


for Drawing
For th is exercise, you will n eed
An 8" 12" p iece of Plexiglas.
A fin e-p oin t permanent m arker.
A fin e-p oin t washable m arker th at will h old a lin e on p lastic.
A ru ler.

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Chapter 4 The Picture Plane

To m ake a grid on you r p ictu re p lan e:


1. Draw d iagon al lin es from corn er to corn er on th e p iece of p lastic with th e p erm an en t
m arker.
First, draw a set of diagonal lines.

2. Measu re an d d raw cen ter lin es vertically an d h orizon tally in th e cen ter of th e p lastic.
Add horizontal and vertical lines to the diagonals.

3. Measu re an d d raw lin es d ivid in g each of th e fou r boxes you n ow h ave on th e p lastic.
Th e boxes will be 2" 3" vertical.
Divide each grid into
boxes.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

You r d rawin g will be d on e on th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e with th e wash able m arker. Th e p erm an en t grid is th ere to h elp you see relation ally
th at is, h ow on e sh ap e relates to an oth er. It will h elp you tran sfer th e
d rawin g to p ap er wh en you are fin ish ed . Righ t n ow, th e grid will get
you u sed to seein g wh ere th in gs are in an im age or a d rawin g, an d
even tu ally you won t even n eed it.

Back to the Drawing Board


To draw on the plastic picture
plane, you must keep it as motionless as possibleand you
mustnt move either. Youll be
looking at a single view, and the
hardest thing will be to keep still
enough for that single view to remain static. You can try propping
the picture plane on a pillow or
books if its a small piece. If its
a larger one, simply set it on
your lap.

Isolate a Subject with the


Picture Plane
Now you are read y to try on e of th e d rawin g d evices favored by th e old
m asters. Th is is an exercise th at will h elp you get th e id ea of th e p ictu re
p lan e in you r m in d s eyeor is it you r eyes m in d ?
1. Look arou n d th e room an d d ecid e on a first su bject. Don t get
too am bitiou s at first. A corn er of a room m igh t be too m u ch ;
try a table or a ch air, or a win d ow at an an gle.
2. It is absolu tely n ecessary th at you re able to keep th e p lastic
p ictu re p lan e at you r eye level an d th at it be still. Rest it on a
table, or h old it straigh t u p an d d own at a level th at you can
see th rou gh an d d raw on at th e sam e tim e.

Make sure your picture


plane is even with your
eyes and that its resting
straight up and down at
a level you can see your
subject through. Prop it
up on a book or two if
you need to. This is
where a longer piece of
glass might be handy.

3. On ce you h ave situ ated you rself an d you r su bject, close on e eye an d take a good lon g
look th rou gh you r p ictu re p lan e, p articu larly at th e p arts th at wou ld seem h ard to
d raw, eith er becau se of an gles, com p licated sh ap es, d istortion , d etail, or p ersp ective.
Try to get back to ju st seein g, bu t really seein g, an d ju st wh at you can see, n ot wh at
you th in k.
4. See th e im age th rou gh th e lin es th at you p u t on th e p ictu re p lan e, bu t try to n ote
wh ere th in gs are relative to th e lin es:
W h at p art of th e im age is in th e m id d le?
W h at p art is n ear th e d iagon al?

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Chapter 4 The Picture Plane

W h at p art is h alfway across?


On wh ich sid e of each grid is each p art?
Does a p articu lar lin e go from top to bottom or across?
Does a cu rve start in on e box an d travel to an oth er before it d isap p ears?
An d th en wh at?
5. Un cap you r m arker an d d ecid e wh ere to start. It sh ou ld be a sh ap e th at you are q u ite
su re of, on e you can u se to go to th e n ext sh ap e, on e you can see you r way from to
wh ere it con n ects with an oth er. See wh ere it is relative to you r grid of lin es.
6. Start to d raw you r su bject, lin e by lin e. See h ow on e lin e
goes in to an oth er, over or u n d er, cu rved or straigh t. Th e
m arker lin e will be som ewh at th icker th an a p en cil an d a little wobbly becau se you are workin g vertically, bu t n o m atter,
ju st d raw wh at you see.
7. Keep goin g at it at a n ice easy p ace, con cen tratin g bu t n ot
ru sh ed . You sh ou ld be h avin g fu n n ow. Are you ?
W h en you h ave p u t in all th at you see in you r object, take a m om en t an d observe th e accu racy with wh ich you h ave d rawn a
com p licated d rawin g. Try to see wh ere th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e
m ad e it easy for you to d raw a d ifficu lt p art, like a table in p ersp ective, or th e scale of two objects, or th e d etail on th e sid e of a
box, or th e p attern of a fabric th at was in fold s.
Th ese p oten tial p roblem s are n o lon ger p roblem s, on ce you really
see an d really d raw wh at you see.
Do you like you r d rawin g? Wou ld you like to keep it? How abou t
tran sferrin g it to a p iece of p ap er?

Back to the Drawing Board


If all this holding still and seeing
through seems like a lot of requirements, think about those
poor old masters lugging a much
more cumbersome glass version of
a picture-plane drawing device
out into the fields. Then you will
be happy that you have a nice
table to work atand presumably
a nice cup of hot coffee, thought
by many to be an essential.

Here are some sample drawings done on Plexiglas picture planes.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Transfer the Drawing to Paper


To tran sfer you r p ictu re p lan e d rawin g to p ap er, you will n eed
A p iece of p ap er, p referably 11" 14".
On e of th ose n ew m ech an ical p en cils, with HB or B lead in it.
A kn ead ed eraser.
A ru ler.
1. Measu re an d d raw th e cen ter vertical an d h orizon tal lin es on you r p ap er. A p iece of
11" 14" p ap er wou ld h ave a vertical cen ter lin e at 5 1 / 2 " an d a h orizon tal at 7".
2. Measu re an d d raw a box th at is 8" 12," cen tered , or you can p u t you r p iece of p lastic
d irectly on to th e p ap er, lin e u p th e cen ter vertical an d h orizon tal lin es, an d trace th e
ou tsid e ed ge of th e p lastic for you r box.
3. Draw th e d iagon als in you r box. Th en m easu re an d d raw th e secon d ary lin es to d ivid e
th e fou r boxes, ju st like th e grid . Are you gettin g th e id ea of wh at we are d oin g?

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Chapter 4 The Picture Plane

4. Pu t you r d rawin g on th e p lastic u p in fron t of you , as vertically


as p ossible.
5. Start cop yin g you r d rawin g on to p ap er, u sin g th e grid to see
th e relation s between th in gs an d lin es th at you d rew on th e
p lastic.
6. Don t let you r m in d (Old Lefty!) trick you in to d rawin g an yth in g d ifferen tly becau se you re n ot on p lastic an ym ore. Don t
th in kju st see an d d raw. Work ligh tly, an d if you get lost, go
back to th e grid to see wh ere you sh ou ld be. Its fin e to erase
wh en n ecessary. Keep d rawin g th e lin es from th e p lastic.
7. W h en you h ave d rawn as m u ch on you r p ap er as you h ad on
th e p lastic, take a m om en t to assess you r work.
Can you see h ow th e grid h elp ed you to tran sfer you r
d rawin g from th e p lastic to th e p ap er?
Cou ld you begin to relate on e lin e or sh ap e to an oth er
or to th e lin es on th e grid ?
Did it h elp to h ave th e grid to establish d istan ce or relation between th in gs as you cop ied you r d rawin g?
8. If you are h ap p y with th e p en cil d rawin g, you can ad d m ore
to it by lookin g back at you r su bject, bu t m ake su re th at you
d raw relative to th in gs th at you seen o fu d gin g or fillin g in
ju st to fill in . If you can see som eth in g to ad d , fin e, oth erwise
leave it.

The Art of Drawing


Another exercise to try is drawing
an object or a person through a
plate glass doorright on the
door! Youll be amazed how easy
it is to draw on the glass (dont
use permanent marker, though).
The subject on the other side will
come out very small unless you
and it are quite close to one another on either side of the glass.
You can adjust yourself and your
subject as you like, of course. And
you can make a tracing on tracing
paper after youve gotten the
main lines on glass.

Here are three drawings by three different students transferred from Plexiglas to paper.
W h en you re fin ish ed , p u t you r d rawin g asid e to com p are later. Th ese exercises can be rep eated as often as you like; you will on ly get better at seein g an d d rawin g.
In th e n ext ch ap ter, we will ad d a viewfin d er, an oth er h an d y item for h elp in g you to see
wh at is th ere an d to d raw it.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

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Chapter 4 The Picture Plane

The Least You Need to Know


A picture plane is the imaginary visual plane out in front of your eyes, turning as you
do to look at the world, as if through a window.

When you see through a Plexiglas picture plane, 3-D space is condensed into a
drawable 2-D image.

Drawing on a plastic picture plane is a step to seeing the space and shapes and
relationships in the drawing.

You can transfer your picture plane drawing to paper, if you like.

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Chapter 5

Finding the
View

In This Chapter
What is a viewfinder frame?
Materials to get you started
How to use a viewfinder frame
Drawing what you see in the viewfinder frame

Drawing should suggest and stimulate observation.


Bernice Oehler Figu re Sketch in g, (Pelham NY: Bridgman Publishers, 1926).
Workin g with th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e h as sh own you 3-D sp ace con d en sed in to a d rawable
2-D im age on th e su rface. Bu t its also sh own you th e begin n in gs of an oth er con cep t th ats
im p ortan t to d rawin glookin g th rou gh a fram e to see you r su bject.
In th is ch ap ter, well be exp lorin g th e con cep t of a viewfin d er fram e. Usin g a viewfin d er
isn t ch eatin g. As artists h ave kn own for cen tu ries, its a way to h elp you see sp atial relation s
an d m ake you r d rawin g m ore accu rate.

A Viewfinder Frame
A viewfinder frame is a sim p le d evice th at will h elp you d ecid e on a su bject to d raw an d th en
focu s on it. As we d iscu ssed in Ch ap ter 1, Th e Pleasu res of Seein g an d Drawin g, fram in g
an im age m akes it easier to see, an d th e grad u ated m arks on th e ed ges of th e viewfin d er
fram e give you referen ce p oin ts for relation s between lin es an d sh ap es, rath er like th e grid
on th e p lastic of th e p ictu re p lan e, bu t req u irin g m ore clear seein g on you r p art.
Seen th rou gh a viewfin d er fram e, th e m ain p oin ts of an im age can be d rawn on p ap er u sin g
th e grad u ated m arks. Th e im p ortan t th in g is to h ave th e viewfin d er fram e an d you r p ap er
or th e box th at you d raw on it in th e sam e proportion, so th at th e relative p osition s an d
p lacem en t d o n ot ch an ge.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Making a Viewfinder Frame


A viewfin d er can be as sim p le as you r two h an d s h eld u p to m ake a fram e. Th rou gh you r
h an d s, you see on ly wh at is fram ed by th em .
You can make a simple
viewfinder using only
your hands.

If you wan t to u se m ore th an ju st you r h an d s, bu t d on t feel like leavin g h om e to bu y an yth in g, you can m ake a sim p le viewfin d er fram e with two L-sh ap ed p ieces of m at board ,
sh irt card board , or even from th e sid es of a card board box.
To m ake an y viewfin d er fram e, you will n eed
Card board or m at board .
A ru ler, p referably m etal th at you can cu t again st.
A m at kn ife or u tility kn ife. You can u se scissors bu t you will
get a better ed ge with a kn ife an d you will u se it con stan tly as
tim e goes on .

Artists Sketchbook
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.

Got you r m aterials? Okay. Ju st follow th ese sim p le step s to m ake you r
viewfin d er fram e:
1. Cu t p ieces of m at board or card board in to a few sizes for d ifferen t sized win d ows (10" 13" for a 6" 9" win d ow, 12" 14"
for an 8" 10" win d ow, 13" 16" for a 9" 12" win d ow, etc).
Th ese are stan d ard p rop ortion s, bu t you can also cu t a lon ger
on e (8" 14" for a 4" 10" win d ow, or 10" 16" for a 6" 12"
win d ow, for exam p le), if you d like.
2. Measu re an d d raw th e d iagon als an d th e cen ter lin es as you d id
on th e p lastic p ictu re p lan es.

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Chapter 5 Finding the View

Here are diagonals and


center lines drawn on a
rectangular board.

3. Measu re an d cu t fram in g win d ows in th e card board , leavin g 2" on all sid es.
Now weve cut a window
in our board.

4. You can ch oose wh ich p rop ortion fram e to u se for each d rawin g. W h at you see
th rou gh th e fram e will vary accord in g to h ow close or far away you are from th e
object/ view.
Keep in g you r viewfin d er fram e an d you r work in p rop ortion is easy. Diagon als d rawn
across a rectan gle will exten d in p rop ortion ou t to larger bu t p rop ortion ally eq u al
rectan gles.
Heres a rectangle with a
diagonal that extends out
into larger rectangles.

5. Measu re an d th en ligh tly d raw th e cen ter lin es on you r p iece of p ap er (for 11" 14",
th ey will be at 5 1 / 2 " an d 7").

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

6. Lin e u p th e cen ter lin es of you r viewfin d er fram e with th e cen ter lin e of you r p iece of
p ap er.
7. Use a lon g ru ler to exten d th e d iagon al lin es of th e viewfin d er fram e ou t on to you r
p ap er.
Diagonal lines from the
viewfinder frame extended out onto the piece of
paper.

8. Startin g from an y corn er, an ywh ere alon g th e d iagon al, you
can n ow d raw a rectan gle th at is larger th an th e viewfin d er
fram e bu t in p rop ortion to it, wh atever th e p rop ortion of th e
p ap er. Ju st m ake su re th at all you r lin es are square.

Artists Sketchbook
Proportion is the comparative
relation between things; in a rectangle, for example, its the comparative ratio between the height
and width. Rectangles of different
sizes that are in proportion share
the same ratio in their height and
width.

An oth er way to create d iagon als is to p u t th e viewfin d er fram e in th e


corn er of a p iece of p ap er an d d raw on e d iagon al ou t from th at corn er.
Rectan gles d rawn from th at d iagon al will be in p rop ortion to th e origin al (th e viewfin d er fram e). You can u se th is m eth od to d ecid e on th e
best-sized p iece of p ap er you wan t to u se for a p articu lar d rawin g after
you h ave selected th e viewfin d er fram e.
Even tu ally, you won t n eed to d raw a box u n less you fin d th at you like
to d raw in th em .
Exten d in g th e d iagon al from you r viewfin d er fram e will sh ow you
wh eth er th e viewfin d er fram e an d th e p iece of p ap er are in p rop ortion
or n ot. Un d erstan d in g p rop ortion is worth th e tim e.

The Art of Drawing


You can fasten the pieces of cardboard of your viewfinder frame together with paper clips or
brass fasteners in any size or proportion and turn the frame horizontally or vertically. That way, it
will break down and pack easily for outings, which will be handy later. Having a few viewfinder
frames on hand allows you to see the relative differences in proportion and helps in deciding
which works best for a particular image or for a particular paper format.

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Chapter 5 Finding the View

A simple viewfinder
frame can be made by
fastening two L-shaped
sections of cardboard together with paper clips.

Using the Viewfinder Frame


Now th at you ve d on e all th at an d m ad e a viewfin d er of you r own ,
lets try to u se th e viewfin d er fram e to m ake a d rawin g.
1. Decid e on an object; a wood en ch air wou ld be a good ch oice
for th is exercise.
2. Position you rself, you r d rawin g m aterials in fron t of you an d
th e ch air ou t in fron t of you at an an gle (45 d egrees) so th at
you can see th e wh ole ch air.
3. Pick a viewfin d er fram e th at su rrou n d s th e ch air q u ite closely
on all sid es.
4. Draw a p rop ortion ally eq u al rectan gle on you r p ap er.
5. Rep osition th e viewfin d er fram e u n til th e ch air is n icely
fram ed with in th e win d ow an d sp en d som e tim e really seein g
th e ch air th rou gh it.

Try Your Hand


By retaining the proportion, a
drawing can be much larger than
the image in the viewfinder
framein fact, any size you would
like it to be.

6. Close on e eye an d d o th e followin g:


Observe th e d iagon als an d cen ter m arks on th e viewfin d er fram e.
See wh ere th e ch air fits again st th e sid es of th e fram e.
See wh ere each of th e legs tou ch th e floor relative to th e
m arks on th e fram e.

Artists Sketchbook

W h ere is th e top of th e ch air?


Look at th e an gle of th e top of th e ch air com p ared to th e
top ed ge of th e fram e.
7. Begin to d raw th e ch air on you r p ap er in th e sam e p lace as
you see it in th e fram e. Use th e fram e to kn ow wh ere a p articu lar p iece of th e ch air belon gs. Draw wh at you can see in th e
fram eth ats all.

Square is 90 degrees, at right


angles, as in the sides of a rectangle. Measuring carefully off
the center lines helps keep your
rectangle square.

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Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

8. Draw im agin ary lin es between th e feet of th e ch air an d m easu re


th ose an gles again st th e sid es of th e fram e. Look at th e legs of
th e ch air an d m ake su re th ey are vertical.
9. Carefu lly n ote th e followin g:
W h ere is th e seat?

Back to the Drawing Board


Work carefully. Each line is dependent on the accurate seeing
and drawing of the line before it.
If you need to correct something,
do itdont leave it to haunt you
later. Try to see each part in relation to the frame and all the
other parts.

How far from th e cen ter h orizon tal lin e is it?


An d th e back of th e seat? Draw th e an gle of th e sid es relative to th e m arks on th e fram e.
10. Ad d each p art of th e ch air relative to th e fram e an d th e rest of
th e d rawin g itself.
11. Ad d d etails, like th e ru n gs across th e legs, as you can really see
th em an d relate th em to wh at you h ave d rawn . Take your time.
W h en you ve fin ish ed , you sh ou ld h ave a m ore accu rate d rawin g of
th at ch air th an you exp ected . It sh ou ld be sittin g on th e floor con vin cin gly with th e legs vertical an d th e seat lookin g com fortably level.

Here are some chairs


and a ladder drawn by
students using viewfinder frames for the
first time.

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Chapter 5 Finding the View

Draw What You See in the Viewfinder


You m ay wan t to try a wood en arm ch air, rockin g ch air, sm all step lad d er, a p icn ic table, or
even a gateleg table for a little m ore ch allen ge. Pick a d ifferen tly p rop ortion ed fram e to see
h ow you d o. Exp erim en t a littleits easy.
Next, an excu rsion in to sp ace or at least you r p ercep tion of it.

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

The Least You Need to Know


A viewfinder frame helps you single out an imagean object, a collection of objects,
or a more complicated view.

The proportion of the viewfinder frame and the box for your drawing must be the
same.

You can see, measure, and draw the parts of an object relative to the marks on the
viewfinder frame and the marks on your paper.

The viewfinder frame keeps you seeing the parts and lines in relation to each other.

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Chapter 6

Negative Space
as a Positive
Tool

In This Chapter
The virtues of negative space
Learning how to use negative space
Drawing negative space
Getting negative

I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start
drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, a sheer miracle.
Frederick Frank, Th e Zen of Seein g, (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1973)
Lets be p ositive abou t th is. In sp ace, n egative is n ot a bad th in g. Th is ch ap ter is abou t
sh ap e an d sp ace. Really seein g both of th em is a great step in learn in g to d raw. In fact, from
a d rawin g p ersp ective, you sh ou ld th in k of sh ap e an d sp ace as in terch an geable:
Positive Shape = Negative Space
Positive Space = Negative Shape

Find Your Space


You r brain sp eaks to you con stan tly, rem in d in g you of wh at you kn ow abou t everyth in g.
Th ats fin e for tasks th at req u ire verbal skills an d lin ear, logical th in kin g. Bu t seein g an d
d rawin g are visu al skills, req u irin g relation al, visu al p rocessin g of in form ation . An d seein g a
con cep t like negative space is d efin itely a job for th e righ t sid e of th e brain .
In Ch ap ter 4, Th e Pictu re Plan e, you tried d rawin g a com p licated object in a foresh orten ed view (fin gers p oin tin g at you ) on th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e. On th e su rface of th e p lastic, th e 3-D sh ap es an d sp ace of you r h an d were con d en sed in to two d im en sion s, an d were

Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

easier to see an d d raw. In Ch ap ter 5, Fin d in g th e View, you d rew a ch air in sid e th e
viewfin d er fram e an d u sed th e m arks on th e fram e to h elp you establish wh ere all th e lin es
an d sh ap es were, an d h ow th ey all related to on e an oth er. Both exercises h ave h elp ed you
to see an d d raw wh at you saw, rath er th an wh at you th ou gh t.

The Virtues of Negative Space


We all h ave m in d s fu ll of p recon ceived id eas abou t h ow th in gs are. We
often d eal in sym bols an d abbreviation s for th in gsas lon g as we can
id en tify th em an d th ey su it ou r n eed s.

Artists Sketchbook
Negative space is the area
around an object or objects that
share edges with those objects or
shapes.

For seein g an d d rawin g, th ou gh , wh at we think we know is n ot a h elp ,


bu t a h in d ran ce. It is Old Lefty bu ttin g in to tell wh at h e kn ows. An d
wh at d oes h e kn ow? Su re, h e h as th e ch air in h is h ead th e size of th e
seat, th e len gth of th e legs (all eq u al), an d th e arran gem en t of all th e
oth er sh ap es. Bu t wh en seen at an an gle in sp ace, everyth in g is d ifferen t. Th e seat of a ch air is a parallelogram, n ot a sq u are. Th e im agin ary
lin e between th e fou r feet is also n ot a sq u are, bu t an oth er p arallelogram . Th e sh ap es an d sp aces are n ot eq u alyou saw th at as you d rew
you r ch air with th e viewfin d er fram e. So, as u su al, it is best to get Old
Lefty ou t of th e p rocess of seein g an d d rawin g.

Parallelograms.

Learning How to Use Negative Space


Drawin g th e n egative sp ace arou n d an object is a great way to sen d Old Lefty off again .
W h y? Becau se you , an d p articu larly Old Lefty, d on t kn ow an yth in g abou t th ose sp aces.
Certain ly you h ave n o m em ory or p recon ceived n otion s of th em ; you h ave p robably n ever
even looked at th em . Bu t th ey are th ere all righ t, an d th ey can be m igh ty h an d y as gu id es
to seein g an d d rawin g.
For n ow, th ose sp aces will con fu se Old Lefty, an d th ats wh at we wan t. An d becau se you
will get n o h elp from Old Lefty, you are free to seereally seean d th en , to d raw wh at you
see. On ce you try it, you will realize th at th ere is som eth in g stran gely liberatin g abou t
d rawin g wh at isn t th ere in stead of wh at is. You ll be won d erin g wh at is an d wh at isn t, an d
th ats n ot a bad th in g.

68

Chapter 6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool

The Art of Drawing


As drawing becomes easier for you, the negative space in a more complicated composition is
even more important. Compelling arrangement of shapes in great paintings is as much the
arrangement of space as shape. The more you see negative space in composition, the better the
composition will be.

Select an Object to Draw: Theyre


Everywhere!
So, lets start with an oth er ch air. Pick a rockin g ch air, or an arm ch air with cu rves, or a stool, or a can vas beach ch air, or a table
with crossbars u n d ern eath , or a step lad d ersom eth in g with
sp aces with in it. Objects like th is are everywh ere, so you sh ou ld n t
h ave an y trou ble fin d in g on e to d raw.
Rem em ber to p osition you rself p rop erlym aterials n ear at h an d ,
you r su bject ou t wh ere you can see it, an d you r p ap er in fron t of
you . Rath er th an lookin g over you r workin g h an d , righ ties sh ou ld
look to th e left an d back to you r p ap er, an d lefties sh ou ld look to
th e righ t an d back to you r p ap er. All set?

Back to the Drawing Board


It is our concepts and memories
of thingsour habits and our
modes of perception (basically
the realm of the left side of our
brains)that make seeing and
drawing seem difficult.

A View Through the Viewfinder


Pick a fram e th at is close to th e p rop ortion of you r ch osen object
(a tall, th in on e for a step lad d er or a m ore sq u are on e for a wid e
rocker with arm s). Ad ju st you rself so th e ch air (or wh atever) alm ost fills th e fram e.
1. Measu re an d d raw (ligh tly) th e cen ter lin es an d th e p rop ortion ally eq u al box from you r fram e, u sin g th e d iagon als exten d ed ou t from th e fram e to establish th e d iagon als on th e
p ap er.
2. Th en d raw th e box, an y size alon g th e d iagon al th at you
wan t, wh ich will be in p rop ortion with th e fram e.
3. You r p lastic p ictu re p lan e can com e in h an d y h ere. Make
su re th at th e grid m atch es th e p rop ortion s of th e viewfin d er
fram e, or d raw a n ew grid to th e sam e p rop ortion s. You can
u se th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e to ch eck you rself as you work.

Artists Sketchbook
A parallelogram is a geometric
shape having four sides. Each pair
of opposite sides is parallel and
equidistant to each other.

69

Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Draw the spaces between


your chair and the edges
of the frame and all
the spaces within the
chair itselfa study in
relativity. Youll see.

Where to StartLocation, Location, Location


Basically, you start with a sp ot an d a sh ap eof n egative sp ace. Perh ap s we can call th is a
sp ot of sp ace, a basic sh ap e th at you can see, from wh ich you can p roceed to th e n ext.
We will base ou r seein g of th e n egative sp ace on th is first sp ot of sp ace.
Rem em ber th at it is a sp ot of sp ace som ewh ere in or arou n d th e ch air.
1. Hold th e viewfin d er fram e very still an d fram e th e ch air in th e
win d ow. Rearran ge th e ch air if n ecessary to see it at an in terestin g an gle. See th e relative an gles of th e seat, th e back, an d th e
legs.

Back to the Drawing Board


Drawing in, and being sensitive
to, a format such as negative
space is a common problem in
beginning drawings. The concentration and focus are on the object and the background is filled
in later. But this method often
results in the image being poorly
placed on the page. No consideration is given to the siting of
the object on the page, and the
negative space around the object
is not part of the arrangement.
Usually, its not considered at all!

70

2. Try to p ick a sp ot of sp ace som ewh ere in sid e you r ch air to start,
an d really see it. Maybe it is th e sp ace between th e ru n gs on
th e lad d er, or between th e slats of th e back of a rockin g ch air.
Close on e eye an d see th at sp ot u n til it becom es m ore real
th an th e ch air. You will kn ow wh en th is h as h ap p en ed becau se
it will p op forward as a sp ot of sp ace wh ile th e ch air itself will
fad e or reced e.
3. Now see wh ere th at sp ot is relative to th e grid lin es on you r
viewfin d er fram e. You can also look at th e sp ot th rou gh you r
p lastic p ictu re p lan e to isolate ju st wh ere it is relative to th e
grid . If you ch oose, you can d raw you r sp ot on th e p lastic first
an d th en tran sfer it to th e p ap er after you see h ow it works.
Or, you can d o you r seein g th rou gh th e grid on th e p lastic
an d d raw th e n egative sp ots of sp ace on you r p ap er; it will be a
little easier to see wh ere th e sp ots of sp ace are on th e p lastic
grid .

Chapter 6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool

Holding the viewfinder


very still, frame the
chair within it so that
there is an interesting
angle.

4. Eith er way, u se th e grid on you r p ap er to d raw th e first sp ot of sp ace on th e p ap er.


5. Th in k relatively an d relation ally. Try to see wh ere you r sp ot is relative to th e m arks on
th e fram e, th e grid on th e p lastic, an d th e ligh t lin es on th e p ap er.

Draw the Holes, not the Thing


Ch eck you r sp ot of sp ace sh ap e an d th e lin es th at m ake it, th e an gle, wh eth er th ey cu rve or
n ot, wh ich way, an d h ow far. Ch eck again again st th e fram e. Even if you r d rawin g is larger
th an th e fram e, th e two are in p rop ortion , so all th e relative p osition s will be th e sam e.
Now, stay focu sed on th e sp ace. As for th e ch air forget abou t it!
Keep on e eye closed an d fin d you r n ext sp ot of sp ace. Fin d th e
sh ap e of th at sp ot by seein g it relative to you r grid m arks. Draw
th e h oles, n ot th e th in g.
Here are som e th in gs to con sid er as you d raw th e n egative sp ace:
Try to n ot th in k abou t th e ch air itself. Th in k abou t com p arin g th e sh ap es of th e n egative sp ace an d th e ed ges of th ose
sh ap es. Are th e lin es h orizon tal or vertical? If th ey aren t, try
to see th e an gle relative to h orizon tal or vertical an d d raw
wh at you see.
Gau ge an y sh ap eits lin es an d an gles, cu rves, or len gth sby
seein g it relative to th e h orizon tals, verticals, an d d iagon als.
Begin to see n ew sh ap es of n egative sp ace relative to th e on es
you h ave alread y d rawn .
Draw each n ew sp ace sh ap e as you can see it. Work carefu lly,
ch eckin g each n ew sh ap e, an d rem em ber th at th ey are all in
relation to each oth er.

Try Your Hand


If you are confused, you can
take a moment and look again
through the plastic picture
plane. You can draw the shape
of the space there and then
transfer it to paper. If you can
see where it is on the plastic,
draw the shape of that spot of
space on your drawing.

71

Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Don t th in k abou t th e ch air at all.


If you talk to you rself wh ile d rawin g, talk to you rself abou t th e relation sh ip between
lin es an d sh ap es of n egative sp ace. Oth erwise, d on t talk at all. En joy th e p rocess of
real visu al th in kin g, ju st seein g an d d rawin g sh ap es of n egative sp ace th at you h ave
n ever seen before.

See the Object Through the Space


Around It
Back to the Drawing Board
If you get confused or have a
problem, remember to see the
shape relative to the guidesthe
marks on the frame, the grid on
the plastic, the grid on your
drawing , and the parts of your
drawing that you are sure of.

As you d raw m ore an d m ore of th e n egative sp ace sh ap es, it will be easier an d easier to fit in th e rem ain in g on es. Th e sp aces arou n d you r
ch air will be d efin in g th e ch air itself!
W h en you h ave d rawn all th e n egative sp aces on you r d rawin g, ch eck
each on e in tu rn again st th e ch air itself. Make sm all correction s to th e
sh ap es of th e n egative sp aces as you see th em . You can ligh tly sh ad e
th e n egative sp ace sh ap es as you refin e th em , if you d like. You r ch air
will take tu rn s with th e sp ace arou n d it; on e will ap p ear p ositive an d
th e oth er n egative, th en th ey will flip .
W h en you are fin ish ed , you r d rawin g will be a very d ifferen t record of
seein g. Th e ch air will com e ou t of th e sp ace you h ave d rawn arou n d it.

Here are some drawings done by Lauren and two students, concentrating on negative space rather than
on the object itself.
Each n egative sp ace d rawin g is an oth er ch an ce to really see rath er th an th in k you r way
th rou gh a d rawin g. By con cen tratin g on th e n egative sp ace sh ap es, you can see relation sh ip s th at will m ake d rawin g d ifficu lt th in gs easier. Practice in con sid erin g n egative sp ace
will stead ily im p rove you r ability to select an im age, arran ge an in terestin g com p osition ,
p lace it well on th e p age, an d d raw!

72

Chapter 6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool

Getting Negative
Next, try th is exercise with a com p licated kitch en gad get like an eggbeater or a h an d h eld
can op en er. Try a p air of glasses on a table. Try a bicycle for a real ch allen ge. Th e im p ortan t
th in g is to con cen trate on th e n egative sp ace rath er th an th e object itself.
As you can see, d rawin g th e n egative sp ace can m ake a d ifficu lt d rawin g easy, p articu larly
wh en it com es to foresh orten in g or com p licated sh ap es, becau se you can focu s on th e sp ace
to tell you , visu ally, abou t th e sh ap es it su rrou n d s. An d th e m ore you work on n egative
sp ace d rawin gs, th e m ore you ll d evelop a h eigh ten ed p ercep tion of n egative sp ace, wh ich
will trem en d ou sly im p rove you r com p osition skills as you d o m ore com p licated com p osition s.
In Part 3, Startin g Ou t: Learn in g You Can See an d Draw, we will look at settin g u p a p lace
to work, artists stu d ios, an d exactly h ow to get started with th e sim p le com p osition sth e
seein g, selectin g, p lacin g, an d d rawin g.

73

Part 2 Now You Are Ready to Draw

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool

The Least You Need to Know


Our memory of thingsthe left side of the brain at workcan actually inhibit our
ability to see what is really there.

The logical left side does not remember or understand negative space too well, so
its up to the visual, relational right side to step in and see more clearly.

Negative space is the area around any object or objects that share edges.
Negative space can make a difficult drawing easy, particularly foreshortening or

complicated shapes, because we can focus on the space to tell us, visually, about the
shapes it surrounds.

A heightened perception of negative space will tremendously improve composition


in more complicated compositions.

75

Part 3

Starting Out: Learning


You Can See and Draw
How do artists choose what to draw and what to draw it with? How do you begin to arrange objects in a composition?
What makes a good composition? How do you learn to draw the form or volume into something? And what about all those important details you have to draw? In this part, well answer
all of your questions.
Well start with simple contour drawings of objects and then move on to form, volume, light,
and shadow in more complicated still lifes, exploring why artists throughout the ages just love
those fruits and veggies. Then, well look at a few new materials, as well as details, details, and
more detailsand how to balance them for a finished drawing that will really please you.

Chapter 7

A Room of
Your Own

In This Chapter
Making your own space to draw
Finding the time
Tools of the trade
Beginning practice

If you have an empty wall, you can think on it better. I like a space to think in.
Georgia OKeeffe
Now th at you ve m astered th e begin n in g exercises th at can h elp you to see as an artist sees,
its tim e to get seriou s, get you rself som e m aterials an d a p lace to work, set asid e som e tim e,
an d get to it.
In th is ch ap ter, well begin exp lorin g th e p laces you create an d p layth in gs you acq u ire th at
h elp you becom e an artist. No room , you say? No tim e? Lets take a closer look at fittin g
d rawin g in to you r lifean d you r h om e.

Finding Space and Time


A stu d io or a p lace to d raw is alm ost as im p ortan t as you r in terest in learn in g to d raw. We
live in a h ectic world th ats fu ll of d ead lin es an d resp on sibilities. A sp ace of you r own , h owever sm all an d sim p le, will becom e a refu ge from th e rest of you r d ay. You will look forward
to th e tim e you can sp en d th ere.
Tim e alon eto observe, learn , exp erien ce, an d growis often d isregard ed in th e p ressu rerid d en careers an d lives we lead . Drawin g, a visu al, m ed itative, learn in g exp erien ce, can
h elp you en joy you r tim e alon e. You d eserve a sp ace an d th e tim e to im m erse you rself in a
p astim e like d rawin g.

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Setting Up Your Drawing Room or Table


Studios are m agical p laces. Th ey are n ot like oth er room s in a h ou se. W h ile m ost room s are
sh ared sp aces, you r stu d io is ju st for you even if its ju st a corn er of a room . You r stu d io
will be an in ten sely p erson al p lace, a retreat wh ere you can exp ress you rself in th e su rrou n d in gs, as well as in wh at you create.
A stu d io can be a large, exp an sive sp ace with several work areas, lots of storage, walls of
books, a com p u ter, a sou n d system , an d great ligh t. Or, it can be a su n n y en d of you r
kitch en , th e bay win d ow of you r d in in g room , a sp are bed room , or an y q u iet corn er wh ere
you like to sit. Try for good ligh t if you can ; a corn er with a win d ow an d a blan k wall will
d o n icely. A sm all sp ace can still be m ad e in to a sp ecial p lace for you , an d a d rawin g table,
or an y table, is a begin n in g.

Studio Beautiful 101


Th e n ext q u estion is h ow to fu rn ish you r stu d io. W h eth er you recru it p ieces gath erin g d u st
in you r attic or bu y all n ew on es is u p to you . Th e list th at follows in clu d es wh at we con sid er essen tials to a d rawin g stu d io, bu t you can easily get by with far less (at least in th e
begin n in g).
An ad ju stable d rawin g table an d a com fortable office-style ch air
are a great start. You can work at an an gle by p u ttin g a d rawin g
board in you r lap or p rop p in g it u p with books, bu t you r own
table is a great h elp . Th is can h elp keep you from h u n ch in g
over you r work. We d on t wan t an y sore backs!

Try Your Hand


Allowing yourself a space and
some time is giving yourself a great
gift. Its a way of valuing yourself,
thinking seriously about your interest in drawing, and making an
effort to encourage yourself.

An exten d able goosen ecked arch itectu ral lam p will exten d th e
tim e you can work on overcast d ays an d in to th e even in g.
A sm all freestan d in g booksh elf will h old you r m aterials, books,
m agazin es, an d you r p ortfolio.
Su p p ly carts on wh eels, called taborets, are a won d erfu l ad d ition . Th ey h old everyth in g an d you can m ove th em as n ecessary, wh ich is p articu larly h elp fu l if you h ave to con d en se you r
work area wh en you re fin ish ed for th e d ay.
A tackboard is n ice if you h ave a wall to u se. You will en joy
p u ttin g u p you r work, p ostcard s, p h otos, an d oth er visu al id eas.
If you h ave a com p u ter, it can live q u ite h ap p ily on a n earby
table. It can be very h an d y, as we will d iscu ss in Ch ap ter 25,
Exp ress You rself.
A box, su ch as a file box, big tackle box, toolbox, or p h oto storage box, will h old you r begin n in g m aterials.

Artists Sketchbook
Artists studios range from converted closets to converted guest
houses. Where you put your studio
depends on where you have room,
of course, but you can make it as
individualized as you choose.

80

A p ortfolio or two is a way to keep you r work organ ized an d


you r p ap er stored safely. Id eally, p ortfolios sh ou ld be kep t flat.
A set of p ap er storage d rawers can go on you r wish list.
Th e sky is th e lim it with stu d ios, bu t a m od est sp ace is better th an n o
sp ace, an d workin g sm all is far better th an p u ttin g off th e exp erien ce of
learn in g to see an d d raw becau se of a lack of sp ace. Com p rom ise wh ere
you h ave to; th e im p ortan t th in g is p rocu rin g a sp ace of you r own .

Chapter 7 A Room of Your Own

The Art of Drawing


We know you may be limited by your budget, so you should consider everything in this section
as suggestions. Even with a limited budget, however, a weekend at yard sales or even browsing
through your local thrift shops can yield some surprising bargains that youll treasure because you
yourself found them.

Lauren drew these pictures of her studio so you can see it as she sees it. One drawing shows the painters
side of her studio, and the other, the high-tech side!

Just for fun, compare these photos of Laurens studio with her rendition of her high-tech studio above.

81

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

The Best Time to Draw


Th e best tim e to d raw is an ytim eat least an ytim e you can m an age to escap e you r oth er resp on sibilities for a wh ile. Qu iet h elp s, as d oes a little soft m u sic. As you d evelop you r ability
to focu s on you r work, d istraction s seem to van ish , bu t try for a q u iet tim e. Maybe you ll
h ave to get u p an h ou r earlier th an u su al to fin d th at q u iet tim e, or m aybe it will be th e
h ou r or so in th e even in g wh en you can p ass on th e sitcom s an d d o som e d rawin g in stead .
Du rin g th e week, you r lu n ch break at work can be a tim e to d raw. A sm all sketch book, on e
p en cil, an d an eraser th at you can carry with you is all you n eed you n ever kn ow wh at
will catch you r atten tion . You can eat you r lu n ch with on e h an d , can t you ?
Ou r weeken d s, su ch as th ey are, are often m ore filled with activities an d resp on sibilities
th an th e workweek, bu t try for an h ou r or so of tim e for you rself on weeken d s, too. Th at
h ou r before a Satu rd ay n igh t d ate n igh t, for exam p le, can be a great tim e to go off by you rself an d d raw.
Vacation s an d bu sin ess trip s are oth er great d rawin g op p ortu n ities. Plan es, train s, an d bu ses
are filled with faces to try. Boats are filled with in terestin g p laces an d sh ap es. If you are d in in g alon e, you can d raw th e d in in g room , rath er th an ju st look ou t at it. Even a h otel room
m ay h ave som eth in g to d raw.
An ywh ere away from h om e is in terestin g in som e way. Th e flowers, p lan ts, lan d scap e, an d
arch itectu re of a foreign or exotic p lace are always com p ellin g. Drawin g in a sketch book or
jou rn al will rem in d you of you r trip in a d ifferen t, m ore p erson al way th an p h otos from a
cam era will.

82

Chapter 7 A Room of Your Own

You can draw anything, anywhere, anytime, as these journal drawings show.

What About Drawing Classes?


Drawin g classes, like an y classes, are an ad d ition al op p ortu n ity to learn . Th e com m itm en t
you m ake to a class can h elp you focu s you r atten tion an d p rioritize you r tim e.
Drawin g classes are everywh ere. High sch ool con tin u in g ed u cation
classes, com m u n ity college classes, art m u seu m classes, an d sm all
p rivately organ ized classes with local artists are som e of you r op tion s. If you d evelop an in terest in a sp ecific m ed iu m , a good class
can h elp a great d eal, p rovid in g sp ecial in stru ction or access to d ifferen t m aterials an d tech n iq u es. In vestigate you r op tion s, an d ask
arou n d to fin d ou t if a frien d h as en joyed a p articu lar class.

Try Your Hand

You can also organ ize you r own grou p with or with ou t a teach er.
You an d you r frien d s can take tu rn s ru n n in g th e grou p or you can
work in d ep en d en tly. You can m eet an d work togeth er at som eon es stu d io, a frien d s gard en , a p ark, a zoo, a p u blic gard en , or in
a n atu ral scien ce or art m u seu m . Th e cam arad erie is fu n , th e com m itm en t you m ake to th e grou p h elp s you to m ake th e tim e, you
can all learn from each oth er, an d , best of all, it is free.

The important thing is time


thats all your ownno kids, no
phone, no spousal interruptions.
Make it clear to the others in
your household that this time is
yours, and theyll soon be asking
for their special times as well!

Beginning Materials Youll Need


Good art m aterials are a trem en d ou s p leasu re, bu t d on t feel you h ave to break th e ban k to
begin . You can start ou t with ju st a few basics. No excu ses h ere!

On Paper
You r ch oice of p ap er is som ewh at d ictated by you r bu d get. Art stores an d sp ecialty p ap er
sh op s offer a d azzlin g array of ch oices, bu t a p ad or two of good vellum surface d rawin g
p ap er is all you really n eed .
Th ere are m an y oth er typ es of p ap er to ch oose from as well. Here are som e of th e p lu sses
an d m in u ses of each .

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Newsp rin t is th in , sh in y, an d n ot very reward in g as su rfaces go.


Gen eral d rawin g p ap er in p ad s or sketch books is a better su rface, bu t n ot too p reciou s.
You will go th rou gh a lot of it.
Bristol board in p ad s is a bit h eavier. Th e vellu m fin ish is p leasan t to work on an d it
can stan d u p to an in k lin e, in k wash , or water-solu ble p en cils.
Watercolor p ap er, in p ad s, blocks (p ad s with ad h esive on all sid es to keep it flat wh ile
you are workin g), or in d ivid u al sh eets, is m ore exp en sive bu t worth it later on for you r
fin ish ed work. A 90-lb. or 140-lb. h ot-p ressed p ap er is a good ch oice.
Pap er su rface varies as well.
Drawin g p ap er com es in p late (sh in y) an d vellu m (sm ooth )
su rfaces. Th e vellu m su rface is n icer for p en cil d rawin g.

Artists Sketchbook
Vellum surface drawing paper
has a velvety soft finish that feels
good as you draw, and it can
handle a fair amount of erasing.

Watercolor an d p rin t p ap er su rfaces are h ot p ress, cold p ress,


an d rou gh . Th in k of an iron an d you will rem em ber wh ich is
wh ich . A h ot iron will p ress ou t m ore wrin kles, an d so it is with
p ap er. Hot p ress is sm ooth an d silky, great for p en cil lin e an d
ton e. Cold -p ress p ap ers h ave a textu re (like wrin kles) an d take
d rawin g m aterial d ifferen tly. Exp erim en tits th e on ly way to
kn ow wh ich you like best. Rou gh -su rfaced p ap er is very bu m p y
an d will sh ow itself th rou gh alm ost an y d rawin g m ed ia.

The Art of Drawing


Papers thickness is labeled by its weight. Typing paper is 24 lb.; good heavyweight computer
ink-jet paper is 3036 lb.; drawing paper and printers cover stock are about 60 lb.; good drawing, pastel, charcoal, and watercolor paper range from 70lb. all the way to 300-lb. paper that
can stand on end, with 90 to 140 lb. being the mid-range.

Drawing Instruments
Pen cils are best for begin n in g d rawin gs; th eyre both sim p le an d correctable. As we d iscu ssed in Ch ap ter 3, Loosen Up , p en cils com e in h ard n esses from very h ard tech n ical
p en cils in th e H ran ge, to very soft, sm u d gy p en cils in th e B ran ge. Th ey are labeled at th e
en d of th e p en cil (4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B). Sch ool or regu lar p en cils are 2HB,
rath er on th e sm u d gy sid e.
Mech an ical p en cils, on ce u sed on ly for d raftin g an d arch itectu ral d rawin g, are fin e
tools. Th ey m ain tain a con sisten t th ou gh variable lin e an d n ever n eed sh arp en in g.
Th e lead s m u st m atch th e p en cil in th ickn ess, an d 0.5 lead s an d p en cils m ake fin e
lin es. As th e p en cil barrels are n ot labeled , you can bu y a few colors an d color cod e

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Chapter 7 A Room of Your Own

you r ch oice of lead s. Th ey cost abou t $1.50 each , so m ake su re you like th e feel of th e
barrel in you r h an d . Try to acq u ire at least 2H, H, HB, B, an d 2B for a ran ge of ton al
color.
Erasers are im p ortan t tools. A kn ead ed eraser can be twisted an d worked in to sm all
p oin ts to get at a little corn eran d th ey can be kep t clean by stretch in g an d fold in g
for a n ew su rface. Th ey erase with ou t scratch in g or d am agin g th e p ap er su rface.
Exp erim en t with th e p in k, wh ite, an d gu m erasers, too.
Ch arcoal p en cils, ch arcoal, an d con te crayon s all m ake th eir own ton es an d textu res,
bu t th e m ed iu m can be p reoccu p yin g at first. In k, in kp en s, bru sh es, an d water-solu ble
p en cils, we will leave for later.
Board s are h an d y, bu t th e stiff back of a d rawin g p ad or a sketch book can take th e
p lace of a board , if you d on t h ave on e. Board s can h elp keep you r work at an an gle
becau se you can p u t th em in you r lap with th e p ap er tap ed at a good workin g h eigh t,
an d th ey are m ore stable th an card board . Plywood , 3 / 8 -in ch th ick with san d ed ed ges, is
easy to fin d . Art stores sell m ason ite board s in variou s sizes. Bu y a board som ewh at
bigger th an you r p ap er.
Tools of the trade: drawing boards and journals.

Storing Your Materials and Work


If you d on t h ave th at big stu d io with stacks of p ap er d rawers, a few sim p le p ortfolios will
d o. Store you r in d ivid u al sh eets of p ap er in on e an d you r fin ish ed work in an oth er. You can
m ake sim p le p ortfolios ou t of scored an d fold ed corru gated card board , or even in corp orate
d u ct tap e h in ges. Its n ot n ecessary to sign each p iece, bu t if you d o, m ake it sm all an d
n eat, in th e lower righ t-h an d corn er, an d straigh t, p lease. A d ate is m ore u sefu l, so you can
see you r p rogress. Th at p in -u p board is a n ice id ea, too, for you r own exh ibit.

Beginning Techniques to Use


Practice m akes p erfect, bu t its fu n , too. On ce you ve got you r stu d io sp ace organ ized , you ll
wan t to warm it u p with som e work as well. Lets look at som e begin n in g tech n iq u es th at
will h elp you m ake you r stu d io feel like you r own .

The Marks That Can Make a Drawing


Th e warm -u p exercises in Ch ap ter 3 are always good to refer to for artists, calligrap h ers,
forgers, an d you . Take a m om en t an d lim ber u p you r d rawin g h an d with som e circles,

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

cu rves, sp irals, sweep s, swoop s, sm ooth lin es, an d sq u iggles, ju st as you d id in Ch ap ter 3.
Th en , try som e d ots, d ash es, crosses, h atch es, an d strip es. Fin d ou t wh ich m arks you like.
Try to d evelop a vocabu lary as you go alon g. Drawin g is a lan gu age with ou t word sbu t it
d oes h ave a vocabu lary we will be exp lorin g in later ch ap ters, in clu d in g term s like tone, texture, shape, an d shadow.
Practice making marks
that please both your
hand and your eye.

In ad d ition , you m ay wan t to try cross-h atch in g in p en cil. Try to p ractice m akin g p arallel
lin es to ton e a p art of you r d rawin g. Th en , go over th em at an an gle. Start with a 90-d egree
an gle, bu t try oth ers as well45, 30an d see wh ich you like. Or, try a m ixtu re of an gles
over each oth er for a m oir p attern . Its less m ech an ical lookin g.

Simple Geometric Shapes to Practice


In th e n ext ch ap ters, you will begin to m ake ch oices, arran gem en ts, an d com p osition s. You
will see th at th e world is fu ll of geom etric sh ap es, an d th at you can u se th e geom etry to
d raw th in gs m ore easily. Th e m ore you d raw, th e m ore you ll be tryin g to see objects in
you r d rawin gs as bein g based on geom etric sh ap es, seen flat or in sp ace.
For n ow, begin to collect a few sim p le sh ap es, su ch as sp h eres, cu bes, cylin d ers, con es, an d
p yram id s. Hou seh old objects like can s, boxes, tin s, fru it, fu n n els, ice cream con es (em p ty),
or toy blocks are a few easy on es. See h ow th e sh ap es look wh en you look at th em straigh t
on , th en tu rn th em at an an gle so you see th e top s an d sid es.

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Chapter 7 A Room of Your Own

Practice looking at basic


geometric shapes from a
variety of angles, including straight on, in space,
on a table, and in the
air.

Now, try to d raw th e basic sh ap es, first flat an d th en in sp ace. Draw th em sittin g on a table,
an d th en h old th em u p an d d raw th em as if th ey were floatin g in th e air. Th is p ractice with
basic sh ap es will h elp you see th e geom etry in th e objects you ll ch oose to d raw in th e n ext
ch ap ter.
Practice drawing the
shapes, too. See how the
same shape looks different, depending on the
angle?

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 7 A Room of Your Own

The Least You Need to Know


A studio is a special personal refuge, whether large or small.
Setting aside time for drawing is a gift to yourself.
Beginning materials can be simple and easy to collect.
Practicing lines and basic shapes is a good warm-up anytime.

89

Chapter 8

How to Get
Started

In This Chapter
What to draw? What to draw?
Picking your paper
Making arrangements
Seeing, siting, and sketching
Youre on your way!

In order to really see, to see ever deeper, ever more intensely, hence to be fully aware and alive,
that I draw what the Chinese call The Ten Thousand Things around me. Drawing is the
discipline by which I constantly rediscover the world.
Frederick Frank, Th e Zen of Seein g, (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1973).
Yikes, n ow wh at? All set u p an d n owh ere to go? No worries h ere, lets ju st p ick an object or
two an d begin to d raw. You ve got to start som ewh ere. Look arou n d you r world an d red iscover itafter all, its wh ere you re m ost likely to fin d th in gs you wan t to d raw.

What Are You Going to Draw?


You r h ou se is fu ll of ch oices, from sim p le to extrem ely ch allen gin g. You wan t to start sim p ly
becau se ch oosin g, arran gin g, com p osin g on th e p age, seein g, an d d rawin g will keep you
bu sy en ou gh for n ow.
Begin with a leisu rely stroll th rou gh you r h ou se. Look at it as you n ever h ave before, really
seein g th e th in gs th at are th ere. Th in k abou t h ow objects m igh t look togeth er, like th at an tiq u e vase you in h erited from you r great au n t or th at p ostm od ern Italian clock left over
from you r last relation sh ip . Som etim es th e sim p lest objects can m ake th e m ost in terestin g
com p osition s.

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Select Your Objects and Pick Your Subject


Pick a few objects as p ossibilities, an d th en you can select from th e grou p . Try for in terestin g sh ap es, bu t on es th at are basic, geom etric, an d m an ageable. Possibilities in clu d e
Mu gs.
Can s.
Boxes.
Vases.
A few p ieces of fru it.
Som e veggies.
Toy blocks.
Or, if you are feelin g really con fid en t, a toy an im al, a toy car, or an old
d oll m igh t be ju st th e th in g.

Back to the Drawing Board


Avoid shapeless objects or objects with cartoon or caricature
detail. Realistic, accurate detail is
better for learning. Save the action figures and cartoon characters for another time.

Make you rself a little collection of p ossibilities. Pu t two or th ree togeth er. Th en try an oth er com bin ation . Look for sh ap es th at com p lem en t each oth er. Play arou n d u n til you h ave m ad e a ch oice.

Choose the Format and the Paper


Next, p ick a p iece of p ap er to work on , 9" 12" or 11" 14", an d d ecid e
on a h orizon tal or vertical orien tation . Look at th e sh ap es of th e objects you ve selected . Are th ey tall or sh ort? Do th ey seem to n eed a
p iece of p ap er th at is vertical or h orizon tal in its orien tation ?

You may be familiar


with the idea of vertical
or horizontal paper orientation from your word
processing program,
where its called portrait
or landscape. A vertically oriented page is
widest from top to bottom (portrait), while a
horizontally oriented
page is widest across
(landscape).

How Will You Arrange the Objects?


Th ere are always lots of ways to arran ge th in gs to d raw, an d n o on e way is best, bu t you
wan t to m ake th e best ch oice th at you can . Often tim es, it is th e sim p lest arran gem en t th at
works best, esp ecially if th e objects h ave a lot of d etail. Som etim es, a ju m ble of th in gs creates an in terestin g m ix of sh ap es. Later on , in Ch ap ter 10, Toward th e Fin ish Lin e, well

92

Chapter 8 How to Get Started

p ay m ore atten tion to ton e an d textu re, bu t for n ow we will con cen trate on arran gin g, seein g, an d d rawin g sh ap es in relation to each oth er.

Seeing Arrangement and Composition


Arran gem en t an d com p osition are th e first step s in m akin g a good d rawin g ou t of you r ch osen objects. As you p lay arou n d an d ch an ge th e com bin ation an d arran gem en t of you r
ch osen objects (feel free to ch an ge you r m in d ), take tim e to look at you r ch oice th rou gh
on e of you r viewfin d er fram es, p ickin g th e on e th at best fram es you r com p osition . Tu rn it
h orizon tally or vertically to m atch you r arran gem en t an d you r p ap er orien tation .
Make su re you h ave ch osen you r objects, arran gem en t, com p osition , p ap er size, p ap er
orien tation , an d viewfin d er fram e so th at th ey all work togeth er. W h ew, th ats a lot righ t
th ere, bu t you can d o it! W h en you ve got everyth in g read y, follow th ese step s:
1. Ligh tly d raw in th e h orizon tal an d vertical cen ter lin es on you r p ap er.
2. Place th e viewfin d er fram e on th e p ap er an d lin e u p th e cen ter lin es.
3. Exten d th e d iagon als on th e viewfin d er fram e on to th e p ap er.
4. Draw a box th at is p rop ortion ally eq u al to th e viewfin d er
fram e by m easu rin g, or p osition in g it on th e d iagon als at
wh atever size you wish .
Now you can look at you r arran gem en t th rou gh you r viewfin d er
fram e an d begin to d raw it, in th e sam e p rop ortion to th e larger
box on you r p ap er. You can also look at you r com p osition th rou gh
a p rop ortion ally eq u al grid on a p lastic p ictu re p lan e to gau ge
wh ere th in gs are an d wh ere to start.
Bu t th e m ain work of p osition in g th e objects in you r d rawin g
sh ou ld be d on e by really seeing you r ch osen objects as a sm all
grou p an d th en tryin g to im agin e th em sittin g even ly across th e
cen ter lin es of you r p ap er. You ll wan t to m ain tain a con stan t
view, lookin g at th e sam e sp ot from th e sam e h eigh t. Of cou rse, if
you ve got to get u p , you can d raw a lin e arou n d an object to
m ark its p lace for later.

Try Your Hand


In more complicated arrangements, you may want to exclude
some of the elements or some of
the detail. You can filter out,
or choose to eliminate what you
dont want, in order to emphasize what you do want. The
choice is up to you.

Look again th rou gh you r viewfin d er fram e to see wh ere th e cen ter
lin es are. See wh at sh ap es are righ t th ere in th e m id d le. Ligh tly
sketch th e m ain sh ap es relative to th e cen ter lin es.
Rem em ber th at objects n eed to sit d own wh ere th ey belon g in
you r d rawin g. On e way to accom p lish th is is to im agin e th em in
th e box th ey cam e in . Draw th e box in sp ace, an d th en fit th e object in to th e box. Th is works for ch airs, tables, boatsreally, ju st
abou t an yth in g.

See the View and the Distance


On ce you ve m ad e you r arran gem en t, take a look at it th rou gh th e
viewfin d er fram e. Decid e on th e exact area you will d raw. How
you h old th e viewfin d er fram e will d eterm in e wh at you d raw an d
from wh at van tage p oin t an d d istan ce you d raw it. Th is will affect
th e sp ace in you r work an d arou n d you r objects, or th e range.

Artists Sketchbook
Range is the distance between
you and your objects: close-up
(objects), mid-range (still life), or
far away (landscape).

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Som e of th e ran ges you m ay con sid er are:


Close-up Range: Objects th at fill th e fram e will look close to you , alm ost in you r face.
Objects in close-up will
fill the frame.

Still Life or MidRange: Objects d rawn sm aller in th e sam e fram e will look som ewh at
farth er back, as if on a table.
Objects at mid-range
will be set farther back.

Deep or Landscape Space: Objects d rawn sm aller, still in th e sam e fram e, an d p laced
toward th e top of th e fram e will seem far away, as if in a lan d scap e sp ace.
Objects in deep space
will be seen in the
distance.

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Chapter 8 How to Get Started

The Art of Drawing


Most arrangements and still lifes are seen and drawn looking across and slightly down at the objects, but more radical views can be more interesting. They are also more challenging. Eventually,
you should try drawing at all the different vantage points that you can; you may find you are
particularly fond of an unusual way of seeing things.

Th ese d ifferen t sen ses of sp ace are fu n to p lay with , bu t for n ow, lets keep to a ran ge som ewh ere between close-u p an d still life sp ace an d leave th e lon g views for later. Un d erstan d in g, seein g, an d d rawin g from a p articu lar view an d van tage p oin t is
a big step an d can seem com p licated , bu t it really isn t.
W h eth er you look across at you r objects or d own on th em , an d at
wh at an gle, will greatly affect wh at you see. Th is m akes th e d ifferen ce between lookin g at th e sid e of a box or vase or m u g an d lookin g in to th em .

On the Page
First, ju st see you r arran gem en t from wh ere you are, con sid erin g th e
followin g:
Can you tell wh ere eye level is?

Try Your Hand


To see means looking on the
right side, without letting Old
Lefty help out, to see only what
is thereno thinking in ideas,
only in visual, relational terms.

Can you tell if you are lookin g across at it or d own at it?


Can you see th e top s of th in gs?
Or in to th in gs?
Probably, you can see som ewh at in to or over th in gs in you r
arran gem en t. We ten d to see across an d d own at objects on a table,
for exam p le, becau se we are sittin g h igh er th an th e table. If we sat
on a h igh er ch air or stool we wou ld be lookin g d own on to th e objects even m ore.
If you look straigh t across at you r objects, you are lookin g at eye
level. You will see ju st th e sid es or th in gs, bu t n ot th e top s or bottom s.
An d if th e objects were on a h igh sh elf an d you looked u p at th em ,
you r view p oin t wou ld be lower th an th e m id d le. If th e sh elf were
glass, you wou ld see th e bottom s of th in gs as well.

Artists Sketchbook
Eye level is straight out from
where you are, neither above
nor below the level of your view.
As you move up or down, your
eye level and view change.

95

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Next Step: Establish Eye Level


So th en , for starters, lets say th at th e cen ter h orizon tal lin e on you r p ap er is eye level. Hold
you r viewfin d er fram e so th at you are lookin g th rou gh th e m id d le of it at you r arran gem en t. Can you tell wh ere th e cen ter h orizon tal lin e on th e viewfin d er fram e is in you r
arran gem en t? Th at sp ot or lin e is at eye level from wh ere you are seein g you r arran gem en t.

Site the Image on the Paper Using the Center Lines


Use th e lin es on you r viewfin d er fram e to d ecid e on eye level in you r view, wh ich is called
sitin g th e im age. Kn ow wh eth er you are lookin g d own , an d try to kn ow h ow m u ch : a little,
som e, m ore? If you are sittin g in a ch air, sit on a stool an d see th e d ifferen ce, th en stan d u p
an d see m ore of a d ifferen ce. You can even stan d on you r ch air an d look d own for a bird s
eye view.

From a birds-eye view to a fly on the wall, the way you look at your arrangement will determine
how it looks on the page.

Making a Simple Contour Drawing


W h atever view you ch oose, see it th rou gh th e viewfin d er fram e an d fin d wh ere th e cen ter
lin es are, th en im agin e th e view as you see it, cen tered on th e cen ter lin es of th e box on
you r p ap er.
Th en , of cou rse, you ju st ligh tly d raw it, as you see it. Noth in g to it!

96

Chapter 8 How to Get Started

The Lightest Sketch to Begin


So d o it n ow. Use a ligh t p en cil, HB or H, an d u se a ligh t tou ch . Try to see th e basic sh ap es
in you r objects an d th eir relative p lacem en t, with or with ou t th e aid of th e viewfin d er
fram e or th e p ictu re p lan e.
Don t worry if you u se eith er of th ese to ch eck you rself or for h elp as you p ractice. You will
u se th em less an d tru st you rself m ore th e m ore d rawin gs you d o.
Eith er way, take th e tim e to ch eck you rself in th e begin n in g. Don t wait. See th e arran gem en t again th rou gh you r viewfin d er fram e an d on you r d rawin g.

Check It Over
W h en you ve fin ish ed , con sid er th e followin g:
Ch eck th at th e im age is cen tered on you r p ap er with som e h elp from th e cen ter lin es.
Ch eck th e view an d th e van tage p oin t.
Look for clu es as to you r view:
Can you see into or on top of your objects? You are looking down.
Can you see the tops or just the sides of things? You are looking across.
Ch eck th at you h ave d rawn th e sh ap es of you r objects as you see th em .
Correct or ch an ge an y p roblem s you see before you go on .

Correct It Now, Render It Later


Con tin u e to ad d or refin e th e lin es you d raw to say as m u ch abou t th e sh ap e of you r objects as you can . Look for little d etails in th e sh ap es an d m ake th em p art of you r d rawin g.
See as m u ch as you can an d d raw as m u ch as you can see.
W h en you re fin ish ed , you r d rawin g sh ou ld be a reason able rep resen tation of th e sim p le
arran gem en t you ch ose. It sh ou ld reflect th e ch oices th at you m ad e, in clu d in g
Th e objects you p icked .
Th e arran gem en t of th em .
Th e fram e an d th e form at.
Th e d istan ce from you .
Th e viewp oin t an d van tage p oin t.
Sid e view, above, below, or p artway in between .
In ad d ition , th e basic sh ap es of you r objects an d th eir p lacem en t relative to each oth er
sh ou ld be clear. Th e d etail in th e sh ap es of each sh ou ld be th ere. An d lets th row in a bit of
you r own p erson ality, resp on se, or u n iq u en ess in th e way th at you m ad e th e d rawin g.
Now you ve com p leted you r first real selection an d d rawin g on you r own . From h ere on ,
th e sky is q u ite literally th e lim it. Try a few of th ese sm all, sim p le d rawin gs. Try d ifferen t
views an d ways of fram in g th e view.
In th e n ext ch ap ter, well be takin g a closer look at objects an d still life com p osition .

97

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 8 How to Get Started

The Least You Need to Know


You begin a drawing by selecting your subject and deciding on the exact arrangement.

Your viewpoint, vantage point, and eye level all influence what you can see of your
arrangement and therefore what you will draw.

Centering your view with the viewfinder frame and seeing the same view on your
paper gets you started correctly.

Remember to see shapes and relations between your objects and to draw what you
see.

99

Chapter 9

Step Up to
a Still Life:
Composition,
Composition,
Composition
In This Chapter
All about still life
Why artists love fruits and veggies
Filtering and framing your still life
Seeing your still life in space

Drawing seems to provide an extra measure of engagement.


Hannah Hinchman
Artists love to d raw th e still lifean d so will you . In th is ch ap ter, well be exp lorin g exactly
wh at a still life is, an d h ow you can m ake th is m ost p op u lar of artistic exp ression s you r
own .

What Is a Still Life?


You began d rawin g you r ch oice of a few basically sh ap ed objects in a sim p le arran gem en t.
Drawin g from a still life arran gem en t is an exten sion of th ose sim p le p airin gs. Th e sp ace in a
still life is u su ally rath er sh allow an d th e vantage point is fairly close in , wh ile th e viewpoint
(seein g from above, th e sid e, or below) can vary q u ite a bit, for su rp risin g resu lts.

Picking Objects: Classic, Contemporary, and Out There


Not all of th e item s in a still life n eed be exactly d ead . You can in clu d e flowers (cu t or p otted ), fru it an d vegetables, sea sh ells, seed s, p od s, n u ts, or leaves. You can in clu d e a few classic n atu re m ort item s like bu tterflies, bu gs, bon es, fish , seafood , sku lls, an d stu ffed an im als
(real on es, n ot you r tod d lers bed m ate). Hu m an -m ad e item s (in clu d in g p ots an d p an s, an tiq u es, ch in a, baskets, fabric for backgrou n d color, gard en tools, th e con ten ts of a d rawer,

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

you r sh elf of p lan ts, you r bath room sh elf, an d you r collection of art su p p lies)basically
an yth in g with an in terestin g sh ap eis worth a look.

Artists Sketchbook
Still life, called nature mort (dead natural things in French), is a collection and arrangement
of things in a composition.
Vantage point is the place from which you view something, and just exactly what part of that
whole picture, you are choosing to see and draw. It is the place from which you pick your view
from the larger whole, rather like cropping a photograph. If you move, your exact vantage point
changes.
Viewpoint is similar, but think of it as specifically where your eyes are, whether you are looking
up, across, or down at something. Eye level is where you look straight out from that particular
viewpoint. Things in your view are above, at, or below eye level. If you move, your view and eye
level move, too.

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Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Your choice of still life


objects is limited by
only your imagination.

Try Your Hand


Still life items tend to be rather
domestic or household in nature,
but you can push the envelope
and start including unusual things.
Just make sure that you think they
are worth your time to draw.
There are as many possibilities as
you have ideas.

Back to the Drawing Board


Objects with unclear shapes or unrealistic proportions are not the
best choices for a still life. The idea
is to learn about shape and proportion, so opt for realism, even if
your taste is for the unusual.

104

You can ad d sen tim en tal item s, su ch as old lace an d ch in a, a babys


sh oe, or an old h at with ribbon s. Even old p ictu res, p h otograp h s in an tiq u e fram es, an d vin tage p ostcard s work well in still lifes. You can go
wild an d th em atic with item s from an exotic trip to th e Caribbean or
Sou th Am erica or ou t West. Or you can in clu d e a sm all Ad iron d ack
ch air, a willow basket, som e p in econ es, oak leaves, a toy cabin , an d
a sm all carved bear. You can go h igh tech an d m ake a com p osition
of you r Palm Pilot an d you r keyboard , or go th e sp orts rou te an d
arran ge you r sn eakers an d you r ten n is racket.
You can reflect you r favorite p astim e; food , of cou rse, is a great ch oice
an d h as been favored by artists over th e cen tu ries for th e wealth of
sh ap e, color, an d textu re it p rovid es. A food still life can be classic or
su rp risin g. Fish in g tackle, a gard en in g arran gem en t, books an d p en s, a
collection of boxesyou n am e it, an d you can d raw it.

Why Artists Love to Draw Fruit and


Vegetables
Objects from n atu re h ave been favorites of artists sin ce th e early
Ren aissan ce, wh en p ain ters began p ayin g m ore atten tion to th eir su rrou n d in gs in th eir largely religiou s p ain tin gs. Th e lu sciou s sh ap es,
vivid colors, an d textu res in fru it an d vegetables are good reason s for
th eir ap p eal. Th ey are also ap t m etap h ors for life gen erally, an d ad d to
an y d om estic scen e.

A Few Thoughts on Composition


Com p osition is th e way you arran ge th in gs for a d rawin g, rath er th an
accep tin g th em ju st th e way you fin d th em . It in clu d es wh ere you p osition you rself, h ow m u ch you d ecid e to see, from wh at p osition you d ecid e to see it, an d h ow you d ecid e to p u t th e im age on th e p age. W h ile
a lot h as been written abou t com p osition , exp erien ce is still th e best
gu id e. Still, h ere are som e of Lau ren s th ou gh ts on th e su bject.

Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

Off Center Is Often Better


Arran gin g th in gs sligh tly off cen ter relative to you r cen ter lin es can create a p leasin g balan ce of elem en ts. Use you r viewfin d er fram e an d th e cen ter lin es on you r p age. Position th e
m ain objects to th e sid e of cen ter, rath er th an righ t in th e m id d le. See if you en joy th e
sh ap es an d sp aces th is way. Rem em ber to see th e n egative sp aces between th in gs as p art of
you r com p osition .

Centering on Purpose
You can ch oose to cen ter som eth in g for em p h asis, p articu larly if it
is also a close-u p view. Oth er tim es, th e sym m etrical sh ap es of
th in gs can be strikin g if arran ged in th e cen ter. Ju st m ake su re you r
ch oice of objects warran ts th at d ecision .

Charming Diagonals
You ll wan t to look for d iagon alsin life, in lan d scap es, in oth er
d rawin gs, in com p osition s, an d , of cou rse, in you r own d rawin gs.
Try to see an im agin ary trian gu lar sh ap e or two in th e relation sh ip
between th in gs in th e com p osition . You will like th e ch an ge in
you r d rawin g.

Try Your Hand


Try to see the compositional
structure when you look at a
painting that you like and try
the same balance in one of your
drawings.

Other Shapes to See in the Shapes of Things


As well as seein g trian gles in you r com p osition s, wh ich m ean s you h ave establish ed som e
stron g d iagon als, try to arran ge som e of you r com p osition s arou n d a stron g cu rve or ellip se.
Note wh ich sid e of th e p ap er you favor for a stron g com p osition al lin e or cu rve. Man y of u s
are h ap p ier with an em p h asis on th e left sid e, becau se m an y of u s are righ t-h an d ed an d so
is ou r written trad ition . Man y Eastern com p osition s are balan ced d ifferen tly.

The Art of Drawing


Euclid, a Greek mathematician from the third century, was the author of Elements, a treatise on
early geometry and the concepts of point, line, and plane. His thoughts on design are called the
Golden Section, to establish where the central point in a composition should be. He wrote:
So that the space divided into unequal areas be aesthetically pleasing, one must establish the
same relationship between the smallest part and the largest part, as exists between the largest
part and the whole.
Basically, this means that a horizontal that is a bit off center and a vertical that is a bit off center and the place where they cross that is off center, but in a pleasing amount, is what the eye
seeks. Try it for yourself!

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Composing a Still Life


Com p osition is really a way to th in k abou t you r arran gem en t so th at it is as p leasin g as p ossible after you h ave gon e to th e trou ble to d raw it.
Collect m ore objects th an you d id in Ch ap ter 8, How to Get Started . Play arou n d with
th em u n til you h ave n arrowed d own you r op tion s.
Decid e on a h orizon tal or vertical form at, u sin g th e viewfin d er fram e if you wish .

Choosing from a Group of Possibilities


Arran ge an d rearran ge th e fin al p layers u n til you are p leased . Don t h esitate to ch u ck ou t or
ch an ge at th e last m in u te; its you r ch oice h ere.

Filtering and Framing for the View You Want


You can d ecid e to u se a ju m ble of th in gs, bu t you m igh t wan t to elim in ate or ju st su ggest
som e of th em . You will get th e effect, say, of a d rawer fu ll of tools or toys, bu t call atten tion
to on ly som e of th em .
See you r com p osition th rou gh th e viewfin d er fram e th at best fram es you r arran gem en t.

Space in a Still Life


A good d rawin g reflects th e sin gle view p u t on p ap er. You n eed to see an d establish , in you r
own m in d s eye, th e van tage p oin t an d viewp oin t from wh ich you are seein g an d th erefore
d rawin g you r com p osition .

Vantage and View


Before you begin , you ll wan t to exp lore both th e vantage point an d
viewpoint. Rem em ber, th e van tage p oin t refers to you r d istan ce away
from th e su bject, wh ile th e viewp oin t refers to th e an gle at wh ich you
see th e su bject.

Try Your Hand


Cubist artists departed from the
idea of a single view and began
the process of seeing and drawing multiple views as one image.
You can, too, but only after you
can see and draw that single
view.

106

Still life sp ace is u su ally sh allow, so th e van tage p oin t is u su ally in th e


m id -ran ge. As you d raw m ore, you can alter you r van tage or viewp oin t
as you wish . For n ow, th ou gh , lets stay in m id d le grou n d , an d save th e
bird s eye views for a little later.

More Work on Eye Level


Eye level is im p ortan t. Sin ce d rawin g is p u ttin g th at sin gle view on
p ap er, you n eed to keep a con sisten t van tage an d viewp oin t an d m ain tain eye level as you work. Ch eck th at you can see wh ere eye level is in
you r arran gem en t an d on you r p ap er.

Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

Above eye level

Objects look different depending on how you look


at themfrom above,
at, or below eye level.
Examine these shapes
(eye level is at center)
and youll see what we
mean.

Eye level
Below eye level

Making Things Sit Down, or Roll Over, and Stay


You r d og m ay sit an d stay, bu t wh en it com es to d rawin g, you h ave to make th in gs sit an d
stay sittin g. Objects in a still life h ave a fu n n y way of n ot stayin g q u ite wh ere you wan t
th em . Th ey seem to slan t or tilt, or look crooked or asym m etrical. Th ey fall off th e table or
ju m p ou t in to th e air wh ere th ey d on t belon g. You can fix all th at with a workin g kn owled ge of sim p le viewp oin t an d p ersp ective. Accu rately d rawin g objects at th e view th at you
see th em is th e way to keep th em sittin g d own .

Ellipses Are Your Friends


A lot of th in gs th at you m igh t h ave ch osen to d raw are circu lar, su ch as cu p s, m u gs, bowls,
vases, p lates, an d p arts of oth er th in gs. Circles seen in sp ace becom e ellipses. Th e relative
fu lln ess or flatn ess of th e ellip se is a fu n ction of h ow h igh above or h ow m u ch below th e
object you are, wh eth er you can see in to it or n ot, an d wh eth er you can see th e bottom or
cou ld , if th e table or sh elf were glass. Drawin g th e basic sh ap es you see in ligh t circles an d
ellip ses can establish eye level an d som e rou n d n ess to th e object from th e begin n in g.

Above eye level

Circles become ellipses


when viewed from above
or below eye levels.

Eye level

Below eye level

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Artists Sketchbook
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 use when sketching in the fullness of things.

You r p ractice in warm -u p d rawin gs of basic sh ap es an d you r p ractice in d rawin g basic geom etric sh ap es sh ou ld h ave acq u ain ted you with ellip ses. Practice m ore if you n eed to. Note
h ow th ey are flattest n ear eye level, wh eth er above or below. Th ey get fu ller an d fu ller as
th ey are fu rth er from eye level, so th at wh en you are lookin g com p letely in to a rou n d object, it ap p ears rou n d , too.
Here are a few simple
objects that Lauren has
drawn above, at, and
below eye level, so you
can see how their appearance changes. First,
in sketch form; then, as
polished contour drawings.

Above eye level

Above eye level

Eye level

Eye level

Below eye level

Below eye level

When a Cube Is a Cube, in Space


Rectan gu lar objects d o th eir own th in g in sp ace. Not on ly are th ey affected by eye level
(above, at, or below), bu t th ey also ch an ge as you see th em from an an gle oth er th an
straigh t on . As you see a rectan gle from an an gle, th e face or p lan e th at is slan tin g away

108

Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

from you starts to d im in ish or van ish . So a p lan e in sp ace n eed s to reflect th at van ish in g as
well as its p lace relative to eye level.
Th is is n ot as h ard as it sou n d s. Again , you r p ractice in d rawin g basic geom etric sh ap es
sh ou ld h elp . Draw m ore at an gles an d d ifferen t eye levels to p ractice.
Note how this cube in
space starts to diminish
or vanish.

When a Cylinder Is a Rectangle, with Curves


Try seein g an d d rawin g a cylin d er as if it were a rectan gle in sp ace. Get th e an gle an d eye
level righ t an d th en ad ju st th e sh ap e in sid e. A cylin d er h as rou n d en d s, in sp ace th ey are
ellip ses. You can get th e righ t ellip se by fittin g it in to th e en d of th e rectan gle at th e sam e
an gle an d eye level.
Lauren (upper) and one
of her students (lower)
draw a cylinder as if it
were a rectangle in space.

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Fitting Other Shapes into the Boxes They Came In


Most th in gs in you r life cam e in a box. Th at box sat on th e table or th e floor before th e object was taken ou t of it. It m igh t take a little p u sh in g or p rod d in g, bu t th at object wou ld fit
back in sid e. Visu alize you r object in sid e a box. You can even d raw th e box in ligh tly to
m ake su re it is sittin g at th e correct an gle. Th en , sim p ly d raw th e object in sid e th e box an d
you will h ave it wh ere you wan t it. Try it!

Try drawing your object in its original box to get it where you want it.

Drawing That Still Life


You alread y h ave all th e tools to d raw you r still life, you ju st n eed to u se th em . Th is m ore
com p licated com p osition will take m ore p atien ce, tim e, an d clear seein g, bu t th ese are skills
th at you n ow h ave, righ t?

See Your Still Life in Space


Sit an d see you r com p osition in sp ace, with or with ou t th e viewfin d er
fram e or th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e.

Site the Arrangement on the Page


Try Your Hand
Patience is a virtue, especially in
drawing.

110

Draw th e h orizon tal an d vertical cen ter lin es on you r p ap er. You can
u se th e d iagon als of you r viewfin d er fram e to m ake a box on you r
p ap er th at is p rop ortion ally eq u al to th e fram e. Site th e arran gem en t in
th at box on you r p ap er. Th en p ick a p lace to start an d d raw th e first
sh ap e.

Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

Start ou t with som e p lan n in g lin es in ad d ition to th e cen ter h orizon tal an d vertical lin es. Make a ligh t set of sh ap es an d lin es th at
establish p lacem en t on th e p age, p osition of objects, an d am ou n t
of overlap . Try d rawin g a ligh t set of lin es th at en close you r com p osition . You can u se th ese lin es to ju d ge sh ap es an d sp aces
again st.
In ad d ition , you m ay wan t to ch eck relative h eigh ts an d wid th s
again st each oth er. To d o th is, select a baselin e or m easu rem en t
th at you can con sid er h avin g a len gth of 1. Th en , u se th at m easu rem en t to gau ge oth er len gth s, wid th s, cu rves, sh ap es, an d
sp aces. Establish th e ratio between th e base an d an y lin e you
m easu re again st it, su ch as 1:2, 1:4, 1:5, etc.

Try Your Hand


The planning lines in your work
should be light, and need not be
erased later. They can add a vitality and they show the process that
you have been through, too.

Start with a Light Sketch to Position


As u su al, you sh ou ld begin with th e ligh test lin e, you r H or HB p en cil, an d a ligh t tou ch to
d raw in th e basic sh ap es an d an gles an d relation s between th in gs. Take you r tim e. Don t
ru sh . A com p licated arran gem en t takes m ore tim e. Con sid er th e followin g as you begin :
Start with th e ligh test of d irection al lin es for each object.
See h ow th ey overlap .
Try to see each on e in its own sp ot, bu t relative to th e oth ers.
Im agin e th at you h ave x-ray vision an d can see th e backs of you r objects, wh ere th ey
tou ch or are close to on e an oth er.
Make su re you h ave left en ou gh sp ace for each .

Check Your Spacing


Don t go on u n til you are su re of everyth in g an d everyth in g is in its p lace, an d th at you
h ave a p lace for everyth in g. An object with a sh ap e an d size h as to h ave th e sp ace in you r
d rawin g th at it n eed s to look th ree-d im en sion al. If two objects are in th e sam e th reed im en sion al sp ot in you r d rawin g, th ey will both look flat. Give th em th e room th ey n eed
to look fu ll.
God is in the details.
Buckminster Fuller (And he was right.)

See the Detail in Each Object and Draw What You See
W h en you h ave located an d d rawn th e sh ap e of each object in you r com p osition , th e rest is
clear seein g an d d rawin g of th e rem ain in g d etail.
You r fin ish ed d rawin g sh ou ld reflect all th e work you h ave d on e lately. An arran gem en t
th at you wou ld h ave th ou gh t im p ossible to d raw is n ow with in you r grasp . It is a great
feelin g.
In th e n ext ch ap ter, we will look at gettin g th in gs to look a little m ore fu ll of volu m e an d
d etail. We will look at volu m e, weigh t, ligh t, an d sh ad ow, an d h ow to d raw th em by ad d in g
a bit of ton e to you r lin e d rawin g. Detail an d still m ore d etail will give you r work th e com p lexity th at m akes it sp ecial.

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 9 Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition

The Least You Need to Know


A still life is a composition of objects chosen and arranged for interesting shapes,
spaces, and some special sense of you and your choices.

Composition is based on some classic rules, but is basically working until you have a
pleasant arrangement of your objects in space.

Vantage point and viewpoint are important considerations in composition.


Once you have decided on your composition, see what you arranged and draw what
you see.

113

Chapter 10

Toward the
Finish Line

In This Chapter
Establishing volume and tone
Using light and shadow
Creating a balance between line and tone
Knowing when you are finished

The most obvious reason for drawing disciplines is to train the eye and the hand to instantaneous coordinated activity. Artists of the past and present have made countless drawings, not
only as students, but all through their lives.
Harry Sternberg
You ve h eard th e p h rase Its all in th e d etails., an d wh en it com es to d rawin g, th ose d etails
in clu d e volu m e an d ton e, lin e an d sh ap e, an d ligh t an d sh ad ow. How d o you ad d th ose fin ish in g tou ch es? In th is ch ap ter, you ll fin d ou t.

Line and Shape Are in the Lead, Form Follows Close


Behind
For m an y d rawin gs, a clear, sen sitive con tou r lin e can say as m u ch as you n eed to say. You
m ay en joy th e lin e q u ality as it is, feel th e sh ap es an d sp aces between sh ap es to be accu rate,
an d h ave en ou gh d etail to feel you r d rawin g is fin ish ed .
In oth er d rawin gs, it h elp s to d efin e th e form or fu lln ess of th in gs by ren d erin g th em with
ton e. Ligh t an d sh ad e com e in to p lay h ere, an d th e d irection from wh ich an object is ligh ted will d eterm in e th e p lay of ligh t u p on it, th e d irection of th e sh ad ow it casts, an d
wh eth er th at sh ad ow is on th e object n ext to it an d h ow m u ch .

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Artists Sketchbook
Tone refers to shades between
light and dark, or white and
black, that can be used in drawing to define areas of light and
shadow or render the fullness of
an object.

Ligh t an d sh ad ow can create stron g p attern s th at are p art of you r com p osition an d can m ake an object seem m ore fu ll of volu m e an d weigh t.
Detail an d textu re are on th e su rface of an object, fu rth er d efin in g it.
Som etim es th ey can be con fu sin g wh en th ey d on t follow th e form . It is
better to con cen trate on sh ap e an d sp ace first, volu m e an d weigh t secon d , an d ligh t an d sh ad ow n ext, an d th en d etail an d textu re can follow
alon g later.
You ll wan t to m ake a grad ed ch art for you rself as a gu id e for you r
ran ge of tones to establish ligh t, sh ad ow, an d volu m e.
1. Measu re an d d raw a box 6" wid e an d 1" h igh .
2. Draw a h orizon tal cen ter lin e to m ake two lon g boxes, 1 / 2 " h igh .
3. Measu re an d d raw vertical lin es at 1" in tervals to m ake six
boxes on th e top row an d six on th e bottom row.

Making a set of boxes


for a tonal chart.

4. Label th e first box on th e u p p er left-h an d corn er #1. (Lefties


can begin in th e u p p er righ t-h an d corn er an d work left.)
5. Box #1 will stay wh ite.
6. Label th e n ext box #2.

Back to the Drawing Board


If you get ahead of yourself and
get confused between shape and
the detail on the surface, or
confused about what makes volume and what makes texture,
just take a step back. Sit until
you can see where you are and
what you should do next, including a good erasing.

7. Startin g with box #2, ligh tly an d even ly sh ad e th e rest of th e


top lin e of boxes.
8. Label th e n ext box #3.
9. Start with #3 an d even ly sh ad e over th e rest for a sh ad e d arker
th an box #2.
10. Label th e n ext box #4.
11. Begin with it an d m ake an oth er layer of sh ad in g over th e rem ain in g th ree boxes.
12. Label th e n ext box #5.
13. Begin with it an d m ake an oth er layer of sh ad in g.
14. Label th e last box #6.
15. Make th e fin al layer of sh ad in g in it.

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Chapter 10 Toward the Finish Line

Here is a filled-in tonal


chart.

You can d o th is for a six-box ton al scale, or you can m ake it n in e boxes or twelve boxes, as
m an y as you wan t. Start with six boxes for n ow. You h ave a ran ge from wh ite to ligh t to
m ed iu m to d ark.
Now, on th e lower row, p ractice m atch in g th e variou s ton es you m ad e on th e top of th e
ch art. Start by tryin g to m atch th e d arkest ton e. Keep sh ad in g it in u n til it m atch es th e
u p p er box. Th en , try to m atch on e of th e ligh t ton es, th en try to m atch on e of th e m id ton es. Con tin u e u n til you h ave m atch ed all th e ton es of th e scale an d filled in th e bottom
p art of th e ch art.
In this tonal chart,
weve filled in the bottom row of tones to
match the top row.

You r ton al ch art gives you an id ea of th e ton al ran ge th at you can u se wh en you are lookin g at you r d rawin g an d d ecid in g h ow to ad d ton e to it.

The Art of Drawing


You can make tonal charts using a selection of pencils, different hardnesses, particularly if you
like very rich tones. It is important to jot down how you got each set of tones and with which
pencils so that you will be able to use the same technique for building up tone on a drawing.
Try a chart or two with a different range, a light one or a dark one that might not even begin
with white.

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Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Here is a dark tonal


scale.

You can m ake a ton al scale with d ifferen t textu ral m arks in stead of solid ton es. Try m akin g
a ton al ch art th at is m ad e u p of d ifferen t textu ral m arks, keep in g th em all th e sam e for
each ton al ch art so you can see th e ran ge of ton e easily. Even tu ally, you will be able to
ju m p from ton e to textu ral ton e an d back again wh ile ad d in g wh atever ton al valu e you
wan t becau se you will see th em in you r m in d s eye.
Here are some circles
with different textural
marks to make the range
of tones. Your own tone
boxes can be in rows of
boxes or looser shapes
filled in with a range of
tone in one texture.

Here are som e ad d ition al ton al tip s to con sid er:

Try Your Hand


The more you practice seeing
and adding tone to an accurate
contour line drawing, you will
begin to do it sooner, as you
move from the planning lines to
the drawing of the shapes, because you will be able to see line
and tone together.

Keep lookin g at you r com p osition an d you r ton al scale. See th e


sh ap es th at each ton e fits in to. You ll h ave d ifferen t ton es for
h igh ligh ts on th in gs, th e ligh t sid es of th in gs, th e m id -ton es,
th e d arker sid es of th in gs, sh ad ows, sh ad ows across th in gs, an d
th e d arkest cracks an d sp aces between th in gs.
Get u p , walk away, an d th en com e back an d look at you r work
with fresh eyes. You m ay see th in gs you m issed wh en you were
sittin g righ t on top of you r d rawin g. Correct an y p roblem s you
see.
You m ay wan t to d arken th e sh ad e of you r d arkest ton e to in crease th e con trast between you r ligh ts an d d arks.
Half-close you r eyes, or let th em go ou t of focu s. Th is can h elp
you see ton e, an d th en you can work on d etail.
For p ractice in form , ligh t, an d sh ad ow, try d rawin g eggs, rocks,
sh ells, or even m u sh room s.

118

Chapter 10 Toward the Finish Line

Weight Is in the Rear, but Coming Up Fast


Lets go back to th ose basic sh ap es you collected an d p racticed d rawin g in sp ace. In Ch ap ter 9, Step Up to a Still Life: Com p osition , Com p osition , Com p osition , you d rew th em as
con tou r lin e d rawin gs. Now, try th em as ton ed 3-D objects. Pick objects th at are sim p le an d
n ot too rich ly colored or p attern ed for starters.
1. Establish a ligh t sou rce an d d irection . See h ow th e ligh t p lays on th e objects. See th e
grad ation of ton e relative to you r ch art of ton al ran ge.
2. Sq u in t at you r arran gem en t, you will fin d it easier to see th e ligh ts an d d arks.
Sq u in tin g m akes it easier to see th e ton es. It soften s d etail an d blu rs th e m id -ton e so
th at you can see th e extrem es on you r ton al scale.
3. Pick th e ligh test sp ots like h igh ligh ts on fru it or th e ligh ted sid e of a cu be or m u g.
Th ese areas will be at th e ligh t en d of you r ton al ran ge.
4. Decid e on th e d arkest sp ots, like sp aces between th in gs or a
d arker object. Th ese areas will be on th e d arker en d of you r
scale of d arks. How d ark d o you wan t th e d arks to go?
5. Pick th e m id d le ton e between th e ligh test on e an d you r ch oice
of th e d arkest. Try to see th at ton al color in you r arran gem en t,
wh at is h alfway between ligh t an d d ark. Th is p lay of ligh t an d
d ark h as a n am e, n atu rally: chiaroscuro.
No am ou n t of ton al ren d erin g will m ake for a sen se of weigh t an d
volu m e if th e object d rawn d oesn t h ave en ou gh sp ace to be th reed im en sion al. You r carefu l seein g an d d rawin g of th e sh ap e an d th e
relation sh ip s between th in gs m u st com e first. Th en , con tou r lin e on
flatter item s an d ton e on th in gs with greater weigh t can su ggest th e
d ifferen ces in volu m e.

Artists Sketchbook
Chiaroscuro is Italian for light
and shadow. It refers here to a
system of tonal shading to render
an object so it appears threedimensional.

First Things First: Shape and Space


As with ton e, ligh t, an d sh ad ow, n o am ou n t of d etail or textu re will h elp a d rawin g wh en
th e basic sh ap es an d th e sp atial relation sh ip s are n ot seen an d d rawn well. W h en th is is th e
case, you will waste you r tim e ad d in g d etail wh en you sh ou ld be correctin g th e sh ap es an d
sp aces.
Sim ilarly, all th e ren d erin g in th e world will n ot m ake an asym m etrical vase sym m etrical,
m ake a bowl sit on th e table if it is ju m p in g u p , or m ake two ap p les look rou n d if th ey are
so close as to occu p y th e sam e sp ace on you r p age.
Som etim es, th e best th in g to d o is start over. If, after a wh ile, it seem s th at everyth in g you
ad d d etracts from you r d rawin g rath er th an en h an ces it, try, try again m ay be th e rou te to
take.

Now Start Again


Pick an oth er arran gem en t to d raw. Ch oose a few objects th at seem to req u ire ton e to m ake
th em ap p ear as fu ll as th ey are. Keep th em sim p le, geom etric sh ap es like fru it, p lain boxes,
a cu p or m u g, or som e toy blocks. Try to p ick objects th at are close in color so th e color
won t be con fu sin g you . Later you can p ick objects th at req u ire you r ability to establish tru e
color d ifferen ces u sin g ton e.

119

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

1. Make you r arran gem en t an d com p osition . See you r com p osition th rou gh you r viewfin d er fram e. Decid e on you r p ap er an d
form ath orizon tal or vertical. Draw a p rop ortion ally eq u al box
on you r p ap er, with very ligh tly d rawn cen ter lin es to h elp site
you r com p osition on th e p age.

Back to the Drawing Board


You can work on line and tone
simultaneously as long as you remember to keep checking and
dont get bogged down adding
tone to a drawing that still needs
work on basic shapes or spaces.

2. Arran ge a ligh t sou rce. Look at wh at it d oes. Try m ovin g th e


ligh t to th e oth er sid e, th e fron t, or th e back, an d see wh at th e
ligh t d oes in each case. Decid e wh ich you p refer.
3. Site you r view in sp ace an d on you r p ap er. Don t forget th e cen ter lin es, th e viewfin d er fram e, an d p lastic p ictu re p lan e as
gu id es.
4. Make som e begin n in g p lan n in g lin es, th en d raw th e sim p lest
sh ap es, d irection s, an d an gles. Measu re th em again st th e sid es
of you r viewfin d er fram e to see th e an gles. Ligh tly d raw in th e
basic sh ap es.
5. Ch eck you rself again st you r com p osition with th e viewfin d er
fram e an d ad ju st. Work on seein g sh ap es as sp aces.
Pay atten tion to th e n egative sp ace sh ap es. Th ey can h elp a
great d eal in p osition in g everyth in g correctly. Ch eck again .
6. Work on it; red raw u n til all of th e objects are correctly p laced .

Try Your Hand


Remember, squinting helps here,
regardless of what you mother
told you about making faces.

7. Refin e th e sh ap es an d lin es to be m ore exp ressive. Look at each


item in you r com p osition an d say as m u ch abou t each as you
can .
8. Make a ton al ch art on th e sid e of you r d rawin g or on a sep arate
p iece of scrap p ap er.
9. Try to see each p art of you r d rawin g as h avin g a ton al valu e,
relatively sp eakin g, from th e ligh test sp ots to th e d arkest on es.
10. Look at th e ligh t an d sh ad ows. Decid e on a ton al ran ge th at
you will u se. Kn ow wh ich p en cil will m ake wh ich ton e (th is is
wh ere th e ton al ch art h elp s). Establish th e ligh t p arts an d th e
d ark p arts.

Try Your Hand


You dont have to fill in everything on a drawing; you can get
more mileage by just suggesting
light, tone, shadow, or volume
with some tone, but retain the
contrast and sparkle in your
drawing. What you leave out can
be just as important as what you
put in.

120

11. Draw in th e sh ap es of th e h igh ligh ts an d th e m id -ton es an d th e


sh ad ows. Pay p articu lar atten tion to h ow a sh ad ow is resh ap ed
wh en it falls on an oth er object. Ad d th e ton e to you r d rawin g,
as you see it.
12. Develop th e ton e on you r com p osition from less to m ore, based
on you r ton al ran ge ch art an d wh at you can see. Work on th e
d rawin g as a wh ole, n ot ju st on e p art at a tim e. Bu ild u p ton es
grad u ally.
You m ay see p roblem s as you d raw, som e in con sisten cy th at you
m issed . Don t h esitate to go back an d fix it. Rem em ber th at you r
viewfin d er fram e an d p lastic p ictu re p lan e can h elp you see you r way
th rou gh a d ifficu lt p art.

Chapter 10 Toward the Finish Line

Back to the Drawing Board


Sometimes, as you add a lot of detail, you have to go back and darken the darks for richer contrast, or lighten the mid-tones, or enrich the contour lines. Experience is the best guide here.
Building up tone is easy; just keep at it. You can lighten a tone or area that has gotten too dark
by erasing lightly. You can use the eraser as a blotter and pick up just a bit of tone without
disturbing the line. The more you draw, the more you will develop a personal sense of styleand
a sense of what suits you and the situation.

Here are some examples of drawings with tone.

121

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

Getting to That Finish Line


Do you see h ow you r sh ap es n ow h ave a sen se of volu m e an d th ey seem to really be th ere
in sp ace?
As you p ractice ad d in g ton e to an accu rate con tou r lin e d rawin g, you will begin to ad d
it soon er, after th e first p lan n in g lin es are th ere to d efin e th e sh ap es an d sp aces of th e com p osition .
Take you r tim e bu ild in g u p ton e an d balan cin g th e ton es in you r d rawin g. It takes p atien ce
an d d iscip lin e, bu t you can d o it.
You will be p leased with th e resu lt, an d you r d rawin gs will h ave th e ad d ed d im en sion of
volu m e an d weigh t.
You can u se ton e as m u ch or as little as you wish . It is you r ch oice, as it is you r ch oice as
to h ow m u ch to ren d er, h ow d ark to go, an d h ow to balan ce th e ton e an d lin e in you r
d rawin g.
Th en , of cou rse, th ere is th e m atter of d ecid in g wh en you are d on e. You are d on e wh en you
h ave d rawn th e sh ap es, sp aces, h igh ligh ts, m id -ton es, d arks, an d sh ad ows in you r com p osition an d balan ced all of th em for a d rawin g th at d escribes you r arran gem en t in sp ace. Are
you p leased with you r ton al d rawin g?
As Mich elan gelo said to th e Pop e wh en asked abou t th e ceilin g p ain tin g for th e Sistin e
Ch ap el, I will be d on e wh en I am fin ish ed . Like Mich elan gelo, you are d on e wh en you
are p leased .
In Ch ap ter 11, At th e Fin ish Lin e: Are You Read y for More? we will look at d etail an d textu re, su rface elem en ts th at can tell still m ore abou t th e objects th at you d raw.

122

Chapter 10 Toward the Finish Line

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 3 Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw

The Least You Need to Know


You can establish volume by adding tone to a line drawing, but adding tone or texture is useless if the shapes and spaces and relationships in your drawing are in need
of work first. All that rendering wont help.

Making and using a tonal scale helps you decide on your chosen range from light to
dark.

Learn to see the shapes of tones, where they are, and draw them there.
Light and shadow, cast from an established light source, are important to see and
draw accurately.

A balance of line, shape, space, tone, light, dark, and shadow is the goal of a tonal
drawing, to see and draw the objects in three-dimensional space and volume.

124

Part 4

Developing Drawing Skills


Dont be shocked if your drawings truly surprise you. By now, youve developed basic drawing
skills and are eager to practice what youve learned.
Before you do, though, well be looking at journals and sketchbooksyours and those of a few
other artists. Then, because you will need a portable drawing kit to take on the road, well suggest both essentials and nonessentials to pack. Well also peer into some working artists studios
and see whats behind those light-filled windows and how they feel about their work.
Weve put a review chapter next, as a reference. And, well poke around your house and your
garden (and ours) to find some good subjects for your new sketchbook.

Chapter 11

At the Finish Line:


Are You Ready
for More?

In this Chapter
New materials
New techniques
Seeing detail and texture as information
Seeing the wealth of detail in nature
Balancing all the elements of a drawing

After having arranged all things about me in proper order, it is only then that my hand and
my mind respond to one another and move about with perfect freedom.
A Sung Dynasty Artist, explaining his method
Con gratu lation s! You h ave m oved from early sim p le con tou r lin e d rawin gs th at correctly
reflect th e sh ap es an d sp aces in an arran gem en t in to th e realm of ton e, valu e, ligh t, an d
sh ad ow.
As you try m ore com p licated , fin ish ed d rawin gs, you can exp erim en t with n ew m aterials,
too. You r first work was m ostly in th e form of exercises. Now, take th e tim e with th ese m ore
in volved p ieces to sam p le som e n ew, h eavier p ap er or a n ew d rawin g tool.

New Materials
Artists are ju n kies for su p p lies. Man y h ave a lifelon g h abitwe collect th em , organ ize th em ,
p lay with th em , an d h oard th em . Altern ately, we talk abou t th em , sh are th em , an d exch an ge id eas abou t th em . W h eth er its p ap er or d rawin g tools, h alf th e fu n of bein g an artist
is th e stu ff. In th is ch ap ter, were goin g to sh are som e of th at fu n with you .

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

New Papers
W h o kn ew th ere were so m an y varieties of som eth in g as sim p le as p ap er? Artists, th ats
wh o! Its tim e for an oth er trip to you r local artists su p p ly storeth is tim e, to exp lore th e
won d ers of p ap er.
Watercolor p ap er is th e stu ff th at d ream s are m ad e of. Its sm ooth , h eavy, resilien t,
able to stan d u p to alm ost an yth in g in clu d in g a bath an d a scru b ou t if n ecessaryits
well worth th e in vestm en t you ll m ake in it. Watercolor p ap er com es in varyin g th ickn esses, from 90 lb. to 140 lb. to m ega-h eavy 300 lb. Th e su rfaces are h ot p ress
(sm ooth ), cold p ress (rath er a p ebbled su rface), an d rou gh (very).
You can bu y watercolor p ap er in blocks, p ad s, or in d ivid u al
sh eets. Take care in cu ttin g d own th e fu ll sh eets. Th ey sh ou ld
be carefu lly fold ed an d th e fold ed ed ge creased u n til you can
tear at th e fold , leavin g a soft torn ed ge.

Try Your Hand


You can use charcoal to create a
mid-tone, also called a ground
tone, on a sheet of paper by applying it evenly across the entire
surface. You can then make
darker tones by adding charcoal,
and make lighter tones by erasing out the ground tone.

Assorted artists materials.

128

Etch in g or p rin t p ap er follows rath er th e sam e in kin d s as watercolor p ap er an d is an oth er lovely su rface, alth ou gh som ewh at softer an d m ore fragile.
Ch arcoal an d p astel p ap ers com e in p ad s or sh eets. Both typ es
com e in ton es an d colors, wh ich can be seen as th e m id -ton e in
sh ad ed d rawin gs.

More Drawing Tools


Earliest m an u sed p ieces of cin d er or ch arred sticks to d raw on cave
wallsan d th in gs h aven t ch an ged all th at m u ch . Artists tod ay rely on
ch arcoal in a variety of form s, as well as m ore kin d s of p en s an d p en cils
th an you can sh ake a stick at. Som e of Lau ren s favorites in clu d e:

Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

Charcoal pencils, charcoal, paper stomp, an d conte crayons all m ake th eir own
m arks an d ton es. Each com es in d ifferen t th ickn esses, from stu bby an d th ick to th in
an d fin e, an d each com es in d ifferen t h ard n esses as well, from rath er h ard (for a soft
m ed iu m ) to very soft an d sm u d gy.
Fixative is sp rayed on th e su rface of an u n stable d rawin g to p rotect it from u n wan ted
sm u d gin g. It can be worked on after ap p lication , an d to som e exten t is reworkable
(you can get u n d er it to ch an ge som eth in g).
Ink, pens, an d brushes are very old m ed ia, takin g over wh ere
ch arcoal left off. A stick or a clu m p of an im al h air d ip p ed in a
p ot of p igm en ted liq u id (in clu d in g blood , m u d , or h erbal d ye)
m ad e an in k lin e, wh ile a p iece of grass p robably served as an
early bru sh . Tod ay, in k com es water solu ble an d p erm an en t.
Eith er can be d ilu ted to m ake wash es of varyin g tin ts an d
sh ad es.
Pens are as p erson al as th e h an d th at h old s th em , from reed
an d bam boo p en s th at you can sh ap e to m ake a p articu lar
lin e, to crow- an d h awk-q u ill p en s, to tech n ical p en s for a
very fin e lin e, to all th e n ew m icro-p oin t an d felt-tip varieties.
You will on ly kn ow wh at you like if you bu y it, try it, an d see
wh at it d oes.
Water-soluble pencils are won d erfu l to u se; th ey go an ywh ere an d can h an d le an yth in g. You can u se th em for a d ry
d rawin g, or for a watercolor effect. Bu ilt-u p layers of color or
ton e p rod u ce rich an d som etim es su rp risin g colors.
A p en cil sh arp en er is h an d y to acq u ire n ow if you h aven t alread y.
A battery-op erated on e is great for goin g ou t in to th e field (or
stream ). If you d evelop a fon d n ess for water-solu ble p en cils, a
sh arp en er will be in valu able, becau se th e p oin ts n eed to be sh arp to
m ake good lin es, an d stop p in g to m an u ally sh arp en each on e slows
you d own .

Artists Sketchbook
A paper stomp, whether simply
a clumped up paper towel or a
specially purchased one, a Q-tip,
or even a finger can make interesting tones and blurred areas.
Harder lines can be drawn or
redrawn on top for more definition. Any unstable surface that
could be smeared if touched must
be protected with a fixative,
which is sprayed on a completed
drawing to protect it after youve
finished.

The Art of Drawing


Brushes are just as personal in preference and use. There are wonderful Chinese brushes that
hold a lot of liquid down to fine camel hair that makes the thinnest of lines. Be careful with any
brush. Dont leave it sitting in water on its bristles. Wash brushes frequently as you use them, and
always keep them flat next to you. If you use a brush for permanent ink, be very sure that you
have cleaned it, or there will be a build-up of ink at the base which will affect its shape. Brushes
are expensive, but buy the best ones you can. By the way, they make great birthday presents for
an artist (hint, hint).

129

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

You can make a page of


marks or a tonal scale
from any new medium
to test its uses and range
of possibilities.

More Techniques
Okay, weve talked abou t su p p lies. Now, lets try a few ad d ition al tech n iq u es th at will im p rove you r ability to see an d d raw th e sh ap es an d
sp aces in a com p osition as you ad d eith er ton e or d etail an d textu re.

Drawing in Circles Is not Going in Circles


Back to the Drawing Board
Fancier materials can make a
fancier drawing, but not necessarily a better one. Experiment,
but be sure you remember to see
and draw before you start in
with new tones and textures.

130

Circles an d ellip ses can be seen as bu ild in g blocks or basic sh ap es for a


lot of objects in com p osition , becau se th e sh ap es of all th e p arts are
wh at m ake th e wh ole.
Use circles an d ellip ses to d raw sp ace in to th in gs righ t from th e start.
Th is will h elp in m akin g su re th at you h ave left en ou gh room for
th in gs. A circle in sp ace is a sp h ere, or a ball. An ellip se is sp ace is an
ellip soid , rath er like a rou n d ed -off cylin d er. Practice d rawin g th em as a
warm -u p an d p ractice seein g th em in th e objects as you d raw in th e
basic sh ap es.

Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

Every shape has its own


unique geometric equation.

Scale Is Sizing Things in Space


Ou r eyes are won d erfu l, su btle len ses th at work togeth er to give u s bin ocu lar vision an d th e
ability to see th ree-d im en sion al sp ace. With ou r eyes, we can gau ge h ow far away th in gs are
wh en we look at th em in sp ace, an d see th e d ifferen ce in scale. Even across a room , an object is sm aller th an th e sam e object seen u p close. You can see th is with a p iece of p ap er
rolled u p . Try it:
1. Set an object close to you an d an oth er sim ilar object of th e
sam e size across th e room .
2. Roll u p a p iece of p ap er an d look th rou gh it at th e object
close to you .
3. Ad ju st th e d iam eter of th e roll u n til it ju st en closes th e object.

Try Your Hand

4. Now, look at th e object across th e room . Sm aller, eh ? It is


th is d ifferen ce in scale th at you m u st see an d d raw to m ake
th ree-d im en sion al sp ace an d scale on you r two-d im en sion al
p ap er.

Drawing in circles and ellipses


can make shape, space, and volume in your drawing from the
very beginning.

Rem em ber to d raw wh at you see an d th at alon e. Don t d raw wh at


you can t see. Don t even d raw wh at you th in k you seeor wh at
you th in k you kn ow.

Measuring Angles in Space


Rem em ber th at th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e is an im agin ary p lan e p arallel to you r eyes th rou gh wh ich you see th e world . Objects th at
are p arallel to you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e ap p ear flat; you are lookin g straigh t at a sid e.
If an object is tu rn ed away from you an d you r p lastic p ictu re
p lan e, it ap p ears to reced e in to sp ace. Th e en d s of th e p lan e th at
slan t away from you are sm aller th an th e en d s close to you . Th ose

Try Your Hand


Seeing the difference in size and
scale is the first step toward
drawing space into your work.

131

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

p lan es are van ish in g in sp ace an d m u st be seen an d d rawn th at way. In Ch ap ter 15, In to
th e Gard en with Pen cils, n ot Sh ovels, we will exp lain th e m ore form al ru les of p ersp ective.
For n ow, seein g, m easu rin g, an d d rawin g th e an gles of th in gs will h elp you p u t th em wh ere
th ey belon gin sp ace.

The Art of Drawing


You can measure the angles of receding planes against true horizontal or vertical, without using
formal perspective rules.
Hold up your viewfinder frame and see the angle that you need to draw against one of the sides
of the frame. See the slant relative to the horizontal or vertical of the frame and draw the same
relative angle on your drawing. Or, you can hold your pencil up at horizontal or vertical. Look
at the angle you want to draw relative to your pencil, decide on the relative difference between
your pencil and the line you want to draw, and draw it in.

Back to That Race to the Finish Line


Ad d ition al elem en ts th at d efin e objects as you are seein g an d d rawin g th em are su rface d etail an d textu re. Som e d etail is actu ally p art of an object, stru ctu rally or p rop ortion ally, bu t
oth er d etail is m ore on th e su rface. Textu re is an elem en t th at is p rim arily on th e su rface an d follows th e sh ap es an d con tou rs of an object.
Som etim es, th e p attern of d etail or textu re can m ake it h ard to see or
d istin gu ish ton al valu es th at m ake th e object h ave volu m e, so it can be
better to get th e sh ap es first, th e volu m e, ligh t an d sh ad ow n ext, an d
save th e su rface d etail an d textu re for last.

The Art of Drawing


Detail and texture are added information, more or less on the
surface. Detail may have more to
do with the refined shapes in
your objects, while texture may
be critical to really explaining
what you see on your objects.
But the simple shapes come as
spaces first. Until you can draw
them simultaneously and see
line, shape, space, and form, all
of them together, you wont
truly be drawing.

132

W h en you can see an d d raw an arran gem en t an d balan ce th e variou s


elem en ts, you can really begin to d raw an yth in g you wan t, an y way
you wan t.

And Its Details in the Endby a Hair


Ou r world is filled with d etailgood , bad , an d in d ifferen t. Som etim es,
th ere is so m u ch extran eou s d etail in ou r lives th at we n eed to get away
or sim p lify it. Bu t in d rawin g, d etail tells m ore abou t th e objects th at
you h ave ch osen to d raw.
Ch oose som e objects with su rface d etail an d textu re th at d efin e th em .
Pick objects th at ap p eal to you becau se of th eir d etail or textu re
rem em ber th ou gh , you will h ave to d raw th em , so d on t go overboard
at first. Hu m an -m ad e objects are fu ll of in terestin g d etail an d textu re,
bu t you can t beat Moth er Natu re for p u re in ven tiven ess an d variety.
Ch oose a n atu ral object or two th at will req u ire you r n atu ralists eye.

Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

Take a Closer Look and See the Detail


W h en th e sh ap es an d sp aces in you r com p osition are d rawn correctly an d you h ave establish ed a ton al ran ge for d ealin g with th e ligh ts an d d arks th at you can see, you can also ad d
su rface d etail in lin e, ton e, or textu re, or a m ix of all th ree.
Som e of you r object ch oices will be rich with su rface textu re an d
d etail. To accu rately d escribe th at sp ecific q u ality abou t an object,
you will n eed th at vocabu lary of m arks, bu t on ly in resp on se to a
real seein g of wh at is th ere.
Practice a p age of m arks sim ilar to th e p age you created in Ch ap ter
7, A Room of You r Own . You can create a ton al ch art with an y
n ew m ark or textu re to see h ow you can u se it to h an d le ton al
variation s or d etail th at is in both ligh t an d sh ad ow.

Natures Detail Is Unending


W h y n ot be a botan ist for a d ay? Pick a bran ch from a h ou sep lan t,
a flowerin g p lan t, a flower, som eth in g from th e florist, or som eth in g from you r own gard en or backyard .

Try Your Hand


Detail is part of why you pick an
object, why it seems to go nicely
with another object. Texture is
the pattern or surface of an object and further defines it.

1. Sit an d see th e bran ch or flower as you m ay h ave n ever seen it before.


2. Look at th e d irection , len gth , an d wid th of th e stem .
3. Look at th e arran gem en t of th e leaves on th e stem . Are th ey op p osite (across from
each oth er on th e stem ) or altern ate (on e on on e sid e of th e stem , on e on th e oth er
sid e of th e stem , u p th e stem )?
4. Look at th e sh ap e of th e leaves. Th in k in visu al term swh at basic geom etric sh ap es
are sim ilar to th e sh ap e of you r leaves?

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

A flowering branch has its own proportion, angles, shapes, and relationships, in
the parts and as a whole, so there is a lot to see and draw.

Practice in seeing proportion in nature is practice in seeing it for anythingas


well as just good practice.

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Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

5. Look at h ow th e flowers sit on or h an g off th eir stem s.


How are th ey arran ged ?
How big are th e bloom s relative to th e leaves?
W h at gen eral basic sh ap e d o th e flowers rem in d you of? Tru m p ets, flat sp h eres,
little balls, con es, or wh at?
6. Flowers are th e rep rod u ctive organ s of th eir p lan t. Don t ign ore th at, exp loit it. See all
th e sh ap es an d d raw th em .
Flower shapes and detail
all have a purpose
procreation and the attraction of those bees,
insects, and hummingbirds that do the work of
pollinating the flower;
drawing the detail tells
us about each individual
purpose as well.

7. Con sid er th e base of th e flower in you r d ecision . How d o th e back an d fron t of th e


flower m eet?
8. Look at th e sh ap es an d sizes of th e p etals.
Are th ey all alike?
Are th ere p airs of p etals? Pairs of th ree? Maybe five p etals, bu t n ot all alike?
W h ere d o th ey join th e base of th e flower?
Do th ey overlap ? How m u ch ?
The shapes and angles
of petals are as expressive as the parts of the
figure.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

At the Finish Line Again


As you d raw, see th e botan ical d etail an d th e biological d etail in you r objects from n atu re.
Con sid er th e followin g:
Th in k visu ally, m ostly of sh ap e an d th e relation sh ip of th e d etails to each oth er. Draw
th e d etail as you see it.
Con tin u e to balan ce you r d rawin g in lin e, ton e, an d textu re.

The Art of Drawing


The balance of line, shape, space, form, volume, tone, texture, and Gods own detail is ultimately completely personal. No one can tell you what you like and how you should work or
what you should go after. Even we can only suggest what you might still need to work on to be
able to express yourself in drawing without hesitation.

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Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

You m ay p refer a h eavily ton al d rawin g with less d etail or you m ay love th e lin e asp ect an d
n ot care abou t a h eavily ton ed d rawin g. Exp erim en t an d fin d a balan ce th at is ch allen gin g
bu t p erson al. Look back freq u en tly at you r com p osition to see if you are cap tu rin g th e
essen ce th at you were in ten d in g.
Th e fin ish lin e is of you r own m akin g.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

You decide where the finish line is!

Onwards and Outwards


So, are you read y for th at u n en d in g strin g of id eas th at await you ? Su bjects are everywh ere,
ju st waitin g for you to take th e tim e to see an d d raw.
Th e n ext th ree ch ap ters cover sketch books, as well as d rawin g in an d arou n d you r h ou se.
Th en , in Part 5, Ou t an d Abou t with You r Sketch book, we will m ove ou tsid e, with a closer look at p ersp ective so th at you h ave all th e tools you n eed to d raw an yth in g th at you en cou n ter on you r travels.

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Chapter 11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

The Least You Need to Know


Surface detail and texture tell more about the objects in your drawing, but are secondary to an accurate seeing and drawing of the shapes, spaces, volume, light, and
shadow.

See the botanical detail and the biological detail in your objects from nature. Think
visually, mostly of shape and the relationship of details to each other. Draw the detail as you see it.

Continue to balance your drawing in line and tone as you add detail and texture. As
always, take your time and work hard to really see what you are drawing.

The finish line is of your own making.

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Chapter 12

The Journal
As a Path

In This Chapter
Why keep a sketchbook journal?
A journal of your own
Different kinds of journals
The Zen of meditative drawing

To capture the unmeasurable, you must learn to notice it.


Hannah Hinchman, A Trail Th rou gh Leaves: Th e Jou rn al as a Path to Place (New York:
W.W. Norton, 1999).
Th e jou rn al as a p ath , a sen se of p lace, an d th e jou rn ey to get th ere are p arap h rases from
th e title of a lovely book by Han n ah Hin ch m an . Keep in g a jou rn al is a great way to record
you r th ou gh ts an d feelin gs, you r resp on ses, you r goals, an d you r d ream s. An d a sketch book
jou rn al is a p lace to record , d escribe, or ju st jot d own in d rawin gs as well as word swh ere
you h ave been , are n ow, an d wan t to go.
In th is ch ap ter, well exp lore th e p leasu res of keep in g a jou rn al of you r own , from th e wh y
to th e wh erefore. In ad d ition , well be sn eakin g a p eek at th e jou rn als of workin g artists,
from Georgia OKeeffe to som e of ou r frien d s an d n eigh bors.

Why Keep a Sketchbook Journal?


You can m ake you r jou rn al an yth in g from a m ixed bagin clu d in g sh op p in g an d to-d o lists,
if you wan tto a sep arate sketch book for d rawin g. Even th en , you can an n otate you r d rawin gs to rem in d you of d etails or th e feelin gs you h ad as you were d rawin g, or wh y you
p icked th e su bject you p icked . W h at you were th in kin g or feelin g can get lost in th e ru sh of
bu sy d ays, after all, an d a jou rn al p rovid es th e m ean s to keep th ose m om en ts with you an d
be able to go back to th em for in sp iration or solaceor to sim p ly rem em ber.

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

If you d ecid e to keep a sketch book jou rn al, you ll be in good com p an y. In th e section
below, weve gath ered th e word s of som e well-kn own artists from th eir sketch book jou rn als.

Artists on Their Work


I have always been willing to bet on myselfto stand on what I am and can do even when
the world isnt much with me.
Georgia OKeeffe
Were fortu n ate th at m an y of th e world s best-kn own an d best-loved artists kep t jou rn als,
becau se th at m ean s we can let th em sp eak for th em selves abou t h ow th ey feel abou t th eir
tools, th eir stu d ios, an d th eir work. Artists, in fact, are q u ite eloq u en t wh en th eyre writin g
abou t th eir p assion s.

How They Feel About Their Studios and Tools


Perh ap s n o on es stu d io says so m u ch abou t th e artists work as th at of Georgia OKeeffe.
Her stu d io is so large its like bein g ou tsid e, wh ich is exactly th e feelin g on e gets from h er
works as well. Man y of OKeeffes better-kn own can vasses are q u ite large, as wellm u ch
larger th an life, as was th e artist h erself.
Corrales, New Mexico, artist Marian n a Rou ssel-Gastem eyer n otes th at h er stu d io is easy to
fin d : Ju st follow th e p ottery sh ard s to th e d oor. Ju st d own th e road , an oth er Corrales
artist, Cin d y Carn es, h as situ ated h er stu d io to cap tu re th e ever-ch an gin g face an d ligh t on
th e San d ia Mou n tain s to th e east. (An d ju st d own th e road from Rou ssel-Gastem eyer an d
Carn es, Lisa typ es th ese lin es.)
W h en it com es to tools, artist Fran k M. Rin es n otes in Drawing in Lead Pencil (New York:
Brid gem an Pu blish in g, 1943):
It has been said that a good workman never complains of his tools. Very true, but have you
ever noticed that a good workman never needs to complain, that he always has good tools.
As you ll recall from p reviou s ch ap ters, we cou ld n t agree m ore: Havin g th e righ t tools is
h alf th e fu n .

How They Feel About Drawing


Writers are at th e forefron t of th ose wh o ap p reciate d rawin g. D.H. Lawren ce, for exam p le,
on ce n oted , Art is a form of su p rem ely d elicate awaren ess m ean in g at on en ess, th e state of
bein g at on e with th e object. Bu t artists th em selves h ave m u ch to say as well. Here are
som e won d erfu l q u otes from artists abou t th e artistic p rocess:
The long, arduous and often painful struggle in seeking truth and beauty requires not only a
deep and passionate love for art, but also a deep and passionate love for life.
Harry Sternberg, Realistic/ Abstract Art (Pittman Pub., 1959)
The goal of the artist is the achievement of the truly creative spirit. It must be earned through
discipline and work. Among other disciplines, drawing is basic.
Harry Sternberg

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Chapter 12 The Journal As a Path

I do not like the idea of happinessit is too momentaryI would say I was always busy and
interested in somethinginterest has more meaning than the idea of happiness.
There is nothingno color, no emotion, no ideathat the true artist cannot find a form to express.
The process, not the end work, is the most important thing for the artist.
To fill a space in a beautiful wayafter all everyone has to do just thismake choices in his
daily life, when only buying a cup and saucer.
Georgia OKeeffe
Care should be taken to not have more than one center of interest. Extremely important too is
the leaving of white paper. The parts of a drawing that are left white, or in other words, not
rendered, are just as necessary as are the parts that are drawn.
Frank M. Rines
Theseartists of the worldare akin to the scientists only in that their effort is to bring things
near, but even there they part, for the scientist must need to use the telescope or the microscope,
whereas the artist brings them near in sympathy.
John Marin

The Art of Drawing


Here are Frederick Franks 10 Commandments of drawing:
Source: The Awakened Eye, (New York: Vintage/Random House, 1979).
1. You shall draw everything and every day.
2. You shall not wait for inspiration, for it comes not while you wait but while you work.
3. You shall forget all you think you know and, even more, all you have been taught.
4. You shall not adore your good drawings and promptly forget your bad ones.
5. You shall not draw with exhibitions in mind, nor to please any critic but yourself.
6. You shall trust none but your own eye, and make your hand follow it.
7. You shall consider the mouse you draw as more important than the content of all the
museums in the world, for
8. You shall love the ten thousand things with all your heart and a blade of grass as
yourself.
9. Let each drawing be your first: a celebration of the eye awakened.
10. You shall worry not about being of your time, for you are your time, and it is brief.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

The eye that sees is the I experiencing itself in what it sees. It becomes self aware and realizes
that it is an integral part of the great continuum of all that is. It sees things such as they are.
Frederick Frank

Different Kinds of Journals


Ch an ces are you will en d u p with a few d ifferen t jou rn als. Lisa, a writer, keep s on e jou rn al in
h er n igh tstan d for th ose ran d om m id d le-of-th e-n igh t flash es of brillian ce, an oth er on h er
d esk to jot d own th ou gh ts th at h ave n oth in g to d o with wh at sh es workin g on at th e m om en t, a th ird by h er read in g ch air, an d an oth er in h er car (you p robably d on t wan t to be
on I-25 wh en Lisas record in g on e of h er in sp iration s in th e n ext lan e). An d th en sh e h as an
ad d ition al jou rn al wh ere sh e cop ies d own great q u otes sh es com e across in h er read in g,
sn atch es of (or en tire) p oem s, an d th ou gh ts from oth er writers sh e tries to collect in on e
p lace.
W h en it com es to d rawin g jou rn als, you m ay wan t to try a sim ilar ap p roach . Here are som e
of th e p ossibilities.

Travel Journals
You can take a travel sketch book with you on a trip if its sm all en ou gh to carry easily. In
fact, th in k of all you r travelin g art su p p lies as a kit, wh ich m ay in clu d e
A sketch book.
A few p en cils an d p acks of lead s (leave th e sh arp en er h om e).
Two erasers (ju st in case).
Sm all clip s to h old you r p ap er in p lace if its win d y.
Maybe som e tap e or ru bber ban d s.
A few sh eets of h eavier p ap er cu t to a good size.
A ligh tweigh t board .
Ad d th in gs to you r travel kit as you see fit, bu t rem em ber th at you will h ave to carry it to be
able to u se it.

Closer to Home
You will wan t a larger sketch book or su p p ly of loose sh eets in a p ortfolio for d rawin g close to h om e. Most of you r learn in g d rawin g will be
d on e in th ese.

Try Your Hand


If you are going farther out in
search of yourself, take water
and some food, a jacket, and
maybe a phone. Dont hesitate
to push the envelope of your
world. Just be a scout about it,
and be prepared.

144

If you rem em ber you r d ream s or h ave freq u en t fligh ts of fan cy, you
m ay wan t to keep a sep arate exp ressive jou rn al. Try to m ake a d rawin g
th at cap tu res or reflects you r m em ory, an d write d own wh at you rem em ber. You m ay be su rp rised at th e d irection you r work takes.
Non fiction an d d rawin g in a jou rn al com bin e d ifferen tly, u su ally req u irin g a realistic d rawin g. Th ey can in clu d e a m ore elaborate travel
jou rn al for a sp ecial trip , or a recip e book with all you r favorite d ish es
an d som e h ow-to d rawin gs to exp lain wh at you m ean or h ow to
arran ge everyth in ga cookbook in th e m akin g.

Chapter 12 The Journal As a Path

The Art of Drawing


Poetry, fiction, and drawing could occupy another sketchbook or be one of the ways you use
your general one. Poetry and short fiction (your own or someone elses) can balance or expand
on a drawingor the other way around. Entries can be illuminated with realistic or imaginary
and expressive drawings. Early on, you may stick to the business of learning how to draw, but
later you may find that expressive drawing suits you best.

A gard en in g jou rn al can be a great sketch book, wh ere you can record th at season s exp erim en ts, p roblem s, triu m p h s, an d n otes for n ext year, as well as all th e gloriou s d etail of th e
growin g season in you r sp ecial gard en .
Oth er jou rn als cou ld in clu d e a fish in g jou rn al, or even an exercise or d iet jou rn al (d raw
wh at you wan t to eat, bu t won t!).

Two pages from a gardening journal: A gardening journal can include sketches of your gardenor dreams
for next years garden.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

The Art of Drawing


A journal recording the joys of motherhoodwhat happened during the nine months of waiting,
certain details about the birth, and early drawings of your newest family memberwill be treasured later on, by both you and the child. You could also do the same for a new pet. After all,
like babies, they will provide you with lots of material.

Your Journal Is All About You


Th eres n oth in g like a jou rn al for bein g you rself. Ap p roach a jou rn al with th e u n d erstan d in g th at it is you rs alon e, for you as well as by you . You d on t h ave to p u t it u n d er lock an d
key, bu t d o let oth er fam ily m em bers kn ow th at you d on t wan t th em to look th ere. Som e
m ay h ave trou ble with cu riosity, of cou rse, so you m ay wan t to keep you r jou rn al som ewh ere safe, if you d rath er th ey d id n t look.
Am on g th e m an y good th in gs a jou rn al can p rovid e are
A sen se of self.
A sen se of p lace.
A sen se of p u rp ose.
A sen se of tim e.
A p lace to exp lore id eas an d save th em for later.
A verbal an d visu al vocabu lary.
A p lace to get p ast first solu tion s.
A p lace to see th e d etail p ast wh at is p red ictable.

Back to the Drawing Board

Using Your Journal

In The Artists Way (New York:


Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1992), Julia
Cameron suggests writing three
morning pages every single
day! While you dont 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 youll
see what we mean. You can also
draw those three pages or try for
a mixture of the two.

You will learn th e m ost abou t d rawin g in you r jou rn al by workin g


from life. You d on t h ave to follow th ese step s exactly or even at all,
bu t we p rovid e th em ju st in case you d o wan t a fram ework to follow as
you begin to u se jou rn als.
1. Decid e on a su bject, a com p osition , a view, a van tage p oin t, a
fram e, an d a form at, even if rou gh ly d rawn on you r p age an d
viewed on ly with you r two h an d s.
2. See an d d raw in you r sketch book jou rn al as carefu lly as you
h ave in th e p reced in g exercises.
3. Con sid er h ow m u ch tim e you ll h ave to m ake an en try so you
d on t ru sh .
4. Try to d raw every d ayp ractice is th e key.

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Chapter 12 The Journal As a Path

The Art of Drawing


Make lots of notes on your drawings as to color, shape, weather, temperature, shadows, and
anything else you want, to remind you for later. You can use the detail notes for drawing, or just
to remind you of where you were that day. Record and enjoy the details that are different or
unusual. It will get you past your usual observations and opinions of things. Write to enjoy and
rememberbut dont let your mind drift away from the job of seeing visually.

Expressive Drawing
Exp ressive d rawin g can be a release for som e of you r in n er feelin gs an d th ou gh ts, an d you
can exp erim en t with color if you like.
Bear in m in d th at d ifferen t cu ltu res view color d istin ction s d ifferen tly. For th e Jap an ese, for
exam p le, wh ite is th e color of m ou rn in g an d black is for celebration , rath er th an th e reverse
in ou r western trad ition u n less, of cou rse, you live in New York City, wh ere you m u st
wear black. W h en it com es to color, let you r own feelin gs gu id e you .
Color

Western Thought

Eastern Thought

wh ite
black
green
blu e
yellow
red
p u rp le

in n ocen ce
d ep ression
jealou sy
d esp on d en cy
treason
sin , an ger
royalty, religion

m ou rn in g
stren gth
growth
tru th
n obility
love an d p assion

Research has shown that certain colors are associated with certain feelings. Take a look at this chart. Do
you agree? If not, you may want to make a chart of your own (you could use one of your journals), documenting what various colors mean to you.

Drawing as a Form of Healing


Healin g takes lots of form s. Often , givin g you rself th e p resen t of tim e an d solace, an d even
silen ce an d solitu d e, can be a h ealin g gift. W h eth er you u se d rawin g as a th erap eu tic ad ju n ct or as a th erap y of its own , its h ealin g asp ects are on e sid e effect th ats worth p u rsu in g.
Like an yth in g th at takes you ou t of you rself, d rawin g can be a way of ch an n elin g n egative
en ergy in a m ore p ositive d irection . W h y th row th at p ot at you r beloved wh en you can
d raw a p ictu re of h ow you re feelin g in stead ? Even if you feel you r d rawin g ability is still in
its in fan t stage, you can d raw a n asty p ictu re of som eon e you re an gry with an d lau gh
you rself righ t ou t of you r sn it.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Therapeutic Drawing
Cu t d own on th ose sh rin k session s an d bills an d p u t th e self-h elp books in a closet. Th e
tim e you sp en d d rawin g an d exp ressin g you rself on p ap er can be su rp risin gly th erap eu tic.
You cou ld feel elation an d p eace from settin g asid e tim e ju st for you . You cou ld begin to
valu e you rself m ore. You cou ld feel very real accom p lish m en t at learn in g h ow to d raw
wh en you th ou gh t you cou ld n t. You m ay u se th at feelin g to tackle oth er th in gs you
th ou gh t you cou ld n t d o, like stop p in g sm okin g, losin g weigh t, organ izin g you r tim e m ore
efficien tly, learn in g a n ew com p u ter p rogram , or even ch an gin g you r job to som eth in g
m ore satisfyin g an d creativelike d rawin g!
A drawing a day keeps the doctor away.
Dan Welden

Spontaneous Drawing
You can try som e of th ose begin n in g exercises again , p articu larly th e d rawin g with ou t
lookin g an d d rawin g n egative sp ace, two of th e m ore righ t-brain ed exercises, to see wh at
resp on ses you h ave n ow. Th ey m igh t u n leash a d ifferen t creativity or an in terest in
abstraction , or a n ew exp erien ce in u sin g textu re. W h ats im p ortan t h ere is sp on tan eity;
d on t th in k, Old Lefty, ju st d o it!

Zen and Drawing


Zen in d rawin g is actu ally wh at th is is all abou t, gettin g to a m ed itative,
in tu itive p lace (th e righ t sid e) an d lettin g go all th e d istu rban ce (Old
Lefty) in ord er to ju st be, see, an d d raw.

Artists Sketchbook
Zen is more than a religious
practice, its a philosophy and
way of life that comes from
Japanese Zen Buddhism. At its
most basic, Zen can be thought
of as a holistic approach to being
that takes for granted the interconnectedness of all things and
encourages simplicity in living in
order to live with the complex.

W h en it com es to d rawin g, h avin g a Zen ap p roach m ean s allowin g


th in gs to d evelop as th ey will, with ou t th e n eed for con trol th at m arks
so m u ch of ou r lives.
A Zen way of life in corp orates everyth in g from m ed itation to ord ered
sim p licity in ord er to better ap p reciate th e in tercon n ected n ess of all
th in gs. It follows, th en , th at a Zen way of d rawin g m igh t be on e sim p le
lin e wh ich p oin ts in a su rp risin g n ew d irection .
W h eth er its Zen , sp on tan eou s d rawin g, th erap eu tic d rawin g, or ju st
p lain old reven ge d rawin g, keep in g track of you r m ood s in a sketch book jou rn al can be a su rp risin gly sim p le way of red iscoverin g you rself.
So, arm ed with som e n ew m aterials an d tech n iq u es, go forth in to you r
everyd ay su rrou n d in gs with a fresh vision of wh at you see.
You r h ou se an d im m ed iate su rrou n d in gs are filled with th in gs to see
an d d raw an d th en th ere is th e wild blu e yon d er.

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Chapter 12 The Journal As a Path

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

The Least You Need to Know


A sketchbook or illuminated journal is a place for you, your thoughts, dreams, experiments, tests, notes, remembrances, hopes, musings and drawing practice.

You can have as many sketchbook journals as you have reasons for having them, or
just because you couldnt resist.

Setting aside the time to draw can be a great gift to give to yourself or someone you
love.

Peace and serenity are hard to come by in our world. Drawing as a meditation can
be the path to spiritual release and learning.

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Chapter 13

This Is a Review
There Will Be a Test

In This Chapter
Look how far youve come
Reviewing what you already know
Slowly you draw, step-by-step
Taking stock and moving on

The goal of the artist is the achievement of the truly creative spirit. It must be earned through
discipline and work. Among other disciplines, drawing is basic.
Harry Sternberg
Sin ce you ve com e with u s th is far, you ve p robably got q u ite a collection of d rawin gs by
n ow. Part of wh at scares p eop leesp ecially ad u ltsabou t learn in g to d raw is th e fear of n ot
bein g good . Bu t you kn ow wh at? Th ats Old Lefty, rearin g h is u gly h ead yet again . You r
righ t brain kn ows th at you can t get to th e good stu ff with ou t m akin g a few m esses an d
m ore th an a few m istakes. Bu t d on t take ou r word for it. Lets go back th rou gh you r d rawin gs, so you can see for you rself ju st h ow far you ve com e.

Through the Looking Glass


Goin g back th rou gh you r d rawin gs can be a revealin g exp erien ce, even if you on ly started
th em a few weeks ago. You r first su rp rise will be ju st h ow m u ch p rogress you ve m ad e in
you r tech n ical skill. Th ats becau se ju st d rawin g som eth in g every d ay m ean s you re p racticin g, an d p ractice will im p rove an y skill.
Before you start ju d gin g you r work too h arsh ly (d on t let Old Lefty h ave an y say!), wh y n ot
u se th e ch ecklists in th is ch ap ter to see wh at you ve learn ed . You m ay even wan t to tab th is
ch ap ter for fu tu re referen ce, becau se weve p u lled in every lesson you ve learn ed u p u n til
n ow in on e con ven ien t location .

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Seeing as a Child
In Ch ap ter 2, Toward Seein g for Drawin g, you took you r first ten tative baby step s toward
seein g as an artist d oeswith you r righ t brain . By n ow, you ve h eard u s sayin g th is for so
lon g, its som eth in g th ats as basic to you as breath in g.
Still, rem em berin g to see everyth in g with th e op en n ess an d creativity of a ch ild with you r
righ t brain is on e of th e m ost im p ortan t th in gs you can d o for you r d rawin g.

Look/Dont Look
In Ch ap ter 3, Loosen Up , you tried several d rawin gs with ou t lookin g at th e p age after
you d set you r p en cil to d raw. Drawin g with ou t lookin g at wh at you re d rawin g h elp s you
ban ish Old Lefty to h is tid y, ord ered corn er, wh ere h e belon gs.
You m ay wan t to try a n ew d rawin g-with ou t-lookin g exercise n ow, ju st for p ractice.

Guides Are What You Make Them


W h eth er you u se a gu id e like a p lastic p ictu re p lan e or a viewfin d er fram e, or d raw freeh an d ,
th e first step in d rawin g is seein g. To h elp you d ecid e wh ich is th e best way for you to begin ,
weve p rep ared a review of th ese th ree ap p roach es to seein g wh at you d raw.

Plastic Picture Plane Practice


In Ch ap ter 4, Th e Pictu re Plan e, we in trod u ced you to th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e. Weve referred to it sin ce, bu t its p ossible you h aven t u sed you rs again sin ce Ch ap ter 4. If th ats th e
case (or even if its n ot), wh y n ot get ou t you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e an d
p ractice with it? (Say th at 10 tim es fast.)
1. Pick a su bject for you r d rawin g.

Try Your Hand


Take some time now to go back
through your drawings and see
how far youve come.

2. Lin e u p you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e with you r eyes, keep in g it p erfectly still. Rest it on a table, or h old it straigh t u p an d d own at
a level th at you can see th rou gh an d d raw on at th e sam e tim e.
3. Close on e eye an d take a good lon g look th rou gh you r p ictu re
p lan e. See wh at you can see, n ot wh at you th in k.
4. See th e im age th rou gh th e lin es th at you p u t on th e p ictu re
p lan e, bu t try to n ote wh ere th in gs are relative to th e lin es:
W h at p art of th e im age is in th e m id d le?
W h at p art is n ear th e d iagon al?
W h at p art is h alfway across?
On wh ich sid e of each grid is each p art?
Does a p articu lar lin e go from top to bottom or across?

Try Your Hand


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

Does a cu rve start in on e box an d travel to an oth er before


it d isap p ears?
An d th en wh at?
5. Un cap you r m arker an d d ecid e on a p lace to start.
6. Start to d raw you r su bject, lin e by lin e.
7. Keep d rawin g.

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Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

Isolating an object with


a plastic picture plane.

W h en you h ave p u t in all th at you see in you r object, take a m om en t an d observe th e accu racy with wh ich you h ave d rawn a com p licated d rawin g. Try to see wh ere th e p lastic p ictu re
p lan e m ad e it easy for you to d raw a d ifficu lt p art, like a table in p ersp ective, or th e scale of
two objects, or th e d etail on th e sid e of a box, or th e p attern of a fabric th at was in fold s.
Th ese p oten tial p roblem s are n o lon ger p roblem s, on ce you really see an d d raw wh at you
see.

A View Through Your Viewfinder Frame


In Ch ap ter 5, Fin d in g th e View, you were first in trod u ced to th e viewfin d er fram e. Ju st for
p ractice, wh y n ot get ou t you r viewfin d er fram e again ?
1. Decid e on som eth in g to d raw. You can keep it sim p le.
2. Position you rself, you r d rawin g m aterials in fron t of you , an d th e object ou t in fron t of
you at an an gle (45 d egrees) wh ere you can see you r wh ole su bject.
3. Pick a viewfin d er fram e th at su rrou n d s th e su bject q u ite
closely on all sid es.
4. Draw a p rop ortion ally eq u al rectan gle on you r p ap er.
5. Rep osition th e viewfin d er fram e u n til you r su bject is n icely
fram ed with in th e win d ow an d sp en d som e tim e really seein g you r su bject th rou gh it.
6. Close on e eye an d d o th e followin g:
Observe th e d iagon als an d cen ter m arks on th e
viewfin d er fram e.
See wh ere you r su bject fits again st th e sid es of th e
fram e.

Back to the Drawing Board


Use your viewfinder frame to
know where a particular piece of
your subject belongs. Be sure to
draw only what you can see in
the frame, and nothing else.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

See wh ere you r su bject tou ch es th e floor or table.


See wh ere its top is.
Look at th e an gles.
7. Begin to d raw you r su bject on you r p ap er in th e sam e p lace as you see it in th e fram e.
8. Usin g an im agin ary vertical lin e, ch eck all th e an gles you ve d rawn to see h ow th ey
stack u p .
9. Ad d d etails, as you can really see th em an d relate th em to wh at you h ave d rawn . Take
your time.
Using the viewfinder
frame.

Or, Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide


As you work th e d rawin gs th rou gh ou t th e rest of th is book, you can u se an y, all, or n on e of
th e gu id es, from you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e to you r viewfin d er fram e. It all d ep en d s on h ow
con fid en t you feel. If you are n ot actu ally u sin g th e gu id es, its becau se you are u sin g th em
au tom atically, in you r m in d s eye (or is it you r eyes m in d its so h ard to keep th em
straigh t ).
If you lose you r p lace, u se a gu id e; th ats wh at th ey are th ere for. We will rem in d you of
th em from tim e to tim e, bu t from n ow on , you ll ch oose h ow to u se th em an d wh eth er
you can , even p art of th e tim e, ju st see an d d raw.

Accentuate the Negative


In Ch ap ter 6, Negative Sp ace as a Positive Tool, you learn ed h ow to d raw n egative sp ace.
Heres an exercise to h elp you review wh at you learn ed th ere.
1. Divid e you r p ap er in to fou r eq u al q u ad ran ts.
2. Hold th e viewfin d er fram e very still an d fram e you r su bject in a win d ow.

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Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

3. Pick a sp ot of sp ace som ewh ere in sid e you r su bject to start, an d really see it. Close
on e eye an d see th at sp ot u n til it becom es m ore real th an th e su bject itself. You will
kn ow wh en th is h as h ap p en ed becau se it will p op forward as a sp ot of sp ace wh ile th e
su bject itself will fad e or reced e.
4. See wh ere th at sp ot is relative to th e grid lin es on you r viewfin d er fram e. You can also
look at th e sp ot th rou gh you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e to isolate ju st wh ere it is relative to
th e grid .
5. Use th e grid on you r p ap er to d raw th e first sp ot of sp ace on th e p ap er.
6. Th in k relatively an d relation ally. Try to see wh ere you r sp ot is relative to th e m arks on
th e fram e, th e grid on th e p lastic, an d th e ligh t lin es on th e p ap er.

The Art of Drawing


The most important thing about drawing negative space is to stay focused on the space. Forget
about the actual subject; pretend its not even there. Remember to keep one eye closed each
time you find your next spot of space. Find the shape of that spot by seeing it relative to your
grid marks. Think about comparing the shapes of the negative space and the edges of those
shapes. Are the lines horizontal or vertical? If they are neither, try to see the angle relative to
horizontal or vertical and draw what you see. The trick to drawing negative space is drawing the
holes, not the thing.

As you d raw m ore an d m ore of th e n egative sp ace sh ap es, it will be easier an d easier to fit
in th e rem ain in g on es. Th e sp aces arou n d you r su bject will actu ally d efin e you r su bject.
W h en you h ave d rawn all th e n egative sp aces on you r d rawin g, ch eck each on e in tu rn
again st th e su bject itself. Make sm all correction s to th e sh ap es of th e n egative sp aces as you
see th em . You can ligh tly sh ad e th e n egative sp ace sh ap es as you refin e th em , if you d like.
You r su bject will take tu rn s with th e sp ace arou n d iton e will ap p ear p ositive an d th e
oth er n egative, th en th ey will flip .
W h en you are fin ish ed , you r d rawin g will be a very d ifferen t record of seein g. You r su bject
will com e ou t of th e sp ace you h ave d rawn arou n d it!

Making Arrangements
In Ch ap ter 9 you m ad e you r first arran gem en t of objects to create a still life. You learn ed
abou t van tage p oin t an d viewp oin t, an d h ow lookin g at objects from d ifferen t an gles cou ld
ch an ge th eir ap p earan ce. Now its tim e to p ractice d rawin g an arran gem en t again .

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Lauren (upper) and one


of her students (lower)
arrange a few objects in
a pleasing way, and
then draw by the guidelinesstep-by-step.

Slowly You Draw, Step-by-Step


Ju st for p ractice (an d isn t th at wh at th is is all abou t?), m ake an oth er arran gem en t of objects or fu rn itu re to d raw n ow. You ll follow th e sam e step s as always, u sin g th e gu id es as
m u ch or as little as you n eed th em .
1. Arran ge you rself com fortably.
2. Select you r objects or you r view.
3. Arran ge you r objects, still life com p osition , or m ove th e fu rn itu re to su it you .
4. Decid e on you r viewp oin t an d eye level.

Try Your Hand


Put things flat or at angles to see
how they vanish, or become
smaller as they recede, or turn
away from you. Circular shapes,
like tops of cups, mugs, or vases,
get flatter as they are turned
away from your view.

156

5. Ad ju st th e ligh tin g if n ecessary.


6. Establish a form at an d size of d rawin g.
7. Take a m om en t to d ecid e on you r p robable m ed iu m an d p ap er.
If you are n ot su re, go for a h igh -q u ality p iece of p ap er; you
n ever kn ow .
8. Use th e viewfin d er fram e to see you r ch oice.
9. Make a box on you r p ap er th at is p rop ortion ally eq u al to you r
viewfin d er fram e at an y size. Rem em ber th e d iagon als to keep
th e box an d th e fram e in p rop ortion .

Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

10. Use you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e or you r viewfin d er fram e to see th e arran gem en t or view
in sp ace.
11. Site wh at you see on you r p age.
12. Start with ligh t p lan n in g lin es for th e sim p le sh ap es, lin es, an gles, an d th e gen eral
ou tlin e.

The Art of Drawing


Try 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 objects to really be there in space. If
an object is too close, it cannot really be there in the same spot with another object. You can
look straight down on your arrangement, even diagram it to help you see the space that you
have to create for each object.

Making a List and Checking It Twice


As you d raw, you ll wan t to con sid er th e followin g:
1. Ch eck you r in itial ligh t d rawin g for accu racy.
2. Ch eck th e sh ap es, th e sp aces, an d look at th e n egative
sp aces, h ow th in gs overlap , an d wh ich way th e an gles are.
See th e basic geom etric sh ap es in sp ace.
3. Use you r viewfin d er fram e to gau ge an y an gle relative to h orizon tal or vertical, an d th e grid m arks on th e ed ge of th e
fram e.

Try Your Hand


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

4. Use you r p en cil to d o th e sam e. Hold it at h orizon tal or


vertical n ext to an an gle an d see th e d ifferen ce.
5. You can u se a carp en ters an gle m easu re to see an an gle an d tran sfer it to you r
d rawin g.
6. Draw a box for som eth in g th at is h ard to d raw. Pu t th e box in sp ace, th en d raw th e
th in g in th e box.
7. See relation ally. As you are su re of on e sh ap e, relate th e oth ers to it. Keep ch eckin g
an d ad ju stin g u n til you are h ap p y with you r d rawin g.

Form and Function


Now, begin to work on form .
You can ad d ton e, or try to d efin e th e form with lin e, or you can leave it a con tou r
lin e d rawin g.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

If you ch oose to ad d form , ad ju st you r ligh tin g if n ecessary.


Make a ton al ch art for th e valu es in you r arran gem en t.
Sq u in t to see th e extrem es of valu e in you arran gem en t an d su bd u e th e d etail an d
m id -ton es.
Pick ou t th e ligh test sp ots an d th e d arkest.
Ad d som e ton e to th e m id d le sh ad es, from th e ligh ter on es to th e d arker on es.
Try to see ton es as h avin g sh ap es on you r su bjects.
Look at sh ad ows n ext to th in gs an d u n d er th in gs as well as sh ad ows on oth er th in gs.
You can work toward a very ton al d rawin g or you can m erely su ggest volu m e, p erh ap s ju st
with sh ad ows. Ad d d etail an d textu re as you see th em . Use th ose n atu ralists eyes of you rs
for a clear seein g of d etail.

The Art of Drawing


Rendering texture requires a mark that is appropriate for describing the texture. Experiment on a
separate piece of paper.
Detail and texture may also require a lot of planning and measuring, especially if there is a pattern on china, a fabric print, or fine detail on seashells.

Getting Some Distance on Your Work


Get u p an d look at you r work from a d istan ce, with fresh eyes. Don t h esitate to go back
an d fix som eth in g. Work p atien tlyit is you r d rawin g.
As you work, be alert (th e world n eed s m ore alerts). See th e lin es, ton es, textu res, an d d etail
begin to work togeth er.
Determ in e if you r work is gettin g to be all on e ton e with little con trast. You can ch an ge
you r ton al ran ge in a n u m ber of ways, in clu d in g:
Ligh ten in g th e ligh ts
Darken in g th e d arks
Darken in g th e m ain lin es in th e con tou r lin e
Erasin g ou t p art of th e textu re or ton e to ju st su ggest it

Your Learning-to-Draw Cheat Sheet


We th ou gh t it m igh t be h elp fu l to h ave a ch eat sh eet, with all th e ru les in on e p lace,
so we created th is Learn in g to Draw Ch eat Sh eet, wh ich also ap p ears on th e tear-ou t card

158

Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

in sid e th e fron t cover of th is book. You can p aste th is list in sid e th e cover of you r sketch book or tack it u p on th e wall n ear you r d rawin g table, referrin g to it as you work.
Mean wh ile, you ll always be able to fin d it righ t h ere, in case th at tear card gets too d ogeared from con stan t u se!
1. Take you rself an d you r work seriou sly. Make you rself a p lace to work th at is ju st for
you .
2. Set a tim e to work. Make a d ate with you rself.
3. Look arou n d for som e first su bjects as id eas.
4. Arran ge you rself com fortably so you can see you r su bject an d you r p ap er easily.
5. Select you r objects or you r view.
6. Arran ge you r objects, still life com p osition , or m ove th e fu rn itu re to su it.
7. Look at th in gs flat or at an gles to see h ow th ey van ish th at is, becom e sm alleras
th ey reced e. Ellip ses get sm aller or flatter as th e object is tu rn ed away. Look at th e
m ain an gles in you r view.
8. Decid e on you r viewp oin t an d eye level.
9. Ad ju st th e ligh tin g if n ecessary.
10. Establish a form at an d size of d rawin g.
11. Decid e on you r m ed iu m an d p ap er.
12. Use th e viewfin d er fram e to see you r ch oice.
13. Make a box on you r p ap er th at is p rop ortion ally eq u al to you r
viewfin d er fram e at you r ch osen size.
14. Rem em ber th e d iagon als keep th e box an d fram e in p rop ortion .
15. Use you r p lastic p ictu re p lan e or you r viewfin d er fram e to see
th e arran gem en t or view in sp ace.
16. Site wh at you see on you r p age.
17. Start with ligh t p lan n in g lin es for th e sim p le sh ap es, lin es, an gles, an d th e gen eral ou tlin e.

Back to the Drawing Board


If an object appears too close, it
cannot really be there in the
same spot with the other object.
You can look straight down at
your arrangement, even diagram
it to help you see the space that
you have to draw in.

18. Ch eck you r in itial ligh t d rawin g for accu racy.


19. Ch eck th e sh ap es an d th e sp aces. Look at th e n egative sp aces,
h ow th in gs overlap , wh ich way th e an gles are. See th e basic
geom etric sh ap es in sp ace.
20. Look to see objects as if th ey were tran sp aren t. See th eir sp ace.
Im agin e a d otted lin e at th e back of wh ere th ey are to en su re
th ere is en ou gh sp ace for th e object to really be th ere in sp ace.
21. Use you r viewfin d er fram e to gau ge an y an gle relative to h orizon tal or vertical an d th e grid m arks on th e ed ge of th e fram e.
Use you r p en cil to d o th e sam e. Hold it at h orizon tal or vertical n ext to an an gle an d see th e d ifferen ce.
22. Use you r carp en ters an gle m easu re to see an an gle an d tran sfer it to you r d rawin g.

Try Your Hand


Remember, for fun or for help,
use your patio or sliding glass
door as a big plastic picture
plane.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

23. If you h ave a p roblem , u se th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e an d tran sfer wh at you see to you r
d rawin g.
24. Draw a box for som eth in g th at is h ard to d raw. Pu t th e box in sp ace, th en d raw th e
th in g in th e box.
25. See relation ally. As you are su re of on e sh ap e, relate th e oth ers to it. Keep ch eckin g
an d ad ju stin g u n til you are h ap p y with you r d rawin g.

A Form for Form


Now, begin to work on form . You can ad d ton e, or try to d efin e th e form with lin e, or you
can leave it a con tou r lin e d rawin g.
1. If you ch oose to ad d form , ad ju st you r ligh tin g if n ecessary.
2. Make a ton al ch art for th e valu es in you r arran gem en t.
3. Sq u in t to see th e extrem es of valu e in you r arran gem en t an d su bd u e th e d etail an d
m id -ton es.
4. Pick ou t th e ligh test sp ots an d th e d arkest.
5. Ad d som e ton e to th e m id d le sh ad es, from th e ligh ter on es to th e d arker on es.
6. Try to see ton es as h avin g sh ap es on you r su bjects.
7. Look at sh ad ows n ext to th in gs an d u n d er th in gs an d on oth er th in gs.
8. You can work toward a very ton al d rawin g or you can m erely su ggest volu m e, p erh ap s
ju st with sh ad ows.
9. Ad d d etail an d textu re after you see th e sh ap es an d th e form .
10. Use th ose n atu ralists eyes of you rs for a clear seein g of d etail.
11. Ren d erin g textu re req u ires a m ark th at is ap p rop riate for d escribin g th e textu re.
Exp erim en t on a sep arate p iece of p ap er.
12. Detail an d textu re m ay also req u ire a lot of p lan n in g an d m easu rin g if th ere is a p attern on ch in a, a fabric p rin t, or fin e d etail on seash ells.
13. Get u p an d look at you r work from a d istan ce. Look with fresh eyes. Don t h esitate to
go back an d fix som eth in g. Try th e reverse en d of a p air of bin ocu lars. Con sid er th e
view from a m irror.
14. Work p atien tlyit is you r d rawin g.
15. As you work, see th e lin es, ton es, textu res, an d d etail begin to work togeth er.
Th e fin ish p oin t, as always, is you r ch oice.

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Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

The Art of Drawing


See if your work is getting to be all one tone with little contrast. You can change your tonal
range by lightening the lights or darkening the darks or darkening the main lines in the contour
line, or erasing out part of the texture or tone to merely suggest it.

Exercising Your Rights


As you m ay h ave realized by n ow, n on e of th e exercises in th is book is a on e-n igh ter. You ll
wan t to go back to each of th em again an d again , becau se each of th em h as som eth in g
u n iq u e to teach you th at p racticin g can on ly im p rove. Don t forget, p ractice m akes p erfect,
an d th ats p art of wh at learn in g to d raw is all abou t!
In th e rest of th is book, you re goin g to be d rawin g everyth in g from p ots an d p an s to lan d scap es to an im als to p eop le, so you m ay wan t to review th e exercises in th is ch ap ter a few
m ore tim es before you take th at big step . Or, if you re like u s, you re read y to get ou t th ere
an d start d rawin g!

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 13 This Is a ReviewThere Will Be a Test

The Least You Need to Know


Looking back through your drawings will help you see just how far youve come already.

Youll want to go back to all of the exercises in this book more than once. Each of
them has something unique to offer. Use the crib list to remind you of how to go
about it.

Use the checklist to remind you of steps toward seeing and drawing.
Practice makes perfect!

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Chapter 14

All Around the


House: A Few
New Drawing
Ideas to Try
In This Chapter
Finding subjects to draw
Avoiding distraction and making time for your work
Touring your house from top to bottom
Making personal choicesyour drawings will be as individual as you are

I have probably drawn as many chairs and desks and corners and interior objects as I have
landscapes.
Hannah Hinchman, Bloom sbu ry Review Interview, Jan/Feb 2000.
Th e skills for d rawin g all th at follows are you rsor, at least, with in you r grasp if you p roceed step -by-step . Each of th e n ext seven ch ap ters h as a th em e area for you to exp lore: from
in sid e you r h ou se to you r gard en , or ou t an d abou t in th e cou n trysid e, on a village street, at
a boatyard , on a farm , at th e zooan ywh ere you ch oose to go with you r sketch book or a
fu ll d rawin g set-u p .

Your House Is Full of Ideas for Drawing Practice


In th is ch ap ter, you ll begin by takin g a walk th rou gh you r own h ou se an d seein g wh at
you ve alread y got, ju st waitin g to be d rawn . Ch an ces are, you ve got a wealth of m aterial.
You can try an y su bject as a sketch book/ jou rn al en try, or you can set u p to try a larger,
m ore fin ish ed d rawin g th at you will work on a few tim es. If so, p ick a n ice p iece of p ap er
an d sp en d th e first session p lan n in g, arran gin g, ligh tin g, an d sitin g you r arran gem en t on
th e p age.

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Time Is of the Essence


On th e p lu s sid e, you r h ou se h as all you r favorite stu ff. On th e m in u s sid e, it h as m ost of
you r d istraction s righ t th ere, too. Of cou rse, h igh ly d iscip lin ed p rofession als like Lau ren
an d Lisa lon g ago cam e to term s with th ese d istraction s. (An d if you believe th at on e, we
h ave a brid ge th at you cou ld bu y )
Seriou sly, th ou gh , bein g earn est abou t you r tim e is th e first step . Maybe you h ave h ad
en ou gh su ccess with th is book to be m ore com m itted to you r own work. If th ats th e case,
keep it u p !
On ce you ve fou n d som e stu ff arou n d th e h ou se you wan t to d raw, you ll wan t to set a tim e
to work. Do en ou gh of you r d aily ch ores to get by, bu t on ly ju st. Th is is th e h ard p art, leavin g th ose d ish es so you can d raw. You m ay h ear you r m oth ers voice in you r h ead , tellin g
you you re bein g self-in d u lgen t or ch ild ish . Lesson On e: Ign ore h er.
Get you r coffee, you r lu n ch , wh atever you n eed , an d give you rself a tim e slot to work.
Som e p eop le fin d actu ally writin g th e tim e on th eir calen d ar is en ou gh to m ake th em arrive
in th eir stu d io, read y to work.
Tu rn on th e an swerin g m ach in e, tu rn off th e com p u ter. Tu rn on som e m u sic, tu rn off th e
TV. Pu t ou t th e d og an d let in th e cat.

The Art of Drawing


The most important thing is to make this time your own. That means that if the UPS man rings
the bell, you wont answer; hell leave the package on your stoop or with a neighbor. It means
that even if you hear your long-lost lovers voice on the answering machine, you wont give in
to the urge to pick up the phone. You wont go to see what the dog is barking at now, even if
the coyotes are howling, too. Uninterrupted time is what were talking about here. Make a date
with yourselfand then keep it.

Your Kitchen Is a Storehouse

Back to the Drawing Board


Rearranging is one thing, but
major renovation takes time
away from drawing. Dont use it
as an excuse for not drawing!

166

A good p lace to start is righ t in you r kitch en you ll be n ear th e coffeem aker. However, you ll wan t to avoid th e refrigerator, for obviou s
reason syou ll en d u p sn ackin g in stead of sketch in g. W h at you will
ch oose to d raw in th e kitch en or an ywh ere arou n d th e h ou se, for th at
m atterwill fall in to th ree categories:
1. Objects seen u p close an d p erson al
2. A com p osed still life arran gem en t
3. A corn er of a room as is, or you can rearran ge th e
fu rn itu re

Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

Anything from around


your house is fair game
as a drawing subject.

You will learn by tryin g all of th ese th in gs. Perh ap s, after you h ave tried to see it an d d raw
it, you will also begin to see you r h ou se d ifferen tly an d en d u p rearran gin g it (u n less, like
Lisa, you d o th is all th e tim e alread y).
Bu t n ow, sin ce you re all settled with you r coffee an d you r d rawin g p ad in you r kitch en
an yway, lets p oke arou n d an d see wh at we can fin d to d raw.

Silverware
Forks, sp oon s, an d kn ives can m ake th e m ost in terestin g of su bjects for a d rawin g. Reach
over an d op en you r silverware d rawer an d p u ll ou t on e of each or th ree of on e. Arran ge
th em on a p lacem at, or set u p an en tire p lace settin g, com p lete with a vase an d fresh -p icked
flower, an d d raw th at.
Silverware an d p lace settin gs are ju st th e begin n in g. Op en you r cu p board s, too.
Set your table and draw
it, too!

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Pitchers and Bowls


W h en you wan d er th rou gh you r local art m u seu m or galleries, you ll p robably n otice th at
p itch ers an d bowls abou n d in still lifes. Th ese objects are artists favorites for good reason ;
th ey h ave lovely cu rved lin es th at are fu n to d raw, an d th eir varyin g sh ap es an d sizes can
ad d in terest, too.
If you d ecid e to d raw a p itch er or a bowl (or both ), you m ay wan t to u se som e oth er objects
in th e kitch en for you r arran gem en t as well. A tea towel arran ged at th e base of a p itch er
can ad d both d im en sion an d sh ad in g. Som e ap p les or oran ges p laced in a bowl can ad d
color (even wh en you re d rawin g in black an d wh ite) an d ton e.

Make a simple still life by setting some fruit in a bowl and then drawing it. Or just draw your plate
rackdishes included, of course. Then, bring it all together.
Th e tru th is, ju st abou t an yth in g in you r kitch en is a p oten tial d rawin g su bject. So wh eth er
its a loaf of bread , a ju g of lem on ad e, or th ou , get th ee to a d rawin g p ad .

Not Just for Sleeping Anymore


If you ve fin ish ed you r coffee (an d you r still life), you ve p robably got
lots of en ergy n ow. Th ats good , becau se its tim e to get u p an d wan d er
in to som e oth er room s. Lets start with th e bed room , wh ere th eres a
wealth of th in gs ju st waitin g to be d rawn .

Back to the Drawing Board


Watch out with stripesyou have
to pay attention to where they
go and where they come out.
Make a flowered pattern work
by carefully measuring and planning before you start drawing.

168

First, take a look at th e en tire room . How is th e fu rn itu re arran ged ? Is it


p leasin g? Pick a van tage p oin t you like an d q u ickly sketch wh at you
see. You m ay wan t to toss a scarf over a bed p ost to ad d som e textu re,
or m ove a p lan t to create a m ore eye-p leasin g arran gem en t. You m ay
d ecid e to leave th e scarf an d th e p lan t wh ere you ve m oved th em after
you ve fin ish ed d rawin g, too; th ats p art of th e fu n .
Next, p ick som e sin gu lar arran gem en t in you r room th at you d like to
d raw. Lisa h as an old sp id er p lan t set in an eq u ally old basket on an an tiq u e ch air sh e got at a Nebraska au ction for 25 cen ts (everyth in g in
Lisas h ou se com es with a story attach ed ). You m igh t h ave som e of
you r favorite p h otos or keep sakes arran ged on you r d resser, or a lam p
an d som e books on you r n igh tstan d . Th e p ossibilities are en d less.

Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

Lisas spider plant on


antique chair, drawn by
her daughter.

Fabrics
Fabrics can m ake a su rp risin gly p leasin g com p osition . Even if you d on t sew, you r cloth es,
com forter, p illows, an d cu rtain s are each of a d ifferen t fabric, an d settin g on e again st an oth er can create an arran gem en t you ll wan t to d raw.
It m ay h elp to p reten d you re Marth a Stewart. Artfu lly arran ge a few p illows again st you r
h ead board . Ad d a breakfast tray (oh yeah , we all h ave th ose h an d y). How abou t a p retty
n igh tie, or a fabric th row? (Or som e craftsm en s tools, a saw or two, an d th at Harley )
Arran ge you r fabrics as if th eyre casu ally th rown , with ou t th em lookin g like a m ess.
Fabrics p resen t th eir own u n iq u e p roblem s. Th ey are th e essen ce of su rface textu re, with all
sorts of sp ots, lin es, p attern s, p laid s, flowersyou n am e itsittin g on top of som e flexible
m aterial th at h as fallen in to in terestin g bu t h ard -to-d raw fold s, creases, an d overlap s.
Th e solu tion is to d raw th e sh ap es first, as always, bu t th is is ever so m u ch m ore im p ortan t
with fabric. Th en look at ton e, th e ligh ts an d sh ad ows of th e fold s of fabric. Try to ligh tly
sh ad e to d efin e wh at th e fabric is d oin g.
W h en you can see in you r d rawin g wh at th e fabric is actu ally d oin g, th en an d on ly th en
sh ou ld you start ad d in g th e su rface textu re. See it d isap p ear as th e fabric fold s u n d er itself.
Or is it covered by an oth er object? Does it com e ou t on th e oth er sid e? Don t ru sh alon g
h ere; p attern an d textu re take tim e an d p atien ce.
An artful arrangement
of fabrics can make a
lovely drawing.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Shoes
Even if you re n ot Im eld a Marcos, you ve p robably got m ore th an on e p air of sh oes. Lisa is
n ot a sh oe m aven , bu t h er closet reveals rid in g boots, h ikin g boots, two p airs of h eels (both
from th e 70s), san d als, an d loafers. If you ve got a p air of rid in g boots, try lean in g th em
again st th e leg of a ch air, an d th en d rawin g th em . Or p u t th e san d als on a th row ru g an d
th row in th e towel, too. W h at you d raw is lim ited on ly by you r im agin ation .
Even your shoes can
make a pleasing
arrangement.

Hats and Gloves


Pictu re a p air of elbow-len gth gloves d rap ed across th e brim of a wid e-brim m ed h at, an d
you ve got th e m akin gs of a lovely d rawin g. Bu t even if you r gloves an d h at are less elegan t,
th eyre still a good start for an in terestin g arran gem en t.
Lets say th e on ly h at you can fin d is a ski cap . Do you h ave ski gloves, too? No gloves at
all? W h y n ot brew u p a steam in g cu p of cocoa? Draw it an d it will warm you u p on th e
cold est of win ter d ays. Get th e id ea?
Set your hat and a basket on a table and draw
them.

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Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

Drawing in the Living Room


Lets try an oth er room . How abou t you r livin g room ? Is th is a form al p lace, reserved on ly for com p an y? Or d o you h ave a great
room wh ere you r en tire fam ily gath ers at th e en d of th e d ay? If
its th e latter, ch an ces are you ll fin d everyth in g from op en books
to u n op en ed m ail, from television rem ote con trols to Gam eboys.
An yth in g in you r livin g or great room is fair gam e, in clu d in g you r
sp ou se sn orin g in h is or h er favorite ch air. Bu t even if th at ch air is
u n occu p ied , it m ay be ju st th e th in g.

Try Another Chair


Th e first ch air you d rew was a fairly sim p le on e, so th is tim e, try
d rawin g a ch air th ats a bit m ore elaborate. You re in th e livin g
room , so you ve p robably got a n u m ber of ch oicesfrom a wellworn reclin er to an an tiq u e rocker or even , p erh ap s, a Victorian
settee or fain tin g cou ch . Take a look at th e d ifferen t textu res of
wood or fabric. W h at p leases you m ost?

Back to the Drawing Board


When it comes to drawing a
chair, you may decide to return
to your plastic picture plane to
get the angles just right. If so,
thats fine. Remember, artists use
aids like plastic picture planes
and view finder frames all the
time, so theres no reason you
should feel like youre cheating if
you do, too.

Chairs make simple and convenient drawing subjects.

Antique Lampsand Antique Things


Lisas h u sban d teases th at sh e will n ever h ave en ou gh an tiq u e lam p s, an d , wh ile Lisa d isagrees an d in sists th at sh e bou gh t th e last on e th is p ast weeken d , fin d in g an tiq u e lam p s to
d raw will n ot be a p roblem if you re at Lisas h ou se.
An tiq u eswh eth er lam p s, tables, or even Un d erwood typ ewritersare terrific d rawin g su bjects for a n u m ber of reason s. Th eyre u n u su al (you won t fin d th em at every Wal-Mart),
th eyre attractive, an d th ey u su ally h ave en ou gh visu al in terest to carry off a d rawin g all by
th em selves, with ou t ad d in g a th in g. Lam p s, can d les, an d th e warm glow th ey give off, p rovid e in terestin g ch allen ges to th e carefu l observer.

171

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Light up a drawing by including an antique lamp or candlesticks.

The Art of Drawing


Try for unusual mixes, things that might not typically be put together. The arrangement may really surprise you. Consider humor or at least whimsy as you look for things and arrangements.
The world is too serious, so have some fun as you draw.

Objects That Reflect You


We all collect som eth in g, it seem s, som eth in g th at we ju st can t resist in a sh op , or som eth in g th at we fin d on a trip , or som eth in g we fou n d in n atu re, an d th en all of a su d d en
th ere are m ore of th e sam e, an d a collection is in th e m akin g. Th ese are th e th in gs th at p erson al d rawin gs are m ad e of.
Lau ren h as been a collector sin ce ch ild h ood , wh en sh e filled h er d resser d rawers with sh ells,
rocks, p in econ es, an d a collection of h u n d red s of wild flowers p ressed in waxed p ap er.
(Cloth in g was less im p ortan t th en .) Now sh e h as a large stu d io to h ou se all h er collection s,
wh ich are h er favorite th in gs to d raw.
Use th e th in gs th at you love in you r d rawin gs to give th em a tru ly p erson al q u ality.

Bathroom Basics
After all th at coffee you h ad in th e kitch en , you ve p robably visited th e bath room on ce or
twice alread y sin ce you began th is ch ap ter; lets h ead th ere n ow on ce again an d see wh at
you can fin d to d raw h ere. Even th is m ost u tilitarian of room s will su rp rise you with its
p oten tial d rawin g su bjects.

172

Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

W h ats on you r bath room cou n ter? Half-em p ty bottles of lotion , em p ty can s of m ou sse,
op en m ascara tu bes, an d broken lip sticks or a p retty arran gem en t of seash ells in a
basket? A razor, n ail clip p er, d irty towel, an d soap scu m ? W h ich ever way, th eres som eth in g
th ere for you to d raw. Su re, th e seash ells in th e basket will m ake for a m ore visu ally p leasin g d rawin g, bu t th e d etritu s will m ake for an u n u su al on e th at m ay be visu ally strikin g in
its own righ t. Pretty is as p retty d oes, after all, an d beau ty is in th e eye of th e beh old er.
Dont toss those empty
bottlesdraw them instead! Or draw those
seashells in their basket.
Any arrangement in your
bathroom can be the
makings for a drawing.

A Sunny Window
Fin d a room th at h as a su n n y win d ow. Does th e su n p ou r th rou gh in th e early m orn in g or
ju st before su n set? Maybe it gets filtered n orth ern ligh t, a favorite of artists, or d ap p led
ligh t filtered th rou gh th e leaves of a tall old tree.
W h ats on you r win d owsill? An arran gem en t of colored bottles can be th e basis of a sim p le
bu t lovely lin e d rawin gwith ou t on e color p en cil bein g u sed . If you r win d ow is fram ed by
sweep in g sh eer cu rtain s th at flu tter in th e breeze, an oth er n ice d rawin g su bject is at you r
fin gertip s.
Two lovely window
arrangements to draw
(see next page).

173

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

By n ow, it sh ou ld be clear th at th e p ossibilities for d rawin g su bjects in you r h om e are lim ited on ly by you r im agin ation . So grab you r p en cil an d p ap er, an d get to work!

Out of the House and onto the Patio (Door)


W h ile you r m aterials an d su bjects can vary en d lessly, th e p rocess is essen tially th e sam e
every sin gle tim e you begin a n ew d rawin g. Th e m in or variation s are you r n eed s at th e tim e
an d you r ch oices as to h ow to p roceed , wh at m ed iu m to u se, or h ow
fin ish ed a p iece you are tryin g for.

Back to the Drawing Board


Dry-erase pens are pens designed to mark on smooth surfaces and wipe off easily. Delis
use them for writing the days
specials. Look for them in an art
or stationery store.

174

Rem em ber, for fu n or for h elp , u se you r p atio or slid in g glass d oor as a
big p lastic p ictu re p lan e. Pu t a few objects on a table righ t ou tsid e th e
d oor an d try to d raw th em on th e glass. Use a dry-erase pen th at m akes
a read able lin e. You can d raw you r p atio or d eck ch airs on th e glass, or
m aybe som e p otted p lan ts or a trellis p lan ted with a vin e. You will fin d
th at objects n eed to be very close to th e d oor, or th ey will be very
sm all wh en you d raw th em on th e glass. If th e ligh t ou tsid e is stron g
en ou gh , you can m ake a tracin g of you r d rawin g on ligh tweigh t p ap er,
u sin g th e d oor as a big ligh t box. In an u rban lan d scap e, u se you r
ap artm en t win d ow or glass terrace d oor; d raw th e bu ild in gs you see,
com p lete with their win d ows, terraces, an d fire escap es.
W h ere th e fin ish p oin t is will always be you r ch oice. You are d on e
wh en you are d on e.

Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

On ce you begin to look at th e th in gs in you r h ou se as objects to be d rawn , you ll fin d th e


p ossibilities lim ited by on ly you r im agin ation . Don t be afraid to exp erim en t. Noth in gs a
m istake wh en it com es to d rawin g; everyth in gs a learn in g exp erien ce. So grab th at coffeep ot an d you r p en cil an d get to work!
Your home truly is your
castle when it comes to
drawing subjects.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 14 All Around the House: A Few New Drawings to Try

The Least You Need to Know


Anything in your house can be a subject for a drawing.
Exploring your house for things to draw can be a journey of discovery as well.
Distractions are not allowed!
Make a date with yourself.
Take your timeand have fun!

177

Chapter 15

Into the Garden


with Pencils,
not Shovels

In This Chapter
The pleasures of drawing in a garden
Botanical drawing as science and art
Explore the natural world outside your garden

When I spoke of flowers, I was a flower, with all the prerogatives of flowers, especially the
right to come alive in the Spring.
William Carlos Williams
En ou gh tim e sp en t wan d erin g arou n d you r h ou seits tim e to get ou td oors an d see wh at
else th ere is to d raw. Not su rp risin gly, th eres a wealth of m aterial ju st ou tsid e you r d oor. Go
ah ead , op en it u p , an d step in to th e won d erlan d of d rawin g su bjects th at is you r gard en .
In th e begin n in g, th ere was Ed en , th at m ost fam ou s of gard en s. Su re, Ad am an d Eve were
ban ish ed , bu t weve been workin g ou r way back ever sin ce. With a sketch book in h an d , you
can su cceed wh ere Ad am an d Eve failed (an d even get th at trou blesom e sn ake n ailed d own
in an illu stration ) by d rawin g a gard en th at will last an d last.

Botanical Drawing Is an Art


A flower offers a removed beauty, more abstract than it can be in the human being, even more
exquisite.
Maria Oakey Dewing, Flowers Painters, Art & Progress 6, No.8 (June 1915).
Th e first step in d rawin g an yth in g in n atu re is learn in g to see it an d d raw its p arts, su ch as
th e sep arate p arts of flowers, with th e sam e atten tion you ve learn ed to give to all d etails.
From p etals an d stam en s to leaves an d stem s, every p art of a flower h as a wealth of d etail,
th ere for th e seein g.

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

The parts of a flower.


You dont need to know
their names, but you do
need to examine them in
separate detail in order
to render them on the
page.

Stigma
Style
Anther
Filament

Pistils
Petal

Stamen

Ovary

W h en you first start ou t d rawin g sp ecim en s from n atu re, its best to work at a scale th ats 75
p ercen t to 100 p ercen t of th e origin al, so you can see an d d raw th e d etail.
Playin g with scale com es with p ractice, an d on ce you re com fortable
with workin g close to reality, for fu n you can try 200 p ercen t or 400
p ercen tan d really see th e d etail.

Take Your Sketchbook with You


Artists Sketchbook
Al fresco, Italian for in the
fresh air, is the term for doing
things outsideincluding drawing, of course.

W h at if you h aven t got a gard en of you r own ? W h at a great reason to


h ead for th e h ills or th e botan ical gard en , or even th e ritzy section of
town . Pack u p you r d rawin g su p p lies in th e tru n k. For d rawin g al fresco,
you m ay wan t to ad d th e followin g to you r d rawin g kit as well:
A stool, for sittin g
An easel or d rawin g board , for settin g you r p ad on
Clip s, to h old you r sketch book in p lace
An u m brella or h at, for sh ad e
W h eth er you re d rawin g in you r gard en or som eon e elses, be aware of
p lace. A sen se of p lace is a stron g elem en t in gard en d rawin g, wh atever
th e view. Con sid er th e followin g before you set u p you r stool an d easel:

Try Your Hand


No matter what the weather,
make your garden subject as special as it is through all the seasons.

1. Make su re it is clear wh ere you are. Ligh t an d sh ad e are as im p ortan t to a d rawin g as th e objects th em selves.
2. How d oes it feel?
W h at is th e ligh t like?
W h at tim e of d ay is it?
Do you feel th e warm th of th e su n or a cool breeze, welcom e sh ad e on a h ot d ay, or th e briskn ess of fall?

180

Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

Try to capture the feel of the weather and the season, as well as the day itself, in your drawing.
Atmosphere!

It Started with Eden


Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know that the flower is painted large enough to convey to you my experience of the flower and what is my experience of the
flower if it is not color.
Georgia OKeeffe
W h en it com es to flowers, a rose is n ot ju st a rose, as Gertru d e Stein said , it is the rose, the
one you are lookin g at righ t th is m in u te. Su re, it h as sim ilarities to oth er roses, bu t it also
h as a d etail th at is all its own .
Learn to look for th is sin gu larity in all of n atu re. Th in k abou t in d ivid u al p lan ts as in d ivid u als. Lau ren likes to th in k of th em as if th ey are frien d s, esp ecially in th e sp rin g (th e season
as we write th is), wh en sh e h as been m issin g th em . Th en , its like greetin g old frien d s an d
m eetin g n ew on es.
Th eres n oth in g like th e feelin g wh en th ose first crocu ses an d d affod ils com e u p in th e gard en . Its a rem in d er of th e cycle of life, of ren ewal an d rebirth . No m atter h ow u tterly blu e
you ve felt all win ter, seein g th ose first brave sh oots of green p u sh th rou gh th e sn ow rem in d s u s th at su m m er is ju st arou n d th e ben d .
W h eth er its sp rin gtim e, su m m er, or au tu m n , you can u se wh atevers bloom in g in you r gard en to p ractice d rawin g flowers an d leaves. Th is p ractice will h elp you ach ieve p recision in
you r d rawin g tech n iq u e, as well as h on in g you r p owers of m in u te observation .

181

Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Every flower and leaf of


every plant has a shape
and detail all its own.

Be a Botanist
Bein g a botan ist d oesn t h ave to m ean goin g back to college. You can learn a lot abou t
p lan ts sim p ly by observin g th em , an d , wh en it com es to d rawin g, observation tim e is tim e
well sp en t.
1. Begin by exam in in g th e basic sh ap es th at are fam iliar,
in clu d in g
Con es.
Disks.
Sp h eres.

Try Your Hand


When drawing a new species, remember to look for the angles
and proportions. Each butterfly
or lizard has its own shapes, proportions, coloring, and texture to
explore as you draw. Shells, particularly, have a strong line or
axis from tip to end that needs
to be seen and drawn. The myriad of detail in nature is its
strength and its wonder.

182

Tru m p ets.
Flu ted sh ap es.
Balls.
2. How d o th e p istils an d stam en attach to th e stem ? (You m ay
wan t to refer back to th e d rawin g at th e begin n in g of th is ch ap ter to see ju st wh at an d wh ere p istils an d stam en are.)
3. Cou n t th e p etals. Do th ey ap p ear in p airs or grou p s? Are th ey
sym m etrical? How d o th e flowers fit on th e stem ?
4. Look at leaves on th e stem . Are th ey altern ately or op p ositely
arran ged ? Look at th e stem con n ection .
5. Get botan y or gard en in g books to read abou t d etail an d stru ctu re if th ey are n ew to you . Ju st flip p in g th rou gh th e p ages will
begin to give you a better id ea of wh at flowers are all abou t.

Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

Work on a Blooming Stem


Okay, en ou gh stu d yin g! Its tim e to try d rawin g a bloom in g stem . For you r first su bject,
you ll wan t to look at bu d s, seed s, an d stem s, an d d ecid e wh at you d like to d raw. On ce
you ve p icked ou t a su bject, u se th e d rawin g ch ecklist th at ap p ears on th e tear-ou t referen ce
card in th e fron t of th e book, an d get to work.
As th e season p rogresses, look at seed s, p od s, berries, n u ts, con es an yth in g you can fin d
in you r gard en or an y oth er gard en , an d d raw th ose, too. Th e m ore you d raw, rem em ber,
th e m ore p ractice you get. Even tu ally, th e sh ap es an d form s will be rem em bered by you r
h an d , fam iliar an d easy to execu te.
A variety of blooming
stems.

Butterflies, Insects, and Seashells, Too


The eye that sees is the I experiencing itself in what it sees. It becomes self-aware and realizes
that it is an integral part of the great continuum of all that is. It sees things such as they are.
Frederick Frank
You r flower d rawin gs can in clu d e all th e win ged visitors to you r gard en an d a m ix of
seash ells arou n d th e p ots or alon g th e p ath s. Ch in ese an d Jap an ese n atu re art h as always
in clu d ed bu tterflies, in sects, an d seash ells to com p lim en t th e flowers an d foliage, an d you
can d o th is, too. Ad d wh at you see in you r gard en , from bu tterflies an d h u m m in gbird s in
n orth ern gard en s to sn akes an d lizard s on trop ical p atios.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Garden drawings dont have to be just flowers and plants. Dont forget the insects, shells, and
butterflies. When drawing a bird or butterfly, you might want to have a good reference book
on hand to study. For precision, try copying high quality, detailed images before you venture
outdoors. This effort will enhance your nature studies when you try to capture the moment in
the wild!

Go Wild!
When you draw a leaf that has become a fragile net of veins, you are really marveling at the
wonder of nature and finding a way of capturing that fragility.
Jill Bays

The Art of Drawing


Lauren learned flower fairy tales and woods lore from her grandfather, who was an avid naturalist and artist. The fleeting delicacy of wildflowers and the pristine climate they thrive in is there
to be enjoyed, but should be carefully respected and protected. Dont pick wildflowers; go out
and visit them and draw them where they live. You will both be better off for the effort.

Wild flowers are Lau ren s favorites; th ey h ave always been . Th ey were like frien d s wh en sh e
was a kid , an d are still. For Lau ren , th e best p art of sp rin g is seein g th em retu rn , waitin g
for a sp ecial on e, an d h u n tin g in wood s or field s to fin d a wild flower th at sh e h asn t seen

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Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

lately. Wild flower m ead ows are great p laces to fin d beau tifu l an d p len tifu l d rawin g su bjects.
Th e n atu ral arran gem en ts are fu n an d freeform , with ou t th e p ressu re of a h igh ly arran ged
still life. Or, take th e ch allen ge to see a great com p osition lu rkin g in th at aim less m ead ow.
The natural beauty of
wildflowers is a natural
for your sketchbook, too.

The Almighty Vegetable


You can tell h ow m u ch th e Italian s love th eir gard en s by lookin g at Italian artwork. Th e atten tion to d etail an d th e variation is en d less. On e of Italian artists favorite su bjects (oth er
th an overweigh t wom en an d p rop h ets, th at is) is th e alm igh ty vegetable. Bu t d on t ru n
back in sid e an d op en th e crisp er of you r refrigerator. Lets try d rawin g som e vegetables before th eyve been sep arated from th eir leaves an d vin es.
Drawin g in you r (or som eon e elses) vegetable gard en is a season -lon g en d eavor. You can
begin at p lan tin g tim e, wh en th e first com p ost is m ixed with th e n ewly d efrosted earth an d
you lay in th e rows wh ere you ll p lan t you r seed s. Try to cap tu re h ow th at fresh -tu rn ed
earth sm ells (esp ecially if you r com p ost in clu d es m an u re ).
Next, its p lan tin g tim e. Draw a q u ick sketch after th e seed s are raked in . Get th e id ea?
You re m akin g a record of a season in you r vegetable gard en , on e step at a tim e.
Soon , th e first fragile green seed lin gs will p op u p . Get ou t th ere with you r sketch book an d
d raw th em , too. Su re, th e d rawin g will still be m ostly d irt, bu t soon en ou gh you r gard en
will be bu rstin g with growth , an d you ll h ave you r d rawin g to see h ow far itan d you
h ave com e.
Before you kn ow it, th e first p ickin gs will be read y. Draw th em d roop in g from th eir vin es,
an d th en d raw th em in th eir baskets, fresh ly p icked .
How d id m ere d irt en d u p as so m u ch bou n ty? Too m an y vegetables, so little tim e. Still,
take a m in u te to sketch th e bu m p er crop , before th e big giveaway. Be su re to in clu d e th at
sign at th e en d of you r d riveway: Free Zu cch in i.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

After th e h arvest, th e em p ty vin es an d stalks m ay alread y be begin n in g to brown . Draw


th em before you rake th em ou t an d com p ost th em . Th ere! You ve record ed a season in you r
vegetable gard en . An d n ext year, you can d o it all over again . Drawin g vegetables, vin es,
an d stalks is a great p ractice in d iscoverin g a variety of sh ap es an d form s an d h ow th ey
em erge an d evolve across th e season an d th e p ages of you r sketch book!

Record an entire season in your garden, and you can flip through it during the winter to
remind you of all the work you dont have to do when its cold outside!

Garden Pots and Tools


Th e Italian s are also m asters at con tain er gard en s. Th eir balcon ies an d d oorways are always
d ecorated with collection s of p ots an d p lan ters, filled with variety in color an d textu re.

The Art of Drawing


Pots and saucers in drawings must be seen and drawn carefully to keep them from tilting and
tipping or looking flat. Remember to establish eye level and look hard at the ellipses on the
pots and saucers. The closer they are to eye level, the flatter they are; the further down below
eye level they are, the wider they will be. The pots need to be symmetrical. And dont forget to
check that they are really vertical: A light line up the center helps to check. Make sure you
have drawn them accurately before you start rendering them.

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Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

Plan ters, win d ow boxes, an d con tain er gard en s are all sm all exercises in p ersp ective, wh ich
well be d iscu ssin g in Ch ap ter 16, W h ats You r Persp ective? Draw th em u sin g in form al p ersp ective. Establish eye level. See th em as geom etric sh ap es in sp ace: cylin d ers, sp h eres, cu bes,
an d rectan gu lar boxes. Make th em sit or h an g correctly, an d th en fill th em with d etail.
Gard en tools again st a ston e wall or th e sid e of a gard en sh ed m ake a ch arm in g arran gem en t
with as m u ch ch allen ge as you are u p for th at d ay.

Everything in your garden is fair game for a


drawing.

Gardens Other Than Your Own


W h en Lau ren was in college, sh e cu t m ost of h er figu re-d rawin g classes for trip s u p to th e
green h ou ses an d barn s th at were at th e ed ge of cam p u s in th e agricu ltu re sch ool. Sh e d rew
every aftern oon in th e warm m oist air of th e green h ou ses, breath in g d eep ly en ou gh to

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

rem em ber th e scen t u n til th e n ext tim e sh e cou ld get th ere. W h en it


was warm er, sh e wen t to th e barn s an d d rew baby p igs an d sh eep , an d
som etim es th e colts in th e field s. Her sketch books, wh en sh e tu rn ed
th em in , were a su rp rise to h er in stru ctors, bu t th ey h ad realized sh e
was n ot atten d in g th e life classsh e was ou t d rawin g life.

Back to the Drawing Board


When youre out and about,
take care to shield your work by
carrying it in a portfolio and
protect it by placing a sheet of
paper under your hand as you go
so you dont smudge it.

As weve said , gard en s can in clu d e gard en cen ters, green h ou ses,
botan ical gard en sn ot ju st a gard en of you r own . Ch an ces are, you r
local n u rsery won t m in d a bit if you set u p you r stool an d easel in th e
m id d le of th eir green h ou se. Th ey m ay even ask to p u rch ase on e or two
of you r d rawin gsyou r first sale!
On e word of warn in g: Ou td oor d rawin g attracts atten tion , wh ich isn t
always good for altered states of con sciou sn ess. If you p refer to work
u n observed , you ll n eed to fin d a n ice, q u iet p lace to work, with ou t
ou tsid e in terru p tion s. An d th at in clu d es m akin g su re th eres n ot a bu ll
on th e sam e sid e of th e fen ce as you are!

What Else Is in Your Garden?


Ou r gard en s are reflection s of ou rselves, ou r exp erim en ts, an d ou r fan tasies. Th ey are p laces
of th e sou l, an d so are p erfect for d rawin g. You r gard en can be sim p le an d au stere, p ractical
or fan cifu l, fu ssy or tailored an d so can you r d rawin gs. Try to reflect you r gard en s p erson ality in you r d rawin gs, th en try an oth er, very d ifferen t gard en , with a d ifferen t ap p roach . Make you r gard en d rawin gs as p erson al as th e gard en s th em selves.

From Figures to FrogsAnd a Few Deer and Gnomes


Statu es, from figu res to frogs, with a few d eer, wh eelbarrows, an d gn om es th rown in for
fu n , can be p resen t in you r gard en an d you r d rawin gs. Th e som ewh at d im in u tive scale of
gard en orn am en ts can be fu n to p lay with in a d rawin g. Flowers are fu n with scaled -d own
gard en statu es becau se th ey becom e relatively larger th an u su al.
Orn am en tals an d statu es go from classical to com ic, from flash y to p eacefu l an d con tem p lative, from n atu ral m aterials to d esign er h igh -tech looks. W h atever you ch oose,
rem em ber: Its you r gard en an d you r d rawin g.
Arch es an d gates are oth er won d erfu l op p ortu n ities to p ractice p ersp ective, wh ich
well be d iscu ssin g in Ch ap ter 16. Draw th e basic sh ap e in in form al p ersp ective, bu t
u se d iagon als to h elp you locate th e cen ter of an y op en in g or arch correctly.
Gard en p ath s, lon g an d win d in g or sh ort an d straigh t, ad d d irection an d stru ctu re to a d rawin g. Make su re you h ave d rawn
th em with eye level in m in d so th ey lay flat in th e gard en scap e.

Try Your Hand


Shadows on a plain wall can be a
fascinating subject for a drawing.

188

Walls are great backd rop s for th e d etail in a gard en , bu t th ey


are also in terestin g su bjects in th em selves. Get th e an gles righ t
an d watch th at th e rock sh ap es d on t becom e m on oton ou s. See
th e sm all sh ap es an d an gles th at m ake each rock d ifferen t.
If you are lu cky en ou gh to h ave rocks, a rockscap e, a rock-lin ed
reflectin g p ool, or a waterfall, you h ave a world of p laces to exp lore in you r d rawin gs.

Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

Whether its a plethora of flamingos, drying flowers, or birdhouses, the ornamental objects in a
garden can make for wonderful drawing subjects.

Birds, Birdhouses, Feeders, and Squirrels


Ou r gard en s also are h om e to a year-lon g variety of bird s as well as th e som etim es u n wan ted sq u irrels. Lau ren s yard h as a collection of feed ers th at are very bu sy all d ay lon g. Sh e
can watch th e early feed ers from h er h ot tu b as sh e d rin ks th e first of h er m an y cu p s of coffee, an d sh e h as a d aily com p etition with th ree sq u irrels to see wh os ou t of bed first. Som e
m orn in gs, sh e can catch th em as th ey com e ou t of th eir n est in a far tree.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

All of wh at h ap p en s in you r yard is m aterial for d rawin g, too. Th e feed ers an d bird h ou ses
are great for p racticin g p ersp ective, too. You can h an g th em at variou s h eigh ts an d d raw
th em u sin g in form al relation al p ersp ective, or you can d raw th em with form al two-p oin t
p ersp ective as an exercise. Even tu ally, you will fin d th ey are easy to see an d d raw at an y
an gle or h eigh t.
Th e bird s an d sq u irrels m ove arou n d q u ickly, bu t if you h ave a good viewin g win d ow, you
can begin to m ake som e sketch es th at cap tu re th eir gestu res, sh ap es, an d p rop ortion s.

The fauna in your garden are as much a part of nature as the flora. Draw them, too. Birdhouses and
feeders provide opportunities to develop your perspective skills and learn about geometric shapes, while
also beginning to observe and try your hand at drawing living creatures.

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Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

Chairs in the Grass


Ch airs in th e yard are ju st like ch airs in th e h ou se, excep t you can get a little tan wh ile you
are d rawin g. Ad iron d ack ch airs are a ch allen ge, p icn ic tables n eed to be d rawn so th ey stay
flat on th e grou n d , rou n d tables with u m brellas are well worth th e tim e to see an d d raw, an d
even a lin e of cloth es d ryin g in th e breeze can m ake a n ice d rawin g. Be aware of sh ad ows
an d th e sh ap es th ey m ake. Th ey can ad d a lot to a sim p le d rawin g of a ch air in you r yard .
Th e p ossibilities in you r gard en an d beyon d are lim ited on ly by you r im agin ation . So get
ou t th ere an d see wh at you can see an d d raw.

Get off your chair and draw it! Begin to see how to create an environment and a mood, or capture a moment
in a blowing breeze, with your drawing.

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Part 4 Developing Drawing Skills

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 15 Into the Garden, with Pencils, not Shovels

The Least You Need to Know


A garden is perhaps the best reason for learning to draw: It provides an unending
supply of delight and challenge.

Be prepared, even in your own yard. Use a hat or umbrella. When going out in the
woods or fields, take adequate protection against insects and the sun.

Be a botanist when drawing from nature. Look at each specimen as an individual,


and see what makes it different and special.

Take advantage of garden centers, botanical gardens, if you are a city dweller you

may need to resort to your local market or grocery store for a bouquet of flowers.

Have some fun with statues, gates, or waterfalls. Remember: Its your garden drawing.

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Part 5

Out and About with


Your Sketchbook
To learn about drawing the world around you, well be looking at perspective, that important
way of seeing three-dimensional space that artists use. Then, well go outside to use your newfound knowledge and apply the principles of perspective, starting with your house, your neighborhood, and onward to the larger landscape of your world.

Chapter 16

Whats Your
Perspective?

In This Chapter
Realizing you are not lost in space
Exploring your point of view
Getting things in proportion
Finding the vanishing point

Dear Theo,
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 the division in squares, certainly give a few pointers which help one make a solid drawing and which indicate the main lines and proportion of why and how the perspective
causes an apparent change of direction in the lines and change of size in the planes and in the
whole mass. Long and continuous practice with it enables one to draw quick as lightning.
From Th e Com p lete Letters of Vin cen t van Gogh
Persp ective is a set of ru les to exp lain h ow to d raw objects in sp ace an d m ake ad ju stm en ts
for th e d ifferen ce between wh at th e eye sees an d th e m in d kn ows, or th in ks it kn ows. For
exam p le, th e m in d kn ows th at a cu be h as six eq u al sid es, bu t wh en a cu be is seen in sp ace,
th e sid es seen at an an gle seem to d im in ish as th ey reced e.
Persp ective h as always been a ch allen ge to artists, an d m an y, like van Gogh , m ad e elaborate
con trap tion s to h elp th em see an d d raw th in gs in sp ace. Persp ective can seem a ch allen ge
for you , too, bu t you can u se it as a tool to h elp you im p rove you r d rawin g.

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

In th is ch ap ter, well brin g p ersp ective in to clear focu s an d sim p lify it so even an id iot can
u n d erstan d . In fact, th eres n oth in g terribly com p licated abou t p ersp ective; its ju st a m atter
of record in g on th e p age wh at th e eye is really seein g.

Understanding Perspective
We are u sed to seein g th ree-d im en sion al objects on a two-d im en sion al p iece of p ap er becau se of th e d evelop m en t of p h otograp h y, bu t p h otograp h y was on ly an id ea d u rin g th e
Ren aissan ce an d alm ost u n til van Gogh s tim e.
Th e d evelop m en t of p h otograp h y, as a m ean s of com p letely accu rately rep resen tin g th reed im en sion al sp ace, ch an ged a lot of th in gs for artists. For exam p le, th ey cou ld n t com p ete
with a cam era wh en it cam e to rep rod u cin g reality, so th ey began to
exp erim en t with th eir own ways of seein g th in gs, wh ich led in to all
th e m od ern sch ools of p ain tin g th at we n ow kn ow, su ch as cu bism , im p ression ism , an d abstract exp ression ism .

Artists Sketchbook
Perspective is the perception of
objects farther away as smaller
than objects that are closer to us.
Trompe loeil is French for
trick of the eye. Trompe loeil
techniques involve making the
eye see something that is painted seem so three-dimensional
you cant quite believe it isnt
really there.

Bu t wh ile m od ern sch ools of p ain tin g m ay h ave altered reality, th e fact
of perspective rem ain s a given in th e way we p erceive th e world arou n d
u s. Persp ective is a kin d of trompe loeil, in wh ich we kn ow an objects
actu al size, even th ou gh it seem s very sm all. Th e m oon , for exam p le,
looks as if it wou ld fit between you r fin gertip s, bu t you kn ow th at it
is actu ally m u ch bigger.
How to ren d er p ersp ective on th e p age h as lon g been a p roblem an d a
fascin ation for artists. W h en its h an d led well, th e eye of th e beh old er
will accep t it as n atu rally as it accep ts a real scen e in sp ace. A ch air
th ats sm aller th an an oth er, for exam p le, will feel farth er away.

Perspective Simplified
Persp ective can be d ivid ed in to a n u m ber of su bcategories, wh ich well
keep as sim p le as we can :
Informal perspective is a way to see th e relation sh ip s between
objects in sp ace. Its wh at you see on th e p ictu re p lan e, d rawn
on p ap er by observin g an d m easu rin g th in gs again st th in gs,
sh ap es again st sh ap es, sp aces again st sp aces, an d on e again st
th e oth er.

Back to the Drawing Board


We think its important to think
of perspective as a useful tool
rather than a problem. After all,
perspective is everywhere, so you
should use it to your advantage
rather than hide from it.

198

Aerial perspective is th e relative blu rrin g of objects, color, or


d etail in sp ace. Scale is seein g th at objects get sm aller as th ey reced e in th e d istan ce. Foregrou n d objects ap p ear to h ave m ore
d etail an d color or color in ten sity. Im ages in d eep sp ace are less
d istin ct an d less colored .
Formal perspective, a m ore exactin g way of lookin g at an d
d rawin g objects in sp ace, is based on p lan es or sid es of objects,
like walls of a h ou se, van ish in g, or d im in ish in g, to p oin ts at
eith er sid e of th e h orizon lin e. It is n ot always n ecessary if you
see an d d raw relatively an d m ake a few observation s abou t
th in gs in lan d scap e sp ace.

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

The Art of Drawing


Van Gogh had to drag his perspective contraption out into the fields to use it. You can use the
window of your car and sit there, coffee for company, and draw right on the car window. Of
course, you cant drive everywhere that you would like to be in order to draw, but you can use
the car window as a tool to learn to draw well enough so that, in time, you wont need a tool
at all. Then you can go anywhere that your legs will carry you. Remember, NEVER sit in your car
with the motor running and the windows closed; make sure the engine is offfumes and pollution are duel dangers, to you, and to the environment!

Perspective and the Picture Plane


You h ad p ractice d rawin g with a p lastic p ictu re p lan e to see th e th ree-d im en sion al sp ace in
a still life con d en sed on to th e two-d im en sion al su rface of th e p lastic. You r p atio or slid in g
glass d oor can be u sed as a big p ictu re p lan e th rou gh wh ich you can see th ree-d im en sion al
sp ace con d en sed on th e su rface of th e glass, an d you can d raw it righ t th ere for fu n or to
see h ow th in gs in sp ace relate to each oth er.
Ou t an d abou t, you can try lookin g at a lan d scap e or a bu ild in g th rou gh you r car win d ow,
for a m ovin g p ictu re p lan e. Try it to see a com p licated bit of p ersp ective, like a d ock or
brid ge, or look at a com p licated roof. You will see th at all th e an gles, sh ap es, an d relative
scale th at m ake lan d scap e sp ace look accu rate is righ t th ere on you r car win d ow. As with
th e slid in g glass d oor, objects will ap p ear q u ite sm all, bu t you will get th e id ea.
Use you r car win d ow to rem in d you th at all you n eed to d o is see an d d raw.

Perspective in Pieces
Persp ective can be d ealt with in variou s ways:
In form al Persp ective
Scale an d relativity
Measu rin g an d sitin g
Aerial p ersp ective
Well look at each of th ese m eth od s in a few p ages. Form al
Persp ective
On e p oin t
Two p oin t

Artists Sketchbook
Scale in drawing is the rendering
of relative size. An object or person or tree, as it is seen farther
away, will seem smaller than another of the same size that is
closer.

Th ree p oin t

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Lets con sid er eye level as th e key to u n d erstan d in g van ish in g p oin ts
an d on e-p oin t p ersp ective. As you look at an object in a still life or th e
corn er of a room or ou t at a lan d scap e, it is eye level, in you r view an d
on you r p ap er, th at m ost d eterm in es th e actu al im age.

Artists Sketchbook
Eye level, or the horizon line,
simply refers to your point of
view relative to what you are
looking at. It is the point at
which all planes and lines vanish.

W h en d rawin g lan d scap es or th in gs in p ersp ective, th e horizon line is


th e lin e to wh ich all p lan es an d lin es van ish . As you look ou t on a
lan d scap e, you can be lookin g u p at, straigh t at, or d own at th e view,
th e h orizon lin e, an d th e van ish in g p oin ts, to wh ich everyth in g will
d isap p ear (seem to get sm aller).
You can th in k of eye level as h ow an d wh ere you are viewin g th e
lan d scap elookin g u p , lookin g at, or lookin g d own . In lan d scap es, eye
level is also referred to as th e h orizon lin e. W h ere you p osition you rself
an d wh ere you p osition th e h orizon or eye level in a d rawin g greatly
affect wh at you see an d h ow you d raw it.

Your eye level is your point of view relative to what you are looking at. Points begin to vanish
above or below the center, or horizon line. Notice how the perspective of the house changes
above, at, and below the horizon line.

Eye level

200

Below eye level

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

At the bottom of the previous page, and here, at


left are three drawings,
one executed at eye level,
one above eye level looking down, and one below
eye level looking up.

Above eye level

Now, lets look at th e th ree ways of viewin g form al p ersp ective.


One-point perspective is a sin gle straigh t-on view in to sp ace. To en vision on e-p oin t
p ersp ective, look d own a street, straigh t d own a p lowed field , or alon g a fen ce or a
tree-lin ed cou n try lan e. Th e road , th e trees, th e fen ces, or th e rows in th e field will
seem to van ish toward a cen tral p oin t straigh t ou t in fron t of you at eye level.

Eye level

Single vanishing point

One-point perspective: View down a few


roads toward a central vanishing point.
Two-point perspective is based on th e fact th at p lan es seen at an an gle will reced e in
sp ace. Th ey are d irected toward van ish in g p oin ts on eith er sid e of th e h orizon lin e or
eye level.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Lin es of h ou ses, bu ild in gs, fen ces, brid ges, road s, trees, or an yth in g else, seen at an
an gle, will follow an d reced e to th e p oin ts on eith er sid e, often far ou tsid e th e area of
th e p ictu re itself. It can be easier to try to see p ersp ective sim p ly as an gles in sp ace
rath er th an n eed in g to d raw in th e van ish in g p oin ts.
Two-point perspective is
vanishing points on the
horizon or eye level.

Three-point perspective ad d s a th ird van ish in g p oin t an d rep resen ts a fairly rad ical
viewp oin t. Try it after you h ave m astered in form al, on e-p oin t, an d two-p oin t p ersp ective.
Three-point perspective
adds height or depth, for
a radical view.

VP

VP

Eye level

Eye level
VP

VP

VP
Three-point perspective above eye
level.

202

Rectangle/cube looking down

VP

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

Our technical editor,


Dan Welden, contributes
this beautiful drawing illustrating three-point
perspective looking
down.

Tools for Landscape and Perspective


W h en you re ou t in th e world d rawin g, bein g p rep ared is key to ren d erin g p ersp ective both
effectively an d easily. Here are som e h elp fu l h in ts:
Sh arp en lead p en cils for lan d scap e d rawin g with a sh arp p ocketkn ife or u tility kn ife to
m ake a ch isel p oin t. It m akes a u n iq u e m ark th at seem s ap p rop riate for lan d scap e
work, bu t you m ay fin d th at you like it for all sorts of d rawin g, on ce you try it.
Be a scou t wh en you are ou t an d abou t. Take su p p lies so you
can en joy you rself an d get som e work d on e.
W h en ou t d rawin g lan d scap es, take th e tim e to look an d fin d
th e view th at you really like. Don t settle for th e first sp ot
th at you see.
Use you r h an d to fram e you r arran gem en t, com p osition , or
scen e.
Take alon g a viewfin d er fram e an d / or a p lastic p ictu re p lan e
to h elp . Draw a few boxes to m atch you r viewfin d er fram e
ah ead of tim e an d u se th em with th e fram e to see you r view.

Try Your Hand


Sharpen lead pencils for landscape drawing with a sharp pocketknife or utility knife to make a
chisel point.

Getting Small and Smaller in Space


W h eth er you begin to d raw p ersp ective ou tsid e or in th e com fort an d p rivacy of you r stu d io is u p to you an d th e weath er.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

You can d ecid e h ow m u ch you wan t to u se form al p ersp ective, with all th e van ish in g p oin ts
an d lin es, or wh eth er you p refer to see relatively an d ju st d raw. Persp ective always com es in
h an d y for d ifficu lt views an d com p licated bu ild in gs. Try to learn th e basics an d th en d ecid e as
you go.
1. Establish in g you r view is first, wh eth er you re in sid e or ou t. Try a
few fast th u m bn ail sketch es to see if you like th e sh ap es an d an gles. Don t worry m u ch abou t p erfection ; ju st d o th em .
2. Decid e on th e view th at you like an d look at it. Decid e wh ere you
are relative to th e view. Are you lookin g u p , d own , or straigh t at
th e m ain p art or cen ter of in terest in you r d rawin g?

Try Your Hand


Try sketching a small thumbnail
version of a view to see how you
like it and decide whether you
should move to the side or look
from higher or lower to get another vantage point. Try a view,
and move on and try another
until you are happy.

3. After you h ave establish ed eye level an d th e h orizon lin e ligh tly
on you r d rawin g, you can begin to d raw in th e sh ap es you will
d raw in p ersp ective. Start with som eth in g sim p le like a cu be.
In sid e, a cu be is easy to fin d ; ou tsid e, p ick a sim p le bu ild in g, like
a cottage, to start.
4. Persp ective is all abou t seein g p lan es in sp ace, so you wan t to
begin with an object th at is tu rn ed away from you , at an an gle.
Th e sid es of th e object, cu be, or cottage, will van ish , or get sm aller, as th ey go back away from you in sp ace.

Learning to See, Measure, and Draw in Perspective


Persp ective is n ot th at h ard , an d for th e m ore obsessive-com p u lsive of u s, it is rath er fu n . So,
with th e ad d ition of a ru ler to h elp with th e lin es, you are read y to try it.
1. Site you r object on you r p ap er an d d ecid e on you r eye level or h orizon lin e. Hold you r
p ap er h orizon tal; it will give you m ore room .
Is you r object correctly p laced , relative to you r eye level?
Is it above, at, or below eye level?
Draw it on you r p ap er. Most tim es, you will site you r cu be or
cottage sligh tly below eye level, u n til you d ecid e to d raw th e
castle on th e h ill or you r fan tasy m ou n tain top cabin . Th e sid es
of you r object will reced e to p oin ts at th e far sid es of th at lin e.

Back to the Drawing Board


If you were looking straight at the
middle of the side of your cube
or cottage, both horizontally and
vertically, you would see it as a
square or rectangle, with no vanishing point. But here you are in
the real world, where things are
at angles and the sides of things
tend to vanish to the points on
the horizon line or eye level.

204

2. Th e first step in p ersp ective is to m easu re th e h eigh t of th e object


you are goin g to d raw on th e p ap er. Look at th e corn er of th e object an d m easu re th e h eigh t of th at n earest corn er an d d raw it.
You can m easu re th e h eigh t again st you r p en cil with you r th u m b.
3. Draw two p oin ts on you r h orizon lin e or eye-level lin e at eith er
sid e of you r p ap er.
4. Now, ligh tly d raw lin es from th e top an d bottom of you r corn er
to th e p oin ts on eith er sid e. Th ese lin es rep resen t th e p lan es or
sid es of you r object van ish in g in sp ace. Easy, h u h ?
5. Next, you h ave to establish th e len gth of th ose sid es. Are th ey
eq u al? W h ich on e is lon ger an d h ow m u ch ? See th em relatively,
an d m easu re th em with you r p en cil again st th e h eigh t, wh ich
you h ave as an establish ed given .

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

6. Draw vertical lin es for th e far en d s of th e two sid es of you r cu be or cottage.


7. Draw in th e top if you can see it. Th e sid es of a rectan gle van ish to th e sam e p oin t, so
you can d raw in th e ligh t lin es to m ake th e top . See th e followin g figu re.
Weve drawn a cube in
perspective to illustrate
these steps.

Not so h ard , is it? Th e rest is ju st m ore of th e sam e.

Closing the Roof


Lets fin ish off you r first p ersp ective d rawin g an d p u t a roof on th at cottage or cu be. A
roofa sim p le on e on a cottage or a cu be, an ywayis an oth er set of p lan es th at are p arallel to on e sid e wall of th e stru ctu re an d van ish to th e sam e p oin t.
Th e roof is also cen tered on th e en d wall of th e stru ctu re, wh ich m ean s th at you h ave to
d eterm in e th e m id d le of th e en d wall. Its easy!
1. Draw ligh t d iagon als in th e en d wall from corn er to corn er.
2. Th en , d raw a vertical lin e u p th rou gh th e X m ad e by th e d iagon als. Th at lin e is th e m id d le of th e p lan e or wall seen in
sp ace.
3. Measu re th e h eigh t of th e roof, called th e gable or p eak, by
com p arin g it to you r base u n it, th e n ear corn er th at you
m easu red to begin .
4. Draw in th e p eak of th e roof.
5. Draw lin es from th at p oin t d own to th e two top corn ers of
th at sid e or p lan e, an d you will h ave d rawn th e sh ap e of th e
gable en d of th e roof.
6. Th e rid ge of th e roof is th e top . Th at lin e is p arallel to th e
sid e of th e stru ctu re an d van ish es to th e sam e p oin t. Draw a
lin e from th e p eak to th e p oin t wh ere th e sid e walls van ish .
Th at is th e rid ge lin e of th e roof.
7. Th e far en d of th e roof m eets th e back corn er of th e stru ctu re an d is rou gh ly p arallel to th e fron t en d of th e roof. It
actu ally slan ts a bit m ore th an th e fron t en d of th e roof. See
if you can figu re ou t h ow m u ch .

Try Your Hand


Fences and walls can be seen as
long planes that vanish to a point.
If they change direction, then
they vanish to the other side.
A road or bridge can be seen like
a house. The road is a very flat
plane vanishing in space and a
bridge is a complicated structure,
but its parts vanish to one side or
the other.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

See how easy it is to


draw a simple house in
perspective? Lauren
(upper) and one of her
students (lower) give it
a try.

From th is p oin t on , p ersp ective is carefu l m easu rin g an d p lottin g of lin es to p osition oth er
elem en ts like win d ows, d oors, an d ch im n eys correctly, an d d rawin g th em so th ey van ish to
th e righ t p oin t. A com p licated h ou se h as m ore sh ap es to d raw, th ats all.
Th e m ore you p ractice sim p le sh ap es in p ersp ective, th e m ore you will see th e an gles an d
relation sh ip s. In m an y cases, you will be able to estim ate th e an gles for sim p le situ ation s
an d u se th e van ish in g p oin ts for m ore com p licated on es. Is a n ew career in arch itectu re or
lan d scap e p lan n in g in you r fu tu re?
These lines and curves
are in ratio to the base
unit line.

Measure for Measure


W h en you re workin g with in form al p ersp ective, m easu rin g is key. Here are som e asp ects to
take in to con sid eration :
1. Take m easu rem en ts by h old in g u p a p en cil at an u n varyin g d istan ce from you r eyes.
Keep in g it at arm s len gth will keep it con stan t, an d th e con stan cy is im p ortan t for
th at sin gle view.
2. Use th e p en cil to m easu re a lin e th at can be you r base by m arkin g it alon g th e len gth
of th e p en cil with you r th u m b.
3. Th en , ap p ly th at m easu rem en t to gau ge th e relative ratio of an oth er lin e, sh ap e, or
sp ace.

206

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

Comparing the basic


unit of measurement
against other lengths.

The Art of Drawing


Find a unit of measurement, something that you can measure against your pencil or the view
finder frame, a base from which you can compare and measure other lengths. Youll use this
base to compare other things, lines, and spaces in your composition.
Think about your base unit and what you want to measure against it as being in a ratio (1:1, 1:2,
1:3, 1:4, etc.). You can use the table below to help you determine lines and curves, or create
your own base unit.

4. Establish th e an gles, m easu rem en ts, an d relation s th at are cru cial to creatin g viable
sp ace.
5. See wh ere road s con verge an d ban d s of trees get sm aller.
An an gle m easu re h elp s you to see an gles of p ersp ective in sp ace, so you d on t h ave to d raw
in th e van ish in g p oin ts excep t in a really com p licated p iece. Th e m ore you d raw, you ll
learn to estim ate van ish in g p oin ts, an d see th em as an gles. Th at will be close en ou gh for a
lot of d rawin gs.

The Art of Drawing


Make yourself an angle measure, just like the ones that carpenters use to measure angles. Fasten
two strips of mat board or cardboard together at one end with a brass fastener. Spread the strips
to mark a particular angle, a wide or narrow V shape, and transfer the angle to check your seeing and drawing of it.

207

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Use a paper angle measure to see and transfer


angles to a drawing.

A Few More Tips on Planes in Space


To d eterm in e th e m id d le of a p lan e tu rn ed in sp ace, su ch as th e wall of a h ou se to p osition a
d oor or win d ow in th e m id d le, or to fin d th e m id d le of an en d wall to p osition th e roof,
d raw d iagon als in th e rectan gle th at rep resen ts th e wall or p lan e. Th is works wh eth er th e
p lan e is facin g straigh t at you or at an y an gle, an d wh eth er it is above, at, or below eye level.
As in th e figu re below, a lin e d rawn th rou gh th e crossed d iagon als an d p arallel to th e verticals will be in th e m id d le. You can m easu re alon g th e fron t of th e p lan e to establish th e
m id d le, an d d raw a lin e from th at p oin t th rou gh th e crossed d iagon als to th e m id d le of th e
oth er sid e.
Diagonals drawn
through a plane vanishing in space establish
the center of the plane.

Som e m ore p oin ts to con sid er:


You can d ivid e a p lan e as m an y tim es as you wan t by d rawin g
su ccessive sets of d iagon als.
You can fit th e cu rve of an arch in to th e rectan gle after you
h ave cen tered it. Its an easier way to d raw it.

Try Your Hand


Your central point of interest can
be off center.

You can d raw a d ock or brid ge an d get all th e p iers correctly


p laced by u sin g d iagon als to even ly break u p th e sp ace.
You can d ivid e a p lan e th at is tilted in sp ace, su ch as a roof, to
d eterm in e th e m id d le, for p lacin g th e ch im n ey or a d orm er
correctly.

In a com p licated street scen e viewed straigh t across, su ch as th e on e below, m ost of th e


p lan es can be facin g sq u are on . At th e ed ges of you r vision , h owever, th in gs will start to
van ish to p oin ts at eith er sid e of th e h orizon or eye level, or to a cen ter van ish in g p oin t.

208

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

A street scene viewed


head-on with things
vanishing on the sides.

In a com p licated scen e viewed at an an gle, like th e on e followin g, th e variou s p lan es of


h ou ses, walls, fen ces, an d sm aller item s like cars, tru cks, an d even bikes, brid ges, gates, or
p h on e booth s will be reced in g or van ish in g to th e two van ish in g p oin ts at eith er sid e of
eye level.
A complicated scene
where things vanish to
the sides.

Detail, Detail, Detail: God Is in the Details


Detail will be covered as we en cou n ter it in Ch ap ters 17, Th is Lan d Is You r Lan d , an d 18,
Mad e by Man : Ou t in th e Lan d scap e, wh ere well exp lore workin g ou tsid e. Detail tells
m ore abou t wh at you see an d wh y you ch ose a p articu lar view, bu t it sh ou ld follow n atu rally after you h ave accu rately d rawn th e basic sh ap es of th e lan d scap e an d gotten a sen se
of th e sp ace an d th e view.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 16 Whats Your Perspective?

The Least You Need to Know


Perspective is a useful tool in seeing and drawing landscape space and putting threedimensional space on two-dimensional paper.

Often, measuring and seeing relatively (informal perspective) is enough to achieve a


good sense of space.

Formal perspective is a tool for accurately drawing three-dimensional objects in


space.

211

Chapter 17

This Land Is
Your Land

In This Chapter
Getting out in the world
Landscape drawing tips
What to take, what to wear
The elements of a landscape, piece by piece

We need the tonic of wildnesswe can never have enough of nature.


Henry Thoreau
Th e lan d , in all its sp len d or, m ajesty, an d com p lexity, h as always fascin ated artists. We all
seek a sen se of p lace, an d we relate to lan d scap e im ages both becau se th ey are com fortable
an d fam iliar an d becau se th ey are exotic, u n fam iliar, or even d an gerou s. We like th em all.
An d so th e exp erien ce or d rawin g en plein air will both ch allen ge an d d eligh t you an d literally take you to a p lace you h ave n ever been .

Go Out for a View


Pack all you r trou bles in an old kit bagan d d raw, d raw, d raw. Th at old son g d id n t talk
abou t p ackin g a bag for n o reason . Th eres n oth in g like gettin g ou t en plein air to get th e creative ju ices flowin g, to m ake you feel like you re, well, gettin g ou t of th e h ou sewh ich you
are.
W h en you re read y to get ou t of th e h ou se an d begin tryin g you r h an d at som e lan d scap es,
rem em ber you r su p p lies. Don t forget you r h at, u se som e su n screen , wear a sweater, take a
jacketd o we sou n d like you r m oth er? In ad d ition , you m ay wan t to p ack you rself a p icn ic
d in n er, in an ticip ation of cap tu rin g th at brillian t su n set lan d scap e.

But Which One?


You can look at a scen e variou s ways an d d raw it d ifferen tly each tim e. Clau d e Mon et d id
d ozen s of p ain tin gs of h aystacks, from d ifferen t an gles, at d ifferen t tim es of d ay, in d ifferen t

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

ligh t. Th e San d ia Mou n tain s, east of Corrales, New Mexico, wh ere Lisa lives, for exam p le,
ch an ge from m om en t to m om en t, wh ich is n ot always con d u cive to workin g on a d ead lin e.
Lisa m oved h er d esk several years ago so sh e d oesn t h ave a m ou n tain view (sh e wasn t gettin g m u ch d on e bu t m ou n tain -viewin g)bu t sh e still fin d s a lot of excu ses to get u p an d
see th em an yway.
Eastern Lon g Islan d , New York, wh ere Lau ren lives, p resen ts lan d scap es an d seascap es th at
ch an ge n ot on ly with th e tim e of d ay, bu t every d ay. If th eres a p articu lar lan d scap e in
you r world view th at cap tivates you , d on t be afraid to d raw it again an d again an d cap tu re
its elu siven ess, like Mon et.
A scen e th at seem s fam iliar can p resen t you with m an y variation s. It is
for you to ch oose h ow to p roceed . Lan d scap e d ep iction can be broken
d own in to th ree scales:
1. Close-u p stu d ies of objects in n atu re are abou t th e sp ecim en , its
sh ap e, p rop ortion , d etail, an d textu re.
2. In th e m id d le, th ere is room for a view with som e d etail in th e
foregrou n d , objects, foliage, an d / or stru ctu res in th e m id d le
grou n d , an d a sen se of sp ace beh in d .

Artists Sketchbook
En plein air is a French term
meaning full of fresh air. It
refers here to painting done outof-doors. Because classic painting
had been done in studios, painting outside was a radical move.

3. Th e big p ictu re is abou t sp ace, vistas, an d p u rp le m ou n tain s


m ajesty.
Faraway views m igh t h ave som e foregrou n d d etail, bu t are abou t th e
sen se of sp ace in th e view. Aerial p ersp ective, th e p rogressive soften in g
of color, d etail, an d d istin ctn ess in d eep sp ace, h elp s su ggest th at d istan ce. You ll fin d m ore d etail on aerial p ersp ective in Ch ap ter 16,
W h ats You r Persp ective?

Framing the View


On ce you h ave d ecid ed on th e d istan ce from wh ich you are seein g you r view or scen e, th en
you h ave to d ecid e exactly wh at p iece of th e p an oram a you will d raw. You can t fit it all in ,
you kn ow.

The Art of Drawing


Remember Euclids notion of dividing the space from Chapter 9, Step Up to a Still Life:
Composition, Composition, Composition? He divided space so that the point of central interest
was slightly off center in both directions. This is an excellent example to follow when it comes
to landscape drawing.

Use you r viewfin d er fram e to scop e ou t th e view an d crop th e view u n til you d ecid e.
Move it from sid e to sid e an d look at th e d ifferen t variation s on wh at you see. Look at th e

214

Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

d iagon als in th e lan d scap e as you d ecid e. Try to fin d a view th at d raws you in to th e scen e
an d is a balan ced bu t in terestin g com p osition .
You r th u m bn ail sketch es will h elp ru le ou t arran gem en ts or views th at are less in terestin g.

On the Linethe Horizon Line


As we d iscu ssed in Ch ap ter 16 an d earlier, an y accu rate seein g an d d rawin g of th reed im en sion al sp ace begin s with eye level or th e h orizon lin e. Situ atin g you rself in sp ace
d eterm in es th e van tage p oin t from wh ich you will be seein g an d d rawin g th e lan d scap e.
You can be lookin g u p at, straigh t ou t at, or d own on a view an d th e d rawin gs will be q u ite
d ifferen t. You can see th e d ifferen ce by m akin g sm all sketch es of a p articu lar p lace or view
from d ifferen t viewp oin ts. Try it an d see:
Sit on th e grou n d .
Sit in a ch air or on a rock.
Stan d u p .
Clim b on you r car, a rock, or u p a tree to see th e scen e ch an ge as you ch an ge wh ere
you are.

On the Page: Siting Your View


How you p osition you r view on th e p age will also greatly affect th e com p osition an d h ow
effective you r d rawin g is wh en fin ish ed , so take som e tim e to p osition th e im age to its best
ad van tage at th e start.
Lan d scap es h ave high horizons, middle horizons, or low horizons th at
affect th e view an d th e sen se of sp ace.
If you wan t a sen se of d eep sp ace, you can m ove th e h orizon
lin e h igh er on you r p age. Th ere will be m ore foregrou n d an d
th e h orizon will feel farth er away.
If you wan t to con cen trate on th e sky, m ove th e h orizon lin e
d own farth er on th e p age, som ewh at com p ressin g th e foregrou n d , m id d le grou n d , an d backgrou n d sp ace.
You can leave it in th e m id d le or an ywh ere in between th at
su its you an d wh at you are tryin g to d o with you r lan d scap e.

Try Your Hand


High, middle, and low horizons represent how eye level is
perceived and rendered in a
drawing.

Some Thoughts on Landscape Space


As with an y kin d of d rawin g, lan d scap e p resen ts its own sp ecial set of con sid eration s:
Stron g h orizon tals in th e lan d scap e m ake a better com p osition .
See an d u se win d in g road s or fen ces to lead th e eye in to you r world . Rem em ber to
d raw fen ces an d h ed gerows or lin es of vegetation in a field .
Sh ap es of h ills overlap in in terestin g ways.
Id en tify th e cen ter of in terestwh at you are tryin g to sh ow abou t th e view th at you
see. Th in k of a visu al story. Set a scen e in to th e com p osition , th en ad d oth er elem en ts
an d som e d etail.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

W h en you ad d stru ctu res, p ay atten tion th at th ey are d rawn correctly an d at th e sam e
van tage p oin t an d eye level as th e lan d scap e.

Tools for Landscape and Perspective


As weve su ggested p reviou sly, sh arp en lead p en cils for lan d scap e d rawin g with a sh arp
p ocketkn ife or u tility kn ife to m ake a ch isel p oin t. It m akes a u n iq u e m ark th at seem s ap p rop riate for lan d scap e work.
Also, be a scou t wh en you are ou t an d abou t. Take su p p lies so you can en joy you rself an d
get som e work d on e. In clu d e as m u ch as you th in k you will n eed an d th en som e. Be p rep ared , in oth er word s.
W h en ou t d rawin g lan d scap es, take th e tim e to look an d fin d th e view th at you really like.
Don t settle for th e first sp ot th at you see.
Use you r h an d to fram e you r arran gem en t, com p osition , or scen e. Take alon g a viewfin d er
fram e an d or a p lastic p ictu re p lan e to h elp . Draw a few boxes to m atch you r viewfin d er
fram e ah ead of tim e an d u se th em with th e fram e to see you r view.

Seeing and Drawing the Landscape


Try sketch in g a sm all th u m bn ail version of a view to see h ow you like it, an d to d eterm in e
wh eth er you sh ou ld m ove to th e sid e or look from h igh er or lower to get an oth er van tage
p oin t. Con sid er th e followin g as you d raw you r sm all th u m bn ail version ; th ese p oin ts will
h elp wh en you get to you r larger d rawin g as well:
1. Try a view an d m ove on an d try an oth er u n til you are h ap p y.
2. Drawin g th e lan d scap e starts with th e h orizon lin e or eye level, th en m oves on to big
lan d form s.
3. Makin g th in gs in th e lan d scap e sit d own an d stay p u t is m erely
seein g an d d rawin g th em in sp ace. Usu ally if th ere is a p roblem , it is in m ain tain in g a con sisten t eye level an d d rawin g
th in gs at th eir relative p lace above, at, or below eye level.

Back to the Drawing Board


One reason why trees are poorly
drawn is because so few artists
have realized the need for studying their formation and growth,
both as groups and as individuals.
When you see them as you do
people or animalshaving gestures, proportion, and shape, as
well as growth patterns that will
determine how they look and
how you draw themyour drawing will improve tremendously.

216

4. Use you r exp erien ce with p ersp ective, eith er in form al observin g, m easu rin g, an d d rawin g of th e an gles in a stru ctu re, or form al p ersp ective an d van ish in g p oin ts, or a h ybrid of th e two.
5. Fin d an d d raw in tersectin g wed ges of lan d as in terestin g
sh ap es.
6. Use ton e to d efin e big sh ap es before ad d in g d etail.
Aerial p ersp ective h elp s a great d eal in establish in g d eep sp ace. Th is
can be ach ieved by allowin g th e far d istan ce to be less d istin ct an d
softer in color, ton e, an d d etail.
Detail u p close, on th e oth er h an d , is stron ger an d clearer, m ore colorfu l, an d fu ll of ton e or con trast.
W h eth er you re ren d erin g close-u p d etail or d istan t p ersp ective, you
can u se th e tear-ou t referen ce card ch ecklist to rem in d you of th e step s
toward a d rawin g.

Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

Photographs: To Use or Not to Use, That Is the


Question
Ph otograp h s can h elp with d etail, bu t n ot really to learn to see an d d raw. If you go ou t to
sketch an d d raw, by all m ean s take alon g you r cam era for d etailbu t d on t rely on it exclu sively. You can an n otate you r d rawin g u sin g th e p h oto an d p u t in areas of d etail rath er
th an th e wh ole p ictu res worth , bu t its better to d raw in ord er to cap tu re wh at is im p ortan t
to you .

The Landscape in Pieces


Elem en ts in th e lan d scap e becom e p art of th e wh ole, bu t can be con sid ered sep arately to
learn m ore abou t each of th em . So you can th in k of th e lan d scap e in p ieces, weve taken a
lan d scap e ap art so you can con sid er th ose p ieces before th ey becom e p art of th e wh ole.

Trees and Shrubs


As with roses, a tree is n ot a tree is a tree, it is the tree, th e one th at you are d rawin g. It m u st
be seen as an in d ivid u al. W h en you th in k of th e tree as an in d ivid u al, alm ost like a p erson ,
you ll d iscover th at it h as both gestu re an d d irection . It h as its own p rop ortion an d sh ap e,
from tall, colu m n ar evergreen s to wid e, sp read in g oaks.
Every tree has a character
all its own.

rounded or oval crown

conical

pyramidal

columnar

fastigiate

clump

vase

spreading

weeping

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

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Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

Trees present a myriad of possibilities for texture, composition, perspective, and light and
shadow studies.

Foliage is an oth er d etail th at n eed s sp ecial atten tion . Don t d raw a h ead of broccoli like
p ain ters u sed to before en plein air p ain tin g becam e p op u lar an d artists started really lookin g
at trees. Of cou rse, if you can t see th ose in d ivid u al leaves, its p ossible you n eed n ew glasses
or con tacts.
Different foliages have
different textures. Look
at the various ways these
examples illustrate them.
Theres more than one
style in which to render
foliage! Whats your
style?

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

A Tangle of Textures, Vines, and Grasses


Vin es an d u n d erbru sh are great fu n to d raw; you can get as lost in th e d rawin g as you can
get ou t in th e u n d erbru sh itself. Pick a p lace th at h as a lot of com p lexity, bu t som e kin d of
stru ctu ral d evice th at fram es or lim its th e tan gle.
A ston e wall or som e large bran ch es can work well to fram e a m ess of u n d erbru sh . A trellis
or arch will su p p ort a m assive vin e, an d you ll get an in terestin g con trast between th e
cu rves of th e vin es an d th e arch itectu re of th e trellis. Follow th ese tip s wh en d rawin g th is
typ e of foliage:
Draw th e vin es or th e tan gle ligh tly at first.
Start seein g th e overlap s of bran ch es an d th e twin in g of vin es as you d raw th em .
Use ton e to em p h asize wh ere on e bran ch goes over or u n d er an oth er.
Work in som e flowers wh en you can . Th ey are set off by th e u n d erbru sh n icely.
Play with th e ton es of th e backgrou n d . Th is will greatly h elp to set off an d d efin e th e
com p lexity of th e tan gle.
You can sq u in t or blu r you r vision as you work on th e backgrou n d . You will see th e
begin n in gs of sh ap es beh in d sh ap es th at you can d efin e in to m ore tan gle in th e backgrou n d . How far you go is u p to you .

Wrap a few vines around your drawing pencil.

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Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

Grass is a lovely ad d ition , bu t it n eed s to m ove like grass, n ot look like a ru g. Th in k


abou t d irection , gestu re, an d textu re.
Grass is as individual as
any landscape feature.

Beaches, Rocks, and Cliffs


Rocks are won d erfu l elem en ts in th e lan d scap e. Th ey can be p layfu l, form al, arch itectu ral,
m assive you n am e it. W h en you start d rawin g rocks an d d u n es, th in k abou t form ,
sh ap e, sp ace, volu m e, weigh t, an d textu re.
Consider form, shape,
space, volume, weight, and
texture as you draw rocks,
dunes, and other landscape
features into your drawing.
Take a look at these
dunescapes for a selection
of solutions to executing a
common subject.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Sky and Clouds


Th e sky p rovid es a d aily sh ow of ton es, p attern s, an d textu res th at literally ch an ge with th e
win d . Th in k abou t p attern an d textu re, with form for bigger, th icker clou d s.

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Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

Even though its not


drawn, the sky above
these cliffs is an important landscape feature.
Its about spacethe absence or presence ofas
a compositional element
of your drawing.

Water and Reflections


Water, water, everywh ereits easier th an you th in k. Bod ies of water n eed to sit flat, wh ich
m ean s eye level an d an ellip tical cu rve in th e ban k or sh orelin e th at works like th e ed ge of
a big d ish ou t th ere in th e lan d scap e. Som e th in gs to con sid er as you d raw water:
Th in k abou t eye level an d m akin g th e water lay flat like a d ish in sp ace, th en ad d ligh t
an d flickerin g textu re.
Reflection s are fu n , ju st see th em an d d raw th em like th e objects th em selves.
Th in k abou t p attern on a su rface you ve alread y d rawn it cou ld gen erate an en tirely
d ifferen t d rawin g.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Capturing reflections on water can add interest and detail


to your drawing.

The Best for Last: The Small Things


It is n o secret th at Lau ren p refers th e sm all th in gs in n atu re to th e big p ictu re. Sh e sp en t
h er ch ild h ood h ikes lookin g at th e grou n d , an d n oth in g h as ch an ged . Th e d etail in sm all
in d ivid u al sp ecim en s h as always fascin ated h er, an d it m ay be th e view th at you like best
as well.

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Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

W h erever you go, look for th e sm all th in gs, an d get to kn ow th em as you d raw th em :
In th e wood s an d m ou n tain s, th ere are d elicate wild flowers in th e sp rin g; at th e
h igh er altitu d es, th ey are th ere m ost of th e su m m er.
Mu sh room s are som e of th e m ost erotic, sen su ou s sh ap es ou t th ere. Th ey can be fu n
to arran ge on a p age as if th ey were talkin g in a grou p .
Lich en s, m osses, an d oth er fu n gi are th ere for th e seein g an d d rawin g. Even th e galls
on tree bran ch es are in terestin g. Th ey are m ad e by th e tree or leaf in resp on se to a
bu gs tryin g to bu rrow in to lay eggs, an d every tree m akes a d ifferen t on e.
Th e wood lan d wild flowers cou ld occu p y a lifetim e of d rawin g on ly th ey, from th e d elicate m ayflower an d Solom on s seal to th e exotic jack-in -th e-p u lp it an d lad ys slip p er.
All h ave th eir own story.
Th e seash ore is a treasu re trove of good ies to see an d d raw. Th e com p lexity of
seash ells, th e fu n ky sh ap es of crabs, th e stru ctu re of big p ieces of d riftwood , th e textu re of seaweed , sh ore p lan ts, an d th e u n en d in g rocks are all waitin g for you .
A study of driftwood on
the shore can be as monumental and compelling
in composition as a cliff
or dunescape. The
drama is in the drawing!

As Your Drawing Progresses


Balan cin g all th e elem en ts of you r lan d scap e is a ju gglin g act, bu t you can u se you r tear-ou t
referen ce card ch ecklist at th e fron t of th is book to h elp . Rem em ber th at you d on t h ave to
fill in every in ch of th e p age to get a good d rawin g. Rem em ber, too, th at you d on t h ave to
fin ish each d rawin g th e sam e way or th e sam e am ou n t.

Light, Shadow, Atmosphere, and Contrast


Look at ton es, th e ligh ts, an d sh ad ows in a lan d scap e. As you d o, con sid er th e followin g:
Stron g sh ad ows can be in terestin gbu t th ey can be con fu sin g, too.
Make su re th at you can see th e m ain sh ap es of th e lan d scap e.
Rem em ber to balan ce th e foregrou n d d etail with th e am ou n t of sp ace you are tryin g
for.
Exp erim en t with su ggestin g ton e rath er th an fillin g it all in everywh ere, or ch an gin g
th e ton e of an area for greater con trast.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Th ere are en d less ways to fin ish a d rawin g. No two d rawin gs will ever en d q u ite th e sam e
wayits p art of th e fu n .

Detail Is, As Always, Detail


Carefu l stu d y of in d ivid u al lan d scap e elem en ts will m ake it easier an d easier to d raw th em
in to th e view you h ave selected . Th e m ore you d raw trees, th e better you r trees will look,
an d so it goes.
Try d rawin gs th at are abou t big lan d sh ap es, an d try d rawin gs th at are abou t in tersectin g wed ges of lan d or belts of trees or ban d s of rocks in in terestin g p attern s.
Try d rawin gs of sm all corn ers of you r world a favorite p lace or a h id d en refu ge, for
exam p le.
Try to see trees as in d ivid u als. Th in k of th em as wood sp irits h avin g th eir p ortrait
d rawn .
Most of all, fin d th e little th in gs in th e wood s, in th e m ou n tain s, in th e field s, or at th e
beach th at are th e token s or talism an s of th e p lace. Brin g th em h om e an d d raw th em . Th at
way, you can treasu re th em always.

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Chapter 17 This Land Is Your Land

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

The Least You Need to Know


Any specimen, scene, view, or vista, from close-up nature studies to the big picture
panoramas in the landscape, is open to youmake the time and effort to go out
and see and draw it.

The vantage point, eye level, framed view, and format on the page will all contribute to the feel of your landscape.

Close and careful study of specimens from nature will put you in touch with the

unmeasurable phenomena in the world. You will heighten your powers of minute
observation and discover the great variety in nature.

Drawing from nature increases your sense of place, of really being there, of being
truly awake and alive.

228

Chapter 18

Made by Man:
Out in the
Landscape
In This Chapter
Adding human-made elements to your landscapes
In the countryside
On the waterfront
Trains and boats and planes

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.
Clayton Hoagland
Not everyth in g in ou r world was m ad e by Moth er Natu re, an d h u m an -m ad e elem en ts are
ju st abou t everywh ere you look. W h eth er its a fen ce crossin g a field , a sailboat rockin g in
an in let, or a satellite tower top p in g a m ou n tain , th e th in gs m ad e by h u m an s can ad d a su rp risin g d im en sion to you r lan d scap e.

Evidence of Human Influence


Of cou rse, th ere are lan d scap es with ou t h u m an -m ad e elem en ts, bu t th ey are gettin g h ard er
an d h ard er to fin d . Th ese d ays, th e h u m an in flu en ce seem s to be alm ost everywh ere we
look, even if its on ly th e win d in g road we are lookin g ou t at in th e d istan ce.
Makin g p eace with h u m an -m ad e elem en ts in you r lan d scap e d rawin gs is n ot so bad . In fact,
you can u se th e m an y h u m an -m ad e th in gs in you r lan d scap e to fram e an d ord er th e sp ace,
d raw th e eye in to you r com p osition , or ad d con trast an d textu ral d etail. At th e sam e tim e,
som e h u m an -m ad e elem en ts are m ore attractive th an oth ers, an d th ere are som e you ll d efin itely wan t to leave ou t.

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Roads, Fences, Gates, and Walls


Road s, walls, an d fen ces are p arts of th e lan d scap e th at can ad d d irection , in terest, an d
vitality to a scen e or view. A road , wall, or fen ce m ean d erin g away with in a grou p in g of
win d in g h ills can ad d d ram a an d n arrative to a d rawin g. A h alf-op en gate can m ake viewers
wish th ey kn ew wh at lay beyon d it an d stim u late th e im agin ation .

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Chapter 18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

Laurens grandfather
drew some of these
roads. Note how each is
an individual.

In the Farmyard
You h ave on ly to go ou tsid e on a farm an d you will fin d som eth in g
to d rawan d som etim es, you d on t even h ave to go ou tsid e.
W h eth er you are on a big farm in th e Mid west with lots of eq u ip m en t an d big fen ced field s, or a little fam ily farm in New En glan d
with a big gard en , a few ch icken s, cows, an d an an cien t old tractor,
you will fin d som eth in g in terestin g to d raw.
Haystacks worked for Mon et, an d as you travel arou n d th e cou n trysid e you will see th e variou s sh ap es an d sizes in d ifferen t areas of
th e cou n try. Big barn s are th e n orm in Verm on t, for exam p le, wh ile
th e bigger stru ctu res in Nebraska are th e silos for h arvested corn .
Corrals an d farm yard s en close areas an d m ake in terestin g an gles
an d sh ap es. Th e an im als th em selves we will d eal with in Ch ap ter
20, Its a Ju n gle Ou t Th ereSo Draw It! Th ey d eserve a ch ap ter of
th eir own , after all.

Try Your Hand


Using your viewfinder frame to
help compose the mainland masses
in a landscape, take certain
human-made elements, such as
roads, fences, and walls, to make
the difference between an ordinary
drawing and an extraordinary one.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Sh ed s an d barn s are tech n ically stru ctu res an d so are covered in Ch ap ter
19, Hou ses an d Oth er Stru ctu res, bu t you ll wan t to be su re to in clu d e
th em with all th at you fin d wh en d rawin g on a farm . You can sn eak a
p eek ah ead if you d like som e h elp fu l h in ts for h ow to d raw th em .

Special Uses, Special Structures


Artists Sketchbook
Cairns are human-made trail
markings, most often piles of
rocks that mark the trailside path.
Adding these mini-structures to
your drawing can lead the viewer
onto the trail, too.

An d th en th ere are all th e u n u su al erection s in th e lan d scap e, from


m ou n tain top warm in g h u ts to ligh th ou ses on rocky sh ores, ju st waitin g
to ch allen ge you an d en liven you r d rawin gs. If you are ou t an d abou t
an d feel like creatin g an u n u su al d rawin g, try on e of th e m ore strikin g
stru ctu res th at d ecorate th e lan d scap e. Ligh th ou ses, win d m ills, an d towers ad d h eigh t, bu t th ey can also be th e focu s of an in terestin g d rawin g.
For you ou td oorsy typ es, th ere are h u ts, sh ed s, cabin s, fish in g sh acks,
lean -tos, ten ts, an d cam p ersas well as log footbrid ges, trail cairns, an d
forest service an d Bu reau of Lan d Man agem en t sign s.

Some of the more unusual items in the landscape may be waiting


around the corner for
you to draw, such as
this lighthouse.

A little closer to h om e, you cou ld d raw in you r yard an d try a tree h ou se, screen h ou se,
gazebo, or even you r h am m ock h an gin g between two trees. Or, for th e city d weller: fire
h yd ran ts, p arkin g m eters, p arkin g lot sh an ties, garbage can s, even
traffic sign als.

On the Dock of the Bay and Beyond


Try Your Hand
If you can get your car close to a
dock, try drawing it on your car
window (a moving plastic picture
plane). You can see the progression of the piers and the perspective of the walkway leading
out into the water. Do it for fun
and make a tracing if you like it.

232

W h eth er n ear th e water, on th e water, or in th e water, you will u su ally


fin d h u m an -m ad e th in gs alon g with th e n atu ral. From can oes on a
q u iet lake in th e Ad iron d acks to trawlers at th e com m ercial d ock in
Mon tau k to sailboats in th e Caribbean to th e ocean lin er you are on in
th e m id d le of th e Atlan tic, boats are th ere for you to in clu d e in you r
d rawin gs to ad d to th e sen se of ad ven tu re.

Docks, Harbors, and Shipyards


Docks an d sh ip yard s are ch allen gin g p laces to d raw. A d ock n eed s to be
d rawn carefu lly, an d th ere is a lot to m easu re. On ce you get th e m ain
p lan e of th e d ock d rawn in sp ace, u se crossin g d iagon als to d ivid e th e
sp ace eq u ally an d th en again an d again for th e p iers or p ilin gs.

Chapter 18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

Th e activity in a boatyard can be d au n tin g, bu t if you en joy th e su bject, you will fin d a way
to fram e an am ou n t of th e activity th at you can h an d le. You r viewfin d er fram e will com e in
h an d y for th is. Plu s, d on t h esitate to filter ou t u n wan ted objects an d d etail. Th is is called
artistic liberty.

The Art of Drawing


A boat can add just the right touch to a landscape. You might try sketching a fishing trawler
overflowing with fish, just back from a day at sea, or a canoe tucked against the shore, waves
lapping at its side. As an experiment, leave the humans out of the picture (also because we
wont be discussing how to draw them until Chapters 21 and 22); youll find that human-made
things without the men can make your drawing come alive in surprising ways.

You dont have to be


Marlon Brando to create
a dramatic waterfront
effect.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Sitting on the dock of


the bay.

From a Canoe to the QE2


Th e p rop ortion , sh ap e, cu rves, an d form of boats is a little d ifferen t from m ost oth er th in gs.
Th e h u lls of boats h ave m ore com p licated cu rves th at n eed a bit of sp ecial seein g an d d rawin g to get th em righ t.
Be sure to take your
time so that your boats
stay in the water.

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Chapter 18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

The World of Vehicles


Th ey m ay or m ay n ot be you r favorite th in gs, bu t ou r lan d scap e is
crisscrossed from en d to en d with road s, train tracks, th e brid ges
over th em , u n d erp asses u n d er th em , an d tu n n els to get to th e
oth er sid e. A little wood brid ge over a walkway m igh t be m ore to
you r likin g, or you m ay en joy th e ch allen ge of a su sp en sion brid ge
or a m ou n tain p ass with a tu n n el goin g off som ewh ere. Try wh atever ap p eals to you , with or with ou t veh icles.

Bridges, Trains, and Tracks


Tu n n els an d covered brid ges an d overp asses are everywh ere, in
th e city an d th e cou n try. Th ey can be th e classic Verm on t covered
brid ge, a tu n n el th rou gh th e m ou n tain s in Colorad o, or th e
Gold en Gate Brid geth e ch oice is you rs.

Back to the Drawing Board


Boats need to lie flat in the water.
There is nothing more awkward
than a boat that wont stay in the
water where it belongs. Try drawing
a box in space for the boat and
then put the boat in the box. You
may want to refer back to Chapter
13, This Is a ReviewThere Will Be
a Test, where we discussed drawing
a box around a more difficult object to help you draw it.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Every mountain is as individual as any landscape feature.

Moving Vehicles
Th en th ere are th e m ovin g h u m an -m ad e elem en ts like tru cks, cars, fire en gin es, bu ggies,
wagon s, tractors, an d m erry-go-rou n d s. You can th in k of even m ore, we are su re. Take a
look at som e of th ese veh icles th at Lau ren h as d rawn . Veh icles p rovid e a con trast between
h ard an gles an d geom etric sh ap es in th e m an m ad e world , an d th e often m ore flu id form s
an d con tou rs of n atu re. Place a p erson or two in th e lan d scap e an d you ve in clu d ed th e lin k
between both world s!
Combines, boats,
planes, automobiles
more than just modes of
transportation.

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Chapter 18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

Your World Is What You Make It


By n ow, you can see th at everyth in g in th e world is fair gam e for you r p en cil an d sketch book. Go on get ou t th ere in th e world . Its ju st waitin g for you to d raw.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 18 Made by Man: Out in the Landscape

The Least You Need to Know


Untouched landscape is hard to find, so make peace with elements of human
design.

Human-made elements can add order and interest and welcome diagonals to lead
the eye into the composition.

Drawing boats in the water, or any vehicles, requires some special consideration and
careful seeing of the proportion and detail.

Your world is what you make it, so go draw it the way you would like it to be.

239

Chapter 19

Houses and
Other Structures

In This Chapter
When is a house not a home?
Getting your house to stand
Building perspective
From shingles to bricks

The artists ability lies first in seeing the picture before he has begun it.
Clayton Hoagland
Hou ses fascin ate u s. After all, we all live in a h ou se of som e kin d , wh eth er its a tall ap artm en t bu ild in g, a sm all ran ch , a lovely Cap e Cod , a farm h ou se, an old Victorian with lots of
gin gerbread trim , a cottage on th e beach , an old fu n ky ad obe, or a m od ern , scu lp tu ral m an sion .
W h eth er its d rawin g a h ou se or an oth er bu ild in g, th e m ost im p ortan t th in g, as Clayton
Hoaglan d n otes, is to first see. In th is ch ap ter, you ll learn h ow to d o ju st th at.

A World of Buildings
Hou ses, barn s, sh ed s, an d oth er stru ctu res are p erh ap s th e m ost p revalen t elem en ts in lan d scap e d rawin gs an d p ain tin gs. Th ey are alm ost everywh ere you look, so, of cou rse, th eyll
fin d th eir way in to m u ch of wh at you d raw as well.

City Mice and Country Mice


W h ich ever kin d of m ou se you are an d wh atever kin d of h ou se you ch oose to d raw, you will
en cou n ter largely th e sam e ch allen ges an d p roblem s.

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Seein g you r view (th e van tage p oin t, eye level, fram in g, an d form at on th e p age)
an d th e accu rate tran sferrin g of you r view to th e p age is th e sam e, wh atever th e
su bject an d d etail.
Laurens grandfather
drew this tent.

Every house is as
unique as its owner.
Whether a city or
country house, these
buildings present to
the artist the challenge of perspective
and composition,
simple or elaborate.
Whats your vantage
point?

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

The Old and the New


W h eth er you r h ou se is an old ch arm er, a stu n n in g m od ern , or an ywh ere in between , you
can m ake a d rawin g th at is a p ortrait of all its sp ecial q u alities. Draw you r h ou se at d ifferen t
tim es of year as well, an d get som e of th ose lan d scap e an d gard en elem en ts in . Trees, in p articu lar, ch an ge from season to season , an d can ch an ge th e way a h ou se looks d ram atically.
Old or new, every house has
something unique to recommend it. On your next trip
abroad, take along a sketchbook to study perspective in
centuries old forms and
structures. Youll get some
great drawing practice, and
have a wonderful travel
journal through which to remember your journey.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Making It Stand
Start with sim p le h ou ses an d barn s an d sh ed s. Th en m ove on to m ore
com p licated stru ctu res or street scen es. Of cou rse, you h ave to begin
with d ecision s abou t van tage p oin t, eye level, fram in g you r im age,
you r form at, an d p osition on th e p age.

Try Your Hand


Take your time when drawing a
houseand take the time to
draw it more than once, at different times of year.

W h eth er you are lookin g u p , at, or d own at you r su bject will affect all
th at you see. Som e of th e ways you can view a h ou se in clu d e
Up u n d er th e roof to see all th e d etail u n d er th e eaves.
Straigh t at th e h ou se, con cen tratin g on d oors an d win d ow trim .
Down on th e roof from above.
Of cou rse, th ose are on ly th ree su ggestion s. Be creativeview a h ou se
th rou gh a win d ow, or p ast a tree. Th e p ossibilities are en d less.

Informal perspective is great for quick, casual sketches of houses. Take a look at how individual drawing
styles and drawing materials produce different results!

Informal Perspective
For a casu al sketch of a h ou se or an exp loratory d rawin g to d ecid e on a view or fram in g or
form at, you can observe an d d raw th e m ain an gles in a h ou se by carefu lly establish in g a
base u n it of m easu rem en t an d som e basic an gles.

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

Th en , ad d to you r d rawin g as you can see th e relation between each p art. Draw carefu lly
an d ch eck all th e relative p arts of th e stru ctu re before you begin th e d etail.

Formal Perspective
W h en you wan t to be m ore form al, begin with eye level an d a ligh t sitin g of you r h ou se on
th e p age. Th en , d raw in you r van ish in g p oin ts an d begin to d raw th e p lan es of th e h ou se in
p ersp ective. You can refer to th e step s in Ch ap ter 16 if you d like som e h elp as you go.
You can copy famous
architectural structures
from high quality
images in books or
periodicals to gain more
insights into formal
perspective.

Keeping the Pieces in Proportion


W h eth er you r d rawin g is an in form al sketch or arch itectu ral ren d erin g, you will n eed to
m easu re carefu lly for d oors, win d ows, an d an y oth er trim d etails th at you d raw to keep
th em in scale an d even ly arran ged . You can u se th e step s on th e tear-ou t referen ce card if
you d like som e h elp with th is.

Executed with rulers

Executed in sketch form

Using diagonals to divide a house plane will assure accurate placement of the windows and doors.

Its in the Details


Win d ows, d oors, roofs, stoop s, railin gs, step s, gu tters, soffits, overh an gs, p atios, p orch es,
p ools, an d p on d sth ese are th e d etails th at h ou ses (an d yard s) are m ad e of. Go for a closeu p view an d ren d er on e of th ose d etails in p articu lar. Even a crack in th e ad obe can m ake
for an in terestin g close-u p h ou se d rawin g.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

The Art of Drawing


Even if youre not doing a close-up view, the details will separate this house from the one next
doorand the one in the next town. Try a portrait of your own house or one for a friend. Draw
all your neighbors houses, then knock on their doors and sell them the portraits!

The individuality of a
particular house is as
simple as its details.
What element strikes
you as the most compelling around which to
organize the composition of your drawing?

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

In the City
Skyscrap in g ap artm en t towers, m od est brown ston es, an d elegan t town h ou ses are in alm ost
every city, alon g with office bu ild in gs, factories, an d wareh ou ses. Th ey can p resen t an in terestin g street scen e or skylin e with lots of city d etail.
You can soften the linear
quality of a cityscape
with rooftop gardens,
window boxes, frontstoop planters, sidewalk
gardens, or a city park
background. The highly
articulated perspective
relationships dont overpower the drawing.

In the Country
Th e cou n trysid e is a h aven for artists an d p oets, wh erever th ey fin d it. Th e p eace an d tran q u ility are both in sp iration an d su bject. In th e cou n try you ll fin d th e tim e, th e sp ace, an d

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

th e p eace to work creatively. Try to give you rself th e gift of tim e in th e cou n try, even if you
th in k th at you live in th e cou n try alread y.
Look for h ou ses in th e cou n try th at reflect an op en -to-n atu re q u ality. Fin d you rself a fan tasy farm h ou seth e Victorian of you r d ream s or th e Ad iron d ack lod ge th at you ve always
wan ted an d d raw it. W h o kn ows? It m igh t be a way of visu alizin g it in to you r life. Bu t be
carefu l wh at you wish for, you m igh t get it.
Heres the country house
of Laurens dreams. Try
drawing your own dream
house, too. You might
even get what you
wish for! Country and
farmhouses blend architectural elements with a
functional integration
into the landscape.

Materials and Techniques


Th e m aterials an d textu res u sed to bu ild you r h ou se n eed th eir own m arks to d ifferen tiate
th em . Ced ar sh in gles, clap board s, rou gh ced ar sid in g, sm ooth alu m in u m sid in g, brick, ston e,
m etal, an d stu cco are a few of th e m aterials th at can be rep resen ted by ton es an d m arks.

Experiment with different pencils to render different house textures on the page. The
medium you choose can assist you in rendering that wood or stone facade.

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

Period Pieces and Special Places


Period p ieces an d sp ecial p laces p resen t th eir own sp ecial in terestsan d issu es. Decid e wh at
you are goin g after before you begin . If you in ten d to ad d a lot of elaborate d etail, you will
p robably n eed to begin with an accu rate base, d rawn in form al p ersp ective.
For sketch es, even a h ou se with lots of gin gerbread trim can be
d rawn loosely with a m in im u m of p ersp ective. As with an y h ou se,
it will be in th e d etails th at you fin d a classic h ou ses p articu lar in terest.

Classical Beauty
Arch itectu ral d etail can be sketch y an d su ggested or it can be
very p recise, req u irin g a lot of m easu rin g an d p lan n in g. Here are
som e h elp fu l h in ts to gu id e you as you begin to d raw th ose classic
beau ties.
A fron t view of a Victorian with gin gerbread trim can be carefu lly an d ligh tly sketch ed by m easu rin g with a p en cil h eld
ou t at arm s len gth . On ce you are p leased with th e p lacem en t
an d p rop ortion of th e win d ows an d d oors, you can begin to
ad d th e trim d etail an d be reason ably certain th at you will
en d u p with an attractive loose ren d erin g.

Back to the Drawing Board


You may want to review Chapter
16, Whats Your Perspective?, and
refer to the steps on the tear-out
reference card as you try to draw
structures for the first time. Every
house presents its own unique
challenges. Going step-by-step can
help you avoid making mistakes.

Architectural details.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Rem em ber to look for in terestin g stru ctu res like arch es, arbors, p ergolas, gazebos,
elaborate screen h ou ses, green h ou ses, an d wrap arou n d p orch es. Th ey req u ire carefu l
seein g an d d rawin g, bu t th ey m ake great su bjects an d can ad d a sen se of p lace or
atm osp h ere to a scen e.

Down on the Farm


Drawin g farm h ou ses in vites d etail. Th ere is so m u ch goin g on an d , seem in gly, a stru ctu re
for each activityfrom m ap le su gar sh acks ou t in th e wood s in Verm on t to h u ge d airy
barn s in New York State, from cattle ran ch es in Id ah o to win d blown , aban d on ed farm stead s
in Nebraska. Th ere are sm all fam ily farm s, citru s groves, tree farm s, tru ck farm s, an d im m en se factory farm s.
Try d rawin g th e barn s, silos, an d sh ed s in a farm yard . Fen ces, corrals, an d ston e walls will
ad d in terestin g d iagon als an d textu re wh ile d efin in g th e lan d sh ap es an d in vitin g th e viewer in to th e com p osition . You won t ru n ou t of stru ctu res to d raw on a farm for som e tim e.

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

Farm structures are as varied as the landscape. What


choices will you make to compose your drawing?

Out on the Edge


An d th en th ere are th e m ore sp ecial stru ctu res in you r lan d scap e,
p laces you m igh t be p articu larly fon d of, from m ou n tain top h u ts to
ligh th ou ses on rocky sh ores, ju st waitin g to ch allen ge you an d en liven you r d rawin gs.
Try d rawin g som e of th e u n u su al stru ctu res you fin d on you r travels, su ch as ligh th ou ses, win d m ills, towers, h u ts, sh ed s, cabin s, fish in g sh acks, lean -tos, ten ts, tree h ou ses, an d screen h ou ses. An d
d on t forget th e cliff d wellin gs of Mesa Verd ean d th e p it h ou ses
of Ch aco Can yon .
Don t forget th ose cellu lar towers an d h igh -voltage electric lin es
stretch in g across th e p lain s. Or Hoover Dam stretch in g across th e

Try Your Hand


Experiment with different pencils
and other drawing tools to find
marks that you like. Try sharpening
a pencil to a chisel point to make
a flat mark for wood texture.

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Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

Colorad o River. Hu m an -m ad e stru ctu res ad d h igh d ram a to Moth er Natu res works, an d
th ey can ad d d ram a to you r work as well.

Windmills, towers: Nothing is too unusual for your drawing pencil and sketchbook!

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Chapter 19 Houses and Other Structures

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 5 Out and About with Your Sketchbook

The Least You Need to Know


Houses are fascinating to draw and there is no shortage of them in the landscape.
Informal sketches can accurately describe a house and its personality if they are carefully seen, measured relatively, and drawn progressively from the basic shapes to the
finished detail.

A formal rendering in perspective is another kind of portrait.


Try drawing houses into your landscapes, especially on trips, so you can include styles
and detail that are unusual.

Dont forget about the exciting, exotic, and estrange in your choices of houses to
draw. Why stay home when you can go have an adventureand draw it, too?

254

Part 6

Drawing Animals
and People
Its time to start putting some life into your drawings, and in this section, youll learn to draw
both animals and humans. Both require seeing the action and gesture, then the proportion and
form, followed by detail.
Learn why the nude has always been the object of artists affectionsand why it may turn out
to be yours as well. Youll also learn about gesture and movement, and how to render them on
the page.

Chapter 20

Its a Jungle
Out There
So Draw It!
In This Chapter
Drawing animals
First, gesture
Then shape
Detail and scale

Animals = action. These two words go hand in hand in art. Their lives are of necessity active
and their activities are reflected in an alert grace of line, even when they are in repose or
asleep. Indeed, because of their markings, many animals appear to be awake when they are
sleeping, and many mammals sleep so lightly that even when apparently asleep they will
move their ears in the direction of a sound that is inaudible to us. So there is always a feeling
of perpetual motion about animals, and to draw them successfully this must be borne in
mind.
Alexander Calder
In terior an d exterior lan d scap es are on e th in g, bu t n ow its tim e to p op u late you r d rawin gs.
W h eth er its an im als or p eop le, re-creatin g livin g th in gs on th e p age takes both p ractice an d
p atien ce.
As Alexan d er Cald er p oin ts ou t, an im als = action . Cap tu rin g th at action is th e first step in
creatin g d yn am ic an im al d rawin gs.

Drawing Animals
Earliest m an covered th e walls of caves with d rawin gs of an im als in a basic attem p t to kn ow
th em , relate to th em , h u n t th em , revere th em , u se th em , learn from th em , d om in ate th em ,
an d celebrate th em . Un like th e sp ears an d arrows th at ap p ear n ext to th em in th ese an cien t
d rawin gs, an im als con tin u e tod ay to be am on g artists favorite d rawin g su bjects.
You m ay wan t to let you r sleep in g d og lie, bu t th eres n o reason you can t d raw h im wh ile
h e d oes. Bu t h ow d o you d raw a sleep in g d ogor a ru n n in g h orse? Lets fin d ou t.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

In a World of Action, Gesture Is First


Alexan d er Cald er was a keen observer of n atu re as well as a d raftsm an wh o saw
an d cap tu red th e essen ce of each an im al h e d rew. As Cald er h im self n otes, h e
looked for th e basic action , p ostu re, an d gestu re of an an im al as th e fou n d ation of
a d rawin g.
W h en you begin to d raw an im als, take p len ty of tim e to see
th e action an d gestu re. In you r first d rawin gs, you m ay on ly
get a gestu re or a d irection th e an im al is m ovin g, bu t in tim e
you will be able to ad d form an d d etail to an active base th at
really feels like th e an im al you were d rawin g.

Try Your Hand


The more you draw animals, the
more at ease you will be with
their particular proportions and
typical ways of moving.

Try Your Hand


Fill page after page in your
sketchbook with fast sketches of
animals. Try drawing a part at a
time, rather than the whole animal at once.

This giraffe and elephant are reduced to


the basic geometric
shapes that define
how they look.

258

Basic Proportions and Shapes


Lets begin by gettin g th ose basic p rop ortion s an d sh ap es on
p ap er.
1. On ce you h ave you r su bject fram ed an d you r p ap er
an d p en cil read y, start with a few gestu re or action
lin es th at rep resen t th e m ain lim bs an d d irection of
m ovem en t.
2. W h en you h ave an id ea of h ow th e an im al m oves, try
to fin d a base u n it of m easu rem en t, like th e wid th of
th e h ead , th e len gth of th e bod y, or th e h eigh t from
th e grou n d to th e ch est, an d u se th at as a referen ce
p oin t.
3. Measu re th at sh ap e, sp ace, or len gth an d see h ow it
relates to oth er m easu rem en ts on th e bod y.
4. See th e relation between th e h eigh t an d th e len gth of
th e an im al, its legs, h ow h igh th ey are, an d h ow lon g
th e bod y is relative to th e legs. Look at th e h ead relative to th e n eck, th e ch est relative to th e girth of th e
bod y, an d th e size of th e h ead .

Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

5. Next, th in k of th e bod y as a collection of sp are p arts d rawn as geom etric sh ap es of


variou s sizes an d on variou s an gles, relative to each oth er.
6. Look for ovals, ellip ses, ellip soid s, cylin d ers, con es, an d sp h eres. Th in k of th e h ard ed ged sh ap es, too, th en rou n d th em off.
7. See th e barrel sh ap e of an elep h an ts big bod y, th e lon g cu rvin g cylin d er or con e of its
tru n k, th e even lon ger, cu rvin g n eck of a giraffe, th e slen d er ellip ses th at m ake u p th e
sh ap es of a d eer.
8. Try to d raw each p art of th e bod y as a th ree-d im en sion al p art, n ot a flat sh ap e. Usin g
ovals an d ellip ses in ligh t lin es h elp s you th in k, see, an d d raw rou n d , fu ll sh ap es for
th e bod y p arts.

Quick drawings of animals concentrate on gesture and on the shape of basic body parts.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Bulking Them Up
On ce you are acq u ain ted with an an im als basic sh ap es an d gestu res, you can begin to ad d
som e form an d bu lk to you r d rawin g. Even a d elicate d eer or a slen d er bird s leg h as som e
form .
Look at wh ere sh ap es on th e an im al over- or u n d erlap . As with in an im ate objects, th e way
on e p art goes over or u n d er an oth er d efin es th e sh ap es an d h ow th ey fit togeth er.
Use ton e, an d you r exp erien ce with it, to sh ad e som e of th e m ain m u scle an d bod y sh ap es
an d h ow th ey m eet.

Laurens students use tone to shade and highlight animal muscle and body shapes.

Fur and Feathers, Skin and Scales


Sn akes an d sn ails an d p u p p y d ogs tails are on ly a few of th e reason s you will wan t to ad d
textu re to you r an im al d rawin gs.

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Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

You r p ractice with m arks, ton al ch arts with d ifferen t textu res, an d a willin gn ess to try ou t
som e n ew m arks will p ay off h ere.
A sen sitivity to th e in d ivid u al an im al an d its u n iq u e q u alities is a good start. Th in k abou t
th e con d ition s a p articu lar an im al h as to live in , h ow th ey live, h ow th ey feed or h u n t,
wh at th e d an gers are, an d h ow th ey h ave to ad ap t. Try to u se you r th ou gh ts as you ren d er
th e fu r, feath ers, skin , an d scales.

Being sensitive to an animals unique qualities, practicing with different textures, and a willingness to experiment will pay off with realistic animal drawings. Two of Laurens students try their hands at a rabbit
and a dog.

Go Out Where They Are


You will fin d an im als to d raw th e m in u te you go ou t in to you r yard , or sit at you r win d ow.
You r n ew d rawin g su bjects will greet you everywh ere you go, so be read y to grab you r
sketch book!

Your Backyard and in the Neighborhood


Ou r backyard s are fu ll of an im al su bjectsbird s, bu tterflies, sq u irrels, ch ip m u n ks, as well as
frogs, toad s, lizard s, sn akes, an d sn ails. Becau se th ey are bu sy with th eir own lives, th ey are

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

d isin clin ed to p ose for you , bu t you can m ake q u ick sketch es to cap tu re first th e action an d
gestu re, th en th e p rop ortion , sh ap e, an d form .
If you live in th e cou n try an d can sit q u ietly in you r yard , you m ay be lu cky en ou gh to sp ot
d eer, a fox, even a coyote; th e big gu ys like bears an d m ou n tain lion s, you sh ou ld p robably
d raw from in sid e.

Animal subjects are as close as your backyard. How does your animal subject determine or relate to your drawings composition? Add the human element, and youve got
something wonderful!

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Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

Field and Stream, Mountain and Lake


All th e p retty p laces th at you m ay th in k of for lan d scap e d rawin gs are also great for an im al
stu d ies. Th e seash ore, for exam p le, offers a con stan tly ch an gin g m ix of sh ells an d seash ore
life. Som e of th at life you can even brin g h om e to work on later, wh ile som e of it (sh ells,
for exam p le) will h ave to stay ou tsid e or be soaked in a little m ild bleach to clean it.
W h en you r m ate wan ts to go fish in g, d on t stay h om e; take you r sketch book an d d raw th e
fish , seash ore life, or water bird s.
The shore can offer up an
interesting array of still
life subjectsboth living
and inert. After that
oceanscape, do some
studies of the smaller
creatures and objects the
scene holds within it.
Shells are a particularly
good subject for practicing
how to render texture,
while also mastering
some challenging shapes.

Natural History Museums and Centers


At th e n atu ral h istory m u seu m , you will fin d everyth in g you can th in k of, from a look
u n d er a m icroscop e to a d in osau rs skeleton , as well of lots of books to stu d y. Kn owin g
rou gh ly h ow an an im als skeleton works will m ake th ose action an d gestu re lin es m ean
m ore. Th e bu sin ess of ad d in g form an d weigh t will com e m ore easily th e m ore you stu d y,
so ch eck it ou t.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Practice drawing animal


skeletonswherever you
find them. Take a trip to
the local natural history
museum, if need be, or
copy them out of natural science books and
magazines. Skeletons
can really help you understand the foundation
of a living creatures
form, as well as its natural actions and gestures.

Farms, Stables, and Parks


Go ou t an d d raw th e ch icken s, d u cks, cows, goats, p igs, d on keys, h orses, p on iesan d d on t
forget all th e babies. Drawin g d om estic an im als is a great way to p ractice d rawin g an im als
in relation to each oth er. W h en you d raw m ore th an on e of th e sam e an im al, you begin to
d iscover h ow th e an im al m oves accord in g to its p articu lar an atom y, an d h ow to ren d er d ifferen t p osition s con vin cin gly. With tim e, a certain arch of th e n eck or tu rn of th e ear can
becom e secon d -n atu re to you r d rawin g h an d .

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Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

Draw animals in groups to discover how their shape and gesture resonates when theres more than one.
How do animal groups inform your drawings composition? What about putting animals into your landscape? Think about the positive and negative space relationship when drawing animals in groups.

Zoos, Circuses, and Animal Petting Parks


A zoo is a great p lace to d raw. You h ave it all th eren ot ju st th e
wild an im als, bu t th eir h abitats as well. You ll also fin d gard en s,
trees, walkways, arch es, fen ces, water, fou n tain s, kid s, p aren ts,
lovers, an d , for you r com fort an d p leasu re, restroom s an d food
n earby. Th ey m ay even h ave Starbu cks by n ow. Get you r d rawin g
eq u ip m en t an d go cam p ou t for a d ay. Th en you can d o it all
an d d raw it, too.

Safaris
Safaris can be close to h om e or th e ad ven tu re of a lifetim e.
Alm ost an y trip can be tu rn ed in to a p art-tim e safari. Its m ore a
ch an ge in you r attitu d e th an th e altitu d e. If you can t get as far as
you d like, rep air to a zoo or a m u seu m . If you get th e ch an ce to
try Tibet or a jau n t in th e Au stralian ou tback, wh en it com es to
you r sketch book, d on t leave h om e with ou t it!

Animal Portraits
An an im al p ortrait can be a casu al sketch th at cap tu res th e p erson ality of th e an im al, bu t often it is an attem p t to get a m ore form al
treatm en t an d liken ess.

Back to the Drawing Board


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
reference and photos only when
you really need them, and try to
see your way rather than copying
the flatness.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

To d o an an im al p ortrait, start with th e basics: gestu re, p rop ortion , an d form . Th en ad d as


m u ch d etail as you feel you can see.

For rendering more exotic animals from


life, instead of from books, try visiting
the circus or zoo. Youll be practicing
new animal shapes and forms, while exploring other fun and interesting drawing
challenges, such as the tents shown in
this illustration.

Look at what happens when you draw


the animal using texture as the technique that illuminates the defining
shapes. Here, you see a bear and two
badgers.

When studying animal forms, try to capture just the shape to tell you
what animal is being rendered. Pay attention to positive and negative
spaces. Which animals do you see here?

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Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

Problems in Portraiture
W h en you r p et will sit, bu t n ot for a p ortrait, wh at th en ? You can wait for a sleep in g su bject, or you can work on a series of regu lar p oses th e an im al often strikes, ad d in g a bit of
sh ap e, form , an d d etail as you can see it.
If you r p et won t sit for you , you exp ect an elep h an t to d o it?
You m igh t be su rp rised at a zoo an d fin d th at a wild an im al will
be a willin g su bject. Man y of th em sp en d aftern oon s in relative rep ose, so if you can fin d a p ose you like, you m igh t get lu cky.

A Bit on Materials and Techniques


Ou r focu s h as been on seein g an d d rawin g an im als, in clu d in g th e
gestu re, p rop ortion , sh ap es, an d form th at m ake each sp ecies
u n iq u e. Detail is th e textu res an d p attern s, an d th e colors an d su rface ton es th at are p articu lar or p ecu liar to th at an im alfrom th e
soft blotch y fu r of a fawn , to th e sm ooth p elt of a seal, th ick fu r of
a h u sky, slip p ery skin of a frog, rou gh h id e of a bu ffalo, sh in y
scales of a fish , or th e h orn y p lates of th at rh in o on safari.
Exp erim en tin g with all you r m aterials an d tryin g n ew on es as you
see th em is th e best way to exp an d you r vocabu lary of m arks an d
textu res. Look at som eon e elses work (ask th em if you can ), or
ju st stan d th ere an d try to im agin e h ow th ey m ad e a certain ton e
or textu re. Th e m ore you p ractice you rself, th e easier you will fin d
it to id en tify a p articu lar kin d of m ark or m aterial. As always, let
th e real seein g an d d rawin g of th e an im al com e first.

Back to the Drawing Board


Photographs, as a reference, can
certainly help, and sometimes
they are the only way to get
what you want. But please dont
try to learn to draw from them;
they are already flat and your
drawings will follow suit, unless
you have drawn from life and
have enough practice to be
able to see and draw threedimensional shape and form. Try
to use the photos for detail only.

Experiment with different materials and textures to see what works


best for the animal
youre trying to convey.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Animals in Your Drawings


If you took ou r ad vice an d wen t ou t in you r yard , took th at fish in g trip , or m ad e th at d ay
trip to th e zoo, you p robably h ave a lot of an im al d rawin gs n ow. Som e of th em are sketch es
an d som e of th em m igh t alread y in clu d e som e su rrou n d in gs, so you are p artway th ere.
Pu ttin g th em , or d rawin g th em in to, a lan d scap e as an ad d ition takes a bit m ore p lan n in g
an d atten tion to scale.

Scale and Detail, Indoors or Out


An im als in sid e are u su ally easy to p lace becau se th e scale is easy to ju d ge. If you can alread y
d raw th e ch air you r d og or cat is sittin g in , ad d in g you r p et will req u ire on ly a clear d rawin g of th e an im al, or wh at you can see of it, wh ich can be th e p roblem . Look carefu lly at
wh ere lim bs are tu cked u n d ern eath an d h ow th e bod y m igh t be cu rled u p in a com fortable
p osition . Th en d raw wh at you see.
Like Odin, Laurens dog,
all animals have their
favorite chairs. Draw
them there for a realistic
likeness.

Detail and Scale, Close Up or Far Away


Ou tsid e is an oth er story. Scale as it in d icates size an d d istan ce is im p ortan t to you r con sid eration of an im als in th e lan d scap e. Th e m ost com m on exam p le is a seascap e, with seagu lls
th at are su p p osed to be flyin g above bu t in stead seem to be loom in g ou t of p rop ortion to
everyth in g else in th e d rawin g.
Practice in m easu rin g again st a base u n it in you r view will h elp keep th ose bird s wh ere th ey
belon g.
If you are tryin g to em p h asize an an im al as th e cen tral p oin t of in terest, treat it like a p ortrait, with th e lan d scap e in th e backgrou n d .
In th e n ext ch ap ter, well take th e n ext logical step , an d sh ow you h ow you can h ave
h u m an an im als in you r d rawin gs, too.

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Chapter 20 Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The Least You Need to Know


Animals live in a world of action. Seeing and drawing that action and gesture is the
first step in getting the sense of the animal you are looking at.

Proportion and shape build on gesture, adding muscle shape to the direction and
placement of the main limbs.

The form of the animal should be considered. Even a birds leg is a threedimensional form.

Photographs can supply detail information, but are flattened versions of the real
thing and not as good for practice.

Quick sketches of an uncooperative pet or wild subject can gradually give you
enough information for a more finished portrait.

270

Chapter 21

The Human
Body and Its
Extremities
In This Chapter
Drawing the human figure
Gesture is all
A feel for body parts
Form and proportion

A drawing of the nude is the most revealing form of artistic expression simply because it is the
most immediate and the most personal.
Mervyn Levy, The Artist and the Nude, (New York: Clarkson Potter, 1965).
We are fascin ated an d en ticed by th e figu re, th e m ost sin gle exp ressive su bject for artistic
exp loration . W h en we d raw th e figu re, are we d rawin g ou rselves or all h u m an ity? Perh ap s it
d oesn t m atterth e figu re attracts u s, wh atever th e reason .
You r sketch book will be you r greatest asset in learn in g to d raw from th e figu re. Con stan t
sketch in g is th e way to an u n d erstan d in g of th e figu re an d an ability to q u ickly see an d
d raw a gestu re. Th e m ore you d raw, th e m ore you will see. You r d rawin gs will q u ickly gain
grace, p rop ortion , an d form . You will be able to u se you r own creativity, an d you r work will
be origin al an d u n iq u e.

Drawing the Figure


Like th e fou r-footed an d win ged an im als you worked on in Ch ap ter 20, Its a Ju n gle Ou t
Th ereSo Draw It!, p eop le m ove arou n d a lot. Get u sed to it. Work with th e kn owled ge
th at th ey will m ove an d you won t be d isap p oin ted .
Drawin g p eop le is virtu ally im p ossible with ou t a workin g u n d erstan d in g of th e n u d e figu re.
On ce you d o learn it, you m ay fin d th e sh ap es an d beau ty of th e figu re becom e you r favorite im age.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Getting Some Practice and Help


Classes an d in form al d rawin g grou p s with a m od el are th ere for th e lookin g.
Mu seu m s an d ad u lt ed u cation p rogram s are p laces to ch eck. You can always start a
grou p , with or with ou t a form al in stru ctor. A m od el can work with su ggestion s as
to th e typ e an d len gth of p oses favored by th e grou p . Workin g from th e figu re in
a com fortable stu d io settin g can ad d to th e in tim acy of th e p oses an d th e d etail
su rrou n d in g th e m od el, too.

Use Your Sketchbook


A sketch book is a visu al storeh ou se, a p lace to p ractice, an d a fascin atin g an d
som etim es p oign an t record of life as well.
Cap tu re th e p ostu re an d gestu re of you r su bject in a few m om en ts. Try for a sen se
of ch aracter if you can in som e of th e an gles an d sh ap es.

The Gesture of Life


Gesture drawings are a good p lace to start. Th e object is to cap tu re th e essen ce of th e p ose, wh ich m igh t be q u ite en ergetic
as it d oes n ot h ave to be h eld very lon g.

Artists Sketchbook
Gesture drawings are drawn
from short poses, no more than
four minutes and often as short
as one minute.

In th e section followin g, weve p rovid ed gu id elin es for tryin g


a gestu re d rawin g of you r own .

Direction and Gesture


W h en sketch in g from a m od el, arran ge you rself so th at you
can see easily over you r work an d h ave a clear view of th e
wh ole figu re. You will n eed to look back an d forth from
m od el to d rawin g often an d q u ickly.
1. Allow abou t th ree to fou r m in u tes for each p ose. You
can ask you r m od el ah ead of tim e to ch an ge th e p ose
accord in g to a p reestablish ed sch ed u le.
2. Try to cap tu re:
Th e lin e of th e sp in e.

Try Your Hand


Try to mentally experience the
pose yourself, particularly the
more energetic ones. Feel
the tension or off-centeredness,
the weight on one foot, or the
reach or twist as if it were you.

272

Th e twist or an gle of th e sp in e.
Th e an gle of th e h ead an d n eck.
Th e an gles of th e sh ou ld ers an d h ip s (wh ich are
often op p osite to each oth er).
Th e d irection s of th e arm s an d legs.
Th at will keep you p len ty bu sy!

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

Quick gesture drawings are great for discovering how the


human body works, and how it looks in motion. Making gesture drawings will help you learn the proportional relationships
of body parts and to follow their natural movement.

Thoughts on Quick Action Poses


In stru ct th e m od el to ch an ge p oses at in tervals. With each n ew p ose, begin a n ew d rawin g,
even if you h ave n ot fin ish ed . Create a little p ressu re for you rself. Like a workou t, m ake
you rself stretch with th e m od el. Don t erase, ju st d raw an d d raw. If you n eed to correct,
d raw over it an d keep goin g.
If it is p ossible for you , try to d raw in a little in d ication of form , som e rou n d n ess in th e
lim bs. Make th e sh ap es wh ere bod y p arts overlap . Feel th e p arts of th e bod y you rself as you
d raw.
Try to work even ly arou n d th e figu re as lon g as you can . Try n ot to focu s on ju st on e sp ot
you can lose sigh t of wh at you are d oin g an d wh eth er th ere are still p roblem s to correct.
Use you rself wh en you ru n ou t of m od els; a m irror or two will give you p len ty to work
with .

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The Art of Drawing


There are lots of ways to work longer on a pose. Go for tone, shadow, likeness, detail, a shaded
work, a fine line. They are all worth trying. But the most important thing is a good seeing and
beginning drawing. Why spend a half hour or more rendering a drawing that has an inaccurate
base?

Body Parts and the Whole: Anatomy, You Say?


An atom y, after all, is u n d er th ere. W h y n ot h ave at least a p assin g acq u ain tan ce? Heres th e
q u ickest an atom y lesson ever written :
Th e skeletal stru ctu re of a figu re d eterm in es th e p rop ortion .
Mu scle grou p s an d th eir relative d evelop m en t are th e sh ap es of th e bod y an d lim bs, bu t
th e bon es are still u n d ern eath .
Fat d ep osits (relaxwe all h ave th em ) alter th e sh ap es accord in g to h ow m u ch of it is
wh ere.
Age is an oth er factor in h ow th e bod y looks. Th e skeleton loses som e of its flexibility
with age, m u scles ch an ge, h ow an d wh ere fat is retain ed is d ifferen t, an d th e q u ality of
th e skin ch an ges. Yu ccck!
Its all a little clin ical, bu t th ere it is. You ll fin d th at you r d rawin gs will be m u ch better for
th e tim e you sp en d u n d erstan d in g th e skeleton an d m u scle arran gem en t.

The Hip Bone Is Connected to the


Now th at you ve got th ose basics, h eres m ore you sh ou ld kn ow abou t an atom y.
Th e skeleton h as 206 bon es, h eld togeth er by ligam en ts. At th e join ts, th e bon es are
covered with a th in layer of cartilage to p rotect th em again st wear an d tear. Th ere is
con n ective tissu e an d flu id to lu bricate th e join ts.
Th e bod y is su p p orted by th e sp in e, 33 vertebrae from th e sku ll th rou gh th e sh ou ld ers,
rib cage, an d d own to th e p elvis.
Th e rib cage form s a barrel-like stru ctu re to h old an d p rotect th e h eart an d lu n gs.
Th e arm s h an g from th e ball-an d -socket join t of th e sh ou ld er, an d ben d an d rotate
at th e elbow join t an d th e wrist join t, wh ich in tu rn allow th e com p lex flexin g of th e
h an d .
Th e p elvis, a basin -like arran gem en t at th e en d of th e sp in e, su p p orts an d p rotects th e
in testin al system .
Weigh t is tran sferred to th e large bon es of th e legs at th e ball-an d -socket join t of th e
h ip , tran sferred d own th e leg at th e kn ee join t, an d en d s in th e base form ed by th e feet.

274

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

The skeletal system:


Familiarity with the
skeleton will inform
your figure drawings
with a knowledge of
whats under the skin.

Muscle Is Good
Mu scles d o th e work of m ovin g th e skeleton , from large sweep in g m otion s like ru n n in g to
sm all su btle m ovem en ts like sm ilin g or breath in g. Th ere are over 600 m u scles in th e bod y,
d oin g a variety of fu n ction s. Attach ed with ligam en ts to bon es at eith er en d , th ey can con tract an d becom e sh orter an d th icker, or th ey can stretch an d becom e lon ger an d th in n er.
For d rawin g p u rp oses, we are con cern ed with th e large on es th at sh ap e th e torso an d lim bs,
an d th e com p lex m u scles of th e face th at create exp ression , a kinesic fu n ction .
Th e torso is all th e bon e an d m u scles form in g th e m id d le of th e bod y, from th e sh ou ld ers
to th e p elvis. Flexin g an d stretch in g is p ossible becau se of th e flexibility of th e sp in e,
wh ich , as th e m id d le-aged am on g u s kn ow, varies trem en d ou sly from p erson to p erson . Th e
com bin ation s of twists an d tu rn s are am azin g, really. Th e sp in e even h as a d ou ble cu rve
wh en in a stan d in g p osition .
Th e fron t of th e torso is a sh eet of m u scles, in clu d in g abd om in als, wh ich ben d th e bod y
forward , an d sacrosp in als, th e back m u scles, wh ich ben d it backward . Th e ch est m u scles
p ectoralsform th e bu lk of th e ch est, an d breasts are glan d u lar, with a coverin g of fat.
Th e wid e ran ge of m otion in th e arm s is a fu n ction of th e ballan d -socket join t of th e sh ou ld er an d th e clavicle (collarbon e) an d
scap u la (sh ou ld er bon e), wh ich are n ot tigh tly attach ed an d m ove
to allow stretch es an d reach es.
Mu scles in th e sh ou ld er section are th e p ectorals, th e ch est, th e
trap eziu s, th e sh ou ld ers, an d th e latissim u s d orsi on th e back. Th e
sh ou ld er m u scle is th e d eltoid . Arm m u scles go from th e sh ou ld er
to th e elbow (bicep s on th e fron t an d tricep s on th e back), an d
an oth er set go to th e wrist.
Legs are sh ap ed by large m u scles th at su p p ort th e weigh t of th e
bod y an d m ove it abou t. Glu teu s m axim u s, th e large m u scles of
th e bu ttocks, go over th e p elvis to th e legs. Th igh m u scles (bicep s
an d rectu s fem oris) go from th e h ip to th e kn ee an d th e calf (gastron em u s) an d sh in m u scles go from th e kn ee to th e an kle.

Artists Sketchbook
Kinesics is the study of body
movements, gestures, and facial
expressions as a means of communication.

275

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The muscles of the


body: Drape a skeleton
with muscles and youve
got a body ready to
move.

Studying muscle movement will inform your


figure studies with a
knowledge of kinesics.

Some Basic Proportions


Th e Greek p h ysician Hip p ocrates (460377 B. C . E.) recogn ized two bod y
typ es:
Ph th isic h abitu stall, th in p h ysiq u e

Back to the Drawing Board


Note that these are body types,
and are not the same as height.
These types occur in all possible
variations, degrees, or amounts.

Ap op lectic h abitu ssh ort, th ick p h ysiq u e


Bu t th ese two bod y typ es really d on t even begin to cover th e variation s
in th e h u m an bod y, an d th e stu d y of p h ysical an th rop ology h as id en tified a wid e ran ge of bod y typ es. William Sh eld on , an an th rop ologist in
th e 1930s, d evised a system based on th ree m ain typ es:
En d om orp h icfat
Mesom orp h icm u scu lar
Ectom orp h icbon y

276

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

Try d rawin g th e action an d p osition of th e figu re with th e sim p lest of lin es for th e sp in e,
sh ou ld er, h ip , an d lim bs. Ad d som e volu m e to th e bod y cavity, th e sh ou ld ers, an d th e
p elvic area. You can p ractice a kin d of stick figu re, or you can d raw th e bod y as a series of
p rop ortion al ellip ses, or you can see it as a grou p of cylin d ers an d boxes. However you
begin , close seein g an d d rawin g of th e m u scles sh ou ld follow. Th e best p ractice is well,
p ractice.

An awareness of body types helps to see the proportions


of an individual, for better or worse.

Ellipsoids, as opposed to humanoids, and cylinder/box figures are a great way to start adding volume to a
gesture.

277

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Age and Gender: Some Basic Differences, As If You


Didnt Know
Bod y p rop ortion is im p ortan t to u n d erstan d . It ch an ges rad ically from birth to ad u lth ood
an d is sligh tly d ifferen t between m ales an d fem ales as well.

Body, Age, and Proportion


Did you kn ow th at th e bod y can be m easu red relatively at an y age, in h ead s? Th ats righ t:
an average ad u lts h eigh t is eigh t h ead s, easily d ivisible in h ead s at th e ch in , n ip p les, n avel,
crotch , m id -th igh , kn ee, an d th en calf/ foot.
Ch ild ren s h ead s are m u ch larger relatively. A babys h ead is abou t on e-q u arter of its bod y,
as are its legs. As a ch ild grows, so d o its legs, wh ile th e h ead size d ecreases relative to th e
bod y an d th e lim bs.
Accurately seeing and
measuring the proportions of a figure from
childhood to puberty to
adulthood is crucial for
getting the look of the
particular age group.

The male nude.

278

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

If you d on t h ave th e op p ortu n ity to sketch live n u d es, try cop yin g fam ou s m ale n u d e
scu lp tu res, su ch as Mich elan gelos David.
1. Start with a gesture
sketch to capture the
pose of a female nude.

2. Once youve got the


pose, begin to refine
forms and shapes.

3. Use negative space to


further define the pose
and enhance a threedimensional effect.

279

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Wheres the Beef? Where the Ice Cream Goes


Fat d ep osits are sh ap es to con ten d with wh en d rawin g th e figu re.
Mu scle d evelop m en t varies from p erson to p erson of eith er gen d er, bu t m ale m u scu latu re is
gen erally h eavier th an th e fem ale. Fat d istribu tion is d ifferen t, too. Men carry weigh t at th e
m id d le, on th e u p p er back, an d lower back. Wom en ten d to carry weigh t on th eir bu ttocks,
abd om en , th igh s, breasts, an d th e backs of th e u p p er arm s. W h ile tod ays cu ltu re d oesn t always con sid er th is attractive, its a n atu ral p art of h u m an an atom y. So relax an d op en th at
carton of Moch a Alm on d Fu d ge.
Typical areas of fat deposits on the human
body.

What We Have to Look Forward To


As th e bod y ages, th e flexor m u scles sh orten an d ten d to p u ll th e bod y in to a stoop . In ad d ition , th e sp in e cu rves m ore, th e sh ou ld ers rou n d or stoop , an d th e n eck th ru sts th e h ead
forward . At th e sam e tim e, m u scle ton e ch an ges, an d th e m u scles becom e th in n er an d
sh rin k. Join ts, m ean wh ile, seem larger relatively. Skin an d soft tissu e gets softer an d saggy at
th e stom ach , breasts, elbows, an d ch in . More ice cream , an yon e?
Ch ild ren , with th eir lon ger m ore flexible m u scles, are, n ot su rp risin gly, m ore like an im als,
always in m otion .

280

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

Children are more like animals, in perpetual motion, so youll want to use gesture drawing when capturing them. The tilt of a knee can express so much! Practice as well the folds of a dress or getting that
ponytail to have just the right swing.

Extremities: Getting Over Hand and Feet Phobias


Th e m ost com m on ly d rawn figu re p ose is a lovely torso, with th e h an d s beh in d th e back an d
th e h ead an d feet som eh ow left off, as with th e Ven u s d e Milo. Th ere is a reason for th is.

Hands
Han d s are th e ban e of m an y a figu re d rawin g. Th ere are d ozen s of sm all bon es an d m u scles
an d ligam en ts in th e h an d an d th e wrist wh ich allow u s th e won d erfu l ran ge of m ovem en t
we take for gran ted , even d own to th e typ in g of th e m an u scrip t for th is book.
Th in k of th e h an d as a flat, rath er sq u arish sh ap e, with a wrist join t at on e en d (it is am azin g
h ow often th e wrist is ign ored ), an d a cu rved ed ge at th e oth er en d from wh ich fou r fin gers
exten d . Th is p lan e is flexible an d can rotate an d ben d at th e wrist. On on e sid e, th ere is a
wed ge-sh ap ed m u scle from wh ich com es th e th u m b. Th e p lacem en t of th e th u m b in th is
flexible wed ge is wh at allows u s th e won d er of th e op p osin g th u m b, th e u se of th u m b an d
fin gers in coord in ated effort. Th in k of d oin g an yth in g with ou t th is gift!
Practice, with you r own h an d as you r ch eap m od el, is th e best way to d raw th e h an d . Make
th at m od el work for its lu n ch . Practice, in fact, is th e on ly way you will learn to d raw th e
h an d . Th eres n o gettin g arou n d it.
Here are some hand positions to practice copying. Use arcs to get the
relationship of wrist and
finger joints. (see next
page)

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Feet
Feet are sim ilarly avoid ed in figu re d rawin gs. Bu t becau se th ey are th e base for th e bod y at
rest or in action , you n eed to p ay closer atten tion to th em .
Th in k of th e feet as wed ged -sh ap ed bases, h igh er wh ere th ey are con n ected at th e an kle
join t, slop in g d own toward th e fron t ed ge, with an arch ed sh ap e u n d ern eath , an d en d in g
in five toes for ad d ed stability. Here, too, p ractice will best acq u ain t you with th e sh ap es
an d p osition s. An d you h ave two of th ese fin e sp ecim en s to work with , as you p robably are
n ot h old in g a p en cil with on e of th em .
The base of all figure
drawings: the feet.
Practice copying these
foot positions. Visit the
sculpture gallery of your
local museum with your
sketchbook in hand and
start sketching the feet of
the statues. Try sketching
the feet of one statue
from different eye levels
or views to see how the
foot changes as you
change your orientation.

282

Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

Head and Neck


Th e h ead an d n eck top off a strikin g stru ctu re. Th e cervical vertebrae go u p in to th e sku ll
an d allow th e h ead its ran ge of tu rn in g, twistin g, an d ben d in g. If you ve ever h ad a bad stiff
n eck, you kn ow h ow p reciou s th is flexibility is.
Th e h ead itself is rou gh ly as wid e as it is h igh in p rofile from th e fron t, alth ou gh it is th in n er th an it is h igh an d h as an oval sh ap e. In th e back, th e sku ll is rou n d ed , beh in d th e
sh ap e of th e face an d jaw. Th e back of th e n eck goes u p in to th e sku ll, wh ile th e fron t of
th e n eck goes u p u n d er th e ch in an d jaw. Th e m ain p lan e of th e face is m od ified by th e
facial featu res: th e wed ge sh ap e of th e n ose, th e foreh ead , th e eye sockets, th e ch eekbon es,
th e m ou th an d jaw, an d th e ears on th e sid es.
Alon g with stu d yin g a few exam p les h ereor better yet, in th e h u n d red s of m aster d rawin gs in books or m u seu m sju st get in th ere an d try som e h ead stu d ies. Th eyll h elp with
p ortraitu re to com e.

Take a look at these head studies to see how to top off your figure drawing.

More Form and Weight, Now


Okay, read y to try a figu re d rawin g of you r own ?
1. Start you r d rawin g with a few gestu re or action lin es th at are th e m ain lim bs an d
d irection of m ovem en t. Th en , th in k of th e bod y as a collection of sp are p arts, d rawn
as geom etric sh ap es of variou s sizes an d on variou s an gles relative to each oth er.
2. Use q u ick lin es to establish gestu re, p rop ortion , an d sh ap e.
3. Use ellip ses for form , p articu larly ellip soid s.
In lon ger efforts, th e sam e is tru e; ju st con tin u e to ad d d etail, ch eck p rop ortion , an d
th en ad d m ore d etail an d form .
4. Look at th e sh ap es an d th e way a sh ap e goes over or u n d er an oth er, esp ecially at th e
join ts. Th in k of th e rou n d ed n ess of th e bod y, its stren gth , an d its flexibility as you
d raw volu m e an d weigh t in to th e gestu re.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

5. Try to ad d ton e th at rou n d s th e sh ap es an d ad d s a sen se of th e sm ooth n ess, h ard n ess,


flabbin ess, flatn ess, or th in n ess th at you see on th e m od el.

A figure drawing is as simple as the sum


of its parts.
In Ch ap ter 22, Dress Em Up an d Move Em Ou t, we will ap p roach th e h ead , its p rop ortion s an d p arts, th e always p op u lar p ortrait, a con sid eration of cloth in g, an d th e bu sin ess of
p op u latin g you r d rawin gs with you r frien d s, fam ily, or p erfect (or close to p erfect) stran gers.

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Chapter 21 The Human Body and Its Extremities

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The Least You Need to Know


The human figure is perhaps the most compelling and challenging of subjects to
draw.

Gesture and proportion are your first priorities to capture the action and movement
of a living being.

A working knowledge of anatomy, the skeleton, and muscle groups will help
tremendously when you visualize and feel your way into a pose.

As you work toward a more finished figure study, gender, fitness, weight, and age all
contribute to the look of the figure.

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Chapter 22

Dress Em Up
and Move
Em Out
In This Chapter
Adding people to your pictures
Facial shapes and proportions
Getting em dressed
Getting em moving

Im trying to capture something of the world I inhabit, but its really about my own journey.
Ed Hall, portraitist on the Long Island Railroad
Becau se m ost lan d scap es seem to h ave as m an y p eop le m illin g arou n d as th e h ou ses th ey
live in , its tim e to get ou t th ere an d start d rawin g th ese folks. Draw you r fam ily, you r
frien d s, or th at elu sive p erfect stran ger. You kn ow, th e tall, d ark on e? Oh , waitth ats a d ifferen t book.
In th is ch ap ter, well sh ow you h ow to d ress u p you r figu resn ot ju st in cloth es, bu t by
in d ivid u alizin g th eir featu res, bod ies, an d gestu res.

Add That Human Touch


You r lan d scap e d rawin gs will often be en h an ced an d en liven ed by th e ad d ition of p eop le,
wh eth er sin gly or in grou p s. Th ats becau se a h u m an p resen ce ad d s a sen se of p lace, of scale,
an d of tim elin essas well as a tou ch of, well, h u m an ity.
W h en it com es to th at h u m an tou ch , th in k of you r sketch book as a p erson al statem en t of
you r reaction to life, as well as a p lace to p ractice, to record , an d to reactrath er like a
d iary, bu t also as a storeh ou se of im ages an d id eas for fu tu re u se.
You can begin by u sin g you r sketch book at h om e, wh en th e fam ily is watch in g TV, p layin g
ou t in th e yard (esp ecially if th eres a ch ore you d rath er ign ore), or wh ile som eon e is at th e
barbecu e or asleep in a h am m ock.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

At oth er tim es, too, m ake u se of you r sketch book as often as you can . Draw p eop le in th e street, on th e train , waitin g for th e bu s, at lu n ch in th e p ark, walkin g a
d og, joggin g, su n n in g on th e grassan ywh ere you can th in k of will d o.
People are a natural part
of any landscape.

A good way to capture a


figure spontaneously is
to do a Plexiglas sketch,
such as these two examples.

No Flat Heads Here: Heads and Faces


So, you ve asked a frien d or fam ily m em ber to p ose for a p ortrait. Now, lets m ake su re th at
you en d u p with a th ree-d im en sion al, p rop ortion ally correct face an d h ead , with th e eyes,
n ose, an d m ou th wh ere th eyre su p p osed to be, so you d on t lose a frien d or en d u p in
d ivorce cou rt.

Types and Proportion


Lets start at th e top . Th e h ead is an oval from th e fron t, rath er th in n er th an it is h igh . In
p rofile, th e h ead is abou t as wid e as it is h igh . Th e back of th e sku ll is rou n d ed an d th e jaw
lin e cu rves d own to th e ch in .

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Chapter 22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

As with bod y typ es, h ead s an d facial stru ctu res com e in an th rop ologically id en tifiable grad ation s (wh at a m ou th fu lsay th at 10 tim es fast):
A d olich ocep h alic face is lon g an d n arrow an d h as a d istin ctive con vex p rofile.
A brach ycep h alic face is flatter an d wid er.
A m esocep h alic face is sq u arer an d h as traits of both .
Try to see p ast gen eralities as you d raw th e begin n in g sh ap es of a
p erson s h ead an d face, ju st as you wou ld with th eir bod y typ e.

Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat


Th e h ead , face, an d th e p osition of th e facial featu res can be
rou gh ly d escribed with a few q u ick lin es. Th en you can d raw som e
ad d ition al lin es ligh tly to establish a gu id e.

Try Your Hand


When you are going out, remember to take your sketchbook
with you and draw people as you
find themat picnics, concerts,
sporting events, speeches, in
restaurants, on boats, in planes
whatever.

On th e oval of th e fron t of th e h ead


Th e eyes are at abou t h alfway.
Th e n ose is abou t h alfway between th e eyes.
Th e ch in cu rves at th e bottom of th e oval.
Th e m ou th lin e is abou t h alfway between th e n ose an d th e
ch in .

These drawn guidelines,


along with the written
rules above, will help
you position the features
on just about any face.

In ad d ition :
Th e eyes are abou t on e eyes wid th ap art alon g th e m id d le lin e.
Th e n ose is a wed ge sh ap e in th e m id d le of th e face.
W h en th e face is seen in p rofile, th e n ose is a trian gle ou t from th e face.
At an y view, th e wed ge of th e n ose is p erp en d icu lar to th e face.
Th e m ou th is form ed by th e two lip s, cen tered u n d er th e n ose.
Th e ch in is th e n arrow cu rve of th e bottom jaw, a lin e th at com es from ju st below th e
ear.
Th e ears th em selves are flap s th at are on th e sid e of th e h ead at abou t a level between
th e eyes an d th e n ose.
Th e n ecklin e com es from th e ear on th e sid e an d u n d er th e ch in .

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The guidelines for the


full frontal view, accompanied by the finished
portrait.

The guidelines for a three-quarter view, accompanied by the initial sketch and more finished
drawing where tone and detail are beginning to be added.

Especially for Children


Rem em ber th at a ch ild s h ead an d face h ave th eir own p rop ortion relative to an ad u lt face
an d h ead . Look carefu lly at th e d ifferen ces:
Th e eyes are wid er an d larger.
Th e n ose is sh orter, softer (all cartilage an d bon e d evelop s later), an d m ore u p tu rn ed .
Th e m ou th is u su ally fu ller.
Th e foreh ead is wid er.
Th e ch in is sm aller.

Likeness and Portraiture


Portraitu re attracts m ost p eop le. After all, we d o like to look at ou r fellow h u m an s an d fam ily m em bers. Bu t wh ere d o you begin ? At th e top . Th e followin g ru les of d rawin g th e face
can h elp you .
1. Begin a p ortrait with a stu d y of th e h ead an d facial p rop ortion s of you r su bject.
2. Ch eck th e an gles very carefu lly, in clu d in g th e an gle of th e p ose, wh eth er from sid e
to sid e or tilted u p or d own , or both . Position th e gu id elin es for th e featu res so th ey
lin e u p .

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Chapter 22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

3. Th ere is n o p oin t in ren d erin g a n ose th at is ju st a little bit too h igh or a m ou th th at


is ju st a little bit off to th e sid e, so m ake su re of you r base. Draw ligh tly u n til you like
th e sh ap es.
Examples of an infants
face.

Some Basic Proportions and Shapes


Look for th e sp ecific sh ap es th at m ake u p th e featu res of you r su bject. For exam p le:
Faces are rou n d , wid e, n arrow, oval, or sq u are.
Noses com e in lots of sh ap es an d sizes.
Eyes are close, wid e, d eep , sm all or large, sq u in ty or rou n d .
Eyebrows an d th e brid ge of th e n ose are key tran sition s.
Ch eekbon es are h igh or low, p rom in en t or flat.
Mou th s are wid e or n arrow, fu ll-lip p ed or th in .
Jaws are wid e or n arrow, u n d er- or overd evelop ed .
Ears are sm all or large, close or p rotru d in g.
Necks are lon g or sh ort, th in or th ick.
Hairlin e, typ e of h air, an d cu t of h air all id en tify an in d ivid u al.

The Art of Drawing


A recent issue of Newsday had an article about Ed Hall, a veteran commuter on the Long Island
Railroad, who has sketched his fellow commuters on the train for the last 11 years.
I love my species, he said of his fascination with the sleeping faces that are his subjects.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Ou r featu res are m ostly all in th e sam e p lace, so its th e little variation s th at m ake th e in d ivid u al an d th e exp ression .

You might want to practice drawing just


features to get a feel for their individuality. The nose knows .
Begin work on th e featu res on you r p ortrait with th e sam e con cern for sh ap e, sp ace, an d
form th at you h ave u sed on all you r work. Con sid er th e basic sh ap es an d th en refin e th em
as you go. Th e m ore you look at th e sh ap e an d stru ctu re of a featu re, th e better you will
d raw it.

Setting a Scene for a Portrait


Settin g a scen e for a p ortrait is a n ice way to ad d to th e sp ecial feelin g an d th e con n ection
to th e su bjects life or in terests. Som e p ortraits are set in in tim ate su rrou n d in gs to create a
secret sp ot or a restfu l feel; oth ers are set in a m ore p u blic sp ace, or ou td oors if it su its th e
su bject. You are th e u ltim ate ju d ge of wh ats ap p rop riate wh en it com es to settin g, bu t
d on t h esitate to try a settin g th at is u n u su al.

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Chapter 22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

Lauren drew this figure


of her nephew when he
was a week old.

When You Are Your Subject


W h en you re you r su bject, you h ave even m ore say in h ow th e d rawin g will look. On e or
m ore m irrors can set you u p with an y n u m ber of views, an d you can sit for you rself as lon g
as you like. Th ere will also, h op efu lly, be less argu m en t abou t wh en to take breaks an d h ow
lon g you re m akin g you r su bject sit still.
One of Laurens students
draws a self-portrait at 8
years old (left), and
again as a teenager
(right). My, how youve
grown!

Self-portraits show the


mood of the moment,
and hold up a mirror to
the artists view of himor herself!

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Self-portraits drawn on
Plexiglas produce a
quick-study image.

Details of self-portraits,
such as a vivid facial expression or that favorite
pet, add poignancy and
endearing emotion to
self-portraits.

Folds, Drapes, Buttons, and Bows


You m igh t wan t to go back to th e d escrip tion of d rawin g fabric in Ch ap ter 14 to review
som e of th e tricks of fabric d rawin g. On ce you ve got fabric m astered , cloth es will fall righ t
in to p lace. Bu t h ere are som e fu rth er h in ts, too.

Over and Under: Folds and How to Draw


Them

Back to the Drawing Board


Often, clothing needs to be seen
as formimagine where, and
how, the lines and folds go when
you cant see them under, over,
or behind the body of your subject. Creases where one shape
goes behind another need to be
imagined and drawn.

294

Qu ite sim p ly, cloth in g covers th e bod y th at you are d rawin g. On ce


you ve gotten a basic sketch an d are h ap p y with th e p rop ortion s an d
gestu re, you ll wan t to begin to ad d th e d etail of th e cloth in g. Rem em ber th at cloth in g covers a rou n d ed figu re, n ot a flat on e. Places like
n ecklin es, cu ffs, an d p an t legs n eed to h ave a rou n d n ess to th em .

Detailing: Make the Clothing Fit the


Woman or Man
Th e d etail in cloth in g ad d s to th e p ose an d gestu re of an in d ivid u al
an d sets th e scen e for th at p erson s activity in you r d rawin g. You can
sketch it in or you can sp en d tim e on th e textu res an d p attern s, th e
style, an d th e d etails.

Chapter 22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

In ad d ition , a few p rop s can often ad d th e d etail you re after in a p ortrait. If you en joy
d rawin g p eop le, as p ortraits or as ch aracters in you r larger work, you m igh t am ass a collection of p rop h ats, gloves, boots, jewels, flowers, an d feath ers, ju st for fu n .

Putting People in Your Drawings


If you re ou t d rawin g a lan d scap e an d th ere are p eop le in it, you sh ou ld feel con fid en t
en ou gh to ad d th em n ow. You d o, h owever, n eed to p lace th em well an d keep th em in scale
with th eir su rrou n d in gs.
Gen erally, carefu l m easu rin g an d relation al seein g will get th em in th e righ t p lace. Feel free
to retu rn to th e tear card at th e fron t of th is book wh en ever you n eed a rem in d er abou t
m easu rin g gu id elin es.

Where Are They?


In sid e, th e scale of p eop le an d th in gs is n ot m u ch of a p roblem , becau se th e d istan ces are
n ot great an d th e p eop le are p robably easy to see. Try d rawin g a frien d workin g in th e
kitch en , or a fam ily m em ber sn oozin g in fron t of th e TV, or an in tim ate frien d in th e tu b or
relaxin g in th e bed room . Th e settin g of you r d rawin g h elp s p lace th e p erson an d ad d s a
sp ecial feelin g abou t th e m om en t.

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Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

Placing people in your landscape can add both drama and character(s).

The Art of Drawing


Seeing and measuring the scale of your figures in the landscape relative to other elements will
put them where you want them. The detail in your figures will vary according to their placement and importance in your landscape. Those guys off in the distance need to really be there,
but you wont see the logos on their T-shirts.

Ou tsid e, h owever, is a d ifferen t story; th e p ossibilities are abou t as en d less as th e lan d scap e
itself. You r figu res can be off in th e d istan ce an d be ju st an oth er elem en t in th e lan d scap e,
like a tree or fen ce. Or, th ey can be rath er in th e m id d le an d be p art of th e action of th e
d rawin g, or in th e foregrou n d an d be th e action , with th e lan d scap e p rovid in g th e backd rop an d settin g for th eir activity. Peop le in th e foregrou n d , p articu larly if th ey are in terestin gly d ressed , d eserve som e real atten tion to d etail.

What Are They Doing? Action, Gesture, and Detail


Th e bod y in action p robably p resen ts you with som e foresh orten in g ch allen ges. Its really
q u ite sim p le, th ou gh : If you th in k of p eop le as cylin d ers in sp ace, you ll kn ow h ow to d raw
th em . Measu re carefu lly to see wh ere th e bod y p arts lin e u p with each oth er in th e foresh orten ed p ose, as op p osed to th e figu re if it were stan d in g straigh t u p .
To d raw p eop le at work an d at p lay, con cen trate on th e action an d th e gestu re in q u ick
lin es, ad d in g d etail as you can . Som etim es a sm all d etail, like a h at or a fish in g p ole, is
en ou gh to begin to con vey a feel for th e p erson or th e activity.
No m atter wh at, you ll fin d th at ad d in g p eop le to you r d rawin gs ad d s a wh ole n ew d im en sion . Try it an d see. In th e n ext ch ap ter, well exp lore d rawin g for a sp ecial class of p eop le
kid s.

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Chapter 22 Dress Em Up and Move Em Out

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 6 Drawing Animals and People

The Least You Need to Know


The head and face are a challenge, but if you see the proportion and detail, you will
be able to draw what you see and capture the uniqueness of your subject.

Adding clothing doesnt have to be complicated; think of it as fabric draped on a


body.

Putting people in your interiors or landscapes adds scale and interest as well as a
sense of place, time, and individuality.

Remember that clothing goes over a breathing, bending body, and look for the
drapes, creases, and folds that make clothing real.

298

Part 7

Enjoying the Artists Life!


Its time to put it all together and use your drawing as a way to express yourself. You will learn
about different media, projects, and ways to use your drawings to decorate your world. Youll
even learn about drawing in cyberspaceand encouraging your children to draw, too.
Plus, well go to the museum to see how to look at the larger world of art, and youll learn how
you can understand more about yourself by finding what art youre drawn to.

Chapter 23

Just for Children

In This Chapter
Kids can draw, too
Its all in the attitude
Basic drawing materials for kids
Exercises to get kids drawing

The study of composition means an art education for the entire people, for every child can be
taught to composewhat it is to know and feel beauty and to produce it in simple ways.
Arthur Wesley Dow
From earliest m an s d rawin gs on cave walls, to th e great Ren aissan ce d rawin gs of d a Vin ci an d
on ward s, to th e works of ou r con tem p oraries, d rawin g is a basic h u m an exp ression . With
tod ays p ower-based , lan gu age-d riven , an alytical attitu d e toward ed u cation , th ou gh , d rawin g
n o lon ger h as a p lace of real im p ortan ce (gen erally sp eakin g).
Ch ild ren are tau gh t th e im p ortan ce of acad em ic ach ievem en t, bu t visu al skills are u su ally
th ou gh t of as p astim es or h obbies. Th is m ean s th at ch ild ren d raw u n til th ey are ed u cated ou t
of th eir in n ocen t sen se of won d er an d th e ability to ju st d o with ou t bein g cau gh t u p in
correctn ess an d p assin g ju d gm en t on th eir work. Th ey th en aban d on d rawin g altogeth er.
You , h owever, can ch an ge th is: Use wh at you h ave learn ed abou t d rawin g an d try bein g a
ch ild s gu id e. Get in tou ch with you r ch ild , gran d ch ild , or a you n g frien d an d op en u p to th e
world of seein g an d d rawin g, togeth er.

From Symbols to Realism


You n g ch ild ren are con fron ted with a world of th in gs to see, learn , n am e, an d u n d erstan d , to
say n oth in g of con cep ts, id eas, an d feelin gs. Th ey start by d rawin g stick figu res to com m u n icate id eas to th em selves an d oth ers, an d as th ey d raw th ese cru d e p ictu res, th ey are con n ectin g word s to th eir m in d p ictu res. As you ll recall from Ch ap ter 1, Th e Pleasu res of Seein g
an d Drawin g, d rawin g itself is n on verbal, bu t it h elp s ch ild ren d evelop id eas an d lan gu age.

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

You n g ch ild ren con tin u e to d raw th eir id eas in sym bols wh ile at th e sam e tim e th ey learn
to see an d d raw objects as well. An d , as th eir visu al p ercep tion skills d evelop , th ey also
learn to con cen trate, becom e m ore p atien t, an d in crease th eir p roblem -solvin g ability.
Old er ch ild ren h ave alread y given u p sym bolic d rawin g an d wan t to d raw realistically, an d
th ey are fru strated if th ey can t. By th e tim e a ch ild is in secon d grad e, in fact, th e left-brain
world of ed itorial ju d gm en t is firm ly in p lace, an d th at joy of u n cen sored creativity is gon e.

Stick figures arent just for kids. These were drawn by some of Laurens friends.

Educating the Right Side


We teach th e d o as I say m eth od of im p artin g kn owled ge, an d th en we test to establish
cap ability, skill, an d in telligen ce in ju st th at on e way, n ever ackn owled gin g th at th ere are
m an y kin d s of in telligen ce an d m an y ways of workin g. Th e tru th is th at ed u cation is learn in g, bu t its a left-brain ed , verbally based , lan gu age-d riven attitu d e toward learn in g.
To teach art an d d rawin g to ch ild ren or to learn alon g with th em h elp s th em learn early
on to access th e relation al righ t an d avoid th e cru n ch wh en th ey are fru strated th at m akes
th em q u it. Usin g a righ t-brain ed ap p roach , ch ild ren can learn visu al (an d life) skills to last
th em in to ad u lth ood :
Sp atial organ ization
Atten tion to d etail
Patien ce
Kin d n ess

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Chapter 23 Just for Children

In ad d ition , d rawin g h as an ad van tage as a learn in g activity. Becau se it is seen as a p leasu rable activity rath er th an an acad em ic on e, its n ot th ou gh t of as stressfu l. At th e sam e tim e,
becau se its often an u n grad ed su bject, or at least n ot viewed as strin gen tly as m ore acad em ic on es, its relatively free of th e an xiety an d fear of failu re th at com e with oth er su bjects.

From Hunter to High Tech


Lon g, lon g ago, we were m ore con n ected to th e lan d , to ou r fam ilies, to th e way we gath ered an d grew food , to th e an im als th at
p rovid ed food , cloth in g, an d sh elter, an d to th e exp ression of ou rselves th rou gh d rawin g. In sh ort, th e h u n ter-gath erers way of life
relied on basic skills, in terd ep en d en ce, an d coop eration .
As we settled in to th e lives of farm ers an d craftsp eop le, th ese basic
skills were still im p ortan t. At th e sam e tim e, th e ad d ed activities
of exp loration an d th e settlin g of n ew lan d s req u ired m u ltitaskin g, bu t also in clu d ed a growin g d ep en d en ce on d om in ation
an d su p eriority.
Tod ay, th e h ard work an d basic life skills req u ired of th e agrarian
age h ave been su p p lan ted by th e acad em ic learn in g an d an alytical
kn owled ge valu ed in th is in d u strial an d p ost-in d u strial age. An d ,
wh en we look forward in to th e tech n ological age of th e twen tyfirst cen tu ry, its clear th at all kin d s of creative, vision ary skills will
be n ecessary for fu ll d evelop m en t.

Back to the Drawing Board


School curricula generally undervalue art in favor of left-brained
learning. Drawing can help children organize and develop sequential thought patterns and
step-by-step habits. New York
State Art Teacher Assessment
Supervisor Roger Hyndman has
done statistical studies on students
with drawing backgroundsthey
achieve higher academic ratings.

Visual Learning for All Reasons


Visu al learn in g is a great tool: If you d raw som eth in g you kn ow it, an d to kn ow it, you d raw
it. As Fred erick Fran k p u ts it, I h ave learn ed th at wh at I h ave n ot d rawn , I h ave n ever really
seen . Ch ild ren across th e learn in g sp ectru m can ben efit from learn in g to d raw in a variety of ways:
Drawin g can h elp wh ere skills h ave been or are com p rom ised becau se of variou s ch allen ges. Th ose with on ly average acad em ic skills, for exam p le, can h ave well aboveaverage skills in visu al areas, an d even en joy careers as visu al artists, artisan s, an d
craftsm en . Research h as sh own th at learn in g d isabilities are often p roblem s in th e
p rocessin g of lan gu age-based in form ation , an d learn in g-d isabled p eop le often h ave
very stron g visu al skills.
W h atever a ch ild s skills, n ew levels of com p eten ce an d a sen se of reward can be attain ed with effort an d p atien ce. Th en , with th e con fid en ce gain ed from th e n ew learn in g an d activities, p oten tial career op tion s in crease as well. Ch ild ren wh o d raw n o
lon ger view th eir sen se of self as n arrow or trad ition al.
Drawin g p rom otes n ew en ergy an d con fid en ce in an y en d eavor, ad d in g im p ortan t reason in g skills to th e battery of left-brain th in kin g. Drawin g a d ifficu lt su bject can sp eed
th e rate of learn in g th e in form ation an d exten d th e reten tion tim e, too.
In th e electron ic aren a, th e creative relation al m in d is a p lu s; th e ability to see th e big
p ictu re an d look at it from an oth er an gle an d con tin u e to see it an ew is a gift.
Hu m an exp ression h as a valu e all its own . To be able to exp ress feelin g an d th ou gh ts visu ally is to en cou rage on e to feel an d exp ress th ose feelin gsan d a step alon g th e way to
greater u n d erstan d in g am on gst u s all.

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We All Love to Draw


In a n on th reaten in g en viron m en t, we all love to d raw. Th ats becau se th e h id d en ch ild
com es ou t to p lay. Bu t trad ition al in stru ction in d rawin g was for old er ch ild ren , u su ally
th ose wh o d rew well, an d was focu sed on trad ition al Eu rop ean styles an d m od els. It d id n t
leave m u ch room for fu n .
Tod ay, th ose of u s wh o h elp ch ild ren d raw kn ow th at th ey can learn to d raw realistically
in a creative en viron m en t with ou t sacrificin g th eir n atu ral creativity. With old er ch ild ren
p articu larly, th e exp erien ce can keep th em from h ittin g th e wall of fru stration wh en th ey
can t d raw to th eir exp ectation s an d q u it. Th e key is th at n on th reaten in g en viron m en t
an d p erm ission to p lay.

Drawing can be funjust look at these, with the theme: Springtime and Easter.

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Kids Draw at Any Age


Ch ild ren n eed h elp with d rawin g realistically before th ey stop , as th ey n atu rally will, th e
sym bolic stick-typ e d rawin gs th ey m ad e wh en you n ger to d escribe th eir world . An d teen agers will resist becau se th eir lan gu age-based left brain s h ave taken over an d told th em th ey
can t d raw.
W h en you re d rawin g with a grou p of ch ild ren , you ll n eed to be aware of th ese d ifferen ces.
If th ere is a ran ge of skill an d age in a grou p , go for th e average. Th e slower on es will catch
u p an d th e m ore ad van ced will exp erim en t.

The Very Young


Start d rawin g with kid s wh en th eyre you n g; you can give th e gift of visu al exp erien ce to a
very you n g ch ild an d likely affect th e ch ild s visu al abilities, en cou ragin g h is or h er ability
to be visu ally in clin ed an d gifted . On e p ossible activity is to p lay gam es with basic sh ap es.
Recogn ition an d d u p lication of th ose circles, sq u ares, an d trian gles is good for visu al p ercep tion an d for d evelop in g th e m otor skills an d coord in ation n eed ed for d rawin g.

The Art of Drawing


By determining the childs particular interests, you can help encourage a child to draw. Many
children, for example, love nature and draw wonderful botanical or biological studies. Others
love and draw detailed maps, learning the geography as they go. Mechanically minded children
might draw parts of things to show how something workseven if that something is a made-up
spaceship or rocket. Whatever interests them, they are learning about drawing and learning to
follow their interests, a great gift.

Stages from Symbol to Image


Tim e sp en t with a ch ild is th e best way to kn ow ju st wh ere h e or sh e falls in th e stages of
visu al d evelop m en t, an d , as with all oth er d evelop m en t, a ch ild m ay ad van ce beyon d an d
retreat back. Th e followin g gu id elin es will h elp you d eterm in e wh ere best to ap p ly you r
en ergies:
At ages th ree to fou r years, you can work with basic sh ap es, bu t ch ild ren in th is age
grou p will m ostly d raw sym bolically in stick figu res.
By th e tim e ch ild ren are five to six years old , th ey can begin to d raw realistically from
sim p le sh ap es, bu t th ey will also con tin u e to d raw sym bolically.
Ch ild ren wh o are seven to eigh t years old can d raw realistically, bu t th ey m ay revert
to sym bolic d rawin gs for fu n . Let th em !
Ad olescen ts from eigh t to th irteen years old h ave aban d on ed sym bolic d rawin g an d
are eager to d raw realistically. Th ey com p are an d criticize an d can easily becom e

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fru strated an d give u p if th ey feel th ey can n ot p erform . Its esp ecially im p ortan t to rem in d th is age grou p th at d rawin g is fu n , n ot com p etitive.

Childrens drawings can reveal their interests and should be encouraged.

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Chapter 23 Just for Children

Tactics
Th ere are a n u m ber of step s you can take to m ake d rawin g a p ositive exp erien ce for ch ild ren .
1. Set u p a frien d ly an d su p p ortive world .
2. Talk as an ad u lt, kin d ly an d su p p ortively, bu t n ot con d escen d in gly. Kid s treated th u sly
will act m ore m atu rely.
3. Talk n on ju d gm en tally. Avoid p erform an ce word s, com p etition or com p arison word s,
an d d efin itely fear or failu re word s. Elim in ate good, bad, better, best, right, wrong, easy,
hard, mistake, an d cheat from you r vocabu lary.
4. Follow th eir lead on su bjects to d raw, at least som e of th e tim e, or try m akin g a d eal to
follow a su ggestion for p art of th e tim e an d work on a ch osen p roject for th e rest of
th e tim e.

The Art of Drawing


Children have the imagination that most of us have lost, thanks to education and the demands
of adult life. Encourage a child to use stories as the impetus for their drawing, or let a child develop a story to go with a picture or a picture to go with a story. Your childs imagination may
get a boost in the bargain. Use your computer, or take a lesson from your young friendkids
know moreand combine a story with a picture, illustrate a poem, or start a book project.

Materials for Kids


Th e n ext step in en cou ragin g kid s to d raw is to stock u p on
wh atever you d on t alread y h ave:
Markers, fin e an d broad -tip p ed , in lots of colors
Dry-erase m arkers for d rawin g on p lastic
Mech an ical p en cils, with a th icker lead
(0.7) in a few h ard n esses
Colored p en cils, as big a set of colors as p ossible
Erasers, an assortm en t; tap e, scissors, clip s
Pap erin exp en sive, an d lots of it
Board s, p lywood to work on
Water-based p ain t, watercolor or acrylic, d ep en d in g
on th e ch ild s age

Back to the Drawing Board


Be sure to supervise kids
especially very young onesin
the use of art materials. Keep
toxic materials or dangerous tools
away from children who are too
young or who are not mature
enough to handle them.

In d ia in k an d p en or bru sh ; water-solu ble crayon s

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Reference Materials
Accu m u late a file of p ictu res to referen ce an d id eas for p ictu res or backgrou n d s. You r you n g
frien d s can ad d to th e p ile, too. Th ey will com e u p with u ses an d ap p lication s for p ieces of
grap h ics th at will am aze you . Pictu res, p ostcard s, card s, grap h ics, books an d m agazin es, an d
wrap p in g p ap er are a begin n in g. Soon , th e kid s will be brin gin g in m aterials you h ad n t
even th ou gh t of.
An d th en th ere is th e world of objects. Try to set asid e a sh elf for th in gs to d raw. Th e sky is
th e lim it h ere. Be p layfu l an d in ven tive, su rp risin g even . Flowers an d fru it (d ried or fresh or
fake), sh ells, sku lls, bon es, bu tterflies, p lastic an im als with good scale an d d etail, toy cars,
old toys, old blocks an d log cabin sets, kitch en u ten sils an d bowls, d ollh ou se fu rn itu re,
d olls, broken toys, fish in g tackle, sp orts eq u ip m en t, action figu res, m u sical in stru m en ts, a
typ ewriter (if you still h ave on e), roller skates, an d toolsall th ese m erely begin a list th at
h as n o en d .

Drawing objects are limited by only the imagination, as one of Laurens students illustrates in these two drawings.

Retraining the Critic


Restrain an d retrain th e critic in you r h ead (yu p its Old Lefty again ).
Get rid of h im an d in vite in you r kin d er righ t sid e as a gu id e in stead .
We d on t n eed n asty critics; th ere is n o righ t or wron g, an d n o on e
way.

Back to the Drawing Board


You dont need to feel guilty
about getting help or using help.
And dont worry about copying
actually, you can learn a lot by
copying, and your art will still be
different because you are different.
Just dont try to pass off that great
Rembrandt knock-off as your own.

308

See the Basics


Gettin g back to basics is th e best ap p roach for d rawin g with kid s.
Create a p eacefu l an d en cou ragin g en viron m en t, with n o ju d gm en tal
word s like mistake, n o com p etitive word s like good, bad, better, or best.
With you n ger ch ild ren , see th e basic sh ap esth e circles, trian gles, an d
sq u ares in an yth in gan d d raw th em as th e begin n in g. With old er
ch ild ren , try to see th e th ree-d im en sion al geom etric sh ap es in th in gs
sp h eres, cu bes, fu n n els, eggs, an d tu besan d u se th em as bu ild in g
blocks toward m ore com p licated th in gs.

Chapter 23 Just for Children

Banish that criticits just Old Lefty, rearing his ugly head.

Eventually, the process of seeing and


drawing becomes second nature.

Pick Simple Terms to Explain Things


Ch ild ren m igh t n ot u n d erstan d all th e term s th at we assu m e th ey u n d erstan d , so its im p ortan t to u se sim p le lan gu age u n til you are su re of you r exp lan ation s. For exam p le,
A lin e or sh ap e th at is
h orizon tal is lyin g d own .

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vertical is stan d in g u p .
d iagon al is lean in g.
reced in g or d im in ish in g is gettin g sm aller in th e d istan ce.
A p rofile is th e sid e of som eth in g or som eon es face.
A con tou r lin e goes all arou n d th e ed ge of som eth in g.
You can p robably th in k of m ore sim p le ways to d escribe th in gs, id eas, or p rojects.

When Problems Arise


As with all activities, you ll h ave good d ays an d n ot-so-good d ays. Rem ain su p p ortive an d
u n d erstan d in g if th in gs d on t go as you p lan n ed , an d look for reason s for th e sp eed bu m p
th at you m igh t h ave overlooked . Main tain in g a p rotective an d en cou ragin g atm osp h ere
th at in clu d es m u tu al tru st will en able th e ch ild to work ou t a p roblem .
In sp ite of you r best in ten tion s, th ou gh , p roblem s will arise. So h ere are
som e of th e p ossible p itfalls an d solu tion s.

Distractions and Quiet


Try Your Hand
Try thinking of lines and shapes
as animated, with personalities.
Be funny about it. Name them
with the child. Draw them as
characters to reinforce their
identity, then try the same tactic
with basic shapes, and even
three-dimensional ones. You may
get some very amusing results.

A p roactive ap p roach can be best wh en it com es to p eace an d q u iet d u rin g d rawin g tim e. Drawin g is best d on e in silen ce, becau se th e righ t
brain is n ot ch atty. Try for a q u iet, p eacefu l tim e, an d m aybe som e soft
m u sic. Exp lain th at d rawin g tim e is n ot story tim e, an d th at it feels
good to sit q u ietly an d d raw an d tell th e stories later.

Tension, Frustration, Fatigue, and Short


Attention Span
W h ole books are written on each of th ese, becau se ch ild ren are ap t to
exp erien ce an y or all of th em wh ile d rawin g. Be as p atien t as you can .
Look for th e reason beh in d th e p roblem , en cou rage th e ch ild to exp lain
h is or h er feelin gs, an d rem ain th e kin d ad u lt.
Th e old er a ch ild is, th e lon ger h is or h er atten tion sp an will be. If an y
of th e above is exh ibited at th e begin n in g of th e d rawin g session , its
p ossible th at d rawin g isn t th e p roblem at all.
As a ch ild learn s to en joy d rawin g, th eyll wan t to d o it m ore often an d
for lon ger p eriod s of tim e. Th e m ost im p ortan t ru le for len gth of session
an d h ow often th ey sh ou ld occu r is flexibilityyou rs. Don t im p ose
left-brain ed , ad u lt rigid ity on wh at sh ou ld be a joyfu l, fu n -filled activity.

Back to the Drawing Board


Avoid generalities or art speak
with kids (or adults, for that
matter). Save it for cocktail parties instead. When youre working with kids, explain specifically
what you mean and where.

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Fun Drawing Exercises for Kids


Be as in ven tive as you can as you look back th rou gh th e exercises in
th is book an d ad ap t th em for you r you n g frien d s an d fam ily. Weve
d on e som e of th at for you , bu t d on t let u s stop you from com in g u p
with som e variation s of you r own as well.
For the very young: Recogn ize an d cop y. You n g ch ild ren en joy
cop yin g sets of sh ap es or lin es. Its good p ractice for observin g
th e d ifferen ces an d good for coord in ation , too.

Chapter 23 Just for Children

After a while, try drawing with basic shapes. Give th e circle, oval, trian gle, wed ge, sq u are,
an d rectan gle a try. You can set u p bu ild in g blocks an d th en Lin coln logs in sim p le
grou p s to serve as m od els.
For the older child, to help build a vocabulary of lines and textures, use a variety of simple
lines. Practice d ots, straigh t lin es, cu rves, jagged lin es, sp ikes, sp irals, an d crisscrossed
lin es for d ifferen t sh ap es, ton es, an d textu res.
Mirror-image vase exercise. Kid s like th e m irror-im age vase/ p rofile d rawin g from Ch ap ter
2, Toward Seein g for Drawin g. Let th em in ven t a sim p le p rofile for th e vase.
Drawing without looking. Review th is exercise in Ch ap ter 2, too, an d try d rawin g a h an d
or a th in g with ou t lookin g.
Negative-space drawings. Set u p a sim p le ch air, as in Ch ap ter 6, Negative Sp ace as a
Positive Tool, an d try th e n egative-sp ace d rawin g.
Upside-down drawing. Try th e u p sid e-d own d rawin g from Ch ap ter 2, bu t p ick a sim p ler
su bject to start, m aybe a p ictu re of an an im al.
Drawing things that overlap. Sp atial relation sh ip s m ay take som e tim e for a ch ild to
grasp . Try m akin g a still life arran gem en t on a large p iece of p ap er an d d raw a lin e
arou n d each object to sh ow th e sp ace it n eed s.
Portraits and self-portraits. Kid s like to d raw on e an oth er an d th em selves. Sh ow th em
th e sim p le p rop ortion al lin es to arran ge th e featu res on a face. Th en , h an d th em a
m irror an d see wh at h ap p en s.

Kids love to draw themselvesjust look at these examples.


On the sliding glass door. Drawin g on a slid in g glass d oor with d ry-erase m arkers is a
favorite with Lau ren s classes. Take tu rn s p osin g on th e oth er sid e of th e d oor, m ake
still life arran gem en ts on a stool, or d raw ch airs, boots, baskets, an d boxesm aybe

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even a bicycleon th e glass. Rem em ber to close on e eye to flatten th e th reed im en sion al sp ace an d stay very still as you are workin g.
Here are some drawings
kids drew on sliding
glass doors. (Be careful
when doing this exercise
to protect kids from accidents; maintain good
supervision at all times
and make sure glass
panes are marked with
masking tape so kids
wont mistakingly walk
into them.

A Place for Everything: How to Start


Fin d a p lace to start, a basic sh ap e, th e cen ter of som eth in g, th e stem of som eth in g. Th en ,
u se th e p lastic p ictu re p lan e or th e viewfin d er fram e to h elp th e ch ild establish th e cen ter of
th e p age an d th e cen ter of th e im age.

For Mistakes or Problems


As m u ch as you try to avoid even th e lan gu age of m istakes, ch ild ren , p articu larly old er on es,
will d ecid e th at som eth in g is wron g with th eir d rawin g. To en cou rage a creative solu tion ,
you can always
Ad d som eth in g to th e p roblem area, like textu re.
Ch an ge som eth in g th at is a p roblem in to som eth in g else.
Tran sform som eth in g by lookin g at it d ifferen tly.
Rearran ge som eth in g on a n ew p iece of p ap er (u se a win d ow or a ligh tbox, for exam p le).

Above All, Have Fun


Make th e m ost of th e tim e you h ave with a ch ild . You will both ben efit from th e tim e togeth er. Th e gift of seein g an d d rawin g is on e th at a ch ild will h ave an d rem em ber forever.

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Chapter 23 Just for Children

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

The Least You Need to Know


Children draw naturally, as we all did when life was simpler.
Young children use symbolic stick figure drawings to explore, understand, respond to,
and communicate about the world as they see it.

A child can learn to draw realistically as he or she develops naturally and gradually
abandons symbolic drawing.

Older children need help to see and draw up to their expectations so that they
dont become frustrated and give up.

A protective, encouraging environment helps any child to feel comfortable and to


be able to experiment. Its not bad for adults, either.

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Chapter 24

Decorate Your
World

In This Chapter
Creating illustrations and illuminations
Places to use your drawings
Beyond the ordinary
Cartoons, caricatures, and fantasies

Culture will come when every man will know how to address himself to the inanimate simple
things of life .
Georgia OKeeffe
You r d rawin g su bjects are lim ited on ly by you r im agin ation . Travel, both overseas an d to
th e local n atu re p reserve, for exam p le, can be en h an ced by carryin g a sketch book alon g
with you r cam era.
Th en , th eres d ecoratin g you r world . On ce you ve learn ed to d raw, you can create books of
you r own , or cu stom ize you r h om e an d you r fu rn itu re.
Th is ch ap ter is ch ock-fu ll of su ggestion s for d rawin g, both on p ap er, an d on som e oth er su rfaces you m ay n ot h ave th ou gh t of.

Have Sketchbook, Will Travel


We love to travel, an d we love to see an d d raw wh atever of in terest com es alon g wh ile we
d o. We d on t really care wh ere we areItalian h ill town s, ski villages in Fran ce, a n ice ten t
site in th e Rockies, a beat-u p h otel off th e coast of Main e, th e western d esert. With th e
ch an gin g lan d scap e, u p -close botan ical d etails, still lifes th ere for th e d rawin g, or vistas off
in th e d istan ce, th ere is always a visu al treat.

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

The Art of Drawing


Give yourself the time to enjoy the beauty of everything around you when youre on a trip.
Take your sketchbook along and record the details of the landscape as well as the feelings you
experience. Then, when you get back to home base, you can use some of your own drawings to
decorate your world at home or work, and go back to those wonderful idylls again and again.

Using Your Own Images


Usin g you r own d rawin gs for oth er p rojects is wh en th e real fu n begin s. Of cou rse, d rawin g is for its own sake an d sh ou ld con tin u e to be,
bu t n ow you can u se th at skill an d som e of th e d rawin gs to p erson alize
you r world .

Try Your Hand


They say a picture is worth a
thousand words, so use your
drawings to amplify, identify, illuminate, direct, explain, or just
plain decorate, whenever and
wherever you can.

Drawin gs are a n atu ral in th e gard en , green h ou se, or ju st a h ello from a


su n n y win d ow in th e d ep th of win ter. Treat you rself to a won d erfu l
bou q u et of flowers an d d raw it. Revisit a ch ild h ood love of wild flowers,
or d iscover it n ow; go ou t an d sketch th em , from th e d elicately scen ted , early sp rin g trailin g arbu tu s to exotic lad ys slip p ers an d jack-in -th ep u lp its.
Get d own close an d look at th em , sm ell th eir scen t, en joy th e sp len d or
of sp rin g, th e flu sh of su m m er, an d th e rip en ess of fall.

Dont just wake up and smell the flowersget out and draw them, too.

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Chapter 24 Decorate Your World

Now, h eres th e best p art: On ce you ve got an assortm en t of botan ical d rawin gs, you can u se th em to illu strate everyth in g from
recip es to you r walls.

Trading Information: How-Tos


or Recipes
Peop le are always swap p in g in form ation , an d you can ad d th e visu al to you r exp lan ation s, for fu n or even for p rofit. Illu stration s
h elp exp lain th in gs th at wou ld oth erwise be d ifficu lt or take too
m an y word s. How-to step s m ake an y exp lan ation easier to u n d erstan d , wh eth er in n ewsp ap ers, m agazin es, gu id ebooks, broch u res,
an d of cou rse, in th e world of n on fiction th ere are h ow-to books
an d Complete Idiots Guides on every su bject th ere is.

Artists Sketchbook
Illuminating and illustrating
differ in an important way:
Illumination is decoration, such
as a border around words or a
picture, while illustration shows
the information itself in picture
form.

Try illuminating or illustrating on e of you r favorite recip es. Make


cop ies an d h an d th em ou t to frien d s. Keep a cop y of each as well;
you m ay h ave th e begin n in g of a m an u scrip t!

Decorate your world by illuminating or illustrating a favorite recipe.

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Illustrating an Idea or a Technique


To try an illu stration of you r own , begin by p ickin g a su bject you kn ow
well, su ch as a gard en in g tech n iq u e. Th en , follow th ese sim p le step s:
1. Write ou t th e step s in d etail to exp lain it to a begin n er.

Try Your Hand


Drawing can dramatically speed
the learning process and increase
your powers of retention.

2. Ad d d rawin gs to you r exp lan ation .


Even you will see h ow m u ch easier it is to exp lain som eth in g with th e
ad d ition of illu stration s.
Now, p ick a su bject th at you d on t kn ow m u ch abou t, or an asp ect of a
su bject you d like to kn ow m ore abou t. Do you r research an d write ou t
you r n otes, bu t also ad d sketch es, u sin g th e sim p le step s above, to h elp
you learn th e n ew m aterial an d really retain it.

How-tos become simple


to follow with the addition of illustrations.

Illustrating an Idea
You can u se you r d rawin gs to illu strate an id ea or accom p an y an yth in g from a collection of
p oem s to a p oster ad vertisin g an even t you are volu n teerin g for. On ce you ve gotten started , th ou gh , local ch arities an d organ ization s will be beatin g d own you r d oor, so watch ou t!

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Chapter 24 Decorate Your World

Donate your skills to local charitiesillustrate flyers for


community events.

The Story of You


At on e tim e or an oth er, we all seem to h ave tried ou r h an d at writin g a story, fiction or n on fiction , wh eth er for a ch ild , ou t of a sp ecific in terest, or becau se th e m u se visited an d it h ad to be d on e.
So, take th e n ext step an d illu strate it with you r own d rawin gs!
By n ow it sh ou ld be clear th at you r life is ju st as in terestin g as th e
n ext gu ys. W h y n ot exp an d th at jou rn al of you rs in to a larger
p iece of illu m in ated work in a sep arate volu m e? W h eth er sp ecifically for you r travels or all abou t you r fam ily or you r own life,
you r illu m in ated jou rn al will grow to be som eth in g you ll treasu re
m ore an d m ore as th e years go by. Take it from two m id d le-aged
gals wh o kn ow.

Try Your Hand


Your local printer or business office will help you if you dont
have a computer and scanner.
Look at what they have posted
as samples and decide what you
want yours to look like.

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Illustrate a storyyours or someone elseswith drawings. Here are a few to inspire you.

Illuminating Your Personal Life


Station ery, letterh ead s, p ostcard s, an d p erson al or bu sin ess card s are great ways to d ecorate
you r world with you r d rawin gs.
Origin al art for black-an d -wh ite rep rod u ction works well wh en it is red u ced abou t 50 p ercen t, so m od el you r origin al accord in g to wh at you h ave p lan n ed . Make a rou gh d esign to
sh ow p lacem en t of art an d typ e, th en look at you r ch oices of typ e style. You can offer to
m ake a set of wh atever you create for a frien d or fam ily m em ber as a m ost p erson al gift.
Greetin g card s an d h olid ay greetin gs an d in vitation s to p arties are oth er p rojects you can try
with you r own im ages. Even with ou t a com p u ter an d scan n er, you can m ake u p a n ice card
fron t an d h ave good black-an d -wh ite or color cop ies m ad e at you r local 24-h ou r p rin ter to

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Chapter 24 Decorate Your World

fold in to card s. Th en , you can ad d you r own h an d written greetin g


or you can write it ou t in a calligraphic h an d on th e art an d m ake
it p art of th e card .
If you d o h ave a com p u ter an d scan n er, you can read abou t u sin g
it with you r own im ages in Ch ap ter 25, Exp ress You rself.

Reinventing Your World


As you go on with th e rein ven tion of you r world , wh y n ot start
with th e red ecoration of you r castle? Alm ost an y corn er of you r
h ou se can take a little well-p laced illu m in ation , su ch as a flower
h ere or th ere to ch eer you d u rin g th e win ter, a bit of wh im sy for a
ch ild s room , an d in th e kitch en , th e easiest of all, an arran gem en t
of fru it th at n ever goes bad .
Bu t you d on t h ave to stop th ere wh en it com es to red ecoration .
An y su rface can be th e object of you r n ewfou n d d rawin g skills, as
you ll d iscover in th is section .

Cabinets and Furniture


You can u se you r d rawin gs as th e basis for p ain tin g on cabin et
d oors or th e d rawer fron ts of a d resser th at n eed s h elp . For you r
first p roject, h ere are som e sim p le step s you can follow.

Artists Sketchbook
Calligraphic writing is handwriting in a particular style, or font,
often with a wedge-tipped pen
called a calligraphic pen. Chancery
cursive, like old manuscript text,
or Old English, more elaborate
and stylized, are two styles you
can try from a book or your wordprocessing software. You can type
out your text, choose the font and
size, and print it out as a guide, or
you can simply use a calligraphy
pen in your own handwriting for
a nice effect.

1. Pick a sim p le stem an d bloom or a len gth of vin e with som e


leaves.
2. Make a p h otocop y of th e d rawin g you in ten d to u se an d establish a color sch em e with colored p en cils. Keep it fairly
sim p le.
3. Bu y you rself en ou gh colors in acrylic p ain t to m ix th e colors
th at you will n eed . If you d like, look ah ead to th e section in
Ch ap ter 25 on color for som e h elp .
4. You can tran sfer you r d rawin g to a cabin et or d rawer fron t by
blacken in g th e back of a cop y of th e d rawin g with you r softest p en cil an d th en tap in g it carefu lly an d d rawin g over you r
d rawin g lin es. Th e soft p en cil acts like carbon p ap er (rem em ber carbon p ap er?) an d you r ou tlin e is th ere on th e su rface,
read y to p ain t. Th is will work for several p asses, an d th en
you m igh t h ave to reap p ly th e p en cil or fin ish with an oth er
cop y of you r d rawin g.

Back to the Drawing Board


Be sure to practice how you will
paint in the petals and leaves on
a sample before you start on the
furniture. Practice, as always,
makes perfect, which is what
youre after when you get to the
real thing.

You re su re to be p leased with th e n ew look in you r kitch en or


sp are room , or on you r bath room cu p board or old d resser.

Ceilings, Walls, and Floors, but No Driveways


You can ap p ly th is sam e p roced u re to a larger su rface, eith er in a rep eat p attern , su ch as a
sten ciled bord er arou n d th e top of a room , or you cou ld get wild an d p ain t a bord er on a
floor th at looks d u ll. Hey, you can p ain t th e wh ole floor; its you r castle.

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For rep eated u se, a sten cil will be easier in th e lon g ru n . You can u se it for th e basic sh ap es
an d fill th e rest in freeh an d , lookin g at you r sam p le as a referen ce.
To cu t a sten cil you will n eed som e stiff p ap er, p referably sten cil p ap er, an d a sh arp Exacto
or m at kn ife.
1. Draw you r d esign on th e p ap er from you r origin al sketch .
2. Rem em ber th at in a sten cil th e h oles will fall ou t, so you p robably n eed to red raw th e
p arts of th e d rawin g so th ey are sep arate. (Rem em ber th at sten cils u se n egative sp ace.
A sten cil of a ch air wou ld be a series of d iscon n ected h oles wh ich wou ld n t h old togeth er, so a sep arate sten cil is req u ired for each p art of th e ch air.)
A stencil can simplify a
drawing.

Expanded Uses for Your Skills


As you r con fid en ce in d rawin g in creases, you m ay wan t to take a look at still m ore p oten tial u ses. If you h ave a lifelon g love of fash ion , for exam p le, you m igh t wan t to try som e
cloth in g d rawin gs. Or, if you re h alf as witty as we are, m aybe a cartoon or bit of visu al p olitical satire will be ju st th e th in g. Th eres p len ty of raw m aterial, after all (p u n in ten d ed ).
Maybe ch aracter stu d ies ap p eal to you . Or, if its a fligh t of fan tasy th at d oes it for you ,
wh atever it is, give it a try.
Th ere are books sp ecific to each of th ese exp an d ed u ses, an d m an y m ore. Look carefu lly to
m ake su re th at th e book really sh ows you th in gs you wan t to kn ow an d is n ot ju st a sh owcase for th e artist/ au th or. You ll fin d som e of ou r su ggestion s in Ap p en d ix B, Resou rces for
Learn in g to Draw.

Focus on Fashion
Details, stylization , an d stretch ed p rop ortion are th e d ifferen ces between d rawin gs of p eop le
an d fash ion d rawin gs, alon g with th e fact th at wh ile you d raw for you rself, fash ion d rawin gs are d rawn for u se com m ercially. You get p aid to d o th em !
If th is typ e of d rawin g in terests you , begin by stu d yin g th e fash ion d rawin gs in n ewsp ap ers
an d m agazin es to d evelop an eye for th e kin d of style th at is in at th e m om en t, th e d etails th at look con tem p orary, an d th e d egree of d istortion in th e p rop ortion . Evalu ate
p rop ortion by m easu rin g by th e n u m ber of h ead s in th e total bod y h eigh t as you d id in

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Chapter 24 Decorate Your World

Ch ap ter 21, Th e Hu m an Bod y an d Its Extrem ities. W h en you re d oin g fash ion d rawin g,
th ere are m ore h ead s in th e total h eigh t, th ats allm ostly in th e legs, for th at leggy
m od el look. Practice u n til you d evelop a style th at p leases you .
Fashion isnt just about
clothing, eitherlook at
the detail in this fantasy
dragon, just perfect to be
embroidered on a couture runway gown.

Cartoons: Humor or Opinion?


How fu n n y are you ? Are you an op in ion ated typ e? You m igh t be a cartoon ist in d isgu ise.
Cartoon s are great d rawin g p ractice, an d you d on t h ave to h ave a lot of skill, as m an y of
tod ays cartoon s reveal. Th e trick with h u m orou s cartoon s like com ic strip s is con sisten cy,
m akin g you r ch aracters look th e sam e from fram e to fram e.
With p olitical cartoon s an d caricatu res, its a m atter of d iscern in g you r su bjects m ost
p rom in en t featu re an d th en exaggeratin g it for recogn ition . Stu d yin g th e m asters can h elp
you see h ow th is is d on efrom George W. Bu sh s ears to Al Gores h airlin e.

That Twisted Look: Caricatures


If you d o h ave an eye for facial featu res an d h ow to p u sh th em or exaggerate th em , d rawin g caricatu res is a p ossibility. You can look forward to a fu tu re at cou n ty fairs, or you cou ld
m ove to Paris an d set u p alon g th e Sein e.

Further Out: Your Fantasies


There is nothing that, with a twist of imagination, cannot become something else.
William Carlos Williams
Som e of u s are ju st n ot con ten t with reality. W h y, after all, sh ou ld reality be th e on ly op tion ? You r fan tasies or fan tasy world s are p laces you can go with you r d rawin gs. Ju st d on t
forget you r sketch book.

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Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Chapter 24 Decorate Your World

The Least You Need to Know


Now that you can draw, why live in a world without your own personal touch?
Illustrations, developed from drawings or done for a specific purpose, can decorate,
explain, expand, reflect, or accompany anything.

Presents and cards are among the uses for your drawings.
Decorate your house and world, but do yourself a favor and stay away from the
driveways.

Try your hand at expanded uses for your drawing skills as your own interests and
tastes lead you, but do some real drawing, too.

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Chapter 25

Express
Yourself

In This Chapter
The wonderful world of color
Care and feeding of your drawings
Art enters the digital age
Arty computer programs and classes

Art is a form of supremely delicate awareness, meaning at oneness, the state of being at one
with the object.
D.H. Lawrence
So, you h ave am assed q u ite a collection of d rawin gs by n ow.
Maybe you re gettin g in terested in tryin g som eth in g a little m ore in volved . Som e im ages of
you r own m igh t be p op p in g in to you r m in d s eye or eyes m in d (we n ever get th ose two
straigh t).
Now you can begin to con sid er th e wid e ran ge of m aterials an d tech n iq u es to m ake p ain tin gs or colored d rawin gs. Th ere are en d less ways to in fu se you r work with you r own p erson ality an d p articu lar way of seein g th e world , an d color is on e of th e m ore in terestin g on es.
In ad d ition , well sh ow you h ow to care for you r work, in clu d in g fram in g op tion s. An d
well take a q u ick look at com p u ter art p rogram s as well.
The process, not the end work, is the most important thing for the artist.
Georgia OKeeffe

Moving Into the Realm of Color


There is nothingno color, no emotion, no ideathat the true artist cannot find a form to
express.
Georgia OKeeffe

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Do you rem em ber th e first tim e you saw a color television ? Do you rem em ber th at Walt
Disn eys Th e Won d erfu l World of Color was origin ally created to sh owcase m aterial for
color television ? Its h ard to im agin e n ow, bu t th e m ove from black an d wh ite to color television was a very big d eal back in th e late 50s. An d in 1939, wh en Ju d y Garlan d first
op en ed th e d oor of h er Kan sas farm h ou se in to th e Lan d of Oz, th e color was a revelation
to h er, to Toto, an d to u s.
Movin g in to th e realm of color in you r d rawin g is a big d eal, too. Bu t n ever fearwere
h ere to h elp , with su ggestion s for everyth in g from m aterials to m attin g.

Some Brief Words on Color


I paint because color is significant.
Georgia OKeeffe
Th is is yet an oth er p earl from OKeeffe, an d so it is. Each d ay of you r life is filled with
sh ap es an d colors, th e weath er, th e season s, th e p laces you go, an d th e th in gs th at you see,
so ad d som e of th at color to you r d rawin gs.
As with m ost p arts of th is book, a wh ole book cou ld be written on color, an d fortu n ately,
m an y h ave been . Alon g with you r own exp erim en tin g, its p robably worth wh ile to read an d
stu d y a few of th em .
Before you ju m p , sp en d som e tim e read in g an d lookin g at colored work th at you like. Take
a good look at color ch arts, in books an d in art stores. Get fam iliar with th e sp ectru m of
colors: th e bu rst of red s, th e ran ge of yellows, th e forest of green s, th e sea of blu es, th e
wealth of p u rp les.

New Materials You Could Try


Colored p en cils an d water-solu ble colored p en cils an d crayon s are a great an d p ain less tran sition in to th e world of color. After all, you ve alread y gotten com fortable with a p en cil, so
ad d in g color is easy! Th ey m ix an d blen d to m ake an y color you can com e u p with .
Oth er op tion s in th e field of color are
Water-based crayon s.
Pastel p en cils.
Pastels.
Oil p astels.

Back to the Drawing Board

Watercolors.

As you begin to look at colors,


do yourself a favor and stay away
from the pile of browns. You will
find that in learning to mix colors you end up with plenty of
them anyway.

Acrylic or gou ach e.

328

Pen an d colored in ks.


Each of th ese m ed ia h as its own ch aracteristics, ad van tages, an d ch allen ges; p ractice will allow you to d evelop a feel for th em . An d , if you re
in terested in learn in g abou t an y of th em in m ore d etail, weve su ggested som e books you m igh t like in Ap p en d ix B, Resou rces for Learn in g
to Draw.

Chapter 25 Express Yourself

Into the Field of Color


Bu y you rself th e largest set of colored p en cils th at you can afford . Is you r birth d ay com in g?
Even if its n ot, n o m atter, get th e big set an yway. Sm all sets h ave m ostly brigh t p rim ary
colors an d fewer su btle colors, an d you ll wan t to p lay with both .
Prim ary colors are th ose th at can n ot be m ixed from oth er colors:
Red
Yellow
Blu e
Secon d ary colors are th ose th at can be m ixed from two p rim ary colors. Th e secon d ary
colors are
Oran ge (m ad e from red an d yellow).
Green (from yellow an d blu e).
Pu rp le (from blu e an d red ).
Tertiary colors are an oth er step ou t on th e color wh eel, m ad e from a p rim ary an d a secon d ary color. Th ey are a grou p of lovely m u ted sh ad es an d n eu tral colors th at you ll wan t to
get to kn ow.
Colors across from each oth er on th e color wh eel are called com p lim en tary colors; th ey
work well with each oth er. If th ey are m ixed , th ey m ake n eu trals. Colors th at com p lim en t
each oth er are
Red an d green .
Blu e an d oran ge.
Pu rp le an d yellow.
This color wheel is in
black and white, but you
can use your imagination
to visualize the colors.

Blen d ed colors are a m ix of two or th ree colors or two com p lim en tary colorsop p osites on
th e color wh eel.
Earth ton es an d sh ad ow colors are m ixes of com p lim en tary colors like p u rp le, with a little
yellow to soften it, or a brick red m ad e with green . You will en d u p with p len ty of brown s
an d earth colors, an d you can m ake variou s grays an d blacks by com bin in g fou r colors, exclu d in g yellow.

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

The range of complimentary colors from


warm to cool.

Taking a Stab at a Colored Drawing


Use good p ap er. Th e best is 140-lb. h ot-p ress watercolor p ap er, an d 90 lb. is fin e for sketch es.
If you foresee ad d in g water to th e water-solu ble p en cil sketch , h owever, th e h eavier p ap er
will work better.
You will fin d th at you can very n atu rally grab a h an d fu l of colored p en cils an d start in on a
sim p le arran gem en t.
Th at fistfu l of colors is im p ortan t. Keep switch in g colors.
Look at each object an d see th e ran ge of colors you can u se, or
th e layers you can bu ild u p to get a ton e an d a color.
It takes tim e, bu t its fu n to see th e color h ap p en alon g with th e
d rawin g.

Try Your Hand


To learn about color, make yourself lots of small tonal charts for
the colors you have. Try for gradations of tone in an individual
color to see what it does, and
mixed colors in a variety of tones.
Be sure to label the charts so you
know how you made a color that
you like.

330

If you wan t to learn m ore abou t an y of th e colored m ed ia, take a class.


Th eyre fu n an d you can learn a lot abou t color an d tech n iq u es for
h an d lin g th e variou s m ed ia. You ll be glad you d id .

Caring for Your Work


Gen erally sp eakin g, u se th e best m aterials you can , take you rself an d
you r efforts seriou sly, p resen t you r work sim p ly so it can stan d on its
own , take care of wh at you d on t fram e, an d th e arch ivists an d art h istorian s of th e fu tu re will th an k you . Carin g for you r work n ow m ean s
you r ch ild ren , gran d ch ild ren , an d even you r Great-great-great gran d ch ild ren will h ave it h an gin g on th eir walls (even if th eyd rath er h ave
it in th eir closets).

Chapter 25 Express Yourself

W h eth er its storage, m attin g, or fram in g, h eres som e of th e best


in form ation you ll fin d for takin g care of you r d rawin gs after th e
d rawin gs over.

On Storage
You ve sp en t a lot of tim e on you r work, so treat it righ t wh en
you re fin ish ed , too. Portfolios keep you r work safe, clean , an d flat,
as it sh ou ld be. Pap er storage d rawers are exp en sive an d take u p
sp ace, bu t th eyre well worth it if you ve got th e m on ey an d th e
room .
Th e im p ortan t th in g is to store you r work som ewh ere wh ere it will
be kep t in its n atu ral state: flat. In ad d ition , you ll wan t to keep it
away from d am agin g su n rays an d even m ore d am agin gwater,
so n ext to th e garage win d ow or in th e basem en t n ext to th e
su m p p u m p are p robably not th e best p laces.

Try Your Hand


Start with a light color for your
planning lines. Lavender works
very well because it blends into
almost any color, and it can
become a shadow if the lines are
outside your objects as you define them more closely.

Matting and Framing


Less is m ore. Sim p le is as sim p le d oes. W h ite is righ t. Art, or its m at, sh ou ld n ot be exp ected
to m atch th e cou ch .
In oth er word s, forget th e fu sch ia or lim e green m ats to m atch th e flowers on th e ru g. You r
work will look best in a sim p le wh ite or off-wh ite m at an d a sim p le wood fram e th at can be
m ore or less th e color of th e oth er wood s wh ere you p lan to h an g it. Th e im p ortan t th in g is
th at th e ch oices h elp th e d rawin g; it will fin d its p lace on th e wall.

Turning a New Page: Fine Art Meets Tech Art


To: Theovg23@aol.com
From: Vincentvgo@hotmail.com
Arles is bleak, and the blasted mistral keeps me indoors. I go days without speaking a word to
anyone. Thank you for the money. With it, I bought a blazing tangerine iMac, which I am Emailing you on right now. You were right, the Hotmail account was very simple to set up and
free, so I can still survive on five francs a day.
Noah Bau m bach , Van Gogh in AOL, The New Yorker
Can you im agin e Vin cen t with an iMac? He p robably wou ld h ave felt m ore con n ected an d
m aybe less trou bled . On e th in gs for certain th e h igh -tech world is h avin g an effect on alm ost everyon e. You can ru n bu t you can t h id e, so ju m p in you m igh t like it m ore th an
you ever im agin ed .

Creating a Virtual Sketchbook


Creatin g a virtu al sketch book is as sim p le as a few p erip h erals for you r com p u tera scan n er
an d a color p rin ter. W h ich scan n er an d p rin ter you bu y will d ep en d on both you r bu d get
an d you r d esires. We leave it to you r local big-box com p u ter store to h elp you with th e
m yriad ch oices, bu t we can h elp you with th e basic h ow-tos on ce you ve got you r eq u ip m en t.

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Scanning Your Images


Most flat scan n ers are d esign ed to read im ages u p to 8 1 / 2 " 14", so if you r d rawin gs are larger th an th at, you ll h ave to scan th em in section s. Th e p rocess m ay be u n wield y an d th e resu lts, less-th an -d esirable rep rod u ction s of you r d rawin gs. If you ve been d oin g a lot of you r
sketch in g on th e road , th ou gh , you p robably d id so in a sm all en ou gh sketch book.
Is th ere a d rawin g th at you p articu larly like? Start with th at on e. Tear it carefu lly from you r
sketch book an d th en lay it flat on you r scan n er an d scan it in (you ll n eed you r m an u factu rers in stru ction s for th is, an d th eres n o way we can h elp you with th ose).
After you ve scan n ed you r im age, th e p rogram will ask you to save it. Give it a n am e you ll
rem em ber it by: Lagu n a Su n set or Fish erm an on th e Gila are two good exam p les.
Now, you can look at you r work with th e im agin g p rogram th at cam e with you r scan n er, or,
if you d ecid e you d on t like th at p rogram , an oth er th at you ve d own load ed off th e World
Wid e Web. On e of th e th in gs th at you can d o, on ce th e im age of you r d rawin g is saved to
you r com p u ter, is m an ip u late it. Th at m ean s you can erase th ose extra scribbles in th e corn er with ou t fear of goin g th rou gh th e p ap er, or you can ad d som e lin es to th e fish erm an s
face. Don t get carried away, th ou gh we th in k real d rawin gs a lot m ore fu n th an virtu al
d rawin g.

Printing Your Images


You can also p rin t you r im ages, of cou rse, on ce you ve scan n ed th em in to you r com p u ter
an d saved th em . If you r d rawin gs are in black an d wh ite, you won t even n eed a color
p rin ter. Even th e p op u laran d in exp en sivebu bble-jet p rin ters d o a great job with graphic
images, wh ich is wh at you r d rawin g is.

E-Mailing with Your Own Art


Now th at you ve got it on you r com p u ter, you m ay wan t to e-m ail you r art to all you r
frien d s. So lon g as attach m en ts are an op tion with you r p articu lar e-m ail, e-m ailin g you r art
is sim p le: Save it as a sm all .jp g file, ad d it to you r e-m ail as an attach m en t, an d th en write
you r n ote. Poof! Off it goes to an n oy on e or all of you r frien d sju st like all th e jokes th at
th eyve alread y seen th ree tim es.

Creating Your Own Illustrated Home Page


To: Theovg23@aol.com
From: Vincent2@VanGo.com
Ive started to work again. Check out my home page (and note new address). I designed it
with a soft malachite green, a fiery iMac raspberry and a troubled Prussian lilac. I mayve
mastered the brushstroke and HTML, but am a novice with Java. Theres always more to
learn.
Noah Bau m bach , Van Gogh in AOL, The New Yorker
Th ere are classes in HTML an d Java, two of th e m ost p op u lar Web lan gu ages, an d th ere are
ed itorial p rogram s th at m ake it m u ch easier to create a Web site of you r own . You can also
cu stom ize th e h om e p age on you r In tern et p rogram . On e exam p le to take a look at is
Lau ren s h om e p age, th e first p age of h er Web site at www.lau ren jarrett.com . Ch eck it ou t!

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Chapter 25 Express Yourself

Creatin g you r own illu strated h om e p age is n ow as sim p le as followin g th e in stru ction s
you r e-m ail p rovid er p robably h as set u p on you r ISP h om e p age. You d on t even h ave to
kn ow an y sp ecial p rogram s an ym ore; th e d irection s will walk you th rou gh it all, in clu d in g
h ow to d own load th e art you ve scan n ed an d saved on to you r own illu strated h om e p age.
If you re in terested in som eth in g tru ly p rofession al-lookin g, h owever, wed h igh ly recom m en d a Web d esign er. You get wh at you p ay for, after all.

How to Learn About Drawing


on the Computer
We m ay be th e old -fash ion ed , m id d le-aged artist/ teach er typ es
alth ou gh we are an yth in g bu t old -fash ion ed or m id d le-aged bu t
we th in k you sh ou ld d o you r d rawin g first, an d th en scan it.
You will n ot really learn to see an d d raw an yth in g on a com p u ter.
Su re, you can m ake p ictu res, bu t its ju st n ot th e sam e as d irect
h an d s-on d rawin g.
Drawin g with a m ou se or stylu s an d art p ad is n ot th e sam e as
d rawin g with a p en cil. Th ere is n ot th e sam e con n ection wh en you
can t look at th e h an d th ats d rawin g an d see wh ats goin g on . In
ad d ition , th e feel of a fin e p iece of p ap er an d th e in tern al d ialogu e
th at you h ave wh ile you re relatin g to you r su bject, seein g, an d
d rawin g are basic p leasu res, tim e for you r in n er self, an d th e p ath
to you r own u n iq u e creative sou l.

Computer Art Programs You Can Learn


Now th en , th e tirad e is over. Com p u ter grap h ics p rogram s are a d ifferen t story, becau se th ey are a way of u sin g you r d rawin gs after
you h ave m ad e th em , for everyth in g from card s, p resen ts, p osters,
an d all kin d s of com m ercial u ses, sh ou ld you be so in clin ed .

Artists Sketchbook
Graphic images on your computer are any images that are not
text-based. Different images have
different suffixes (those are the
letters that appear after the dot
on a filename, including .jpg,
.ipg, .bmp, .gif, and many others). Graphic images also take up
a lot more memory on your
computer, but if youve got a
current model, you wont need
to worry about them using up
your available memory for years,
if ever.

Ad obe Ph otosh op an d Qu ark are two great p rogram s for u sin g art.
Lau ren u ses on e or th e oth er for everyth in g, an d th eyre well worth
th e tim e to learn . Ph otosh op can d o an yth in g you can th in k of to
an im age, or m on tage of im ages, with or with ou t typ e. Qu ark is th e
favored layou t p rogram , bu t you can u se PageMaker as well. Ad obe
Illu strator u ses im p orted art, too, bu t it h as m ore bells an d wh istles.
Th ere are lots of oth er art an d grap h ics p rogram s available for Macs
or PCs. You can d raw with a m ou se or a stylu s an d art p ad , u sin g
th e sh ap es, colors, grap h ics, an d sp ecial effects of p rogram s like
Can vas, Pain t, Ap p leworks, an d Sm artDraw, to n am e a few. In ad d ition , th ere are sp ecialized p rogram s, su ch as Au toCad for arch itectu ral, lan d scap e, an d m ech an ical ren d erin g; 3-D an d sp ecial effects
p rogram s; an d th e m an y p rogram s for Web d esign an d in teractives.
Take you r p ick. Th ey all h ave h u ge m an u als, bu t you can d o it if
you try. We ad m it to bein g Lu d d ites, an d so we stick to th e p rogram s th at work for u s.

The Art of Drawing


Consider private tutoring if you
can manage it, or maybe you can
share a tutorial with a friend who
is also interested, to halve the
cost. You will learn much, much
faster in a private tutorial. Its
like having a personal trainer!

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

How to Choose a Computer Art Class


Th ere are m ore an d m ore com p u ter classes ou t th ere, with th e u su al broch u res an d cou rse
d escrip tion s to wad e th rou gh , in clu d in g sch ed u les, p rices, cred its (if you care), an d resid u al
com p u terese (lan gu age d esign ed to con fu se you ) to d eal with an d exp erien ce. Sp ecific
cou rses for com p licated grap h ics p rogram s like Ph otosh op , Qu ark, or Illu strator are very
h elp fu l p laces to start.
Ou r ad vice:
Ask arou n d . Ch an ces are, som eon e you kn ow (or th eir cou sin ) h as alread y taken th e
cou rse an d can com m en t.
Fin d ou t th e in stru ctors n am e, an d d ecid e if th e cou rse m aterial, tim e, p lace, an d fee
are accep table.
Call th e in stru ctor, an d m ake su re you will learn wh at you wan t to learn .
Ou r fin al word on th e h igh -tech world is th at it really is a great tool. Th in k of it th at way
an d you will learn it an d u se it p rop erly. Lau ren s com p u ter, scan n er, p rin ters, cop y m ach in e, an d fax take u p a wh ole wall in wh at is oth erwise a p ain ters stu d io, bu t h ey, we all
h ave to m ake a livin g an d th e two sid es coexist q u ite well. Lisas com p u ter is h er m ain tool,
asid e from h er old Un d erwood m an u al an d assortm en t of n otebooks an d p en s for all occasion s, so it gets to live in h er way, sm ack in th e m id d le of h er d esk.
Do you rself a favor an d learn to d raw, if th at is wh at you wan t to d o. Th en worry abou t
wh at to d o with th e d rawin gs later.

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Chapter 25 Express Yourself

Your Sketchbook Page


Try you r h an d at p racticin g th e exercises you ve learn ed in th is ch ap ter.

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

The Least You Need to Know


After all this drawing, you can begin to think about making some personal images or
more elaborate pieces.

Color is a wonderful thing.


Take the time to care for your work. It is part of taking yourself seriously.
Simple matting and framing best sets off your work. You dont have to match the
couch.

The high-tech world is upon us. Dont get caught without it.

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Chapter 26

The Artists
Life

In This Chapter
Artists on their work
A walk through the museum
Taking the Zen path to drawing
Inspiration is where you find it

Paintings must be looked at and looked at and looked atthey, I think, the good ones, like it.
They must be understood and thats not the word either, through the eyes. No talking, no
writing, no singing, no dancing will explain them. They are the final, the nth whoopee of
sight. A watermelon, a kiss may be fair, but after all have other uses. Look at that! is all
that can be said before a great painting, at least, by those who really see it.
Charles Demuth
In th is ch ap ter, well be fin d in g ou t wh ere artists d iscover th eir in sp iration an d well let
th em tell you in th eir own word s. If you d raw for an y len gth of tim e, you ll soon d iscover
th at fin d in g th e m u se is th e easy p art; its p ayin g atten tion th ats a bit m ore d ifficu lt.
Artists also get th eir in sp iration from oth er artists, an d well be exp lorin g m u seu m s as well.
With all th is artistic in sp iration , you ll be read y to ven tu re ou t in to th e world as an artist
you rself. Hap p y trails.
The good pictureNo one wonders at it more than the one who created it.
John Marin

Following the Muse


Sh es ou t th ere all righ t, th at m u se th e p oets are always lookin g to for h elp with a rh ym e. If
you d raw regu larly an d sin cerely, sh es bou n d to p ay you a visit, too. Sh e can take d ifferen t
form s, bu t you will kn ow sh es th ere an d wh at sh e wan ts of you . An d you ll soon d iscover
th at you h ad better p ay atten tion wh en you r m u se sp eaks to you .

Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Where Artists Find Inspiration


Every artistwh eth er visu al, written , m u sical, or kin esth etickn ows wh at its like to be
in sp ired . W h ile exp lain in g th at in sp iration is d ifficu lt, Lau ren h as collected a grou p of won d erfu l word s from artists wh o really d o exp lain wh at its like to be in sp ired in th eir own p articu lar ways. You r own in sp iration will be as in d ivid u al an d u n iq u e as each of th ese artists.
My adoration of the great ancients who laid the indestructible, immutable foundations of art
for all time shall never dim or tarnish. Their legacy has always been and will always be my
spiritual refreshment and renewal. The great ancients worked with God. They interpreted and
embodied the glory and wonder of the elements. The moderns work with geometry.
Max Weber
True art cannot spring but from naivete. Everyone has been a child, and the true artist is the
one that has preserved intact all those treasures of great sensitivity felt in early childhood
Time goes on, but the first songs ever sung by nature always sing on in his soul.
Joseph Stella
The most important thing about a river is that it runs downhill. Simple, isnt it? Art is produced by the wedding of art and nature. Go look at the birds flight, the mans walk, the seas
movement. They have a way to keep their motion. Natures laws of motion have to be obeyed
and you have to follow along. The good picture embraces the laws, the best of the old did, and
thats what gives them life.
John Marin
Science and art are indeed sisters, but they are very different in their tastes, and it is no easy
task to cultivate with advantage the favor of both.
James M. Dunlop

What They Have to Say About Their Work


Artists are p retty ch atty typ es, for p eop le workin g in a lan gu age with ou t word s. In fact,
m aybe th ats wh y th eyre so talkative. Or m aybe th ey p refer to write abou t th eir work so
som e art h istorian d oesn t com e alon g an d d o it for th em . Heres wh at som e of th em h ave
to say abou t th eir work, an d wh at th ey believe.
My work has been continuously based on a clue seen in nature from which the subject of a
picture may be projected. Nature, with its profound order, is an inexhaustible source of supply.
Its many facets lend themselves to all who would help themselves for their particular needs.
Each one may filter out for himself that which is essential to him. Our chief object is to increase our capacity for perception. The degree of accomplishment determines the caliber of the
Artist.
Charles Sheeler
I grew up pretty much as everybody else grows up and one day I found myself saying to
myself I cant live where I want to I cant go where I want to I cant even say what I
want to School and things that painters have taught me even keep me from painting the
way I want to. I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to and say
what I wanted to when I painted, as that seemed to be the only thing I could do that didnt
concern anybody but myself and that was nobodys business but my own I found I could

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Chapter 26 The Artists Life

say things with color and shapes that I couldnt say in any other way things I had no
words for.
Georgia OKeeffe
My aim is to escape from the medium with which I work. To leave no residue of technical
mannerisms to stand between my expression and the observer. To seek freedom through significant form and design rather than through the diversion of so-called free and accidental brush
handling. In short, to dissolve into clear air all impediments that might interrupt the flow of
pure enjoyment. Not to exhibit craft, but rather to submerge it, and make it rightfully the
handmaiden of beauty, power, and emotional content.
Andrew Wyeth
An artist must paint, not what he sees in nature, but what is there. To do so he must invent
symbols, which, if properly used, make his work seem even more real than what is in front of
him. He does not try to bypass nature; his work is superior to natures surface appearance, but
not to its basic laws.
Charles Burchfield
There was a long period of searching for something in color which I called a Condition of
Light. It applied to all objects in nature, flowers, trees, people, apples, cows To understand that clearly, go to nature, or to the Museum of Natural History and see the butterflies.
Each has its own orange, blue, black, white, yellow, brown, green, and black, all carefully
chosen to fit the character of life going on in that individual entity.
Arthur Dove

The Art of Drawing


It does not bore me to write that I cant paint a pawtreet [sic]. On the contrary it is the greatest joy in lifebut I prefer writing it to you rather than the lady, if you will be good enough to
tell her that I have retired from the business. Tell her that I now only paint landscapes and religious decorations, that I am a waltzer to delirium tremens or whatever you think may make her
congratulate herself on her refusal. I really am shutting up shop in the portrait line.
John Singer Sargent

I like to seize one sharp instant in nature, imprison it by means of ordered shapes and space
relationships to convey the ecstasy of the moment. To this end I eliminate and simplify, leaving apparently nothing but color and pattern. But with these I attempt to build an organic
wholea canvas which will stand independently. If I capture too some of the beauty, mystery, and timelessness of nature I am happy.
Milton Avery

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

The love you liberate in your work is the only love you keep.
Maurice Prendergast

Museum Walks
Th ere is n oth in g as n ice as a d ay in a m u seu m , a d ay fu ll of visu al stim u lation an d th e com p an y of th e m asters, old or n ew. Mu seu m s are also great p laces for a d ate, or an affair, or a
d ate with an old affairn ot th at eith er on e of u s h as d on e th at, of
cou rse.

The Wealth of Museums


In th e m u seu m , its all th ere for th e lookin groom s an d room s an d
lon g h alls an d h id d en corn ers filled with forgotten gem s.

Try Your Hand


Mr. Homer, do you ever take
the liberty in painting nature of
modifying the color of any part?
Never! Never! When I have selected a thing carefully, I paint it
exactly as it appears.
Winslow Homer

Go an d look at d rawin gs, p ain tin gs, scu lp tu re, jewelry, objects, fu rn itu re, fabric, costu m es, ch in a, an d m ore. You won t wan t to overd o it,
so d ecid e wh at you wan t to see an d th en stop before you get overwh elm ed .
Th en th ere are all th e sp ecialized m u seu m s, su ch as n atu ral h istory m u seu m s an d scien ce m u seu m s, fu ll of sp ecim en sh u ge skeleton s an d
d ioram as of tin y little n octu rn al an im als you wou ld n ever see ou tsid e
of a m u seu m . Th ere are p lan ts, too, an d bird s an d bu tterflies en ou gh to
last you in to th e n ext m illen n iu m .

Styles of Drawing Through History


Styles of d rawin g th rou gh h istory; yikes, we cou ld write forever on th at on e. Ju st go to th e
m u seu m an d look, th en d o it a few d ozen m ore tim es an d you will h ave a rou gh id ea abou t
styles of d rawin g th rou gh h istory.
You will see h ow artists h ave d evelop ed
from th e early cave d rawin gs,
to th e flatten ed d rawin gs attem p tin g th ree-d im en sion al figu res d on e by th e Egyp tian s,
to th e very realistic scu lp tu re d on e in an cien t Greece (by folks wh o cou ld certain ly
d raw well),
to th e m ore p rim itive, flat religiou s im ages p rod u ced in th e Mid d le Ages,
to th e in terest in p ersp ective an d sh ap e in th e Ren aissan ce, an d
to th e fin e atten tion to d etail in Flem ish p ain tin gs by th e Old Masters, th e strict trad ition of stu d io work in th e Classical Period .
Th en , th e Barbizon artists started p ain tin g ou tsid e of all th in gs, an d th e first d issen sion occu rred wh en th e Im p ression ists started breakin g loose. Th en th ere was th e h eyd ay of PostIm p ression ists, in clu d in g th e Nabis, Fau vists, Cu bists, Exp ression ists, Dad aists, an d all th e
rest of th e ways th at artists d ecid ed to exp lore an d exp ress, righ t in to ou r recen t cen tu ry
an d th e on e we ju st en tered , in clu d in g th e m ost recen t version s of old sch ools an d th e
sh ock of th e n ew.
Its a lot to see!

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Chapter 26 The Artists Life

The Art of Drawing


Art history books will put particular drawings into historical context and add interesting information about the artist or the period or the various schools of thought at the time. But dont take
our word for it, take the word of a wonderful painter, Charles Demuth. Look at that! is all
that can be said before a great painting, at least, by those who really see it.

Learn by Looking, Then Try a Copy


Mu seu m s p u t th e ben ch es th ere ju st for you yes, you , with th e sketch book. Go sit d own
on th at n ice ben ch in fron t of a p iece of art th at you like. Make you rself com fortableth e
ben ch es aren t, bu t wh o cares, you cou ld even take a p illow. You can learn from ju st lookin g, bu t get ou t you r p en cil an d d raw wh at you like or wh at you wan t to rem em ber, th e d iagon als in th e com p osition , th e sh ap e of a tree, h ow a flower was d rawn , th e featu res of a
p ortraitwh atever you like, you d raw.
Drawin g from scu lp tu re or objects is better p ractice in th ree-d im en sion al d rawin g. Th at
beau tifu l torso, im p osin g warrior, or d elicately sh ap ed vase is th ere in sp ace an d p resen ts
you with a lifetim e of p oten tial d rawin g. Som e p ossibilities:
Arran ge you rself for sim p le views an d th en try m ore ch allen gin g on es with foresh orten in g.
Draw p arts of figu res an d th e wh ole.
Draw th e d etails in a set of arm or or th e loom in g figu res on a cryp t, th e su btle p rop ortion of a Min g vase, or th e scrollwork on a Jap an ese table.
Th e m ore you d raw, th e m ore you will see to d raw. It m ay begin to seem as if you can n ever
go h om e again .

What Do You Like?


By n ow, you h ave d evelop ed som e op in ion s alon g with you r sore
bu tt. You m ay n ot kn ow all th ere is to kn ow abou t art, bu t you
kn ow wh at you like. Som e work will p u ll you back every tim e you
go, wh ile oth ers becom e p art of you r visu al m em ory. No m atter
wh at, everyth in g h as its p lace.

Sharing Your Work


An oth er th in g th ats p robably h ap p en in g by n ow is th at you re
feelin g p leased with you r efforts an d you r growth from a begin n er
to a d evelop in g d raftsm an . Ch an ces are you r frien d s an d fam ily
h ave seen you r work an d h ave p erh ap s gotten a little in terested
th em selves.

Back to the Drawing Board


Dont be afraid to submit your
sketches to other publications if
you think they are applicable for
the style and content of the publication. You never know, and you
cant win if you dont play.

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Part 7 Enjoying the Artists Life

Now, you can begin to sh are you r en th u siasm s, you r exp erien ces, an d you r work with th e
rest of th e world . Som eon e else m ay d o th e sam e for you : W h at goes arou n d com es arou n d ,
an d all of u s will ben efit.
Most town s h ave art grou p s, art classes, m aybe a sm all m u seu m or com m u n ity cen ter th at
sh ows art, d iscu ssion grou p s, gu est lectu res, sch ool p rogram s, visitin g artists, an d local fairs
th at in clu d e art exh ibits. Its you r ch oicewh eth er to join , h ow m u ch tim e to sp en d ,
sh ou ld you volu n teer or ju st lookbu t you d o u su ally get som eth in g ou t of p articip ation in
com m u n ity even ts. Bu t you won t kn ow u n less you try. Here are som e p ossibilities.

To Show, to Publish, or Just to Draw


Som etim es you ju st n eed to get ou t of th e h ou se with you r work to get a better look at it
an d wh ere you wan t to take it n ext. Th e wh ite walls of an exh ibition h all can allow you to
see you r work d ifferen tly, for better or worse. Even if th e exp erien ce sen d s you back to th e
d rawin g board , you will h ave learn ed som eth in g an d can go on from th ere.
Pu blish in g you r work is a th rill in itself. Th eres n oth in g like th e p rin ted p age an d th at cred it lin e u n d ern eath you r im age. Start with you r local p ap er if you h ave lan d scap e or wild life
sketch es th at m igh t work as d ecorative sp ots, or if you h ave d evelop ed a cartoon style or
h ave taken u p caricatu res of th e locals.
All th is d iversion is fu n , bu t try n ot to let you rself get d iverted from th e real bu sin ess of seein g an d d rawin g every d ay. It takes a lon g tim e to learn h ow to d raw well, an d , th ou gh you
m ay h ave com e a lon g way, th ere is still a lon g way to go. Tru st th at it is a good road , an d
take th e tim e to go th ere.

Take a Path to the Zen of Drawing


Th e p eace an d seren ity you can gain from d rawin g is p erh ap s th e best reason for sim p ly atten d in g to seein g an d d rawin g. We live in a world th at is too focu sed on ach ievem en t an d
n ot en ou gh on cen terin g an d in trosp ection .
Give you rself th e gift of balan ce an d on en ess with you r work an d th e world . Do you r d rawin g with n oth in g else in m in d bu t th e relation sh ip you are exp erien cin g between you r su bject, you r work, an d you rself. Th e tim elessn ess an d seren ity is its own very d eep reward .
Express Yourself.

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Chapter 26 The Artists Life

Encourage and Support Your Creativity


Rem em ber to always su p p ort you r own p rocess, feed you r own sp irit, an d n ou rish you r creativity as th e sp ecial p art of you .
You are th e on e wh o h as to d eal with th e ou tsid e forces, m ake tim e am id st all th e d istraction s, ign ore th e d em an d s for you r p erson al tim e, an d th ose wh o try to d iscou rage you r efforts.
Th en , too, th ere is Old Lefty, wh os still ou t th ere, waitin g for h is ch an ce, bu t you kn ow
wh at to d o with h im by n ow.

Knowing When to Push Yourself Higher


We kn ow well h ow d ifficu lt th e balan cin g act th at is life in th e twen ty-first cen tu ry is: su p p ortin g on es own creativity, fin d in g th e tim e for work, takin g on es work seriou sly, feelin g
th e p eace from th e tim e sp en t, th e satisfaction from th e learn in g an d th e accom p lish m en t,
an d yet con stan tly strivin g for m ore.
Rem em ber, n o m atter wh at, th at you are you r own best critic an d fan , altern ately an d at
on ce. Tru st you rself, you r in n er voice, an d you r in stin cts, an d ban ish th ose critical voices
wh ere th ey belon gh u n g ou t to d ry with Old Lefty.

One Inspiring Tale to End


A recen t in terview on NPR was with Harry Sh ap iro, wh o, at 100 years old , is p ain tin g fu ll
tim e. He cam e to th e Un ited States from Ru ssia in 1905 at 5 years old , an d grew u p in New
York, wh ere h e was an avid stu d en t of Am erican h istory an d took art classes. Sh ap iro becam e an illu strator/ com m ercial artist, bu t h as always p ain ted on weeken d s an d vacation s.
Du rin g h is in terview, Sh ap iro sp oke in a clear, m elod ic voice abou t p ain ters h e ad m ires an d
h is com m itm en t to p ain tin g. He h as n ever h ad a m ajor illn ess an d believes art an d m u sic
p reserve life, as well as a h eart fu ll of love. He works with som e u rgen cy n ow, an d
wou ld like an oth er fou r or five good years of work to d o som e good p ain tin gs to su m it
u p .
I know there is a God in some form.
I paint to make things whole.
Harry Shapiro
You d on t get better th an th at. Th an k you , Harry.

With Our Best Wishes


We h ave both en joyed research in g an d writin g th is book. Besid es th e fu n we h ave h ad ou r
own selves, weve also fou n d p leasu re in d evelop in g th e id eas for th e book, tryin g ou t th e
exercises, an d writin g an d h on in g th e text an d th e d irection s. Watch in g it becom e a book
was a p leasu re.
Lau ren h as en ticed h er frien d s over to d raw for th eir d in n er to m ake som e of th e d rawin gs for th e book (sh e is a good cook), an d worked with h er m oth ers d rawin g grou p for
som e of th e oth ers. Still oth er d rawin gs an d resp on ses com e from h er classes, an d sh e fou n d
a few old treasu red p ieces, h id d en away in h er file d rawers.

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Lisa h as en listed h er d au gh ter to m ake a few d rawin gs arou n d h er h ou se so both sid es of


th e cou n try are rep resen ted . As h er d au gh ter was tem p orarily cam p ed ou t with h er d u rin g
th e writin g of th is book, it was on ly fair.
We h op e you en joy th is book for a wh ile an d d ip back in to it wh en ever you wan t an id ea, a
tip , som e en cou ragem en t, or som e of ou r soon -to-be-world -fam ou s wit.
We leave you with th e best set of gu id elin es we kn ow: Be well, be h ap p y, en cou rage you rself. Try to follow th em , an d you ll soon be gu id in g oth ers as well.

The Least You Need to Know


The world is your oyster. Draw it.
Time and tide wait for no man (or woman). Draw it now.
A rose is a rose is a rose, until you start to draw it.
Love the world in your drawing and in all your work, and the world will love you
back.

344

Appendix A

Your Artists
Materials Checklist
For Your At-Home And Portable Drawing Kit
Paper, in a Variety of Types
Newsp rin t
Gen eral d rawin g p ap er in p ad s or sketch books
Bristol board
Watercolor p ap er

Drawing Utensils
Mech an ical p en cils in variou s h ard n esses an d lead s
Drawin g p en cils in variou s h ard n esses
Ch arcoal p en cils, an d soft-ch arcoal sticks an d p ap er stom p s
Sp ray fixative
Con te crayon s
In d ia in ks, d ip p in g p en s, bru sh es
Drawin g an d tech n ical p en s
Dry-erase m arkers an d p erm an en t m arkers

For Exploring Color


Colored p en cils an d water-solu ble p en cils
Oil p astels an d crayon s
Colored m arkers
Pastel p en cils an d soft p astels
Watercolors, gou ach e, an d acrylic p ain ts
Water-based crayon s

Nice Necessities
Erasers
Drawin g board

Appendix A

Artists tap e
Ru ler
Clip s
Pen cil sh arp en er(s): m an u al, electric, an d battery-op erated
Viewfin d er fram e
Plastic p ictu re p lan e
You r sketch book jou rn al

For Your Studio


Ad ju stable d rawin g table
Com fortable office-style ch air
Exten d able goosen ecked arch itectu ral lam p
Sm all freestan d in g booksh elf
Su p p ly cart on wh eels (a taboret)
Tackboard
Com p u ter, p rin ter, an d scan n er
Filin g box
Portfolio
Set of p ap er storage d rawers

346

Appendix B

Resources for
Learning to Draw
Bays, Jill. Drawing Workbook. Devon , En glan d : David & Ch arles, 1998.
Box, Rich ard . Drawing for the Terrified. Devon , En glan d : David & Ch arles, 1997.
Brookes, Mon a. Drawing with Children. New York: Jerem y P. Tarch er/ Pu tn am , 1996.
Cald er, Alexan d er. Animal Sketching. New York: Dover Pu blish in g Co., 1973.
Cam eron , Ju lia. The Artists Way. New York: Jerem y P. Tarch er/ Pu tn am , 1992.
Cod n iat, Raym on d . Twentieth-Century Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Crown Pu blish ers,
In c., 1968.
Crisp o, An d rew. Pioneers of American Abstraction. New York: Th e An d rew Crisp o Gallery, 1973.
Crisp o, An d rew. Ten AmericansMasters of Watercolor. New York: Th e An d rew Crisp o Gallery,
1974.
Drap er, J. Everett. Putting People in Your Paintings. Cin cin n ati, Oh io: North Ligh t Pu blish ers,
1985.
Ed ward s, Betty. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. New York: Jerem y P. Tarch er/ Pu tn am ,
1999.
Fran k, Fred erick. The Zen of Seeing. New York: Vin tage/ Ran d om Hou se, 1973.
Fran k, Fred erick. The Awakened Eye. New York: Vin tage/ Ran d om Hou se, 1979.
Ged h ard , David an d Ph yllis Plou s. Charles Demuth. Berkeley: Un iversity of Californ ia, 1971.
Hard in g, J.D. Lessons on Art. Lon d on : Fred erick Warn e & Co., 1915.
Hin ch m an , Han n ah . A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place. New York: W.W.
Norton , 1999.
Hoaglan d , Clayton . The Pleasures of Sketching Outdoors. New York: Dover Pu blish in g, In c.,
1969.
Hu ltgren , Ken . The Art of Animal Drawing. New York: Dover Pu blication s, In c., 1993.
Larkin , David . The Paintings of Carl Larsson. New York: Peacock Press/ Ban tam Books, 1976.
Levy, Mervyn . The Artist and the Nude. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1965.
Nice, Clau d ia. Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor. Cin cin n ati, Oh io: North Ligh t
Books, 1995.
Parram on , Jose M. Drawing in Pencil. New York: Watson -Gu p h ill, 1999.
Partin gton , Peter. Collins Learn to DrawWildlife. Lon d on : Harp erCollin s, 1995.

Appendix B

Perard , Victor. Sketching Landscape. New York: Pitm an Pu blish in g Corp oration , 1957.
Petrie, Ferd in an d . Drawing Landscapes in Pencil. New York: Watson Gu p h ill, 1979.
Pin cu s-Witten , Robert. Georgia OKeeffeSelected Paintings and Works on Paper. New York:
Hirsch l & Ad ler Galleries, 1986.
Pisan o, Ron ald . William Merritt Chase. New York: M. Kn oed ler & Com p an y, In c., 1976.
Rayn es, Joh n . Drawing the Figure. Cin cin n ati: North Ligh t Books, 1997.
Rin es, Fran k M. Drawing in Lead Pencil. New York: Brid gem an Pu blish in g, 1943.
Robertson , Bru ce. Collins Learn to DrawCountryside. Lon d on : Harp erCollin s, 1999.
Selz, Jean . Nineteenth-Century Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Crown Pu blish ers In c.,
1968.
Slatkin , Regin a Sh oolm an . Francois Boucher in North American Collections. Wash in gton D.C.:
Nation al Gallery of Art, 1973.
Sloan e, Eric. An Age of Barns. New York: Dod d , Mead & Com p an y, 1985.
Stebbin s, Th eod ore E. American Master Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Harp er & Row
Pu blish ers, 1976.
Stern berg, Harry. Realistic, Abstract Art. New York: Pitm an Pu blish in g Co., 1943.
Th oreau , Hen ry David . Walden. New York: Holt, Rein h art, an d Win ston , 1961.
Tu rn er, Elizabeth Hu tton . Georgia OKeeffe, The Poetry of Things. Wash in gton , D.C.: Th e
Ph illip s Collection , 1999.
Tin er, Ron . Figure Drawing Without a Model. Devon , En glan d : David & Ch arles, 1992.
Vallery-Rad ot, Jean an d Mau rice Seru llaz. Drawings of the French Masters. New York: Bon an za
Books/ Crown Pu blish ers, 1962-1964.
Van Gogh , V.W. Vincent Van Gogh, Paintings and Drawings. Am sterd am , Neth erlan d s: NVt
Lan th u ys, 1970.
Wad ley, Nicolas. Michelangelo. Mid d lesex, En glan d : Sp rin g Books, 1965.
Wad ley, Nicolas. The Drawings of Van Gogh. Lon d on : Ham lyn Pu blish in g Grou p Ltd ., 1969.
Weiss, Harvey. Pencil, Pen, and Brush. New York: Sch olastic Books, 1961.
Wiffen , Valerie. Collins Learn to DrawStill Life. Lon d on : Harp erCollin s, 1999.
Wood s, Mich ael. Landscape Drawing. New York: Dover Pu blication s, In c., 1989.

348

Appendix C

Drawing Glossary

al fresco Italian for in th e fresh air; it is th e term for d oin g th in gs ou tsid ein clu d in g
d rawin g, of cou rse.
artists studios ran ge from con verted closets to con verted gu est h ou ses. W h ere you p u t
you r stu d io d ep en d s on wh ere you h ave room , of cou rse, bu t its in d ivid u ality can be wh atever you ch oose.
cairns m an -m ad e trail m arkin gs, m ost often p iles of rocks th at m ark th e trailsid e p ath .
Ad d in g th ese m in i-stru ctu res to you r d rawin g can lead th e viewer on to th e trail, too.
calligraphic h an d writin g in a p articu lar style, or fon t, often with a wed ge-tip p ed p en
called a calligrap h ic p en .
chiaroscuro Italian for ligh t an d sh ad ow. It refers h ere to a system of ton al sh ad in g to
ren d er an object so it ap p ears th ree-d im en sion al.
color wheel a way of sh owin g p rim ary an d secon d ary colors. Th e circle is d ivid ed in to
sixth s, an d th e p rim ary colorsred , yellow, an d blu eare in every oth er wed ge. In between
each of th em are th e secon d ary colorsoran ge, green , an d p u rp lewh ich are m ad e by
m ixin g th e p rim aries on eith er sid e of th em .
contour drawing an y d rawin g in wh ich th e lin es rep resen t th e ed ge of a form , sh ap e, or
sp ace; th e ed ge between two form s, sh ap es, or sp aces; or th e sh ared ed ge between grou p s of
form s, sh ap es, or sp aces.
drawing

a way of rep resen tin g wh at we see by p lacin g lin es on to a su rface.

dry-erase pens p en s d esign ed to m ark on sm ooth su rfaces an d wip e off easily. Delis u se
th em for writin g th e d ays sp ecials. Look for th em in an art or station ery store.
en plein air a Fren ch term m ean in g fu ll of fresh air. It refers h ere to p ain tin g d on e ou tof-d oors. Becau se classic p ain tin g h ad been d on e in stu d ios, p ain tin g ou tsid e was a rad ical
m ove.
eye level (see also, horizon line) straigh t ou t from wh ere you are, n eith er above n or below
th e level of you r view. As you m ove u p or d own , you r eye level an d view ch an ge.
filters th e p rocess of n oticin g on ly wh at we n eed to in an y given scen e. Frames are a sim ilar sen sory d evice, wh ere we ign ore wh ats ou tsid e of wh at we wan t to look at.
fixative p rotects an u n stable su rface; it is sp rayed on a fin ish ed d rawin g to p rotect it after
you ve com p leted it.

Appendix C

foreshortening th e illu sion of sp atial d ep th . It is a way to p ortray a th ree-d im en sion al object on a two-d im en sion al p lan e (like p iece of p ap er). Th e object ap p ears to p roject beyon d
or reced e beh in d th e p ictu re p lan e by visu al d istortion .
gesture drawings
as on e m in u te.

d rawn from sh ort p oses, n o m ore th an fou r m in u tes an d often as sh ort

graphic images an y im ages on you r com p u ter th at are n ot text-based . Differen t im age
form ats h ave d ifferen t exten sion s (th e letters th at ap p ear after th e d ot on a filen am e, in clu d in g .jp g, .ip g, .bm p , .gif, an d m an y oth ers).
hardnesses (for pencils) ran ge from th e very h ard Hs, wh ich you can u se to m ake a fain t
lin e, to th e very soft Bs, wh ich are sm u d gier, ran gin g from 6H all th e way to 6B. Regu lar
p en cils are n u m bered as to h ard n ess on th e en d .
high, middle, and low horizons
d rawin g.

rep resen t h ow eye level is p erceived an d ren d ered in a

horizon line (or eye level) you r p oin t of view relative to wh at you are lookin g at. It is th e
p oin t at wh ich all p lan es an d lin es van ish .
illumination
illustration

d ecoration , su ch as a bord er arou n d word s or a p ictu re.


sh ows th e in form ation itself in p ictu re form .

lateralization th e way sp ecific fu n ction s or tasks are h an d led by th e brain , wh eth er by


on e sid e or th e oth er or both . Th e brain is com p rised of two h em isp h eres, th e an alytical
an d logical left brain an d th e m ore in tu itive an d h olistic right brain. W h ile Western ers ten d
to u se th eir left brain s far m ore, d rawin g is largely a fu n ction of th e righ t brain .
negative space
sh ap es.

th e area arou n d an object or objects th at sh are ed ges with th ose objects or

paper stomp an yth in g from p ap er to fin ger th at can sm u d ge a lin e, can m ake in terestin g
ton es an d blu rred areas. Hard er lin es can be d rawn or red rawn on top of th e in itial ren d erin g for m ore d efin ition .
parallelogram a geom etric sh ap e h avin g fou r sid es. Each p air of op p osite sid es is p arallel
an d eq u id istan t to each oth er.
perspective
closer to u s.

th e p ercep tion th at objects farth er away are sm aller th an objects th at are

picture plane a p iece of p lastic or Plexiglas th rou gh wh ich you view a su bject an d on
wh ich you d raw it.
primary colors
colors.

th e basic colorsred , yellow, an d blu ewh ich can t be m ixed from oth er

proportion th e com p arative relation between th in gs; in a rectan gle, th e com p arative ratio
between th e h eigh t an d wid th . Rectan gles of d ifferen t sizes th at are in p rop ortion sh are th e
sam e ratio in th eir h eigh t an d wid th .
range th e d istan ce between you an d you r objectsclose-u p (objects), m id -ran ge (still life),
or far away (lan d scap e).
scale in d rawin g, th e ren d erin g of relative size. An object or p erson or tree, as it is seen
farth er away, seem s sm aller th an an oth er of th e sam e size th at is closer.

350

Drawing Glossary

secondary colors colors m ixed from p airs of p rim ary colors. Red an d yellow m ake oran ge,
yellow an d blu e m ake green , an d blu e an d red m ake p u rp le.
square 90-d egrees, at righ t an gles, as in th e sid es of a rectan gle. Measu rin g carefu lly off
cen ter lin es h elp s keep you r rectan gle sq u are.
still life called nature mort (wh ich m ean s d ead n atu ral th in gs in Fren ch ), a collection
an d arran gem en t of th in gs in a com p osition .
tertiary colors
n eu trals.

m ad e from m ixin g two secon d ary colors; in clu d e soft tau p es, grays, an d

trompe loeil Fren ch for trick of th e eye. Trompe loeil tech n iq u es in volve m akin g th e
eye see som eth in g th at is p ain ted seem so th ree-d im en sion al you can t q u ite believe it
isn t really th ere.
2-D an abbreviation for two-d im en sion al, h avin g th e d im en sion s of h eigh t an d wid th ,
su ch as a flat su rface, like a p iece of p ap er. 3-D is an abbreviation for th ree-d im en sion al,
h avin g th e d im en sion s of h eigh t, wid th , an d d ep th , an object in sp ace.
vantage point th e p lace from wh ich you view som eth in g an d ju st exactly wh at, of th at
wh ole p ictu re, you are ch oosin g to see an d d raw. It is th e p lace from wh ich you p ick you r
view from th e larger wh ole, rath er like crop p in g a p h otograp h . If you m ove, you r exact
van tage p oin t ch an ges.
vellum surface d rawin g p ap er th at h as a velvety soft fin ish th at feels good as you d raw; it
can h an d le a fair am ou n t of erasin g.
viewfinder frame a win d ow th rou gh wh ich you see an im age an d can relate th e an gles,
lin es, sh ap es, an d p artsto th e m easu rin g m arks on th e fram e an d to each oth er. It is as
sim p le as u sin g you r two h an d s to fram e a view or m akin g a card board fram e.
viewpoint sim ilar to eye level, bu t th in k of it as sp ecifically wh ere you r eyes are, wh eth er
you are lookin g u p , across, or d own at som eth in g. Eye level is wh ere you look straigh t ou t
from th at p articu lar viewp oin t. Th in gs in you r view are above, at, or below eye level. If you
m ove, you r view an d eye level m ove, too.
Zen m ore th an a religiou s p ractice, its a p h ilosop h y an d way of life th at com es from
Jap an ese Zen Bu d d h ism . At its m ost basic, Zen can be th ou gh t of as a h olistic ap p roach to
bein g th at takes for gran ted th e in tercon n ected n ess of all th in gs an d en cou rages sim p licity
in livin g in ord er to live with th e com p lex.

351

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Conhea tambm os Cursos de Desenho Online

Index

Symbols
10 Com m an d m en ts of
d rawin g, 143
2-D (two-d im en sion al), 50
3-D (th ree d im en sion al),
50

A
action
an im als, 257
p eop le, 296
aerial p ersp ective, 198,
216
al fresco d rawin g, 180
Alberti, Leon e Battista, 48
an atom y, 274-277
bod y typ es, 276-277
m u scles, 275
skeletal system , 274
an gle m easu res, 207
an gles
in sp ace, 131
m easu rin g, 132
an im als, 257
ad d in g bu lk an d
ton in g, 260
bird s, 189

Cald er, Alexan d er, 257


d etails, 267
elep h an ts, 258
exotic, 266
farm yard s, 264
fin d in g, 261
gestu re, 258
giraffes, 258
in d oors, 268
lan d scap es, 268
n atu ral h istory
m u seu m s, 263
p ortraits, 265
p rop ortion s an d sh ap es,
258-259
scale, 268
sq u irrels, 189
waterfron ts, 263
an tiq u es, 171
Apoplectic habitus, 276
arch es, 188
arran gem en t, 92-96,
155-158
con tou r d rawin gs,
96-97
eye level, 96
ran ge, 93-95
sitin g th e im age, 96

art, carin g for, 330-331


art m u seu m s, 340-341
art sp eak, 310
Artists Materials
Ch ecklist, 345-346
artistic in sp iration ,
337-340
fin d in g, 342-343
wh at artists say abou t
th eir work, 338-340
wh ere artists fin d
in sp iration , 338
artistic liberty, 233
artists
goals, 142
p rocessin g visu al
in form ation , 8
Au toCad , 333
Avery, Milton , 339

B
balan ce, 136
bath room item s, d rawin g,
172
beach es, 221
d etail, 225
bed room item s, d rawin g,
168

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

begin n in g tech n iq u es,


85-87
bird s, 189
blen d ed colors, 329
blin d d rawin g, 152
board s, 85
boats, 233-234
bod y p rop ortion , 278-280
bod y typ es, 276-277
botan ical d rawin g,
179-191
ad d ition al objects, 183
cau tion s, 188
con sid eration s, 180
flowers, 181
bloom in g, 183
wild , 184
gard en im p lem en ts, 186
gard en item s, 188
vegetables, 185
wild flowers, 316
bowls, 168
boxes, d rawin g in , 110
brach ycep h alic faces, 289
brain , 16
h em isp h eres, 6
ch ild ren , 7
lateralization , 17
left-brain , 17-18, 24-25
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
left-h an d ed n ess, 17-18
righ t-brain , 17-18
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
p rofile/ vase-vase/
p rofile d rawin g
exercise, 23-25
righ t sid e u p / u p sid e
d own d rawin g
exercise, 26-30
teach in g ch ild ren
righ t-brain ap p roach
to d rawin g, 302-303
righ t-h an d ed n ess, 17-18

354

bristol board , 84
bru sh es, care of, 129
bu ild in gs. See stu ctu res
Bu rch field , Ch arles, 339
bu tterflies, 182

C
cairn s, 232
Cald er, Alexan d er, 257
calligrap h ic writin g, 321
card s, 320
caricatu res, 323
carin g for you r work,
330-331
carp en ters an gle m easu re,
157
cartoon s, 322-323
ch airs, 171
ou tsid e, 191
ch arcoal p ap er, 128
ch arcoal p en cils, 129
ch ecklists
d rawin g ch ecklist, 157
Materials Ch ecklist,
345-346
chiaroscuro, 119
ch ild ren
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
d evelop in g both sid es
of th e brain , 7
d rawin g, 7
d rawin g m aterials, 307
h ead s an d faces, 290
referen ce m aterials, 308
sym bolic d rawin g, 301
teach in g
d rawin g exercises,
310-312
en cou ragin g creativity, 304-305
m akin g d rawin g a
p ositive exp erien ce,
307-310

p roblem solvin g,
310-312
righ t-brain ap p roach
to d rawin g, 302-303
visu al d evelop m en t,
305
visu al learn in g, 303
ch in s, 289
circles, 130
circu ses, 266
classes
com p u ter art classes,
334
d rawin g classes, 83
close-u p ran ge, 94
cloth in g, 294-295
cold p ress p ap er, 84
colored p en cils, 328-330
colors, 328-329
m ean in gs, 147
com m itm en t, 166
Complete Letters of Vincent
van Gogh, 197
com p lim en tary colors,
329
com p osition , 93
Gold en Section , 105
still life, 104-106
com p u ters, 331-334
art an d grap h ic
p rogram s, 333
com p u ter art classes,
334
d rawin g with , 333-334
e-m ailin g im ages, 332
p rin tin g im ages, 332
scan n in g im ages, 332
Web sites, 332
con te crayon s, 129
con tou r d rawin g, 36-41
d rawin g an object wh ile
lookin g, 41
d rawin g an object with ou t lookin g, 40

Index

exercises
d rawin g you r h an d
wh ile lookin g, 38-39
d rawin g you r h an d
with ou t lookin g, 37
object arran gem en ts,
96-97
con trast, 161
creativity, 8
seein g as a ch ild , 152
viewin g work from
a d istan ce, 158
Crick, Fran cis, 16
cu bes, 108
Cu bism , 106
cylin d ers, 109

D
David, 279
d eep sp ace, 94
d etails, 132
an im als, 267
cloth es, 294-295
h ou ses, 245-252
lan d scap es, 225
n atu re, 133-135
d istan ce viewin g, 158
d istraction s, 166
d ocks, 232
d olich ocep h alic faces, 289
Dove, Arth u r, 339
d rawin g, 3
10 Com m an d m en ts
of Drawin g, 143
al fresco, 180
artistic liberty, 233
as basis for p ain tin g
on fu rn itu re, 321
ch ecklist, 157
ch ild d evelop m en t, 7
d evelop in g tech n iq u es, 13

essen tial m aterials, 10


exp an d in g skills, 322
exp ressive, 147
form , 157, 160
gu id es, 152
p lastic p ictu re p lan es,
152-153
viewfin d er fram es,
153-154
Learn in g to Draw Ch eat
Sh eet, 158-159
learn in g to see, 8
m aterials. See m aterials
ou t-of-bod y exp erien ce,
13
p erson al tou ch , 172
p ractice, 161
p reh istoric tim es, 4
p rep aration , 166
reviewin g you r work,
151
righ t-brain . See righ tbrain
secret of, 5
sketch book jou rn als.
See jou rn als
sp on tan eou s, 148
th erap eu tic, 147
wh ile travelin g, 315
with ou t-lookin g, 152
Zen ap p roach , 148
d rawin g board s, 22
d rawin g classes, 83
d rawin g d evices
p ictu re p lan es, 48-51
bu ild in g, 48
d rawin g exercise,
52-53
d rawin g with , 48-49
grid s, settin g u p ,
50-52
h istorical u ses of,
49-50

tran sferrin g d rawin gs


to p ap er, 54-55
visu al con cep ts,
49-50
viewfin d er fram es,
59-60
d rawin g with , 63-65
m akin g, 60-62
Drawing on the Right Side
of the Brain, 5
d rawin g state of m in d , 36
d rawin gs
carin g for, 330-331
d rawin g from , 341
writers views, 142
d ry-erase p en s, 174
Du n lop , Jam es M., 338

E
e-m ailin g im ages (com p u ters), 332
ears, 289
earth ton es, 329
ectom orp h ic, 276
Elements, 105
elep h an ts, 258
ellip ses, 107-108, 130
ellip soid s, 108, 277
en plein air, 213
en d om orp h ic, 276
erasers, 22, 85
etch in g p ap er, 128
Eu clid , 105
exercises
an im als, 258-259
con tou r d rawin g, 36-41
d rawin g an object
wh ile lookin g, 41
d rawin g an object
with ou t lookin g, 40
d rawin g you r h an d
wh ile lookin g, 38-39
d rawin g you r h an d
with ou t lookin g, 37

355

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

d esign s for cabin et


fron ts or d oors, 321
d etail, 139
d ocks, 232
d rawin g exercises for
ch ild ren , 310-312
figu re d rawin g, 283-284
illu stration s, 318
lan d scap es, 216
n egative sp ace, 69-73,
154
p ersp ective, 204-206
p ictu re p lan es, 52-53
p rofile/ vase-vase/ p rofile
d rawin g exercise,
23-25
righ t-brain d rawin g
exercises, 23-30
p rofile/ vase-vase/
p rofile, 23-25
righ t sid e u p / u p sid e
d own , 26-30
still life, 156
ton es, 119-122
viewfin d er fram es,
d rawin g with , 63-65
exp ressive d rawin g, 147
eye an d h an d warm -u p s,
34-35
eye level, 96, 200
p ersp ective, 200
still life, 106-108
eyes, 289

F
fabrics, 169
cloth in g, 294-295
fash ion d rawin gs,
322
d rawin g ch allen ges, 169
faces, 288
caricatu res, 323
ch ild ren , 290
fu ll fron tal view, 290

356

p ortraits, 290
p osition in g featu res,
289
p rop ortion s, 291
sh ap es an d p rop ortion s,
291-292
th ree-q u arter view, 290
typ es, 289
farm yard s, 231
an im als, 264
farm h ou ses, 250
fash ion d rawin gs, 322
feet, 282
fen ces, 230
figu re d rawin g, 271-284
an atom y, 274-277
bod y typ es, 276-277
m u scles, 275
skeletal system , 274
bod y p rop ortion ,
278-280
feet, 282
gestu re d rawin gs,
272-273
h an d s, 281
h ead an d n eck, 283
filters, 9
fin d in g
in sp iration for d rawin g,
342-343
objects to d raw, 91-92
tim e to d raw, 82
fixative, 129
flow, 36
flowers, 135, 181
ad d ition al objects, 183
bloom in g, 183
wild flowers, 184, 316
foliage, 220
fon ts, 321
foresh orten in g, 49
form , 157, 160
form al p ersp ective,
198-199
h ou ses, 245

on e-p oin t p ersp ective,


201
th ree-p oin t p ersp ective,
202
two-p oin t p ersp ective,
201
fram es, 9
fram in g, 331
Fran k, Fred erick, 143
fru it an d vegetables (still
life), 104
fu rn itu re, d esign s for
fu tu re p ain tin g, 321

G
gard en s, 180
extras, 184
green h ou ses, 187
p ath s, 188
p ots, p lan ters, an d
tools, 186
season s, 186
statu es an d figu res, 188
vegetables, 185
gates, 188
geom etric sh ap es, 86-87
gestu re
an im als, 258
p eop le, 296
gestu re d rawin gs, 272-273
giraffes, 258
gloves, 170
Gold en Section , 105
grap h ic im ages (com p u ters), 332-333
grasses, 220
green h ou ses, 187
grou n d ton es, 128
gu id elin es for d rawin g
(Ten Com m an d m en ts
of Fred erick Fran k), 344
gu id es, 152
viewfin d er fram es,
153-154

Index

H
h an d an d eye warm -u p s,
34-35
h an d s, 281
h ard n ess (p en cils), 22
h ats, 170
h ead s an d faces, 283, 288
ch ild ren , 290
p ortraits, 290
p osition in g facial
featu res, 289
sh ap es an d p rop ortion s,
291-292
Hen ri, Robert, 3
Hin ch m an , Han n ah , 141
Hip p ocrates, 276
h istory of d rawin g styles,
340
h om e p ages, 332
Hom er, Win slow, 340
h orizon lin es, 200
lan d scap es, 215
h orizon tal orien tation
(p ap er), 92
h ot p ress p ap er, 84
h ou seh old item s, 165
an tiq u es, 171
bath room , 172
bed room , 168
categories, 167
ch airs, 171
fabrics, 169
h ats an d gloves, 170
kitch en , 166
livin g room , 171
p atios, 174
p itch ers an d bowls,
168
sh oes, 170
silverware, 167
win d ow arran gem en ts, 173
h ou ses, 241-242
bu ild in g m aterials, 248
cityscap es, 247

cou n trysid e, 247-248


d etails, 245-252
d rawin g at d ifferen t
tim es, 243
farm h ou ses, 250
p ersp ective, 244-245
p rop ortion con sid eration s, 245
u n u su al h ou ses,
251-252
Victorian h ou ses, 249
h u m an brain , 16
lateralization , 17
left-brain , 17-18, 24-25
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
left-h an d ed n ess, 17-18
righ t-brain , 17-18
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
p rofile/ vase-vase/
p rofile d rawin g
exercise, 23-25
righ t sid e u p / u p sid e
d own d rawin g
exercise, 26-30
righ t-h an d ed n ess, 17-18
h u m or, 172

I
illu m in ation s, 317, 320
illu stration s, 317-319
Illu strator, 333
im agin ative d rawin g, 315
in form al p ersp ective,
198-199
h ou ses, 244-245
m easu rin g, 206-207
in sects, 182
in sp iration , 337-340
fin d in g, 342-343
wh at artists say abou t
th eir work, 338-340
wh ere artists fin d in sp iration , 338

J-K
jou rn als, 141
ap p roach to, 146
exp ressive d rawin g, 147
gen eral, 144
startin g, 146
travel, 144
varieties of, 144
kin esics, 275
kitch en item s, 166
kn ead ed erasers, 22, 85

L
lan d scap e sp ace, 94
lan d scap es, 213
aerial p ersp ective, 216
an im als, 257, 262, 268
artistic liberty, 233
beach areas, 221, 225
boats, 233-234
ch an gin g view, 213
d etails, 225
d istan ce, 214
d ivid in g sp ace, 215
essen tial m aterials, 213
farm yard s, 264
fram in g th e view, 214
h orizon lin es, 215
h u m an -m ad e elem en ts,
229-232, 235
ligh tin g/ sh ad ows, 225
p en cils, 216
p eop le, 287-288
action an d gestu re,
296
cloth es, 294-295
scale an d p osition in g,
296
p h otograp h s, 217
sp ace con sid eration s,
215
th u m bn ail sketch es,
216

357

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

tip s for d rawin g


p ersp ective, 203
trees an d sh ru bs, 217
vin es an d grasses, 220
water an d reflection s,
223
lateralization , 17
Lau ren Jarrett Web site,
332
learn in g resou rces,
347-348
Learn in g to Draw Ch eat
Sh eet, 158-159
learn in g to see, 8
left-brain , 6, 17-18, 24-25
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
left-h an d ed n ess, 17-18
ligh t (ton e), 115-118
3-D objects, d rawin g,
119
chiaroscuro, 119
d rawin g exercise,
119-122
ton al ch arts, creatin g,
116-118
weigh t, 119
livin g room item s,
d rawin g, 171
logical left. See left-brain

M
Marin , Joh n , 338
m aterials, 21-22, 83-85
al fresco d rawin g, 180
board s, 85
bru sh es, care of, 129
ch arcoal, 129
ch ild ren s m aterials,
307
color m ed ia, 328
d rawin g board s, 22
d rawin g lan d scap es,
213

358

erasers, 22, 85
fixative, 129
gu id es
p lastic p ictu re p lan e,
152
viewfin d er fram es,
153-154
n eed for good m aterials,
142
p ap er, 21, 83-84
bristol board , 84
cold p ress p ap er, 84
h orizon tal orien tation , 92
h ot p ress p ap er, 84
n ewsp rin t, 84
rou gh -su rfaced
p ap er, 84
varieties, 128
vellu m su rface, 84
vertical orien tation ,
92
watercolor p ap er, 84
weigh t, 84
p ap er stom p , 129
p en cils, 22, 84, 129
p en s, 129
d ry-erase, 174
referen ce m aterials for
ch ild ren , 308
sten cils, 322
storin g, 85
travel jou rn als, 144
views, 171
p lastic p ictu re p lan es,
159
Materials Ch ecklist,
345-346
m attin g, 331
m easu rin g
an gle m easu res, 207
an gles, 132
p ersp ective, 206-207
m ech an ical p en cils, 22, 84
m ed itation , 36

m esoch ep h alic faces, 289


m esom orp h ic, 276
m id -ran ge, 94
Mon et, Clau d e, 213
m ou th s, 289
m ovem en t, 236
an im als, 257
p eop le, 296
m u scles, 275
m u seu m s, 340-341
d rawin g from art, 341
n atu ral h istory, 263
styles of d rawin g
th rou gh h istory, 340

N
n atu ral h istory m u seu m s,
263
Natural Way to Draw, The,
8, 37
n atu re. See ou td oor
en viron m en t
nature mort, 102
n eck, 283
n egative sp ace, 67-68, 154
d rawin g exercises, 69-73
p rocess of d rawin g, 155
n ewsp rin t, 84
Nicolaid es, Kim on , 8
n oses, 289

O
OKeeffe, Georgia, 9, 142,
327-328, 338
objects
arran gem en t, 92-96,
155-158
con tou r d rawin gs,
96-97
eye level, 96
ran ge, 93-95
sitin g th e im age, 96

Index

com p osition , 93
d etail, 132
fin d in g objects to d raw,
91-92
form , 157
h ou seh old , 165
an tiq u es, 171
bath room , 172
bed room , 168
ch airs, 171
fabrics, 169
h ats an d gloves, 170
kitch en , 166
livin g room , 171
p atio, 174
p itch ers an d bowls,
168
sh oes, 170
silverware, 167
win d ow arran gem en ts, 173
isolatin g with p lastic
p ictu re p lan es, 152
n egative sp ace, 155
ou td oors, 179-182, 186
an im als, 189, 262
ch airs, 191
d rawin g cau tion s,
188
flowers, 181-184
gard en item s,
186-188
in sects, 183
vegetables, 185
relative an gles, 132
scale, 131
su rface d etails, 132
ton ed 3-D objects,
d rawin g, 119
on e-p oin t p ersp ective, 201
orn am en tals, 188
ou t-of-bod y exp erien ce,
13

ou td oor en viron m en t
an im als, 189, 262
botan ical, 179-191
ad d ition al objects,
183
cau tion s, 188
con sid eration s, 180
flowers, 181-184
gard en item s,
186-188
vegetables, 185
wild flowers, 316
See also lan d scap es
ch airs, 191
con sid eration s, 180
d rawin g cau tion s, 188
farm yard s, 231
an im als, 264
farm h ou ses, 250
gard en item s, 186-188
sp ecial stru ctu res, 232
veh icles, 235
waterfron ts, 232

P
PageMaker, 333
p ain tin gs, d rawin g from ,
341
Palm er Meth od writin g,
33-34
p ap er, 21, 83-84, 128
bristol board , 84
ch arcoal, 128
cold p ress p ap er, 84
h orizon tal orien tation ,
92
h ot p ress p ap er, 84
n ewsp rin t, 84
p astel, 128
rou gh -su rfaced p ap er,
84
varieties, 128
vellu m su rface, 84

vertical orien tation , 92


watercolor, 84, 128
weigh t, 84
p ap er stom p , 129
p arallelogram , 68
p ath s (gard en s), 188
p atios, 174
p en cils, 22, 84
colored p en cils,
328-330
h ard n ess, 22
lan d scap e d rawin g, 216
m ech an ical p en cils,
22, 84
sh arp en ers, 129
water-solu ble, 129
p en s, 129
p eop le, 271-284, 287-288
action an d gestu re, 296
an atom y, 274-277
bod y typ es, 276-277
m u scles, 275
skeletal system , 274
bod y p rop ortion ,
278-280
caricatu res, 323
cloth in g, 294-295
feet, 282
gestu re d rawin gs,
272-273
h an d s, 281
h ead s an d faces,
283, 288-292
ch ild ren , 290
p osition in g facial
featu res, 289
sh ap es an d p rop ortion s, 292
n eck, 283
p ortraits, 290
self-p ortraits, 293
settin g scen es, 292
scale an d p osition in g,
296

359

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

p ersp ective, 197-209


aerial p ersp ective, 198
d rawin g, 203-206
eye level, 200
form al p ersp ective,
198-199
h orizon lin e, 200
h ou ses, 244-245
in form al p ersp ective,
198-199
m easu rin g, 206-207
on e-p oin t p ersp ective,
201
p ictu re p lan e, 199-202
p lan es in sp ace,
208-209
th ree-p oin t p ersp ective,
202
tip s for d rawin g
ou td oors, 203
two-p oin t p ersp ective,
201
van ish in g p oin ts,
200-202
views, 203-204
p h otograp h y
an im al p ortraitu re, 267
lan d scap e d rawin g, 217
Ph otoSh op , 333
Phthisic habitus, 276
p ictu re p lan es, 48-51
bu ild in g, 48
d rawin g exercise, 52-53
d rawin g with , 48-49
grid s, settin g u p , 50-52
h istorical u ses of, 49-50
p ersp ective, 199-202
tran sferrin g d rawin gs to
p ap er, 54-55
visu al con cep ts, 49-50
p itch ers, 168
p lan es in sp ace (p ersp ective), 208-209

360

p lan n in g lin es (d rawin g


still life), 110-111
p lastic p ictu re p lan es, 152
m easu rin g an gles, 131
p atio d oors, 159
p olitical satire, 322-323
p ortraits, 290-293
an im als, 265
settin g th e scen e, 292
p racticin g, 8, 161
begin n in g tech n iq u es,
85-87
h an d an d eye warm u p s, 34-35
Palm er Meth od writin g,
33-34
p reh istoric d rawin g, 4
Pren d ergast, Mau rice, 340
p rim ary colors, 329
p rin t (etch in g/ p rin t), 128
p rin t p ap er, 128
p rin tin g im ages (com p u ters), 332
p rivacy, 166
p roblem solvin g (teach in g
d rawin g to ch ild ren ),
310-312
p rofile/ vase-vase/ p rofile
d rawin g exercise, 23-25
p rop ortion s, 62
an im als, 258-259
bod y p rop ortion ,
278-280
faces, 291
h ou ses, 245
p ortraits, 288

Q-R
Qu ark, 333
ran ge, 93-95
rearran gin g objects for
d rawin g, 166

reced in g p lan es (m easu rin g an gles), 132


reflection s, 223
relation al righ t. See righ tbrain
resou rces for learn in g to
d raw, 347-348
reviewin g d rawin gs, 151
from a d istan ce, 158
righ t-brain , 6, 17-18
ch ild d evelop m en t,
19-20
d evelop in g in ch ild ren ,
7
d rawin g exercises, 23-30
p rofile/ vase-vase/
p rofile, 23-25
righ t sid e u p / u p sid e
d own , 26-30
stren gth en in g, 6
teach in g ch ild ren righ tbrain ap p roach to
d rawin g, 302-303
righ t sid e u p / u p sid e d own
d rawin g exercise, 26-30
righ t-h an d ed n ess, 17-18
road s, 230
rou gh -su rfaced p ap er, 84

S
safaris, 265
Sargen t, Joh n Sin ger, 339
scale, 131, 199
an im als, 268
p eop le, 296
scan n ers, 332
scu lp tu res, d rawin g from ,
341
seash ells, 182
secon d ary colors, 329
self-con ciou sn ess, 151
self-p ortraits, 293
sh ad ow colors, 329

Index

sh ad ows, 188
lan d scap es, 225
ton e, 115-118
3-D objects, d rawin g,
119
chiaroscuro, 119
d rawin g exercise,
119-122
ton al ch arts, creatin g,
116-118
weigh t, 119
sh ap es, 67, 119
an im als, 258-259
in fabric, 169
faces, 291
flowers, 135
geom etric sh ap es, 86-87
Sh ap iro, Harry, 343
sh arin g you r work,
341-342
Sh eeler, Ch arles, 338
sh ip yard s, 232
sh oes, 170
sh ru bs, 217
silverware, 167
sitin g th e im age, 96
skeletal system , 274
sketch book jou rn als.
See jou rn als
sp ace, 67, 119
lan d scap es, 215
n egative sp ace, 67-68
p lan es in sp ace (p ersp ective), 208-209
Sp erry, Roger W., 17
sp on tan eou s d rawin g, 148
sq u are, 63
sq u irrels, 189
statu es (gard en ), 188
Stella, Josep h , 338
sten cils, 322
still life, 101-102, 155
an tiq u e item s, 171
bath room item s, 172

bed room item s,


168-170
ch ecklist, 157
com p osition , 104-106
Gold en Section , 105
cu bes, 108
cylin d ers, 109
d rawin g in boxes, 110
ellip ses, 107-108
eye level, 106-108
form , 158
fru it an d vegetables,
104
h u m or, 172
kitch en item s, 168
livin g room item s, 171
p atios, 174
p lan n in g lin es, 110-111
rein ven tin g th e world ,
321
selectin g objects for,
101, 104
van tage p oin t, 106
viewp oin t, 106
win d ow arran gem en ts,
173
still life sp ace, 94
storin g
d rawin gs, 331
m aterials, 85
story illu stration s, 319
stru ctu res
h ou ses, 241-242
bu ild in g m aterials,
248
cityscap es, 247
cou n trysid e, 247-248
d etails, 245-252
d rawin g at d ifferen t
tim es, 243
farm h ou ses, 250
p ersp ective, 244-245
p rop ortion con sid eration s, 245
Victorian , 249

sp ecial stru ctu res, 232


u n u su al stru ctu res,
251-252
stu d ios, 80
reflectin g th e artist, 142
styles of d rawin g th rou gh
h istory, 340
su rface d etails, 132
sym bolic d rawin g, 301

T
teach in g d rawin g to
ch ild ren
ch ild ren s brain d evelop m en t, 7
d rawin g exercises,
310-312
en cou ragin g creativity,
304-305
m akin g d rawin g a
p ositive exp erien ce,
307-310
p roblem solvin g,
310-312
righ t-brain ap p roach to
d rawin g, 302-303
visu al d evelop m en t,
305
visu al learn in g, 303
tech n iq u es, begin n in g
tech n iq u es, 85-87
Ten Com m an d m en ts of
Fred erick Fran k, 344
tertiary colors, 329
textu res, 132, 158
an im als, 261
th erap eu tic d rawin g, 147
th ree d im en sion al (3-D),
50
th ree-p oin t p ersp ective,
202
th u m bn ail sketch es
(lan d scap es), 216
tim e, fin d in g tim e to
d raw, 82

361

The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing

ton es, 115-118, 158-160


3-D objects, d rawin g,
119
ch an gin g ton al ran ge,
161
chiaroscuro, 119
d rawin g exercise,
119-122
ton al ch arts, creatin g,
116-118
weigh t, 119
tools (gard en ), 187
travel jou rn als, 144
travelin g, 315
trees, 216-217
trompe loeil, 198
two d im en sion al (2-D), 50
two-p oin t p ersp ective,
201

U-V
u n u su al stru ctu res,
d rawin g, 251-252
van Gogh , Vin cen t, 197
van ish in g p oin ts (p ersp ective), 200-202
van tage p oin t, 102, 106
vegetables, 185
still life, 104
veh icles, 235-236
vellu m su rface (p ap er), 84
vertical orien tation
(p ap er), 92
Victorian h ou ses, 249
viewfin d er fram es, 59-60,
152-154
d rawin g with , 63-65
m akin g, 60-62
viewp oin t, 102, 106
views, 171
lan d scap es, 214
p lastic p ictu re p lan es,
159

362

vin es, 220


virtu al sketch books,
331-333
visu al con cep ts (p ictu re
p lan es), 49-50
visu al d evelop m en t, 305
visu al learn in g, 303

W-Z
warm -u p s (h an d an d eye
warm -u p s), 34-35
water, 223
water-solu ble p en cils, 129
watercolor p ap er, 84, 128
waterfron ts
an im als, 263
sp ecial stru ctu res, 232
Web sites, 332
Weber, Max, 338
weigh t, 119
p ap er, 84
wild flowers, 184, 316
wild life, 189
win d ow boxes, 187
writin g, Palm er Meth od
writin g, 33
Wyeth , An d rew, 339
Zen , 148, 342-343
Zen of Seeing, The, 91
zoos, 266