Paint Schoodic

Join Carol L. Douglas at beautiful Acadia National Park, August 6-11, 2017. More details here!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why do we draw? (Part 3)

Two pieces of silverware and a coffee cup: a tricky thing to draw. But when you're done, you'll have the basic tools to draw anything.
Yesterday’s lesson on the pencil and thumb method was easy to teach in person, but difficult to write out in steps. Today’s lesson, on using angles, is easier to write, but will be a little trickier to master.

This has to do with how our brains are wired, not how “talented” you may or may not be. We simply don’t ‘read’ angles and negative space when we’re not focusing on them. This is why we use our pencil as a visual aide. It forces our brains to pay attention.

The good news is that you can rapidly teach your brain to notice angles and negative space.

Once again, close one eye and focus on the pencil, not the object you’re measuring. Hold the pencil along an imaginary plate glass window in front of you, and tilt it to match the angle you’re measuring. Then reproduce the line on your paper.

If at first you screw up, it’s probably that you’ve canted one end of the pencil away from you. Straighten it up and try again.

Once you’ve mastered measuring with the pencil and thumb method and learned to see and copy angles on to your paper, you can draw anything from portraits to animals to landscapes to figure. I promise.

Start by measuring the basic shapes using the pencil and thumb method we learned yesterday. Mark off the  heights and widths of all the basic shapes.
Use your pencil to determine the angles at which the silverware, the sides of the cup, and the handle are traveling. Draw them in as straight lines. This takes a little practice, so be patient and take your time looking at each one.
Use your measuring and angle hash marks to block in the major shapes.
Often, you can see distortions, objects that are too close together, etc. more easily in the negative space than you can in your drawing of the positive objects. It's best to check this before you go on to finish your drawing.
You can use angles to check your work. Here I checked the angle from the right tine of the fork to the handle of the cup, and the angle across the top of the two pieces of silverware.
 Message me if you want information about next year’s classes and workshops.

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