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201 West 103rd St reet
In dian apolis, IN 46290
A Pearson Educat ion Compan y
Drawing
by Lauren Jarrett and Lisa Lenard
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Text Copyright 2000 by Amaranth
Illustrations Copyright 2000 by Lauren Jarrett
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THE COMPLETE IDIOTS GUIDE TO an d Design are regist ered t rademarks of Pearson Educat ion , In c.
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Publisher
Marie Butler-Knight
Product Manager
Phil Kitchel
Managing Editor
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Acquisitions Editors
Mike Sanders
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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
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Book Designers
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Indexer
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Contents at a Glance
Part 1. Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing 1
1 Th e Pleasures of Seein g an d Drawin g 3
Drawing is all about learning to see.
2 Toward Seein g for Drawin g 15
Rediscovering seeing as a child.
3 Loosen Up 33
Right brain practice.
Part 2. Now You Are Ready to Draw 45
4 Th e Pict ure Plan e 47
Drawing on plasticand on your patio door.
5 Fin din g t h e View 59
Using the viewfinder frame.
6 Negat ive Space as a Posit ive Tool 67
Seeing whats not there.
Part 3. Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw 77
7 A Room of Your Own 79
Creating a place to draw.
8 How To Get St art ed 91
Tips to start you on your way.
9 St ep Up t o a St ill Life: Composit ion , Composit ion ,
Composit ion 101
Learning to draw the still life.
10 Toward t h e Fin ish Lin e 115
Finishing touches.
Part 4. Developing Drawing Skills 125
11 At t h e Fin ish Lin e: Are You Ready for More? 127
Balancing all the elements of a drawing.
12 Th e Journ al As a Pat h 141
Your drawing journal.
13 Th is Is a ReviewTh ere Will Be a Test 151
Putting it all together in one handy chapter.
14 All Aroun d t h e House: A Few New Drawin gs t o Try 165
Household objects as drawing subjects.
15 In t o t h e Garden wit h Pen cils, n ot Sh ovels 179
Botanical drawing and more.
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Part 5. Out and About with Your Sketchbook 195
16 Wh at s Your Perspect ive? 197
Getting technical about perspective.
17 Th is Lan d Is Your Lan d 213
Landscape drawing.
18 Made by Man : Out in t h e Lan dscape 229
Drawing what you see outside.
19 Houses an d Ot h er St ruct ures 241
Making your structures real.
Part 6. Drawing Animals and People 255
20 It s a Jun gle Out Th ereSo Draw It ! 257
A guide to animal drawing.
21 Th e Human Body an d It s Ext remit ies 271
Drawing the human anatomy.
22 Dress Em Up an d Move Em Out 287
Its all in the details.
Part 7. Enjoying the Artists Life! 299
23 Just for Ch ildren 301
Teaching your kids to draw.
24 Decorat e Your World 315
Using your drawings to decorate your world.
25 Express Yourself 327
Using your drawings as vehicles of self-expression.
26 Th e Art ist s Life 337
Living the good life, artists style.
Appendixes
A Your Art ist s Mat erials Ch ecklist 345
B Resources for Learn in g t o Draw 347
C Drawin g Glossary 349
In dex 353
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Contents
Part 1: Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing 1
1 The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing 3
Wh at Is Drawin g? ..........................................................................3
Drawing is ................................................................................4
The Artists Answer ......................................................................5
Express Yourself ............................................................................6
Why You Draw, and Why Sometimes You Stop Drawing ................7
Looking Through the Barriers ........................................................8
Learn in g How t o Look ..................................................................8
Open Up Your Eyes ........................................................................9
The Gallery of Life ......................................................................10
Seein g Your Way t o Drawin g ......................................................11
Techniques as Tools of Expression ................................................12
Developing a Way of Seeing and Drawing ....................................13
2 Toward Seeing for Drawing 15
Free Your Min d, Your Eyes Will Follow ......................................15
The Wonders of the Human Brain ..............................................16
Are You a Lefty or a Righty? ........................................................17
From Logical Left t o Relat ion al Righ t ..................................18
Right-Left-Right: Your Brain Learns to Follow Orders ....................18
The Art of the Child ....................................................................19
Simple Mat erials t o Begin ..........................................................21
Paper ..........................................................................................21
Pencils ........................................................................................22
Eraser ..........................................................................................22
Drawing Board ............................................................................22
A Few Other Things ....................................................................22
Exercises t o Get You on t h e Righ t Side (of t h e Brain ) ................23
Profile/Vase-Vase/Profile ..............................................................23
Reviewing the Exercise ................................................................24
Wh en t h e Familiar Get s Un familiar ..........................................26
Right Side Up/Upside Down ........................................................26
Copy a Complicated Drawing ......................................................28
Keep Up the Good Work ..............................................................29
Exercisin g Your 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 Set Sen d Off t h e Logical Left ....................................36
Contour Drawing of Your HandWithout Looking ......................37
Contour Drawing of Your HandWhile Looking ..........................38
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An ot h er Set t o Keep It Gon e ......................................................40
Contour Drawing of an ObjectWithout Looking ........................40
Contour Drawing of an ObjectWhile Looking ..........................41
Farewell, Old Left y ......................................................................42
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................43
Part 2: Now You Are Ready to Draw 45
4 The Picture Plane 47
Wh at Is a Pict ure Plan e? ............................................................48
How to Use a Picture Plane ..........................................................48
Hist orical Uses of Drawin g Devices ............................................49
How a Pict ure Plan e Works ........................................................50
Preparin g a Plexiglas Pict ure Plan e for Drawin g ........................50
Isolat e a Subject wit h t h e Pict ure Plan e ......................................52
Tran sfer t h e Drawin g t o Paper ....................................................54
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................56
5 Finding the View 59
A Viewfin der Frame ....................................................................59
Makin g a Viewfin der Frame ........................................................60
Usin g t h e Viewfin der Frame ......................................................63
Draw Wh at You See in t h e Viewfin der ......................................65
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................65
6 Negative Space as a Positive Tool 67
Fin d Your Space ..........................................................................67
The Virtues of Negative Space ......................................................68
Learning How to Use Negative Space ............................................68
Select an Object t o Draw: Th eyre Everywh ere! ........................69
A View Th rough t h e Viewfin der ................................................69
Where to StartLocation, Location, Location ............................70
Draw the Holes, not the Thing ....................................................71
See t h e Object Th rough t h e Space Aroun d It ............................72
Get t in g Negat ive ........................................................................73
Your Sketchbook Page ..................................................................74
Part 3: Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw 77
7 A Room of Your Own 79
Fin din g Space an d Time ..............................................................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 Mat erials Youll Need ................................................83
On Paper ....................................................................................83
Drawing Instruments ..................................................................84
Storing Your Materials and Work ................................................85
Begin n in g Tech n iques t o Use ......................................................85
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viii
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
Wh at Are You Goin g t o Draw? ..................................................91
Select Your Objects and Pick Your Subject ....................................92
Choose the Format and the Paper ..............................................92
How Will You Arran ge t h e Object s? ..........................................92
Seeing Arrangement and Composition ..........................................93
See the View and the Distance ....................................................93
On t h e Page ................................................................................95
Next Step: Establish Eye Level ....................................................96
Site the Image on the Paper Using the Center Lines ....................96
Makin g a Simple Con t our 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
Wh at Is a St ill Life? ..................................................................101
Picking Objects: Classic, Contemporary, and Out There ..............101
Why Artists Love to Draw Fruit and Vegetables ........................104
A Few Th ough t s on Composit ion ............................................104
Off Center Is Often Better ..........................................................105
Centering on Purpose ................................................................105
Charming Diagonals ................................................................105
Other Shapes to See in the Shapes of Things ..............................105
Composin g a St ill Life ..............................................................106
Choosing from a Group of Possibilities ......................................106
Filtering and Framing for the View You Want ............................106
Space in a St ill Life ....................................................................106
Vantage and View ....................................................................106
More Work on Eye Level ............................................................106
Makin g Th in gs Sit Down , or Roll Over, an d St ay ....................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 St ill 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 ape Are in t h e Lead, Form Follows Close Beh in d 115
Weigh t Is in t h e Rear, but Comin g Up Fast ..............................119
First Th in gs First : Sh ape an d Space ..........................................119
Now St art Again ......................................................................119
Get t in g t o Th at Fin ish Lin e ....................................................122
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................123
Part 4: Developing Drawing Skills 125
11 At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More? 127
New Mat erials ............................................................................127
New Papers ..............................................................................128
More Drawing Tools ..................................................................128
More Tech n iques ......................................................................130
Drawing in Circles Is not Going in Circles ................................130
Scale Is Sizing Things in Space ..................................................131
Measuring Angles in Space ........................................................131
Back t o Th at Race t o t h 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 t h e Fin ish Lin e Again ..........................................................136
On wards an d Out wards ............................................................138
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................139
12 The Journal As a Path 141
Wh y Keep a Sket ch book Journ al? ............................................141
Art ist s on Th eir Work ..............................................................142
How They Feel About Their Studios and Tools ..........................142
How They Feel About Drawing ..................................................142
Differen t Kin ds of Journ als ......................................................144
Travel Journals ..........................................................................144
Closer to Home ........................................................................144
Your Journ al Is All About You ..................................................146
Usin g Your Journ 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 rough t h e Lookin g Glass ......................................................151
Seeing as a Child ......................................................................152
Look/Dont Look ........................................................................152
Guides Are Wh at You Make Th em ..........................................152
Plastic Picture Plane Practice ....................................................152
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x
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
A View Through Your Viewfinder Frame ....................................153
Or, Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide ......................................154
Accen t uat e t h e Negat ive ..........................................................154
Makin g Arran gemen t s ..............................................................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
Your Learn in g-t o-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
Your House is Full of Ideas for Drawin g Pract ice ....................165
Time Is of t h e Essen ce ..............................................................166
Your Kit ch en Is a St oreh ouse ....................................................166
Silverware ..................................................................................167
Pitchers and Bowls ....................................................................168
Not Just for Sleepin g An ymore ................................................168
Fabrics ......................................................................................169
Shoes ........................................................................................170
Hats and Gloves ........................................................................170
Drawin g in t h e Livin g Room ....................................................171
Try Another Chair ....................................................................171
Antique Lampsand Antique Things ........................................171
Object s Th at Reflect You ..........................................................172
Bat h room Basics ......................................................................172
A Sun n y Win dow ....................................................................173
Out of t h e House an d on t o t h e Pat io (Door) ..........................174
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................176
15 Into the Garden with Pencils, not Shovels 179
Bot an ical Drawin g Is an Art ......................................................179
Take Your Sketchbook with You ..................................................180
It Started with Eden ..................................................................181
Be a Bot an 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
Garden s Ot h er Th an Your Own ................................................187
Wh at Else Is in Your Garden ? ..................................................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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xi
Contents
Part 5: Out and About with Your Sketchbook 195
16 Whats Your Perspective? 197
Un derst an din g Perspect ive ......................................................198
Perspective Simplified ................................................................198
Perspective and the Picture Plane ..............................................199
Perspective in Pieces ..................................................................199
Tools for Lan dscape an d Perspect ive ........................................203
Get t in g Small an d Smaller in Space ..........................................203
Learn in g t o See, Measure, an d Draw in Perspect ive ................204
Closing the Roof ........................................................................205
Measure for Measure ..................................................................206
A Few More Tips on Planes in Space ..........................................208
Det ail, Det ail, Det ail: God Is in t h e Det ails ..............................209
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................210
17 This Land Is Your Land 213
Go Out for a View ....................................................................213
But Which One? ........................................................................213
Framing the View ......................................................................214
On t h e Lin et h e Horizon Lin e ................................................215
On the Page: Siting Your View ..................................................215
Some Thoughts on Landscape Space ..........................................215
Tools for Lan dscape an d Perspect ive ........................................216
Seein g an d Drawin g t h e Lan dscape ..........................................216
Ph ot ograph s: To Use or Not t o Use, Th at Is t h e Quest ion ......217
Th e Lan dscape 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 Your 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
Eviden ce of Human In fluen ce ..................................................229
Roads, Fences, Gates, and Walls ................................................230
In the Farmyard ........................................................................231
Special Uses, Special St ruct ures ................................................232
On t h e Dock of t h 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
Your World Is Wh at You Make It ..............................................237
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................238
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xii
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
19 Houses and Other Structures 241
A World of Buildin gs ................................................................241
City Mice and Country Mice ......................................................241
The Old and the New ................................................................243
Makin g It St an d ........................................................................244
Informal Perspective ..................................................................244
Formal Perspective ....................................................................245
Keeping the Pieces in Proportion ................................................245
It s in t h e Det ails ......................................................................245
In the City ................................................................................247
In the Country ..........................................................................247
Materials and Techniques ..........................................................248
Period Pieces an d Special 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 imals ......................................................................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 Out Wh 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 imal Port rait s ........................................................................265
Problems in Portraiture ..............................................................267
A Bit on Materials and Techniques ............................................267
An imals in Your 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 t h e Figure ....................................................................271
Getting Some Practice and Help ................................................272
Use Your Sketchbook ..................................................................272
Th e Gest ure of Life ....................................................................272
Direction and Gesture ................................................................272
Thoughts on Quick Action Poses ................................................273
Body Part s an d t h e Wh ole: An at omy, You Say? ......................274
The Hip Bone Is Connected to the ........................................274
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xiii
Contents
Muscle Is Good ..........................................................................275
Some Basic Proportions ..............................................................276
Age an d Gen der: Some Basic Differen ces, As If You
Didn 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
Ext remit ies: Get t in 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
Add Th at Human Touch ..........................................................287
No Flat Heads Here: Heads an d Faces ......................................288
Types and Proportion ................................................................288
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat ....................................................289
Especially for Children ..............................................................290
Liken ess an d Port rait ure ............................................................290
Some Basic Proportions and Shapes ............................................291
Setting a Scene for a Portrait ......................................................292
When You Are Your Subject ......................................................293
Folds, Drapes, But t on 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
Put t in g People in Your 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! 299
23 Just for Children 301
From Symbols t o Realism ..........................................................301
Educat in g t h e Righ t Side ..........................................................302
From Hunter to High Tech ........................................................303
Visual Learning for All Reasons ................................................303
We All Love t o Draw ................................................................304
Kids Draw at Any Age ..............................................................305
The Very Young ........................................................................305
Stages from Symbol to Image ....................................................305
Tact ics ........................................................................................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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xiv
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
Wh en Problems Arise ................................................................310
Distractions and Quiet ..............................................................310
Tension, Frustration, Fatigue, and Short Attention Span ............310
Fun Drawin g Exercises for Kids ................................................310
A Place for Everything: How to Start ..........................................312
For Mistakes or Problems ....................................................312
Above All, Have Fun ..................................................................312
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................313
24 Decorate Your World 315
Have Sket ch book, Will Travel ..................................................315
Usin g Your Own Images ............................................................316
Tradin g In format ion : How-Tos or Recipes ..............................317
Illustrating an Idea or a Technique ............................................318
Illustrating an Idea ....................................................................318
The Story of You ........................................................................319
Illumin at in g Your Person al Life ................................................320
Rein ven t in g Your World ............................................................321
Cabinets and Furniture ..............................................................321
Ceilings, Walls, and Floors, but No Driveways ..........................321
Expan ded Uses for Your Skills ..................................................322
Focus on Fashion ......................................................................322
Cartoons: Humor or Opinion? ....................................................323
That Twisted Look: Caricatures ................................................323
Furt h er Out : Your Fan t asies ......................................................323
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................324
25 Express Yourself 327
Movin g In t o t h 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 Your Work ................................................................330
On Storage ................................................................................331
Matting and Framing ................................................................331
Turn in g a New Page: Fin e Art Meet s 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 t o Learn About Drawin g on t h e Comput er ....................333
Computer Art Programs You Can Learn ....................................333
How to Choose a Computer Art Class ........................................334
Your Sketchbook Page ................................................................335
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xv
Contents
26 The Artists Life 337
Followin g t h e Muse ..................................................................337
Where Artists Find Inspiration ..................................................338
What They Have to Say About Their Work ................................338
Museum 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 Your Work ....................................................................342
To Show, to Publish, or Just to Draw ..........................................342
Take a Pat h t o t h 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
Wit h Our 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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Foreword
Wh en did you st op drawin g?
As a profession al art ist I am oft en asked: Wh en did I begin t o draw? Or in ot h er words, h ow lon g h ave I
been drawin g. I h ave t ried t o an swer t h is quest ion , but t h e t rut h is t h at Im n ot exact ly sure. I do kn ow
t h at I h ave drawn as lon g as I can remember. Most ch ildren en joy drawin g as on e of t h eir games. I guess
I just n ever st opped.
I h ad t h e great fort un e t o be born in t o a family sen sit ive t o t h e visual art s: My mot h er was a profession al
ceramist before marryin g my fat h er. My fat h er h ad an advert isin g agen cy an d h is best frien d (an d h is
agen cys prin cipal illust rat or) was t h e acclaimed pain t er Ezequiel Lopez. It seems perfect ly n at ural t o me
t h at in addit ion t o myself, t wo of my four siblin gs are profession al art ist s.
Growin g up in Spain , I remember my mot h er always en couragin g our art ist ic an d cult ural in t erest s, t akin g
us t o visit museums an d galleries an d keepin g us well st ocked wit h art supplies. You see, wh en sh e was
a lit t le girl, Spain was goin g t h rough t h e period in it s h ist ory kn own as post -guerra, t h e decade wh ich
followed t h e Span ish Civil War. Art supplies were a luxury at t h at t ime. My mot h er remembers wan t in g
t o draw as a lit t le girl an d, h avin g n o pen cil or paper, scrat ch in g t h e wh it e st ucco walls of h er h ouse wit h
coin s t o creat e gray marks, crat in g a kin d of rust ic silver-poin t graffit i t h at un derst an dably drove my
gran dparen t s n ut s. So as a paren t , my mot h er made cert ain t h at h er ch ildren always h ad art s an d craft s
mat erials available for play.
Wh en I was about t en years old, my mot h er t ook up pain t in g as a h obby. Sh e armed h erself wit h all t h e
proper t ools for makin g art , in cludin g an en cyclopedia on h ow-t o-draw-an d-pain t . I remember t h e first
t ime I set eyes on t h e black clot h h ardboun d cover of it s first volume. Prin t ed across it s aust ere cover in
bold wh it e let t ers was Drawin g is Easy (Dibujar es fcil). I open ed t h e book an d discovered st ep by
st ep met h ods for creat in g images t h at , un t il t h at momen t , h ad seemed impossible t o put down on paper:
port rait s, lan dscapes, figures, an d an imals. I was amazed! From t h at poin t on , I devoured t h e in format ion
in t h at en cyclopedia, complet in g most of t h e assign men t s t h at t h e books proposed just for my own en joy-
men t . As t h e years passed, I received ext en sive t rain in g in art : As a t een ager I en rolled in a privat e academy
t h at t augh t t radit ion al drawin g an d pain t in g. Lat er, I at t en ded t h e Un iversit y of Madrid, t h e Marylan d
In st it ut e College of Art an d Towson Un iversit y. I h ave been t each in g college courses in art for t h e past
fift een years. Th irt y years lat er, t h e lesson s I learn ed in t h at en cyclopedia are st ill presen t in my min d. I
use t h em in my own work as well as my in st ruct ion of ot h ers.
Wh ich brin gs me t o The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing. Don t let t h e fun n y t it le fool you. Th is book
is a serious an d pract ical in t roduct ion for t h ose in t erest ed in learn in g t h e basic aspect s of drawin g. It s t on e
is casual an d frien dly. It assumes t h at you don t kn ow an yt h in g about art , but are serious an d willin g t o
learn . It s con t en t s are approximat ely t h ose of a basic compreh en sive course in st udio drawin g at a first
rat e art college. In ot h er words, it is ligh t years beyon d my beloved Drawin g is Easy, wh ich , sin ce it was
prin t ed in 1968, is by n ow quit e limit ed an d dat ed. The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing, on t h e ot h er
h an d, in corporat es all t h e curren t ideas on h ow t o learn t o draw. Despit e t h e h umorous n ame, t h is is
n ot a book full of t ricks t h at would sh ow you h ow t o draw flash y pict ures if you can do cert ain effect s.
You won t fin d a sin gle recipe in side on h ow t o draw a h appy cloud, like you would in t h ose misleadin g
learn t o pain t t elevision programs. Th is is t h e real t h in g. Wh at you get from t h is book are t h e basic
con cept s for serious art makin g. You will learn t o see like an art ist , t o ch oose a subject , t o compose a
pict ure, an d t o brin g it t o complet ion . An d of course, youll learn h ow much fun t h is all can be.
Drawin g is t h e basis for all forms of visual fin e art s. Pain t in g, prin t makin g, sculpt ure, illust rat ion , ph ot o-
graph y, mixed media, graph ic design , fibers an d digit al art all rely on ideas t h at are gen erally explored
by first learn in g t o draw. Wh at ever you will even t ually do art ist ically, wh at ever medium or st yle, you
will ben efit great ly from bein g exposed t o The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing. So don t wast e an ot h er
precious min ut elet s get st art ed! Wh at are you wait in g for?
Jos Villarrubia, MFA, is a pain t er, ph ot ograph er an d digit al art ist , born in Madrid, Spain , but residin g
in Balt imore for t h e past t wen t y years. Sin ce 1986, h e h as been in cluded in over n in et y in t ern at ion al
solo an d group exh ibit ion s in t h e Un it ed St at es, Europe, an d Lat in America. His work is in t h e perman en t
collect ion s of t h e Balt imore museum of Art an d t h e In t er-American Developmen t Ban k. He is a full t ime
facult y member at t h e Marylan d In st it ut e College of Art , wh ere h e h as been t each in g drawin g an d digit al
art for t h e past four years. He t augh t for t welve years in t h e art depart men t of Towson Un iversit y, an d h as
t augh t at t h e Walt ers Art Gallery an d for t h e Brigh t St art s Program. His n umerous lect ures in clude t h ose at
t h e Joh n s Hopkin s Un iversit y an d t h e College Art Associat ion . En t ert ain men t Weekly h as called h is work
Groun dbreakin g, a t reat for t h e eyes!
Sin ce 1992 Mr. Villarrubia h as been t h e art reviewer for t h e lit erary magazin e Lambda Book Report . He is
curren t ly writ in g Koan , a book about t h e pain t in gs of Jon J. Mut h an d Ken t Williams t o be publish ed lat er
t h is year by Allen Spiegel Fin e Art s.
www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br
Introduction
If youve got draw-o-ph obia, youre n ot alon e. Million s of American s (in cludin g, un t il t h is book, on e
of it s coaut h ors) are afraid t o pick up a pen cil t o t ry t o represen t an image on a page. You drew as a
ch ildwe all didbut maybe you were laugh ed at by your peers or siblin gs early on , or maybe a
well-mean in g art t each er discouraged your earliest effort s. Sudden ly, you felt crit ical of your drawin gs,
un h appy wit h your at t empt s, worried t h at you would fail, an d un willin g or afraid t o t ry.
Drawin g is t h ough t of as magic by some, an d an in h erit ed t rait by ot h ers, but n eit h er of t h ose ideas
is t rue. Th e good n ews is it s n ever t oo lat e t o learn t o draw or learn t o draw more con fiden t ly an d
sen sit ively. Th e first st ep, in fact , is as simple as pickin g up a pen cil an d some paper an d just drawin g a
simple image on t h e page.
Pick a sin gle flower, leaf, or bran ch , an d sit an d see it for t h e first t ime, t h en make a simple lin e
drawin g.
Give yourself a lit t le t ime t o draw. Try it n ow, h ere:
How did you feel wh ile you were drawin g? Did you relax an d en joy it ? Did you feel n ervous about h ow
you would do? Workin g t h rough t h e exercises in t h is book will h elp you get past t h ose fears an d t h e
t en den cy t o be t oo crit ical. You will h ave fun drawin g an d experien ce your own creat ivit y. See? It won t
be so h ard. Th e rest of learn in g t o draw will be a breeze, t oo.
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xviii
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
How to Use This Book
Drawin g is a basic skill, like writ in g, or ridin g a bicycleit must be learn ed an d pract iced, but is wit h in
your grasp. Weve arran ged t h is book so t h at you st art off wit h easy st uff, like seein g, an d t h en slowly
move t h rough exercises t h at will t ake you furt h er an d furt h er alon g in your drawin g skills.
Th is book is divided in t o seven part s:
Part 1, Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing, in t roduces you t o t h e pleasures of drawin g an d
seein g, in cludin g discoverin g t h e differen ce bet ween your crit ical left brain an d your creat ive righ t
brain . Tappin g your own creat ivit y may be t h e most excit in g t h in g you h ave ever don e. Plus, righ t off
t h e bat , well be providin g exercises t o h elp you loosen up an d exercise your drawin g h an d, en t ice your
creat ive righ t brain , an d ban ish t h e left side, Old Left y, out t o left field, wh ere h e belon gs. Learn in g t o
just see, an d t o draw wh at you see, is fun an d t h e begin n in g of an adven t ure in drawin g t h at can t ake
you almost an ywh ere. A con t our lin e drawin g of an object is t h e place t o st art .
In Part 2, Now You Are Ready to Draw, youll meet some of t h e t ools of t h e t rade, in cludin g t h e
viewfin der frame an d t h e plast ic pict ure plan e. Well sh ow you h ow t o make your own viewfin der frame
an d plast ic pict ure plan e t o t ake wit h you wh erever you go, an d h ow t o use bot h of t h ese t ools t o h elp
wit h your drawin gs. Th en youll experimen t wit h n egat ive space, t h e spaces in an d aroun d an object or
object s. Seein g t h e n egat ive space can great ly h elp your composit ion an d drawin gs.
Part 3, Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw, h as a lot of work t o do. First , you n eed some
mat erials an d a place t o work, because you n eed t o t ake yourself an d your work seriously. Well begin
wit h simple groups of object s in a drawin g an d t h en move on t o t h e full st ill life, explorin g wh y art ist s
t h rough out t h e ages just love t h ose fruit s an d veggies. Well also h elp you begin t o ch oose wh at t o
draw, wh at t o draw it wit h , an d h ow t o make your way from a con t our lin e t o a con siderat ion of form
an d weigh t . Th en we will look at t h ose all-import an t det ails.
By Part 4, Developing Drawing Skills, youll be feelin g much more con fiden t about your drawin g
skills. Well discuss some n ew mat erials an d h ow t o acquain t yourself wit h t h em. Journ als an d sket ch -
books are n ext , a way for you t o pract ice drawin g every day. Well peer in t o some workin g art ist s st u-
dios t o see wh at s beh in d t h ose ligh t -filled win dows an d well look at t h eir views on drawin g, t h eir
st udios, an d t h eir feelin gs about t h eir work. Th en , well work on your port able drawin g kit t o t ake on
t h e road, an d poke aroun d your h ouse an d garden (an d ours) t o fin d some good subject s for your
sket ch book.
In Part 5, Out and About with Your Sketchbook, well get you out of t h e h ouse. Well look at per-
spect ive, t h at all-import an t way of seein g t h ree-dimen sion al space t h at all art ist s use, an d t h en well get
you out side t o use your n ewfoun d kn owledge. We will look at t h e lan d it self, elemen t s in t h e lan dscape,
an d t h en h ouses an d ot h er st ruct ures, so you will feel con fiden t t o t ackle an y an d all t h e drawin g ch al-
len ges in your n eigh borh ood or an ywh ere in t h e world.
Part 6, Drawing Animals and People, looks at an imals, h uman s, an d t h e h uman figure as drawin g
subject s. Act ion , gest ure, proport ion , sh ape, an d form are t h e buzzwords h ere, for an imals an d t h e
h uman an imal. Well explore wh y t h e n ude h as always been t h e object of art ist s
affect ion san d wh y it may t urn out t o be yours as well. Well also look at gest ure an d movemen t an d
h ow t o ren der t h em on t h e page.
Part 7, Enjoying the Artists Life! will put it all t oget h er, h elpin g you express yourself in your draw-
in gs. Well discuss h ow t o frame an d care for your work an d h ow t o expan d your skills in t o n ew media,
project s, or in t o cyberspace. Well also go t o t h e museum wit h you, an d h elp you learn h ow you can
learn more about yourself by fin din g wh at art youre drawn t o.
Last , in t h e back of t h is book, youll fin d t h ree appen dixes, in cludin g a list of mat erials you may wan t
t o purch ase, a list of books for furt h er readin g, an d a glossary, ch ock-full of art -y words.
An d, in t h e fron t of t h e book, youll fin d a t ear-out referen ce card t o t ake wit h you wh erever you draw.
Extras
In addit ion t o h elpin g you learn h ow t o draw, weve provided addit ion al in format ion t o h elp you
alon g. Th ese in clude sidebars like t h e followin g:
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xix
Introduction
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.
Back to the Drawing Board
These margin notes can help you
avoid making drawing mistakes
as well as learn from the ones
you do make.
Artists Sketchbook
These margin notes introduce
you to the language of drawing,
so youll understand the termi-
nology as well as the how-tos.
Try Your Hand
Everyone could use an extra tip
here and there, and this margin
note is where youll find them.
Acknowledgments
We bot h t h an k Lee An n Ch earn ey at Amaran t h , for guidin g t h is book t h rough it s assort ed
h oops.
Lauren t h an ks t h e lon g list of frien ds, st uden t s, an d family members wh o h ave agreed t o t h e
use of t h eir work as examples in t h is book. Sh e especially t h an ks St an , h er gran dfat h er, h er
men t or as an art ist an d h er source of in spirat ion , an d Virgin ia, h er mot h er, an d a fin e art ist
h erself, wh o h as always en couraged h er in an yt h in g sh e t ried, in cludin g t h e writ in g of t h is
book. An d Lauren t h an ks Lisa for mon t h s of in spirin gly apt an d fun n y e-mails an d h elp
writ in g t h is drawin g book.
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xx
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
Lisa t h an ks h er sist er in laugh t er, Lauren Jarret t , for makin g t h is book a part icularly easy an d fun -filled
journ ey. Not on ly do we sh are warped sen ses of h umor, Lauren can out draw t h e best of em.
Special Thanks to the Technical Reviewer
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing was reviewed by an expert wh o double-ch ecked t h e accuracy of
wh at youll learn h ere, t o h elp us en sure t h at t h is book gives you everyt h in g you n eed t o kn ow about
drawin g. Special t h an ks are ext en ded t o Dan Welden .
Dan Welden t ook t ime from h is own busy sch edule of prin t in g, t each in g, an d writ in g a book about h is
own special solar et ch in g t ech n iques. He is un failin gly h elpful an d en couragin g t o all wh o ask h is h elp
an d expert ise.
Dan Welden is a prin t maker an d pain t er wh o h as h ad more t h an 50 in t ern at ion al solo exh ibit ion s in
Aust ralia, New Zealan d, Belgium, Swit zerlan d, German y, an d t h e Un it ed St at es. His t each in g experien ce
in cludes 10 years of full-t ime t each in g at t h e St at e Un iversit y of New York at St on y Brook an d Cen t ral
Con n ect icut St at e Un iversit y, as well as man y years as an adjun ct professor at Suffolk Commun it y
College an d Lon g Islan d Un iversit y.
As a Mast er Prin t maker, Dan Welden h as collaborat ed wit h or prin t ed for man y promin en t art ist s in -
cludin g Willem an d Elain e de Koon in g, Est eban Vicen t e, Ibram Lassaw, Eric Fisch l, Louisa Ch ase, Robert
Rausch en berg, Jasper Joh n s, Dan Flavin , Jim Din e, Robert Mot h erwell, an d Kurt Von n egut .
Dan Welden is direct or of Hampt on Edit ion s, Lt d., an d resides in Sag Harbor, New York.
Trademarks
All t erms men t ion ed in t h is book t h at are kn own t o be or are suspect ed of bein g t rademarks or service
accuracy of t h is in format ion . Use of a t erm in t h is book sh ould n ot be regarded as affect in g t h e validit y
of an y t rademark or service mark.
marks h ave been appropriat ely capit alized. Alph a Books an d Pearson Educat ion can n ot at t est t o t h e
www.carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br
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 in-
ventive, 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 possi-
ble.
Robert Henri, Th e Art Spirit (1923)
You may t h in k of drawin g as somet h in g magical, maybe even as somet h in g beyon d your
grasp or un derst an din g. But drawin g is really an elemen t al skill, on e t h at you can learn wit h
n o more effort t h an learn in g t o walk, ride a bikeor even t ie your sh oes!
Quit e simply, drawin g is a way of sh owin g ot h ers wh at an d h ow you see. Even at it s most
basic st age, drawin g is about seein g t h e miracle of all t h in gs, of admirin g t h e essen t ial
poet ry in t h in gs. Viewed t h is way, drawin g isn t an y more magical t h an an yt h in g else
it s simply part of t h e larger magic t h at is life it self.
What Is Drawing?
A way of usin g lin es t o con vey mean in g, drawing is on e of t h e most basic ways t o commun i-
cat e. Today, we kn ow t h at drawin g preceded t h e writ t en wordan d it may h ave preceded
spoken lan guage as well. For early h uman s, drawin g was as essen t ial a respon se t o life as
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Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
4
kn owin g wh ich root s were good t o eat an d wh ich were good t o rub on woun ds. In preh is-
t oric t imes, drawin gs were used t o
Exch an ge ideas an d in format ion .
Celebrat e an d record t h e det ails of life.
Solve myst eries.
Revere an d give t h an ks.
Wish an d dream.
Theres no magic to drawingits as simple as recording what you see.
Alt h ough t h ese drawin gs were, accordin g t o scien t ist s,
very ut ilit arian in n at ure, t h ey are con sidered works of art
by t h e art ist ic commun it y, in t h at t h e works were don e
wit h h eart ; n o t wo drawin gs are iden t icalsome
demon st rat e more expression t h an ot h ers.
Drawing is
Wh ile you may believe t h at drawin g is on ly for art ist s, it s
really a basic skill like t alkin g, readin g, or walkin g. On ce
youve learn ed t o draw, in fact , it becomes aut omat ic,
alt h ough as wit h an y basic skillt h e more you pract ice,
t h e more youll be able t o improve on it .
Artists Sketchbook
Drawing is a way of represent-
ing what we see by placing lines
onto a surface.
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5
Chapter 1

The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing
Th e secret of drawin g is n o secret at all: It s all about seein g, an d
t h en represen t in g wh at you see on t o t h e page. In Drawing on the
Right Side of the Brain (New York: Jeremy P. Tarch er/ Put n am, 1999),
art ist / writ er Bet t y Edwards con siders learn in g t o see an d draw a
collect ion of five skills:
1. Th e percept ion of edges
2. Th e percept ion of spaces
3. Th e percept ion of relat ion sh ips, or sighting
4. Th e percept ion of ligh t an d sh adow, or form
5. Th e percept ion of t h e wh ole, or t h e gestalt
The Artists Answer
We believe t h at drawin g makes life rich er, every sin gle day.
Drawin g is a skill t h at open s up t h e world, an d so it can put you
in t ouch wit h t h e balan ces an d beaut ies of n at ure. Drawin g an d
seein g allow, if n ot deman d, t h at you live in t h e momen t , see t h e
n ow, st op t h e ch at t er, an d simply look. In t h e silen ce wh ile you
look, t h ere is a peace an d cen t erin g t h at can t ran sform your life.
As this sketch of ancient
petroglyphs shows, hu-
mans have been using
drawings to communi-
cate for millennia.
This is a travel drawing
by Laurens grandfather,
who was a fine drafts-
man and painter of
landscapes.
Try Your Hand
Beyond these basic skills are
memory and imagination, which
are used by artists to create new
works and move beyond the be-
ginning skills necessary to learn
to draw. The more you draw, the
more you will progress from see-
ing and drawing line to space,
shape, form, value, weight, light,
shadow, texture, and detail.
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Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
6
Express Yourself
Learn in g t o draw is about learn in g t o see t h in gs in a n ew way. Let s st art by t akin g apart
your brain . Well, n ot lit erally. For n ow, well just separat e it in t wo.
Scien t ist s n ow accept t h at t h e brain h as t wo h emisph eres. You h ave a rat ion al, logical, ver-
bal, an alyt ical, an d sequen t ial way of t h in kin g or processin g in format ion , wh ich is on t h e
left side of your brain , an d an in t uit ive, visual, percept ive, simult an eous, an d h olist ic way,
wh ich is on t h e righ t side of your brain . Your left brain processes part s
of t h in gs an d words, t ries t o iden t ify an d organ ize, an d works t o make
sen se of t h in gs. Your right brain processes t h e wh ole, in pict ures an d re-
lat ion sh ips bet ween t h in gs.
Drawin g is a skill t h at uses righ t -brain percept ion s, wh ich man y
peopleespecially t h ose in t h e west ern worldh ave difficult y access-
in g. But t h ere are ways of en couragin g t h e righ t side of t h e brain t o
t ake over t h e more domin an t left side. Th ese exercises can act ually
ch an ge t h e way you see. You can move from bein g largely verbal an d
an alyt ical t o bein g visual an d in t uit ive. An d, learn in g t o use your righ t
brain is t h e first st ep in learn in g t o draw.
In t h e logic-cen t ered west ern world, you spen d most of your life work-
in g on t h e left side of your brain a ban ker, for example. Youre t augh t
t o t h in k cogn it ively, rat ion ally, an d logically. Th is is fin e for man y
t asks, but for t h e more creat ive an d, we t h in k, more rewardin g pursuit s
in life, you n eed t o cult ivat e t h e righ t side.
The Left Brain The Right Brain
processin g is: processin g is:
rational intuitive
verbal visual
analytical perceptive
sequential simultaneous
looks at : looks at :
the parts the whole
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 expe-
rience, 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.
Artists Sketchbook
The brain is comprised of two hem-
ispheres, 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.
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7
Chapter 1

The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing
Why You Draw, and Why Sometimes You Stop Drawing
You learn most of your basic skills wh en youre youn g, so youre largely un aware of t h e
t ime you put in t o learn an d pract ice t h ose skills. Some of you may remember learn in g t o
read, especially if it was difficult for you, but most people don t remember t h e learn in g it -
self, on ce a skill is acquired.
On t h e ot h er h an d, you migh t remember t h e learn in g in volved
for skills you learn ed lat er, such as learn in g t o ride a bike or learn -
in g t o writ e, or you may remember wh en you learn ed t o drive a
car. If you ever learn ed t o ski or play t h e pian o, you probably re-
member some of t h ose lesson s (an d may h ave some pret t y fun n y
st ories t o t ell, t oowe kn ow we do!). Wh at all of t h ese lat er skills
h ave in common is t h at you accept ed t h e n ecessit y of pract ice an d
learn in g in st ages.
For some reason , man y seem t o t h in k t h at t h e skills n eeded t o
draw are more difficult t o acquire, especially wh en t h ey t ake in t o
con siderat ion our n eed as adult s t o accomplish t h in gs quickly.
Maybe t h e fact t h at we desire such immediat e grat ificat ion is pre-
cisely t h e reason we t h in k we can t learn t o draw. But it s really n o
more difficult t h an an y n ew skill, an d it s cert ain ly easieran d
safert h an learn in g t o drive a car!
Creat ivit y research suggest s t h at t h e reason adult s are so afraid of
t h eir creat ivit y is t h at t h eyre lit erally afraid of makin g a mess.
By t h e t ime youve reach ed adult h ood, youre carryin g man y more
voices in your h ead t h an merely your own ; youve got your par-
en t s, your t each ers, your frien ds, an d possibly even your bosses, all
t ellin g you wh at youve don e wron g. No won der you cen sor your-
self before you even t ry! In t h is book, were goin g t o h elp you go
out an d play again wit h out t h ose voices t ellin g you t h eres a righ t
an d wron g way t o do 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 accu-
racy 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 sim-
ply making a mess can bring.
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.
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Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
8
Looking Through the Barriers
Th e abilit y t o draw is really t h e abilit y t o seet o see wh at s really
t h ere, an d t ran sfer it t o paper. Th e key is t o see as an art ist sees.
Art ist s process visual in format ion differen t ly from t h e way most
West ern ers do. Most are t augh t a mean s of processin g t h at s more suit -
ed t o ot h er t asks, so t o learn t o process (or see) as an art ist t akes some
pract ice. Most people get discouraged before t h eyve t ried very lon g,
an d soon feel t h eyll n ever get t h ere. Th ey t h en say, Ill n ever learn t o
draw, forget t in g t h at all skills (an d drawin g, remember, is a skill) t ake
pract ice.
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 Nat ural Way t o Draw (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Co., 1990)
In t h e ch apt ers t h at follow, we will be en couragin g t h e righ t side of
your brain t o do t h e work. To h elp you, well be providin g exercises
t h at will sh ow you h ow t o see wh at s before your eyes, wit h out t h in k-
in g much , an d t o draw wh at you see. As you pract ice, it will become
easier an d easier for you t o do t h is; youll soon be able t o swit ch con -
sciously from left brain t o righ t for t h e specific purpose of drawin g, or
t o access your in t uit ive side just t o relax an d en joy it !
Ch an gin g from t h e verbal percept ion of ideas t o t h e visual percept ion
of in t uit ion is of t remen dous value for more t h an just drawin g. Wit h in
our in creasin gly h igh -t ech , h igh -speed, 24/ 7 world, youll discover
great pleasure in just t h e accomplish men t of learn in g t o use your righ t
brain . At t h e same t ime, as you learn t o use t h e righ t side of your brain
t o see an d draw, your own in n at e creat ivit y will become more readily
available t o you.
To t ap your in ven t ive an d creat ive en ergy is a great power. You may
feel t remen dously en ergized by t h e process, wh et h er you draw or
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!
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.
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, be-
cause he was following
what he could see.
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Chapter 1

The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing
ch oose an ot h er expression , such as writ in g or music. Even con -
ven t ion al problem solvin g is en h an ced by creat ive growt h .
Drawin g is first about seein g, an d a few basic skills an d supplies
are n eeded t o get st art ed. Th en curiosit y, en ergy, an d person al in -
t erest t ake t h e process t o it s n ext st age. At t h e very least , drawin g
will en h an ce your life. At t h e most , wh o kn ows? As your righ t
brain will be t h e first t o t ell you, t h e possibilit ies are en dless!
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.
Georgia OKeeffe, 1976
So just h ow do you learn t o open up your eyes an d see wh at s aroun d you? Let s st art by
t alkin g about filt ers an d frames, t wo imagin ary sen sory devices t h at you use every min ut e
youre awake.
Wh en you look at an y given scen e, you filt er out all t h at isn t import an t t o wh at youre
lookin g at . You don t read every word on every billboard as youre drivin g down t h e h igh -
way, for example; t h is would pull your at t en t ion away from t h e t ask at h an ddrivin g. At
t h e same t ime, you pay lit t le at t en t ion t o t h e t raffic on t h e ot h er side of t h e h igh way medi-
an . Th is is framin g wh at you see, an d ign orin g everyt h in g t h at s out side t h e frame.
In Ch apt er 5, Fin din g t h e View, well be in t roducin g you t o t h e viewfin der frame, a de-
vice t h at art ist s use t o do just t h is. Wh at s import an t t o remember n ow is t h at filt erin g an d
framin g are already part s of t h e way you see every day, so youve already t aken t h e first st ep
t o learn in g t o draw.
Artists Sketchbook
Filter is the word we use to de-
scribe 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.
Drawings can be scenes from every part of your everyday life.
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Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
10
The Gallery of Life
In Appen dix A of t h is book, youll fin d a list of mat erials youll probably wan t t o h ave on
h an d as you read t h is book. But t o begin , even if you h ave n on e of t h e ot h er mat erials, at
t h e very least wed like you t o h ave some blan k, un lin ed paper an d a pen cil. In fact , go fin d
t h ose n ow. Are you back? Con grat ulat ion syouve just t aken t h e secon d st ep in learn in g t o
draw!
Ch an ces are t h at , righ t n ow, youre sit t in g in a room in your h ouse, readin g t h is book. Look
up from t h e book. Wh at do you see? Use your paper an d pen cil t o sket ch t h at image. Don t
worry t h at you kn ow n ot h in g about learn in g t o drawjust do t h e best you can . (Not e: We
realized t h at makin g a list was very left -brain ed, so replaced t h is wit h a more righ t -brain ed
en deavor.)
Wh at did you see? You probably n ot iced t h e furn ish in gs in t h e room, t h e pict ures on t h e
walls, maybe t h e t it les of some books in a bookcase, or some h ouseplan t s t h at you kn ow by
n ame. Th at s good; youre seein g wh at s in t h e room youre in . But n ow, look again , ign or-
in g all of t h e t h in gs you just drew above. Th at s righ t look beyon d t h e books an d plan t s.
Wh at do you see n ow?
Wh at did you see t h is t ime? Did you n ot ice a place t h at n eeds some t ouch -up pain t on t h e
wall? Did you see t h e pat t ern of your rug or carpet , wh ich you h aven t really n ot iced sin ce
you first bough t it ? Maybe you saw a face in t h e wallpaper t h at isn t really t h ere, or your
own face, reflect ed in t h e t elevision screen . Wh en you st art seein g t h ese det ails, youre be-
gin n in g t o see like an art ist . Pret t y excit in g, isn t it ?
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Chapter 1

The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing
Seeing Your Way to Drawing
Wh en you draw, you live in t h e presen t . You are always en t ert ain ed, an d you always h ave
somet h in g t o do. Your deligh t in each day an d t h e det ail of t h e world will sh ow you t h e
power of small t h in gs. Drawin g makes you see t h e relat ion sh ips bet ween t h in gs, as well as
t h e relat ion sh ip bet ween yourself an d t h e world. You will experien ce t h e deep pleasure of
self-expression : I am me. I did this. In addit ion , youll recon n ect wit h your in n er ch ilds joy.
Your drawin gs will ran ge from learn in g opport un it ies t o appreciat in g t h e wealt h of det ail in
t h e world, an d from a feelin g of con n ect ion t o t h e relat ion sh ips bet ween t h in gs t o a per-
son al medit at ion an d respon se t o your 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.
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Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
12
Techniques as Tools of Expression
Begin n in g in t h e n ext ch apt er, we provide you wit h exercises t h at will h elp you exercise
your righ t t o draw. Th ese exercises will sh ow you h ow t o keep your percept ion in t h e in -
t uit ive mode, by n ot let t in g t h e left , or logical, side t ake over. For example:
Well sh ow you h ow t o st op t h e left side from doin g all t h e t h in kin g, wh ich makes
it difficult t o just see.
Well t each you t o con cen t rat e on sh ape an d form (righ t brain ), rat h er t h an con t en t
(left brain ).
Youll learn h ow t o just look.
Youll learn t o con cen t rat e on sh ape rat h er t h an con t en t t o look at t h e big pict ure.
Youll experimen t wit h n egat ive space drawin g.
Youll learn how to draw
a variety of things as
you go through the exer-
cises in this book.
In addit ion , well be providin g warm-up exercises t o limber up your h an d for t h e job of
t ran sferrin g wh at you see t o t h e paper, an d t o h elp in t h e developmen t of your own per-
son al st yle an d set of preferred marks, from simple lin es t o crossh at ch es.
Last ly, t h rough out t h is book, youll fin d a series of exercises, ideas, explan at ion s, an d t ips t o
h elp you t ry in creasin gly ch allen gin g subject s an d develop your own person al met h od of
drawin g. Th e last page of each ch apt er will feat ure Your Sket ch book Page, a place wh ere
you can pract ice wh at youve learn ed, righ t on t h e spot , if youd like.
13
Chapter 1

The Pleasures of Seeing and Drawing
Developing a Way of Seeing and Drawing
Amon g t h e man y pleasures of drawin g is a somewh at alt ered st at e of con sciousn ess t h at is
familiar t o art ist s, writ ers, an d musician sor an yon e deeply immersed in a compellin g proj-
ect . In t h is alt ered st at e, t ime just seems t o fly by, h ours can disappear, an d you feel h appy
an d relaxed, t h ough very con cen t rat ed on wh at you are doin g. Some report t h at t h is st at e
feels rat h er like float in g, or an out -of-body experien ce, wh ile ot h ers call it bein g in -
volved in t h e momen t or t h e n ow.
No mat t er wh at you ch oose t o call it , cert ain act ivit ies h ave been foun d t o make it easier t o
ach ieve t h is st at e. Music, medit at ion , walkin g, skiin g, joggin g, an d drivin g are just some of
t h e act ivit ies t h at can in duce an alt ered st at e of con sciousn ess.
Drawin g n ot on ly put s you in t o t h is lovely place, it requires bein g t h ere. Wh en t h e righ t
side of your brain does t h e processin g, you can t ruly see, wit h out t h e an alyt ical side of your
brain t ellin g you wh at t o t h in k. Th en , you can see wh at s really t h ere: see t o draw.
Th e rest is up t o 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.
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
Youn g ch ildren live in a won derful world of direct experien ce an d respon se, wh ere t h ey
see t h e world wit h out a lot of t h e logic an d an alysis t h at we develop as adult s. In st ead,
ch ildren see as art ist s do, usin g t h e righ t side of t h eir brain s, wh ere pict ures are more impor-
t an t t h an lan guage.
In t h is ch apt er, youll ret urn t o your ch ildh ood. Youll rediscover t h e ch ilds way of seein g
t h at you lost as you grew olderan d youll rediscover t h e joy of makin g pict ures t h at come
st raigh t from t h e righ t side of your brain .
Free Your Mind, Your Eyes Will Follow
Maybe youve always wan t ed t o draw. Or maybe you drew a lot as a ch ild wit h out t h in kin g,
an d t h en grew frust rat ed as you got older (an d more judgmen t al) an d gave it up. Th e fact is,
wh en you were a ch ild you were un worried about your drawin gyou just did it . Havin g
everyt h in g correct didn t bot h er you much ; you h ad your own ideas about wh at you
wan t ed t o draw an d t h at was en ough .
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Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
16
Soon , t h ough , educat ion an d experien ce add t h e powerful left brain t o t h e mix. Somewh ere
bet ween t h e ages of 10 an d 12 years old, all t h at lovely righ t -brain edn ess st art s t o ch an ge.
As ch ildren learn t h e n ecessary skills of lan guage, readin g, an d mat h emat ics, t h e an alyt ical
left brain t akes over, an d t h ey see t h e world differen t ly. Drawin g, wh ich was so easy wh en
t h ey saw wit h ch ildren s eyes, becomes a problem, a quan dary, an d a frust rat ion as t h ey
work wit h t h e exact in g, judgmen t al left side of t h eir brain s. Th ey st ruggle for correct n ess
an d oft en give up because t h e joy of drawin 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 accom-
plished 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 uman brain is an amazin g t h in g, as celebrat ed in t h ose won derful words from Brit ish
molecular biologist , Fran cis Crick. It is capable of ligh t n in g-fast , complicat ed comput at ion s,
con n ect ion s, respon ses, an d react ion s simult an eouslyallowin g for amazin g feat s like walk-
in g an d ch ewin g gum, or, more seriously, seein g an d drawin g.
Just h ow t h e brain works an d h ow h uman s are evolved beyon d ot h er species fascin at ed
early scien t ist s, st ill does, an d probably always will. We kn ow t h at t h e brain h as t wo h alves
an d t h at t h e t wo sides h ave differen t fun ct ion s. For t h e last 200 years or more, scien t ist s
an d surgeon s h ave kn own t h at fun ct ion s t h at con t rol speech , lan guage, an d cogn it ive
t h ough t are on t h e left side, an d t h at visual fun ct ion s are t h e work of t h e righ t side.
As lan guage, speech , an d logical t h in kin g are so crucial t o t h e h uman race an d our sen se of
domin an ce, t h e left side of t h e brain h as lon g been con sidered t h e st ron ger, more impor-
t an t , domin an t side. Th e righ t side h as been t h ough t t o be weaker, less import an t , maybe
even dispen sable.
It h as also been lon g kn own t h at t h e t wo sides of t h e brain con t rol ph ysical operat ion s on
t h e opposit e sides of t h e body. Damage or in jury t o on e side of t h e brain is reflect ed in loss
of fun ct ion on t h e ot h er side of t h e body. Damage or in jury t o on e side of t h e brain is also
reflect ed in loss of fun ct ion specific t o t h e skills man aged by t h at side.
Children draw what
they find interesting,
without worrying about
why or how theyre
drawing it.
17
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 hemi-
sphere.
Roger W. Sperry, 1981 Nobel Prize winner for research that separated and identified func-
tions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
It would seem t h at t h e n ot ion of t h e relat ive domin an ce of t h e left
side of t h e brain h as been aroun d for a lon g, lon g t ime. Our lan guage
an d t h e way we refer t o t h in gs are respon ses t o h ow we t h in k or feel
about t h em. Lan guage is full of n egat ive referen ces t o an yt h in g
left , wh ich mean s left h an d an d t h erefore righ t brain . Righ t is
righ t , mean in g righ t h an d an d t h e domin an t left brain . Th ere is such
prejudice again st left -h an dedn ess an d t h e left gen erallysocially, po-
lit ically, morally, an d cult urallyan d early con cept ion s an d lan guage
reflect ed t h at prejudice. Th is prejudice st ill goes on t oday; t h e righ t ,
t h e righ t h an d, an d t h e logical left brain overpower t h e un dervalued
left , t h e left h an d, an d t h e more in t uit ive righ t brain .
Th e fact is t h at t h e t wo sides of t h e brain each h ave t h eir own jobs,
st ren gt h s, an d skills. Th e verbal left side is oft en domin an t , wh ile t h e
righ t , n on verbal side respon ds t o feelin gs an d processes in for-mat ion
differen t ly. Wh ile t h e t wo sides can work in depen den t ly or t oget h er
for well-roun ded respon se, t h e left side oft en t akes overeven for
t asks it s n ot suit ed for, like drawin g. So wh en it comes t o drawin g,
facilit at in g t h e swit ch from left t o righ t is t h e idea, n o mat t er
wh ich h an d h olds t h e pen cil.
Th ere does seem t o be a differen ce bet ween left - an d righ t -h an ded
people. Brain fun ct ion is usually less lat eralized in left -h an ded people
t h an in righ t -h an ded people. Left -h an ded people t en d t o process in -
format ion on bot h sides, bilat erally, wh ile righ t -h an ded people t en d
t o process in format ion on on e side. Bilat eral, left -h an ded people
can be more likely t o h ave con fusion in some areas, such as readin g,
but t h ey are oft en h igh ly creat ive people, excellin g in art an d music.
Amon g t h e left -h an ded, for example, were t h e brillian t It alian
Ren aissan ce art ist s, Leon ardo da Vin ci, Raph ael, an d Mich elan gelo.
Up un t il very recen t ly, bein g left -h an ded was so much discouraged
t h at man y left -h an ded ch ildren were forced t o become righ t -h an ded
wh en t h ey were very youn g. Not surprisin gly, in addit ion t o con fus-
in g t h eir h an d domin an ce, t h is also con fused t h e bilat eral organ iza-
t ion of t h eir left - an d righ t -brain fun ct ion s. If you suspect your h an ds
were swit ch ed at birt h , you may wan t t o t ry t h e exercises in t h is
ch apt er wit h each h an d.
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!
Artists Sketchbook
Lateralization is the way specif-
ic functions or tasks are handled
by the brain, whether by one
side or the other or both.
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Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
18
Wh ich ever h an d you use, youll wan t t o learn t o swit ch bet ween your left brain an d righ t
brain as you learn t o draw. Th is becomes easier an d easier t h e more you pract ice, an d draw-
in g pract ice is on e of t h e best exercises t o improve your swit ch in g fun ct ion .
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 probably a bilat eral t ype; a bear of very lit t le brain , h e was a creat ive t h in ker,
especially about h on ey jars an d h ow t o get in t o t h em. So all you n eed is a lit t le pain less re-
arran gemen t of your brain fun ct ion an d all will be well. Th e followin g exercises are de-
sign ed t o sh ow you, first , t h e frust rat ion of t ryin g t o draw wh ile your min d is seein g wit h
t h e logical left , an d secon d, t h e surprisin g differen ce t h at seein g wit h t h e relat ion al
righ t will make in your drawin g.
Right-Left-Right: Your Brain Learns to Follow Orders
Even in t h e early exercises, you may n ot ice a ch an ge in your st at e of con sciousn essa re-
laxed, focused peacet h ough youre t ryin g somet h in g very n ew. Time will pass quickly
wh ile youre workin g, an d t h e rest of t h e world may fade in t o t h e backgroun d. Th e righ t
side, aft er all, is n ot a t imekeeper.
As a first st ep t oward learn in g t o sh ift your brain from left t o righ t , let s begin by explorin g
h ow you drew wh en you were a ch ild.
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!
19
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
The Art of the Child
Has your mot h er kept t h ose boxes of your ch ildh ood drawin gs all t h ese years? Or maybe,
wh en you moved in t o your own h ome, sh e in sist ed you put t h em in your own at t ic. If you
can fin d an y of your ch ildh ood drawin gs at all, wed like you t o t ake a look at t h em n ow.
So eit h er climb up t o your at t ic, call your mom, or h ead over t o t h at st orage locker an d dig
t h em out .
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.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
20
Okay, ready? Spread your drawin gs out an d con sider t h e followin g:
Can you see wh ere, as a youn g ch ild, you drew wit h out part icular regard for correct -
n ess, an d in st ead drew t o t ell a st ory or as a respon se t o life?
Did you draw your family?
Can you pick out yourself in t h e drawin gs? In Lauren s, sh e always h as lon g blon de
h air, an in t erest in g psych ological poin t as sh es always h ad brown h airlon g, but defi-
n it ely brown ! Lisa always made h er eyes very large, an d it t urn s out t h eyre n ot part ic-
ularly big at all. So wish ful t h in kin g probably plays a part as well.
Did you fin d drawin gs dat in g from wh en you were an older ch ild? If so, can you see
eviden ce of moun t in g frust rat ion as you t ried t o draw complicat ed t h in gs or t h in gs in
space or perspect ive? Can you see wh ere you began t o st ruggle for correct n ess t o
please t h e exact in g left side of your brain ?
If your mot h er wasn t a pack rat , t ry lookin g at t h e drawin gs of an y ch ild. Wh at youll n o-
t ice is h ow t h e process of developmen t is almost always t h e same. As t h e ch ild grows older,
h is or h er purely visual respon se t o t h in gs is h ampered by t h e on goin g deman ds of t h e left
Spread your childhood artwork out and take a look at how your own drawing de-
veloped. 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?
21
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
brain as lan guage, iden t ificat ion , an d exact n ess t ake over an d pass judgmen t on t h e more
in t uit ive righ t -brain respon ses, part icularly drawin g.
Here are two of Laurens childhood drawings of her family.
Simple Materials to Begin
Wh ile your first exercises require on ly pen cil, paper, an d some t ime, we will add more an d
more mat erials as your drawin g skills improve. For n ow, wed like t o in t roduce you t o t h e
simple mat erials t h at will get you st art ed. Th in k t h at paper is just paper an d a pen cils just
a pen cil? Th in k again !
Paper, pencils, eraser, and a place to keep it alland youre on your way!
Paper
A pad of drawin g or sket ch in g paper (9" 12" or 11" 14") is n ice t o st art , but you can also
begin wit h some sh eet s of t ypin g, comput er, or fax paper. No excuses accept ed h ere; begin
on t h e backs of en velopes, if you h ave t o. Even t ually, youll wan t t o explore wh at t h e
sh elves of your local art supply st ore h ave t o offer in t h e way of paperyoull be amazed at
t h e variet y!
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
22
Pencils
An y #2 pen cil will work, but if youre goin g out for a pad of paper an yway, do yourself a
favor an d get some mech an ical pen cils. In t h e past , t h ese were used most ly for draft in g, but
t h eyre readily available an d are great for drawin g. Th ey make a clean ,
con sist en t lin e t h at can be varied wit h pressure. Plus, t h ey n ever n eed
sh arpen in g!
Look for a pen cil wit h a smoot h barrel t h at feels good in your h an d.
Mech an ical pen cil leads come wit h differen t t h ickn esses an d h ard-
n esses; a good ch oice is a variet y of 0.5 leads in a ran ge of h ardn esses.
For st art ers, HB an d B will do; t h ey are less smudgy t h an a st an dard
#2 pen cil, alt h ough a B is more smudgy t h an an HB.
Mech an ical pen cil leads are labeled as t o t h ickn ess an d h ardn ess on
t h eir lit t le st orage boxes. Ch eck t o make sure t h at t h e pen cil barrel an d
t h ickn ess of lead correspon d. It is h an dy t o h ave a pen cil for each
h ardn ess t h at you wan t t o use. You can also buy t h e pen cils in a vari-
et y of colors t o color code t h e h ardn esses you are usin g so you kn ow
wh ich is wh ich .
Eraser
A kn eaded eraser is best . You may remember t h is t ype of eraser from
grammar sch ool days. Like kn eaded bread dough , it can be st ret ch ed
an d pin ch ed in t o sh apes t o get at wh at ever you wan t t o ch an geeven
t h e smallest lin ean d sh ould be con sidered as much of a t ool as your
pen cils an d paper. Don t set t le for less t h an a good qualit y kn eaded
eraser. It s t h e clean est way t o erasean d youll be doin g lot s of eras-
in g!
Drawing Board
A simple piece of plywood (
1
/ 4"
3
/ 8" t h ick) wit h san ded edges an d t h at
fit s comfort ably on your lap is fin e as a drawin g board. You can also
buy mason it e boards at an y art supply st ore, a place youll begin t o fre-
quen t more an d more. Th e import an t t h in g is t o h ave a st ron g, flat ,
h ard, smoot h surface on wh ich you can work wit h out worryin g about
bumps an d bruises.
A Few Other Things
Here are a few ot h er art supplies you may wan t t o con sider buyin g n ow. Th eyre n ot ab-
solut ely n ecessary t h is early on , but you may fin d t h em h elpful.
Wh ile youre up an d about , you may wan t t o buy some maskin g or art ist s t ape.
Art ist s t ape does less damage t o paper t h an maskin g t ape, but t h e lat t er will work if
youre pickin g up a few quick supplies alon g wit h t h e groceries an d it s all you can
fin d.
A ruler will oft en prove h elpful. If you h aven t got a ruler, an yt h in g t h at offers a
st raigh t edge will come in h an dy soon er or lat er.
A few st ron g clips t o h old your work t o t h e board are an alt ern at ive t o t apin g an d are
h an dy t o h ave. More on t h ese lat er.
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 tex-
ture. Theres more to paper than
meets the eye!
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.
23
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
Exercises to Get You on the Right Side
(of the Brain)
So youve got your pen cil, paper, eraser, an d drawin g board or h ard
surface. It s t ime t o get over t o t h e righ t sideof t h e brain , t h at is.
Were goin g t o provide you wit h t wo exercises t h at will h elp you begin
t o see t h e differen ce bet ween h ow t h e t wo sides of your brain see, t h e
classic Profile/ Vase-Vase/ Profile exercise, an d a copyin g exercise.
Profile/Vase-Vase/Profile
Th is drawin g exercise is used by Bet t y Edwards an d man y ot h er art
educat ors t o demon st rat e t h e difficult y of drawin g wh ile t h e brain is
fun ct ion in g on it s left side. Th e logical left is n ot h elpful wh en it
comes t o visual t asks best given t o t h e relat ion al righ t , as youll dis-
cover wh en you t ake a st ab at t h e exercise an d experien ce your left
brain t ryin g t o perform a righ t -brain t ask.
1. First , draw a simple profile, eit h er t h e example h ere or an imagi-
n ary on e.
2. As you draw, t h in k about each part of t h e profile, n amin g t h em
t o yourself as you draw: foreh ead, eyes, n ose, upper lip, mout h ,
lower lip, an d ch in .
Try Your Hand
If you go to an art store to pur-
chase your first materials, let your-
self 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, right-
handed people should
work on a left-facing
profile, and left-handed
people should work on a
right-facing profile.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
24
4. Wh en youve fin ish ed drawin g t h e profile, draw a h orizon t al lin e at t h e t op an d bot -
t om of your profile, movin g out from t h e profile it self.
5. Now, ret race your profile, t h in kin g again about each feat ure an d n amin g it t o yourself
as you draw.
6. Last , swit ch sides an d t ry t o draw t h e mirror image profile t h at will make a symmet ri-
cal con t our drawin g of a vase.
Draw a horizontal line
at the top and bottom
of your profile.
Draw a mirror image of
the profile.
Reviewing the Exercise
Did you fin d t h is exercise difficult ? It may surprise you t o learn t h at most people do. Th at s
because t h e n amin g of t h e part s of t h e profile wh ile drawin g get s us t h in kin g on t h e logical
left , t h e side of t h e brain t h at likes t o n ame an d organ ize everyt h in g. It t h in ks it h as it all
figured out : Th e foreh ead, eyes, n ose, lips, an d ch in make a profile.
Repeat in g t h e n ames aft er you drew t h e h orizon t al lin es on t h e t op an d bot t om of t h e pro-
file rein forces t h e left brain : Yes, t h at was it foreh ead, eyes, n ose, lips, an d ch in , a profile,
all righ t even wit h t h e lin es!
Next , t h e quick swit ch t o drawin g t h e opposit e, mirror-image profile is a problem. Th e logi-
cal left is con fused by t h e t ask of repeat in g t h e profile backwards. Th is is a t ask t h at requires
sen sit ivit y t o sh apes an d relat ion sh ips, somet h in g t h e logical left is simply n ot good at . Th e
profile is n ot t h e same as t h e ot h er side; in fact , you may h ave foun d it difficult t o draw it
25
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
at all. Plus, t h e vase isn t even symmet ricalsomet h in g t h at st rikes h orror in t o t h e h eart of
t h e left brain (if it h ad a h eart !).
You may h ave t ried a t act ic or t wo t o complet e t h e profile an d make t h e vase symmet rical.
If t h at s t h e case, h ow did you do it ? Were you con fused? Did you set t le for a profile t h at
was differen t ? Th at would be let t in g t h e left side st ay in ch arge of t h e profile, but t h e vase
would en d up asymmet rical.
Did you ign ore t h e n ames for t h e part s an d con cen t rat e on t h e
sh apes? Did you con cen t rat e on t h e vase an d t ry t o make t h e lin e
symmet rical wit h t h e first side? Did you measure or mark t h e
curves or relat ion sh ips bet ween t h e curves? Did you st art in t h e
middle or at t h e bot t om an d work backwards? An y of t h ese solu-
t ion s would h ave been righ t -brain approach es t o t h e problem,
payin g at t en t ion t o t h e visual an d n ot wh at you t h ough t you
kn ew.
All righ t , we admit it : Your first drawin g was a set -up, purposely a
left brain er, full of iden t ificat ion an d n ames. To mat ch it on t h e
ot h er, righ t side required a swit ch t o t h e visual, t o see t h e sh apes
in st ead of t h e n ames. Drawin g is easiest wh en you t h in k t h e least ,
an d just see t h e sh apes, wit h out n amin g t h em.
Th e first profile is con cept ual an d imagin ary, drawn from memory,
but n amin g t h e part s makes it a left -brain act ivit y. To really draw
as you see, you must be able t o make a percept ual or relat ion al
drawin g, a righ t -brain act ivit y. In order t o mat ch t h e sh apes, rela-
t ion sh ips, an d curves on t h e secon d side an d make t h e vase sym-
met rical, you must focus your eyes an d min d on t h e first profile
in order t o draw t h e secon dan d ch an ces are, your left brain
wouldn t let you do t h 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 be-
tween 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 abilit y t o swit ch modes of brain fun ct ion is t h e abilit y t o see differen t ly. On ce you
mast er t h is swit ch in g, youll fin d t h at it s very h an dy for all sort s of problem solvin g in
your daily exist en ce!
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
26
When the Familiar Gets Unfamiliar
Now t h at youre aware of t h e difficult y of doin g a righ t -brain t ask wh ile youre operat in g
on t h e left , let s t ry an exercise t h at h elps get you over t h e fen ce on t o t h e righ t side.
We recogn ize an d iden t ify t h in gs in our world based on our familiarit y wit h t h em. We see,
iden t ify, n ame, cat egorize, an d remember, so we t h in k we kn ow. Th at s fin e for fact s:
n ames, dat es, n umbers, con cept s, an d ideas. For seein g an d drawin g, t h ough , a more flexi-
ble, respon sive way of observin g is bet t er, because t h in gs are n ot always as t h ey seem.
Most ly, were used t o seein g t h in gs on e way, righ t side up. Our left brain easily iden t ifies an
object an d n ames it for us, an d t h en we kn ow wh at it is an d feel con fiden t an d secure.
But t h e familiar becomes in st an t ly un familiar wh en it s upside down or backwards. We ex-
pect t o see it righ t side up an d are con fused wh en it s n ot . Upside-down sh apes an d rela-
t ion sh ips are st ran ge t o us because t h eyre differen t from t h e memory weve st ored from
past experien ce. Our brain doesn t like t h em.
Right Side Up/Upside Down
Here are t wo exercises t o h elp you see h ow you feel wh en t h e familiar is someh ow ch an ged.
Writ e your n ame (t h is is somet h in g youre used t o).
Now look at it in a mirroris it h ard t o read?
Look at it upside down . For some, t h is is even h arder t o read t h an a mirror image.
Try lookin g at your sign at ure upside down an d backwards. Does it appear t o be h iero-
glyph ics or a foreign lan guageor n o lan guage at all?
Right-handed
Left-handed
Student samples of the
exercise drawn right-
handed and left-handed.
The numbers indicate
the order in which each
profile was drawn.
1 2
3
1 2 3
1
2
3 1 2
27
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
Now, look at yourself in t h e mirror. Th is, t oo, is wh at youre used t o.
Look at a ph ot o of yourself; it will look sligh t ly differen t because we are all a lit t le
asymmet rical, an d t h e mirror image is t h e on e were most familiar wit h .
Look at t h e ph ot o of yourself upside down . Does t h is look a lit t le odd t o you?
Now look at it upside down an d in t h e mirror. Th is looks even st ran ger, doesn t it ?
Normal signature
Upside down
Backwards
(in mirror)
Upside down and
backwards
Try looking at your sig-
nature upside down and
backwards. Heres
Laurens.
Photos of Lauren, right side up and upside down.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
28
We kn ow our worldor t h in k t h at we dobecause we can iden t ify
an d remember. Upside down or backwards, t h in gs look a lit t le odd or
even un set t lin g, part icularly faces an d h an dwrit in g, because t h eyre
asymmet rical. Our logical left brain is easily con fused wh en our mem-
ory is differen t from realit y, an d visual t ricks or problems are frust rat -
in g. Th e organ ized memory is of n o use h ere an d oft en gives up or
over t o t h e relat ive righ t . For us, t h at s good n ewsit s just wh at we
wan t t o h appen !
Copy a Complicated Drawing
Wh en it comes t o a complicat ed drawin g wit h det ail, proport ion , an d
foresh ort en in g, it can be much easier t o copy t h e image upside down
as forgers do, con cen t rat in g on t h e sh apes an d relat ion sh ips rat h er
t h an on t h e drawin g it self, wh ich can seem in t imidat in gly difficult . A
complicat ed drawin g can t h row t h e logical left in t o complet e revolt
an d sen d it packin g. Th at s t h e idea beh in d t h is exerciset o see wit h
t h e relat ion al righ t .
Try Your Hand
If you need a new career, you
might be interested to know that
forgers practice new signatures up-
side 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 draw-
ing right side up and up-
side down.
29
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
1. Select on e of t h e previous images above an d copy it righ t side up.
2. Now, t urn t h e same example image upside down .
3. Begin a n ew drawin g of t h e upside-down image.
Here are some t ips t o t ry as you work on t h e upside-down image:
Con cen t rat e on t h e sh apes, n ot t h e image.
Don t t ry t o draw t h e wh ole t h in g first an d fill in t h e det ail.
St art wh ere you can see a sh ape an d draw it .
Th in k about lin es. Wh ich way do t h ey go? Do t h ey curve or st ay st raigh t ? Wh ere do
t h ey con n ect t o ot h er lin es?
Wh ere are t h e h orizon t als, t h e vert icals? Wh ich way do t h ey go?
Compare sh apes rat h er t h an iden t ify t h em. How do t h ey relat e t o ot h ers?
Work on on e area at a t ime. You can cover most of t h e example drawin g an d on ly
look at t h e part you are drawin g.
Resist t h e t empt at ion t o see h ow you are doin g or even t h in k about it .
Try n ot t o t h in k at all. Just look an d draw wh at you see.
Keep Up the Good Work
Your secon d, upside-down drawin g sh ould be a sign ifican t improvemen t over t h e first ,
righ t -side-up on e. Problems like scale, proport ion , liken ess, an d det ail t h at were very diffi-
cult righ t side up are merely sh apes an d relat ion sh ips wh en viewed upside down , an d so
t h ey can be observed an d drawn easily, on e by on e.
You may h ave just don e t h e first drawin g t h at you liked in years by con cen t rat in g on
sh apes an d relat ion sh ips wit h t h e relat ion al righ t an d sen din g t h e logical left off t o sleep.
Fascin at in g, isn t it ? Amazin g, even an d t h at s just t h e begin n in g. Wh en you can sen d t h e
logical left on vacat ion at will an d con cen t rat e on seein g wh at s t h ere rat h er t h an wh at you
t h ough t you kn ew, youll fin d t h e door t o drawin g swin g open !
Exercising Your Right(s)
Right side up
Upside
down
Right side up
Upside
down
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
30
Now t h at youve begun t o draw on t h e relat ion al righ t , n ext comes a ch apt er of con t our
drawin gs, t o do first wit h out lookin g an d t h en wh ile lookin g. Th ese drawin gs will h elp you
furt h er your n ewfoun d abilit y t o see as an art ist sees, usin g sh ape, space, an d relat ion sh ips.
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!
Right side up
Upside down
Upside down Right side up
Right side up
Upside down
Right side up
Upside down
31
Chapter 2

Toward Seeing for Drawing
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
32
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.
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 t h at youve pract iced swit ch in g from your left brain t o your righ t , it s t ime t o warm up
your relat ion al righ t for t h e exercises t h at follow in t h e rest of t h e book. Learn in g t o draw is
like an y ot h er skill; it s about pract ice, pract ice, pract icebut it s a fun kin d of pract ice.
To begin your pract ice, get out your paper an d pen cils, as well as your art ist s board. In t h is
ch apt er, were goin g t o doodle t h e n igh t (or day) away, an d bid Old Left y farewell.
Now You See It
Remember wh en you were learn in g t o writ e an d t h e lon g pract ice session s you put in before
you mast ered t h at skill? Your drawin g h an d also n eeds pract ice t o make at t ract ive an d sen si-
t ive marks in react ion t o your n ew awaren ess an d observat ion . Calligraph ers warm up be-
fore t h ey work, t o get t h eir h an d back in t o t h e swin g of beaut iful writ in g, an d probably our
frien ds t h e forgers do, t oo. So sh ould you.
Wh en pract icin g Palmer Met h od writ in g, t ry reproducin g your sign at ure upside down .
Lauren uses blocks t h at spell t h e let t ers of h er n ame, L A U R E N, wh ich is fairly simple t o
copy. If you h ave an y blocks aroun d, wh et h er in t h e at t ic or belon gin g t o your ch ildren ,
you can t ry t h is, t oo. Arran ge t h em upside down an d copy t h e let t ersas well as t h e pic-
t ures on t h em.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
34
Warm-Up for the Eyes and Hand
Just as you may h ave pract iced your pen man sh ip by formin g as or ss over an d over again ,
wh y n ot t ry a page of marks before you st art drawin g? Pract ice circles an d ovals an d ellipses
(a lon g, skin n y oval, oft en a difficult sh ape t o mast er). It is good for your h an d t o do a se-
ries of t h ese, or of graduat ed sizes, ch ain s of circles, con cen t ric circles, spirals, eggs, bullet s,
an d even some calculat ed squiggles.
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 your hand
with a page of circles,
ovals, spirals, ellipses,
and similar curving
lines.
Next , t ry pract icin g ot h er marks or kin ds of lin es you migh t fin d useful t o make drawin gs:
St raigh t
Curved
35
Chapter 3

Loosen Up
Parallel
Crisscrossin g or cross-h at ch in g
Overlappin g
or
Sin gle
Smoot h
Scrat ch y
Wiggly
Th e separat e list s are mean t as t wo possible opt ion s of on es ch oice of marks. Wh en you
make smoot h lin es, you don t pick up t h e pen cil from t h e page, but make a con t in uous
smoot h lin e, as opposed t o scrat ch y lin es, wh ich require repeat ed lift in g of t h e pen cil.
Try t h em allbuild up a vocabulary of lin es an d marks!
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
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
36
On e of t h e won derful t h in gs about drawin g is t h e t en den cy t o move in t o a differen t , h igh er
st at e of con sciousn ess wh ile workin g. Th e at t en t ive, observan t righ t brain focuses on wh at
you are really seein g, rat h er t h an on wh at your left brain t ells you, leavin g you open t o t h is
lovely st at e an d place.
Time seems t o fade in t o t h e dist an ce, an d you can experien ce a rare float in g feelin g as you
work, removed from t h e momen t -t o-momen t world. Even music in t h e backgroun d can vir-
t ually disappear. Of course, almost an y in t rusion can swin g you t o left -brain realit y; t h e
ph on e rin gin g is t h e worst offen der, but you can swin g yourself back, t oo, just by seein g
in st ead of t h in kin g.
Drawin g is a medit at ion , a way t o get in t ouch wit h some of your in -
n ermost feelin gs an d in sigh t s, an d a rest from t h e con cern s of our
h igh -pressure lives.
To Begin
Before you begin drawin g, youll wan t t o get yourself in a drawin g st at e
of min d. Th ese st eps can h elp you get yourself t h ere. Because st eps are
a left -brain ed arran gemen t , you may wan t t o record yourself sayin g
t h ese st eps slowly an d t h en play t h e recordin g wh en you wan t t o arrive
in t h is st at e.
1. Arran ge yourself an d your h an d or subject .
2. Close your eyes an d medit at e for a few momen t s. Try t o clear
your min d of clut t er.
3. Sit comfort ably, an d arran ge your paper an d board.
4. Relax for a momen t . Try t o forget about t h e rest of t h e world
an d t h e ot h er t h in gs you n eed t o do t oday.
5. Close your eyes for a momen t . Breat h e slowly an d t ry t o let all
t h at you n ormally t h in k about pass out of your min d.
6. Con cen t rat e on t h e momen t . Sit comfort ably. Open your eyes.
7. Look closely at your subject . Try t o see it as if you were lookin g
at it for t h e first t ime.
8. Let your eyes t ravel aroun d t h e out side of your object .
9. Try t o see all t h e det ail in side t h e out side sh ape.
10. Now, focus on a lin e. See h ow it curves. Wh ich way? How
lon g? Wh ich lin e does it meet ? Does it go over or un der t h at
lin e?
11. Try t o see all t h e lin es as special t o t h e wh ole. Th en place your
pen cil on t h e page an d begin t o draw.
The Next SetSend Off the
Logical Left
Here is a drawin g exercise t o buy an express t icket t o sen d t h at persist -
en t logical left packin g. Your left brain will wan t t o leave t own , an d
n ot even call or writ e. Let it go; it is a n uisan ce.
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 di-
rection to follow an edge or
make a shape without becoming
fragmented and scratchy.
Artists Sketchbook
A contour drawing is any
drawing in which the lines repre-
sent 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.
37
Chapter 3

Loosen Up
You are goin g t o t ry a contour drawing of your h an d (n ot t h e drawin g h an d, t h e ot h er on e,
as Pooh would say). You are goin g t o do t h is drawin g wit h out lookin g at your paper, n ot
even on ce!
Th is exercise is on e developed by Kimon Nicolaides in h is book, The Natural Way to Draw
(Bost on : Hough t on Mifflin , 1990). It is a way t o complet ely con cen t rat e on wh at you see,
wit h out lookin g t o ch eck, an alyze, an d judge your work. In ot h er words, just do it . Plan
on about 10 min ut es for each part t h at you t ry.
Contour Drawing of Your HandWithout Looking
If you would like t o really see wh at a differen ce it can make t o con cen t rat e on just seein g
an d drawin g wh at you see, you can make a drawin g of your h an d before you st art t h ese ex-
ercises. Just do it , t o t h e best of your abilit y, an d set it aside. Th en you can compare it t o
t h e secon d drawin g t h at you do, wh en you can look again .
1. St art by set t in g up your area t o draw. Your pad of sket ch paper on your board an d a
pen cil will do.
2. Seat yourself in a comfort able ch air, an gled away from your drawin g board.
3. Take a good look at your ot h er h an d. Make a bit of a fist so t h at t h ere are a lot of
wrin kles in your palm.
4. Decide on a place t o st art on your h an d, on e of t h e lin es on
your palm, for example.
5. Put your pen cil down on your paper. Con sider t h at spot t h e
same as t h e spot or lin e you picked on your h an d. On ce
youve placed your pen cil, don t look at t h e page again .
6. Look very carefully at t h e lin e t h at goes off from your st art -
in g spot .
Wh ich way does it go?
For h ow far?
Does it curve?
How much ?
Is t h ere an ot h er lin e t h at it meet s?
7. Move your pen cil, slowly, in respon se t o wh at you see.
Rememberdon t look at t h e page!
8. Look at t h e lin es in your h an d on e by on e as t h ey t ouch each ot h er an d t ry t o draw
exact ly t h ose lin es t h at you are lookin g at .
9. Keep at it . Don t look!
Remain observan t an d sen sit ive t o t h e wealt h of lin ear t ext ure, sh ape, an d proport ion in
your h an d, an d t ry t o put it in t o your drawin g.
Keep workin g un t il you h ave drawn all t h e lin es an d sh apes in t h e palm of your h an d.
Th at it won t look like a h an d doesn t mat t er. Your absorpt ion in a purely visual t ask is
wh at coun t s. Has your left brain left yet ?
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 min-
utes to start. If the timer goes off
unexpectedly, then, my friend,
you have been off in the void!
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
38
Contour Drawing of Your HandWhile Looking
Now, t ake a st ab at t h at drawin g wh ile lookin g. Han ds as a drawin g subject are usually
avoided, but you can act ually get a decen t drawin g if you do just as much lookin g an d
relat in g of on e lin e t o an ot h er as you did in t h e first exercise.
1. Ch an ge your seat ed posit ion so you can rest your ot h er h an d on t h e t able.
2. Take an ot h er good look at your h an d an d t h e lin es in your palm.
3. Pick a place an d a lin e on your h an d t o st art wit h .
4. Pick a place on your paper t o place your pen cil an d begin your drawin g.
Here are some examples of students contour drawings without looking.
39
Chapter 3

Loosen Up
5. Make t h e same careful observat ion s about your h an d as before.
How far does t h e first lin e go?
In wh at direct ion ?
Does it curve?
Wh ich way?
Wh en does it meet an ot h er lin e?
Th en wh at h appen s?
6. Draw wh at you see, n ot wh at you t h in k you see.
7. Work slowly an d carefully un t il you h ave gon e all aroun d your h an d an d recorded all
t h e lin es t h at you can see.
Your drawin g sh ould h ave all t h e sen sit ivit y t h at you put in t o t h e makin g of it . If you did a
drawin g of your h an d before you began t h ese exercises, t ake it out an d compare t h e t wo.
Your experien ce drawin g wit h out lookin g (an d sen din g Old Left y off again ) sh ould h ave
h elped wit h t h e secon d drawin g of your h an d wh ile lookin g. Th e more you pract ice really
seein g an d drawin g wh at you see rat h er t h an wh at you t h in k you see, t h e bet t er your draw-
in gs will be.
Here are some student contour drawings, done while looking, for you to ponder.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
40
Another Set to Keep It Gone
Th e it , of course, is t h at left brain of yours, just wait in g for a ch an ce t o come back in an d
t ell you wh at it t h in ks about all t h is drawin g st uff. Keep it out of your life for a wh ile. Try
t h e same exercise, but wit h a h ouseh old object , like a corkscrew or a pair of scissors. Pick an
object wit h a complicat ed sh ape t h at will require t h e same careful lookin g an d relat in g t o
sh apes.
As you see an d draw, your own in n at e creat ivit y will be accessible t o you. Th e specialn ess of
your eyes an d min d is a gift . Use it ! Youll fin d t h at t h e pleasure of simple accomplish men t
in a h igh -t ech world is a person al t riumph .
Contour Drawing of an ObjectWithout Looking
If you would like t o really see wh at a differen ce it can make t o con cen t rat e on just seein g
an d drawin g wh at you see, you can make a drawin g of your object before you st art t h ese
exercises. Just do it , t o t h e best of your abilit y, an d set it aside. Th en you can compare it t o
t h e secon d drawin g t h at you do, wh en you can look again .
1. St art by set t in g up your area t o draw. Your pad of sket ch paper on your board an d a
pen cil will do.
2. Seat yourself in a comfort able ch air, an gled away from your drawin g board.
3. Take a good look at t h e object t h at you h ave ch osen . Make sure t h at you can n ot see
t h e drawin g it self as you draw.
4. Decide on a place t o st art on your object . On e of t h e lin es t h at makes t h e sh ape is a
good begin n in g poin t .
5. Put your pen cil down on your paper an d con sider t h at spot t h e same as t h e spot or
lin e you picked on your object . On ce youve placed your pen cil, don t look at t h e page
again .
6. Look very carefully at t h e lin e t h at goes off from your st art in g spot .
Wh ich way does it go?
For h ow far?
Does it curve?
How much ?
Is t h ere an ot h er lin e t h at it meet s?
7. Move your pen cil, slowly, in respon se t o wh at you see. Rememberdon t look at t h e
page!
8. Look at t h e lin es in your object , on e by on e as t h ey t ouch each ot h er, an d t ry t o draw
exact ly t h ose lin es t h at you are lookin g at .
9. Keep at it . Don t look!
10. Remain observan t an d sen sit ive t o t h e wealt h of lin ear t ext ure, sh ape, an d proport ion
in your object , an d t ry t o put it in t o your drawin g.
11. Keep workin g un t il you h ave drawn all t h e lin es an d sh apes in your object .
Th at it won t look like t h e object you ch ose doesn t mat t er; your absorpt ion in an ot h er
purely visual t ask is wh at coun t s. Has your left brain called h ome?
41
Chapter 3

Loosen Up
Contour Drawing of an ObjectWhile Looking
Now, wed like you t ry t h e same drawin g, on ly t h is t ime, wh ile lookin g. Even if it is a com-
plicat ed object , you can get a decen t drawin g if you do just as much lookin g an d relat in g of
on e lin e t o an ot h er as you did in t h e ot h er exercises.
Th e con t our drawin g wh ile lookin g sh ould be don e wit h t h e same focus on seein g t h e lin es,
but you get t o follow your drawin g h an d by lookin g. St ay focused on wh at you see.
1. Ch an ge your seat ed posit ion so you can look at t h e object you are drawin g.
2. Take an ot h er good look at your object .
3. Pick a place an d a lin e on your object t o st art wit h .
4. Pick a place on your paper t o place an d begin your drawin g.
5. Make t h e same careful observat ion s about your object as
before.
How far does t h e first lin e go?
In wh at direct ion ?
Does it curve?
Wh ich way?
Wh en does it meet an ot h er lin e?
Th en wh at h appen s?
6. Draw wh at you see, n ot wh at you t h in k you see.
7. Work slowly an d carefully un t il you h ave gon e all aroun d
your object an d recorded all t h e lin es t h at you can see.
As wit h your first set of drawin gs, youll fin d t h at t h e more you pract ice really seein g an d
drawin g wh at you see rat h er t h an wh at you t h in k you see, t h e bet t er your drawin gs will be.
To t ap in t o your creat ive en ergy an d realize your pot en t ial is a great power, on e you can use
for more t h an just drawin g.
You may feel t remen dously en ergized by t h e process. You can use t h is creat ivit y t o solve
problems of all kin ds, by lookin g at all sides of a problem rat h er t h an seein g t h in gs in t h e
usual ordered way. Youll be able t o see t h e big pict ure, movin g beyon d t h e con cept s t o t h e
relat ion sh ips.
Here are some contour drawings of objects done without looking.
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.
Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
42
Farewell, Old Lefty
Th ese exercises sh ould h ave made Old Left y h ead for t h e h ills for good. Th ey also sh ould
also h ave sh own you some begin n in g pract ice at seein g an d relat in g sh apes an d lin es,
wh et h er you were lookin g at your subject or n ot .
In t h e n ext ch apt er, well be t akin g a look at usin g t h e plast ic pict ure frame, a surprisin gly
simple met h od of project in g an image on t o paper.
Weve provided a set of
sample contour drawings
of objects done while
looking.
Chapter 3

Loosen Up
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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Part 1

Drawing and Seeing, Seeing and Drawing
44
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.
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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.
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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 t o really see, you can draw. It s t h at simple.
In Ch apt er 3, Loosen Up, drawin g t h e lin es t h at are on your palm was an experien ce in
learn in g t o really see, by t akin g t h e t ime t o see each lin e in your h an d. Drawin g is about de-
t ail an d relat ion , represen t ed on paper as a direct respon se t o wh at you seen ot h in g else
just wh at you see. Drawin g your h an d sh ould h ave become easier aft er all t h at con cen t rat ed
seein g!
It may surprise you t o learn t h at art ist s don t always draw freeh an d. Th eres even eviden ce
t h at , as early as t h e fift een t h cen t ury, art ist s such as da Vin ci may h ave been usin g pict ure
plan e-like devices t o project images on t o paper.
In t h e n ext t wo ch apt ers, well be sh owin g you h ow t o make an d use similar devices of your
own . In t h is ch apt er, well be discussin g t h e plast ic pict ure plan e, an d in t h e n ext ch apt er,
t h e viewfin der frame.
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Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw
48
What Is a Picture Plane?
In st ead of begin n in g wit h a defin it ion , we will explore t h e picture plane an d h ow t o use it t o
see even more clearly an d easily.
You will n eed:
A piece of Plexiglas 8" 12". You can get a few pieces. A larger
piece can be h an dy because you can rest it in your lap an d
work on t h e t op h alf. Try a few sizes. Lat er in t h is ch apt er you
may fin d t h e larger piece works bet t er for you.
A fin e-poin t perman en t marker, like a Sh arpy or fin e laun dry
marker.
A fin e-poin t wash able marker t h at will h old a lin e on t h e
plast ic.
How to Use a Picture Plane
For a dramat ic example, we will begin wit h t h at h an d of yours. Han ds
are good models; you don t h ave t o pay t h em much an d t h ey are al-
ways available.
1. Place your h an d comfort ably on a t able (keep t h e Plexiglas an d
t h e wash able marker at reach ). Scrun ch , ball, t wist , or t urn your
h an d in t o t h e h ardest posit ion you can imagin e (or n ot imag-
in e) drawin g. Fin d a posit ion wit h a lot of foreshorteningyour
fin gers comin g st raigh t out at youan d imagin e t ryin g t o get it
t o look righ t . You can add a prop, if youd like, somet h in g diffi-
cult t o draw, like scissors or a corkscrew.
2. Un cap t h e wash able marker.
3. Put t h e piece of Plexiglas on your posin g h an d, wit h or wit h out
a prop, an d balan ce everyt h in g as best you can .
4. St ay mot ion less except for your drawin g h an d.
5. Look t h rough t h e plast ic at your h an d. Th en look at your h an d
as you see it on the plastic.
6. Close on e eye an d carefully draw exact ly wh at you see direct ly
on t h e plast ic. Take your t ime. Draw each lin e t h at you can see
of your h an d an d wh at ever you are h oldin g.
7. Draw on ly wh at you can see on t h e plast ic.
8. Keep goin g un t il you h ave drawn every lin e you can see.
Sh ake out t h at poor modelin g h an d an d t ake a look at your drawin g. A
difficult , foresh ort en ed, even con t ort ed, posit ion of your h an d an d
wh at ever you were h oldin g sh ould be clearly visible on t h e plast ic. You
h ave drawn your h an d in drast ic foresh ort en in g because you drew only
what you could see on the plastict h e pict ure plan e bet ween you an d
your h an d.
Back to the Drawing Board
Try out all these items in the art
store where you get the Plexi-
glas. 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.
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 Renaiss-
ance 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.
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Chapter 4

The Picture Plane
If you did it on ce, you can do it again . Try an ot h er. Each on e will be easier. Fill your piece
of Plexiglas wit h drawin gs of your h an d, or st art a n ew piece. Keep t h e best on e or t wo, an d
compare t h em t o t h e first h an d drawin gs t h at you did, t h e drawin gs of your palm, an d t h e
drawin g of your h an d aft er you drew your palm. You sh ould see a ch an ge!
A hand drawn on a pic-
ture plane.
Hand drawings done on
Plexiglas can be placed
on a copy machine or
scanner for duplication.
Historical Uses of Drawing Devices
From t h e High Ren aissan ces Albrech t Drer t o t h e Impression ist s
Vin cen t van Gogh , t h e old mast ers made good use of various
drawin g aids an d devices. Min d you, t h ey were st ill great draft s-
men , but t h ey h ad t h eir t ools, n ot un like wh at we are usin g.
In realit y, t h e pict ure plan e is a visual con cept , an imagin ary, clear
surface t h at is t h ere in fron t of your face, t urn in g wit h you wh er-
ever you look. Wh at you see, you see on t h at surface, but in reali-
t y t h e view ext en ds backwards, from t h ere in t o t h e dist an ce.
Wh en you see on t h e pict ure plan e, you visually flat t en t h e dis-
t an ce bet ween you an d wh at you see. Quit e a t rick? Not really. It s
like a ph ot ograph , a 3-D view on a 2-D surface. You see t h e 3-D
image (in space) as you look in t o t h e dist an ce, but you see t h e 2-D
(flat ) image of it on t h e pict ure plan e. You can draw wh at you see
direct ly on t h e plast ic pict ure plan e, t h en even t ually on paper.
Easy, h uh ?
Artists Sketchbook
Foreshortening is the illusion
of spatial depth. It is a way to
portray a three-dimensional ob-
ject on a two-dimensional plane
(like piece of paper). The object
appears to project beyond or re-
cede behind the picture plane
by visual distortion.
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Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw
50
Wh at you see on t h e pict ure plan e is magically flat t en ed. Th is is be-
cause t h e dist an ce bet ween you an d wh at you see an d t h e dist an ces or
space wit h in t h e subject are foresh ort en ed.
How a Picture Plane Works
To get a gen eral idea of h ow a pict ure plan e works, grab a n ew piece of
Plexiglas or clean off t h e on e used for t h e previous exercise if it s t h e
on ly on e you h ave.
1. Hold t h e piece of Plexiglas even ly in fron t of your face.
2. Look aroun d t h e room, at a corn er, at a win dow, at a doorway
t o an ot h er room. Look at a t able from t h e corn er, across or
down t h e len gt h of it . Look out in t o t h e backyard or go look
down t h e st reet or up t h e h ill.
All t h at you can see on t h e plast ic pict ure plan e is drawable, first on
t h e plast ic, an d t h en , wh en youve got t h e h an g of it , direct ly on
paper.
So, we will st art wit h a few addit ion s t o your piece of plast ic an d set up
for drawin g.
Preparing a Plexiglas Picture Plane
for Drawing
For t h is exercise, you will n eed
An 8" 12" piece of Plexiglas.
A fin e-poin t permanent marker.
A fin e-poin t washable marker t h at will h old a lin e on plast ic.
A ruler.
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.
Artists Sketchbook
2-D is an abbreviation for two-
dimensional, having the dimen-
sions 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.
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 pro-
jector 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 repre-
sented realism to more expressive ways of seeing and painting.
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Chapter 4

The Picture Plane
To make a grid on your pict ure plan e:
1. Draw diagon al lin es from corn er t o corn er on t h e piece of plast ic wit h t h e perman en t
marker.
2. Measure an d draw cen t er lin es vert ically an d h orizon t ally in t h e cen t er of t h e plast ic.
First, draw a set of diag-
onal lines.
Add horizontal and verti-
cal lines to the diagonals.
3. Measure an d draw lin es dividin g each of t h e four boxes you n ow h ave on t h e plast ic.
Th e boxes will be 2" 3" vert ical.
Divide each grid into
boxes.
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Your drawin g will be don e on t h e plast ic pict ure plan e wit h t h e wash -
able marker. Th e perman en t grid is t h ere t o h elp you see relat ion ally
t h at is, h ow on e sh ape relat es t o an ot h er. It will h elp you t ran sfer t h e
drawin g t o paper wh en you are fin ish ed. Righ t n ow, t h e grid will get
you used t o seein g wh ere t h in gs are in an image or a drawin g, an d
even t ually you won t even n eed it .
Isolate a Subject with the
Picture Plane
Now you are ready t o t ry on e of t h e drawin g devices favored by t h e old
mast ers. Th is is an exercise t h at will h elp you get t h e idea of t h e pict ure
plan e in your min ds eyeor is it your eyes min d?
1. Look aroun d t h e room an d decide on a first subject . Don t get
t oo ambit ious at first . A corn er of a room migh t be t oo much ;
t ry a t able or a ch air, or a win dow at an an gle.
2. It is absolut ely n ecessary t h at youre able t o keep t h e plast ic
pict ure plan e at your eye level an d t h at it be st ill. Rest it on a
t able, or h old it st raigh t up an d down at a level t h at you can
see t h rough an d draw on at t h e same t ime.
Back to the Drawing Board
To draw on the plastic picture
plane, you must keep it as mo-
tionless 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 re-
main 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.
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 sit uat ed yourself an d your subject , close on e eye an d t ake a good lon g
look t h rough your pict ure plan e, part icularly at t h e part s t h at would seem h ard t o
draw, eit h er because of an gles, complicat ed sh apes, dist ort ion , det ail, or perspect ive.
Try t o get back t o just seein g, but really seein g, an d just wh at you can see, n ot wh at
you t h in k.
4. See t h e image t h rough t h e lin es t h at you put on t h e pict ure plan e, but t ry t o n ot e
wh ere t h in gs are relat ive t o t h e lin es:
Wh at part of t h e image is in t h e middle?
Wh at part is n ear t h e diagon al?
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Chapter 4

The Picture Plane
Wh at part is h alfway across?
On wh ich side of each grid is each part ?
Does a part icular lin e go from t op t o bot t om or across?
Does a curve st art in on e box an d t ravel t o an ot h er before it disappears?
An d t h en wh at ?
5. Un cap your marker an d decide wh ere t o st art . It sh ould be a sh ape t h at you are quit e
sure of, on e you can use t o go t o t h e n ext sh ape, on e you can see your way from t o
wh ere it con n ect s wit h an ot h er. See wh ere it is relat ive t o your grid of lin es.
6. St art t o draw your subject , lin e by lin e. See h ow on e lin e
goes in t o an ot h er, over or un der, curved or st raigh t . Th e
marker lin e will be somewh at t h icker t h an a pen cil an d a lit -
t le wobbly because you are workin g vert ically, but n o mat t er,
just draw wh at you see.
7. Keep goin g at it at a n ice easy pace, con cen t rat in g but n ot
rush ed. You sh ould be h avin g fun n ow. Are you?
Wh en you h ave put in all t h at you see in your object , t ake a mo-
men t an d observe t h e accuracy wit h wh ich you h ave drawn a
complicat ed drawin g. Try t o see wh ere t h e plast ic pict ure plan e
made it easy for you t o draw a difficult part , like a t able in per-
spect ive, or t h e scale of t wo object s, or t h e det ail on t h e side of a
box, or t h e pat t ern of a fabric t h at was in folds.
Th ese pot en t ial problems are n o lon ger problems, on ce you really
see an d really draw wh at you see.
Do you like your drawin g? Would you like t o keep it ? How about
t ran sferrin g it t o a piece of paper?
Back to the Drawing Board
If all this holding still and seeing
through seems like a lot of re-
quirements, 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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54
Transfer the Drawing to Paper
To t ran sfer your pict ure plan e drawin g t o paper, you will n eed
A piece of paper, preferably 11" 14".
On e of t h ose n ew mech an ical pen cils, wit h HB or B lead in it .
A kn eaded eraser.
A ruler.
1. Measure an d draw t h e cen t er vert ical an d h orizon t al lin es on your paper. A piece of
11" 14" paper would h ave a vert ical cen t er lin e at 5
1
/ 2" an d a h orizon t al at 7".
2. Measure an d draw a box t h at is 8" 12," cen t ered, or you can put your piece of plast ic
direct ly on t o t h e paper, lin e up t h e cen t er vert ical an d h orizon t al lin es, an d t race t h e
out side edge of t h e plast ic for your box.
3. Draw t h e diagon als in your box. Th en measure an d draw t h e secon dary lin es t o divide
t h e four boxes, just like t h e grid. Are you get t in g t h e idea of wh at we are doin g?
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Chapter 4

The Picture Plane
4. Put your drawin g on t h e plast ic up in fron t of you, as vert ically
as possible.
5. St art copyin g your drawin g on t o paper, usin g t h e grid t o see
t h e relat ion s bet ween t h in gs an d lin es t h at you drew on t h e
plast ic.
6. Don t let your min d (Old Left y!) t rick you in t o drawin g an y-
t h in g differen t ly because youre n ot on plast ic an ymore. Don t
t h in kjust see an d draw. Work ligh t ly, an d if you get lost , go
back t o t h e grid t o see wh ere you sh ould be. It s fin e t o erase
wh en n ecessary. Keep drawin g t h e lin es from t h e plast ic.
7. Wh en you h ave drawn as much on your paper as you h ad on
t h e plast ic, t ake a momen t t o assess your work.
Can you see h ow t h e grid h elped you t o t ran sfer your
drawin g from t h e plast ic t o t h e paper?
Could you begin t o relat e on e lin e or sh ape t o an ot h er
or t o t h e lin es on t h e grid?
Did it h elp t o h ave t h e grid t o est ablish dist an ce or rela-
t ion bet ween t h in gs as you copied your drawin g?
8. If you are h appy wit h t h e pen cil drawin g, you can add more
t o it by lookin g back at your subject , but make sure t h at you
draw relat ive t o t h in gs t h at you seen o fudgin g or fillin g in
just t o fill in . If you can see somet h in g t o add, fin e, ot h erwise
leave it .
Here are three drawings by three different students transferred from Plexiglas to paper.
Wh en youre fin ish ed, put your drawin g aside t o compare lat er. Th ese exercises can be re-
peat ed as oft en as you like; you will on ly get bet t er at seein g an d drawin g.
In t h e n ext ch apt er, we will add a viewfin der, an ot h er h an dy it em for h elpin g you t o see
wh at is t h ere an d t o draw 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 an-
other 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.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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 Figure Sket ch in g, (Pelham NY: Bridgman Publishers, 1926).
Workin g wit h t h e plast ic pict ure plan e h as sh own you 3-D space con den sed in t o a drawable
2-D image on t h e surface. But it s also sh own you t h e begin n in gs of an ot h er con cept t h at s
import an t t o drawin glookin g t h rough a frame t o see your subject .
In t h is ch apt er, well be explorin g t h e con cept of a viewfin der frame. Usin g a viewfin der
isn t ch eat in g. As art ist s h ave kn own for cen t uries, it s a way t o h elp you see spat ial relat ion s
an d make your drawin g more accurat e.
A Viewfinder Frame
A viewfinder frame is a simple device t h at will h elp you decide on a subject t o draw an d t h en
focus on it . As we discussed in Ch apt er 1, Th e Pleasures of Seein g an d Drawin g, framin g
an image makes it easier t o see, an d t h e graduat ed marks on t h e edges of t h e viewfin der
frame give you referen ce poin t s for relat ion s bet ween lin es an d sh apes, rat h er like t h e grid
on t h e plast ic of t h e pict ure plan e, but requirin g more clear seein g on your part .
Seen t h rough a viewfin der frame, t h e main poin t s of an image can be drawn on paper usin g
t h e graduat ed marks. Th e import an t t h in g is t o h ave t h e viewfin der frame an d your paper
or t h e box t h at you draw on it in t h e same proportion, so t h at t h e relat ive posit ion s an d
placemen t do n ot ch an ge.
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60
Making a Viewfinder Frame
A viewfin der can be as simple as your t wo h an ds h eld up t o make a frame. Th rough your
h an ds, you see on ly wh at is framed by t h em.
You can make a simple
viewfinder using only
your hands.
If you wan t t o use more t h an just your h an ds, but don t feel like leavin g h ome t o buy an y-
t h in g, you can make a simple viewfin der frame wit h t wo L-sh aped pieces of mat board,
sh irt cardboard, or even from t h e sides of a cardboard box.
To make an y viewfin der frame, you will n eed
Cardboard or mat board.
A ruler, preferably met al t h at you can cut again st .
A mat kn ife or ut ilit y kn ife. You can use scissors but you will
get a bet t er edge wit h a kn ife an d you will use it con st an t ly as
t ime goes on .
Got your mat erials? Okay. Just follow t h ese simple st eps t o make your
viewfin der frame:
1. Cut pieces of mat board or cardboard in t o a few sizes for differ-
en t sized win dows (10" 13" for a 6" 9" win dow, 12" 14"
for an 8" 10" win dow, 13" 16" for a 9" 12" win dow, et c).
Th ese are st an dard proport ion s, but you can also cut a lon ger
on e (8" 14" for a 4" 10" win dow, or 10" 16" for a 6" 12"
win dow, for example), if youd like.
2. Measure an d draw t h e diagon als an d t h e cen t er lin es as you did
on t h e plast ic pict ure plan es.
Artists Sketchbook
A viewfinder frame is a win-
dow 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.
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61
Chapter 5

Finding the View
3. Measure an d cut framin g win dows in t h e cardboard, leavin g 2" on all sides.
Here are diagonals and
center lines drawn on a
rectangular board.
4. You can ch oose wh ich proport ion frame t o use for each drawin g. Wh at you see
t h rough t h e frame will vary accordin g t o h ow close or far away you are from t h e
object / view.
Keepin g your viewfin der frame an d your work in proport ion is easy. Diagon als drawn
across a rect an gle will ext en d in proport ion out t o larger but proport ion ally equal
rect an gles.
Now weve cut a window
in our board.
Heres a rectangle with a
diagonal that extends out
into larger rectangles.
5. Measure an d t h en ligh t ly draw t h e cen t er lin es on your piece of paper (for 11" 14",
t h ey will be at 5
1
/ 2" an d 7").
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6. Lin e up t h e cen t er lin es of your viewfin der frame wit h t h e cen t er lin e of your piece of
paper.
7. Use a lon g ruler t o ext en d t h e diagon al lin es of t h e viewfin der frame out on t o your
paper.
8. St art in g from an y corn er, an ywh ere alon g t h e diagon al, you
can n ow draw a rect an gle t h at is larger t h an t h e viewfin der
frame but in proport ion t o it , wh at ever t h e proport ion of t h e
paper. Just make sure t h at all your lin es are square.
An ot h er way t o creat e diagon als is t o put t h e viewfin der frame in t h e
corn er of a piece of paper an d draw on e diagon al out from t h at corn er.
Rect an gles drawn from t h at diagon al will be in proport ion t o t h e origi-
n al (t h e viewfin der frame). You can use t h is met h od t o decide on t h e
best -sized piece of paper you wan t t o use for a part icular drawin g aft er
you h ave select ed t h e viewfin der frame.
Even t ually, you won t n eed t o draw a box un less you fin d t h at you like
t o draw in t h em.
Ext en din g t h e diagon al from your viewfin der frame will sh ow you
wh et h er t h e viewfin der frame an d t h e piece of paper are in proport ion
or n ot . Un derst an din g proport ion is wort h t h e t ime.
Diagonal lines from the
viewfinder frame extend-
ed out onto the piece of
paper.
Artists Sketchbook
Proportion is the comparative
relation between things; in a rec-
tangle, for example, its the com-
parative ratio between the height
and width. Rectangles of different
sizes that are in proportion share
the same ratio in their height and
width.
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
Using the Viewfinder Frame
Now t h at youve don e all t h at an d made a viewfin der of your own ,
let s t ry t o use t h e viewfin der frame t o make a drawin g.
1. Decide on an object ; a wooden ch air would be a good ch oice
for t h is exercise.
2. Posit ion yourself, your drawin g mat erials in fron t of you an d
t h e ch air out in fron t of you at an an gle (45 degrees) so t h at
you can see t h e wh ole ch air.
3. Pick a viewfin der frame t h at surroun ds t h e ch air quit e closely
on all sides.
4. Draw a proport ion ally equal rect an gle on your paper.
5. Reposit ion t h e viewfin der frame un t il t h e ch air is n icely
framed wit h in t h e win dow an d spen d some t ime really seein g
t h e ch air t h rough it .
6. Close on e eye an d do t h e followin g:
Observe t h e diagon als an d cen t er marks on t h e viewfin d-
er frame.
See wh ere t h e ch air fit s again st t h e sides of t h e frame.
See wh ere each of t h e legs t ouch t h e floor relat ive t o t h e
marks on t h e frame.
Wh ere is t h e t op of t h e ch air?
Look at t h e an gle of t h e t op of t h e ch air compared t o t h e
t op edge of t h e frame.
7. Begin t o draw t h e ch air on your paper in t h e same place as
you see it in t h e frame. Use t h e frame t o kn ow wh ere a part ic-
ular piece of t h e ch air belon gs. Draw wh at you can see in t h e
framet h at s all.
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.
Artists Sketchbook
Square is 90 degrees, at right
angles, as in the sides of a rec-
tangle. Measuring carefully off
the center lines helps keep your
rectangle square.
A simple viewfinder
frame can be made by
fastening two L-shaped
sections of cardboard to-
gether with paper clips.
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8. Draw imagin ary lin es bet ween t h e feet of t h e ch air an d measure
t h ose an gles again st t h e sides of t h e frame. Look at t h e legs of
t h e ch air an d make sure t h ey are vert ical.
9. Carefully n ot e t h e followin g:
Wh ere is t h e seat ?
How far from t h e cen t er h orizon t al lin e is it ?
An d t h e back of t h e seat ? Draw t h e an gle of t h e sides rela-
t ive t o t h e marks on t h e frame.
10. Add each part of t h e ch air relat ive t o t h e frame an d t h e rest of
t h e drawin g it self.
11. Add det ails, like t h e run gs across t h e legs, as you can really see
t h em an d relat e t h em t o wh at you h ave drawn . Take your time.
Wh en youve fin ish ed, you sh ould h ave a more accurat e drawin g of
t h at ch air t h an you expect ed. It sh ould be sit t in g on t h e floor con vin c-
in gly wit h t h e legs vert ical an d t h e seat lookin g comfort ably level.
Back to the Drawing Board
Work carefully. Each line is de-
pendent 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 rela-
tion to the frame and all the
other parts.
Here are some chairs
and a ladder drawn by
students using view-
finder frames for the
first time.
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Chapter 5

Finding the View
Draw What You See in the Viewfinder
You may wan t t o t ry a wooden armch air, rockin g ch air, small st epladder, a picn ic t able, or
even a gat eleg t able for a lit t le more ch allen ge. Pick a differen t ly proport ion ed frame t o see
h ow you do. Experimen t a lit t leit s easy.
Next , an excursion in t o space or at least your percept ion of it .
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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66
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.
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)
Let s be posit ive about t h is. In space, n egat ive is n ot a bad t h in g. Th is ch apt er is about
sh ape an d space. Really seein g bot h of t h em is a great st ep in learn in g t o draw. In fact , from
a drawin g perspect ive, you sh ould t h in k of sh ape an d space as in t erch an geable:
Positive Shape = Negative Space
Positive Space = Negative Shape
Find Your Space
Your brain speaks t o you con st an t ly, remin din g you of wh at you kn ow about everyt h in g.
Th at s fin e for t asks t h at require verbal skills an d lin ear, logical t h in kin g. But seein g an d
drawin g are visual skills, requirin g relat ion al, visual processin g of in format ion . An d seein g a
con cept like negative space is defin it ely a job for t h e righ t side of t h e brain .
In Ch apt er 4, Th e Pict ure Plan e, you t ried drawin g a complicat ed object in a foresh ort -
en ed view (fin gers poin t in g at you) on t h e plast ic pict ure plan e. On t h e surface of t h e plas-
t ic, t h e 3-D sh apes an d space of your h an d were con den sed in t o t wo dimen sion s, an d were
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68
easier t o see an d draw. In Ch apt er 5, Fin din g t h e View, you drew a ch air in side t h e
viewfin der frame an d used t h e marks on t h e frame t o h elp you est ablish wh ere all t h e lin es
an d sh apes were, an d h ow t h ey all relat ed t o on e an ot h er. Bot h exercises h ave h elped you
t o see an d draw wh at you saw, rat h er t h an wh at you t h ough t .
The Virtues of Negative Space
We all h ave min ds full of precon ceived ideas about h ow t h in gs are. We
oft en deal in symbols an d abbreviat ion s for t h in gsas lon g as we can
iden t ify t h em an d t h ey suit our n eeds.
For seein g an d drawin g, t h ough , wh at we think we know is n ot a h elp,
but a h in dran ce. It is Old Left y but t in g in t o t ell wh at h e kn ows. An d
wh at does h e kn ow? Sure, h e h as t h e ch air in h is h eadt h e size of t h e
seat , t h e len gt h of t h e legs (all equal), an d t h e arran gemen t of all t h e
ot h er sh apes. But wh en seen at an an gle in space, everyt h in g is differ-
en t . Th e seat of a ch air is a parallelogram, n ot a square. Th e imagin ary
lin e bet ween t h e four feet is also n ot a square, but an ot h er parallelo-
gram. Th e sh apes an d spaces are n ot equalyou saw t h at as you drew
your ch air wit h t h e viewfin der frame. So, as usual, it is best t o get Old
Left y out of t h e process of seein g an d drawin g.
Artists Sketchbook
Negative space is the area
around an object or objects that
share edges with those objects or
shapes.
Parallelograms.
Learning How to Use Negative Space
Drawin g t h e n egat ive space aroun d an object is a great way t o sen d Old Left y off again .
Wh y? Because you, an d part icularly Old Left y, don t kn ow an yt h in g about t h ose spaces.
Cert ain ly you h ave n o memory or precon ceived n ot ion s of t h em; you h ave probably n ever
even looked at t h em. But t h ey are t h ere all righ t , an d t h ey can be migh t y h an dy as guides
t o seein g an d drawin g.
For n ow, t h ose spaces will con fuse Old Left y, an d t h at s wh at we wan t . An d because you
will get n o h elp from Old Left y, you are free t o seereally seean d t h en , t o draw wh at you
see. On ce you t ry it , you will realize t h at t h ere is somet h in g st ran gely liberat in g about
drawin g wh at isn t t h ere in st ead of wh at is. Youll be won derin g wh at is an d wh at isn t , an d
t h at s n ot a bad t h in g.
69
Chapter 6

Negative Space as a Positive Tool
Select an Object to Draw: Theyre
Everywhere!
So, let s st art wit h an ot h er ch air. Pick a rockin g ch air, or an arm-
ch air wit h curves, or a st ool, or a can vas beach ch air, or a t able
wit h crossbars un dern eat h , or a st epladdersomet h in g wit h
spaces wit h in it . Object s like t h is are everywh ere, so you sh ouldn t
h ave an y t rouble fin din g on e t o draw.
Remember t o posit ion yourself properlymat erials n ear at h an d,
your subject out wh ere you can see it , an d your paper in fron t of
you. Rat h er t h an lookin g over your workin g h an d, righ t ies sh ould
look t o t h e left an d back t o your paper, an d left ies sh ould look t o
t h e righ t an d back t o your paper. All set ?
A View Through the Viewfinder
Pick a frame t h at is close t o t h e proport ion of your ch osen object
(a t all, t h in on e for a st epladder or a more square on e for a wide
rocker wit h arms). Adjust yourself so t h e ch air (or wh at ever) al-
most fills t h e frame.
1. Measure an d draw (ligh t ly) t h e cen t er lin es an d t h e propor-
t ion ally equal box from your frame, usin g t h e diagon als ex-
t en ded out from t h e frame t o est ablish t h e diagon als on t h e
paper.
2. Th en draw t h e box, an y size alon g t h e diagon al t h at you
wan t , wh ich will be in proport ion wit h t h e frame.
3. Your plast ic pict ure plan e can come in h an dy h ere. Make
sure t h at t h e grid mat ch es t h e proport ion s of t h e viewfin der
frame, or draw a n ew grid t o t h e same proport ion s. You can
use t h e plast ic pict ure plan e t o ch eck yourself as you work.
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.
Artists Sketchbook
A parallelogram is a geometric
shape having four sides. Each pair
of opposite sides is parallel and
equidistant to each other.
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.
Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw
70
Where to StartLocation, Location, Location
Basically, you st art wit h a spot an d a sh apeof n egat ive space. Perh aps we can call t h is a
spot of space, a basic sh ape t h at you can see, from wh ich you can proceed t o t h e n ext .
We will base our seein g of t h e n egat ive space on t h is first spot of space.
Remember t h at it is a spot of space somewh ere in or aroun d t h e ch air.
1. Hold t h e viewfin der frame very st ill an d frame t h e ch air in t h e
win dow. Rearran ge t h e ch air if n ecessary t o see it at an in t erest -
in g an gle. See t h e relat ive an gles of t h e seat , t h e back, an d t h e
legs.
2. Try t o pick a spot of space somewh ere in side your ch air t o st art ,
an d really see it . Maybe it is t h e space bet ween t h e run gs on
t h e ladder, or bet ween t h e slat s of t h e back of a rockin g ch air.
Close on e eye an d see t h at spot un t il it becomes more real
t h an t h e ch air. You will kn ow wh en t h is h as h appen ed because
it will pop forward as a spot of space wh ile t h e ch air it self will
fade or recede.
3. Now see wh ere t h at spot is relat ive t o t h e grid lin es on your
viewfin der frame. You can also look at t h e spot t h rough your
plast ic pict ure plan e t o isolat e just wh ere it is relat ive t o t h e
grid. If you ch oose, you can draw your spot on t h e plast ic first
an d t h en t ran sfer it t o t h e paper aft er you see h ow it works.
Or, you can do your seein g t h rough t h e grid on t h e plast ic
an d draw t h e n egat ive spot s of space on your paper; it will be a
lit t le easier t o see wh ere t h e spot s of space are on t h e plast ic
grid.
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.
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 concen-
tration and focus are on the ob-
ject and the background is filled
in later. But this method often
results in the image being poorly
placed on the page. No consid-
eration 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!
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Chapter 6

Negative Space as a Positive Tool
4. Eit h er way, use t h e grid on your paper t o draw t h e first spot of space on t h e paper.
5. Th in k relat ively an d relat ion ally. Try t o see wh ere your spot is relat ive t o t h e marks on
t h e frame, t h e grid on t h e plast ic, an d t h e ligh t lin es on t h e paper.
Draw the Holes, not the Thing
Ch eck your spot of space sh ape an d t h e lin es t h at make it , t h e an gle, wh et h er t h ey curve or
n ot , wh ich way, an d h ow far. Ch eck again again st t h e frame. Even if your drawin g is larger
t h an t h e frame, t h e t wo are in proport ion , so all t h e relat ive posit ion s will be t h e same.
Now, st ay focused on t h e space. As for t h e ch air forget about it !
Keep on e eye closed an d fin d your n ext spot of space. Fin d t h e
sh ape of t h at spot by seein g it relat ive t o your grid marks. Draw
t h e h oles, n ot t h e t h in g.
Here are some t h in gs t o con sider as you draw t h e n egat ive space:
Try t o n ot t h in k about t h e ch air it self. Th in k about compar-
in g t h e sh apes of t h e n egat ive space an d t h e edges of t h ose
sh apes. Are t h e lin es h orizon t al or vert ical? If t h ey aren t , t ry
t o see t h e an gle relat ive t o h orizon t al or vert ical an d draw
wh at you see.
Gauge an y sh apeit s lin es an d an gles, curves, or len gt h sby
seein g it relat ive t o t h e h orizon t als, vert icals, an d diagon als.
Begin t o see n ew sh apes of n egat ive space relat ive t o t h e on es
you h ave already drawn .
Draw each n ew space sh ape as you can see it . Work carefully,
ch eckin g each n ew sh ape, an d remember t h at t h ey are all in
relat ion t o each ot h er.
Holding the viewfinder
very still, frame the
chair within it so that
there is an interesting
angle.
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.
Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw
72
Don t t h in k about t h e ch air at all.
If you t alk t o yourself wh ile drawin g, t alk t o yourself about t h e relat ion sh ip bet ween
lin es an d sh apes of n egat ive space. Ot h erwise, don t t alk at all. En joy t h e process of
real visual t h in kin g, just seein g an d drawin g sh apes of n egat ive space t h at you h ave
n ever seen before.
See the Object Through the Space
Around It
As you draw more an d more of t h e n egat ive space sh apes, it will be eas-
ier an d easier t o fit in t h e remain in g on es. Th e spaces aroun d your
ch air will be defin in g t h e ch air it self!
Wh en you h ave drawn all t h e n egat ive spaces on your drawin g, ch eck
each on e in t urn again st t h e ch air it self. Make small correct ion s t o t h e
sh apes of t h e n egat ive spaces as you see t h em. You can ligh t ly sh ade
t h e n egat ive space sh apes as you refin e t h em, if youd like. Your ch air
will t ake t urn s wit h t h e space aroun d it ; on e will appear posit ive an d
t h e ot h er n egat ive, t h en t h ey will flip.
Wh en you are fin ish ed, your drawin g will be a very differen t record of
seein g. Th e ch air will come out of t h e space you h ave drawn aroun d 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.
Here are some drawings done by Lauren and two students, concentrating on negative space rather than
on the object itself.
Each n egat ive space drawin g is an ot h er ch an ce t o really see rat h er t h an t h in k your way
t h rough a drawin g. By con cen t rat in g on t h e n egat ive space sh apes, you can see relat ion -
sh ips t h at will make drawin g difficult t h in gs easier. Pract ice in con siderin g n egat ive space
will st eadily improve your abilit y t o select an image, arran ge an in t erest in g composit ion ,
place it well on t h e page, an d draw!
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Chapter 6

Negative Space as a Positive Tool
Getting Negative
Next , t ry t h is exercise wit h a complicat ed kit ch en gadget like an eggbeat er or a h an dh eld
can open er. Try a pair of glasses on a t able. Try a bicycle for a real ch allen ge. Th e import an t
t h in g is t o con cen t rat e on t h e n egat ive space rat h er t h an t h e object it self.
As you can see, drawin g t h e n egat ive space can make a difficult drawin g easy, part icularly
wh en it comes t o foresh ort en in g or complicat ed sh apes, because you can focus on t h e space
t o t ell you, visually, about t h e sh apes it surroun ds. An d t h e more you work on n egat ive
space drawin gs, t h e more youll develop a h eigh t en ed percept ion of n egat ive space, wh ich
will t remen dously improve your composit ion skills as you do more complicat ed composi-
t ion s.
In Part 3, St art in g Out : Learn in g You Can See an d Draw, we will look at set t in g up a place
t o work, art ist s st udios, an d exact ly h ow t o get st art ed wit h t h e simple composit ion st h e
seein g, select in g, placin g, an d drawin g.
Part 2

Now You Are Ready to Draw
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
75
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.
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 ob-
jects in a composition?
What makes a good composition? How do you learn to draw the form or volume into some-
thing? 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 t h at youve mast ered t h e begin n in g exercises t h at can h elp you t o see as an art ist sees,
it s t ime t o get serious, get yourself some mat erials an d a place t o work, set aside some t ime,
an d get t o it .
In t h is ch apt er, well begin explorin g t h e places you creat e an d playt h in gs you acquire t h at
h elp you become an art ist . No room, you say? No t ime? Let s t ake a closer look at fit t in g
drawin g in t o your lifean d your h ome.
Finding Space and Time
A st udio or a place t o draw is almost as import an t as your in t erest in learn in g t o draw. We
live in a h ect ic world t h at s full of deadlin es an d respon sibilit ies. A space of your own , h ow-
ever small an d simple, will become a refuge from t h e rest of your day. You will look forward
t o t h e t ime you can spen d t h ere.
Time alon et o observe, learn , experien ce, an d growis oft en disregarded in t h e pressure-
ridden careers an d lives we lead. Drawin g, a visual, medit at ive, learn in g experien ce, can
h elp you en joy your t ime alon e. You deserve a space an d t h e t ime t o immerse yourself in a
past ime like drawin g.
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
80
Setting Up Your Drawing Room or Table
Studios are magical places. Th ey are n ot like ot h er rooms in a h ouse. Wh ile most rooms are
sh ared spaces, your st udio is just for youeven if it s just a corn er of a room. Your st udio
will be an in t en sely person al place, a ret reat wh ere you can express yourself in t h e sur-
roun din gs, as well as in wh at you creat e.
A st udio can be a large, expan sive space wit h several work areas, lot s of st orage, walls of
books, a comput er, a soun d syst em, an d great ligh t . Or, it can be a sun n y en d of your
kit ch en , t h e bay win dow of your din in g room, a spare bedroom, or an y quiet corn er wh ere
you like t o sit . Try for good ligh t if you can ; a corn er wit h a win dow an d a blan k wall will
do n icely. A small space can st ill be made in t o a special place for you, an d a drawin g t able,
or an y t able, is a begin n in g.
Studio Beautiful 101
Th e n ext quest ion is h ow t o furn ish your st udio. Wh et h er you recruit pieces gat h erin g dust
in your at t ic or buy all n ew on es is up t o you. Th e list t h at follows in cludes wh at we con -
sider essen t ials t o a drawin g st udio, but you can easily get by wit h far less (at least in t h e
begin n in g).
An adjust able drawin g t able an d a comfort able office-st yle ch air
are a great st art . You can work at an an gle by put t in g a drawin g
board in your lap or proppin g it up wit h books, but your own
t able is a great h elp. Th is can h elp keep you from h un ch in g
over your work. We don t wan t an y sore backs!
An ext en dable goosen ecked arch it ect ural lamp will ext en d t h e
t ime you can work on overcast days an d in t o t h e even in g.
A small freest an din g booksh elf will h old your mat erials, books,
magazin es, an d your port folio.
Supply cart s on wh eels, called t aboret s, are a won derful addi-
t ion . Th ey h old everyt h in g an d you can move t h em as n eces-
sary, wh ich is part icularly h elpful if you h ave t o con den se your
work area wh en youre fin ish ed for t h e day.
A t ackboard is n ice if you h ave a wall t o use. You will en joy
put t in g up your work, post cards, ph ot os, an d ot h er visual ideas.
If you h ave a comput er, it can live quit e h appily on a n earby
t able. It can be very h an dy, as we will discuss in Ch apt er 25,
Express Yourself.
A box, such as a file box, big t ackle box, t oolbox, or ph ot o st or-
age box, will h old your begin n in g mat erials.
A port folio or t wo is a way t o keep your work organ ized an d
your paper st ored safely. Ideally, port folios sh ould be kept flat .
A set of paper st orage drawers can go on your wish list .
Th e sky is t h e limit wit h st udios, but a modest space is bet t er t h an n o
space, an d workin g small is far bet t er t h an put t in g off t h e experien ce of
learn in g t o see an d draw because of a lack of space. Compromise wh ere
you h ave t o; t h e import an t t h in g is procurin g a space of your own .
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 in-
terest in drawing, and making an
effort to encourage yourself.
Artists Sketchbook
Artists studios range from con-
verted 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.
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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.
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
82
The Best Time to Draw
Th e best t ime t o draw is an yt imeat least an yt ime you can man age t o escape your ot h er re-
spon sibilit ies for a wh ile. Quiet h elps, as does a lit t le soft music. As you develop your abilit y
t o focus on your work, dist ract ion s seem t o van ish , but t ry for a quiet t ime. Maybe youll
h ave t o get up an h our earlier t h an usual t o fin d t h at quiet t ime, or maybe it will be t h e
h our or so in t h e even in g wh en you can pass on t h e sit coms an d do some drawin g in st ead.
Durin g t h e week, your lun ch break at work can be a t ime t o draw. A small sket ch book, on e
pen cil, an d an eraser t h at you can carry wit h you is all you n eedyou n ever kn ow wh at
will cat ch your at t en t ion . You can eat your lun ch wit h on e h an d, can t you?
Our weeken ds, such as t h ey are, are oft en more filled wit h act ivit ies an d respon sibilit ies
t h an t h e workweek, but t ry for an h our or so of t ime for yourself on weeken ds, t oo. Th at
h our before a Sat urday n igh t dat e n igh t , for example, can be a great t ime t o go off by your-
self an d draw.
Vacat ion s an d busin ess t rips are ot h er great drawin g opport un it ies. Plan es, t rain s, an d buses
are filled wit h faces t o t ry. Boat s are filled wit h in t erest in g places an d sh apes. If you are din -
in g alon e, you can draw t h e din in g room, rat h er t h an just look out at it . Even a h ot el room
may h ave somet h in g t o draw.
An ywh ere away from h ome is in t erest in g in some way. Th e flowers, plan t s, lan dscape, an d
arch it ect ure of a foreign or exot ic place are always compellin g. Drawin g in a sket ch book or
journ al will remin d you of your t rip in a differen t , more person al way t h an ph ot os from a
camera will.
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Chapter 7

A Room of Your Own
What About Drawing Classes?
Drawin g classes, like an y classes, are an addit ion al opport un it y t o learn . Th e commit men t
you make t o a class can h elp you focus your at t en t ion an d priorit ize your t ime.
Drawin g classes are everywh ere. High sch ool con t in uin g educat ion
classes, commun it y college classes, art museum classes, an d small
privat ely organ ized classes wit h local art ist s are some of your op-
t ion s. If you develop an in t erest in a specific medium, a good class
can h elp a great deal, providin g special in st ruct ion or access t o dif-
feren t mat erials an d t ech n iques. In vest igat e your opt ion s, an d ask
aroun d t o fin d out if a frien d h as en joyed a part icular class.
You can also organ ize your own group wit h or wit h out a t each er.
You an d your frien ds can t ake t urn s run n in g t h e group or you can
work in depen den t ly. You can meet an d work t oget h er at some-
on es st udio, a frien ds garden , a park, a zoo, a public garden , or in
a n at ural scien ce or art museum. Th e camaraderie is fun , t h e com-
mit men t you make t o t h e group h elps you t o make t h e t ime, you
can all learn from each ot h er, an d, best of all, it is free.
Beginning Materials Youll Need
Good art mat erials are a t remen dous pleasure, but don t feel you h ave t o break t h e ban k t o
begin . You can st art out wit h just a few basics. No excuses h ere!
On Paper
Your ch oice of paper is somewh at dict at ed by your budget . Art st ores an d specialt y paper
sh ops offer a dazzlin g array of ch oices, but a pad or t wo of good vellum surface drawin g
paper is all you really n eed.
Th ere are man y ot h er t ypes of paper t o ch oose from as well. Here are some of t h e plusses
an d min uses of each .
Try Your Hand
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!
You can draw anything, anywhere, anytime, as these journal drawings show.
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
84
Newsprin t is t h in , sh in y, an d n ot very rewardin g as surfaces go.
Gen eral drawin g paper in pads or sket ch books is a bet t er surface, but n ot t oo precious.
You will go t h rough a lot of it .
Brist ol board in pads is a bit h eavier. Th e vellum fin ish is pleasan t t o work on an d it
can st an d up t o an in k lin e, in k wash , or wat er-soluble pen cils.
Wat ercolor paper, in pads, blocks (pads wit h adh esive on all sides t o keep it flat wh ile
you are workin g), or in dividual sh eet s, is more expen sive but wort h it lat er on for your
fin ish ed work. A 90-lb. or 140-lb. h ot -pressed paper is a good ch oice.
Paper surface varies as well.
Drawin g paper comes in plat e (sh in y) an d vellum (smoot h )
surfaces. Th e vellum surface is n icer for pen cil drawin g.
Wat ercolor an d prin t paper surfaces are h ot press, cold press,
an d rough . Th in k of an iron an d you will remember wh ich is
wh ich . A h ot iron will press out more wrin kles, an d so it is wit h
paper. Hot press is smoot h an d silky, great for pen cil lin e an d
t on e. Cold-press papers h ave a t ext ure (like wrin kles) an d t ake
drawin g mat erial differen t ly. Experimen t it s t h e on ly way t o
kn ow wh ich you like best . Rough -surfaced paper is very bumpy
an d will sh ow it self t h rough almost an y drawin g media.
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.
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 draw-
ing, 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 drawin gs; t h eyre bot h simple an d correct able. As we dis-
cussed in Ch apt er 3, Loosen Up, pen cils come in h ardn esses from very h ard t ech n ical
pen cils in t h e H ran ge, t o very soft , smudgy pen cils in t h e B ran ge. Th ey are labeled at t h e
en d of t h e pen cil (4H, 3H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B). Sch ool or regular pen cils are 2HB,
rat h er on t h e smudgy side.
Mech an ical pen cils, on ce used on ly for draft in g an d arch it ect ural drawin g, are fin e
t ools. Th ey main t ain a con sist en t t h ough variable lin e an d n ever n eed sh arpen in g.
Th e leads must mat ch t h e pen cil in t h ickn ess, an d 0.5 leads an d pen cils make fin e
lin es. As t h e pen cil barrels are n ot labeled, you can buy a few colors an d color code
85
Chapter 7

A Room of Your Own
your ch oice of leads. Th ey cost about $1.50 each , so make sure you like t h e feel of t h e
barrel in your h an d. Try t o acquire at least 2H, H, HB, B, an d 2B for a ran ge of t on al
color.
Erasers are import an t t ools. A kn eaded eraser can be t wist ed an d worked in t o small
poin t s t o get at a lit t le corn eran d t h ey can be kept clean by st ret ch in g an d foldin g
for a n ew surface. Th ey erase wit h out scrat ch in g or damagin g t h e paper surface.
Experimen t wit h t h e pin k, wh it e, an d gum erasers, t oo.
Ch arcoal pen cils, ch arcoal, an d con t e crayon s all make t h eir own t on es an d t ext ures,
but t h e medium can be preoccupyin g at first . In k, in kpen s, brush es, an d wat er-soluble
pen cils, we will leave for lat er.
Boards are h an dy, but t h e st iff back of a drawin g pad or a sket ch book can t ake t h e
place of a board, if you don t h ave on e. Boards can h elp keep your work at an an gle
because you can put t h em in your lap wit h t h e paper t aped at a good workin g h eigh t ,
an d t h ey are more st able t h an cardboard. Plywood,
3
/ 8-in ch t h ick wit h san ded edges, is
easy t o fin d. Art st ores sell mason it e boards in various sizes. Buy a board somewh at
bigger t h an your paper.
Tools of the trade: draw-
ing boards and journals.
Storing Your Materials and Work
If you don t h ave t h at big st udio wit h st acks of paper drawers, a few simple port folios will
do. St ore your in dividual sh eet s of paper in on e an d your fin ish ed work in an ot h er. You can
make simple port folios out of scored an d folded corrugat ed cardboard, or even in corporat e
duct t ape h in ges. It s n ot n ecessary t o sign each piece, but if you do, make it small an d
n eat , in t h e lower righ t -h an d corn er, an d st raigh t , please. A dat e is more useful, so you can
see your progress. Th at pin -up board is a n ice idea, t oo, for your own exh ibit .
Beginning Techniques to Use
Pract ice makes perfect , but it s fun , t oo. On ce youve got your st udio space organ ized, youll
wan t t o warm it up wit h some work as well. Let s look at some begin n in g t ech n iques t h at
will h elp you make your st udio feel like your own .
The Marks That Can Make a Drawing
Th e warm-up exercises in Ch apt er 3 are always good t o refer t o for art ist s, calligraph ers,
forgers, an d you. Take a momen t an d limber up your drawin g h an d wit h some circles,
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86
curves, spirals, sweeps, swoops, smoot h lin es, an d squiggles, just as you did in Ch apt er 3.
Th en , t ry some dot s, dash es, crosses, h at ch es, an d st ripes. Fin d out wh ich marks you like.
Try t o develop a vocabulary as you go alon g. Drawin g is a lan guage wit h out wordsbut it
does h ave a vocabulary we will be explorin g in lat er ch apt ers, in cludin g t erms like tone, tex-
ture, shape, an d shadow.
Practice making marks
that please both your
hand and your eye.
In addit ion , you may wan t t o t ry cross-h at ch in g in pen cil. Try t o pract ice makin g parallel
lin es t o t on e a part of your drawin g. Th en , go over t h em at an an gle. St art wit h a 90-degree
an gle, but t ry ot h ers as well45, 30an d see wh ich you like. Or, t ry a mixt ure of an gles
over each ot h er for a moir pat t ern . It s less mech an ical lookin g.
Simple Geometric Shapes to Practice
In t h e n ext ch apt ers, you will begin t o make ch oices, arran gemen t s, an d composit ion s. You
will see t h at t h e world is full of geomet ric sh apes, an d t h at you can use t h e geomet ry t o
draw t h in gs more easily. Th e more you draw, t h e more youll be t ryin g t o see object s in
your drawin gs as bein g based on geomet ric sh apes, seen flat or in space.
For n ow, begin t o collect a few simple sh apes, such as sph eres, cubes, cylin ders, con es, an d
pyramids. Househ old object s like can s, boxes, t in s, fruit , fun n els, ice cream con es (empt y),
or t oy blocks are a few easy on es. See h ow t h e sh apes look wh en you look at t h em st raigh t
on , t h en t urn t h em at an an gle so you see t h e t ops an d sides.
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A Room of Your Own
Now, t ry t o draw t h e basic sh apes, first flat an d t h en in space. Draw t h em sit t in g on a t able,
an d t h en h old t h em up an d draw t h em as if t h ey were float in g in t h e air. Th is pract ice wit h
basic sh apes will h elp you see t h e geomet ry in t h e object s youll ch oose t o draw in t h e n ext
ch apt er.
Practice looking at basic
geometric shapes from a
variety of angles, includ-
ing straight on, in space,
on a table, and in the
air.
Practice drawing the
shapes, too. See how the
same shape looks differ-
ent, depending on the
angle?
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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 up an d n owh ere t o go? No worries h ere, let s just pick an object or
t wo an d begin t o draw. Youve got t o st art somewh ere. Look aroun d your world an d redis-
cover it aft er all, it s wh ere youre most likely t o fin d t h in gs you wan t t o draw.
What Are You Going to Draw?
Your h ouse is full of ch oices, from simple t o ext remely ch allen gin g. You wan t t o st art simply
because ch oosin g, arran gin g, composin g on t h e page, seein g, an d drawin g will keep you
busy en ough for n ow.
Begin wit h a leisurely st roll t h rough your h ouse. Look at it as you n ever h ave before, really
seein g t h e t h in gs t h at are t h ere. Th in k about h ow object s migh t look t oget h er, like t h at an -
t ique vase you in h erit ed from your great aun t or t h at post modern It alian clock left over
from your last relat ion sh ip. Somet imes t h e simplest object s can make t h e most in t erest in g
composit ion s.
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92
Select Your Objects and Pick Your Subject
Pick a few object s as possibilit ies, an d t h en you can select from t h e group. Try for in t erest -
in g sh apes, but on es t h at are basic, geomet ric, an d man ageable. Possibilit ies in clude
Mugs.
Can s.
Boxes.
Vases.
A few pieces of fruit .
Some veggies.
Toy blocks.
Or, if you are feelin g really con fiden t , a t oy an imal, a t oy car, or an old
doll migh t be just t h e t h in g.
Make yourself a lit t le collect ion of possibilit ies. Put t wo or t h ree t o-
get h er. Th en t ry an ot h er combin at ion . Look for sh apes t h at comple-
men t each ot h er. Play aroun d un t il you h ave made a ch oice.
Choose the Format and the Paper
Next , pick a piece of paper t o work on , 9" 12" or 11" 14", an d decide
on a h orizon t al or vert ical orien t at ion . Look at t h e sh apes of t h e ob-
ject s youve select ed. Are t h ey t all or sh ort ? Do t h ey seem t o n eed a
piece of paper t h at is vert ical or h orizon t al in it s orien t at ion ?
Back to the Drawing Board
Avoid shapeless objects or ob-
jects with cartoon or caricature
detail. Realistic, accurate detail is
better for learning. Save the ac-
tion figures and cartoon charac-
ters for another time.
You may be familiar
with the idea of vertical
or horizontal paper ori-
entation from your word
processing program,
where its called portrait
or landscape. A verti-
cally oriented page is
widest from top to bot-
tom (portrait), while a
horizontally oriented
page is widest across
(landscape).
How Will You Arrange the Objects?
Th ere are always lot s of ways t o arran ge t h in gs t o draw, an d n o on e way is best , but you
wan t t o make t h e best ch oice t h at you can . Oft en t imes, it is t h e simplest arran gemen t t h at
works best , especially if t h e object s h ave a lot of det ail. Somet imes, a jumble of t h in gs cre-
at es an in t erest in g mix of sh apes. Lat er on , in Ch apt er 10, Toward t h e Fin ish Lin e, well
93
Chapter 8

How to Get Started
pay more at t en t ion t o t on e an d t ext ure, but for n ow we will con cen t rat e on arran gin g, see-
in g, an d drawin g sh apes in relat ion t o each ot h er.
Seeing Arrangement and Composition
Arran gemen t an d composit ion are t h e first st eps in makin g a good drawin g out of your ch o-
sen object s. As you play aroun d an d ch an ge t h e combin at ion an d arran gemen t of your
ch osen object s (feel free t o ch an ge your min d), t ake t ime t o look at your ch oice t h rough
on e of your viewfin der frames, pickin g t h e on e t h at best frames your composit ion . Turn it
h orizon t ally or vert ically t o mat ch your arran gemen t an d your paper orien t at ion .
Make sure you h ave ch osen your object s, arran gemen t , composit ion , paper size, paper
orien t at ion , an d viewfin der frame so t h at t h ey all work t oget h er. Wh ew, t h at s a lot righ t
t h ere, but you can do it ! Wh en youve got everyt h in g ready, follow t h ese st eps:
1. Ligh t ly draw in t h e h orizon t al an d vert ical cen t er lin es on your paper.
2. Place t h e viewfin der frame on t h e paper an d lin e up t h e cen t er lin es.
3. Ext en d t h e diagon als on t h e viewfin der frame on t o t h e paper.
4. Draw a box t h at is proport ion ally equal t o t h e viewfin der
frame by measurin g, or posit ion in g it on t h e diagon als at
wh at ever size you wish .
Now you can look at your arran gemen t t h rough your viewfin der
frame an d begin t o draw it , in t h e same proport ion t o t h e larger
box on your paper. You can also look at your composit ion t h rough
a proport ion ally equal grid on a plast ic pict ure plan e t o gauge
wh ere t h in gs are an d wh ere t o st art .
But t h e main work of posit ion in g t h e object s in your drawin g
sh ould be don e by really seeing your ch osen object s as a small
group an d t h en t ryin g t o imagin e t h em sit t in g even ly across t h e
cen t er lin es of your paper. Youll wan t t o main t ain a con st an t
view, lookin g at t h e same spot from t h e same h eigh t . Of course, if
youve got t o get up, you can draw a lin e aroun d an object t o
mark it s place for lat er.
Look again t h rough your viewfin der frame t o see wh ere t h e cen t er
lin es are. See wh at sh apes are righ t t h ere in t h e middle. Ligh t ly
sket ch t h e main sh apes relat ive t o t h e cen t er lin es.
Remember t h at object s n eed t o sit down wh ere t h ey belon g in
your drawin g. On e way t o accomplish t h is is t o imagin e t h em in
t h e box t h ey came in . Draw t h e box in space, an d t h en fit t h e ob-
ject in t o t h e box. Th is works for ch airs, t ables, boat sreally, just
about an yt h in g.
See the View and the Distance
On ce youve made your arran gemen t , t ake a look at it t h rough t h e
viewfin der frame. Decide on t h e exact area you will draw. How
you h old t h e viewfin der frame will det ermin e wh at you draw an d
from wh at van t age poin t an d dist an ce you draw it . Th is will affect
t h e space in your work an d aroun d your object s, or t h e range.
Try Your Hand
In more complicated arrange-
ments, 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 empha-
size what you do want. The
choice is up to you.
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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94
Some of t h e ran ges you may con sider are:
Close-up Range: Object s t h at fill t h e frame will look close t o you, almost in your face.
Objects in close-up will
fill the frame.
Still Life or MidRange: Object s drawn smaller in t h e same frame will look somewh at
fart h er back, as if on a t able.
Deep or Landscape Space: Object s drawn smaller, st ill in t h e same frame, an d placed
t oward t h e t op of t h e frame will seem far away, as if in a lan dscape space.
Objects at mid-range
will be set farther back.
Objects in deep space
will be seen in the
distance.
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Chapter 8

How to Get Started
Th ese differen t sen ses of space are fun t o play wit h , but for n ow, let s keep t o a ran ge some-
wh ere bet ween close-up an d st ill life space an d leave t h e lon g views for lat er. Un derst an d-
in g, seein g, an d drawin g from a part icular view an d van t age poin t is
a big st ep an d can seem complicat ed, but it really isn t .
Wh et h er you look across at your object s or down on t h em, an d at
wh at an gle, will great ly affect wh at you see. Th is makes t h e differ-
en ce bet ween lookin g at t h e side of a box or vase or mug an d look-
in g in t o t h em.
On the Page
First , just see your arran gemen t from wh ere you are, con siderin g t h e
followin g:
Can you t ell wh ere eye level is?
Can you t ell if you are lookin g across at it or down at it ?
Can you see t h e t ops of t h in gs?
Or in t o t h in gs?
Probably, you can see somewh at in t o or over t h in gs in your
arran gemen t . We t en d t o see across an d down at object s on a t able,
for example, because we are sit t in g h igh er t h an t h e t able. If we sat
on a h igh er ch air or st ool we would be lookin g down on t o t h e ob-
ject s even more.
If you look st raigh t across at your object s, you are lookin g at eye
level. You will see just t h e sides or t h in gs, but n ot t h e t ops or bot -
t oms.
An d if t h e object s were on a h igh sh elf an d you looked up at t h em,
your view poin t would be lower t h an t h e middle. If t h e sh elf were
glass, you would see t h e bot t oms of t h in gs as well.
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.
The Art of Drawing
Most arrangements and still lifes are seen and drawn looking across and slightly down at the ob-
jects, 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.
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.
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Next Step: Establish Eye Level
So t h en , for st art ers, let s say t h at t h e cen t er h orizon t al lin e on your paper is eye level. Hold
your viewfin der frame so t h at you are lookin g t h rough t h e middle of it at your arran ge-
men t . Can you t ell wh ere t h e cen t er h orizon t al lin e on t h e viewfin der frame is in your
arran gemen t ? Th at spot or lin e is at eye level from wh ere you are seein g your arran gemen t .
Site the Image on the Paper Using the Center Lines
Use t h e lin es on your viewfin der frame t o decide on eye level in your view, wh ich is called
sit in g t h e image. Kn ow wh et h er you are lookin g down , an d t ry t o kn ow h ow much : a lit t le,
some, more? If you are sit t in g in a ch air, sit on a st ool an d see t h e differen ce, t h en st an d up
an d see more of a differen ce. You can even st an d on your ch air an d look down for a birds
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
Wh at ever view you ch oose, see it t h rough t h e viewfin der frame an d fin d wh ere t h e cen t er
lin es are, t h en imagin e t h e view as you see it , cen t ered on t h e cen t er lin es of t h e box on
your paper.
Th en , of course, you just ligh t ly draw it , as you see it . Not h in g t o it !
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Chapter 8

How to Get Started
The Lightest Sketch to Begin
So do it n ow. Use a ligh t pen cil, HB or H, an d use a ligh t t ouch . Try t o see t h e basic sh apes
in your object s an d t h eir relat ive placemen t , wit h or wit h out t h e aid of t h e viewfin der
frame or t h e pict ure plan e.
Don t worry if you use eit h er of t h ese t o ch eck yourself or for h elp as you pract ice. You will
use t h em less an d t rust yourself more t h e more drawin gs you do.
Eit h er way, t ake t h e t ime t o ch eck yourself in t h e begin n in g. Don t wait . See t h e arran ge-
men t again t h rough your viewfin der frame an d on your drawin g.
Check It Over
Wh en youve fin ish ed, con sider t h e followin g:
Ch eck t h at t h e image is cen t ered on your paper wit h some h elp from t h e cen t er lin es.
Ch eck t h e view an d t h e van t age poin t .
Look for clues as t o your 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 t h at you h ave drawn t h e sh apes of your object s as you see t h em.
Correct or ch an ge an y problems you see before you go on .
Correct It Now, Render It Later
Con t in ue t o add or refin e t h e lin es you draw t o say as much about t h e sh ape of your ob-
ject s as you can . Look for lit t le det ails in t h e sh apes an d make t h em part of your drawin g.
See as much as you can an d draw as much as you can see.
Wh en youre fin ish ed, your drawin g sh ould be a reason able represen t at ion of t h e simple
arran gemen t you ch ose. It sh ould reflect t h e ch oices t h at you made, in cludin g
Th e object s you picked.
Th e arran gemen t of t h em.
Th e frame an d t h e format .
Th e dist an ce from you.
Th e viewpoin t an d van t age poin t .
Side view, above, below, or part way in bet ween .
In addit ion , t h e basic sh apes of your object s an d t h eir placemen t relat ive t o each ot h er
sh ould be clear. Th e det ail in t h e sh apes of each sh ould be t h ere. An d let s t h row in a bit of
your own person alit y, respon se, or un iquen ess in t h e way t h at you made t h e drawin g.
Now youve complet ed your first real select ion an d drawin g on your own . From h ere on ,
t h e sky is quit e lit erally t h e limit . Try a few of t h ese small, simple drawin gs. Try differen t
views an d ways of framin g t h e view.
In t h e n ext ch apt er, well be t akin g a closer look at object s an d st ill life composit ion .
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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 arrange-
ment.
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.
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
Art ist s love t o draw t h e st ill lifean d so will you. In t h is ch apt er, well be explorin g exact ly
wh at a st ill life is, an d h ow you can make t h is most popular of art ist ic expression s your
own .
What Is a Still Life?
You began drawin g your ch oice of a few basically sh aped object s in a simple arran gemen t .
Drawin g from a still life arran gemen t is an ext en sion of t h ose simple pairin gs. Th e space in a
st ill life is usually rat h er sh allow an d t h e vantage point is fairly close in , wh ile t h e viewpoint
(seein g from above, t h e side, or below) can vary quit e a bit , for surprisin g result s.
Picking Objects: Classic, Contemporary, and Out There
Not all of t h e it ems in a st ill life n eed be exact ly dead. You can in clude flowers (cut or pot -
t ed), fruit an d veget ables, sea sh ells, seeds, pods, n ut s, or leaves. You can in clude a few clas-
sic n at ure mort it ems like but t erflies, bugs, bon es, fish , seafood, skulls, an d st uffed an imals
(real on es, n ot your t oddlers bedmat e). Human -made it ems (in cludin g pot s an d pan s, an -
t iques, ch in a, basket s, fabric for backgroun d color, garden t ools, t h e con t en t s of a drawer,
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102
your sh elf of plan t s, your bat h room sh elf, an d your collect ion of art supplies)basically
an yt h in g wit h an in t erest in g sh apeis wort h 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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Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition
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You can add sen t imen t al it ems, such as old lace an d ch in a, a babys
sh oe, or an old h at wit h ribbon s. Even old pict ures, ph ot ograph s in an -
t ique frames, an d vin t age post cards work well in st ill lifes. You can go
wild an d t h emat ic wit h it ems from an exot ic t rip t o t h e Caribbean or
Sout h America or out West . Or you can in clude a small Adiron dack
ch air, a willow basket , some pin econ es, oak leaves, a t oy cabin , an d
a small carved bear. You can go h igh t ech an d make a composit ion
of your Palm Pilot an d your keyboard, or go t h e sport s rout e an d
arran ge your sn eakers an d your t en n is racket .
You can reflect your favorit e past ime; food, of course, is a great ch oice
an d h as been favored by art ist s over t h e cen t uries for t h e wealt h of
sh ape, color, an d t ext ure it provides. A food st ill life can be classic or
surprisin g. Fish in g t ackle, a garden in g arran gemen t , books an d pen s, a
collect ion of boxesyou n ame it , an d you can draw it .
Why Artists Love to Draw Fruit and
Vegetables
Object s from n at ure h ave been favorit es of art ist s sin ce t h e early
Ren aissan ce, wh en pain t ers began payin g more at t en t ion t o t h eir sur-
roun din gs in t h eir largely religious pain t in gs. Th e luscious sh apes,
vivid colors, an d t ext ures in fruit an d veget ables are good reason s for
t h eir appeal. Th ey are also apt met aph ors for life gen erally, an d add t o
an y domest ic scen e.
A Few Thoughts on Composition
Composit ion is t h e way you arran ge t h in gs for a drawin g, rat h er t h an
accept in g t h em just t h e way you fin d t h em. It in cludes wh ere you posi-
t ion yourself, h ow much you decide t o see, from wh at posit ion you de-
cide t o see it , an d h ow you decide t o put t h e image on t h e page. Wh ile
a lot h as been writ t en about composit ion , experien ce is st ill t h e best
guide. St ill, h ere are some of Lauren s t h ough t s on t h e subject .
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 un-
realistic proportions are not the
best choices for a still life. The idea
is to learn about shape and pro-
portion, so opt for realism, even if
your taste is for the unusual.
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Off Center Is Often Better
Arran gin g t h in gs sligh t ly off cen t er relat ive t o your cen t er lin es can creat e a pleasin g bal-
an ce of elemen t s. Use your viewfin der frame an d t h e cen t er lin es on your page. Posit ion t h e
main object s t o t h e side of cen t er, rat h er t h an righ t in t h e middle. See if you en joy t h e
sh apes an d spaces t h is way. Remember t o see t h e n egat ive spaces bet ween t h in gs as part of
your composit ion .
Centering on Purpose
You can ch oose t o cen t er somet h in g for emph asis, part icularly if it
is also a close-up view. Ot h er t imes, t h e symmet rical sh apes of
t h in gs can be st rikin g if arran ged in t h e cen t er. Just make sure your
ch oice of object s warran t s t h at decision .
Charming Diagonals
Youll wan t t o look for diagon alsin life, in lan dscapes, in ot h er
drawin gs, in composit ion s, an d, of course, in your own drawin gs.
Try t o see an imagin ary t rian gular sh ape or t wo in t h e relat ion sh ip
bet ween t h in gs in t h e composit ion . You will like t h e ch an ge in
your drawin g.
Other Shapes to See in the Shapes of Things
As well as seein g t rian gles in your composit ion s, wh ich mean s you h ave est ablish ed some
st ron g diagon als, t ry t o arran ge some of your composit ion s aroun d a st ron g curve or ellipse.
Not e wh ich side of t h e paper you favor for a st ron g composit ion al lin e or curve. Man y of us
are h appier wit h an emph asis on t h e left side, because man y of us are righ t -h an ded an d so
is our writ t en t radit ion . Man y East ern composit ion s are balan ced differen t ly.
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.
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 cen-
ter 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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106
Composing a Still Life
Composit ion is really a way t o t h in k about your arran gemen t so t h at it is as pleasin g as pos-
sible aft er you h ave gon e t o t h e t rouble t o draw it .
Collect more object s t h an you did in Ch apt er 8, How t o Get St art ed. Play aroun d wit h
t h em un t il you h ave n arrowed down your opt ion s.
Decide on a h orizon t al or vert ical format , usin g t h e viewfin der frame if you wish .
Choosing from a Group of Possibilities
Arran ge an d rearran ge t h e fin al players un t il you are pleased. Don t h esit at e t o ch uck out or
ch an ge at t h e last min ut e; it s your ch oice h ere.
Filtering and Framing for the View You Want
You can decide t o use a jumble of t h in gs, but you migh t wan t t o elimin at e or just suggest
some of t h em. You will get t h e effect , say, of a drawer full of t ools or t oys, but call at t en t ion
t o on ly some of t h em.
See your composit ion t h rough t h e viewfin der frame t h at best frames your arran gemen t .
Space in a Still Life
A good drawin g reflect s t h e sin gle view put on paper. You n eed t o see an d est ablish , in your
own min ds eye, t h e van t age poin t an d viewpoin t from wh ich you are seein g an d t h erefore
drawin g your composit ion .
Vantage and View
Before you begin , youll wan t t o explore bot h t h e vantage point an d
viewpoint. Remember, t h e van t age poin t refers t o your dist an ce away
from t h e subject , wh ile t h e viewpoin t refers t o t h e an gle at wh ich you
see t h e subject .
St ill life space is usually sh allow, so t h e van t age poin t is usually in t h e
mid-ran ge. As you draw more, you can alt er your van t age or viewpoin t
as you wish . For n ow, t h ough , let s st ay in middle groun d, an d save t h e
birds eye views for a lit t le lat er.
More Work on Eye Level
Eye level is import an t . Sin ce drawin g is put t in g t h at sin gle view on
paper, you n eed t o keep a con sist en t van t age an d viewpoin t an d main -
t ain eye level as you work. Ch eck t h at you can see wh ere eye level is in
your arran gemen t an d on your paper.
Try Your Hand
Cubist artists departed from the
idea of a single view and began
the process of seeing and draw-
ing multiple views as one image.
You can, too, but only after you
can see and draw that single
view.
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Making Things Sit Down, or Roll Over, and Stay
Your dog may sit an d st ay, but wh en it comes t o drawin g, you h ave t o make t h in gs sit an d
st ay sit t in g. Object s in a st ill life h ave a fun n y way of n ot st ayin g quit e wh ere you wan t
t h em. Th ey seem t o slan t or t ilt , or look crooked or asymmet rical. Th ey fall off t h e t able or
jump out in t o t h e air wh ere t h ey don t belon g. You can fix all t h at wit h a workin g kn owl-
edge of simple viewpoin t an d perspect ive. Accurat ely drawin g object s at t h e view t h at you
see t h em is t h e way t o keep t h em sit t in g down .
Ellipses Are Your Friends
A lot of t h in gs t h at you migh t h ave ch osen t o draw are circular, such as cups, mugs, bowls,
vases, plat es, an d part s of ot h er t h in gs. Circles seen in space become ellipses. Th e relat ive
fulln ess or flat n ess of t h e ellipse is a fun ct ion of h ow h igh above or h ow much below t h e
object you are, wh et h er you can see in t o it or n ot , an d wh et h er you can see t h e bot t omor
could, if t h e t able or sh elf were glass. Drawin g t h e basic sh apes you see in ligh t circles an d
ellipses can est ablish eye level an d some roun dn ess t o t h e object from t h e begin n in g.
Above eye level
Eye level
Below eye level
Objects look different de-
pending 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.
Circles become ellipses
when viewed from above
or below eye levels.
Above eye level
Eye level
Below eye level
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Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
108
Your pract ice in warm-up drawin gs of basic sh apes an d your pract ice in drawin g basic geo-
met ric sh apes sh ould h ave acquain t ed you wit h ellipses. Pract ice more if you n eed t o. Not e
h ow t h ey are flat t est n ear eye level, wh et h er above or below. Th ey get fuller an d fuller as
t h ey are furt h er from eye level, so t h at wh en you are lookin g complet ely in t o a roun d ob-
ject , it appears roun d, t oo.
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.
Here are a few simple
objects that Lauren has
drawn above, at, and
below eye level, so you
can see how their ap-
pearance changes. First,
in sketch form; then, as
polished contour draw-
ings.
Above eye level
Eye level
Below eye level
Above eye level
Eye level
Below eye level
When a Cube Is a Cube, in Space
Rect an gular object s do t h eir own t h in g in space. Not on ly are t h ey affect ed by eye level
(above, at , or below), but t h ey also ch an ge as you see t h em from an an gle ot h er t h an
st raigh t on . As you see a rect an gle from an an gle, t h e face or plan e t h at is slan t in g away
109
Chapter 9

Step Up to a Still Life; Composition, Composition, Composition
from you st art s t o dimin ish or van ish . So a plan e in space n eeds t o reflect t h at van ish in g as
well as it s place relat ive t o eye level.
Th is is n ot as h ard as it soun ds. Again , your pract ice in drawin g basic geomet ric sh apes
sh ould h elp. Draw more at an gles an d differen t eye levels t o pract ice.
Note how this cube in
space starts to diminish
or vanish.
When a Cylinder Is a Rectangle, with Curves
Try seein g an d drawin g a cylin der as if it were a rect an gle in space. Get t h e an gle an d eye
level righ t an d t h en adjust t h e sh ape in side. A cylin der h as roun d en ds, in space t h ey are
ellipses. You can get t h e righ t ellipse by fit t in g it in t o t h e en d of t h e rect an gle at t h e same
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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Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
110
Fitting Other Shapes into the Boxes They Came In
Most t h in gs in your life came in a box. Th at box sat on t h e t able or t h e floor before t h e ob-
ject was t aken out of it . It migh t t ake a lit t le push in g or proddin g, but t h at object would fit
back in side. Visualize your object in side a box. You can even draw t h e box in ligh t ly t o
make sure it is sit t in g at t h e correct an gle. Th en , simply draw t h e object in side t h 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 already h ave all t h e t ools t o draw your st ill life, you just n eed t o use t h em. Th is more
complicat ed composit ion will t ake more pat ien ce, t ime, an d clear seein g, but t h ese are skills
t h at you n ow h ave, righ t ?
See Your Still Life in Space
Sit an d see your composit ion in space, wit h or wit h out t h e viewfin der
frame or t h e plast ic pict ure plan e.
Site the Arrangement on the Page
Draw t h e h orizon t al an d vert ical cen t er lin es on your paper. You can
use t h e diagon als of your viewfin der frame t o make a box on your
paper t h at is proport ion ally equal t o t h e frame. Sit e t h e arran gemen t in
t h at box on your paper. Th en pick a place t o st art an d draw t h e first
sh ape.
Try Your Hand
Patience is a virtue, especially in
drawing.
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St art out wit h some plan n in g lin es in addit ion t o t h e cen t er h ori-
zon t al an d vert ical lin es. Make a ligh t set of sh apes an d lin es t h at
est ablish placemen t on t h e page, posit ion of object s, an d amoun t
of overlap. Try drawin g a ligh t set of lin es t h at en close your com-
posit ion . You can use t h ese lin es t o judge sh apes an d spaces
again st .
In addit ion , you may wan t t o ch eck relat ive h eigh t s an d widt h s
again st each ot h er. To do t h is, select a baselin e or measuremen t
t h at you can con sider h avin g a len gt h of 1. Th en , use t h at meas-
uremen t t o gauge ot h er len gt h s, widt h s, curves, sh apes, an d
spaces. Est ablish t h e rat io bet ween t h e base an d an y lin e you
measure again st it , such as 1:2, 1:4, 1:5, et c.
Start with a Light Sketch to Position
As usual, you sh ould begin wit h t h e ligh t est lin e, your H or HB pen cil, an d a ligh t t ouch t o
draw in t h e basic sh apes an d an gles an d relat ion s bet ween t h in gs. Take your t ime. Don t
rush . A complicat ed arran gemen t t akes more t ime. Con sider t h e followin g as you begin :
St art wit h t h e ligh t est of direct ion al lin es for each object .
See h ow t h ey overlap.
Try t o see each on e in it s own spot , but relat ive t o t h e ot h ers.
Imagin e t h at you h ave x-ray vision an d can see t h e backs of your object s, wh ere t h ey
t ouch or are close t o on e an ot h er.
Make sure you h ave left en ough space for each .
Check Your Spacing
Don t go on un t il you are sure of everyt h in g an d everyt h in g is in it s place, an d t h at you
h ave a place for everyt h in g. An object wit h a sh ape an d size h as t o h ave t h e space in your
drawin g t h at it n eeds t o look t h ree-dimen sion al. If t wo object s are in t h e same t h ree-
dimen sion al spot in your drawin g, t h ey will bot h look flat . Give t h em t h e room t h ey n eed
t o look full.
God is in the details.
Buckminster Fuller (And he was right.)
See the Detail in Each Object and Draw What You See
Wh en you h ave locat ed an d drawn t h e sh ape of each object in your composit ion , t h e rest is
clear seein g an d drawin g of t h e remain in g det ail.
Your fin ish ed drawin g sh ould reflect all t h e work you h ave don e lat ely. An arran gemen t
t h at you would h ave t h ough t impossible t o draw is n ow wit h in your grasp. It is a great
feelin g.
In t h e n ext ch apt er, we will look at get t in g t h in gs t o look a lit t le more full of volume an d
det ail. We will look at volume, weigh t , ligh t , an d sh adow, an d h ow t o draw t h em by addin g
a bit of t on e t o your lin e drawin g. Det ail an d st ill more det ail will give your work t h e com-
plexit y t h at makes it special.
Try Your Hand
The planning lines in your work
should be light, and need not be
erased later. They can add a vital-
ity and they show the process that
you have been through, too.
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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 instanta-
neous coordinated activity. Artists of the past and present have made countless drawings, not
only as students, but all through their lives.
Harry Sternberg
Youve h eard t h e ph rase It s all in t h e det ails., an d wh en it comes t o drawin g, t h ose det ails
in clude volume an d t on e, lin e an d sh ape, an d ligh t an d sh adow. How do you add t h ose fin -
ish in g t ouch es? In t h is ch apt er, youll fin d out .
Line and Shape Are in the Lead, Form Follows Close
Behind
For man y drawin gs, a clear, sen sit ive con t our lin e can say as much as you n eed t o say. You
may en joy t h e lin e qualit y as it is, feel t h e sh apes an d spaces bet ween sh apes t o be accurat e,
an d h ave en ough det ail t o feel your drawin g is fin ish ed.
In ot h er drawin gs, it h elps t o defin e t h e form or fulln ess of t h in gs by ren derin g t h em wit h
t on e. Ligh t an d sh ade come in t o play h ere, an d t h e direct ion from wh ich an object is ligh t -
ed will det ermin e t h e play of ligh t upon it , t h e direct ion of t h e sh adow it cast s, an d
wh et h er t h at sh adow is on t h e object n ext t o it an d h ow much .
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Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
116
Ligh t an d sh adow can creat e st ron g pat t ern s t h at are part of your com-
posit ion an d can make an object seem more full of volume an d weigh t .
Det ail an d t ext ure are on t h e surface of an object , furt h er defin in g it .
Somet imes t h ey can be con fusin g wh en t h ey don t follow t h e form. It is
bet t er t o con cen t rat e on sh ape an d space first , volume an d weigh t sec-
on d, an d ligh t an d sh adow n ext , an d t h en det ail an d t ext ure can follow
alon g lat er.
Youll wan t t o make a graded ch art for yourself as a guide for your
ran ge of tones t o est ablish ligh t , sh adow, an d volume.
1. Measure an d draw a box 6" wide an d 1" h igh .
2. Draw a h orizon t al cen t er lin e t o make t wo lon g boxes,
1
/ 2" h igh .
3. Measure an d draw vert ical lin es at 1" in t ervals t o make six
boxes on t h e t op row an d six on t h e bot t om row.
Artists Sketchbook
Tone refers to shades between
light and dark, or white and
black, that can be used in draw-
ing to define areas of light and
shadow or render the fullness of
an object.
Making a set of boxes
for a tonal chart.
4. Label t h e first box on t h e upper left -h an d corn er #1. (Left ies
can begin in t h e upper righ t -h an d corn er an d work left .)
5. Box #1 will st ay wh it e.
6. Label t h e n ext box #2.
7. St art in g wit h box #2, ligh t ly an d even ly sh ade t h e rest of t h e
t op lin e of boxes.
8. Label t h e n ext box #3.
9. St art wit h #3 an d even ly sh ade over t h e rest for a sh ade darker
t h an box #2.
10. Label t h e n ext box #4.
11. Begin wit h it an d make an ot h er layer of sh adin g over t h e re-
main in g t h ree boxes.
12. Label t h e n ext box #5.
13. Begin wit h it an d make an ot h er layer of sh adin g.
14. Label t h e last box #6.
15. Make t h e fin al layer of sh adin g in it .
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 vol-
ume and what makes texture,
just take a step back. Sit until
you can see where you are and
what you should do next, includ-
ing a good erasing.
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Chapter 10

Toward the Finish Line
You can do t h is for a six-box t on al scale, or you can make it n in e boxes or t welve boxes, as
man y as you wan t . St art wit h six boxes for n ow. You h ave a ran ge from wh it e t o ligh t t o
medium t o dark.
Now, on t h e lower row, pract ice mat ch in g t h e various t on es you made on t h e t op of t h e
ch art . St art by t ryin g t o mat ch t h e darkest t on e. Keep sh adin g it in un t il it mat ch es t h e
upper box. Th en , t ry t o mat ch on e of t h e ligh t t on es, t h en t ry t o mat ch on e of t h e mid-
t on es. Con t in ue un t il you h ave mat ch ed all t h e t on es of t h e scale an d filled in t h e bot t om
part of t h e ch art .
Here is a filled-in tonal
chart.
In this tonal chart,
weve filled in the bot-
tom row of tones to
match the top row.
Your t on al ch art gives you an idea of t h e t on al ran ge t h at you can use wh en you are look-
in g at your drawin g an d decidin g h ow t o add t on e t o 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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Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
118
You can make a t on al scale wit h differen t t ext ural marks in st ead of solid t on es. Try makin g
a t on al ch art t h at is made up of differen t t ext ural marks, keepin g t h em all t h e same for
each t on al ch art so you can see t h e ran ge of t on e easily. Even t ually, you will be able t o
jump from t on e t o t ext ural t on e an d back again wh ile addin g wh at ever t on al value you
wan t because you will see t h em in your min ds eye.
Here is a dark tonal
scale.
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 some addit ion al t on al t ips t o con sider:
Keep lookin g at your composit ion an d your t on al scale. See t h e
sh apes t h at each t on e fit s in t o. Youll h ave differen t t on es for
h igh ligh t s on t h in gs, t h e ligh t sides of t h in gs, t h e mid-t on es,
t h e darker sides of t h in gs, sh adows, sh adows across t h in gs, an d
t h e darkest cracks an d spaces bet ween t h in gs.
Get up, walk away, an d t h en come back an d look at your work
wit h fresh eyes. You may see t h in gs you missed wh en you were
sit t in g righ t on t op of your drawin g. Correct an y problems you
see.
You may wan t t o darken t h e sh ade of your darkest t on e t o in -
crease t h e con t rast bet ween your ligh t s an d darks.
Half-close your eyes, or let t h em go out of focus. Th is can h elp
you see t on e, an d t h en you can work on det ail.
For pract ice in form, ligh t , an d sh adow, t ry drawin g eggs, rocks,
sh ells, or even mush rooms.
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, be-
cause you will be able to see line
and tone together.
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Chapter 10

Toward the Finish Line
Weight Is in the Rear, but Coming Up Fast
Let s go back t o t h ose basic sh apes you collect ed an d pract iced drawin g in space. In Ch ap-
t er 9, St ep Up t o a St ill Life: Composit ion , Composit ion , Composit ion , you drew t h em as
con t our lin e drawin gs. Now, t ry t h em as t on ed 3-D object s. Pick object s t h at are simple an d
n ot t oo rich ly colored or pat t ern ed for st art ers.
1. Est ablish a ligh t source an d direct ion . See h ow t h e ligh t plays on t h e object s. See t h e
gradat ion of t on e relat ive t o your ch art of t on al ran ge.
2. Squin t at your arran gemen t , you will fin d it easier t o see t h e ligh t s an d darks.
Squin t in g makes it easier t o see t h e t on es. It soft en s det ail an d blurs t h e mid-t on e so
t h at you can see t h e ext remes on your t on al scale.
3. Pick t h e ligh t est spot s like h igh ligh t s on fruit or t h e ligh t ed side of a cube or mug.
Th ese areas will be at t h e ligh t en d of your t on al ran ge.
4. Decide on t h e darkest spot s, like spaces bet ween t h in gs or a
darker object . Th ese areas will be on t h e darker en d of your
scale of darks. How dark do you wan t t h e darks t o go?
5. Pick t h e middle t on e bet ween t h e ligh t est on e an d your ch oice
of t h e darkest . Try t o see t h at t on al color in your arran gemen t ,
wh at is h alfway bet ween ligh t an d dark. Th is play of ligh t an d
dark h as a n ame, n at urally: chiaroscuro.
No amoun t of t on al ren derin g will make for a sen se of weigh t an d
volume if t h e object drawn doesn t h ave en ough space t o be t h ree-
dimen sion al. Your careful seein g an d drawin g of t h e sh ape an d t h e
relat ion sh ips bet ween t h in gs must come first . Th en , con t our lin e on
flat t er it ems an d t on e on t h in gs wit h great er weigh t can suggest t h e
differen ces in volume.
First Things First: Shape and Space
As wit h t on e, ligh t , an d sh adow, n o amoun t of det ail or t ext ure will h elp a drawin g wh en
t h e basic sh apes an d t h e spat ial relat ion sh ips are n ot seen an d drawn well. Wh en t h is is t h e
case, you will wast e your t ime addin g det ail wh en you sh ould be correct in g t h e sh apes an d
spaces.
Similarly, all t h e ren derin g in t h e world will n ot make an asymmet rical vase symmet rical,
make a bowl sit on t h e t able if it is jumpin g up, or make t wo apples look roun d if t h ey are
so close as t o occupy t h e same space on your page.
Somet imes, t h e best t h in g t o do is st art over. If, aft er a wh ile, it seems t h at everyt h in g you
add det ract s from your drawin g rat h er t h an en h an ces it , t ry, t ry again may be t h e rout e t o
t ake.
Now Start Again
Pick an ot h er arran gemen t t o draw. Ch oose a few object s t h at seem t o require t on e t o make
t h em appear as full as t h ey are. Keep t h em simple, geomet ric sh apes like fruit , plain boxes,
a cup or mug, or some t oy blocks. Try t o pick object s t h at are close in color so t h e color
won t be con fusin g you. Lat er you can pick object s t h at require your abilit y t o est ablish t rue
color differen ces usin g t on 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 three-
dimensional.
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Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
120
1. Make your arran gemen t an d composit ion . See your composi-
t ion t h rough your viewfin der frame. Decide on your paper an d
format h orizon t al or vert ical. Draw a proport ion ally equal box
on your paper, wit h very ligh t ly drawn cen t er lin es t o h elp sit e
your composit ion on t h e page.
2. Arran ge a ligh t source. Look at wh at it does. Try movin g t h e
ligh t t o t h e ot h er side, t h e fron t , or t h e back, an d see wh at t h e
ligh t does in each case. Decide wh ich you prefer.
3. Sit e your view in space an d on your paper. Don t forget t h e cen -
t er lin es, t h e viewfin der frame, an d plast ic pict ure plan e as
guides.
4. Make some begin n in g plan n in g lin es, t h en draw t h e simplest
sh apes, direct ion s, an d an gles. Measure t h em again st t h e sides
of your viewfin der frame t o see t h e an gles. Ligh t ly draw in t h e
basic sh apes.
5. Ch eck yourself again st your composit ion wit h t h e viewfin der
frame an d adjust . Work on seein g sh apes as spaces.
Pay at t en t ion t o t h e n egat ive space sh apes. Th ey can h elp a
great deal in posit ion in g everyt h in g correct ly. Ch eck again .
6. Work on it ; redraw un t il all of t h e object s are correct ly placed.
7. Refin e t h e sh apes an d lin es t o be more expressive. Look at each
it em in your composit ion an d say as much about each as you
can .
8. Make a t on al ch art on t h e side of your drawin g or on a separat e
piece of scrap paper.
9. Try t o see each part of your drawin g as h avin g a t on al value,
relat ively speakin g, from t h e ligh t est spot s t o t h e darkest on es.
10. Look at t h e ligh t an d sh adows. Decide on a t on al ran ge t h at
you will use. Kn ow wh ich pen cil will make wh ich t on e (t h is is
wh ere t h e t on al ch art h elps). Est ablish t h e ligh t part s an d t h e
dark part s.
11. Draw in t h e sh apes of t h e h igh ligh t s an d t h e mid-t on es an d t h e
sh adows. Pay part icular at t en t ion t o h ow a sh adow is resh aped
wh en it falls on an ot h er object . Add t h e t on e t o your drawin g,
as you see it .
12. Develop t h e t on e on your composit ion from less t o more, based
on your t on al ran ge ch art an d wh at you can see. Work on t h e
drawin g as a wh ole, n ot just on e part at a t ime. Build up t on es
gradually.
You may see problems as you draw, some in con sist en cy t h at you
missed. Don t h esit at e t o go back an d fix it . Remember t h at your
viewfin der frame an d plast ic pict ure plan e can h elp you see your way
t h rough a difficult part .
Back to the Drawing Board
You can work on line and tone
simultaneously as long as you re-
member to keep checking and
dont get bogged down adding
tone to a drawing that still needs
work on basic shapes or spaces.
Try Your Hand
Remember, squinting helps here,
regardless of what you mother
told you about making faces.
Try Your Hand
You dont have to fill in every-
thing 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.
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Back to the Drawing Board
Sometimes, as you add a lot of detail, you have to go back and darken the darks for richer con-
trast, 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.
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122
Getting to That Finish Line
Do you see h ow your sh apes n ow h ave a sen se of volume an d t h ey seem t o really be t h ere
in space?
As you pract ice addin g t on e t o an accurat e con t our lin e drawin g, you will begin t o add
it soon er, aft er t h e first plan n in g lin es are t h ere t o defin e t h e sh apes an d spaces of t h e com-
posit ion .
Take your t ime buildin g up t on e an d balan cin g t h e t on es in your drawin g. It t akes pat ien ce
an d disciplin e, but you can do it .
You will be pleased wit h t h e result , an d your drawin gs will h ave t h e added dimen sion of
volume an d weigh t .
You can use t on e as much or as lit t le as you wish . It is your ch oice, as it is your ch oice as
t o h ow much t o ren der, h ow dark t o go, an d h ow t o balan ce t h e t on e an d lin e in your
drawin g.
Th en , of course, t h ere is t h e mat t er of decidin g wh en you are don e. You are don e wh en you
h ave drawn t h e sh apes, spaces, h igh ligh t s, mid-t on es, darks, an d sh adows in your composi-
t ion an d balan ced all of t h em for a drawin g t h at describes your arran gemen t in space. Are
you pleased wit h your t on al drawin g?
As Mich elan gelo said t o t h e Pope wh en asked about t h e ceilin g pain t in g for t h e Sist in e
Ch apel, I will be don e wh en I am fin ish ed. Like Mich elan gelo, you are don e wh en you
are pleased.
In Ch apt er 11, At t h e Fin ish Lin e: Are You Ready for More? we will look at det ail an d t ex-
t ure, surface elemen t s t h at can t ell st ill more about t h e object s t h at you draw.
Chapter 10

Toward the Finish Line
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
Part 3

Starting Out: Learning You Can See and Draw
124
The Least You Need to Know
You can establish volume by adding tone to a line drawing, but adding tone or tex-
ture 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.
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 sug-
gest 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 grat ulat ion s! You h ave moved from early simple con t our lin e drawin gs t h at correct ly
reflect t h e sh apes an d spaces in an arran gemen t in t o t h e realm of t on e, value, ligh t , an d
sh adow.
As you t ry more complicat ed, fin ish ed drawin gs, you can experimen t wit h n ew mat erials,
t oo. Your first work was most ly in t h e form of exercises. Now, t ake t h e t ime wit h t h ese more
in volved pieces t o sample some n ew, h eavier paper or a n ew drawin g t ool.
New Materials
Art ist s are jun kies for supplies. Man y h ave a lifelon g h abit we collect t h em, organ ize t h em,
play wit h t h em, an d h oard t h em. Alt ern at ely, we t alk about t h em, sh are t h em, an d ex-
ch an ge ideas about t h em. Wh et h er it s paper or drawin g t ools, h alf t h e fun of bein g an art ist
is t h e st uff. In t h is ch apt er, were goin g t o sh are some of t h at fun wit h you.
Part 4

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128
New Papers
Wh o kn ew t h ere were so man y variet ies of somet h in g as simple as paper? Art ist s, t h at s
wh o! It s t ime for an ot h er t rip t o your local art ist s supply st oret h is t ime, t o explore t h e
won ders of paper.
Wat ercolor paper is t h e st uff t h at dreams are made of. It s smoot h , h eavy, resilien t ,
able t o st an d up t o almost an yt h in g in cludin g a bat h an d a scrub out if n ecessaryit s
well wort h t h e in vest men t youll make in it . Wat ercolor paper comes in varyin g t h ick-
n esses, from 90 lb. t o 140 lb. t o mega-h eavy 300 lb. Th e surfaces are h ot press
(smoot h ), cold press (rat h er a pebbled surface), an d rough (very).
You can buy wat ercolor paper in blocks, pads, or in dividual
sh eet s. Take care in cut t in g down t h e full sh eet s. Th ey sh ould
be carefully folded an d t h e folded edge creased un t il you can
t ear at t h e fold, leavin g a soft t orn edge.
Et ch in g or prin t paper follows rat h er t h e same in kin ds as wa-
t ercolor paper an d is an ot h er lovely surface, alt h ough some-
wh at soft er an d more fragile.
Ch arcoal an d past el papers come in pads or sh eet s. Bot h t ypes
come in t on es an d colors, wh ich can be seen as t h e mid-t on e in
sh aded drawin gs.
More Drawing Tools
Earliest man used pieces of cin der or ch arred st icks t o draw on cave
wallsan d t h in gs h aven t ch an ged all t h at much . Art ist s t oday rely on
ch arcoal in a variet y of forms, as well as more kin ds of pen s an d pen cils
t h an you can sh ake a st ick at . Some of Lauren s favorit es in clude:
Assorted artists materials.
Try Your Hand
You can use charcoal to create a
mid-tone, also called a ground
tone, on a sheet of paper by ap-
plying it evenly across the entire
surface. You can then make
darker tones by adding charcoal,
and make lighter tones by eras-
ing out the ground tone.
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Chapter 11

At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?
Charcoal pencils, charcoal, paper stomp, an d conte crayons all make t h eir own
marks an d t on es. Each comes in differen t t h ickn esses, from st ubby an d t h ick t o t h in
an d fin e, an d each comes in differen t h ardn esses as well, from rat h er h ard (for a soft
medium) t o very soft an d smudgy.
Fixative is sprayed on t h e surface of an un st able drawin g t o prot ect it from un wan t ed
smudgin g. It can be worked on aft er applicat ion , an d t o some ext en t is reworkable
(you can get un der it t o ch an ge somet h in g).
Ink, pens, an d brushes are very old media, t akin g over wh ere
ch arcoal left off. A st ick or a clump of an imal h air dipped in a
pot of pigmen t ed liquid (in cludin g blood, mud, or h erbal dye)
made an in k lin e, wh ile a piece of grass probably served as an
early brush . Today, in k comes wat er soluble an d perman en t .
Eit h er can be dilut ed t o make wash es of varyin g t in t s an d
sh ades.
Pens are as person al as t h e h an d t h at h olds t h em, from reed
an d bamboo pen s t h at you can sh ape t o make a part icular
lin e, t o crow- an d h awk-quill pen s, t o t ech n ical pen s for a
very fin e lin e, t o all t h e n ew micro-poin t an d felt -t ip variet ies.
You will on ly kn ow wh at you like if you buy it , t ry it , an d see
wh at it does.
Water-soluble pencils are won derful t o use; t h ey go an y-
wh ere an d can h an dle an yt h in g. You can use t h em for a dry
drawin g, or for a wat ercolor effect . Built -up layers of color or
t on e produce rich an d somet imes surprisin g colors.
A pen cil sh arpen er is h an dy t o acquire n ow if you h aven t already.
A bat t ery-operat ed on e is great for goin g out in t o t h e field (or
st ream). If you develop a fon dn ess for wat er-soluble pen cils, a
sh arpen er will be in valuable, because t h e poin t s n eed t o be sh arp t o
make good lin es, an d st oppin g t o man ually sh arpen each on e slows
you down .
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 inter-
esting tones and blurred areas.
Harder lines can be drawn or
redrawn on top for more defini-
tion. 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).
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130
More Techniques
Okay, weve t alked about supplies. Now, let s t ry a few addit ion al t ech -
n iques t h at will improve your abilit y t o see an d draw t h e sh apes an d
spaces in a composit ion as you add eit h er t on e or det ail an d t ext ure.
Drawing in Circles Is not Going in Circles
Circles an d ellipses can be seen as buildin g blocks or basic sh apes for a
lot of object s in composit ion , because t h e sh apes of all t h e part s are
wh at make t h e wh ole.
Use circles an d ellipses t o draw space in t o t h in gs righ t from t h e st art .
Th is will h elp in makin g sure t h at you h ave left en ough room for
t h in gs. A circle in space is a sph ere, or a ball. An ellipse is space is an
ellipsoid, rat h er like a roun ded-off cylin der. Pract ice drawin g t h em as a
warm-up an d pract ice seein g t h em in t h e object s as you draw in t h e
basic sh apes.
You can make a page of
marks or a tonal scale
from any new medium
to test its uses and range
of possibilities.
Back to the Drawing Board
Fancier materials can make a
fancier drawing, but not neces-
sarily a better one. Experiment,
but be sure you remember to see
and draw before you start in
with new tones and textures.
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Chapter 11

At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?
Scale Is Sizing Things in Space
Our eyes are won derful, subt le len ses t h at work t oget h er t o give us bin ocular vision an d t h e
abilit y t o see t h ree-dimen sion al space. Wit h our eyes, we can gauge h ow far away t h in gs are
wh en we look at t h em in space, an d see t h e differen ce in scale. Even across a room, an ob-
ject is smaller t h an t h e same object seen up close. You can see t h is wit h a piece of paper
rolled up. Try it :
1. Set an object close t o you an d an ot h er similar object of t h e
same size across t h e room.
2. Roll up a piece of paper an d look t h rough it at t h e object
close t o you.
3. Adjust t h e diamet er of t h e roll un t il it just en closes t h e ob-
ject .
4. Now, look at t h e object across t h e room. Smaller, eh ? It is
t h is differen ce in scale t h at you must see an d draw t o make
t h ree-dimen sion al space an d scale on your t wo-dimen sion al
paper.
Remember t o draw wh at you see an d t h at alon e. Don t draw wh at
you can t see. Don t even draw wh at you t h in k you seeor wh at
you t h in k you kn ow.
Measuring Angles in Space
Remember t h at t h e plast ic pict ure plan e is an imagin ary plan e par-
allel t o your eyes t h rough wh ich you see t h e world. Object s t h at
are parallel t o your plast ic pict ure plan e appear flat ; you are look-
in g st raigh t at a side.
If an object is t urn ed away from you an d your plast ic pict ure
plan e, it appears t o recede in t o space. Th e en ds of t h e plan e t h at
slan t away from you are smaller t h an t h e en ds close t o you. Th ose
Every shape has its own
unique geometric equa-
tion.
Try Your Hand
Seeing the difference in size and
scale is the first step toward
drawing space into your work.
Try Your Hand
Drawing in circles and ellipses
can make shape, space, and vol-
ume in your drawing from the
very beginning.
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Developing Drawing Skills
132
plan es are van ish in g in space an d must be seen an d drawn t h at way. In Ch apt er 15, In t o
t h e Garden wit h Pen cils, n ot Sh ovels, we will explain t h e more formal rules of perspect ive.
For n ow, seein g, measurin g, an d drawin g t h e an gles of t h in gs will h elp you put t h em wh ere
t h ey belon gin space.
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
Addit ion al elemen t s t h at defin e object s as you are seein g an d drawin g t h em are surface de-
t ail an d t ext ure. Some det ail is act ually part of an object , st ruct urally or proport ion ally, but
ot h er det ail is more on t h e surface. Text ure is an elemen t t h at is prima-
rily on t h e surface an d follows t h e sh apes an d con t ours of an object .
Somet imes, t h e pat t ern of det ail or t ext ure can make it h ard t o see or
dist in guish t on al values t h at make t h e object h ave volume, so it can be
bet t er t o get t h e sh apes first , t h e volume, ligh t an d sh adow n ext , an d
save t h e surface det ail an d t ext ure for last .
Wh en you can see an d draw an arran gemen t an d balan ce t h e various
elemen t s, you can really begin t o draw an yt h in g you wan t , an y way
you wan t .
And Its Details in the Endby a Hair
Our world is filled wit h det ailgood, bad, an d in differen t . Somet imes,
t h ere is so much ext ran eous det ail in our lives t h at we n eed t o get away
or simplify it . But in drawin g, det ail t ells more about t h e object s t h at
you h ave ch osen t o draw.
Ch oose some object s wit h surface det ail an d t ext ure t h at defin e t h em.
Pick object s t h at appeal t o you because of t h eir det ail or t ext ure
remember t h ough , you will h ave t o draw t h em, so don t go overboard
at first . Human -made object s are full of in t erest in g det ail an d t ext ure,
but you can t beat Mot h er Nat ure for pure in ven t iven ess an d variet y.
Ch oose a n at ural object or t wo t h at will require your n at uralist s eye.
The Art of Drawing
Detail and texture are added in-
formation, 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.
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At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?
Take a Closer Look and See the Detail
Wh en t h e sh apes an d spaces in your composit ion are drawn correct ly an d you h ave est ab-
lish ed a t on al ran ge for dealin g wit h t h e ligh t s an d darks t h at you can see, you can also add
surface det ail in lin e, t on e, or t ext ure, or a mix of all t h ree.
Some of your object ch oices will be rich wit h surface t ext ure an d
det ail. To accurat ely describe t h at specific qualit y about an object ,
you will n eed t h at vocabulary of marks, but on ly in respon se t o a
real seein g of wh at is t h ere.
Pract ice a page of marks similar t o t h e page you creat ed in Ch apt er
7, A Room of Your Own . You can creat e a t on al ch art wit h an y
n ew mark or t ext ure t o see h ow you can use it t o h an dle t on al
variat ion s or det ail t h at is in bot h ligh t an d sh adow.
Natures Detail Is Unending
Wh y n ot be a bot an ist for a day? Pick a bran ch from a h ouseplan t ,
a flowerin g plan t , a flower, somet h in g from t h e florist , or some-
t h in g from your own garden or backyard.
1. Sit an d see t h e bran ch or flower as you may h ave n ever seen it before.
2. Look at t h e direct ion , len gt h , an d widt h of t h e st em.
3. Look at t h e arran gemen t of t h e leaves on t h e st em. Are t h ey opposit e (across from
each ot h er on t h e st em) or alt ern at e (on e on on e side of t h e st em, on e on t h e ot h er
side of t h e st em, up t h e st em)?
4. Look at t h e sh ape of t h e leaves. Th in k in visual t ermswh at basic geomet ric sh apes
are similar t o t h e sh ape of your leaves?
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 ob-
ject and further defines it.
Part 4

Developing Drawing Skills
134
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 t h e flowers sit on or h an g off t h eir st ems.
How are t h ey arran ged?
How big are t h e blooms relat ive t o t h e leaves?
Wh at gen eral basic sh ape do t h e flowers remin d you of? Trumpet s, flat sph eres,
lit t le balls, con es, or wh at ?
6. Flowers are t h e reproduct ive organ s of t h eir plan t . Don t ign ore t h at , exploit it . See all
t h e sh apes an d draw t h em.
Flower shapes and detail
all have a purpose
procreation and the at-
traction of those bees,
insects, and humming-
birds that do the work of
pollinating the flower;
drawing the detail tells
us about each individual
purpose as well.
7. Con sider t h e base of t h e flower in your decision . How do t h e back an d fron t of t h e
flower meet ?
8. Look at t h e sh apes an d sizes of t h e pet als.
Are t h ey all alike?
Are t h ere pairs of pet als? Pairs of t h ree? Maybe five pet als, but n ot all alike?
Wh ere do t h ey join t h e base of t h e flower?
Do t h ey overlap? How much ?
The shapes and angles
of petals are as expres-
sive as the parts of the
figure.
Part 4

Developing Drawing Skills
136
At the Finish Line Again
As you draw, see t h e bot an ical det ail an d t h e biological det ail in your object s from n at ure.
Con sider t h e followin g:
Th in k visually, most ly of sh ape an d t h e relat ion sh ip of t h e det ails t o each ot h er. Draw
t h e det ail as you see it .
Con t in ue t o balan ce your drawin g in lin e, t on e, an d t ext ure.
The Art of Drawing
The balance of line, shape, space, form, volume, tone, texture, and Gods own detail is ulti-
mately 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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At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?
You may prefer a h eavily t on al drawin g wit h less det ail or you may love t h e lin e aspect an d
n ot care about a h eavily t on ed drawin g. Experimen t an d fin d a balan ce t h at is ch allen gin g
but person al. Look back frequen t ly at your composit ion t o see if you are capt urin g t h e
essen ce t h at you were in t en din g.
Th e fin ish lin e is of your own makin g.
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Onwards and Outwards
So, are you ready for t h at un en din g st rin g of ideas t h at await you? Subject s are everywh ere,
just wait in g for you t o t ake t h e t ime t o see an d draw.
Th e n ext t h ree ch apt ers cover sket ch books, as well as drawin g in an d aroun d your h ouse.
Th en , in Part 5, Out an d About wit h Your Sket ch book, we will move out side, wit h a clos-
er look at perspect ive so t h at you h ave all t h e t ools you n eed t o draw an yt h in g t h at you en -
coun t er on your t ravels.
You decide where the finish line is!
Chapter 11

At the Finish Line: Are You Ready for More?
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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The Least You Need to Know
Surface detail and texture tell more about the objects in your drawing, but are sec-
ondary 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 de-
tail 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.
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 rough Leaves: Th e Journ al as a Pat h t o Place (New York:
W.W. Norton, 1999).
Th e journ al as a pat h , a sen se of place, an d t h e journ ey t o get t h ere are paraph rases from
t h e t it le of a lovely book by Han n ah Hin ch man . Keepin g a journ al is a great way t o record
your t h ough t s an d feelin gs, your respon ses, your goals, an d your dreams. An d a sket ch book
journ al is a place t o record, describe, or just jot down in drawin gs as well as wordswh ere
you h ave been , are n ow, an d wan t t o go.
In t h is ch apt er, well explore t h e pleasures of keepin g a journ al of your own , from t h e wh y
t o t h e wh erefore. In addit ion , well be sn eakin g a peek at t h e journ als of workin g art ist s,
from Georgia OKeeffe t o some of our frien ds an d n eigh bors.
Why Keep a Sketchbook Journal?
You can make your journ al an yt h in g from a mixed bagin cludin g sh oppin g an d t o-do list s,
if you wan t t o a separat e sket ch book for drawin g. Even t h en , you can an n ot at e your draw-
in gs t o remin d you of det ails or t h e feelin gs you h ad as you were drawin g, or wh y you
picked t h e subject you picked. Wh at you were t h in kin g or feelin g can get lost in t h e rush of
busy days, aft er all, an d a journ al provides t h e mean s t o keep t h ose momen t s wit h you an d
be able t o go back t o t h em for in spirat ion or solaceor t o simply remember.
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If you decide t o keep a sket ch book journ al, youll be in good compan y. In t h e sect ion
below, weve gat h ered t h e words of some well-kn own art ist s from t h eir sket ch book journ 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 fort un at e t h at man y of t h e worlds best -kn own an d best -lovedart ist s kept journ als,
because t h at mean s we can let t h em speak for t h emselves about h ow t h ey feel about t h eir
t ools, t h eir st udios, an d t h eir work. Art ist s, in fact , are quit e eloquen t wh en t h eyre writ in g
about t h eir passion s.
How They Feel About Their Studios and Tools
Perh aps n o on es st udio says so much about t h e art ist s work as t h at of Georgia OKeeffe.
Her st udio is so large it s like bein g out side, wh ich is exact ly t h e feelin g on e get s from h er
works as well. Man y of OKeeffes bet t er-kn own can vasses are quit e large, as wellmuch
larger t h an life, as was t h e art ist h erself.
Corrales, New Mexico, art ist Marian n a Roussel-Gast emeyer n ot es t h at h er st udio is easy t o
fin d: Just follow t h e pot t ery sh ards t o t h e door. Just down t h e road, an ot h er Corrales
art ist , Cin dy Carn es, h as sit uat ed h er st udio t o capt ure t h e ever-ch an gin g face an d ligh t on
t h e San dia Moun t ain s t o t h e east . (An d just down t h e road from Roussel-Gast emeyer an d
Carn es, Lisa t ypes t h ese lin es.)
Wh en it comes t o t ools, art ist Fran k M. Rin es n ot es in Drawing in Lead Pencil (New York:
Bridgeman Publish 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 youll recall from previous ch apt ers, we couldn t agree more: Havin g t h e righ t t ools is
h alf t h e fun .
How They Feel About Drawing
Writ ers are at t h e forefron t of t h ose wh o appreciat e drawin g. D.H. Lawren ce, for example,
on ce n ot ed, Art is a form of supremely delicat e awaren ess mean in g at on en ess, t h e st at e of
bein g at on e wit h t h e object . But art ist s t h emselves h ave much t o say as well. Here are
some won derful quot es from art ist s about t h e art ist ic process:
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, Realist ic/ Abst ract 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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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 ex-
press.
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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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 up wit h a few differen t journ als. Lisa, a writ er, keeps on e journ al in
h er n igh t st an d for t h ose ran dom middle-of-t h e-n igh t flash es of brillian ce, an ot h er on h er
desk t o jot down t h ough t s t h at h ave n ot h in g t o do wit h wh at sh es workin g on at t h e mo-
men t , a t h ird by h er readin g ch air, an d an ot h er in h er car (you probably don t wan t t o be
on I-25 wh en Lisas recordin g on e of h er in spirat ion s in t h e n ext lan e). An d t h en sh e h as an
addit ion al journ al wh ere sh e copies down great quot es sh es come across in h er readin g,
sn at ch es of (or en t ire) poems, an d t h ough t s from ot h er writ ers sh e t ries t o collect in on e
place.
Wh en it comes t o drawin g journ als, you may wan t t o t ry a similar approach . Here are some
of t h e possibilit ies.
Travel Journals
You can t ake a t ravel sket ch book wit h you on a t rip if it s small en ough t o carry easily. In
fact , t h in k of all your t ravelin g art supplies as a kit , wh ich may in clude
A sket ch book.
A few pen cils an d packs of leads (leave t h e sh arpen er h ome).
Two erasers (just in case).
Small clips t o h old your paper in place if it s win dy.
Maybe some t ape or rubber ban ds.
A few sh eet s of h eavier paper cut t o a good size.
A ligh t weigh t board.
Add t h in gs t o your t ravel kit as you see fit , but remember t h at you will h ave t o carry it t o be
able t o use it .
Closer to Home
You will wan t a larger sket ch book or supply of loose sh eet s in a port -
folio for drawin g close t o h ome. Most of your learn in g drawin g will be
don e in t h ese.
If you remember your dreams or h ave frequen t fligh t s of fan cy, you
may wan t t o keep a separat e expressive journ al. Try t o make a drawin g
t h at capt ures or reflect s your memory, an d writ e down wh at you re-
member. You may be surprised at t h e direct ion your work t akes.
Non fict ion an d drawin g in a journ al combin e differen t ly, usually re-
quirin g a realist ic drawin g. Th ey can in clude a more elaborat e t ravel
journ al for a special t rip, or a recipe book wit h all your favorit e dish es
an d some h ow-t o drawin gs t o explain wh at you mean or h ow t o
arran ge everyt h in ga cookbook in t h e makin g.
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.
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A garden in g journ al can be a great sket ch book, wh ere you can record t h at season s experi-
men t s, problems, t riumph s, an d n ot es for n ext year, as well as all t h e glorious det ail of t h e
growin g season in your special garden .
Ot h er journ als could in clude a fish in g journ al, or even an exercise or diet journ al (draw
wh at you wan t t o eat , but won t !).
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.
Two pages from a gardening journal: A gardening journal can include sketches of your gardenor dreams
for next years garden.
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Your Journal Is All About You
Th eres n ot h in g like a journ al for bein g yourself. Approach a journ al wit h t h e un derst an d-
in g t h at it is yours alon e, for you as well as by you. You don t h ave t o put it un der lock an d
key, but do let ot h er family members kn ow t h at you don t wan t t h em t o look t h ere. Some
may h ave t rouble wit h curiosit y, of course, so you may wan t t o keep your journ al some-
wh ere safe, if youd rat h er t h ey didn t look.
Amon g t h e man y good t h in gs a journ al can provide are
A sen se of self.
A sen se of place.
A sen se of purpose.
A sen se of t ime.
A place t o explore ideas an d save t h em for lat er.
A verbal an d visual vocabulary.
A place t o get past first solut ion s.
A place t o see t h e det ail past wh at is predict able.
Using Your Journal
You will learn t h e most about drawin g in your journ al by workin g
from life. You don t h ave t o follow t h ese st eps exact ly or even at all,
but we provide t h em just in case you do wan t a framework t o follow as
you begin t o use journ als.
1. Decide on a subject , a composit ion , a view, a van t age poin t , a
frame, an d a format , even if rough ly drawn on your page an d
viewed on ly wit h your t wo h an ds.
2. See an d draw in your sket ch book journ al as carefully as you
h ave in t h e precedin g exercises.
3. Con sider h ow much t ime youll h ave t o make an en t ry so you
don t rush .
4. Try t o draw every daypract ice is t h e key.
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 treas-
ured 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.
Back to the Drawing Board
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 jour-
nal to get rid of the extraneous
details of life can be a very free-
ing experience. Try it, and youll
see what we mean. You can also
draw those three pages or try for
a mixture of the two.
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Expressive Drawing
Expressive drawin g can be a release for some of your in n er feelin gs an d t h ough t s, an d you
can experimen t wit h color if you like.
Bear in min d t h at differen t cult ures view color dist in ct ion s differen t ly. For t h e Japan ese, for
example, wh it e is t h e color of mourn in g an d black is for celebrat ion , rat h er t h an t h e reverse
in our west ern t radit ion un less, of course, you live in New York Cit y, wh ere you must
wear black. Wh en it comes t o color, let your own feelin gs guide you.
Color Western Thought Eastern Thought
wh it e in n ocen ce mourn in g
black depression st ren gt h
green jealousy growt h
blue despon den cy t rut h
yellow t reason n obilit y
red sin , an ger love an d passion
purple royalt y, religion
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), docu-
menting what various colors mean to you.
Drawing as a Form of Healing
Healin g t akes lot s of forms. Oft en , givin g yourself t h e presen t of t ime an d solace, an d even
silen ce an d solit ude, can be a h ealin g gift . Wh et h er you use drawin g as a t h erapeut ic ad-
jun ct or as a t h erapy of it s own , it s h ealin g aspect s are on e side effect t h at s wort h pursuin g.
Like an yt h in g t h at t akes you out of yourself, drawin g can be a way of ch an n elin g n egat ive
en ergy in a more posit ive direct ion . Wh y t h row t h at pot at your beloved wh en you can
draw a pict ure of h ow youre feelin g in st ead? Even if you feel your drawin g abilit y is st ill in
it s in fan t st age, you can draw a n ast y pict ure of someon e youre an gry wit h an d laugh
yourself righ t out of your sn it .
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.
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Therapeutic Drawing
Cut down on t h ose sh rin k session s an d bills an d put t h e self-h elp books in a closet . Th e
t ime you spen d drawin g an d expressin g yourself on paper can be surprisin gly t h erapeut ic.
You could feel elat ion an d peace from set t in g aside t ime just for you. You could begin t o
value yourself more. You could feel very real accomplish men t at learn in g h ow t o draw
wh en you t h ough t you couldn t . You may use t h at feelin g t o t ackle ot h er t h in gs you
t h ough t you couldn t do, like st oppin g smokin g, losin g weigh t , organ izin g your t ime more
efficien t ly, learn in g a n ew comput er program, or even ch an gin g your job t o somet h in g
more sat isfyin g an d creat ivelike drawin g!
A drawing a day keeps the doctor away.
Dan Welden
Spontaneous Drawing
You can t ry some of t h ose begin n in g exercises again , part icularly t h e drawin g wit h out
lookin g an d drawin g n egat ive space, t wo of t h e more righ t -brain ed exercises, t o see wh at
respon ses you h ave n ow. Th ey migh t un leash a differen t creat ivit y or an in t erest in
abst ract ion , or a n ew experien ce in usin g t ext ure. Wh at s import an t h ere is spon t an eit y;
don t t h in k, Old Left y, just do it !
Zen and Drawing
Zen in drawin g is act ually wh at t h is is all about , get t in g t o a medit at ive,
in t uit ive place (t h e righ t side) an d let t in g go all t h e dist urban ce (Old
Left y) in order t o just be, see, an d draw.
Wh en it comes t o drawin g, h avin g a Zen approach mean s allowin g
t h in gs t o develop as t h ey will, wit h out t h e n eed for con t rol t h at marks
so much of our lives.
A Zen way of life in corporat es everyt h in g from medit at ion t o ordered
simplicit y in order t o bet t er appreciat e t h e in t ercon n ect edn ess of all
t h in gs. It follows, t h en , t h at a Zen way of drawin g migh t be on e simple
lin e wh ich poin t s in a surprisin g n ew direct ion .
Wh et h er it s Zen , spon t an eous drawin g, t h erapeut ic drawin g, or just
plain old reven ge drawin g, keepin g t rack of your moods in a sket ch -
book journ al can be a surprisin gly simple way of rediscoverin g yourself.
So, armed wit h some n ew mat erials an d t ech n iques, go fort h in t o your
everyday surroun din gs wit h a fresh vision of wh at you see.
Your h ouse an d immediat e surroun din gs are filled wit h t h in gs t o see
an d draw an d t h en t h ere is t h e wild blue yon der.
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 inter-
connectedness of all things and
encourages simplicity in living in
order to live with the complex.
Chapter 12

The Journal As a Path
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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The Least You Need to Know
A sketchbook or illuminated journal is a place for you, your thoughts, dreams, exper-
iments, 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.
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 youve come wit h us t h is far, youve probably got quit e a collect ion of drawin gs by
n ow. Part of wh at scares peopleespecially adult sabout learn in g t o draw is t h e fear of n ot
bein g good. But you kn ow wh at ? Th at s Old Left y, rearin g h is ugly h ead yet again . Your
righ t brain kn ows t h at you can t get t o t h e good st uff wit h out makin g a few messes an d
more t h an a few mist akes. But don t t ake our word for it . Let s go back t h rough your draw-
in gs, so you can see for yourself just h ow far youve come.
Through the Looking Glass
Goin g back t h rough your drawin gs can be a revealin g experien ce, even if you on ly st art ed
t h em a few weeks ago. Your first surprise will be just h ow much progress youve made in
your t ech n ical skill. Th at s because just drawin g somet h in g every day mean s youre pract ic-
in g, an d pract ice will improve an y skill.
Before you st art judgin g your work t oo h arsh ly (don t let Old Left y h ave an y say!), wh y n ot
use t h e ch ecklist s in t h is ch apt er t o see wh at youve learn ed. You may even wan t t o t ab t h is
ch apt er for fut ure referen ce, because weve pulled in every lesson youve learn ed up un t il
n ow in on e con ven ien t locat ion .
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Seeing as a Child
In Ch apt er 2, Toward Seein g for Drawin g, you t ook your first t en t at ive baby st eps t oward
seein g as an art ist doeswit h your righ t brain . By n ow, youve h eard us sayin g t h is for so
lon g, it s somet h in g t h at s as basic t o you as breat h in g.
St ill, rememberin g t o see everyt h in g wit h t h e open n ess an d creat ivit y of a ch ildwit h your
righ t brain is on e of t h e most import an t t h in gs you can do for your drawin g.
Look/Dont Look
In Ch apt er 3, Loosen Up, you t ried several drawin gs wit h out lookin g at t h e page aft er
youd set your pen cil t o draw. Drawin g wit h out lookin g at wh at youre drawin g h elps you
ban ish Old Left y t o h is t idy, ordered corn er, wh ere h e belon gs.
You may wan t t o t ry a n ew drawin g-wit h out -lookin g exercise n ow, just for pract ice.
Guides Are What You Make Them
Wh et h er you use a guide like a plast ic pict ure plan e or a viewfin der frame, or draw freeh an d,
t h e first st ep in drawin g is seein g. To h elp you decide wh ich is t h e best way for you t o begin ,
weve prepared a review of t h ese t h ree approach es t o seein g wh at you draw.
Plastic Picture Plane Practice
In Ch apt er 4, Th e Pict ure Plan e, we in t roduced you t o t h e plast ic pict ure plan e. Weve re-
ferred t o it sin ce, but it s possible you h aven t used yours again sin ce Ch apt er 4. If t h at s t h e
case (or even if it s n ot ), wh y n ot get out your plast ic pict ure plan e an d
pract ice wit h it ? (Say t h at 10 t imes fast .)
1. Pick a subject for your drawin g.
2. Lin e up your plast ic pict ure plan e wit h your eyes, keepin g it per-
fect ly st ill. Rest it on a t able, or h old it st raigh t up an d down at
a level t h at you can see t h rough an d draw on at t h e same t ime.
3. Close on e eye an d t ake a good lon g look t h rough your pict ure
plan e. See wh at you can see, n ot wh at you t h in k.
4. See t h e image t h rough t h e lin es t h at you put on t h e pict ure
plan e, but t ry t o n ot e wh ere t h in gs are relat ive t o t h e lin es:
Wh at part of t h e image is in t h e middle?
Wh at part is n ear t h e diagon al?
Wh at part is h alfway across?
On wh ich side of each grid is each part ?
Does a part icular lin e go from t op t o bot t om or across?
Does a curve st art in on e box an d t ravel t o an ot h er before
it disappears?
An d t h en wh at ?
5. Un cap your marker an d decide on a place t o st art .
6. St art t o draw your subject , lin e by lin e.
7. Keep drawin g.
Try Your Hand
Take some time now to go back
through your drawings and see
how far youve come.
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.
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Wh en you h ave put in all t h at you see in your object , t ake a momen t an d observe t h e accu-
racy wit h wh ich you h ave drawn a complicat ed drawin g. Try t o see wh ere t h e plast ic pict ure
plan e made it easy for you t o draw a difficult part , like a t able in perspect ive, or t h e scale of
t wo object s, or t h e det ail on t h e side of a box, or t h e pat t ern of a fabric t h at was in folds.
Th ese pot en t ial problems are n o lon ger problems, on ce you really see an d draw wh at you
see.
A View Through Your Viewfinder Frame
In Ch apt er 5, Fin din g t h e View, you were first in t roduced t o t h e viewfin der frame. Just for
pract ice, wh y n ot get out your viewfin der frame again ?
1. Decide on somet h in g t o draw. You can keep it simple.
2. Posit ion yourself, your drawin g mat erials in fron t of you, an d t h e object out in fron t of
you at an an gle (45 degrees) wh ere you can see your wh ole subject .
3. Pick a viewfin der frame t h at surroun ds t h e subject quit e
closely on all sides.
4. Draw a proport ion ally equal rect an gle on your paper.
5. Reposit ion t h e viewfin der frame un t il your subject is n icely
framed wit h in t h e win dow an d spen d some t ime really see-
in g your subject t h rough it .
6. Close on e eye an d do t h e followin g:
Observe t h e diagon als an d cen t er marks on t h e
viewfin der frame.
See wh ere your subject fit s again st t h e sides of t h e
frame.
Isolating an object with
a plastic picture plane.
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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See wh ere your subject t ouch es t h e floor or t able.
See wh ere it s t op is.
Look at t h e an gles.
7. Begin t o draw your subject on your paper in t h e same place as you see it in t h e frame.
8. Usin g an imagin ary vert ical lin e, ch eck all t h e an gles youve drawn t o see h ow t h ey
st ack up.
9. Add det ails, as you can really see t h em an d relat e t h em t o wh at you h ave drawn . Take
your time.
Using the viewfinder
frame.
Or, Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
As you work t h e drawin gs t h rough out t h e rest of t h is book, you can use an y, all, or n on e of
t h e guides, from your plast ic pict ure plan e t o your viewfin der frame. It all depen ds on h ow
con fiden t you feel. If you are n ot act ually usin g t h e guides, it s because you are usin g t h em
aut omat ically, in your min ds eye (or is it your eyes min dit s so h ard t o keep t h em
st raigh t ).
If you lose your place, use a guide; t h at s wh at t h ey are t h ere for. We will remin d you of
t h em from t ime t o t ime, but from n ow on , youll ch oose h ow t o use t h em an d wh et h er
you can , even part of t h e t ime, just see an d draw.
Accentuate the Negative
In Ch apt er 6, Negat ive Space as a Posit ive Tool, you learn ed h ow t o draw n egat ive space.
Heres an exercise t o h elp you review wh at you learn ed t h ere.
1. Divide your paper in t o four equal quadran t s.
2. Hold t h e viewfin der frame very st ill an d frame your subject in a win dow.
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3. Pick a spot of space somewh ere in side your subject t o st art , an d really see it . Close
on e eye an d see t h at spot un t il it becomes more real t h an t h e subject it self. You will
kn ow wh en t h is h as h appen ed because it will pop forward as a spot of space wh ile t h e
subject it self will fade or recede.
4. See wh ere t h at spot is relat ive t o t h e grid lin es on your viewfin der frame. You can also
look at t h e spot t h rough your plast ic pict ure plan e t o isolat e just wh ere it is relat ive t o
t h e grid.
5. Use t h e grid on your paper t o draw t h e first spot of space on t h e paper.
6. Th in k relat ively an d relat ion ally. Try t o see wh ere your spot is relat ive t o t h e marks on
t h e frame, t h e grid on t h e plast ic, an d t h e ligh t lin es on t h e paper.
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 draw more an d more of t h e n egat ive space sh apes, it will be easier an d easier t o fit
in t h e remain in g on es. Th e spaces aroun d your subject will act ually defin e your subject .
Wh en you h ave drawn all t h e n egat ive spaces on your drawin g, ch eck each on e in t urn
again st t h e subject it self. Make small correct ion s t o t h e sh apes of t h e n egat ive spaces as you
see t h em. You can ligh t ly sh ade t h e n egat ive space sh apes as you refin e t h em, if youd like.
Your subject will t ake t urn s wit h t h e space aroun d it on e will appear posit ive an d t h e
ot h er n egat ive, t h en t h ey will flip.
Wh en you are fin ish ed, your drawin g will be a very differen t record of seein g. Your subject
will come out of t h e space you h ave drawn aroun d it !
Making Arrangements
In Ch apt er 9 you made your first arran gemen t of object s t o creat e a st ill life. You learn ed
about van t age poin t an d viewpoin t , an d h ow lookin g at object s from differen t an gles could
ch an ge t h eir appearan ce. Now it s t ime t o pract ice drawin g an arran gemen t again .
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Slowly You Draw, Step-by-Step
Just for pract ice (an d isn t t h at wh at t h is is all about ?), make an ot h er arran gemen t of ob-
ject s or furn it ure t o draw n ow. Youll follow t h e same st eps as always, usin g t h e guides as
much or as lit t le as you n eed t h em.
1. Arran ge yourself comfort ably.
2. Select your object s or your view.
3. Arran ge your object s, st ill life composit ion , or move t h e furn i-
t ure t o suit you.
4. Decide on your viewpoin t an d eye level.
5. Adjust t h e ligh t in g if n ecessary.
6. Est ablish a format an d size of drawin g.
7. Take a momen t t o decide on your probable medium an d paper.
If you are n ot sure, go for a h igh -qualit y piece of paper; you
n ever kn ow .
8. Use t h e viewfin der frame t o see your ch oice.
9. Make a box on your paper t h at is proport ion ally equal t o your
viewfin der frame at an y size. Remember t h e diagon als t o keep
t h e box an d t h e frame in proport ion .
Lauren (upper) and one
of her students (lower)
arrange a few objects in
a pleasing way, and
then draw by the guide-
linesstep-by-step.
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.
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10. Use your plast ic pict ure plan e or your viewfin der frame t o see t h e arran gemen t or view
in space.
11. Sit e wh at you see on your page.
12. St art wit h ligh t plan n in g lin es for t h e simple sh apes, lin es, an gles, an d t h e gen eral
out lin 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 draw, youll wan t t o con sider t h e followin g:
1. Ch eck your in it ial ligh t drawin g for accuracy.
2. Ch eck t h e sh apes, t h e spaces, an d look at t h e n egat ive
spaces, h ow t h in gs overlap, an d wh ich way t h e an gles are.
See t h e basic geomet ric sh apes in space.
3. Use your viewfin der frame t o gauge an y an gle relat ive t o h or-
izon t al or vert ical, an d t h e grid marks on t h e edge of t h e
frame.
4. Use your pen cil t o do t h e same. Hold it at h orizon t al or
vert ical n ext t o an an gle an d see t h e differen ce.
5. You can use a carpen t ers an gle measure t o see an an gle an d t ran sfer it t o your
drawin g.
6. Draw a box for somet h in g t h at is h ard t o draw. Put t h e box in space, t h en draw t h e
t h in g in t h e box.
7. See relat ion ally. As you are sure of on e sh ape, relat e t h e ot h ers t o it . Keep ch eckin g
an d adjust in g un t il you are h appy wit h your drawin g.
Form and Function
Now, begin t o work on form.
You can add t on e, or t ry t o defin e t h e form wit h lin e, or you can leave it a con t our
lin e drawin g.
Try Your Hand
If you have a problem, use the
plastic picture plane and transfer
what you see to your drawing.
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If you ch oose t o add form, adjust your ligh t in g if n ecessary.
Make a t on al ch art for t h e values in your arran gemen t .
Squin t t o see t h e ext remes of value in you arran gemen t an d subdue t h e det ail an d
mid-t on es.
Pick out t h e ligh t est spot s an d t h e darkest .
Add some t on e t o t h e middle sh ades, from t h e ligh t er on es t o t h e darker on es.
Try t o see t on es as h avin g sh apes on your subject s.
Look at sh adows n ext t o t h in gs an d un der t h in gs as well as sh adows on ot h er t h in gs.
You can work t oward a very t on al drawin g or you can merely suggest volume, perh aps just
wit h sh adows. Add det ail an d t ext ure as you see t h em. Use t h ose n at uralist s eyes of yours
for a clear seein g of det ail.
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 pat-
tern on china, a fabric print, or fine detail on seashells.
Getting Some Distance on Your Work
Get up an d look at your work from a dist an ce, wit h fresh eyes. Don t h esit at e t o go back
an d fix somet h in g. Work pat ien t lyit is your drawin g.
As you work, be alert (t h e world n eeds more alert s). See t h e lin es, t on es, t ext ures, an d det ail
begin t o work t oget h er.
Det ermin e if your work is get t in g t o be all on e t on e wit h lit t le con t rast . You can ch an ge
your t on al ran ge in a n umber of ways, in cludin g:
Ligh t en in g t h e ligh t s
Darken in g t h e darks
Darken in g t h e main lin es in t h e con t our lin e
Erasin g out part of t h e t ext ure or t on e t o just suggest it
Your Learning-to-Draw Cheat Sheet
We t h ough t it migh t be h elpful t o h ave a ch eat sh eet , wit h all t h e rules in on e place,
so we creat ed t h is Learn in g t o Draw Ch eat Sh eet , wh ich also appears on t h e t ear-out card
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in side t h e fron t cover of t h is book. You can past e t h is list in side t h e cover of your sket ch -
book or t ack it up on t h e wall n ear your drawin g t able, referrin g t o it as you work.
Mean wh ile, youll always be able t o fin d it righ t h ere, in case t h at t ear card get s t oo dog-
eared from con st an t use!
1. Take yourself an d your work seriously. Make yourself a place t o work t h at is just for
you.
2. Set a t ime t o work. Make a dat e wit h yourself.
3. Look aroun d for some first subject s as ideas.
4. Arran ge yourself comfort ably so you can see your subject an d your paper easily.
5. Select your object s or your view.
6. Arran ge your object s, st ill life composit ion , or move t h e furn it ure t o suit .
7. Look at t h in gs flat or at an gles t o see h ow t h ey van ish t h at is, become smalleras
t h ey recede. Ellipses get smaller or flat t er as t h e object is t urn ed away. Look at t h e
main an gles in your view.
8. Decide on your viewpoin t an d eye level.
9. Adjust t h e ligh t in g if n ecessary.
10. Est ablish a format an d size of drawin g.
11. Decide on your medium an d paper.
12. Use t h e viewfin der frame t o see your ch oice.
13. Make a box on your paper t h at is proport ion ally equal t o your
viewfin der frame at your ch osen size.
14. Remember t h e diagon als keep t h e box an d frame in propor-
t ion .
15. Use your plast ic pict ure plan e or your viewfin der frame t o see
t h e arran gemen t or view in space.
16. Sit e wh at you see on your page.
17. St art wit h ligh t plan n in g lin es for t h e simple sh apes, lin es, an -
gles, an d t h e gen eral out lin e.
18. Ch eck your in it ial ligh t drawin g for accuracy.
19. Ch eck t h e sh apes an d t h e spaces. Look at t h e n egat ive spaces,
h ow t h in gs overlap, wh ich way t h e an gles are. See t h e basic
geomet ric sh apes in space.
20. Look t o see object s as if t h ey were t ran sparen t . See t h eir space.
Imagin e a dot t ed lin e at t h e back of wh ere t h ey are t o en sure
t h ere is en ough space for t h e object t o really be t h ere in space.
21. Use your viewfin der frame t o gauge an y an gle relat ive t o h ori-
zon t al or vert ical an d t h e grid marks on t h e edge of t h e frame.
Use your pen cil t o do t h e same. Hold it at h orizon t al or vert i-
cal n ext t o an an gle an d see t h e differen ce.
22. Use your carpen t ers an gle measure t o see an an gle an d t ran s-
fer it t o your drawin g.
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.
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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23. If you h ave a problem, use t h e plast ic pict ure plan e an d t ran sfer wh at you see t o your
drawin g.
24. Draw a box for somet h in g t h at is h ard t o draw. Put t h e box in space, t h en draw t h e
t h in g in t h e box.
25. See relat ion ally. As you are sure of on e sh ape, relat e t h e ot h ers t o it . Keep ch eckin g
an d adjust in g un t il you are h appy wit h your drawin g.
A Form for Form
Now, begin t o work on form. You can add t on e, or t ry t o defin e t h e form wit h lin e, or you
can leave it a con t our lin e drawin g.
1. If you ch oose t o add form, adjust your ligh t in g if n ecessary.
2. Make a t on al ch art for t h e values in your arran gemen t .
3. Squin t t o see t h e ext remes of value in your arran gemen t an d subdue t h e det ail an d
mid-t on es.
4. Pick out t h e ligh t est spot s an d t h e darkest .
5. Add some t on e t o t h e middle sh ades, from t h e ligh t er on es t o t h e darker on es.
6. Try t o see t on es as h avin g sh apes on your subject s.
7. Look at sh adows n ext t o t h in gs an d un der t h in gs an d on ot h er t h in gs.
8. You can work t oward a very t on al drawin g or you can merely suggest volume, perh aps
just wit h sh adows.
9. Add det ail an d t ext ure aft er you see t h e sh apes an d t h e form.
10. Use t h ose n at uralist s eyes of yours for a clear seein g of det ail.
11. Ren derin g t ext ure requires a mark t h at is appropriat e for describin g t h e t ext ure.
Experimen t on a separat e piece of paper.
12. Det ail an d t ext ure may also require a lot of plan n in g an d measurin g if t h ere is a pat -
t ern on ch in a, a fabric prin t , or fin e det ail on seash ells.
13. Get up an d look at your work from a dist an ce. Look wit h fresh eyes. Don t h esit at e t o
go back an d fix somet h in g. Try t h e reverse en d of a pair of bin oculars. Con sider t h e
view from a mirror.
14. Work pat ien t lyit is your drawin g.
15. As you work, see t h e lin es, t on es, t ext ures, an d det ail begin t o work t oget h er.
Th e fin ish poin t , as always, is your ch oice.
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Exercising Your Rights
As you may h ave realized by n ow, n on e of t h e exercises in t h is book is a on e-n igh t er. Youll
wan t t o go back t o each of t h em again an d again , because each of t h em h as somet h in g
un ique t o t each you t h at pract icin g can on ly improve. Don t forget , pract ice makes perfect ,
an d t h at s part of wh at learn in g t o draw is all about !
In t h e rest of t h is book, youre goin g t o be drawin g everyt h in g from pot s an d pan s t o lan d-
scapes t o an imals t o people, so you may wan t t o review t h e exercises in t h is ch apt er a few
more t imes before you t ake t h at big st ep. Or, if youre like us, youre ready t o get out t h ere
an d st art drawin g!
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.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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The Least You Need to Know
Looking back through your drawings will help you see just how far youve come al-
ready.
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!
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, Bloomsbury Review Interview, Jan/Feb 2000.
Th e skills for drawin g all t h at follows are yoursor, at least , wit h in your graspif you pro-
ceed st ep-by-st ep. Each of t h e n ext seven ch apt ers h as a t h eme area for you t o explore: from
in side your h ouse t o your garden , or out an d about in t h e coun t ryside, on a village st reet , at
a boat yard, on a farm, at t h e zooan ywh ere you ch oose t o go wit h your sket ch book or a
full drawin g set -up.
Your House Is Full of Ideas for Drawing Practice
In t h is ch apt er, youll begin by t akin g a walk t h rough your own h ouse an d seein g wh at
youve already got , just wait in g t o be drawn . Ch an ces are, youve got a wealt h of mat erial.
You can t ry an y subject as a sket ch book/ journ al en t ry, or you can set up t o t ry a larger,
more fin ish ed drawin g t h at you will work on a few t imes. If so, pick a n ice piece of paper
an d spen d t h e first session plan n in g, arran gin g, ligh t in g, an d sit in g your arran gemen t on
t h e page.
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Time Is of the Essence
On t h e plus side, your h ouse h as all your favorit e st uff. On t h e min us side, it h as most of
your dist ract ion s righ t t h ere, t oo. Of course, h igh ly disciplin ed profession als like Lauren
an d Lisa lon g ago came t o t erms wit h t h ese dist ract ion s. (An d if you believe t h at on e, we
h ave a bridge t h at you could buy )
Seriously, t h ough , bein g earn est about your t ime is t h e first st ep. Maybe you h ave h ad
en ough success wit h t h is book t o be more commit t ed t o your own work. If t h at s t h e case,
keep it up!
On ce youve foun d some st uff aroun d t h e h ouse you wan t t o draw, youll wan t t o set a t ime
t o work. Do en ough of your daily ch ores t o get by, but on ly just . Th is is t h e h ard part , leav-
in g t h ose dish es so you can draw. You may h ear your mot h ers voice in your h ead, t ellin g
you youre bein g self-in dulgen t or ch ildish . Lesson On e: Ign ore h er.
Get your coffee, your lun ch , wh at ever you n eed, an d give yourself a t ime slot t o work.
Some people fin d act ually writ in g t h e t ime on t h eir calen dar is en ough t o make t h em arrive
in t h eir st udio, ready t o work.
Turn on t h e an swerin g mach in e, t urn off t h e comput er. Turn on some music, t urn off t h e
TV. Put out t h e dog an d let in t h 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
A good place t o st art is righ t in your kit ch en youll be n ear t h e cof-
feemaker. However, youll wan t t o avoid t h e refrigerat or, for obvious
reason syoull en d up sn ackin g in st ead of sket ch in g. Wh at you will
ch oose t o draw in t h e kit ch en or an ywh ere aroun d t h e h ouse, for t h at
mat t erwill fall in t o t h ree cat egories:
1. Object s seen up close an d person al
2. A composed st ill life arran gemen t
3. A corn er of a roomas is, or you can rearran ge t h e
furn it ure
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!
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You will learn by t ryin g all of t h ese t h in gs. Perh aps, aft er you h ave t ried t o see it an d draw
it , you will also begin t o see your h ouse differen t ly an d en d up rearran gin g it (un less, like
Lisa, you do t h is all t h e t ime already).
But n ow, sin ce youre all set t led wit h your coffee an d your drawin g pad in your kit ch en
an yway, let s poke aroun d an d see wh at we can fin d t o draw.
Silverware
Forks, spoon s, an d kn ives can make t h e most in t erest in g of subject s for a drawin g. Reach
over an d open your silverware drawer an d pull out on e of each or t h ree of on e. Arran ge
t h em on a placemat , or set up an en t ire place set t in g, complet e wit h a vase an d fresh -picked
flower, an d draw t h at .
Silverware an d place set t in gs are just t h e begin n in g. Open your cupboards, t oo.
Anything from around
your house is fair game
as a drawing subject.
Set your table and draw
it, too!
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Pitchers and Bowls
Wh en you wan der t h rough your local art museum or galleries, youll probably n ot ice t h at
pit ch ers an d bowls aboun d in st ill lifes. Th ese object s are art ist s favorit es for good reason ;
t h ey h ave lovely curved lin es t h at are fun t o draw, an d t h eir varyin g sh apes an d sizes can
add in t erest , t oo.
If you decide t o draw a pit ch er or a bowl (or bot h ), you may wan t t o use some ot h er object s
in t h e kit ch en for your arran gemen t as well. A t ea t owel arran ged at t h e base of a pit ch er
can add bot h dimen sion an d sh adin g. Some apples or oran ges placed in a bowl can add
color (even wh en youre drawin g in black an d wh it e) an d t on 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 t rut h is, just about an yt h in g in your kit ch en is a pot en t ial drawin g subject . So wh et h er
it s a loaf of bread, a jug of lemon ade, or t h ou, get t h ee t o a drawin g pad.
Not Just for Sleeping Anymore
If youve fin ish ed your coffee (an d your st ill life), youve probably got
lot s of en ergy n ow. Th at s good, because it s t ime t o get up an d wan der
in t o some ot h er rooms. Let s st art wit h t h e bedroom, wh ere t h eres a
wealt h of t h in gs just wait in g t o be drawn .
First , t ake a look at t h e en t ire room. How is t h e furn it ure arran ged? Is it
pleasin g? Pick a van t age poin t you like an d quickly sket ch wh at you
see. You may wan t t o t oss a scarf over a bedpost t o add some t ext ure,
or move a plan t t o creat e a more eye-pleasin g arran gemen t . You may
decide t o leave t h e scarf an d t h e plan t wh ere youve moved t h em aft er
youve fin ish ed drawin g, t oo; t h at s part of t h e fun .
Next , pick some sin gular arran gemen t in your room t h at youd like t o
draw. Lisa h as an old spider plan t set in an equally old basket on an an -
t ique ch air sh e got at a Nebraska auct ion for 25 cen t s (everyt h in g in
Lisas h ouse comes wit h a st ory at t ach ed). You migh t h ave some of
your favorit e ph ot os or keepsakes arran ged on your dresser, or a lamp
an d some books on your n igh t st an d. Th e possibilit ies are en dless.
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 plan-
ning before you start drawing.
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Fabrics
Fabrics can make a surprisin gly pleasin g composit ion . Even if you don t sew, your clot h es,
comfort er, pillows, an d curt ain s are each of a differen t fabric, an d set t in g on e again st an -
ot h er can creat e an arran gemen t youll wan t t o draw.
It may h elp t o pret en d youre Mart h a St ewart . Art fully arran ge a few pillows again st your
h eadboard. Add a breakfast t ray (oh yeah , we all h ave t h ose h an dy). How about a pret t y
n igh t ie, or a fabric t h row? (Or some craft smen s t ools, a saw or t wo, an d t h at Harley )
Arran ge your fabrics as if t h eyre casually t h rown , wit h out t h em lookin g like a mess.
Fabrics presen t t h eir own un ique problems. Th ey are t h e essen ce of surface t ext ure, wit h all
sort s of spot s, lin es, pat t ern s, plaids, flowersyou n ame it sit t in g on t op of some flexible
mat erial t h at h as fallen in t o in t erest in g but h ard-t o-draw folds, creases, an d overlaps.
Th e solut ion is t o draw t h e sh apes first , as always, but t h is is ever so much more import an t
wit h fabric. Th en look at t on e, t h e ligh t s an d sh adows of t h e folds of fabric. Try t o ligh t ly
sh ade t o defin e wh at t h e fabric is doin g.
Wh en you can see in your drawin g wh at t h e fabric is act ually doin g, t h en an d on ly t h en
sh ould you st art addin g t h e surface t ext ure. See it disappear as t h e fabric folds un der it self.
Or is it covered by an ot h er object ? Does it come out on t h e ot h er side? Don t rush alon g
h ere; pat t ern an d t ext ure t ake t ime an d pat ien ce.
Lisas spider plant on
antique chair, drawn by
her daughter.
An artful arrangement
of fabrics can make a
lovely drawing.
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Shoes
Even if youre n ot Imelda Marcos, youve probably got more t h an on e pair of sh oes. Lisa is
n ot a sh oe maven , but h er closet reveals ridin g boot s, h ikin g boot s, t wo pairs of h eels (bot h
from t h e 70s), san dals, an d loafers. If youve got a pair of ridin g boot s, t ry lean in g t h em
again st t h e leg of a ch air, an d t h en drawin g t h em. Or put t h e san dals on a t h row rug an d
t h row in t h e t owel, t oo. Wh at you draw is limit ed on ly by your imagin at ion .
Even your shoes can
make a pleasing
arrangement.
Hats and Gloves
Pict ure a pair of elbow-len gt h gloves draped across t h e brim of a wide-brimmed h at , an d
youve got t h e makin gs of a lovely drawin g. But even if your gloves an d h at are less elegan t ,
t h eyre st ill a good st art for an in t erest in g arran gemen t .
Let s say t h e on ly h at you can fin d is a ski cap. Do you h ave ski gloves, t oo? No gloves at
all? Wh y n ot brew up a st eamin g cup of cocoa? Draw it an d it will warm you up on t h e
coldest of win t er days. Get t h e idea?
Set your hat and a bas-
ket on a table and draw
them.
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Drawing in the Living Room
Let s t ry an ot h er room. How about your livin g room? Is t h is a for-
mal place, reserved on ly for compan y? Or do you h ave a great
room wh ere your en t ire family gat h ers at t h e en d of t h e day? If
it s t h e lat t er, ch an ces are youll fin d everyt h in g from open books
t o un open ed mail, from t elevision remot e con t rols t o Gameboys.
An yt h in g in your livin g or great room is fair game, in cludin g your
spouse sn orin g in h is or h er favorit e ch air. But even if t h at ch air is
un occupied, it may be just t h e t h in g.
Try Another Chair
Th e first ch air you drew was a fairly simple on e, so t h is t ime, t ry
drawin g a ch air t h at s a bit more elaborat e. Youre in t h e livin g
room, so youve probably got a n umber of ch oicesfrom a well-
worn reclin er t o an an t ique rocker or even , perh aps, a Vict orian
set t ee or fain t in g couch . Take a look at t h e differen t t ext ures of
wood or fabric. Wh at pleases you most ?
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 usban d t eases t h at sh e will n ever h ave en ough an t ique lamps, an d, wh ile Lisa dis-
agrees an d in sist s t h at sh e bough t t h e last on e t h is past weeken d, fin din g an t ique lamps t o
draw will n ot be a problem if youre at Lisas h ouse.
An t iqueswh et h er lamps, t ables, or even Un derwood t ypewrit ersare t errific drawin g sub-
ject s for a n umber of reason s. Th eyre un usual (you won t fin d t h em at every Wal-Mart ),
t h eyre at t ract ive, an d t h ey usually h ave en ough visual in t erest t o carry off a drawin g all by
t h emselves, wit h out addin g a t h in g. Lamps, can dles, an d t h e warm glow t h ey give off, pro-
vide in t erest in g ch allen ges t o t h e careful observer.
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Objects That Reflect You
We all collect somet h in g, it seems, somet h in g t h at we just can t resist in a sh op, or some-
t h in g t h at we fin d on a t rip, or somet h in g we foun d in n at ure, an d t h en all of a sudden
t h ere are more of t h e same, an d a collect ion is in t h e makin g. Th ese are t h e t h in gs t h at per-
son al drawin gs are made of.
Lauren h as been a collect or sin ce ch ildh ood, wh en sh e filled h er dresser drawers wit h sh ells,
rocks, pin econ es, an d a collect ion of h un dreds of wildflowers pressed in waxed paper.
(Clot h in g was less import an t t h en .) Now sh e h as a large st udio t o h ouse all h er collect ion s,
wh ich are h er favorit e t h in gs t o draw.
Use t h e t h in gs t h at you love in your drawin gs t o give t h em a t ruly person al qualit y.
Bathroom Basics
Aft er all t h at coffee you h ad in t h e kit ch en , youve probably visit ed t h e bat h room on ce or
t wice already sin ce you began t h is ch apt er; let s h ead t h ere n ow on ce again an d see wh at
you can fin d t o draw h ere. Even t h is most ut ilit arian of rooms will surprise you wit h it s
pot en t ial drawin g subject s.
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 re-
ally 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.
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Wh at s on your bat h room coun t er? Half-empt y bot t les of lot ion , empt y can s of mousse,
open mascara t ubes, an d broken lipst icks or a pret t y arran gemen t of seash ells in a
basket ? A razor, n ail clipper, dirt y t owel, an d soap scum? Wh ich ever way, t h eres somet h in g
t h ere for you t o draw. Sure, t h e seash ells in t h e basket will make for a more visually pleas-
in g drawin g, but t h e det rit us will make for an un usual on e t h at may be visually st rikin g in
it s own righ t . Pret t y is as pret t y does, aft er all, an d beaut y is in t h e eye of t h e beh older.
Dont toss those empty
bottlesdraw them in-
stead! 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 t h at h as a sun n y win dow. Does t h e sun pour t h rough in t h e early morn in g or
just before sun set ? Maybe it get s filt ered n ort h ern ligh t , a favorit e of art ist s, or dappled
ligh t filt ered t h rough t h e leaves of a t all old t ree.
Wh at s on your win dowsill? An arran gemen t of colored bot t les can be t h e basis of a simple
but lovely lin e drawin gwit h out on e color pen cil bein g used. If your win dow is framed by
sweepin g sh eer curt ain s t h at flut t er in t h e breeze, an ot h er n ice drawin g subject is at your
fin gert ips.
Two lovely window
arrangements to draw
(see next page).
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By n ow, it sh ould be clear t h at t h e possibilit ies for drawin g subject s in your h ome are limit -
ed on ly by your imagin at ion . So grab your pen cil an d paper, an d get t o work!
Out of the House and onto the Patio (Door)
Wh ile your mat erials an d subject s can vary en dlessly, t h e process is essen t ially t h e same
every sin gle t ime you begin a n ew drawin g. Th e min or variat ion s are your n eeds at t h e t ime
an d your ch oices as t o h ow t o proceed, wh at medium t o use, or h ow
fin ish ed a piece you are t ryin g for.
Remember, for fun or for h elp, use your pat io or slidin g glass door as a
big plast ic pict ure plan e. Put a few object s on a t able righ t out side t h e
door an d t ry t o draw t h em on t h e glass. Use a dry-erase pen t h at makes
a readable lin e. You can draw your pat io or deck ch airs on t h e glass, or
maybe some pot t ed plan t s or a t rellis plan t ed wit h a vin e. You will fin d
t h at object s n eed t o be very close t o t h e door, or t h ey will be very
small wh en you draw t h em on t h e glass. If t h e ligh t out side is st ron g
en ough , you can make a t racin g of your drawin g on ligh t weigh t paper,
usin g t h e door as a big ligh t box. In an urban lan dscape, use your
apart men t win dow or glass t errace door; draw t h e buildin gs you see,
complet e wit h their win dows, t erraces, an d fire escapes.
Wh ere t h e fin ish poin t is will always be your ch oice. You are don e
wh en you are don e.
Back to the Drawing Board
Dry-erase pens are pens de-
signed to mark on smooth sur-
faces and wipe off easily. Delis
use them for writing the days
specials. Look for them in an art
or stationery store.
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On ce you begin t o look at t h e t h in gs in your h ouse as object s t o be drawn , youll fin d t h e
possibilit ies limit ed by on ly your imagin at ion . Don t be afraid t o experimen t . Not h in gs a
mist ake wh en it comes t o drawin g; everyt h in gs a learn in g experien ce. So grab t h at cof-
feepot an d your pen cil an d get t o work!
Your home truly is your
castle when it comes to
drawing subjects.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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!
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 ough t ime spen t wan derin g aroun d your h ouseit s t ime t o get out doors an d see wh at
else t h ere is t o draw. Not surprisin gly, t h eres a wealt h of mat erial just out side your door. Go
ah ead, open it up, an d st ep in t o t h e won derlan d of drawin g subject s t h at is your garden .
In t h e begin n in g, t h ere was Eden , t h at most famous of garden s. Sure, Adam an d Eve were
ban ish ed, but weve been workin g our way back ever sin ce. Wit h a sket ch book in h an d, you
can succeed wh ere Adam an d Eve failed (an d even get t h at t roublesome sn ake n ailed down
in an illust rat ion ) by drawin g a garden t h 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 st ep in drawin g an yt h in g in n at ure is learn in g t o see it an d draw it s part s, such as
t h e separat e part s of flowers, wit h t h e same at t en t ion youve learn ed t o give t o all det ails.
From pet als an d st amen s t o leaves an d st ems, every part of a flower h as a wealt h of det ail,
t h ere for t h e seein g.
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Wh en you first st art out drawin g specimen s from n at ure, it s best t o work at a scale t h at s 75
percen t t o 100 percen t of t h e origin al, so you can see an d draw t h e det ail.
Playin g wit h scale comes wit h pract ice, an d on ce youre comfort able
wit h workin g close t o realit y, for fun you can t ry 200 percen t or 400
percen t an d really see t h e det ail.
Take Your Sketchbook with You
Wh at if you h aven t got a garden of your own ? Wh at a great reason t o
h ead for t h e h ills or t h e bot an ical garden , or even t h e rit zy sect ion of
t own . Pack up your drawin g supplies in t h e t run k. For drawin g al fresco,
you may wan t t o add t h e followin g t o your drawin g kit as well:
A st ool, for sit t in g
An easel or drawin g board, for set t in g your pad on
Clips, t o h old your sket ch book in place
An umbrella or h at , for sh ade
Wh et h er youre drawin g in your garden or someon e elses, be aware of
place. A sen se of place is a st ron g elemen t in garden drawin g, wh at ever
t h e view. Con sider t h e followin g before you set up your st ool an d easel:
1. Make sure it is clear wh ere you are. Ligh t an d sh ade are as im-
port an t t o a drawin g as t h e object s t h emselves.
2. How does it feel?
Wh at is t h e ligh t like?
Wh at t ime of day is it ?
Do you feel t h e warmt h of t h e sun or a cool breeze, wel-
come sh ade on a h ot day, or t h e briskn ess of fall?
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.
Artists Sketchbook
Al fresco, Italian for in the
fresh air, is the term for doing
things outsideincluding draw-
ing, of course.
Try Your Hand
No matter what the weather,
make your garden subject as spe-
cial as it is through all the seasons.
Stigma
Style
Pistils
Stamen
Ovary
Petal
Filament
Anther
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It Started with Eden
Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know that the flower is paint-
ed 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
Wh en it comes t o flowers, a rose is n ot just a rose, as Gert rude St ein said, it is the rose, the
one you are lookin g at righ t t h is min ut e. Sure, it h as similarit ies t o ot h er roses, but it also
h as a det ail t h at is all it s own .
Learn t o look for t h is sin gularit y in all of n at ure. Th in k about in dividual plan t s as in dividu-
als. Lauren likes t o t h in k of t h em as if t h ey are frien ds, especially in t h e sprin g (t h e season
as we writ e t h is), wh en sh e h as been missin g t h em. Th en , it s like greet in g old frien ds an d
meet in g n ew on es.
Th eres n ot h in g like t h e feelin g wh en t h ose first crocuses an d daffodils come up in t h e gar-
den . It s a remin der of t h e cycle of life, of ren ewal an d rebirt h . No mat t er h ow ut t erly blue
youve felt all win t er, seein g t h ose first brave sh oot s of green push t h rough t h e sn ow re-
min ds us t h at summer is just aroun d t h e ben d.
Wh et h er it s sprin gt ime, summer, or aut umn , you can use wh at evers bloomin g in your gar-
den t o pract ice drawin g flowers an d leaves. Th is pract ice will h elp you ach ieve precision in
your drawin g t ech n ique, as well as h on in g your powers of min ut e observat ion .
Try to capture the feel of the weather and the season, as well as the day itself, in your drawing.
Atmosphere!
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Be a Botanist
Bein g a bot an ist doesn t h ave t o mean goin g back t o college. You can learn a lot about
plan t s simply by observin g t h em, an d, wh en it comes t o drawin g, observat ion t ime is t ime
well spen t .
1. Begin by examin in g t h e basic sh apes t h at are familiar,
in cludin g
Con es.
Disks.
Sph eres.
Trumpet s.
Flut ed sh apes.
Balls.
2. How do t h e pist ils an d st amen at t ach t o t h e st em? (You may
wan t t o refer back t o t h e drawin g at t h e begin n in g of t h is ch ap-
t er t o see just wh at an d wh ere pist ils an d st amen are.)
3. Coun t t h e pet als. Do t h ey appear in pairs or groups? Are t h ey
symmet rical? How do t h e flowers fit on t h e st em?
4. Look at leaves on t h e st em. Are t h ey alt ern at ely or opposit ely
arran ged? Look at t h e st em con n ect ion .
5. Get bot an y or garden in g books t o read about det ail an d st ruc-
t ure if t h ey are n ew t o you. Just flippin g t h rough t h e pages will
begin t o give you a bet t er idea of wh at flowers are all about .
Every flower and leaf of
every plant has a shape
and detail all its own.
Try Your Hand
When drawing a new species, re-
member to look for the angles
and proportions. Each butterfly
or lizard has its own shapes, pro-
portions, coloring, and texture to
explore as you draw. Shells, par-
ticularly, have a strong line or
axis from tip to end that needs
to be seen and drawn. The myri-
ad of detail in nature is its
strength and its wonder.
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Work on a Blooming Stem
Okay, en ough st udyin g! It s t ime t o t ry drawin g a bloomin g st em. For your first subject ,
youll wan t t o look at buds, seeds, an d st ems, an d decide wh at youd like t o draw. On ce
youve picked out a subject , use t h e drawin g ch ecklist t h at appears on t h e t ear-out referen ce
card in t h e fron t of t h e book, an d get t o work.
As t h e season progresses, look at seeds, pods, berries, n ut s, con es an yt h in g you can fin d
in your garden or an y ot h er garden , an d draw t h ose, t oo. Th e more you draw, remember,
t h e more pract ice you get . Even t ually, t h e sh apes an d forms will be remembered by your
h an d, familiar an d easy t o execut e.
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
Your flower drawin gs can in clude all t h e win ged visit ors t o your garden an d a mix of
seash ells aroun d t h e pot s or alon g t h e pat h s. Ch in ese an d Japan ese n at ure art h as always
in cluded but t erflies, in sect s, an d seash ells t o complimen t t h e flowers an d foliage, an d you
can do t h is, t oo. Add wh at you see in your garden , from but t erflies an d h ummin gbirds in
n ort h ern garden s t o sn akes an d lizards on t ropical pat ios.
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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
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!
The Art of Drawing
Lauren learned flower fairy tales and woods lore from her grandfather, who was an avid natural-
ist 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.
Wildflowers are Lauren s favorit es; t h ey h ave always been . Th ey were like frien ds wh en sh e
was a kid, an d are st ill. For Lauren , t h e best part of sprin g is seein g t h em ret urn , wait in g
for a special on e, an d h un t in g in woods or fields t o fin d a wildflower t h at sh e h asn t seen
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lat ely. Wildflower meadows are great places t o fin d beaut iful an d plen t iful drawin g subject s.
Th e n at ural arran gemen t s are fun an d freeform, wit h out t h e pressure of a h igh ly arran ged
st ill life. Or, t ake t h e ch allen ge t o see a great composit ion lurkin g in t h at aimless meadow.
The natural beauty of
wildflowers is a natural
for your sketchbook, too.
The Almighty Vegetable
You can t ell h ow much t h e It alian s love t h eir garden s by lookin g at It alian art work. Th e at -
t en t ion t o det ail an d t h e variat ion is en dless. On e of It alian art ist s favorit e subject s (ot h er
t h an overweigh t women an d proph et s, t h at is) is t h e almigh t y veget able. But don t run
back in side an d open t h e crisper of your refrigerat or. Let s t ry drawin g some veget ables be-
fore t h eyve been separat ed from t h eir leaves an d vin es.
Drawin g in your (or someon e elses) veget able garden is a season -lon g en deavor. You can
begin at plan t in g t ime, wh en t h e first compost is mixed wit h t h e n ewly defrost ed eart h an d
you lay in t h e rows wh ere youll plan t your seeds. Try t o capt ure h ow t h at fresh -t urn ed
eart h smells (especially if your compost in cludes man ure ).
Next , it s plan t in g t ime. Draw a quick sket ch aft er t h e seeds are raked in . Get t h e idea?
Youre makin g a record of a season in your veget able garden , on e st ep at a t ime.
Soon , t h e first fragile green seedlin gs will pop up. Get out t h ere wit h your sket ch book an d
draw t h em, t oo. Sure, t h e drawin g will st ill be most ly dirt , but soon en ough your garden
will be burst in g wit h growt h , an d youll h ave your drawin g t o see h ow far it an d you
h ave come.
Before you kn ow it , t h e first pickin gs will be ready. Draw t h em droopin g from t h eir vin es,
an d t h en draw t h em in t h eir basket s, fresh ly picked.
How did mere dirt en d up as so much boun t y? Too man y veget ables, so lit t le t ime. St ill,
t ake a min ut e t o sket ch t h e bumper crop, before t h e big giveaway. Be sure t o in clude t h at
sign at t h e en d of your driveway: Free Zucch in i.
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Aft er t h e h arvest , t h e empt y vin es an d st alks may already be begin n in g t o brown . Draw
t h em before you rake t h em out an d compost t h em. Th ere! Youve recorded a season in your
veget able garden . An d n ext year, you can do it all over again . Drawin g veget ables, vin es,
an d st alks is a great pract ice in discoverin g a variet y of sh apes an d forms an d h ow t h ey
emerge an d evolve across t h e season an d t h e pages of your sket ch 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 It alian s are also mast ers at con t ain er garden s. Th eir balcon ies an d doorways are always
decorat ed wit h collect ion s of pot s an d plan t ers, filled wit h variet y in color an d t ext ure.
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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Plan t ers, win dow boxes, an d con t ain er garden s are all small exercises in perspect ive, wh ich
well be discussin g in Ch apt er 16, Wh at s Your Perspect ive? Draw t h em usin g in formal per-
spect ive. Est ablish eye level. See t h em as geomet ric sh apes in space: cylin ders, sph eres, cubes,
an d rect an gular boxes. Make t h em sit or h an g correct ly, an d t h en fill t h em wit h det ail.
Garden t ools again st a st on e wall or t h e side of a garden sh ed make a ch armin g arran gemen t
wit h as much ch allen ge as you are up for t h at day.
Gardens Other Than Your Own
Wh en Lauren was in college, sh e cut most of h er figure-drawin g classes for t rips up t o t h e
green h ouses an d barn s t h at were at t h e edge of campus in t h e agricult ure sch ool. Sh e drew
every aft ern oon in t h e warm moist air of t h e green h ouses, breat h in g deeply en ough t o
Everything in your garden is fair game for a
drawing.
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remember t h e scen t un t il t h e n ext t ime sh e could get t h ere. Wh en it
was warmer, sh e wen t t o t h e barn s an d drew baby pigs an d sh eep, an d
somet imes t h e colt s in t h e fields. Her sket ch books, wh en sh e t urn ed
t h em in , were a surprise t o h er in st ruct ors, but t h ey h ad realized sh e
was n ot at t en din g t h e life classsh e was out drawin g life.
As weve said, garden s can in clude garden cen t ers, green h ouses,
bot an ical garden sn ot just a garden of your own . Ch an ces are, your
local n ursery won t min d a bit if you set up your st ool an d easel in t h e
middle of t h eir green h ouse. Th ey may even ask t o purch ase on e or t wo
of your drawin gsyour first sale!
On e word of warn in g: Out door drawin g at t ract s at t en t ion , wh ich isn t
always good for alt ered st at es of con sciousn ess. If you prefer t o work
un observed, youll n eed t o fin d a n ice, quiet place t o work, wit h out
out side in t errupt ion s. An d t h at in cludes makin g sure t h eres n ot a bull
on t h e same side of t h e fen ce as you are!
What Else Is in Your Garden?
Our garden s are reflect ion s of ourselves, our experimen t s, an d our fan t asies. Th ey are places
of t h e soul, an d so are perfect for drawin g. Your garden can be simple an d aust ere, pract ical
or fan ciful, fussy or t ailored an d so can your drawin gs. Try t o reflect your garden s per-
son alit y in your drawin gs, t h en t ry an ot h er, very differen t garden , wit h a differen t ap-
proach . Make your garden drawin gs as person al as t h e garden s t h emselves.
From Figures to FrogsAnd a Few Deer and Gnomes
St at ues, from figures t o frogs, wit h a few deer, wh eelbarrows, an d gn omes t h rown in for
fun , can be presen t in your garden an d your drawin gs. Th e somewh at dimin ut ive scale of
garden orn amen t s can be fun t o play wit h in a drawin g. Flowers are fun wit h scaled-down
garden st at ues because t h ey become relat ively larger t h an usual.
Orn amen t als an d st at ues go from classical t o comic, from flash y t o peaceful an d con -
t emplat ive, from n at ural mat erials t o design er h igh -t ech looks. Wh at ever you ch oose,
remember: It s your garden an d your drawin g.
Arch es an d gat es are ot h er won derful opport un it ies t o pract ice perspect ive, wh ich
well be discussin g in Ch apt er 16. Draw t h e basic sh ape in in formal perspect ive, but
use diagon als t o h elp you locat e t h e cen t er of an y open in g or arch correct ly.
Garden pat h s, lon g an d win din g or sh ort an d st raigh t , add di-
rect ion an d st ruct ure t o a drawin g. Make sure you h ave drawn
t h em wit h eye level in min d so t h ey lay flat in t h e garden scape.
Walls are great backdrops for t h e det ail in a garden , but t h ey
are also in t erest in g subject s in t h emselves. Get t h e an gles righ t
an d wat ch t h at t h e rock sh apes don t become mon ot on ous. See
t h e small sh apes an d an gles t h at make each rock differen t .
If you are lucky en ough t o h ave rocks, a rockscape, a rock-lin ed
reflect in g pool, or a wat erfall, you h ave a world of places t o ex-
plore in your drawin gs.
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.
Try Your Hand
Shadows on a plain wall can be a
fascinating subject for a drawing.
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Birds, Birdhouses, Feeders, and Squirrels
Our garden s also are h ome t o a year-lon g variet y of birds as well as t h e somet imes un wan t -
ed squirrels. Lauren s yard h as a collect ion of feeders t h at are very busy all day lon g. Sh e
can wat ch t h e early feeders from h er h ot t ub as sh e drin ks t h e first of h er man y cups of cof-
fee, an d sh e h as a daily compet it ion wit h t h ree squirrels t o see wh os out of bed first . Some
morn in gs, sh e can cat ch t h em as t h ey come out of t h eir n est in a far t ree.
Whether its a plethora of flamingos, drying flow-
ers, or birdhouses, the ornamental objects in a
garden can make for wonderful drawing subjects.
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All of wh at h appen s in your yard is mat erial for drawin g, t oo. Th e feeders an d birdh ouses
are great for pract icin g perspect ive, t oo. You can h an g t h em at various h eigh t s an d draw
t h em usin g in formal relat ion al perspect ive, or you can draw t h em wit h formal t wo-poin t
perspect ive as an exercise. Even t ually, you will fin d t h ey are easy t o see an d draw at an y
an gle or h eigh t .
Th e birds an d squirrels move aroun d quickly, but if you h ave a good viewin g win dow, you
can begin t o make some sket ch es t h at capt ure t h eir gest ures, sh apes, an d proport ion 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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Chairs in the Grass
Ch airs in t h e yard are just like ch airs in t h e h ouse, except you can get a lit t le t an wh ile you
are drawin g. Adiron dack ch airs are a ch allen ge, picn ic t ables n eed t o be drawn so t h ey st ay
flat on t h e groun d, roun d t ables wit h umbrellas are well wort h t h e t ime t o see an d draw, an d
even a lin e of clot h es dryin g in t h e breeze can make a n ice drawin g. Be aware of sh adows
an d t h e sh apes t h ey make. Th ey can add a lot t o a simple drawin g of a ch air in your yard.
Th e possibilit ies in your garden an d beyon dare limit ed on ly by your imagin at ion . So get
out t h ere an d see wh at you can see an d draw.
Get off your chair and draw it! Begin to see how to cre-
ate an environment and a mood, or capture a moment
in a blowing breeze, with your drawing.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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 new-
found knowledge and apply the principles of perspective, starting with your house, your neighbor-
hood, 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 draw-
ing 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 Complet e Let t ers of Vin cen t van Gogh
Perspect ive is a set of rules t o explain h ow t o draw object s in space an d make adjust men t s
for t h e differen ce bet ween wh at t h e eye sees an d t h e min d kn ows, or t h in ks it kn ows. For
example, t h e min d kn ows t h at a cube h as six equal sides, but wh en a cube is seen in space,
t h e sides seen at an an gle seem t o dimin ish as t h ey recede.
Perspect ive h as always been a ch allen ge t o art ist s, an d man y, like van Gogh , made elaborat e
con t rapt ion s t o h elp t h em see an d draw t h in gs in space. Perspect ive can seem a ch allen ge
for you, t oo, but you can use it as a t ool t o h elp you improve your drawin g.
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In t h is ch apt er, well brin g perspect ive in t o clear focus an d simplify it so even an idiot can
un derst an d. In fact , t h eres n ot h in g t erribly complicat ed about perspect ive; it s just a mat t er
of recordin g on t h e page wh at t h e eye is really seein g.
Understanding Perspective
We are used t o seein g t h ree-dimen sion al object s on a t wo-dimen sion al piece of paper be-
cause of t h e developmen t of ph ot ograph y, but ph ot ograph y was on ly an idea durin g t h e
Ren aissan ce an d almost un t il van Gogh s t ime.
Th e developmen t of ph ot ograph y, as a mean s of complet ely accurat ely represen t in g t h ree-
dimen sion al space, ch an ged a lot of t h in gs for art ist s. For example, t h ey couldn t compet e
wit h a camera wh en it came t o reproducin g realit y, so t h ey began t o
experimen t wit h t h eir own ways of seein g t h in gs, wh ich led in t o all
t h e modern sch ools of pain t in g t h at we n ow kn ow, such as cubism, im-
pression ism, an d abst ract expression ism.
But wh ile modern sch ools of pain t in g may h ave alt ered realit y, t h e fact
of perspective remain s a given in t h e way we perceive t h e world aroun d
us. Perspect ive is a kin d of trompe loeil, in wh ich we kn ow an object s
act ual size, even t h ough it seems very small. Th e moon , for example,
looks as if it would fit bet ween your fin gert ips, but you kn ow t h at it
is act ually much bigger.
How t o ren der perspect ive on t h e page h as lon g been a problem an d a
fascin at ion for art ist s. Wh en it s h an dled well, t h e eye of t h e beh older
will accept it as n at urally as it accept s a real scen e in space. A ch air
t h at s smaller t h an an ot h er, for example, will feel fart h er away.
Perspective Simplified
Perspect ive can be divided in t o a n umber of subcat egories, wh ich well
keep as simple as we can :
Informal perspective is a way t o see t h e relat ion sh ips bet ween
object s in space. It s wh at you see on t h e pict ure plan e, drawn
on paper by observin g an d measurin g t h in gs again st t h in gs,
sh apes again st sh apes, spaces again st spaces, an d on e again st
t h e ot h er.
Aerial perspective is t h e relat ive blurrin g of object s, color, or
det ail in space. Scale is seein g t h at object s get smaller as t h ey re-
cede in t h e dist an ce. Foregroun d object s appear t o h ave more
det ail an d color or color in t en sit y. Images in deep space are less
dist in ct an d less colored.
Formal perspective, a more exact in g way of lookin g at an d
drawin g object s in space, is based on plan es or sides of object s,
like walls of a h ouse, van ish in g, or dimin ish in g, t o poin t s at
eit h er side of t h e h orizon lin e. It is n ot always n ecessary if you
see an d draw relat ively an d make a few observat ion s about
t h in gs in lan dscape space.
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 paint-
ed seem so three-dimensional
you cant quite believe it isnt
really there.
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.
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Perspective and the Picture Plane
You h ad pract ice drawin g wit h a plast ic pict ure plan e t o see t h e t h ree-dimen sion al space in
a st ill life con den sed on t o t h e t wo-dimen sion al surface of t h e plast ic. Your pat io or slidin g
glass door can be used as a big pict ure plan e t h rough wh ich you can see t h ree-dimen sion al
space con den sed on t h e surface of t h e glass, an d you can draw it righ t t h ere for fun or t o
see h ow t h in gs in space relat e t o each ot h er.
Out an d about , you can t ry lookin g at a lan dscape or a buildin g t h rough your car win dow,
for a movin g pict ure plan e. Try it t o see a complicat ed bit of perspect ive, like a dock or
bridge, or look at a complicat ed roof. You will see t h at all t h e an gles, sh apes, an d relat ive
scale t h at make lan dscape space look accurat e is righ t t h ere on your car win dow. As wit h
t h e slidin g glass door, object s will appear quit e small, but you will get t h e idea.
Use your car win dow t o remin d you t h at all you n eed t o do is see an d draw.
Perspective in Pieces
Perspect ive can be dealt wit h in various ways:
In formal Perspect ive
Scale an d relat ivit y
Measurin g an d sit in g
Aerial perspect ive
Well look at each of t h ese met h ods in a few pages. Formal
Perspect ive
On e poin t
Two poin t
Th ree poin t
Artists Sketchbook
Scale in drawing is the rendering
of relative size. An object or per-
son or tree, as it is seen farther
away, will seem smaller than an-
other of the same size that is
closer.
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 pollu-
tion are duel dangers, to you, and to the environment!
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Let s con sider eye level as t h e key t o un derst an din g van ish in g poin t s
an d on e-poin t perspect ive. As you look at an object in a st ill life or t h e
corn er of a room or out at a lan dscape, it is eye level, in your view an d
on your paper, t h at most det ermin es t h e act ual image.
Wh en drawin g lan dscapes or t h in gs in perspect ive, t h e horizon line is
t h e lin e t o wh ich all plan es an d lin es van ish . As you look out on a
lan dscape, you can be lookin g up at , st raigh t at , or down at t h e view,
t h e h orizon lin e, an d t h e van ish in g poin t s, t o wh ich everyt h in g will
disappear (seem t o get smaller).
You can t h in k of eye level as h ow an d wh ere you are viewin g t h e
lan dscapelookin g up, lookin g at , or lookin g down . In lan dscapes, eye
level is also referred t o as t h e h orizon lin e. Wh ere you posit ion yourself
an d wh ere you posit ion t h e h orizon or eye level in a drawin g great ly
affect wh at you see an d h ow you draw 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.
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.
Eye level Below eye level
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Now, let s look at t h e t h ree ways of viewin g formal perspect ive.
One-point perspective is a sin gle st raigh t -on view in t o space. To en vision on e-poin t
perspect ive, look down a st reet , st raigh t down a plowed field, or alon g a fen ce or a
t ree-lin ed coun t ry lan e. Th e road, t h e t rees, t h e fen ces, or t h e rows in t h e field will
seem t o van ish t oward a cen t ral poin t st raigh t out in fron t of you at eye level.
Above eye level
At the bottom of the pre-
vious page, and here, at
left are three drawings,
one executed at eye level,
one above eye level look-
ing down, and one below
eye level looking up.
Eye level Single vanishing point
One-point perspective: View down a few
roads toward a central vanishing point.
Two-point perspective is based on t h e fact t h at plan es seen at an an gle will recede in
space. Th ey are direct ed t oward van ish in g poin t s on eit h er side of t h e h orizon lin e or
eye level.
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Three-point perspective adds a t h ird van ish in g poin t an d represen t s a fairly radical
viewpoin t . Try it aft er you h ave mast ered in formal, on e-poin t , an d t wo-poin t perspec-
t ive.
Two-point perspective is
vanishing points on the
horizon or eye level.
Three-point perspective
adds height or depth, for
a radical view.
VP
Eye level
Rectangle/cube looking down Three-point perspective above eye
level.
Lin es of h ouses, buildin gs, fen ces, bridges, roads, t rees, or an yt h in g else, seen at an
an gle, will follow an d recede t o t h e poin t s on eit h er side, oft en far out side t h e area of
t h e pict ure it self. It can be easier t o t ry t o see perspect ive simply as an gles in space
rat h er t h an n eedin g t o draw in t h e van ish in g poin t s.
Eye level
VP VP
VP
VP
VP
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Tools for Landscape and Perspective
Wh en youre out in t h e world drawin g, bein g prepared is key t o ren derin g perspect ive bot h
effect ively an d easily. Here are some h elpful h in t s:
Sh arpen lead pen cils for lan dscape drawin g wit h a sh arp pocket kn ife or ut ilit y kn ife t o
make a ch isel poin t . It makes a un ique mark t h at seems appropriat e for lan dscape
work, but you may fin d t h at you like it for all sort s of draw-
in g, on ce you t ry it .
Be a scout wh en you are out an d about . Take supplies so you
can en joy yourself an d get some work don e.
Wh en out drawin g lan dscapes, t ake t h e t ime t o look an d fin d
t h e view t h at you really like. Don t set t le for t h e first spot
t h at you see.
Use your h an d t o frame your arran gemen t , composit ion , or
scen e.
Take alon g a viewfin der frame an d/ or a plast ic pict ure plan e
t o h elp. Draw a few boxes t o mat ch your viewfin der frame
ah ead of t ime an d use t h em wit h t h e frame t o see your view.
Getting Small and Smaller in Space
Wh et h er you begin t o draw perspect ive out side or in t h e comfort an d privacy of your st u-
dio is up t o you an d t h e weat h er.
Try Your Hand
Sharpen lead pencils for land-
scape drawing with a sharp pock-
etknife or utility knife to make a
chisel point.
Our technical editor,
Dan Welden, contributes
this beautiful drawing il-
lustrating three-point
perspective looking
down.
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You can decide h ow much you wan t t o use formal perspect ive, wit h all t h e van ish in g poin t s
an d lin es, or wh et h er you prefer t o see relat ively an d just draw. Perspect ive always comes in
h an dy for difficult views an d complicat ed buildin gs. Try t o learn t h e basics an d t h en decide as
you go.
1. Est ablish in g your view is first , wh et h er youre in side or out . Try a
few fast t h umbn ail sket ch es t o see if you like t h e sh apes an d an -
gles. Don t worry much about perfect ion ; just do t h em.
2. Decide on t h e view t h at you like an d look at it . Decide wh ere you
are relat ive t o t h e view. Are you lookin g up, down , or st raigh t at
t h e main part or cen t er of in t erest in your drawin g?
3. Aft er you h ave est ablish ed eye level an d t h e h orizon lin e ligh t ly
on your drawin g, you can begin t o draw in t h e sh apes you will
draw in perspect ive. St art wit h somet h in g simple like a cube.
In side, a cube is easy t o fin d; out side, pick a simple buildin g, like
a cot t age, t o st art .
4. Perspect ive is all about seein g plan es in space, so you wan t t o
begin wit h an object t h at is t urn ed away from you, at an an gle.
Th e sides of t h e object , cube, or cot t age, will van ish , or get small-
er, as t h ey go back away from you in space.
Learning to See, Measure, and Draw in Perspective
Perspect ive is n ot t h at h ard, an d for t h e more obsessive-compulsive of us, it is rat h er fun . So,
wit h t h e addit ion of a ruler t o h elp wit h t h e lin es, you are ready t o t ry it .
1. Sit e your object on your paper an d decide on your eye level or h orizon lin e. Hold your
paper h orizon t al; it will give you more room.
Is your object correct ly placed, relat ive t o your eye level?
Is it above, at , or below eye level?
Draw it on your paper. Most t imes, you will sit e your cube or
cot t age sligh t ly below eye level, un t il you decide t o draw t h e
cast le on t h e h ill or your fan t asy moun t ain t op cabin . Th e sides
of your object will recede t o poin t s at t h e far sides of t h at lin e.
2. Th e first st ep in perspect ive is t o measure t h e h eigh t of t h e object
you are goin g t o draw on t h e paper. Look at t h e corn er of t h e ob-
ject an d measure t h e h eigh t of t h at n earest corn er an d draw it .
You can measure t h e h eigh t again st your pen cil wit h your t h umb.
3. Draw t wo poin t s on your h orizon lin e or eye-level lin e at eit h er
side of your paper.
4. Now, ligh t ly draw lin es from t h e t op an d bot t om of your corn er
t o t h e poin t s on eit h er side. Th ese lin es represen t t h e plan es or
sides of your object van ish in g in space. Easy, h uh ?
5. Next , you h ave t o est ablish t h e len gt h of t h ose sides. Are t h ey
equal? Wh ich on e is lon ger an d h ow much ? See t h em relat ively,
an d measure t h em wit h your pen cil again st t h e h eigh t , wh ich
you h ave as an est ablish ed given .
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 an-
other vantage point. Try a view,
and move on and try another
until you are happy.
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 van-
ishing 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.
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6. Draw vert ical lin es for t h e far en ds of t h e t wo sides of your cube or cot t age.
7. Draw in t h e t op if you can see it . Th e sides of a rect an gle van ish t o t h e same poin t , so
you can draw in t h e ligh t lin es t o make t h e t op. See t h e followin g figure.
Not so h ard, is it ? Th e rest is just more of t h e same.
Closing the Roof
Let s fin ish off your first perspect ive drawin g an d put a roof on t h at cot t age or cube. A
roofa simple on e on a cot t age or a cube, an ywayis an ot h er set of plan es t h at are paral-
lel t o on e side wall of t h e st ruct ure an d van ish t o t h e same poin t .
Th e roof is also cen t ered on t h e en d wall of t h e st ruct ure, wh ich mean s t h at you h ave t o
det ermin e t h e middle of t h e en d wall. It s easy!
1. Draw ligh t diagon als in t h e en d wall from corn er t o corn er.
2. Th en , draw a vert ical lin e up t h rough t h e X made by t h e di-
agon als. Th at lin e is t h e middle of t h e plan e or wall seen in
space.
3. Measure t h e h eigh t of t h e roof, called t h e gable or peak, by
comparin g it t o your base un it , t h e n ear corn er t h at you
measured t o begin .
4. Draw in t h e peak of t h e roof.
5. Draw lin es from t h at poin t down t o t h e t wo t op corn ers of
t h at side or plan e, an d you will h ave drawn t h e sh ape of t h e
gable en d of t h e roof.
6. Th e ridge of t h e roof is t h e t op. Th at lin e is parallel t o t h e
side of t h e st ruct ure an d van ish es t o t h e same poin t . Draw a
lin e from t h e peak t o t h e poin t wh ere t h e side walls van ish .
Th at is t h e ridge lin e of t h e roof.
7. Th e far en d of t h e roof meet s t h e back corn er of t h e st ruc-
t ure an d is rough ly parallel t o t h e fron t en d of t h e roof. It
act ually slan t s a bit more t h an t h e fron t en d of t h e roof. See
if you can figure out h ow much .
Weve drawn a cube in
perspective to illustrate
these steps.
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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From t h is poin t on , perspect ive is careful measurin g an d plot t in g of lin es t o posit ion ot h er
elemen t s like win dows, doors, an d ch imn eys correct ly, an d drawin g t h em so t h ey van ish t o
t h e righ t poin t . A complicat ed h ouse h as more sh apes t o draw, t h at s all.
Th e more you pract ice simple sh apes in perspect ive, t h e more you will see t h e an gles an d
relat ion sh ips. In man y cases, you will be able t o est imat e t h e an gles for simple sit uat ion s
an d use t h e van ish in g poin t s for more complicat ed on es. Is a n ew career in arch it ect ure or
lan dscape plan n in g in your fut ure?
See how easy it is to
draw a simple house in
perspective? Lauren
(upper) and one of her
students (lower) give it
a try.
Measure for Measure
Wh en youre workin g wit h in formal perspect ive, measurin g is key. Here are some aspect s t o
t ake in t o con siderat ion :
1. Take measuremen t s by h oldin g up a pen cil at an un varyin g dist an ce from your eyes.
Keepin g it at arms len gt h will keep it con st an t , an d t h e con st an cy is import an t for
t h at sin gle view.
2. Use t h e pen cil t o measure a lin e t h at can be your base by markin g it alon g t h e len gt h
of t h e pen cil wit h your t h umb.
3. Th en , apply t h at measuremen t t o gauge t h e relat ive rat io of an ot h er lin e, sh ape, or
space.
These lines and curves
are in ratio to the base
unit line.
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4. Est ablish t h e an gles, measuremen t s, an d relat ion s t h at are crucial t o creat in g viable
space.
5. See wh ere roads con verge an d ban ds of t rees get smaller.
An an gle measure h elps you t o see an gles of perspect ive in space, so you don t h ave t o draw
in t h e van ish in g poin t s except in a really complicat ed piece. Th e more you draw, youll
learn t o est imat e van ish in g poin t s, an d see t h em as an gles. Th at will be close en ough for a
lot of drawin gs.
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.
Comparing the basic
unit of measurement
against other lengths.
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 see-
ing and drawing of it.
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A Few More Tips on Planes in Space
To det ermin e t h e middle of a plan e t urn ed in space, such as t h e wall of a h ouse t o posit ion a
door or win dow in t h e middle, or t o fin d t h e middle of an en d wall t o posit ion t h e roof,
draw diagon als in t h e rect an gle t h at represen t s t h e wall or plan e. Th is works wh et h er t h e
plan e is facin g st raigh t at you or at an y an gle, an d wh et h er it is above, at , or below eye level.
As in t h e figure below, a lin e drawn t h rough t h e crossed diagon als an d parallel t o t h e vert i-
cals will be in t h e middle. You can measure alon g t h e fron t of t h e plan e t o est ablish t h e
middle, an d draw a lin e from t h at poin t t h rough t h e crossed diagon als t o t h e middle of t h e
ot h er side.
Use a paper angle meas-
ure to see and transfer
angles to a drawing.
Some more poin t s t o con sider:
You can divide a plan e as man y t imes as you wan t by drawin g
successive set s of diagon als.
You can fit t h e curve of an arch in t o t h e rect an gle aft er you
h ave cen t ered it . It s an easier way t o draw it .
You can draw a dock or bridge an d get all t h e piers correct ly
placed by usin g diagon als t o even ly break up t h e space.
You can divide a plan e t h at is t ilt ed in space, such as a roof, t o
det ermin e t h e middle, for placin g t h e ch imn ey or a dormer
correct ly.
In a complicat ed st reet scen e viewed st raigh t across, such as t h e on e below, most of t h e
plan es can be facin g square on . At t h e edges of your vision , h owever, t h in gs will st art t o
van ish t o poin t s at eit h er side of t h e h orizon or eye level, or t o a cen t er van ish in g poin t .
Diagonals drawn
through a plane vanish-
ing in space establish
the center of the plane.
Try Your Hand
Your central point of interest can
be off center.
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A street scene viewed
head-on with things
vanishing on the sides.
In a complicat ed scen e viewed at an an gle, like t h e on e followin g, t h e various plan es of
h ouses, walls, fen ces, an d smaller it ems like cars, t rucks, an d even bikes, bridges, gat es, or
ph on e boot h s will be recedin g or van ish in g t o t h e t wo van ish in g poin t s at eit h er side of
eye level.
A complicated scene
where things vanish to
the sides.
Detail, Detail, Detail: God Is in the Details
Det ail will be covered as we en coun t er it in Ch apt ers 17, Th is Lan d Is Your Lan d, an d 18,
Made by Man : Out in t h e Lan dscape, wh ere well explore workin g out side. Det ail t ells
more about wh at you see an d wh y you ch ose a part icular view, but it sh ould follow n at u-
rally aft er you h ave accurat ely drawn t h e basic sh apes of t h e lan dscape an d got t en a sen se
of t h e space an d t h e view.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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The Least You Need to Know
Perspective is a useful tool in seeing and drawing landscape space and putting three-
dimensional 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.
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 it s splen dor, majest y, an d complexit y, h as always fascin at ed art ist s. We all
seek a sen se of place, an d we relat e t o lan dscape images bot h because t h ey are comfort able
an d familiar an d because t h ey are exot ic, un familiar, or even dan gerous. We like t h em all.
An d so t h e experien ce or drawin g en plein air will bot h ch allen ge an d deligh t you an d lit er-
ally t ake you t o a place you h ave n ever been .
Go Out for a View
Pack all your t roubles in an old kit bagan d draw, draw, draw. Th at old son g didn t t alk
about packin g a bag for n o reason . Th eres n ot h in g like get t in g out en plein air t o get t h e cre-
at ive juices flowin g, t o make you feel like youre, well, get t in g out of t h e h ousewh ich you
are.
Wh en youre ready t o get out of t h e h ouse an d begin t ryin g your h an d at some lan dscapes,
remember your supplies. Don t forget your h at , use some sun screen , wear a sweat er, t ake a
jacket do we soun d like your mot h er? In addit ion , you may wan t t o pack yourself a picn ic
din n er, in an t icipat ion of capt urin g t h at brillian t sun set lan dscape.
But Which One?
You can look at a scen e various ways an d draw it differen t ly each t ime. Claude Mon et did
dozen s of pain t in gs of h ayst acks, from differen t an gles, at differen t t imes of day, in differen t
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214
ligh t . Th e San dia Moun t ain s, east of Corrales, New Mexico, wh ere Lisa lives, for example,
ch an ge from momen t t o momen t , wh ich is n ot always con ducive t o workin g on a deadlin e.
Lisa moved h er desk several years ago so sh e doesn t h ave a moun t ain view (sh e wasn t get -
t in g much don e but moun t ain -viewin g)but sh e st ill fin ds a lot of excuses t o get up an d
see t h em an yway.
East ern Lon g Islan d, New York, wh ere Lauren lives, presen t s lan dscapes an d seascapes t h at
ch an ge n ot on ly wit h t h e t ime of day, but every day. If t h eres a part icular lan dscape in
your worldview t h at capt ivat es you, don t be afraid t o draw it again an d again an d capt ure
it s elusiven ess, like Mon et .
A scen e t h at seems familiar can presen t you wit h man y variat ion s. It is
for you t o ch oose h ow t o proceed. Lan dscape depict ion can be broken
down in t o t h ree scales:
1. Close-up st udies of object s in n at ure are about t h e specimen , it s
sh ape, proport ion , det ail, an d t ext ure.
2. In t h e middle, t h ere is room for a view wit h some det ail in t h e
foregroun d, object s, foliage, an d/ or st ruct ures in t h e middle
groun d, an d a sen se of space beh in d.
3. Th e big pict ure is about space, vist as, an d purple moun t ain s
majest y.
Faraway views migh t h ave some foregroun d det ail, but are about t h e
sen se of space in t h e view. Aerial perspect ive, t h e progressive soft en in g
of color, det ail, an d dist in ct n ess in deep space, h elps suggest t h at dis-
t an ce. Youll fin d more det ail on aerial perspect ive in Ch apt er 16,
Wh at s Your Perspect ive?
Framing the View
On ce you h ave decided on t h e dist an ce from wh ich you are seein g your view or scen e, t h en
you h ave t o decide exact ly wh at piece of t h e pan orama you will draw. You can t fit it all in ,
you kn ow.
Artists Sketchbook
En plein air is a French term
meaning full of fresh air. It
refers here to painting done out-
of-doors. Because classic painting
had been done in studios, paint-
ing outside was a radical move.
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 your viewfin der frame t o scope out t h e view an d crop t h e view un t il you decide.
Move it from side t o side an d look at t h e differen t variat ion s on wh at you see. Look at t h e
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diagon als in t h e lan dscape as you decide. Try t o fin d a view t h at draws you in t o t h e scen e
an d is a balan ced but in t erest in g composit ion .
Your t h umbn ail sket ch es will h elp rule out arran gemen t s or views t h at are less in t erest in g.
On the Linethe Horizon Line
As we discussed in Ch apt er 16 an d earlier, an y accurat e seein g an d drawin g of t h ree-
dimen sion al space begin s wit h eye level or t h e h orizon lin e. Sit uat in g yourself in space
det ermin es t h e van t age poin t from wh ich you will be seein g an d drawin g t h e lan dscape.
You can be lookin g up at , st raigh t out at , or down on a view an d t h e drawin gs will be quit e
differen t . You can see t h e differen ce by makin g small sket ch es of a part icular place or view
from differen t viewpoin t s. Try it an d see:
Sit on t h e groun d.
Sit in a ch air or on a rock.
St an d up.
Climb on your car, a rock, or up a t ree t o see t h e scen e ch an ge as you ch an ge wh ere
you are.
On the Page: Siting Your View
How you posit ion your view on t h e page will also great ly affect t h e composit ion an d h ow
effect ive your drawin g is wh en fin ish ed, so t ake some t ime t o posit ion t h e image t o it s best
advan t age at t h e st art .
Lan dscapes h ave high horizons, middle horizons, or low horizons t h at
affect t h e view an d t h e sen se of space.
If you wan t a sen se of deep space, you can move t h e h orizon
lin e h igh er on your page. Th ere will be more foregroun d an d
t h e h orizon will feel fart h er away.
If you wan t t o con cen t rat e on t h e sky, move t h e h orizon lin e
down fart h er on t h e page, somewh at compressin g t h e fore-
groun d, middle groun d, an d backgroun d space.
You can leave it in t h e middle or an ywh ere in bet ween t h at
suit s you an d wh at you are t ryin g t o do wit h your lan dscape.
Some Thoughts on Landscape Space
As wit h an y kin d of drawin g, lan dscape presen t s it s own special set of con siderat ion s:
St ron g h orizon t als in t h e lan dscape make a bet t er composit ion .
See an d use win din g roads or fen ces t o lead t h e eye in t o your world. Remember t o
draw fen ces an d h edgerows or lin es of veget at ion in a field.
Sh apes of h ills overlap in in t erest in g ways.
Iden t ify t h e cen t er of in t erest wh at you are t ryin g t o sh ow about t h e view t h at you
see. Th in k of a visual st ory. Set a scen e in t o t h e composit ion , t h en add ot h er elemen t s
an d some det ail.
Try Your Hand
High, middle, and low hori-
zons represent how eye level is
perceived and rendered in a
drawing.
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216
Wh en you add st ruct ures, pay at t en t ion t h at t h ey are drawn correct ly an d at t h e same
van t age poin t an d eye level as t h e lan dscape.
Tools for Landscape and Perspective
As weve suggest ed previously, sh arpen lead pen cils for lan dscape drawin g wit h a sh arp
pocket kn ife or ut ilit y kn ife t o make a ch isel poin t . It makes a un ique mark t h at seems ap-
propriat e for lan dscape work.
Also, be a scout wh en you are out an d about . Take supplies so you can en joy yourself an d
get some work don e. In clude as much as you t h in k you will n eed an d t h en some. Be pre-
pared, in ot h er words.
Wh en out drawin g lan dscapes, t ake t h e t ime t o look an d fin d t h e view t h at you really like.
Don t set t le for t h e first spot t h at you see.
Use your h an d t o frame your arran gemen t , composit ion , or scen e. Take alon g a viewfin der
frame an d or a plast ic pict ure plan e t o h elp. Draw a few boxes t o mat ch your viewfin der
frame ah ead of t ime an d use t h em wit h t h e frame t o see your view.
Seeing and Drawing the Landscape
Try sket ch in g a small t h umbn ail version of a view t o see h ow you like it , an d t o det ermin e
wh et h er you sh ould move t o t h e side or look from h igh er or lower t o get an ot h er van t age
poin t . Con sider t h e followin g as you draw your small t h umbn ail version ; t h ese poin t s will
h elp wh en you get t o your larger drawin g as well:
1. Try a view an d move on an d t ry an ot h er un t il you are h appy.
2. Drawin g t h e lan dscape st art s wit h t h e h orizon lin e or eye level, t h en moves on t o big
lan d forms.
3. Makin g t h in gs in t h e lan dscape sit down an d st ay put is merely
seein g an d drawin g t h em in space. Usually if t h ere is a prob-
lem, it is in main t ain in g a con sist en t eye level an d drawin g
t h in gs at t h eir relat ive place above, at , or below eye level.
4. Use your experien ce wit h perspect ive, eit h er in formal observ-
in g, measurin g, an d drawin g of t h e an gles in a st ruct ure, or for-
mal perspect ive an d van ish in g poin t s, or a h ybrid of t h e t wo.
5. Fin d an d draw in t ersect in g wedges of lan d as in t erest in g
sh apes.
6. Use t on e t o defin e big sh apes before addin g det ail.
Aerial perspect ive h elps a great deal in est ablish in g deep space. Th is
can be ach ieved by allowin g t h e far dist an ce t o be less dist in ct an d
soft er in color, t on e, an d det ail.
Det ail up close, on t h e ot h er h an d, is st ron ger an d clearer, more color-
ful, an d full of t on e or con t rast .
Wh et h er youre ren derin g close-up det ail or dist an t perspect ive, you
can use t h e t ear-out referen ce card ch ecklist t o remin d you of t h e st eps
t oward a drawin g.
Back to the Drawing Board
One reason why trees are poorly
drawn is because so few artists
have realized the need for study-
ing their formation and growth,
both as groups and as individuals.
When you see them as you do
people or animalshaving ges-
tures, proportion, and shape, as
well as growth patterns that will
determine how they look and
how you draw themyour draw-
ing will improve tremendously.
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Photographs: To Use or Not to Use, That Is the
Question
Ph ot ograph s can h elp wit h det ail, but n ot really t o learn t o see an d draw. If you go out t o
sket ch an d draw, by all mean s t ake alon g your camera for det ailbut don t rely on it exclu-
sively. You can an n ot at e your drawin g usin g t h e ph ot o an d put in areas of det ail rat h er
t h an t h e wh ole pict ures wort h , but it s bet t er t o draw in order t o capt ure wh at is import an t
t o you.
The Landscape in Pieces
Elemen t s in t h e lan dscape become part of t h e wh ole, but can be con sidered separat ely t o
learn more about each of t h em. So you can t h in k of t h e lan dscape in pieces, weve t aken a
lan dscape apart so you can con sider t h ose pieces before t h ey become part of t h e wh ole.
Trees and Shrubs
As wit h roses, a t ree is n ot a t ree is a t ree, it is the t ree, t h e one t h at you are drawin g. It must
be seen as an in dividual. Wh en you t h in k of t h e t ree as an in dividual, almost like a person ,
youll discover t h at it h as bot h gest ure an d direct ion . It h as it s own proport ion an d sh ape,
from t all, column ar evergreen s t o wide, spreadin 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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Foliage is an ot h er det ail t h at n eeds special at t en t ion . Don t draw a h ead of broccoli like
pain t ers used t o before en plein air pain t in g became popular an d art ist s st art ed really lookin g
at t rees. Of course, if you can t see t h ose in dividual leaves, it s possible you n eed n ew glasses
or con t act s.
Trees present a myriad of possibilities for texture, composition, perspective, and light and
shadow studies.
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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220
A Tangle of Textures, Vines, and Grasses
Vin es an d un derbrush are great fun t o draw; you can get as lost in t h e drawin g as you can
get out in t h e un derbrush it self. Pick a place t h at h as a lot of complexit y, but some kin d of
st ruct ural device t h at frames or limit s t h e t an gle.
A st on e wall or some large bran ch es can work well t o frame a mess of un derbrush . A t rellis
or arch will support a massive vin e, an d youll get an in t erest in g con t rast bet ween t h e
curves of t h e vin es an d t h e arch it ect ure of t h e t rellis. Follow t h ese t ips wh en drawin g t h is
t ype of foliage:
Draw t h e vin es or t h e t an gle ligh t ly at first .
St art seein g t h e overlaps of bran ch es an d t h e t win in g of vin es as you draw t h em.
Use t on e t o emph asize wh ere on e bran ch goes over or un der an ot h er.
Work in some flowers wh en you can . Th ey are set off by t h e un derbrush n icely.
Play wit h t h e t on es of t h e backgroun d. Th is will great ly h elp t o set off an d defin e t h e
complexit y of t h e t an gle.
You can squin t or blur your vision as you work on t h e backgroun d. You will see t h e
begin n in gs of sh apes beh in d sh apes t h at you can defin e in t o more t an gle in t h e back-
groun d. How far you go is up t o you.
Wrap a few vines around your drawing pencil.
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Grass is a lovely addit ion , but it n eeds t o move like grass, n ot look like a rug. Th in k
about direct ion , gest ure, an d t ext ure.
Grass is as individual as
any landscape feature.
Beaches, Rocks, and Cliffs
Rocks are won derful elemen t s in t h e lan dscape. Th ey can be playful, formal, arch it ect ural,
massive you n ame it . Wh en you st art drawin g rocks an d dun es, t h in k about form,
sh ape, space, volume, weigh t , an d t ext ure.
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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Sky and Clouds
Th e sky provides a daily sh ow of t on es, pat t ern s, an d t ext ures t h at lit erally ch an ge wit h t h e
win d. Th in k about pat t ern an d t ext ure, wit h form for bigger, t h icker clouds.
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Chapter 17

This Land Is Your Land
Water and Reflections
Wat er, wat er, everywh ereit s easier t h an you t h in k. Bodies of wat er n eed t o sit flat , wh ich
mean s eye level an d an ellipt ical curve in t h e ban k or sh orelin e t h at works like t h e edge of
a big dish out t h ere in t h e lan dscape. Some t h in gs t o con sider as you draw wat er:
Th in k about eye level an d makin g t h e wat er lay flat like a dish in space, t h en add ligh t
an d flickerin g t ext ure.
Reflect ion s are fun , just see t h em an d draw t h em like t h e object s t h emselves.
Th in k about pat t ern on a surface youve already drawn it could gen erat e an en t irely
differen t drawin g.
Even though its not
drawn, the sky above
these cliffs is an impor-
tant landscape feature.
Its about spacethe ab-
sence or presence ofas
a compositional element
of your drawing.
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The Best for Last: The Small Things
It is n o secret t h at Lauren prefers t h e small t h in gs in n at ure t o t h e big pict ure. Sh e spen t
h er ch ildh ood h ikes lookin g at t h e groun d, an d n ot h in g h as ch an ged. Th e det ail in small
in dividual specimen s h as always fascin at ed h er, an d it may be t h e view t h at you like best
as well.
Capturing reflections on water can add interest and detail
to your drawing.
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Chapter 17

This Land Is Your Land
Wh erever you go, look for t h e small t h in gs, an d get t o kn ow t h em as you draw t h em:
In t h e woods an d moun t ain s, t h ere are delicat e wildflowers in t h e sprin g; at t h e
h igh er alt it udes, t h ey are t h ere most of t h e summer.
Mush rooms are some of t h e most erot ic, sen suous sh apes out t h ere. Th ey can be fun
t o arran ge on a page as if t h ey were t alkin g in a group.
Lich en s, mosses, an d ot h er fun gi are t h ere for t h e seein g an d drawin g. Even t h e galls
on t ree bran ch es are in t erest in g. Th ey are made by t h e t ree or leaf in respon se t o a
bugs t ryin g t o burrow in t o lay eggs, an d every t ree makes a differen t on e.
Th e woodlan d wildflowers could occupy a lifet ime of drawin g on ly t h ey, from t h e del-
icat e mayflower an d Solomon s seal t o t h e exot ic jack-in -t h e-pulpit an d ladys slipper.
All h ave t h eir own st ory.
Th e seash ore is a t reasure t rove of goodies t o see an d draw. Th e complexit y of
seash ells, t h e fun ky sh apes of crabs, t h e st ruct ure of big pieces of drift wood, t h e t ex-
t ure of seaweed, sh ore plan t s, an d t h e un en din g rocks are all wait in g for you.
As Your Drawing Progresses
Balan cin g all t h e elemen t s of your lan dscape is a jugglin g act , but you can use your t ear-out
referen ce card ch ecklist at t h e fron t of t h is book t o h elp. Remember t h at you don t h ave t o
fill in every in ch of t h e page t o get a good drawin g. Remember, t oo, t h at you don t h ave t o
fin ish each drawin g t h e same way or t h e same amoun t .
Light, Shadow, Atmosphere, and Contrast
Look at t on es, t h e ligh t s, an d sh adows in a lan dscape. As you do, con sider t h e followin g:
St ron g sh adows can be in t erest in gbut t h ey can be con fusin g, t oo.
Make sure t h at you can see t h e main sh apes of t h e lan dscape.
Remember t o balan ce t h e foregroun d det ail wit h t h e amoun t of space you are t ryin g
for.
Experimen t wit h suggest in g t on e rat h er t h an fillin g it all in everywh ere, or ch an gin g
t h e t on e of an area for great er con t rast .
A study of driftwood on
the shore can be as mon-
umental and compelling
in composition as a cliff
or dunescape. The
drama is in the drawing!
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Th ere are en dless ways t o fin ish a drawin g. No t wo drawin gs will ever en d quit e t h e same
wayit s part of t h e fun .
Detail Is, As Always, Detail
Careful st udy of in dividual lan dscape elemen t s will make it easier an d easier t o draw t h em
in t o t h e view you h ave select ed. Th e more you draw t rees, t h e bet t er your t rees will look,
an d so it goes.
Try drawin gs t h at are about big lan d sh apes, an d t ry drawin gs t h at are about in t ersect -
in g wedges of lan d or belt s of t rees or ban ds of rocks in in t erest in g pat t ern s.
Try drawin gs of small corn ers of your worlda favorit e place or a h idden refuge, for
example.
Try t o see t rees as in dividuals. Th in k of t h em as wood spirit s h avin g t h eir port rait
drawn .
Most of all, fin d t h e lit t le t h in gs in t h e woods, in t h e moun t ain s, in t h e fields, or at t h e
beach t h at are t h e t oken s or t alisman s of t h e place. Brin g t h em h ome an d draw t h em. Th at
way, you can t reasure t h em always.
Chapter 17

This Land Is Your Land
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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228
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 con-
tribute 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.
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 everyt h in g in our world was made by Mot h er Nat ure, an d h uman -made elemen t s are
just about everywh ere you look. Wh et h er it s a fen ce crossin g a field, a sailboat rockin g in
an in let , or a sat ellit e t ower t oppin g a moun t ain , t h e t h in gs made by h uman s can add a sur-
prisin g dimen sion t o your lan dscape.
Evidence of Human Influence
Of course, t h ere are lan dscapes wit h out h uman -made elemen t s, but t h ey are get t in g h arder
an d h arder t o fin d. Th ese days, t h e h uman in fluen ce seems t o be almost everywh ere we
look, even if it s on ly t h e win din g road we are lookin g out at in t h e dist an ce.
Makin g peace wit h h uman -made elemen t s in your lan dscape drawin gs is n ot so bad. In fact ,
you can use t h e man y h uman -made t h in gs in your lan dscape t o frame an d order t h e space,
draw t h e eye in t o your composit ion , or add con t rast an d t ext ural det ail. At t h e same t ime,
some h uman -made elemen t s are more at t ract ive t h an ot h ers, an d t h ere are some youll defi-
n it ely wan t t o leave out .
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Roads, Fences, Gates, and Walls
Roads, walls, an d fen ces are part s of t h e lan dscape t h at can add direct ion , in t erest , an d
vit alit y t o a scen e or view. A road, wall, or fen ce mean derin g away wit h in a groupin g of
win din g h ills can add drama an d n arrat ive t o a drawin g. A h alf-open gat e can make viewers
wish t h ey kn ew wh at lay beyon d it an d st imulat e t h e imagin at ion .
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Chapter 18

Made by Man: Out in the Landscape
In the Farmyard
You h ave on ly t o go out side on a farm an d you will fin d somet h in g
t o drawan d somet imes, you don t even h ave t o go out side.
Wh et h er you are on a big farm in t h e Midwest wit h lot s of equip-
men t an d big fen ced fields, or a lit t le family farm in New En glan d
wit h a big garden , a few ch icken s, cows, an d an an cien t old t ract or,
you will fin d somet h in g in t erest in g t o draw.
Hayst acks worked for Mon et , an d as you t ravel aroun d t h e coun t ry-
side you will see t h e various sh apes an d sizes in differen t areas of
t h e coun t ry. Big barn s are t h e n orm in Vermon t , for example, wh ile
t h e bigger st ruct ures in Nebraska are t h e silos for h arvest ed corn .
Corrals an d farmyards en close areas an d make in t erest in g an gles
an d sh apes. Th e an imals t h emselves we will deal wit h in Ch apt er
20, It s a Jun gle Out Th ereSo Draw It ! Th ey deserve a ch apt er of
t h eir own , aft er 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.
Laurens grandfather
drew some of these
roads. Note how each is
an individual.
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Sh eds an d barn s are t ech n ically st ruct ures an d so are covered in Ch apt er
19, Houses an d Ot h er St ruct ures, but youll wan t t o be sure t o in clude
t h em wit h all t h at you fin d wh en drawin g on a farm. You can sn eak a
peek ah ead if youd like some h elpful h in t s for h ow t o draw t h em.
Special Uses, Special Structures
An d t h en t h ere are all t h e un usual erect ion s in t h e lan dscape, from
moun t ain t op warmin g h ut s t o ligh t h ouses on rocky sh ores, just wait in g
t o ch allen ge you an d en liven your drawin gs. If you are out an d about
an d feel like creat in g an un usual drawin g, t ry on e of t h e more st rikin g
st ruct ures t h at decorat e t h e lan dscape. Ligh t h ouses, win dmills, an d t ow-
ers add h eigh t , but t h ey can also be t h e focus of an in t erest in g drawin g.
For you out doorsy t ypes, t h ere are h ut s, sh eds, cabin s, fish in g sh acks,
lean -t os, t en t s, an d campersas well as log foot bridges, t rail cairns, an d
forest service an d Bureau of Lan d Man agemen t sign s.
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.
Some of the more un-
usual items in the land-
scape may be waiting
around the corner for
you to draw, such as
this lighthouse.
A lit t le closer t o h ome, you could draw in your yard an d t ry a t ree h ouse, screen h ouse,
gazebo, or even your h ammock h an gin g bet ween t wo t rees. Or, for t h e cit y dweller: fire
h ydran t s, parkin g met ers, parkin g lot sh an t ies, garbage can s, even
t raffic sign als.
On the Dock of the Bay and Beyond
Wh et h er n ear t h e wat er, on t h e wat er, or in t h e wat er, you will usually
fin d h uman -made t h in gs alon g wit h t h e n at ural. From can oes on a
quiet lake in t h e Adiron dacks t o t rawlers at t h e commercial dock in
Mon t auk t o sailboat s in t h e Caribbean t o t h e ocean lin er you are on in
t h e middle of t h e At lan t ic, boat s are t h ere for you t o in clude in your
drawin gs t o add t o t h e sen se of adven t ure.
Docks, Harbors, and Shipyards
Docks an d sh ipyards are ch allen gin g places t o draw. A dock n eeds t o be
drawn carefully, an d t h ere is a lot t o measure. On ce you get t h e main
plan e of t h e dock drawn in space, use crossin g diagon als t o divide t h e
space equally an d t h en again an d again for t h e piers or pilin gs.
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 progres-
sion of the piers and the per-
spective of the walkway leading
out into the water. Do it for fun
and make a tracing if you like it.
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Chapter 18

Made by Man: Out in the Landscape
Th e act ivit y in a boat yard can be daun t in g, but if you en joy t h e subject , you will fin d a way
t o frame an amoun t of t h e act ivit y t h at you can h an dle. Your viewfin der frame will come in
h an dy for t h is. Plus, don t h esit at e t o filt er out un wan t ed object s an d det ail. Th is is called
art ist ic libert y.
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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234
From a Canoe to the QE2
Th e proport ion , sh ape, curves, an d form of boat s is a lit t le differen t from most ot h er t h in gs.
Th e h ulls of boat s h ave more complicat ed curves t h at n eed a bit of special seein g an d draw-
in g t o get t h em righ t .
Sitting on the dock of
the bay.
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 may or may n ot be your favorit e t h in gs, but our lan dscape is
crisscrossed from en d t o en d wit h roads, t rain t racks, t h e bridges
over t h em, un derpasses un der t h em, an d t un n els t o get t o t h e
ot h er side. A lit t le wood bridge over a walkway migh t be more t o
your likin g, or you may en joy t h e ch allen ge of a suspen sion bridge
or a moun t ain pass wit h a t un n el goin g off somewh ere. Try wh at -
ever appeals t o you, wit h or wit h out veh icles.
Bridges, Trains, and Tracks
Tun n els an d covered bridges an d overpasses are everywh ere, in
t h e cit y an d t h e coun t ry. Th ey can be t h e classic Vermon t covered
bridge, a t un n el t h rough t h e moun t ain s in Colorado, or t h e
Golden Gat e Bridget h e ch oice is yours.
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 ob-
ject to help you draw it.
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236
Moving Vehicles
Th en t h ere are t h e movin g h uman -made elemen t s like t rucks, cars, fire en gin es, buggies,
wagon s, t ract ors, an d merry-go-roun ds. You can t h in k of even more, we are sure. Take a
look at some of t h ese veh icles t h at Lauren h as drawn . Veh icles provide a con t rast bet ween
h ard an gles an d geomet ric sh apes in t h e man made world, an d t h e oft en more fluid forms
an d con t ours of n at ure. Place a person or t wo in t h e lan dscape an d youve in cluded t h e lin k
bet ween bot h worlds!
Every mountain is as in-
dividual as any land-
scape feature.
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 t h at everyt h in g in t h e world is fair game for your pen cil an d sket ch -
book. Go on get out t h ere in t h e world. It s just wait in g for you t o draw.
Part 5

Out and About with Your Sketchbook
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
Chapter 18

Made by Man: Out in the Landscape
239
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.
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
Houses fascin at e us. Aft er all, we all live in a h ouse of some kin d, wh et h er it s a t all apart -
men t buildin g, a small ran ch , a lovely Cape Cod, a farmh ouse, an old Vict orian wit h lot s of
gin gerbread t rim, a cot t age on t h e beach , an old fun ky adobe, or a modern , sculpt ural man -
sion .
Wh et h er it s drawin g a h ouse or an ot h er buildin g, t h e most import an t t h in g, as Clayt on
Hoaglan d n ot es, is t o first see. In t h is ch apt er, youll learn h ow t o do just t h at .
A World of Buildings
Houses, barn s, sh eds, an d ot h er st ruct ures are perh aps t h e most prevalen t elemen t s in lan d-
scape drawin gs an d pain t in gs. Th ey are almost everywh ere you look, so, of course, t h eyll
fin d t h eir way in t o much of wh at you draw as well.
City Mice and Country Mice
Wh ich ever kin d of mouse you are an d wh at ever kin d of h ouse you ch oose t o draw, you will
en coun t er largely t h e same ch allen ges an d problems.
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242
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 chal-
lenge of perspective
and composition,
simple or elaborate.
Whats your vantage
point?
Seein g your view (t h e van t age poin t , eye level, framin g, an d format on t h e page)
an d t h e accurat e t ran sferrin g of your view t o t h e page is t h e same, wh at ever t h e
subject an d det ail.
243
Chapter 19

Houses and Other Structures
The Old and the New
Wh et h er your h ouse is an old ch armer, a st un n in g modern , or an ywh ere in bet ween , you
can make a drawin g t h at is a port rait of all it s special qualit ies. Draw your h ouse at differen t
t imes of year as well, an d get some of t h ose lan dscape an d garden elemen t s in . Trees, in par-
t icular, ch an ge from season t o season , an d can ch an ge t h e way a h ouse looks dramat ically.
Old or new, every house has
something unique to recom-
mend it. On your next trip
abroad, take along a sketch-
book to study perspective in
centuries old forms and
structures. Youll get some
great drawing practice, and
have a wonderful travel
journal through which to re-
member your journey.
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Making It Stand
St art wit h simple h ouses an d barn s an d sh eds. Th en move on t o more
complicat ed st ruct ures or st reet scen es. Of course, you h ave t o begin
wit h decision s about van t age poin t , eye level, framin g your image,
your format , an d posit ion on t h e page.
Wh et h er you are lookin g up, at , or down at your subject will affect all
t h at you see. Some of t h e ways you can view a h ouse in clude
Up un der t h e roof t o see all t h e det ail un der t h e eaves.
St raigh t at t h e h ouse, con cen t rat in g on doors an d win dow t rim.
Down on t h e roof from above.
Of course, t h ose are on ly t h ree suggest ion s. Be creat iveview a h ouse
t h rough a win dow, or past a t ree. Th e possibilit ies are en dless.
Try Your Hand
Take your time when drawing a
houseand take the time to
draw it more than once, at dif-
ferent times of year.
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 casual sket ch of a h ouse or an explorat ory drawin g t o decide on a view or framin g or
format , you can observe an d draw t h e main an gles in a h ouse by carefully est ablish in g a
base un it of measuremen t an d some basic an gles.
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Chapter 19

Houses and Other Structures
Th en , add t o your drawin g as you can see t h e relat ion bet ween each part . Draw carefully
an d ch eck all t h e relat ive part s of t h e st ruct ure before you begin t h e det ail.
Formal Perspective
Wh en you wan t t o be more formal, begin wit h eye level an d a ligh t sit in g of your h ouse on
t h e page. Th en , draw in your van ish in g poin t s an d begin t o draw t h e plan es of t h e h ouse in
perspect ive. You can refer t o t h e st eps in Ch apt er 16 if youd like some h elp as you go.
Keeping the Pieces in Proportion
Wh et h er your drawin g is an in formal sket ch or arch it ect ural ren derin g, you will n eed t o
measure carefully for doors, win dows, an d an y ot h er t rim det ails t h at you draw t o keep
t h em in scale an d even ly arran ged. You can use t h e st eps on t h e t ear-out referen ce card if
youd like some h elp wit h t h is.
You can copy famous
architectural structures
from high quality
images in books or
periodicals to gain more
insights into formal
perspective.
Executed with rulers
Executed in sketch form
Using diagonals to divide a house plane will assure accurate placement of the win-
dows and doors.
Its in the Details
Win dows, doors, roofs, st oops, railin gs, st eps, gut t ers, soffit s, overh an gs, pat ios, porch es,
pools, an d pon dst h ese are t h e det ails t h at h ouses (an d yards) are made of. Go for a close-
up view an d ren der on e of t h ose det ails in part icular. Even a crack in t h e adobe can make
for an in t erest in g close-up h ouse drawin g.
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246
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 com-
pelling around which to
organize the composi-
tion of your drawing?
247
Chapter 19

Houses and Other Structures
In the City
Skyscrapin g apart men t t owers, modest brown st on es, an d elegan t t own h ouses are in almost
every cit y, alon g wit h office buildin gs, fact ories, an d wareh ouses. Th ey can presen t an in t er-
est in g st reet scen e or skylin e wit h lot s of cit y det ail.
You can soften the linear
quality of a cityscape
with rooftop gardens,
window boxes, front-
stoop planters, sidewalk
gardens, or a city park
background. The highly
articulated perspective
relationships dont over-
power the drawing.
In the Country
Th e coun t ryside is a h aven for art ist s an d poet s, wh erever t h ey fin d it . Th e peace an d t ran -
quilit y are bot h in spirat ion an d subject . In t h e coun t ry youll fin d t h e t ime, t h e space, an d
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248
t h e peace t o work creat ively. Try t o give yourself t h e gift of t ime in t h e coun t ry, even if you
t h in k t h at you live in t h e coun t ry already.
Look for h ouses in t h e coun t ry t h at reflect an open -t o-n at ure qualit y. Fin d yourself a fan -
t asy farmh ouset h e Vict orian of your dreams or t h e Adiron dack lodge t h at youve always
wan t edan d draw it . Wh o kn ows? It migh t be a way of visualizin g it in t o your life. But be
careful wh at you wish for, you migh 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 archi-
tectural elements with a
functional integration
into the landscape.
Materials and Techniques
Th e mat erials an d t ext ures used t o build your h ouse n eed t h eir own marks t o differen t iat e
t h em. Cedar sh in gles, clapboards, rough cedar sidin g, smoot h alumin um sidin g, brick, st on e,
met al, an d st ucco are a few of t h e mat erials t h at can be represen t ed by t on es an d marks.
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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Period Pieces and Special Places
Period pieces an d special places presen t t h eir own special in t erest san d issues. Decide wh at
you are goin g aft er before you begin . If you in t en d t o add a lot of elaborat e det ail, you will
probably n eed t o begin wit h an accurat e base, drawn in formal perspect ive.
For sket ch es, even a h ouse wit h lot s of gin gerbread t rim can be
drawn loosely wit h a min imum of perspect ive. As wit h an y h ouse,
it will be in t h e det ails t h at you fin d a classic h ouses part icular in -
t erest .
Classical Beauty
Arch it ect ural det ail can be sket ch y an d suggest ed or it can be
very precise, requirin g a lot of measurin g an d plan n in g. Here are
some h elpful h in t s t o guide you as you begin t o draw t h ose classic
beaut ies.
A fron t view of a Vict orian wit h gin gerbread t rim can be care-
fully an d ligh t ly sket ch ed by measurin g wit h a pen cil h eld
out at arms len gt h . On ce you are pleased wit h t h e placemen t
an d proport ion of t h e win dows an d doors, you can begin t o
add t h e t rim det ail an d be reason ably cert ain t h at you will
en d up wit h an at t ract ive loose ren derin 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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Remember t o look for in t erest in g st ruct ures like arch es, arbors, pergolas, gazebos,
elaborat e screen h ouses, green h ouses, an d wraparoun d porch es. Th ey require careful
seein g an d drawin g, but t h ey make great subject s an d can add a sen se of place or
at mosph ere t o a scen e.
Down on the Farm
Drawin g farmh ouses in vit es det ail. Th ere is so much goin g on an d, seemin gly, a st ruct ure
for each act ivit yfrom maple sugar sh acks out in t h e woods in Vermon t t o h uge dairy
barn s in New York St at e, from cat t le ran ch es in Idah o t o win dblown , aban don ed farmst eads
in Nebraska. Th ere are small family farms, cit rus groves, t ree farms, t ruck farms, an d im-
men se fact ory farms.
Try drawin g t h e barn s, silos, an d sh eds in a farmyard. Fen ces, corrals, an d st on e walls will
add in t erest in g diagon als an d t ext ure wh ile defin in g t h e lan d sh apes an d in vit in g t h e view-
er in t o t h e composit ion . You won t run out of st ruct ures t o draw on a farm for some t ime.
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Out on the Edge
An d t h en t h ere are t h e more special st ruct ures in your lan dscape,
places you migh t be part icularly fon d of, from moun t ain t op h ut s t o
ligh t h ouses on rocky sh ores, just wait in g t o ch allen ge you an d en -
liven your drawin gs.
Try drawin g some of t h e un usual st ruct ures you fin d on your t rav-
els, such as ligh t h ouses, win dmills, t owers, h ut s, sh eds, cabin s, fish -
in g sh acks, lean -t os, t en t s, t ree h ouses, an d screen h ouses. An d
don t forget t h e cliff dwellin gs of Mesa Verdean d t h e pit h ouses
of Ch aco Can yon .
Don t forget t h ose cellular t owers an d h igh -volt age elect ric lin es
st ret ch in g across t h e plain s. Or Hoover Dam st ret ch in g across t h 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.
Farm structures are as varied as the landscape. What
choices will you make to compose your drawing?
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Colorado River. Human -made st ruct ures add h igh drama t o Mot h er Nat ures works, an d
t h ey can add drama t o your work as well.
Windmills, towers: Nothing is too unusual for your drawing pencil and sketchbook!
Chapter 19

Houses and Other Structures
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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 care-
fully 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?
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 t erior an d ext erior lan dscapes are on e t h in g, but n ow it s t ime t o populat e your drawin gs.
Wh et h er it s an imals or people, re-creat in g livin g t h in gs on t h e page t akes bot h pract ice an d
pat ien ce.
As Alexan der Calder poin t s out , an imals = act ion . Capt urin g t h at act ion is t h e first st ep in
creat in g dyn amic an imal drawin gs.
Drawing Animals
Earliest man covered t h e walls of caves wit h drawin gs of an imals in a basic at t empt t o kn ow
t h em, relat e t o t h em, h un t t h em, revere t h em, use t h em, learn from t h em, domin at e t h em,
an d celebrat e t h em. Un like t h e spears an d arrows t h at appear n ext t o t h em in t h ese an cien t
drawin gs, an imals con t in ue t oday t o be amon g art ist s favorit e drawin g subject s.
You may wan t t o let your sleepin g dog lie, but t h eres n o reason you can t draw h im wh ile
h e does. But h ow do you draw a sleepin g dogor a run n in g h orse? Let s fin d out .
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In a World of Action, Gesture Is First
Alexan der Calder was a keen observer of n at ure as well as a draft sman wh o saw
an d capt ured t h e essen ce of each an imal h e drew. As Calder h imself n ot es, h e
looked for t h e basic act ion , post ure, an d gest ure of an an imal as t h e foun dat ion of
a drawin g.
Wh en you begin t o draw an imals, t ake plen t y of t ime t o see
t h e act ion an d gest ure. In your first drawin gs, you may on ly
get a gest ure or a direct ion t h e an imal is movin g, but in t ime
you will be able t o add form an d det ail t o an act ive base t h at
really feels like t h e an imal you were drawin g.
Basic Proportions and Shapes
Let s begin by get t in g t h ose basic proport ion s an d sh apes on
paper.
1. On ce you h ave your subject framed an d your paper
an d pen cil ready, st art wit h a few gest ure or act ion
lin es t h at represen t t h e main limbs an d direct ion of
movemen t .
2. Wh en you h ave an idea of h ow t h e an imal moves, t ry
t o fin d a base un it of measuremen t , like t h e widt h of
t h e h ead, t h e len gt h of t h e body, or t h e h eigh t from
t h e groun d t o t h e ch est , an d use t h at as a referen ce
poin t .
3. Measure t h at sh ape, space, or len gt h an d see h ow it
relat es t o ot h er measuremen t s on t h e body.
4. See t h e relat ion bet ween t h e h eigh t an d t h e len gt h of
t h e an imal, it s legs, h ow h igh t h ey are, an d h ow lon g
t h e body is relat ive t o t h e legs. Look at t h e h ead rela-
t ive t o t h e n eck, t h e ch est relat ive t o t h e girt h of t h e
body, an d t h e size of t h e h ead.
Try Your Hand
The more you draw animals, the
more at ease you will be with
their particular proportions and
typical ways of moving.
This giraffe and ele-
phant are reduced to
the basic geometric
shapes that define
how they look.
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 ani-
mal at once.
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5. Next , t h in k of t h e body as a collect ion of spare part s drawn as geomet ric sh apes of
various sizes an d on various an gles, relat ive t o each ot h er.
6. Look for ovals, ellipses, ellipsoids, cylin ders, con es, an d sph eres. Th in k of t h e h ard-
edged sh apes, t oo, t h en roun d t h em off.
7. See t h e barrel sh ape of an eleph an t s big body, t h e lon g curvin g cylin der or con e of it s
t run k, t h e even lon ger, curvin g n eck of a giraffe, t h e slen der ellipses t h at make up t h e
sh apes of a deer.
8. Try t o draw each part of t h e body as a t h ree-dimen sion al part , n ot a flat sh ape. Usin g
ovals an d ellipses in ligh t lin es h elps you t h in k, see, an d draw roun d, full sh apes for
t h e body part s.
Quick drawings of animals concentrate on gesture and on the shape of basic body parts.
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Bulking Them Up
On ce you are acquain t ed wit h an an imals basic sh apes an d gest ures, you can begin t o add
some form an d bulk t o your drawin g. Even a delicat e deer or a slen der birds leg h as some
form.
Look at wh ere sh apes on t h e an imal over- or un derlap. As wit h in an imat e object s, t h e way
on e part goes over or un der an ot h er defin es t h e sh apes an d h ow t h ey fit t oget h er.
Use t on e, an d your experien ce wit h it , t o sh ade some of t h e main muscle an d body sh apes
an d h ow t h ey meet .
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 puppy dogs t ails are on ly a few of t h e reason s you will wan t t o add
t ext ure t o your an imal drawin gs.
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Your pract ice wit h marks, t on al ch art s wit h differen t t ext ures, an d a willin gn ess t o t ry out
some n ew marks will pay off h ere.
A sen sit ivit y t o t h e in dividual an imal an d it s un ique qualit ies is a good st art . Th in k about
t h e con dit ion s a part icular an imal h as t o live in , h ow t h ey live, h ow t h ey feed or h un t ,
wh at t h e dan gers are, an d h ow t h ey h ave t o adapt . Try t o use your t h ough t s as you ren der
t h e fur, feat h ers, skin , an d scales.
Being sensitive to an animals unique qualities, practicing with different textures, and a willingness to ex-
periment 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 imals t o draw t h e min ut e you go out in t o your yard, or sit at your win dow.
Your n ew drawin g subject s will greet you everywh ere you go, so be ready t o grab your
sket ch book!
Your Backyard and in the Neighborhood
Our backyards are full of an imal subject sbirds, but t erflies, squirrels, ch ipmun ks, as well as
frogs, t oads, lizards, sn akes, an d sn ails. Because t h ey are busy wit h t h eir own lives, t h ey are
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disin clin ed t o pose for you, but you can make quick sket ch es t o capt ure first t h e act ion an d
gest ure, t h en t h e proport ion , sh ape, an d form.
If you live in t h e coun t ry an d can sit quiet ly in your yard, you may be lucky en ough t o spot
deer, a fox, even a coyot e; t h e big guys like bears an d moun t ain lion s, you sh ould probably
draw from in side.
Animal subjects are as close as your backyard. How does your animal subject deter-
mine or relate to your drawings composition? Add the human element, and youve got
something wonderful!
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Field and Stream, Mountain and Lake
All t h e pret t y places t h at you may t h in k of for lan dscape drawin gs are also great for an imal
st udies. Th e seash ore, for example, offers a con st an t ly ch an gin g mix of sh ells an d seash ore
life. Some of t h at life you can even brin g h ome t o work on lat er, wh ile some of it (sh ells,
for example) will h ave t o st ay out side or be soaked in a lit t le mild bleach t o clean it .
Wh en your mat e wan t s t o go fish in g, don t st ay h ome; t ake your sket ch book an d draw t h e
fish , seash ore life, or wat er birds.
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 t h e n at ural h ist ory museum, you will fin d everyt h in g you can t h in k of, from a look
un der a microscope t o a din osaurs skelet on , as well of lot s of books t o st udy. Kn owin g
rough ly h ow an an imals skelet on works will make t h ose act ion an d gest ure lin es mean
more. Th e busin ess of addin g form an d weigh t will come more easily t h e more you st udy,
so ch eck it out .
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Farms, Stables, and Parks
Go out an d draw t h e ch icken s, ducks, cows, goat s, pigs, don keys, h orses, pon iesan d don t
forget all t h e babies. Drawin g domest ic an imals is a great way t o pract ice drawin g an imals
in relat ion t o each ot h er. Wh en you draw more t h an on e of t h e same an imal, you begin t o
discover h ow t h e an imal moves accordin g t o it s part icular an at omy, an d h ow t o ren der dif-
feren t posit ion s con vin cin gly. Wit h t ime, a cert ain arch of t h e n eck or t urn of t h e ear can
become secon d-n at ure t o your drawin g h an d.
Practice drawing animal
skeletonswherever you
find them. Take a trip to
the local natural history
museum, if need be, or
copy them out of natu-
ral science books and
magazines. Skeletons
can really help you un-
derstand the foundation
of a living creatures
form, as well as its nat-
ural actions and ges-
tures.
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Zoos, Circuses, and Animal Petting Parks
A zoo is a great place t o draw. You h ave it all t h eren ot just t h e
wild an imals, but t h eir h abit at s as well. Youll also fin d garden s,
t rees, walkways, arch es, fen ces, wat er, foun t ain s, kids, paren t s,
lovers, an d, for your comfort an d pleasure, rest rooms an d food
n earby. Th ey may even h ave St arbucks by n ow. Get your drawin g
equipmen t an d go camp out for a day. Th en you can do it all
an d draw it , t oo.
Safaris
Safaris can be close t o h ome or t h e adven t ure of a lifet ime.
Almost an y t rip can be t urn ed in t o a part -t ime safari. It s more a
ch an ge in your at t it ude t h an t h e alt it ude. If you can t get as far as
youd like, repair t o a zoo or a museum. If you get t h e ch an ce t o
t ry Tibet or a jaun t in t h e Aust ralian out back, wh en it comes t o
your sket ch book, don t leave h ome wit h out it !
Animal Portraits
An an imal port rait can be a casual sket ch t h at capt ures t h e person -
alit y of t h e an imal, but oft en it is an at t empt t o get a more formal
t reat men t an d liken ess.
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 land-
scape? Think about the positive and negative space relationship when drawing animals in groups.
Back to the Drawing Board
You will find lots of reference ma-
terial out there: books, magazines,
stock photos, clip art, and Inter-
net 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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To do an an imal port rait , st art wit h t h e basics: gest ure, proport ion , an d form. Th en add as
much det ail 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 ex-
ploring 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 tech-
nique 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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Problems in Portraiture
Wh en your pet will sit , but n ot for a port rait , wh at t h en ? You can wait for a sleepin g sub-
ject , or you can work on a series of regular poses t h e an imal oft en st rikes, addin g a bit of
sh ape, form, an d det ail as you can see it .
If your pet won t sit for you, you expect an eleph an t t o do it ?
You migh t be surprised at a zoo an d fin d t h at a wild an imal will
be a willin g subject . Man y of t h em spen d aft ern oon s in relat ive re-
pose, so if you can fin d a pose you like, you migh t get lucky.
A Bit on Materials and Techniques
Our focus h as been on seein g an d drawin g an imals, in cludin g t h e
gest ure, proport ion , sh apes, an d form t h at make each species
un ique. Det ail is t h e t ext ures an d pat t ern s, an d t h e colors an d sur-
face t on es t h at are part icular or peculiar t o t h at an imalfrom t h e
soft blot ch y fur of a fawn , t o t h e smoot h pelt of a seal, t h ick fur of
a h usky, slippery skin of a frog, rough h ide of a buffalo, sh in y
scales of a fish , or t h e h orn y plat es of t h at rh in o on safari.
Experimen t in g wit h all your mat erials an d t ryin g n ew on es as you
see t h em is t h e best way t o expan d your vocabulary of marks an d
t ext ures. Look at someon e elses work (ask t h em if you can ), or
just st an d t h ere an d t ry t o imagin e h ow t h ey made a cert ain t on e
or t ext ure. Th e more you pract ice yourself, t h e easier you will fin d
it t o iden t ify a part icular kin d of mark or mat erial. As always, let
t h e real seein g an d drawin g of t h e an imal come 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 three-
dimensional shape and form. Try
to use the photos for detail only.
Experiment with differ-
ent materials and tex-
tures to see what works
best for the animal
youre trying to convey.
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Animals in Your Drawings
If you t ook our advice an d wen t out in your yard, t ook t h at fish in g t rip, or made t h at day
t rip t o t h e zoo, you probably h ave a lot of an imal drawin gs n ow. Some of t h em are sket ch es
an d some of t h em migh t already in clude some surroun din gs, so you are part way t h ere.
Put t in g t h em, or drawin g t h em in t o, a lan dscape as an addit ion t akes a bit more plan n in g
an d at t en t ion t o scale.
Scale and Detail, Indoors or Out
An imals in side are usually easy t o place because t h e scale is easy t o judge. If you can already
draw t h e ch air your dog or cat is sit t in g in , addin g your pet will require on ly a clear draw-
in g of t h e an imal, or wh at you can see of it , wh ich can be t h e problem. Look carefully at
wh ere limbs are t ucked un dern eat h an d h ow t h e body migh t be curled up in a comfort able
posit ion . Th en draw 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
Out side is an ot h er st ory. Scale as it in dicat es size an d dist an ce is import an t t o your con sid-
erat ion of an imals in t h e lan dscape. Th e most common example is a seascape, wit h seagulls
t h at are supposed t o be flyin g above but in st ead seem t o be loomin g out of proport ion t o
everyt h in g else in t h e drawin g.
Pract ice in measurin g again st a base un it in your view will h elp keep t h ose birds wh ere t h ey
belon g.
If you are t ryin g t o emph asize an an imal as t h e cen t ral poin t of in t erest , t reat it like a por-
t rait , wit h t h e lan dscape in t h e backgroun d.
In t h e n ext ch apt er, well t ake t h e n ext logical st ep, an d sh ow you h ow you can h ave
h uman an imals in your drawin gs, t oo.
Chapter 20

Its a Jungle Out ThereSo Draw It!
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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 three-
dimensional 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.
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 Pot t er, 1965).
We are fascin at ed an d en t iced by t h e figure, t h e most sin gle expressive subject for art ist ic
explorat ion . Wh en we draw t h e figure, are we drawin g ourselves or all h uman it y? Perh aps it
doesn t mat t ert h e figure at t ract s us, wh at ever t h e reason .
Your sket ch book will be your great est asset in learn in g t o draw from t h e figure. Con st an t
sket ch in g is t h e way t o an un derst an din g of t h e figure an d an abilit y t o quickly see an d
draw a gest ure. Th e more you draw, t h e more you will see. Your drawin gs will quickly gain
grace, proport ion , an d form. You will be able t o use your own creat ivit y, an d your work will
be origin al an d un ique.
Drawing the Figure
Like t h e four-foot ed an d win ged an imals you worked on in Ch apt er 20, It s a Jun gle Out
Th ereSo Draw It !, people move aroun d a lot . Get used t o it . Work wit h t h e kn owledge
t h at t h ey will move an d you won t be disappoin t ed.
Drawin g people is virt ually impossible wit h out a workin g un derst an din g of t h e n ude figure.
On ce you do learn it , you may fin d t h e sh apes an d beaut y of t h e figure become your favor-
it e image.
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Getting Some Practice and Help
Classes an d in formal drawin g groups wit h a model are t h ere for t h e lookin g.
Museums an d adult educat ion programs are places t o ch eck. You can always st art a
group, wit h or wit h out a formal in st ruct or. A model can work wit h suggest ion s as
t o t h e t ype an d len gt h of poses favored by t h e group. Workin g from t h e figure in
a comfort able st udio set t in g can add t o t h e in t imacy of t h e poses an d t h e det ail
surroun din g t h e model, t oo.
Use Your Sketchbook
A sket ch book is a visual st oreh ouse, a place t o pract ice, an d a fascin at in g an d
somet imes poign an t record of life as well.
Capt ure t h e post ure an d gest ure of your subject in a few momen t s. Try for a sen se
of ch aract er if you can in some of t h e an gles an d sh apes.
The Gesture of Life
Gesture drawings are a good place t o st art . Th e object is t o cap-
t ure t h e essen ce of t h e pose, wh ich migh t be quit e en erget ic
as it does n ot h ave t o be h eld very lon g.
In t h e sect ion followin g, weve provided guidelin es for t ryin g
a gest ure drawin g of your own .
Direction and Gesture
Wh en sket ch in g from a model, arran ge yourself so t h at you
can see easily over your work an d h ave a clear view of t h e
wh ole figure. You will n eed t o look back an d fort h from
model t o drawin g oft en an d quickly.
1. Allow about t h ree t o four min ut es for each pose. You
can ask your model ah ead of t ime t o ch an ge t h e pose
accordin g t o a preest ablish ed sch edule.
2. Try t o capt ure:
Th e lin e of t h e spin e.
Th e t wist or an gle of t h e spin e.
Th e an gle of t h e h ead an d n eck.
Th e an gles of t h e sh oulders an d h ips (wh ich are
oft en opposit e t o each ot h er).
Th e direct ion s of t h e arms an d legs.
Th at will keep you plen t y busy!
Artists Sketchbook
Gesture drawings are drawn
from short poses, no more than
four minutes and often as short
as one minute.
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.
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Thoughts on Quick Action Poses
In st ruct t h e model t o ch an ge poses at in t ervals. Wit h each n ew pose, begin a n ew drawin g,
even if you h ave n ot fin ish ed. Creat e a lit t le pressure for yourself. Like a workout , make
yourself st ret ch wit h t h e model. Don t erase, just draw an d draw. If you n eed t o correct ,
draw over it an d keep goin g.
If it is possible for you, t ry t o draw in a lit t le in dicat ion of form, some roun dn ess in t h e
limbs. Make t h e sh apes wh ere body part s overlap. Feel t h e part s of t h e body yourself as you
draw.
Try t o work even ly aroun d t h e figure as lon g as you can . Try n ot t o focus on just on e spot
you can lose sigh t of wh at you are doin g an d wh et h er t h ere are st ill problems t o correct .
Use yourself wh en you run out of models; a mirror or t wo will give you plen t y t o work
wit h .
Quick gesture drawings are great for discovering how the
human body works, and how it looks in motion. Making ges-
ture drawings will help you learn the proportional relationships
of body parts and to follow their natural movement.
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Body Parts and the Whole: Anatomy, You Say?
An at omy, aft er all, is un der t h ere. Wh y n ot h ave at least a passin g acquain t an ce? Heres t h e
quickest an at omy lesson ever writ t en :
Th e skelet al st ruct ure of a figure det ermin es t h e proport ion .
Muscle groups an d t h eir relat ive developmen t are t h e sh apes of t h e body an d limbs, but
t h e bon es are st ill un dern eat h .
Fat deposit s (relaxwe all h ave t h em) alt er t h e sh apes accordin g t o h ow much of it is
wh ere.
Age is an ot h er fact or in h ow t h e body looks. Th e skelet on loses some of it s flexibilit y
wit h age, muscles ch an ge, h ow an d wh ere fat is ret ain ed is differen t , an d t h e qualit y of
t h e skin ch an ges. Yuccck!
It s all a lit t le clin ical, but t h ere it is. Youll fin d t h at your drawin gs will be much bet t er for
t h e t ime you spen d un derst an din g t h e skelet on an d muscle arran gemen t .
The Hip Bone Is Connected to the
Now t h at youve got t h ose basics, h eres more you sh ould kn ow about an at omy.
Th e skelet on h as 206 bon es, h eld t oget h er by ligamen t s. At t h e join t s, t h e bon es are
covered wit h a t h in layer of cart ilage t o prot ect t h em again st wear an d t ear. Th ere is
con n ect ive t issue an d fluid t o lubricat e t h e join t s.
Th e body is support ed by t h e spin e, 33 vert ebrae from t h e skull t h rough t h e sh oulders,
rib cage, an d down t o t h e pelvis.
Th e rib cage forms a barrel-like st ruct ure t o h old an d prot ect t h e h eart an d lun gs.
Th e arms h an g from t h e ball-an d-socket join t of t h e sh oulder, an d ben d an d rot at e
at t h e elbow join t an d t h e wrist join t , wh ich in t urn allow t h e complex flexin g of t h e
h an d.
Th e pelvis, a basin -like arran gemen t at t h e en d of t h e spin e, support s an d prot ect s t h e
in t est in al syst em.
Weigh t is t ran sferred t o t h e large bon es of t h e legs at t h e ball-an d-socket join t of t h e
h ip, t ran sferred down t h e leg at t h e kn ee join t , an d en ds in t h e base formed by t h e feet .
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?
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Muscle Is Good
Muscles do t h e work of movin g t h e skelet on , from large sweepin g mot ion s like run n in g t o
small subt le movemen t s like smilin g or breat h in g. Th ere are over 600 muscles in t h e body,
doin g a variet y of fun ct ion s. At t ach ed wit h ligamen t s t o bon es at eit h er en d, t h ey can con -
t ract an d become sh ort er an d t h icker, or t h ey can st ret ch an d become lon ger an d t h in n er.
For drawin g purposes, we are con cern ed wit h t h e large on es t h at sh ape t h e t orso an d limbs,
an d t h e complex muscles of t h e face t h at creat e expression , a kinesic fun ct ion .
Th e t orso is all t h e bon e an d muscles formin g t h e middle of t h e body, from t h e sh oulders
t o t h e pelvis. Flexin g an d st ret ch in g is possible because of t h e flexibilit y of t h e spin e,
wh ich , as t h e middle-aged amon g us kn ow, varies t remen dously from person t o person . Th e
combin at ion s of t wist s an d t urn s are amazin g, really. Th e spin e even h as a double curve
wh en in a st an din g posit ion .
Th e fron t of t h e t orso is a sh eet of muscles, in cludin g abdomin als, wh ich ben d t h e body
forward, an d sacrospin als, t h e back muscles, wh ich ben d it backward. Th e ch est muscles
pect oralsform t h e bulk of t h e ch est , an d breast s are glan dular, wit h a coverin g of fat .
Th e wide ran ge of mot ion in t h e arms is a fun ct ion of t h e ball-
an d-socket join t of t h e sh oulder an d t h e clavicle (collarbon e) an d
scapula (sh oulder bon e), wh ich are n ot t igh t ly at t ach ed an d move
t o allow st ret ch es an d reach es.
Muscles in t h e sh oulder sect ion are t h e pect orals, t h e ch est , t h e
t rapezius, t h e sh oulders, an d t h e lat issimus dorsi on t h e back. Th e
sh oulder muscle is t h e delt oid. Arm muscles go from t h e sh oulder
t o t h e elbow (biceps on t h e fron t an d t riceps on t h e back), an d
an ot h er set go t o t h e wrist .
Legs are sh aped by large muscles t h at support t h e weigh t of t h e
body an d move it about . Glut eus maximus, t h e large muscles of
t h e but t ocks, go over t h e pelvis t o t h e legs. Th igh muscles (biceps
an d rect us femoris) go from t h e h ip t o t h e kn ee an d t h e calf (gas-
t ron emus) an d sh in muscles go from t h e kn ee t o t h e an kle.
The skeletal system:
Familiarity with the
skeleton will inform
your figure drawings
with a knowledge of
whats under the skin.
Artists Sketchbook
Kinesics is the study of body
movements, gestures, and facial
expressions as a means of com-
munication.
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The muscles of the
body: Drape a skeleton
with muscles and youve
got a body ready to
move.
Studying muscle move-
ment will inform your
figure studies with a
knowledge of kinesics.
Some Basic Proportions
Th e Greek ph ysician Hippocrat es (460377 B.C.E.) recogn ized t wo body
t ypes:
Ph t h isic h abit ust all, t h in ph ysique
Apoplect ic h abit ussh ort , t h ick ph ysique
But t h ese t wo body t ypes really don t even begin t o cover t h e variat ion s
in t h e h uman body, an d t h e st udy of ph ysical an t h ropology h as iden t i-
fied a wide ran ge of body t ypes. William Sh eldon , an an t h ropologist in
t h e 1930s, devised a syst em based on t h ree main t ypes:
En domorph icfat
Mesomorph icmuscular
Ect omorph icbon y
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.
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Try drawin g t h e act ion an d posit ion of t h e figure wit h t h e simplest of lin es for t h e spin e,
sh oulder, h ip, an d limbs. Add some volume t o t h e body cavit y, t h e sh oulders, an d t h e
pelvic area. You can pract ice a kin d of st ick figure, or you can draw t h e body as a series of
proport ion al ellipses, or you can see it as a group of cylin ders an d boxes. However you
begin , close seein g an d drawin g of t h e muscles sh ould follow. Th e best pract ice is well,
pract ice.
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.
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Age and Gender: Some Basic Differences, As If You
Didnt Know
Body proport ion is import an t t o un derst an d. It ch an ges radically from birt h t o adult h ood
an d is sligh t ly differen t bet ween males an d females as well.
Body, Age, and Proportion
Did you kn ow t h at t h e body can be measured relat ively at an y age, in h eads? Th at s righ t :
an average adult s h eigh t is eigh t h eads, easily divisible in h eads at t h e ch in , n ipples, n avel,
crot ch , mid-t h igh , kn ee, an d t h en calf/ foot .
Ch ildren s h eads are much larger relat ively. A babys h ead is about on e-quart er of it s body,
as are it s legs. As a ch ild grows, so do it s legs, wh ile t h e h ead size decreases relat ive t o t h e
body an d t h e limbs.
Accurately seeing and
measuring the propor-
tions of a figure from
childhood to puberty to
adulthood is crucial for
getting the look of the
particular age group.
The male nude.
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If you don t h ave t h e opport un it y t o sket ch live n udes, t ry copyin g famous male n ude
sculpt ures, such 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 three-
dimensional effect.
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Wheres the Beef? Where the Ice Cream Goes
Fat deposit s are sh apes t o con t en d wit h wh en drawin g t h e figure.
Muscle developmen t varies from person t o person of eit h er gen der, but male musculat ure is
gen erally h eavier t h an t h e female. Fat dist ribut ion is differen t , t oo. Men carry weigh t at t h e
middle, on t h e upper back, an d lower back. Women t en d t o carry weigh t on t h eir but t ocks,
abdomen , t h igh s, breast s, an d t h e backs of t h e upper arms. Wh ile t odays cult ure doesn t al-
ways con sider t h is at t ract ive, it s a n at ural part of h uman an at omy. So relax an d open t h at
cart on of Moch a Almon d Fudge.
Typical areas of fat de-
posits on the human
body.
What We Have to Look Forward To
As t h e body ages, t h e flexor muscles sh ort en an d t en d t o pull t h e body in t o a st oop. In ad-
dit ion , t h e spin e curves more, t h e sh oulders roun d or st oop, an d t h e n eck t h rust s t h e h ead
forward. At t h e same t ime, muscle t on e ch an ges, an d t h e muscles become t h in n er an d
sh rin k. Join t s, mean wh ile, seem larger relat ively. Skin an d soft t issue get s soft er an d saggy at
t h e st omach , breast s, elbows, an d ch in . More ice cream, an yon e?
Ch ildren , wit h t h eir lon ger more flexible muscles, are, n ot surprisin gly, more like an imals,
always in mot ion .
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Extremities: Getting Over Hand and Feet Phobias
Th e most common ly drawn figure pose is a lovely t orso, wit h t h e h an ds beh in d t h e back an d
t h e h ead an d feet someh ow left off, as wit h t h e Ven us de Milo. Th ere is a reason for t h is.
Hands
Han ds are t h e ban e of man y a figure drawin g. Th ere are dozen s of small bon es an d muscles
an d ligamen t s in t h e h an d an d t h e wrist wh ich allow us t h e won derful ran ge of movemen t
we t ake for gran t ed, even down t o t h e t ypin g of t h e man uscript for t h is book.
Th in k of t h e h an d as a flat , rat h er squarish sh ape, wit h a wrist join t at on e en d (it is amazin g
h ow oft en t h e wrist is ign ored), an d a curved edge at t h e ot h er en d from wh ich four fin gers
ext en d. Th is plan e is flexible an d can rot at e an d ben d at t h e wrist . On on e side, t h ere is a
wedge-sh aped muscle from wh ich comes t h e t h umb. Th e placemen t of t h e t h umb in t h is
flexible wedge is wh at allows us t h e won der of t h e opposin g t h umb, t h e use of t h umb an d
fin gers in coordin at ed effort . Th in k of doin g an yt h in g wit h out t h is gift !
Pract ice, wit h your own h an d as your ch eap model, is t h e best way t o draw t h e h an d. Make
t h at model work for it s lun ch . Pract ice, in fact , is t h e on ly way you will learn t o draw t h e
h an d. Th eres n o get t in g aroun d it .
Children are more like animals, in perpetual motion, so youll want to use gesture drawing when captur-
ing 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.
Here are some hand po-
sitions to practice copy-
ing. Use arcs to get the
relationship of wrist and
finger joints. (see next
page)
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Feet
Feet are similarly avoided in figure drawin gs. But because t h ey are t h e base for t h e body at
rest or in act ion , you n eed t o pay closer at t en t ion t o t h em.
Th in k of t h e feet as wedged-sh aped bases, h igh er wh ere t h ey are con n ect ed at t h e an kle
join t , slopin g down t oward t h e fron t edge, wit h an arch ed sh ape un dern eat h , an d en din g
in five t oes for added st abilit y. Here, t oo, pract ice will best acquain t you wit h t h e sh apes
an d posit ion s. An d you h ave t wo of t h ese fin e specimen s t o work wit h , as you probably are
n ot h oldin g a pen cil wit h on e of t h 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.
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Head and Neck
Th e h ead an d n eck t op off a st rikin g st ruct ure. Th e cervical vert ebrae go up in t o t h e skull
an d allow t h e h ead it s ran ge of t urn in g, t wist in g, an d ben din g. If youve ever h ad a bad st iff
n eck, you kn ow h ow precious t h is flexibilit y is.
Th e h ead it self is rough ly as wide as it is h igh in profile from t h e fron t , alt h ough it is t h in -
n er t h an it is h igh an d h as an oval sh ape. In t h e back, t h e skull is roun ded, beh in d t h e
sh ape of t h e face an d jaw. Th e back of t h e n eck goes up in t o t h e skull, wh ile t h e fron t of
t h e n eck goes up un der t h e ch in an d jaw. Th e main plan e of t h e face is modified by t h e
facial feat ures: t h e wedge sh ape of t h e n ose, t h e foreh ead, t h e eye socket s, t h e ch eekbon es,
t h e mout h an d jaw, an d t h e ears on t h e sides.
Alon g wit h st udyin g a few examples h ereor bet t er yet , in t h e h un dreds of mast er draw-
in gs in books or museumsjust get in t h ere an d t ry some h ead st udies. Th eyll h elp wit h
port rait ure t o come.
Take a look at these head studies to see how to top off your figure drawing.
More Form and Weight, Now
Okay, ready t o t ry a figure drawin g of your own ?
1. St art your drawin g wit h a few gest ure or act ion lin es t h at are t h e main limbs an d
direct ion of movemen t . Th en , t h in k of t h e body as a collect ion of spare part s, drawn
as geomet ric sh apes of various sizes an d on various an gles relat ive t o each ot h er.
2. Use quick lin es t o est ablish gest ure, proport ion , an d sh ape.
3. Use ellipses for form, part icularly ellipsoids.
In lon ger effort s, t h e same is t rue; just con t in ue t o add det ail, ch eck proport ion , an d
t h en add more det ail an d form.
4. Look at t h e sh apes an d t h e way a sh ape goes over or un der an ot h er, especially at t h e
join t s. Th in k of t h e roun dedn ess of t h e body, it s st ren gt h , an d it s flexibilit y as you
draw volume an d weigh t in t o t h e gest ure.
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5. Try t o add t on e t h at roun ds t h e sh apes an d adds a sen se of t h e smoot h n ess, h ardn ess,
flabbin ess, flat n ess, or t h in n ess t h at you see on t h e model.
A figure drawing is as simple as the sum
of its parts.
In Ch apt er 22, Dress Em Up an d Move Em Out , we will approach t h e h ead, it s propor-
t ion s an d part s, t h e always popular port rait , a con siderat ion of clot h in g, an d t h e busin ess of
populat in g your drawin gs wit h your frien ds, family, or perfect (or close t o perfect ) st ran gers.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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
Because most lan dscapes seem t o h ave as man y people millin g aroun d as t h e h ouses t h ey
live in , it s t ime t o get out t h ere an d st art drawin g t h ese folks. Draw your family, your
frien ds, or t h at elusive perfect st ran ger. You kn ow, t h e t all, dark on e? Oh , wait t h at s a dif-
feren t book.
In t h is ch apt er, well sh ow you h ow t o dress up your figuresn ot just in clot h es, but by
in dividualizin g t h eir feat ures, bodies, an d gest ures.
Add That Human Touch
Your lan dscape drawin gs will oft en be en h an ced an d en liven ed by t h e addit ion of people,
wh et h er sin gly or in groups. Th at s because a h uman presen ce adds a sen se of place, of scale,
an d of t imelin essas well as a t ouch of, well, h uman it y.
Wh en it comes t o t h at h uman t ouch , t h in k of your sket ch book as a person al st at emen t of
your react ion t o life, as well as a place t o pract ice, t o record, an d t o react rat h er like a
diary, but also as a st oreh ouse of images an d ideas for fut ure use.
You can begin by usin g your sket ch book at h ome, wh en t h e family is wat ch in g TV, playin g
out in t h e yard (especially if t h eres a ch ore youd rat h er ign ore), or wh ile someon e is at t h e
barbecue or asleep in a h ammock.
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At ot h er t imes, t oo, make use of your sket ch book as oft en as you can . Draw peo-
ple in t h e st reet , on t h e t rain , wait in g for t h e bus, at lun ch in t h e park, walkin g a
dog, joggin g, sun n in g on t h e grassan ywh ere you can t h in k of will do.
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 exam-
ples.
No Flat Heads Here: Heads and Faces
So, youve asked a frien d or family member t o pose for a port rait . Now, let s make sure t h at
you en d up wit h a t h ree-dimen sion al, proport ion ally correct face an d h ead, wit h t h e eyes,
n ose, an d mout h wh ere t h eyre supposed t o be, so you don t lose a frien dor en d up in
divorce court .
Types and Proportion
Let s st art at t h e t op. Th e h ead is an oval from t h e fron t , rat h er t h in n er t h an it is h igh . In
profile, t h e h ead is about as wide as it is h igh . Th e back of t h e skull is roun ded an d t h e jaw
lin e curves down t o t h e ch in .
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As wit h body t ypes, h eads an d facial st ruct ures come in an t h ropologically iden t ifiable gra-
dat ion s (wh at a mout h fulsay t h at 10 t imes fast ):
A dolich oceph alic face is lon g an d n arrow an d h as a dist in ct ive con vex profile.
A brach yceph alic face is flat t er an d wider.
A mesoceph alic face is squarer an d h as t rait s of bot h .
Try t o see past gen eralit ies as you draw t h e begin n in g sh apes of a
person s h ead an d face, just as you would wit h t h eir body t ype.
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat
Th e h ead, face, an d t h e posit ion of t h e facial feat ures can be
rough ly described wit h a few quick lin es. Th en you can draw some
addit ion al lin es ligh t ly t o est ablish a guide.
On t h e oval of t h e fron t of t h e h ead
Th e eyes are at about h alfway.
Th e n ose is about h alfway bet ween t h e eyes.
Th e ch in curves at t h e bot t om of t h e oval.
Th e mout h lin e is about h alfway bet ween t h e n ose an d t h e
ch in .
Try Your Hand
When you are going out, remem-
ber 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.
These drawn guidelines,
along with the written
rules above, will help
you position the features
on just about any face.
In addit ion :
Th e eyes are about on e eyes widt h apart alon g t h e middle lin e.
Th e n ose is a wedge sh ape in t h e middle of t h e face.
Wh en t h e face is seen in profile, t h e n ose is a t rian gle out from t h e face.
At an y view, t h e wedge of t h e n ose is perpen dicular t o t h e face.
Th e mout h is formed by t h e t wo lips, cen t ered un der t h e n ose.
Th e ch in is t h e n arrow curve of t h e bot t om jaw, a lin e t h at comes from just below t h e
ear.
Th e ears t h emselves are flaps t h at are on t h e side of t h e h ead at about a level bet ween
t h e eyes an d t h e n ose.
Th e n ecklin e comes from t h e ear on t h e side an d un der t h e ch in .
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Especially for Children
Remember t h at a ch ilds h ead an d face h ave t h eir own proport ion relat ive t o an adult face
an d h ead. Look carefully at t h e differen ces:
Th e eyes are wider an d larger.
Th e n ose is sh ort er, soft er (all cart ilage an d bon e develops lat er), an d more upt urn ed.
Th e mout h is usually fuller.
Th e foreh ead is wider.
Th e ch in is smaller.
Likeness and Portraiture
Port rait ure at t ract s most people. Aft er all, we do like t o look at our fellow h uman s an d fam-
ily members. But wh ere do you begin ? At t h e t op. Th e followin g rules of drawin g t h e face
can h elp you.
1. Begin a port rait wit h a st udy of t h e h ead an d facial proport ion s of your subject .
2. Ch eck t h e an gles very carefully, in cludin g t h e an gle of t h e pose, wh et h er from side
t o side or t ilt ed up or down , or bot h . Posit ion t h e guidelin es for t h e feat ures so t h ey
lin e up.
The guidelines for the
full frontal view, accom-
panied 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.
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3. Th ere is n o poin t in ren derin g a n ose t h at is just a lit t le bit t oo h igh or a mout h t h at
is just a lit t le bit off t o t h e side, so make sure of your base. Draw ligh t ly un t il you like
t h e sh apes.
Examples of an infants
face.
Some Basic Proportions and Shapes
Look for t h e specific sh apes t h at make up t h e feat ures of your subject . For example:
Faces are roun d, wide, n arrow, oval, or square.
Noses come in lot s of sh apes an d sizes.
Eyes are close, wide, deep, small or large, squin t y or roun d.
Eyebrows an d t h e bridge of t h e n ose are key t ran sit ion s.
Ch eekbon es are h igh or low, promin en t or flat .
Mout h s are wide or n arrow, full-lipped or t h in .
Jaws are wide or n arrow, un der- or overdeveloped.
Ears are small or large, close or prot rudin g.
Necks are lon g or sh ort , t h in or t h ick.
Hairlin e, t ype of h air, an d cut of h air all iden t ify an in dividual.
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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Our feat ures are most ly all in t h e same place, so it s t h e lit t le variat ion s t h at make t h e in di-
vidual an d t h e expression .
Begin work on t h e feat ures on your port rait wit h t h e same con cern for sh ape, space, an d
form t h at you h ave used on all your work. Con sider t h e basic sh apes an d t h en refin e t h em
as you go. Th e more you look at t h e sh ape an d st ruct ure of a feat ure, t h e bet t er you will
draw it .
Setting a Scene for a Portrait
Set t in g a scen e for a port rait is a n ice way t o add t o t h e special feelin g an d t h e con n ect ion
t o t h e subject s life or in t erest s. Some port rait s are set in in t imat e surroun din gs t o creat e a
secret spot or a rest ful feel; ot h ers are set in a more public space, or out doors if it suit s t h e
subject . You are t h e ult imat e judge of wh at s appropriat e wh en it comes t o set t in g, but
don t h esit at e t o t ry a set t in g t h at is un usual.
You might want to practice drawing just
features to get a feel for their individual-
ity. The nose knows .
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When You Are Your Subject
Wh en youre your subject , you h ave even more say in h ow t h e drawin g will look. On e or
more mirrors can set you up wit h an y n umber of views, an d you can sit for yourself as lon g
as you like. Th ere will also, h opefully, be less argumen t about wh en t o t ake breaks an d h ow
lon g youre makin g your subject sit st ill.
Lauren drew this figure
of her nephew when he
was a week old.
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 him-
or herself!
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Folds, Drapes, Buttons, and Bows
You migh t wan t t o go back t o t h e descript ion of drawin g fabric in Ch apt er 14 t o review
some of t h e t ricks of fabric drawin g. On ce youve got fabric mast ered, clot h es will fall righ t
in t o place. But h ere are some furt h er h in t s, t oo.
Over and Under: Folds and How to Draw
Them
Quit e simply, clot h in g covers t h e body t h at you are drawin g. On ce
youve got t en a basic sket ch an d are h appy wit h t h e proport ion s an d
gest ure, youll wan t t o begin t o add t h e det ail of t h e clot h in g. Remem-
ber t h at clot h in g covers a roun ded figure, n ot a flat on e. Places like
n ecklin es, cuffs, an d pan t legs n eed t o h ave a roun dn ess t o t h em.
Detailing: Make the Clothing Fit the
Woman or Man
Th e det ail in clot h in g adds t o t h e pose an d gest ure of an in dividual
an d set s t h e scen e for t h at person s act ivit y in your drawin g. You can
sket ch it in or you can spen d t ime on t h e t ext ures an d pat t ern s, t h e
st yle, an d t h e det ails.
Self-portraits drawn on
Plexiglas produce a
quick-study image.
Details of self-portraits,
such as a vivid facial ex-
pression or that favorite
pet, add poignancy and
endearing emotion to
self-portraits.
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 sub-
ject. Creases where one shape
goes behind another need to be
imagined and drawn.
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In addit ion , a few props can oft en add t h e det ail youre aft er in a port rait . If you en joy
drawin g people, as port rait s or as ch aract ers in your larger work, you migh t amass a collec-
t ion of prop h at s, gloves, boot s, jewels, flowers, an d feat h ers, just for fun .
Putting People in Your Drawings
If youre out drawin g a lan dscape an d t h ere are people in it , you sh ould feel con fiden t
en ough t o add t h em n ow. You do, h owever, n eed t o place t h em well an d keep t h em in scale
wit h t h eir surroun din gs.
Gen erally, careful measurin g an d relat ion al seein g will get t h em in t h e righ t place. Feel free
t o ret urn t o t h e t ear card at t h e fron t of t h is book wh en ever you n eed a remin der about
measurin g guidelin es.
Where Are They?
In side, t h e scale of people an d t h in gs is n ot much of a problem, because t h e dist an ces are
n ot great an d t h e people are probably easy t o see. Try drawin g a frien d workin g in t h e
kit ch en , or a family member sn oozin g in fron t of t h e TV, or an in t imat e frien d in t h e t ub or
relaxin g in t h e bedroom. Th e set t in g of your drawin g h elps place t h e person an d adds a
special feelin g about t h e momen t .
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Out side, h owever, is a differen t st ory; t h e possibilit ies are about as en dless as t h e lan dscape
it self. Your figures can be off in t h e dist an ce an d be just an ot h er elemen t in t h e lan dscape,
like a t ree or fen ce. Or, t h ey can be rat h er in t h e middle an d be part of t h e act ion of t h e
drawin g, or in t h e foregroun d an d be t h e act ion , wit h t h e lan dscape providin g t h e back-
drop an d set t in g for t h eir act ivit y. People in t h e foregroun d, part icularly if t h ey are in t erest -
in gly dressed, deserve some real at t en t ion t o det ail.
What Are They Doing? Action, Gesture, and Detail
Th e body in act ion probably presen t s you wit h some foresh ort en in g ch allen ges. It s really
quit e simple, t h ough : If you t h in k of people as cylin ders in space, youll kn ow h ow t o draw
t h em. Measure carefully t o see wh ere t h e body part s lin e up wit h each ot h er in t h e fore-
sh ort en ed pose, as opposed t o t h e figure if it were st an din g st raigh t up.
To draw people at work an d at play, con cen t rat e on t h e act ion an d t h e gest ure in quick
lin es, addin g det ail as you can . Somet imes a small det ail, like a h at or a fish in g pole, is
en ough t o begin t o con vey a feel for t h e person or t h e act ivit y.
No mat t er wh at , youll fin d t h at addin g people t o your drawin gs adds a wh ole n ew dimen -
sion . Try it an d see. In t h e n ext ch apt er, well explore drawin g for a special class of people
kids.
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 place-
ment 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.
Placing people in your landscape can add both drama and character(s).
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Dress Em Up and Move Em Out
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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 man s drawin gs on cave walls, t o t h e great Ren aissan ce drawin gs of da Vin ci an d
on wards, t o t h e works of our con t emporaries, drawin g is a basic h uman expression . Wit h
t odays power-based, lan guage-driven , an alyt ical at t it ude t oward educat ion , t h ough , drawin g
n o lon ger h as a place of real import an ce (gen erally speakin g).
Ch ildren are t augh t t h e import an ce of academic ach ievemen t , but visual skills are usually
t h ough t of as past imes or h obbies. Th is mean s t h at ch ildren draw un t il t h ey are educat ed out
of t h eir in n ocen t sen se of won der an d t h e abilit y t o just do wit h out bein g caugh t up in
correct n ess an d passin g judgmen t on t h eir work. Th ey t h en aban don drawin g alt oget h er.
You, h owever, can ch an ge t h is: Use wh at you h ave learn ed about drawin g an d t ry bein g a
ch ilds guide. Get in t ouch wit h your ch ild, gran dch ild, or a youn g frien d an d open up t o t h e
world of seein g an d drawin g, t oget h er.
From Symbols to Realism
Youn g ch ildren are con fron t ed wit h a world of t h in gs t o see, learn , n ame, an d un derst an d, t o
say n ot h in g of con cept s, ideas, an d feelin gs. Th ey st art by drawin g st ick figures t o commun i-
cat e ideas t o t h emselves an d ot h ers, an d as t h ey draw t h ese crude pict ures, t h ey are con -
n ect in g words t o t h eir min d pict ures. As youll recall from Ch apt er 1, Th e Pleasures of Seein g
an d Drawin g, drawin g it self is n on verbal, but it h elps ch ildren develop ideas an d lan guage.
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Youn g ch ildren con t in ue t o draw t h eir ideas in symbols wh ile at t h e same t ime t h ey learn
t o see an d draw object s as well. An d, as t h eir visual percept ion skills develop, t h ey also
learn t o con cen t rat e, become more pat ien t , an d in crease t h eir problem-solvin g abilit y.
Older ch ildren h ave already given up symbolic drawin g an d wan t t o draw realist ically, an d
t h ey are frust rat ed if t h ey can t . By t h e t ime a ch ild is in secon d grade, in fact , t h e left -brain
world of edit orial judgmen t is firmly in place, an d t h at joy of un cen sored creat ivit y is gon e.
Stick figures arent just for kids. These were drawn by some of Laurens friends.
Educating the Right Side
We t each t h e do as I say met h od of impart in g kn owledge, an d t h en we t est t o est ablish
capabilit y, skill, an d in t elligen ce in just t h at on e way, n ever ackn owledgin g t h at t h ere are
man y kin ds of in t elligen ce an d man y ways of workin g. Th e t rut h is t h at educat ion is learn -
in g, but it s a left -brain ed, verbally based, lan guage-driven at t it ude t oward learn in g.
To t each art an d drawin g t o ch ildren or t o learn alon g wit h t h emh elps t h em learn early
on t o access t h e relat ion al righ t an d avoid t h e crun ch wh en t h ey are frust rat ed t h at makes
t h em quit . Usin g a righ t -brain ed approach , ch ildren can learn visual (an d life) skills t o last
t h em in t o adult h ood:
Spat ial organ izat ion
At t en t ion t o det ail
Pat ien ce
Kin dn ess
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In addit ion , drawin g h as an advan t age as a learn in g act ivit y. Because it is seen as a pleasura-
ble act ivit y rat h er t h an an academic on e, it s n ot t h ough t of as st ressful. At t h e same t ime,
because it s oft en an un graded subject , or at least n ot viewed as st rin gen t ly as more academ-
ic on es, it s relat ively free of t h e an xiet y an d fear of failure t h at come wit h ot h er subject s.
From Hunter to High Tech
Lon g, lon g ago, we were more con n ect edt o t h e lan d, t o our fam-
ilies, t o t h e way we gat h ered an d grew food, t o t h e an imals t h at
provided food, clot h in g, an d sh elt er, an d t o t h e expression of our-
selves t h rough drawin g. In sh ort , t h e h un t er-gat h erers way of life
relied on basic skills, in t erdepen den ce, an d cooperat ion .
As we set t led in t o t h e lives of farmers an d craft speople, t h ese basic
skills were st ill import an t . At t h e same t ime, t h e added act ivit ies
of explorat ion an d t h e set t lin g of n ew lan ds required mult i-
t askin g, but also in cluded a growin g depen den ce on domin at ion
an d superiorit y.
Today, t h e h ard work an d basic life skills required of t h e agrarian
age h ave been supplan t ed by t h e academic learn in g an d an alyt ical
kn owledge valued in t h is in dust rial an d post -in dust rial age. An d,
wh en we look forward in t o t h e t ech n ological age of t h e t wen t y-
first cen t ury, it s clear t h at all kin ds of creat ive, vision ary skills will
be n ecessary for full developmen t .
Visual Learning for All Reasons
Visual learn in g is a great t ool: If you draw somet h in g you kn ow it , an d t o kn ow it , you draw
it . As Frederick Fran k put s it , I h ave learn ed t h at wh at I h ave n ot drawn , I h ave n ever really
seen . Ch ildren across t h e learn in g spect rum can ben efit from learn in g t o draw in a vari-
et y of ways:
Drawin g can h elp wh ere skills h ave been or are compromised because of various ch al-
len ges. Th ose wit h on ly average academic skills, for example, can h ave well above-
average skills in visual areas, an d even en joy careers as visual art ist s, art isan s, an d
craft smen . Research h as sh own t h at learn in g disabilit ies are oft en problems in t h e
processin g of lan guage-based in format ion , an d learn in g-disabled people oft en h ave
very st ron g visual skills.
Wh at ever a ch ilds skills, n ew levels of compet en ce an d a sen se of reward can be at -
t ain ed wit h effort an d pat ien ce. Th en , wit h t h e con fiden ce gain ed from t h e n ew learn -
in g an d act ivit ies, pot en t ial career opt ion s in crease as well. Ch ildren wh o draw n o
lon ger view t h eir sen se of self as n arrow or t radit ion al.
Drawin g promot es n ew en ergy an d con fiden ce in an y en deavor, addin g import an t rea-
son in g skills t o t h e bat t ery of left -brain t h in kin g. Drawin g a difficult subject can speed
t h e rat e of learn in g t h e in format ion an d ext en d t h e ret en t ion t ime, t oo.
In t h e elect ron ic aren a, t h e creat ive relat ion al min d is a plus; t h e abilit y t o see t h e big
pict ure an d look at it from an ot h er an gle an d con t in ue t o see it an ew is a gift .
Human expression h as a value all it s own . To be able t o express feelin g an d t h ough t s visu-
ally is t o en courage on e t o feel an d express t h ose feelin gsan d a st ep alon g t h e way t o
great er un derst an din g amon gst us all.
Back to the Drawing Board
School curricula generally under-
value art in favor of left-brained
learning. Drawing can help chil-
dren organize and develop se-
quential 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.
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We All Love to Draw
In a n on t h reat en in g en viron men t , we all love t o draw. Th at s because t h e h idden ch ild
comes out t o play. But t radit ion al in st ruct ion in drawin g was for older ch ildren , usually
t h ose wh o drew well, an d was focused on t radit ion al European st yles an d models. It didn t
leave much room for fun .
Today, t h ose of us wh o h elp ch ildren draw kn ow t h at t h ey can learn t o draw realist ically
in a creat ive en viron men t wit h out sacrificin g t h eir n at ural creat ivit y. Wit h older ch ildren
part icularly, t h e experien ce can keep t h em from h it t in g t h e wall of frust rat ion wh en t h ey
can t draw t o t h eir expect at ion s an d quit . Th e key is t h at n on t h reat en in g en viron men t
an d permission t o play.
Drawing can be funjust look at these, with the theme: Springtime and Easter.
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Kids Draw at Any Age
Ch ildren n eed h elp wit h drawin g realist ically before t h ey st op, as t h ey n at urally will, t h e
symbolic st ick-t ype drawin gs t h ey made wh en youn ger t o describe t h eir world. An d t een -
agers will resist because t h eir lan guage-based left brain s h ave t aken over an d t old t h em t h ey
can t draw.
Wh en youre drawin g wit h a group of ch ildren , youll n eed t o be aware of t h ese differen ces.
If t h ere is a ran ge of skill an d age in a group, go for t h e average. Th e slower on es will cat ch
up an d t h e more advan ced will experimen t .
The Very Young
St art drawin g wit h kids wh en t h eyre youn g; you can give t h e gift of visual experien ce t o a
very youn g ch ild an d likely affect t h e ch ilds visual abilit ies, en couragin g h is or h er abilit y
t o be visually in clin ed an d gift ed. On e possible act ivit y is t o play games wit h basic sh apes.
Recogn it ion an d duplicat ion of t h ose circles, squares, an d t rian gles is good for visual per-
cept ion an d for developin g t h e mot or skills an d coordin at ion n eeded for drawin 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
Time spen t wit h a ch ild is t h e best way t o kn ow just wh ere h e or sh e falls in t h e st ages of
visual developmen t , an d, as wit h all ot h er developmen t , a ch ild may advan ce beyon d an d
ret reat back. Th e followin g guidelin es will h elp you det ermin e wh ere best t o apply your
en ergies:
At ages t h ree t o four years, you can work wit h basic sh apes, but ch ildren in t h is age
group will most ly draw symbolically in st ick figures.
By t h e t ime ch ildren are five t o six years old, t h ey can begin t o draw realist ically from
simple sh apes, but t h ey will also con t in ue t o draw symbolically.
Ch ildren wh o are seven t o eigh t years old can draw realist ically, but t h ey may revert
t o symbolic drawin gs for fun . Let t h em!
Adolescen t s from eigh t t o t h irt een years old h ave aban don ed symbolic drawin g an d
are eager t o draw realist ically. Th ey compare an d crit icize an d can easily become
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frust rat ed an d give up if t h ey feel t h ey can n ot perform. It s especially import an t t o re-
min d t h is age group t h at drawin g is fun , n ot compet it ive.
Childrens drawings can reveal their interests and should be encouraged.
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Tactics
Th ere are a n umber of st eps you can t ake t o make drawin g a posit ive experien ce for ch il-
dren .
1. Set up a frien dly an d support ive world.
2. Talk as an adult , kin dly an d support ively, but n ot con descen din gly. Kids t reat ed t h usly
will act more mat urely.
3. Talk n on judgmen t ally. Avoid performan ce words, compet it ion or comparison words,
an d defin it ely fear or failure words. Elimin at e good, bad, better, best, right, wrong, easy,
hard, mistake, an d cheat from your vocabulary.
4. Follow t h eir lead on subject s t o draw, at least some of t h e t ime, or t ry makin g a deal t o
follow a suggest ion for part of t h e t ime an d work on a ch osen project for t h e rest of
t h e t ime.
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 de-
velop 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 st ep in en couragin g kids t o draw is t o st ock up on
wh at ever you don t already h ave:
Markers, fin e an d broad-t ipped, in lot s of colors
Dry-erase markers for drawin g on plast ic
Mech an ical pen cils, wit h a t h icker lead
(0.7) in a few h ardn esses
Colored pen cils, as big a set of colors as possible
Erasers, an assort men t ; t ape, scissors, clips
Paperin expen sive, an d lot s of it
Boards, plywood t o work on
Wat er-based pain t , wat ercolor or acrylic, depen din g
on t h e ch ilds age
In dia in k an d pen or brush ; wat er-soluble crayon s
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.
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Reference Materials
Accumulat e a file of pict ures t o referen ce an d ideas for pict ures or backgroun ds. Your youn g
frien ds can add t o t h e pile, t oo. Th ey will come up wit h uses an d applicat ion s for pieces of
graph ics t h at will amaze you. Pict ures, post cards, cards, graph ics, books an d magazin es, an d
wrappin g paper are a begin n in g. Soon , t h e kids will be brin gin g in mat erials you h adn t
even t h ough t of.
An d t h en t h ere is t h e world of object s. Try t o set aside a sh elf for t h in gs t o draw. Th e sky is
t h e limit h ere. Be playful an d in ven t ive, surprisin g even . Flowers an d fruit (dried or fresh or
fake), sh ells, skulls, bon es, but t erflies, plast ic an imals wit h good scale an d det ail, t oy cars,
old t oys, old blocks an d log cabin set s, kit ch en ut en sils an d bowls, dollh ouse furn it ure,
dolls, broken t oys, fish in g t ackle, sport s equipmen t , act ion figures, musical in st rumen t s, a
t ypewrit er (if you st ill h ave on e), roller skat es, an d t oolsall t h ese merely begin a list t h at
h as n o en d.
Drawing objects are limited by only the imagination, as one of Laurens stu-
dents illustrates in these two drawings.
Retraining the Critic
Rest rain an d ret rain t h e crit ic in your h ead (yupit s Old Left y again ).
Get rid of h im an d in vit e in your kin der righ t side as a guide in st ead.
We don t n eed n ast y crit ics; t h ere is n o righ t or wron g, an d n o on e
way.
See the Basics
Get t in g back t o basics is t h e best approach for drawin g wit h kids.
Creat e a peaceful an d en couragin g en viron men t , wit h n o judgmen t al
words like mistake, n o compet it ive words like good, bad, better, or best.
Wit h youn ger ch ildren , see t h e basic sh apest h e circles, t rian gles, an d
squares in an yt h in gan d draw t h em as t h e begin n in g. Wit h older
ch ildren , t ry t o see t h e t h ree-dimen sion al geomet ric sh apes in t h in gs
sph eres, cubes, fun n els, eggs, an d t ubesan d use t h em as buildin g
blocks t oward more complicat ed t h in gs.
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.
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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 ildren migh t n ot un derst an d all t h e t erms t h at we assume t h ey un derst an d, so it s im-
port an t t o use simple lan guage un t il you are sure of your explan at ion s. For example,
A lin e or sh ape t h at is
h orizon t al is lyin g down .
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vert ical is st an din g up.
diagon al is lean in g.
recedin g or dimin ish in g is get t in g smaller in t h e dist an ce.
A profile is t h e side of somet h in g or someon es face.
A con t our lin e goes all aroun d t h e edge of somet h in g.
You can probably t h in k of more simple ways t o describe t h in gs, ideas, or project s.
When Problems Arise
As wit h all act ivit ies, youll h ave good days an d n ot -so-good days. Remain support ive an d
un derst an din g if t h in gs don t go as you plan n ed, an d look for reason s for t h e speed bump
t h at you migh t h ave overlooked. Main t ain in g a prot ect ive an d en couragin g at mosph ere
t h at in cludes mut ual t rust will en able t h e ch ild t o work out a problem.
In spit e of your best in t en t ion s, t h ough , problems will arise. So h ere are
some of t h e possible pit falls an d solut ion s.
Distractions and Quiet
A proact ive approach can be best wh en it comes t o peace an d quiet dur-
in g drawin g t ime. Drawin g is best don e in silen ce, because t h e righ t
brain is n ot ch at t y. Try for a quiet , peaceful t ime, an d maybe some soft
music. Explain t h at drawin g t ime is n ot st ory t ime, an d t h at it feels
good t o sit quiet ly an d draw an d t ell t h e st ories lat er.
Tension, Frustration, Fatigue, and Short
Attention Span
Wh ole books are writ t en on each of t h ese, because ch ildren are apt t o
experien ce an y or all of t h em wh ile drawin g. Be as pat ien t as you can .
Look for t h e reason beh in d t h e problem, en courage t h e ch ild t o explain
h is or h er feelin gs, an d remain t h e kin d adult .
Th e older a ch ild is, t h e lon ger h is or h er at t en t ion span will be. If an y
of t h e above is exh ibit ed at t h e begin n in g of t h e drawin g session , it s
possible t h at drawin g isn t t h e problem at all.
As a ch ild learn s t o en joy drawin g, t h eyll wan t t o do it more oft en an d
for lon ger periods of t ime. Th e most import an t rule for len gt h of session
an d h ow oft en t h ey sh ould occur is flexibilit yyours. Don t impose
left -brain ed, adult rigidit y on wh at sh ould be a joyful, fun -filled act ivit y.
Fun Drawing Exercises for Kids
Be as in ven t ive as you can as you look back t h rough t h e exercises in
t h is book an d adapt t h em for your youn g frien ds an d family. Weve
don e some of t h at for you, but don t let us st op you from comin g up
wit h some variat ion s of your own as well.
For the very young: Recogn ize an d copy. Youn g ch ildren en joy
copyin g set s of sh apes or lin es. It s good pract ice for observin g
t h e differen ces an d good for coordin at ion , t oo.
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.
Back to the Drawing Board
Avoid generalities or art speak
with kids (or adults, for that
matter). Save it for cocktail par-
ties instead. When youre work-
ing with kids, explain specifically
what you mean and where.
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After a while, try drawing with basic shapes. Give t h e circle, oval, t rian gle, wedge, square,
an d rect an gle a t ry. You can set up buildin g blocks an d t h en Lin coln logs in simple
groups t o serve as models.
For the older child, to help build a vocabulary of lines and textures, use a variety of simple
lines. Pract ice dot s, st raigh t lin es, curves, jagged lin es, spikes, spirals, an d crisscrossed
lin es for differen t sh apes, t on es, an d t ext ures.
Mirror-image vase exercise. Kids like t h e mirror-image vase/ profile drawin g from Ch apt er
2, Toward Seein g for Drawin g. Let t h em in ven t a simple profile for t h e vase.
Drawing without looking. Review t h is exercise in Ch apt er 2, t oo, an d t ry drawin g a h an d
or a t h in g wit h out lookin g.
Negative-space drawings. Set up a simple ch air, as in Ch apt er 6, Negat ive Space as a
Posit ive Tool, an d t ry t h e n egat ive-space drawin g.
Upside-down drawing. Try t h e upside-down drawin g from Ch apt er 2, but pick a simpler
subject t o st art , maybe a pict ure of an an imal.
Drawing things that overlap. Spat ial relat ion sh ips may t ake some t ime for a ch ild t o
grasp. Try makin g a st ill life arran gemen t on a large piece of paper an d draw a lin e
aroun d each object t o sh ow t h e space it n eeds.
Portraits and self-portraits. Kids like t o draw on e an ot h er an d t h emselves. Sh ow t h em
t h e simple proport ion al lin es t o arran ge t h e feat ures on a face. Th en , h an d t h em a
mirror an d see wh at h appen s.
Kids love to draw themselvesjust look at these examples.
On the sliding glass door. Drawin g on a slidin g glass door wit h dry-erase markers is a
favorit e wit h Lauren s classes. Take t urn s posin g on t h e ot h er side of t h e door, make
st ill life arran gemen t s on a st ool, or draw ch airs, boot s, basket s, an d boxesmaybe
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even a bicycleon t h e glass. Remember t o close on e eye t o flat t en t h e t h ree-
dimen sion al space an d st ay very st ill 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 acci-
dents; 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 place t o st art , a basic sh ape, t h e cen t er of somet h in g, t h e st em of somet h in g. Th en ,
use t h e plast ic pict ure plan e or t h e viewfin der frame t o h elp t h e ch ild est ablish t h e cen t er of
t h e page an d t h e cen t er of t h e image.
For Mistakes or Problems
As much as you t ry t o avoid even t h e lan guage of mist akes, ch ildren , part icularly older on es,
will decide t h at somet h in g is wron g wit h t h eir drawin g. To en courage a creat ive solut ion ,
you can always
Add somet h in g t o t h e problem area, like t ext ure.
Ch an ge somet h in g t h at is a problem in t o somet h in g else.
Tran sform somet h in g by lookin g at it differen t ly.
Rearran ge somet h in g on a n ew piece of paper (use a win dow or a ligh t box, for exam-
ple).
Above All, Have Fun
Make t h e most of t h e t ime you h ave wit h a ch ild. You will bot h ben efit from t h e t ime t o-
get h er. Th e gift of seein g an d drawin g is on e t h at a ch ild will h ave an d remember forever.
Chapter 23

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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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
Your drawin g subject s are limit ed on ly by your imagin at ion . Travel, bot h overseas an d t o
t h e local n at ure preserve, for example, can be en h an ced by carryin g a sket ch book alon g
wit h your camera.
Th en , t h eres decorat in g your world. On ce youve learn ed t o draw, you can creat e books of
your own , or cust omize your h ome an d your furn it ure.
Th is ch apt er is ch ock-full of suggest ion s for drawin g, bot h on paper, an d on some ot h er sur-
faces you may n ot h ave t h ough t of.
Have Sketchbook, Will Travel
We love t o t ravel, an d we love t o see an d draw wh at ever of in t erest comes alon g wh ile we
do. We don t really care wh ere we areIt alian h ill t own s, ski villages in Fran ce, a n ice t en t
sit e in t h e Rockies, a beat -up h ot el off t h e coast of Main e, t h e west ern desert . Wit h t h e
ch an gin g lan dscape, up-close bot an ical det ails, st ill lifes t h ere for t h e drawin g, or vist as off
in t h e dist an ce, t h ere is always a visual t reat .
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Using Your Own Images
Usin g your own drawin gs for ot h er project s is wh en t h e real fun be-
gin s. Of course, drawin g is for it s own sake an d sh ould con t in ue t o be,
but n ow you can use t h at skill an d some of t h e drawin gs t o person alize
your world.
Drawin gs are a n at ural in t h e garden , green h ouse, or just a h ello from a
sun n y win dow in t h e dept h of win t er. Treat yourself t o a won derful
bouquet of flowers an d draw it . Revisit a ch ildh ood love of wildflowers,
or discover it n ow; go out an d sket ch t h em, from t h e delicat ely scen t -
ed, early sprin g t railin g arbut us t o exot ic ladys slippers an d jack-in -t h e-
pulpit s.
Get down close an d look at t h em, smell t h eir scen t , en joy t h e splen dor
of sprin g, t h e flush of summer, an d t h e ripen ess of fall.
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.
Try Your Hand
They say a picture is worth a
thousand words, so use your
drawings to amplify, identify, illu-
minate, direct, explain, or just
plain decorate, whenever and
wherever you can.
Dont just wake up and smell the flowersget out and draw them, too.
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Now, h eres t h e best part : On ce youve got an assort men t of bot an -
ical drawin gs, you can use t h em t o illust rat e everyt h in g from
recipes t o your walls.
Trading Information: How-Tos
or Recipes
People are always swappin g in format ion , an d you can add t h e vi-
sual t o your explan at ion s, for fun or even for profit . Illust rat ion s
h elp explain t h in gs t h at would ot h erwise be difficult or t ake t oo
man y words. How-t o st eps make an y explan at ion easier t o un der-
st an d, wh et h er in n ewspapers, magazin es, guidebooks, broch ures,
an d of course, in t h e world of n on fict ion t h ere are h ow-t o books
an d Complete Idiots Guides on every subject t h ere is.
Try illuminating or illustrating on e of your favorit e recipes. Make
copies an d h an d t h em out t o frien ds. Keep a copy of each as well;
you may h ave t h e begin n in g of a man uscript !
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.
Decorate your world by illuminating or illustrat-
ing a favorite recipe.
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Illustrating an Idea or a Technique
To t ry an illust rat ion of your own , begin by pickin g a subject you kn ow
well, such as a garden in g t ech n ique. Th en , follow t h ese simple st eps:
1. Writ e out t h e st eps in det ail t o explain it t o a begin n er.
2. Add drawin gs t o your explan at ion .
Even you will see h ow much easier it is t o explain somet h in g wit h t h e
addit ion of illust rat ion s.
Now, pick a subject t h at you don t kn ow much about , or an aspect of a
subject youd like t o kn ow more about . Do your research an d writ e out
your n ot es, but also add sket ch es, usin g t h e simple st eps above, t o h elp
you learn t h e n ew mat erial an d really ret ain it .
Try Your Hand
Drawing can dramatically speed
the learning process and increase
your powers of retention.
How-tos become simple
to follow with the addi-
tion of illustrations.
Illustrating an Idea
You can use your drawin gs t o illust rat e an idea or accompan y an yt h in g from a collect ion of
poems t o a post er advert isin g an even t you are volun t eerin g for. On ce youve got t en st art -
ed, t h ough , local ch arit ies an d organ izat ion s will be beat in g down your door, so wat ch out !
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The Story of You
At on e t ime or an ot h er, we all seem t o h ave t ried our h an d at writ -
in g a st ory, fict ion or n on fict ion , wh et h er for a ch ild, out of a spe-
cific in t erest , or because t h e muse visit ed an d it h ad t o be don e.
So, t ake t h e n ext st ep an d illust rat e it wit h your own drawin gs!
By n ow it sh ould be clear t h at your life is just as in t erest in g as t h e
n ext guys. Wh y n ot expan d t h at journ al of yours in t o a larger
piece of illumin at ed work in a separat e volume? Wh et h er specifi-
cally for your t ravels or all about your family or your own life,
your illumin at ed journ al will grow t o be somet h in g youll t reasure
more an d more as t h e years go by. Take it from t wo middle-aged
gals wh o kn ow.
Donate your skills to local charitiesillustrate flyers for
community events.
Try Your Hand
Your local printer or business of-
fice 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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Illuminating Your Personal Life
St at ion ery, let t erh eads, post cards, an d person al or busin ess cards are great ways t o decorat e
your world wit h your drawin gs.
Origin al art for black-an d-wh it e reproduct ion works well wh en it is reduced about 50 per-
cen t , so model your origin al accordin g t o wh at you h ave plan n ed. Make a rough design t o
sh ow placemen t of art an d t ype, t h en look at your ch oices of t ype st yle. You can offer t o
make a set of wh at ever you creat e for a frien d or family member as a most person al gift .
Greet in g cards an d h oliday greet in gs an d in vit at ion s t o part ies are ot h er project s you can t ry
wit h your own images. Even wit h out a comput er an d scan n er, you can make up a n ice card
fron t an d h ave good black-an d-wh it e or color copies made at your local 24-h our prin t er t o
Illustrate a storyyours or someone elseswith drawings. Here are a few to inspire you.
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fold in t o cards. Th en , you can add your own h an dwrit t en greet in g
or you can writ e it out in a calligraphic h an d on t h e art an d make
it part of t h e card.
If you do h ave a comput er an d scan n er, you can read about usin g
it wit h your own images in Ch apt er 25, Express Yourself.
Reinventing Your World
As you go on wit h t h e rein ven t ion of your world, wh y n ot st art
wit h t h e redecorat ion of your cast le? Almost an y corn er of your
h ouse can t ake a lit t le well-placed illumin at ion , such as a flower
h ere or t h ere t o ch eer you durin g t h e win t er, a bit of wh imsy for a
ch ilds room, an d in t h e kit ch en , t h e easiest of all, an arran gemen t
of fruit t h at n ever goes bad.
But you don t h ave t o st op t h ere wh en it comes t o redecorat ion .
An y surface can be t h e object of your n ewfoun d drawin g skills, as
youll discover in t h is sect ion .
Cabinets and Furniture
You can use your drawin gs as t h e basis for pain t in g on cabin et
doors or t h e drawer fron t s of a dresser t h at n eeds h elp. For your
first project , h ere are some simple st eps you can follow.
1. Pick a simple st em an d bloom or a len gt h of vin e wit h some
leaves.
2. Make a ph ot ocopy of t h e drawin g you in t en d t o use an d es-
t ablish a color sch eme wit h colored pen cils. Keep it fairly
simple.
3. Buy yourself en ough colors in acrylic pain t t o mix t h e colors
t h at you will n eed. If youd like, look ah ead t o t h e sect ion in
Ch apt er 25 on color for some h elp.
4. You can t ran sfer your drawin g t o a cabin et or drawer fron t by
blacken in g t h e back of a copy of t h e drawin g wit h your soft -
est pen cil an d t h en t apin g it carefully an d drawin g over your
drawin g lin es. Th e soft pen cil act s like carbon paper (remem-
ber carbon paper?) an d your out lin e is t h ere on t h e surface,
ready t o pain t . Th is will work for several passes, an d t h en
you migh t h ave t o reapply t h e pen cil or fin ish wit h an ot h er
copy of your drawin g.
Youre sure t o be pleased wit h t h e n ew look in your kit ch en or
spare room, or on your bat h room cupboard or old dresser.
Ceilings, Walls, and Floors, but No Driveways
You can apply t h is same procedure t o a larger surface, eit h er in a repeat pat t ern , such as a
st en ciled border aroun d t h e t op of a room, or you could get wild an d pain t a border on a
floor t h at looks dull. Hey, you can pain t t h e wh ole floor; it s your cast le.
Artists Sketchbook
Calligraphic writing is handwrit-
ing 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 word-
processing 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.
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.
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For repeat ed use, a st en cil will be easier in t h e lon g run . You can use it for t h e basic sh apes
an d fill t h e rest in freeh an d, lookin g at your sample as a referen ce.
To cut a st en cil you will n eed some st iff paper, preferably st en cil paper, an d a sh arp Exact o
or mat kn ife.
1. Draw your design on t h e paper from your origin al sket ch .
2. Remember t h at in a st en cil t h e h oles will fall out , so you probably n eed t o redraw t h e
part s of t h e drawin g so t h ey are separat e. (Remember t h at st en cils use n egat ive space.
A st en cil of a ch air would be a series of discon n ect ed h oles wh ich wouldn t h old t o-
get h er, so a separat e st en cil is required for each part of t h e ch air.)
A stencil can simplify a
drawing.
Expanded Uses for Your Skills
As your con fiden ce in drawin g in creases, you may wan t t o t ake a look at st ill more pot en -
t ial uses. If you h ave a lifelon g love of fash ion , for example, you migh t wan t t o t ry some
clot h in g drawin gs. Or, if youre h alf as wit t y as we are, maybe a cart oon or bit of visual po-
lit ical sat ire will be just t h e t h in g. Th eres plen t y of raw mat erial, aft er all (pun in t en ded).
Maybe ch aract er st udies appeal t o you. Or, if it s a fligh t of fan t asy t h at does it for you,
wh at ever it is, give it a t ry.
Th ere are books specific t o each of t h ese expan ded uses, an d man y more. Look carefully t o
make sure t h at t h e book really sh ows you t h in gs you wan t t o kn ow an d is n ot just a sh ow-
case for t h e art ist / aut h or. Youll fin d some of our suggest ion s in Appen dix B, Resources for
Learn in g t o Draw.
Focus on Fashion
Det ails, st ylizat ion , an d st ret ch ed proport ion are t h e differen ces bet ween drawin gs of people
an d fash ion drawin gs, alon g wit h t h e fact t h at wh ile you draw for yourself, fash ion draw-
in gs are drawn for use commercially. You get paid t o do t h em!
If t h is t ype of drawin g in t erest s you, begin by st udyin g t h e fash ion drawin gs in n ewspapers
an d magazin es t o develop an eye for t h e kin d of st yle t h at is in at t h e momen t , t h e de-
t ails t h at look con t emporary, an d t h e degree of dist ort ion in t h e proport ion . Evaluat e
proport ion by measurin g by t h e n umber of h eads in t h e t ot al body h eigh t as you did in
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Ch apt er 21, Th e Human Body an d It s Ext remit ies. Wh en youre doin g fash ion drawin g,
t h ere are more h eads in t h e t ot al h eigh t , t h at s allmost ly in t h e legs, for t h at leggy
model look. Pract ice un t il you develop a st yle t h at pleases you.
Fashion isnt just about
clothing, eitherlook at
the detail in this fantasy
dragon, just perfect to be
embroidered on a cou-
ture runway gown.
Cartoons: Humor or Opinion?
How fun n y are you? Are you an opin ion at ed t ype? You migh t be a cart oon ist in disguise.
Cart oon s are great drawin g pract ice, an d you don t h ave t o h ave a lot of skill, as man y of
t odays cart oon s reveal. Th e t rick wit h h umorous cart oon s like comic st rips is con sist en cy,
makin g your ch aract ers look t h e same from frame t o frame.
Wit h polit ical cart oon s an d caricat ures, it s a mat t er of discern in g your subject s most
promin en t feat ure an d t h en exaggerat in g it for recogn it ion . St udyin g t h e mast ers can h elp
you see h ow t h is is don efrom George W. Bush s ears t o Al Gores h airlin e.
That Twisted Look: Caricatures
If you do h ave an eye for facial feat ures an d h ow t o push t h em or exaggerat e t h em, draw-
in g caricat ures is a possibilit y. You can look forward t o a fut ure at coun t y fairs, or you could
move t o Paris an d set up alon g t h e Sein e.
Further Out: Your Fantasies
There is nothing that, with a twist of imagination, cannot become something else.
William Carlos Williams
Some of us are just n ot con t en t wit h realit y. Wh y, aft er all, sh ould realit y be t h e on ly op-
t ion ? Your fan t asies or fan t asy worlds are places you can go wit h your drawin gs. Just don t
forget your sket ch book.
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Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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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.
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 amassed quit e a collect ion of drawin gs by n ow.
Maybe youre get t in g in t erest ed in t ryin g somet h in g a lit t le more in volved. Some images of
your own migh t be poppin g in t o your min ds eye or eyes min d (we n ever get t h ose t wo
st raigh t ).
Now you can begin t o con sider t h e wide ran ge of mat erials an d t ech n iques t o make pain t -
in gs or colored drawin gs. Th ere are en dless ways t o in fuse your work wit h your own person -
alit y an d part icular way of seein g t h e world, an d color is on e of t h e more in t erest in g on es.
In addit ion , well sh ow you h ow t o care for your work, in cludin g framin g opt ion s. An d
well t ake a quick look at comput er art programs 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
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Do you remember t h e first t ime you saw a color t elevision ? Do you remember t h at Walt
Disn eys Th e Won derful World of Color was origin ally creat ed t o sh owcase mat erial for
color t elevision ? It s h ard t o imagin e n ow, but t h e move from black an d wh it e t o color t ele-
vision was a very big deal back in t h e lat e 50s. An d in 1939, wh en Judy Garlan d first
open ed t h e door of h er Kan sas farmh ouse in t o t h e Lan d of Oz, t h e color was a revelat ion
t o h er, t o Tot o, an d t o us.
Movin g in t o t h e realm of color in your drawin g is a big deal, t oo. But n ever fearwere
h ere t o h elp, wit h suggest ion s for everyt h in g from mat erials t o mat t in g.
Some Brief Words on Color
I paint because color is significant.
Georgia OKeeffe
Th is is yet an ot h er pearl from OKeeffe, an d so it is. Each day of your life is filled wit h
sh apes an d colors, t h e weat h er, t h e season s, t h e places you go, an d t h e t h in gs t h at you see,
so add some of t h at color t o your drawin gs.
As wit h most part s of t h is book, a wh ole book could be writ t en on color, an d fort un at ely,
man y h ave been . Alon g wit h your own experimen t in g, it s probably wort h wh ile t o read an d
st udy a few of t h em.
Before you jump, spen d some t ime readin g an d lookin g at colored work t h at you like. Take
a good look at color ch art s, in books an d in art st ores. Get familiar wit h t h e spect rum of
colors: t h e burst of reds, t h e ran ge of yellows, t h e forest of green s, t h e sea of blues, t h e
wealt h of purples.
New Materials You Could Try
Colored pen cils an d wat er-soluble colored pen cils an d crayon s are a great an d pain less t ran -
sit ion in t o t h e world of color. Aft er all, youve already got t en comfort able wit h a pen cil, so
addin g color is easy! Th ey mix an d blen d t o make an y color you can come up wit h .
Ot h er opt ion s in t h e field of color are
Wat er-based crayon s.
Past el pen cils.
Past els.
Oil past els.
Wat ercolors.
Acrylic or gouach e.
Pen an d colored in ks.
Each of t h ese media h as it s own ch aract erist ics, advan t ages, an d ch al-
len ges; pract ice will allow you t o develop a feel for t h em. An d, if youre
in t erest ed in learn in g about an y of t h em in more det ail, weve suggest -
ed some books you migh t like in Appen dix B, Resources for Learn in g
t o Draw.
Back to the Drawing Board
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 col-
ors you end up with plenty of
them anyway.
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Into the Field of Color
Buy yourself t h e largest set of colored pen cils t h at you can afford. Is your birt h day comin g?
Even if it s n ot , n o mat t er, get t h e big set an yway. Small set s h ave most ly brigh t primary
colors an d fewer subt le colors, an d youll wan t t o play wit h bot h .
Primary colors are t h ose t h at can n ot be mixed from ot h er colors:
Red
Yellow
Blue
Secon dary colors are t h ose t h at can be mixed from t wo primary colors. Th e secon dary
colors are
Oran ge (made from red an d yellow).
Green (from yellow an d blue).
Purple (from blue an d red).
Tert iary colors are an ot h er st ep out on t h e color wh eel, made from a primary an d a secon d-
ary color. Th ey are a group of lovely mut ed sh ades an d n eut ral colors t h at youll wan t t o
get t o kn ow.
Colors across from each ot h er on t h e color wh eel are called complimen t ary colors; t h ey
work well wit h each ot h er. If t h ey are mixed, t h ey make n eut rals. Colors t h at complimen t
each ot h er are
Red an d green .
Blue an d oran ge.
Purple an d yellow.
This color wheel is in
black and white, but you
can use your imagination
to visualize the colors.
Blen ded colors are a mix of t wo or t h ree colors or t wo complimen t ary colorsopposit es on
t h e color wh eel.
Eart h t on es an d sh adow colors are mixes of complimen t ary colors like purple, wit h a lit t le
yellow t o soft en it , or a brick red made wit h green . You will en d up wit h plen t y of brown s
an d eart h colors, an d you can make various grays an d blacks by combin in g four colors, ex-
cludin g yellow.
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Taking a Stab at a Colored Drawing
Use good paper. Th e best is 140-lb. h ot -press wat ercolor paper, an d 90 lb. is fin e for sket ch es.
If you foresee addin g wat er t o t h e wat er-soluble pen cil sket ch , h owever, t h e h eavier paper
will work bet t er.
You will fin d t h at you can very n at urally grab a h an dful of colored pen cils an d st art in on a
simple arran gemen t .
Th at fist ful of colors is import an t . Keep swit ch in g colors.
Look at each object an d see t h e ran ge of colors you can use, or
t h e layers you can build up t o get a t on e an d a color.
It t akes t ime, but it s fun t o see t h e color h appen alon g wit h t h e
drawin g.
If you wan t t o learn more about an y of t h e colored media, t ake a class.
Th eyre fun an d you can learn a lot about color an d t ech n iques for
h an dlin g t h e various media. Youll be glad you did.
Caring for Your Work
Gen erally speakin g, use t h e best mat erials you can , t ake yourself an d
your effort s seriously, presen t your work simply so it can st an d on it s
own , t ake care of wh at you don t frame, an d t h e arch ivist s an d art h is-
t orian s of t h e fut ure will t h an k you. Carin g for your work n ow mean s
your ch ildren , gran dch ildren , an d even your Great -great -great gran d-
ch ildren will h ave it h an gin g on t h eir walls (even if t h eyd rat h er h ave
it in t h eir closet s).
The range of compli-
mentary colors from
warm to cool.
Try Your Hand
To learn about color, make your-
self lots of small tonal charts for
the colors you have. Try for gra-
dations 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.
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Wh et h er it s st orage, mat t in g, or framin g, h eres some of t h e best
in format ion youll fin d for t akin g care of your drawin gs aft er t h e
drawin gs over.
On Storage
Youve spen t a lot of t ime on your work, so t reat it righ t wh en
youre fin ish ed, t oo. Port folios keep your work safe, clean , an d flat ,
as it sh ould be. Paper st orage drawers are expen sive an d t ake up
space, but t h eyre well wort h it if youve got t h e mon ey an d t h e
room.
Th e import an t t h in g is t o st ore your work somewh ere wh ere it will
be kept in it s n at ural st at e: flat . In addit ion , youll wan t t o keep it
away from damagin g sun rays an deven more damagin gwat er,
so n ext t o t h e garage win dow or in t h e basemen t n ext t o t h e
sump pump are probably not t h e best places.
Matting and Framing
Less is more. Simple is as simple does. Wh it e is righ t . Art , or it s mat , sh ould n ot be expect ed
t o mat ch t h e couch .
In ot h er words, forget t h e fusch ia or lime green mat s t o mat ch t h e flowers on t h e rug. Your
work will look best in a simple wh it e or off-wh it e mat an d a simple wood frame t h at can be
more or less t h e color of t h e ot h er woods wh ere you plan t o h an g it . Th e import an t t h in g is
t h at t h e ch oices h elp t h e drawin g; it will fin d it s place on t h 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 E-
mailing 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 Baumbach , Van Gogh in AOL, The New Yorker
Can you imagin e Vin cen t wit h an iMac? He probably would h ave felt more con n ect ed an d
maybe less t roubled. On e t h in gs for cert ain t h e h igh -t ech world is h avin g an effect on al-
most everyon e. You can run but you can t h ide, so jump in you migh t like it more t h an
you ever imagin ed.
Creating a Virtual Sketchbook
Creat in g a virt ual sket ch book is as simple as a few periph erals for your comput era scan n er
an d a color prin t er. Wh ich scan n er an d prin t er you buy will depen d on bot h your budget
an d your desires. We leave it t o your local big-box comput er st ore t o h elp you wit h t h e
myriad ch oices, but we can h elp you wit h t h e basic h ow-t os on ce youve got your equip-
men t .
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 de-
fine them more closely.
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Scanning Your Images
Most flat scan n ers are design ed t o read images up t o 8
1
/ 2" 14", so if your drawin gs are larg-
er t h an t h at , youll h ave t o scan t h em in sect ion s. Th e process may be un wieldy an d t h e re-
sult s, less-t h an -desirable reproduct ion s of your drawin gs. If youve been doin g a lot of your
sket ch in g on t h e road, t h ough , you probably did so in a small en ough sket ch book.
Is t h ere a drawin g t h at you part icularly like? St art wit h t h at on e. Tear it carefully from your
sket ch book an d t h en lay it flat on your scan n er an d scan it in (youll n eed your man ufac-
t urers in st ruct ion s for t h is, an d t h eres n o way we can h elp you wit h t h ose).
Aft er youve scan n ed your image, t h e program will ask you t o save it . Give it a n ame youll
remember it by: Lagun a Sun set or Fish erman on t h e Gila are t wo good examples.
Now, you can look at your work wit h t h e imagin g program t h at came wit h your scan n er, or,
if you decide you don t like t h at program, an ot h er t h at youve down loaded off t h e World
Wide Web. On e of t h e t h in gs t h at you can do, on ce t h e image of your drawin g is saved t o
your comput er, is man ipulat e it . Th at mean s you can erase t h ose ext ra scribbles in t h e cor-
n er wit h out fear of goin g t h rough t h e paper, or you can add some lin es t o t h e fish erman s
face. Don t get carried away, t h ough we t h in k real drawin gs a lot more fun t h an virt ual
drawin g.
Printing Your Images
You can also prin t your images, of course, on ce youve scan n ed t h em in t o your comput er
an d saved t h em. If your drawin gs are in black an d wh it e, you won t even n eed a color
prin t er. Even t h e popularan d in expen sivebubble-jet prin t ers do a great job wit h graphic
images, wh ich is wh at your drawin g is.
E-Mailing with Your Own Art
Now t h at youve got it on your comput er, you may wan t t o e-mail your art t o all your
frien ds. So lon g as at t ach men t s are an opt ion wit h your part icular e-mail, e-mailin g your art
is simple: Save it as a small .jpg file, add it t o your e-mail as an at t ach men t , an d t h en writ e
your n ot e. Poof! Off it goes t o an n oy on e or all of your frien dsjust like all t h e jokes t h at
t h eyve already seen t h ree t imes.
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 Baumbach , Van Gogh in AOL, The New Yorker
Th ere are classes in HTML an d Java, t wo of t h e most popular Web lan guages, an d t h ere are
edit orial programs t h at make it much easier t o creat e a Web sit e of your own . You can also
cust omize t h e h ome page on your In t ern et program. On e example t o t ake a look at is
Lauren s h ome page, t h e first page of h er Web sit e at www.lauren jarret t .com. Ch eck it out !
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Creat in g your own illust rat ed h ome page is n ow as simple as followin g t h e in st ruct ion s
your e-mail provider probably h as set up on your ISP h ome page. You don t even h ave t o
kn ow an y special programs an ymore; t h e direct ion s will walk you t h rough it all, in cludin g
h ow t o down load t h e art youve scan n ed an d saved on t o your own illust rat ed h ome page.
If youre in t erest ed in somet h in g t ruly profession al-lookin g, h owever, wed h igh ly recom-
men d a Web design er. You get wh at you pay for, aft er all.
How to Learn About Drawing
on the Computer
We may be t h e old-fash ion ed, middle-aged art ist / t each er t ypes
alt h ough we are an yt h in g but old-fash ion ed or middle-agedbut
we t h in k you sh ould do your drawin g first , an d t h en scan it .
You will n ot really learn t o see an d draw an yt h in g on a comput er.
Sure, you can make pict ures, but it s just n ot t h e same as direct
h an ds-on drawin g.
Drawin g wit h a mouse or st ylus an d art pad is n ot t h e same as
drawin g wit h a pen cil. Th ere is n ot t h e same con n ect ion wh en you
can t look at t h e h an d t h at s drawin g an d see wh at s goin g on . In
addit ion , t h e feel of a fin e piece of paper an d t h e in t ern al dialogue
t h at you h ave wh ile youre relat in g t o your subject , seein g, an d
drawin g are basic pleasures, t ime for your in n er self, an d t h e pat h
t o your own un ique creat ive soul.
Computer Art Programs You Can Learn
Now t h en , t h e t irade is over. Comput er graph ics programs are a dif-
feren t st ory, because t h ey are a way of usin g your drawin gs aft er
you h ave made t h em, for everyt h in g from cards, presen t s, post ers,
an d all kin ds of commercial uses, sh ould you be so in clin ed.
Adobe Ph ot osh op an d Quark are t wo great programs for usin g art .
Lauren uses on e or t h e ot h er for everyt h in g, an d t h eyre well wort h
t h e t ime t o learn . Ph ot osh op can do an yt h in g you can t h in k of t o
an image, or mon t age of images, wit h or wit h out t ype. Quark is t h e
favored layout program, but you can use PageMaker as well. Adobe
Illust rat or uses import ed art , t oo, but it h as more bells an d wh ist les.
Th ere are lot s of ot h er art an d graph ics programs available for Macs
or PCs. You can draw wit h a mouse or a st ylus an d art pad, usin g
t h e sh apes, colors, graph ics, an d special effect s of programs like
Can vas, Pain t , Appleworks, an d Smart Draw, t o n ame a few. In addi-
t ion , t h ere are specialized programs, such as Aut oCad for arch it ec-
t ural, lan dscape, an d mech an ical ren derin g; 3-D an d special effect s
programs; an d t h e man y programs for Web design an d in t eract ives.
Take your pick. Th ey all h ave h uge man uals, but you can do it if
you t ry. We admit t o bein g Luddit es, an d so we st ick t o t h e pro-
grams t h at work for us.
Artists Sketchbook
Graphic images on your com-
puter 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 oth-
ers). 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.
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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How to Choose a Computer Art Class
Th ere are more an d more comput er classes out t h ere, wit h t h e usual broch ures an d course
descript ion s t o wade t h rough , in cludin g sch edules, prices, credit s (if you care), an d residual
comput erese (lan guage design ed t o con fuse you) t o deal wit h an d experien ce. Specific
courses for complicat ed graph ics programs like Ph ot osh op, Quark, or Illust rat or are very
h elpful places t o st art .
Our advice:
Ask aroun d. Ch an ces are, someon e you kn ow (or t h eir cousin ) h as already t aken t h e
course an d can commen t .
Fin d out t h e in st ruct ors n ame, an d decide if t h e course mat erial, t ime, place, an d fee
are accept able.
Call t h e in st ruct or, an d make sure you will learn wh at you wan t t o learn .
Our fin al word on t h e h igh -t ech world is t h at it really is a great t ool. Th in k of it t h at way
an d you will learn it an d use it properly. Lauren s comput er, scan n er, prin t ers, copy ma-
ch in e, an d fax t ake up a wh ole wall in wh at is ot h erwise a pain t ers st udio, but h ey, we all
h ave t o make a livin g an d t h e t wo sides coexist quit e well. Lisas comput er is h er main t ool,
aside from h er old Un derwood man ual an d assort men t of n ot ebooks an d pen s for all occa-
sion s, so it get s t o live in h er way, smack in t h e middle of h er desk.
Do yourself a favor an d learn t o draw, if t h at is wh at you wan t t o do. Th en worry about
wh at t o do wit h t h e drawin gs lat er.
Chapter 25

Express Yourself
Your Sketchbook Page
Try your h an d at pract icin g t h e exercises youve learn ed in t h is ch apt er.
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 t h is ch apt er, well be fin din g out wh ere art ist s discover t h eir in spirat ion an d well let
t h em t ell you in t h eir own words. If you draw for an y len gt h of t ime, youll soon discover
t h at fin din g t h e muse is t h e easy part ; it s payin g at t en t ion t h at s a bit more difficult .
Art ist s also get t h eir in spirat ion from ot h er art ist s, an d well be explorin g museums as well.
Wit h all t h is art ist ic in spirat ion , youll be ready t o ven t ure out in t o t h e world as an art ist
yourself. Happy t rails.
The good pictureNo one wonders at it more than the one who created it.
John Marin
Following the Muse
Sh es out t h ere all righ t , t h at muse t h e poet s are always lookin g t o for h elp wit h a rh yme. If
you draw regularly an d sin cerely, sh es boun d t o pay you a visit , t oo. Sh e can t ake differen t
forms, but you will kn ow sh es t h ere an d wh at sh e wan t s of you. An d youll soon discover
t h at you h ad bet t er pay at t en t ion wh en your muse speaks t o you.
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Where Artists Find Inspiration
Every art ist wh et h er visual, writ t en , musical, or kin est h et ickn ows wh at it s like t o be
in spired. Wh ile explain in g t h at in spirat ion is difficult , Lauren h as collect ed a group of won -
derful words from art ist s wh o really do explain wh at it s like t o be in spired in t h eir own par-
t icular ways. Your own in spirat ion will be as in dividual an d un ique as each of t h ese art ist s.
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 pro-
duced 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
Art ist s are pret t y ch at t y t ypes, for people workin g in a lan guage wit h out words. In fact ,
maybe t h at s wh y t h eyre so t alkat ive. Or maybe t h ey prefer t o writ e about t h eir work so
some art h ist orian doesn t come alon g an d do it for t h em. Heres wh at some of t h em h ave
t o say about t h eir work, an d wh at t h 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 in-
crease 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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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 signif-
icant 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 under-
stand 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 great-
est 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 reli-
gious 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, leav-
ing 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, mys-
tery, and timelessness of nature I am happy.
Milton Avery
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The love you liberate in your work is the only love you keep.
Maurice Prendergast
Museum Walks
Th ere is n ot h in g as n ice as a day in a museum, a day full of visual st imulat ion an d t h e com-
pan y of t h e mast ers, old or n ew. Museums are also great places for a dat e, or an affair, or a
dat e wit h an old affairn ot t h at eit h er on e of us h as don e t h at , of
course.
The Wealth of Museums
In t h e museum, it s all t h ere for t h e lookin grooms an d rooms an d
lon g h alls an d h idden corn ers filled wit h forgot t en gems.
Go an d look at drawin gs, pain t in gs, sculpt ure, jewelry, object s, furn i-
t ure, fabric, cost umes, ch in a, an d more. You won t wan t t o overdo it ,
so decide wh at you wan t t o see an d t h en st op before you get over-
wh elmed.
Th en t h ere are all t h e specialized museums, such as n at ural h ist ory mu-
seums an d scien ce museums, full of specimen sh uge skelet on s an d
dioramas of t in y lit t le n oct urn al an imals you would n ever see out side
of a museum. Th ere are plan t s, t oo, an d birds an d but t erflies en ough t o
last you in t o t h e n ext millen n ium.
Styles of Drawing Through History
St yles of drawin g t h rough h ist ory; yikes, we could writ e forever on t h at on e. Just go t o t h e
museum an d look, t h en do it a few dozen more t imes an d you will h ave a rough idea about
st yles of drawin g t h rough h ist ory.
You will see h ow art ist s h ave developed
from t h e early cave drawin gs,
t o t h e flat t en ed drawin gs at t empt in g t h ree-dimen sion al figures don e by t h e Egypt ian s,
t o t h e very realist ic sculpt ure don e in an cien t Greece (by folks wh o could cert ain ly
draw well),
t o t h e more primit ive, flat religious images produced in t h e Middle Ages,
t o t h e in t erest in perspect ive an d sh ape in t h e Ren aissan ce, an d
t o t h e fin e at t en t ion t o det ail in Flemish pain t in gs by t h e Old Mast ers, t h e st rict t radi-
t ion of st udio work in t h e Classical Period.
Th en , t h e Barbizon art ist s st art ed pain t in g out side of all t h in gs, an d t h e first dissen sion oc-
curred wh en t h e Impression ist s st art ed breakin g loose. Th en t h ere was t h e h eyday of Post -
Impression ist s, in cludin g t h e Nabis, Fauvist s, Cubist s, Expression ist s, Dadaist s, an d all t h e
rest of t h e ways t h at art ist s decided t o explore an d express, righ t in t o our recen t cen t ury
an d t h e on e we just en t ered, in cludin g t h e most recen t version s of old sch ools an d t h e
sh ock of t h e n ew.
It s a lot t o see!
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 se-
lected a thing carefully, I paint it
exactly as it appears.
Winslow Homer
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Learn by Looking, Then Try a Copy
Museums put t h e ben ch es t h ere just for youyes, you, wit h t h e sket ch book. Go sit down
on t h at n ice ben ch in fron t of a piece of art t h at you like. Make yourself comfort ablet h e
ben ch es aren t , but wh o cares, you could even t ake a pillow. You can learn from just look-
in g, but get out your pen cil an d draw wh at you like or wh at you wan t t o remember, t h e di-
agon als in t h e composit ion , t h e sh ape of a t ree, h ow a flower was drawn , t h e feat ures of a
port rait wh at ever you like, you draw.
Drawin g from sculpt ure or object s is bet t er pract ice in t h ree-dimen sion al drawin g. Th at
beaut iful t orso, imposin g warrior, or delicat ely sh aped vase is t h ere in space an d presen t s
you wit h a lifet ime of pot en t ial drawin g. Some possibilit ies:
Arran ge yourself for simple views an d t h en t ry more ch allen gin g on es wit h foresh ort -
en in g.
Draw part s of figures an d t h e wh ole.
Draw t h e det ails in a set of armor or t h e loomin g figures on a crypt , t h e subt le propor-
t ion of a Min g vase, or t h e scrollwork on a Japan ese t able.
Th e more you draw, t h e more you will see t o draw. It may begin t o seem as if you can n ever
go h ome again .
What Do You Like?
By n ow, you h ave developed some opin ion s alon g wit h your sore
but t . You may n ot kn ow all t h ere is t o kn ow about art , but you
kn ow wh at you like. Some work will pull you back every t ime you
go, wh ile ot h ers become part of your visual memory. No mat t er
wh at , everyt h in g h as it s place.
Sharing Your Work
An ot h er t h in g t h at s probably h appen in g by n ow is t h at youre
feelin g pleased wit h your effort s an d your growt h from a begin n er
t o a developin g draft sman . Ch an ces are your frien ds an d family
h ave seen your work an d h ave perh aps got t en a lit t le in t erest ed
t h emselves.
The Art of Drawing
Art history books will put particular drawings into historical context and add interesting informa-
tion 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.
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 pub-
lication. You never know, and you
cant win if you dont play.
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Now, you can begin t o sh are your en t h usiasms, your experien ces, an d your work wit h t h e
rest of t h e world. Someon e else may do t h e same for you: Wh at goes aroun d comes aroun d,
an d all of us will ben efit .
Most t own s h ave art groups, art classes, maybe a small museum or commun it y cen t er t h at
sh ows art , discussion groups, guest lect ures, sch ool programs, visit in g art ist s, an d local fairs
t h at in clude art exh ibit s. It s your ch oicewh et h er t o join , h ow much t ime t o spen d,
sh ould you volun t eer or just lookbut you do usually get somet h in g out of part icipat ion in
commun it y even t s. But you won t kn ow un less you t ry. Here are some possibilit ies.
To Show, to Publish, or Just to Draw
Somet imes you just n eed t o get out of t h e h ouse wit h your work t o get a bet t er look at it
an d wh ere you wan t t o t ake it n ext . Th e wh it e walls of an exh ibit ion h all can allow you t o
see your work differen t ly, for bet t er or worse. Even if t h e experien ce sen ds you back t o t h e
drawin g board, you will h ave learn ed somet h in g an d can go on from t h ere.
Publish in g your work is a t h rill in it self. Th eres n ot h in g like t h e prin t ed page an d t h at cred-
it lin e un dern eat h your image. St art wit h your local paper if you h ave lan dscape or wildlife
sket ch es t h at migh t work as decorat ive spot s, or if you h ave developed a cart oon st yle or
h ave t aken up caricat ures of t h e locals.
All t h is diversion is fun , but t ry n ot t o let yourself get divert ed from t h e real busin ess of see-
in g an d drawin g every day. It t akes a lon g t ime t o learn h ow t o draw well, an d, t h ough you
may h ave come a lon g way, t h ere is st ill a lon g way t o go. Trust t h at it is a good road, an d
t ake t h e t ime t o go t h ere.
Take a Path to the Zen of Drawing
Th e peace an d seren it y you can gain from drawin g is perh aps t h e best reason for simply at -
t en din g t o seein g an d drawin g. We live in a world t h at is t oo focused on ach ievemen t an d
n ot en ough on cen t erin g an d in t rospect ion .
Give yourself t h e gift of balan ce an d on en ess wit h your work an d t h e world. Do your draw-
in g wit h n ot h in g else in min d but t h e relat ion sh ip you are experien cin g bet ween your sub-
ject , your work, an d yourself. Th e t imelessn ess an d seren it y is it s own very deep reward.
Express Yourself.
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Encourage and Support Your Creativity
Remember t o always support your own process, feed your own spirit , an d n ourish your cre-
at ivit y as t h e special part of you.
You are t h e on e wh o h as t o deal wit h t h e out side forces, make t ime amidst all t h e dist rac-
t ion s, ign ore t h e deman ds for your person al t ime, an d t h ose wh o t ry t o discourage your ef-
fort s.
Th en , t oo, t h ere is Old Left y, wh os st ill out t h ere, wait in g for h is ch an ce, but you kn ow
wh at t o do wit h h im by n ow.
Knowing When to Push Yourself Higher
We kn ow well h ow difficult t h e balan cin g act t h at is life in t h e t wen t y-first cen t ury is: sup-
port in g on es own creat ivit y, fin din g t h e t ime for work, t akin g on es work seriously, feelin g
t h e peace from t h e t ime spen t , t h e sat isfact ion from t h e learn in g an d t h e accomplish men t ,
an d yet con st an t ly st rivin g for more.
Remember, n o mat t er wh at , t h at you are your own best crit ic an d fan , alt ern at ely an d at
on ce. Trust yourself, your in n er voice, an d your in st in ct s, an d ban ish t h ose crit ical voices
wh ere t h ey belon gh un g out t o dry wit h Old Left y.
One Inspiring Tale to End
A recen t in t erview on NPR was wit h Harry Sh apiro, wh o, at 100 years old, is pain t in g full
t ime. He came t o t h e Un it ed St at es from Russia in 1905 at 5 years old, an d grew up in New
York, wh ere h e was an avid st uden t of American h ist ory an d t ook art classes. Sh apiro be-
came an illust rat or/ commercial art ist , but h as always pain t ed on weeken ds an d vacat ion s.
Durin g h is in t erview, Sh apiro spoke in a clear, melodic voice about pain t ers h e admires an d
h is commit men t t o pain t in g. He h as n ever h ad a major illn ess an d believes art an d music
preserve life, as well as a h eart full of love. He works wit h some urgen cy n ow, an d
would like an ot h er four or five good years of work t o do some good pain t in gs t o sum it
up.
I know there is a God in some form.
I paint to make things whole.
Harry Shapiro
You don t get bet t er t h an t h at . Th an k you, Harry.
With Our Best Wishes
We h ave bot h en joyed research in g an d writ in g t h is book. Besides t h e fun we h ave h ad our
own selves, weve also foun d pleasure in developin g t h e ideas for t h e book, t ryin g out t h e
exercises, an d writ in g an d h on in g t h e t ext an d t h e direct ion s. Wat ch in g it become a book
was a pleasure.
Lauren h as en t iced h er frien ds over t o draw for t h eir din n er t o make some of t h e draw-
in gs for t h e book (sh e is a good cook), an d worked wit h h er mot h ers drawin g group for
some of t h e ot h ers. St ill ot h er drawin gs an d respon ses come from h er classes, an d sh e foun d
a few old t reasured pieces, h idden away in h er file drawers.
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Lisa h as en list ed h er daugh t er t o make a few drawin gs aroun d h er h ouse so bot h sides of
t h e coun t ry are represen t ed. As h er daugh t er was t emporarily camped out wit h h er durin g
t h e writ in g of t h is book, it was on ly fair.
We h ope you en joy t h is book for a wh ile an d dip back in t o it wh en ever you wan t an idea, a
t ip, some en couragemen t , or some of our soon -t o-be-world-famous wit .
We leave you wit h t h e best set of guidelin es we kn ow: Be well, be h appy, en courage your-
self. Try t o follow t h em, an d youll soon be guidin g ot h 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.
Appendix A
Your Artists
Materials Checklist
For Your At-Home And Portable Drawing Kit
Paper, in a Variety of Types
Newsprin t
Gen eral drawin g paper in pads or sket ch books
Brist ol board
Wat ercolor paper
Drawing Utensils
Mech an ical pen cils in various h ardn esses an d leads
Drawin g pen cils in various h ardn esses
Ch arcoal pen cils, an d soft -ch arcoal st icks an d paper st omps
Spray fixat ive
Con t e crayon s
In dia in ks, dippin g pen s, brush es
Drawin g an d t ech n ical pen s
Dry-erase markers an d perman en t markers
For Exploring Color
Colored pen cils an d wat er-soluble pen cils
Oil past els an d crayon s
Colored markers
Past el pen cils an d soft past els
Wat ercolors, gouach e, an d acrylic pain t s
Wat er-based crayon s
Nice Necessities
Erasers
Drawin g board
Appendix A
346
Art ist s t ape
Ruler
Clips
Pen cil sh arpen er(s): man ual, elect ric, an d bat t ery-operat ed
Viewfin der frame
Plast ic pict ure plan e
Your sket ch book journ al
For Your Studio
Adjust able drawin g t able
Comfort able office-st yle ch air
Ext en dable goosen ecked arch it ect ural lamp
Small freest an din g booksh elf
Supply cart on wh eels (a t aboret )
Tackboard
Comput er, prin t er, an d scan n er
Filin g box
Port folio
Set of paper st orage drawers
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: Jeremy P. Tarch er/ Put n am, 1996.
Calder, Alexan der. Animal Sketching. New York: Dover Publish in g Co., 1973.
Cameron , Julia. The Artists Way. New York: Jeremy P. Tarch er/ Put n am, 1992.
Codn iat , Raymon d. Twentieth-Century Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Crown Publish ers,
In c., 1968.
Crispo, An drew. Pioneers of American Abstraction. New York: Th e An drew Crispo Gallery, 1973.
Crispo, An drew. Ten AmericansMasters of Watercolor. New York: Th e An drew Crispo Gallery,
1974.
Draper, J. Everet t . Putting People in Your Paintings. Cin cin n at i, Oh io: Nort h Ligh t Publish ers,
1985.
Edwards, Bet t y. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. New York: Jeremy P. Tarch er/ Put n am,
1999.
Fran k, Frederick. The Zen of Seeing. New York: Vin t age/ Ran dom House, 1973.
Fran k, Frederick. The Awakened Eye. New York: Vin t age/ Ran dom House, 1979.
Gedh ard, David an d Ph yllis Plous. Charles Demuth. Berkeley: Un iversit y of Californ ia, 1971.
Hardin g, J.D. Lessons on Art. Lon don : Frederick Warn e & Co., 1915.
Hin ch man , Han n ah . A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place. New York: W.W.
Nort on , 1999.
Hoaglan d, Clayt on . The Pleasures of Sketching Outdoors. New York: Dover Publish in g, In c.,
1969.
Hult gren , Ken . The Art of Animal Drawing. New York: Dover Publicat ion s, In c., 1993.
Larkin , David. The Paintings of Carl Larsson. New York: Peacock Press/ Ban t am Books, 1976.
Levy, Mervyn . The Artist and the Nude. New York: Clarkson Pot t er, 1965.
Nice, Claudia. Creating Textures in Pen & Ink with Watercolor. Cin cin n at i, Oh io: Nort h Ligh t
Books, 1995.
Parramon , Jose M. Drawing in Pencil. New York: Wat son -Guph ill, 1999.
Part in gt on , Pet er. Collins Learn to DrawWildlife. Lon don : HarperCollin s, 1995.
Appendix B
348
Perard, Vict or. Sketching Landscape. New York: Pit man Publish in g Corporat ion , 1957.
Pet rie, Ferdin an d. Drawing Landscapes in Pencil. New York: Wat son Guph ill, 1979.
Pin cus-Wit t en , Robert . Georgia OKeeffeSelected Paintings and Works on Paper. New York:
Hirsch l & Adler Galleries, 1986.
Pisan o, Ron ald. William Merritt Chase. New York: M. Kn oedler & Compan y, In c., 1976.
Rayn es, Joh n . Drawing the Figure. Cin cin n at i: Nort h Ligh t Books, 1997.
Rin es, Fran k M. Drawing in Lead Pencil. New York: Bridgeman Publish in g, 1943.
Robert son , Bruce. Collins Learn to DrawCountryside. Lon don : HarperCollin s, 1999.
Selz, Jean . Nineteenth-Century Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Crown Publish ers In c.,
1968.
Slat kin , Regin a Sh oolman . Francois Boucher in North American Collections. Wash in gt on D.C.:
Nat ion al Gallery of Art , 1973.
Sloan e, Eric. An Age of Barns. New York: Dodd, Mead & Compan y, 1985.
St ebbin s, Th eodore E. American Master Drawings and Watercolors. New York: Harper & Row
Publish ers, 1976.
St ern berg, Harry. Realistic, Abstract Art. New York: Pit man Publish in g Co., 1943.
Th oreau, Hen ry David. Walden. New York: Holt , Rein h art , an d Win st on , 1961.
Turn er, Elizabet h Hut t on . Georgia OKeeffe, The Poetry of Things. Wash in gt on , D.C.: Th e
Ph illips Collect ion , 1999.
Tin er, Ron . Figure Drawing Without a Model. Devon , En glan d: David & Ch arles, 1992.
Vallery-Radot , Jean an d Maurice Serullaz. Drawings of the French Masters. New York: Bon an za
Books/ Crown Publish ers, 1962-1964.
Van Gogh , V.W. Vincent Van Gogh, Paintings and Drawings. Amst erdam, Net h erlan ds: NVt
Lan t h uys, 1970.
Wadley, Nicolas. Michelangelo. Middlesex, En glan d: Sprin g Books, 1965.
Wadley, Nicolas. The Drawings of Van Gogh. Lon don : Hamlyn Publish in g Group Lt d., 1969.
Weiss, Harvey. Pencil, Pen, and Brush. New York: Sch olast ic Books, 1961.
Wiffen , Valerie. Collins Learn to DrawStill Life. Lon don : HarperCollin s, 1999.
Woods, Mich ael. Landscape Drawing. New York: Dover Publicat ion s, In c., 1989.
Appendix C
Drawing Glossary
al fresco It alian for in t h e fresh air; it is t h e t erm for doin g t h in gs out sidein cludin g
drawin g, of course.
artists studios ran ge from con vert ed closet s t o con vert ed guest h ouses. Wh ere you put
your st udio depen ds on wh ere you h ave room, of course, but it s in dividualit y can be wh at -
ever you ch oose.
cairns man -made t rail markin gs, most oft en piles of rocks t h at mark t h e t railside pat h .
Addin g t h ese min i-st ruct ures t o your drawin g can lead t h e viewer on t o t h e t rail, t oo.
calligraphic h an dwrit in g in a part icular st yle, or fon t , oft en wit h a wedge-t ipped pen
called a calligraph ic pen .
chiaroscuro It alian for ligh t an d sh adow. It refers h ere t o a syst em of t on al sh adin g t o
ren der an object so it appears t h ree-dimen sion al.
color wheel a way of sh owin g primary an d secon dary colors. Th e circle is divided in t o
sixt h s, an d t h e primary colorsred, yellow, an d blueare in every ot h er wedge. In bet ween
each of t h em are t h e secon dary colorsoran ge, green , an d purplewh ich are made by
mixin g t h e primaries on eit h er side of t h em.
contour drawing an y drawin g in wh ich t h e lin es represen t t h e edge of a form, sh ape, or
space; t h e edge bet ween t wo forms, sh apes, or spaces; or t h e sh ared edge bet ween groups of
forms, sh apes, or spaces.
drawing a way of represen t in g wh at we see by placin g lin es on t o a surface.
dry-erase pens pen s design ed t o mark on smoot h surfaces an d wipe off easily. Delis use
t h em for writ in g t h e days specials. Look for t h em in an art or st at ion ery st ore.
en plein air a Fren ch t erm mean in g full of fresh air. It refers h ere t o pain t in g don e out -
of-doors. Because classic pain t in g h ad been don e in st udios, pain t in g out side was a radical
move.
eye level (see also, horizon line) st raigh t out from wh ere you are, n eit h er above n or below
t h e level of your view. As you move up or down , your eye level an d view ch an ge.
filters t h e process of n ot icin g on ly wh at we n eed t o in an y given scen e. Frames are a simi-
lar sen sory device, wh ere we ign ore wh at s out side of wh at we wan t t o look at .
fixative prot ect s an un st able surface; it is sprayed on a fin ish ed drawin g t o prot ect it aft er
youve complet ed it .
Appendix C
350
foreshortening t h e illusion of spat ial dept h . It is a way t o port ray a t h ree-dimen sion al ob-
ject on a t wo-dimen sion al plan e (like piece of paper). Th e object appears t o project beyon d
or recede beh in d t h e pict ure plan e by visual dist ort ion .
gesture drawings drawn from sh ort poses, n o more t h an four min ut es an d oft en as sh ort
as on e min ut e.
graphic images an y images on your comput er t h at are n ot t ext -based. Differen t image
format s h ave differen t ext en sion s (t h e let t ers t h at appear aft er t h e dot on a filen ame, in -
cludin g .jpg, .ipg, .bmp, .gif, an d man y ot h ers).
hardnesses (for pencils) ran ge from t h e very h ard Hs, wh ich you can use t o make a fain t
lin e, t o t h e very soft Bs, wh ich are smudgier, ran gin g from 6H all t h e way t o 6B. Regular
pen cils are n umbered as t o h ardn ess on t h e en d.
high, middle, and low horizons represen t h ow eye level is perceived an d ren dered in a
drawin g.
horizon line (or eye level) your poin t of view relat ive t o wh at you are lookin g at . It is t h e
poin t at wh ich all plan es an d lin es van ish .
illumination decorat ion , such as a border aroun d words or a pict ure.
illustration sh ows t h e in format ion it self in pict ure form.
lateralization t h e way specific fun ct ion s or t asks are h an dled by t h e brain , wh et h er by
on e side or t h e ot h er or bot h . Th e brain is comprised of t wo h emisph eres, t h e an alyt ical
an d logical left brain an d t h e more in t uit ive an d h olist ic right brain. Wh ile West ern ers t en d
t o use t h eir left brain s far more, drawin g is largely a fun ct ion of t h e righ t brain .
negative space t h e area aroun d an object or object s t h at sh are edges wit h t h ose object s or
sh apes.
paper stomp an yt h in g from paper t o fin ger t h at can smudge a lin e, can make in t erest in g
t on es an d blurred areas. Harder lin es can be drawn or redrawn on t op of t h e in it ial ren der-
in g for more defin it ion .
parallelogram a geomet ric sh ape h avin g four sides. Each pair of opposit e sides is parallel
an d equidist an t t o each ot h er.
perspective t h e percept ion t h at object s fart h er away are smaller t h an object s t h at are
closer t o us.
picture plane a piece of plast ic or Plexiglas t h rough wh ich you view a subject an d on
wh ich you draw it .
primary colors t h e basic colorsred, yellow, an d bluewh ich can t be mixed from ot h er
colors.
proportion t h e comparat ive relat ion bet ween t h in gs; in a rect an gle, t h e comparat ive rat io
bet ween t h e h eigh t an d widt h . Rect an gles of differen t sizes t h at are in proport ion sh are t h e
same rat io in t h eir h eigh t an d widt h .
range t h e dist an ce bet ween you an d your object sclose-up (object s), mid-ran ge (st ill life),
or far away (lan dscape).
scale in drawin g, t h e ren derin g of relat ive size. An object or person or t ree, as it is seen
fart h er away, seems smaller t h an an ot h er of t h e same size t h at is closer.
351
Drawing Glossary
secondary colors colors mixed from pairs of primary colors. Red an d yellow make oran ge,
yellow an d blue make green , an d blue an d red make purple.
square 90-degrees, at righ t an gles, as in t h e sides of a rect an gle. Measurin g carefully off
cen t er lin es h elps keep your rect an gle square.
still life called nature mort (wh ich mean s dead n at ural t h in gs in Fren ch ), a collect ion
an d arran gemen t of t h in gs in a composit ion .
tertiary colors made from mixin g t wo secon dary colors; in clude soft t aupes, grays, an d
n eut rals.
trompe loeil Fren ch for t rick of t h e eye. Trompe loeil t ech n iques in volve makin g t h e
eye see somet h in g t h at is pain t ed seem so t h ree-dimen sion al you can t quit e believe it
isn t really t h ere.
2-D an abbreviat ion for t wo-dimen sion al, h avin g t h e dimen sion s of h eigh t an d widt h ,
such as a flat surface, like a piece of paper. 3-D is an abbreviat ion for t h ree-dimen sion al,
h avin g t h e dimen sion s of h eigh t , widt h , an d dept h , an object in space.
vantage point t h e place from wh ich you view somet h in g an d just exact ly wh at , of t h at
wh ole pict ure, you are ch oosin g t o see an d draw. It is t h e place from wh ich you pick your
view from t h e larger wh ole, rat h er like croppin g a ph ot ograph . If you move, your exact
van t age poin t ch an ges.
vellum surface drawin g paper t h at h as a velvet y soft fin ish t h at feels good as you draw; it
can h an dle a fair amoun t of erasin g.
viewfinder frame a win dow t h rough wh ich you see an image an d can relat e t h e an gles,
lin es, sh apes, an d part st o t h e measurin g marks on t h e frame an d t o each ot h er. It is as
simple as usin g your t wo h an ds t o frame a view or makin g a cardboard frame.
viewpoint similar t o eye level, but t h in k of it as specifically wh ere your eyes are, wh et h er
you are lookin g up, across, or down at somet h in g. Eye level is wh ere you look st raigh t out
from t h at part icular viewpoin t . Th in gs in your view are above, at , or below eye level. If you
move, your view an d eye level move, t oo.
Zen more t h an a religious pract ice, it s a ph ilosoph y an d way of life t h at comes from
Japan ese Zen Buddh ism. At it s most basic, Zen can be t h ough t of as a h olist ic approach t o
bein g t h at t akes for gran t ed t h e in t ercon n ect edn ess of all t h in gs an d en courages simplicit y
in livin g in order t o live wit h t h e complex.
Seja pago para desenhar
Talvez voc seja uma artista e provavelmente usa seu tempo desenhando ou simplesmente
rabiscando. Porm isso parece que no est te levando a nenhum lugar, alm de uma prateleira
ou gaveta empoeirada dentro do seu quarto. o entanto, na realidade, poss!vel a troca de todo
esse trabalho por uma renda online. " e#boo$ Como Ganhar Dinheiro Trabalhando com
Desenhos e Fotos mostra como come%ar uma carreira, e voc nem precisa ser um &a 'inci para
receber o pagamento. 'oc pode ganhar dinheiro mesmo sendo um desenhista amador.
(uitas pessoas e empresas pagam por coisas como)
Temas
Padres
Logotipos
Desenhos
Artes
Ilustraes
* para voc trabalhar e vender essas coisas, no precisar +azer entrevista ou qualquer coisa
parecida. , um trabalho baseado na internet. Sem a menor quantidade de estresse e voc ainda
pode trabalhar em qualquer lugar e quando quiser. *sse e#boo$ a+irma que pode ajud#lo a
publicar o seu trabalho na internet, e ser pago por isso in-meras vezes. Seu desenho ser usado
mais de uma vez e voc ser pago a cada vez que algum usar.
.lem disso, se o seu trabalho +or uma obra de arte, um logotipo, ou um desenho, voc poder
receber muito mais em compara%o com o que voc imagina. . propriedade intelectual muito
cara, e h muitos leil/es online que podem garantir um e0celente pre%o pelo seu trabalho.
Como Ganhar Dinheiro Trabalhando com Desenhos e Fotos um e#boo$ muito in+ormativo.
1om muitas diretrizes de como voc entrar no mercado de trabalho e ainda traz muitos e0tras.
So mais de 23 lin$s que te levaro para sites de cursos, artigos tcnicos e muito mais.
Esse e-boo n!o promete dinheiro "#cil, voc precisar trabalhar para poder ganhar dinheiro
com desenho, mas se voc gosta de desenhar, esse e#boo$ vai mostrar o trabalho ideal para
voc.
.lm de poder trabalhar em qualquer horrio ou lugar, voc tambm poder desenhar o que
quiser. 4sso permitir que a sua imagina%o criativa assuma o total controle, e dessa +orma se
tornar um trabalho muito grati+icante.
1lique aqui e con+ira mais detalhes. http)55carlosdamascenodesenhos.com.br5como#ganhar#
dinheiro#com#desenho5
1onhe%a tambm os 1ursos de &esenho "nline
Symbols
10 Comman dmen t s of
drawin g, 143
2-D (t wo-dimen sion al), 50
3-D (t h ree dimen sion al),
50
A
act ion
an imals, 257
people, 296
aerial perspect ive, 198,
216
al fresco drawin g, 180
Albert i, Leon e Bat t ist a, 48
an at omy, 274-277
body t ypes, 276-277
muscles, 275
skelet al syst em, 274
an gle measures, 207
an gles
in space, 131
measurin g, 132
an imals, 257
addin g bulk an d
t on in g, 260
birds, 189
Calder, Alexan der, 257
det ails, 267
eleph an t s, 258
exot ic, 266
farmyards, 264
fin din g, 261
gest ure, 258
giraffes, 258
in doors, 268
lan dscapes, 268
n at ural h ist ory
museums, 263
port rait s, 265
proport ion s an d sh apes,
258-259
scale, 268
squirrels, 189
wat erfron t s, 263
an t iques, 171
Apoplectic habitus, 276
arch es, 188
arran gemen t , 92-96,
155-158
con t our drawin gs,
96-97
eye level, 96
ran ge, 93-95
sit in g t h e image, 96
art , carin g for, 330-331
art museums, 340-341
art speak, 310
Art ist s Mat erials
Ch ecklist , 345-346
art ist ic in spirat ion ,
337-340
fin din g, 342-343
wh at art ist s say about
t h eir work, 338-340
wh ere art ist s fin d
in spirat ion , 338
art ist ic libert y, 233
art ist s
goals, 142
processin g visual
in format ion , 8
Aut oCad, 333
Avery, Milt on , 339
B
balan ce, 136
bat h room it ems, drawin g,
172
beach es, 221
det ail, 225
bedroom it ems, drawin g,
168
Index
354
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
begin n in g t ech n iques,
85-87
birds, 189
blen ded colors, 329
blin d drawin g, 152
boards, 85
boat s, 233-234
body proport ion , 278-280
body t ypes, 276-277
bot an ical drawin g,
179-191
addit ion al object s, 183
caut ion s, 188
con siderat ion s, 180
flowers, 181
bloomin g, 183
wild, 184
garden implemen t s, 186
garden it ems, 188
veget ables, 185
wildflowers, 316
bowls, 168
boxes, drawin g in , 110
brach yceph alic faces, 289
brain , 16
h emisph eres, 6
ch ildren , 7
lat eralizat ion , 17
left -brain , 17-18, 24-25
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
left -h an dedn ess, 17-18
righ t -brain , 17-18
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
profile/ vase-vase/
profile drawin g
exercise, 23-25
righ t side up/ upside
down drawin g
exercise, 26-30
t each in g ch ildren
righ t -brain approach
t o drawin g, 302-303
righ t -h an dedn ess, 17-18
brist ol board, 84
brush es, care of, 129
buildin gs. See st uct ures
Burch field, Ch arles, 339
but t erflies, 182
C
cairn s, 232
Calder, Alexan der, 257
calligraph ic writ in g, 321
cards, 320
caricat ures, 323
carin g for your work,
330-331
carpen t ers an gle measure,
157
cart oon s, 322-323
ch airs, 171
out side, 191
ch arcoal paper, 128
ch arcoal pen cils, 129
ch ecklist s
drawin g ch ecklist , 157
Mat erials Ch ecklist ,
345-346
chiaroscuro, 119
ch ildren
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
developin g bot h sides
of t h e brain , 7
drawin g, 7
drawin g mat erials, 307
h eads an d faces, 290
referen ce mat erials, 308
symbolic drawin g, 301
t each in g
drawin g exercises,
310-312
en couragin g creat iv-
it y, 304-305
makin g drawin g a
posit ive experien ce,
307-310
problem solvin g,
310-312
righ t -brain approach
t o drawin g, 302-303
visual developmen t ,
305
visual learn in g, 303
ch in s, 289
circles, 130
circuses, 266
classes
comput er art classes,
334
drawin g classes, 83
close-up ran ge, 94
clot h in g, 294-295
cold press paper, 84
colored pen cils, 328-330
colors, 328-329
mean in gs, 147
commit men t , 166
Complete Letters of Vincent
van Gogh, 197
complimen t ary colors,
329
composit ion , 93
Golden Sect ion , 105
st ill life, 104-106
comput ers, 331-334
art an d graph ic
programs, 333
comput er art classes,
334
drawin g wit h , 333-334
e-mailin g images, 332
prin t in g images, 332
scan n in g images, 332
Web sit es, 332
con t e crayon s, 129
con t our drawin g, 36-41
drawin g an object wh ile
lookin g, 41
drawin g an object wit h -
out lookin g, 40
355
Index
exercises
drawin g your h an d
wh ile lookin g, 38-39
drawin g your h an d
wit h out lookin g, 37
object arran gemen t s,
96-97
con t rast , 161
creat ivit y, 8
seein g as a ch ild, 152
viewin g work from
a dist an ce, 158
Crick, Fran cis, 16
cubes, 108
Cubism, 106
cylin ders, 109
D
David, 279
deep space, 94
det ails, 132
an imals, 267
clot h es, 294-295
h ouses, 245-252
lan dscapes, 225
n at ure, 133-135
dist an ce viewin g, 158
dist ract ion s, 166
docks, 232
dolich oceph alic faces, 289
Dove, Art h ur, 339
drawin g, 3
10 Comman dmen t s
of Drawin g, 143
al fresco, 180
art ist ic libert y, 233
as basis for pain t in g
on furn it ure, 321
ch ecklist , 157
ch ild developmen t , 7
developin g t ech -
n iques, 13
essen t ial mat erials, 10
expan din g skills, 322
expressive, 147
form, 157, 160
guides, 152
plast ic pict ure plan es,
152-153
viewfin der frames,
153-154
Learn in g t o Draw Ch eat
Sh eet , 158-159
learn in g t o see, 8
mat erials. See mat erials
out -of-body experien ce,
13
person al t ouch , 172
pract ice, 161
preh ist oric t imes, 4
preparat ion , 166
reviewin g your work,
151
righ t -brain . See righ t -
brain
secret of, 5
sket ch book journ als.
See journ als
spon t an eous, 148
t h erapeut ic, 147
wh ile t ravelin g, 315
wit h out -lookin g, 152
Zen approach , 148
drawin g boards, 22
drawin g classes, 83
drawin g devices
pict ure plan es, 48-51
buildin g, 48
drawin g exercise,
52-53
drawin g wit h , 48-49
grids, set t in g up,
50-52
h ist orical uses of,
49-50
t ran sferrin g drawin gs
t o paper, 54-55
visual con cept s,
49-50
viewfin der frames,
59-60
drawin g wit h , 63-65
makin g, 60-62
Drawing on the Right Side
of the Brain, 5
drawin g st at e of min d, 36
drawin gs
carin g for, 330-331
drawin g from, 341
writ ers views, 142
dry-erase pen s, 174
Dun lop, James M., 338
E
e-mailin g images (com-
put ers), 332
ears, 289
eart h t on es, 329
ect omorph ic, 276
Elements, 105
eleph an t s, 258
ellipses, 107-108, 130
ellipsoids, 108, 277
en plein air, 213
en domorph ic, 276
erasers, 22, 85
et ch in g paper, 128
Euclid, 105
exercises
an imals, 258-259
con t our drawin g, 36-41
drawin g an object
wh ile lookin g, 41
drawin g an object
wit h out lookin g, 40
drawin g your h an d
wh ile lookin g, 38-39
drawin g your h an d
wit h out lookin g, 37
356
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
design s for cabin et
fron t s or doors, 321
det ail, 139
docks, 232
drawin g exercises for
ch ildren , 310-312
figure drawin g, 283-284
illust rat ion s, 318
lan dscapes, 216
n egat ive space, 69-73,
154
perspect ive, 204-206
pict ure plan es, 52-53
profile/ vase-vase/ profile
drawin g exercise,
23-25
righ t -brain drawin g
exercises, 23-30
profile/ vase-vase/
profile, 23-25
righ t side up/ upside
down , 26-30
st ill life, 156
t on es, 119-122
viewfin der frames,
drawin g wit h , 63-65
expressive drawin g, 147
eye an d h an d warm-ups,
34-35
eye level, 96, 200
perspect ive, 200
st ill life, 106-108
eyes, 289
F
fabrics, 169
clot h in g, 294-295
fash ion drawin gs,
322
drawin g ch allen ges, 169
faces, 288
caricat ures, 323
ch ildren , 290
full fron t al view, 290
port rait s, 290
posit ion in g feat ures,
289
proport ion s, 291
sh apes an d proport ion s,
291-292
t h ree-quart er view, 290
t ypes, 289
farmyards, 231
an imals, 264
farmh ouses, 250
fash ion drawin gs, 322
feet , 282
fen ces, 230
figure drawin g, 271-284
an at omy, 274-277
body t ypes, 276-277
muscles, 275
skelet al syst em, 274
body proport ion ,
278-280
feet , 282
gest ure drawin gs,
272-273
h an ds, 281
h ead an d n eck, 283
filt ers, 9
fin din g
in spirat ion for drawin g,
342-343
object s t o draw, 91-92
t ime t o draw, 82
fixat ive, 129
flow, 36
flowers, 135, 181
addit ion al object s, 183
bloomin g, 183
wildflowers, 184, 316
foliage, 220
fon t s, 321
foresh ort en in g, 49
form, 157, 160
formal perspect ive,
198-199
h ouses, 245
on e-poin t perspect ive,
201
t h ree-poin t perspect ive,
202
t wo-poin t perspect ive,
201
frames, 9
framin g, 331
Fran k, Frederick, 143
fruit an d veget ables (st ill
life), 104
furn it ure, design s for
fut ure pain t in g, 321
G
garden s, 180
ext ras, 184
green h ouses, 187
pat h s, 188
pot s, plan t ers, an d
t ools, 186
season s, 186
st at ues an d figures, 188
veget ables, 185
gat es, 188
geomet ric sh apes, 86-87
gest ure
an imals, 258
people, 296
gest ure drawin gs, 272-273
giraffes, 258
gloves, 170
Golden Sect ion , 105
graph ic images (comput -
ers), 332-333
grasses, 220
green h ouses, 187
groun d t on es, 128
guidelin es for drawin g
(Ten Comman dmen t s
of Frederick Fran k), 344
guides, 152
viewfin der frames,
153-154
357
Index
H
h an d an d eye warm-ups,
34-35
h an ds, 281
h ardn ess (pen cils), 22
h at s, 170
h eads an d faces, 283, 288
ch ildren , 290
port rait s, 290
posit ion in g facial
feat ures, 289
sh apes an d proport ion s,
291-292
Hen ri, Robert , 3
Hin ch man , Han n ah , 141
Hippocrat es, 276
h ist ory of drawin g st yles,
340
h ome pages, 332
Homer, Win slow, 340
h orizon lin es, 200
lan dscapes, 215
h orizon t al orien t at ion
(paper), 92
h ot press paper, 84
h ouseh old it ems, 165
an t iques, 171
bat h room, 172
bedroom, 168
cat egories, 167
ch airs, 171
fabrics, 169
h at s an d gloves, 170
kit ch en , 166
livin g room, 171
pat ios, 174
pit ch ers an d bowls,
168
sh oes, 170
silverware, 167
win dow arran ge-
men t s, 173
h ouses, 241-242
buildin g mat erials, 248
cit yscapes, 247
coun t ryside, 247-248
det ails, 245-252
drawin g at differen t
t imes, 243
farmh ouses, 250
perspect ive, 244-245
proport ion con sidera-
t ion s, 245
un usual h ouses,
251-252
Vict orian h ouses, 249
h uman brain , 16
lat eralizat ion , 17
left -brain , 17-18, 24-25
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
left -h an dedn ess, 17-18
righ t -brain , 17-18
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
profile/ vase-vase/
profile drawin g
exercise, 23-25
righ t side up/ upside
down drawin g
exercise, 26-30
righ t -h an dedn ess, 17-18
h umor, 172
I
illumin at ion s, 317, 320
illust rat ion s, 317-319
Illust rat or, 333
imagin at ive drawin g, 315
in formal perspect ive,
198-199
h ouses, 244-245
measurin g, 206-207
in sect s, 182
in spirat ion , 337-340
fin din g, 342-343
wh at art ist s say about
t h eir work, 338-340
wh ere art ist s fin d in spi-
rat ion , 338
J-K
journ als, 141
approach t o, 146
expressive drawin g, 147
gen eral, 144
st art in g, 146
t ravel, 144
variet ies of, 144
kin esics, 275
kit ch en it ems, 166
kn eaded erasers, 22, 85
L
lan dscape space, 94
lan dscapes, 213
aerial perspect ive, 216
an imals, 257, 262, 268
art ist ic libert y, 233
beach areas, 221, 225
boat s, 233-234
ch an gin g view, 213
det ails, 225
dist an ce, 214
dividin g space, 215
essen t ial mat erials, 213
farmyards, 264
framin g t h e view, 214
h orizon lin es, 215
h uman -made elemen t s,
229-232, 235
ligh t in g/ sh adows, 225
pen cils, 216
people, 287-288
act ion an d gest ure,
296
clot h es, 294-295
scale an d posit ion in g,
296
ph ot ograph s, 217
space con siderat ion s,
215
t h umbn ail sket ch es,
216
358
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
t ips for drawin g
perspect ive, 203
t rees an d sh rubs, 217
vin es an d grasses, 220
wat er an d reflect ion s,
223
lat eralizat ion , 17
Lauren Jarret t Web sit e,
332
learn in g resources,
347-348
Learn in g t o Draw Ch eat
Sh eet , 158-159
learn in g t o see, 8
left -brain , 6, 17-18, 24-25
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
left -h an dedn ess, 17-18
ligh t (t on e), 115-118
3-D object s, drawin g,
119
chiaroscuro, 119
drawin g exercise,
119-122
t on al ch art s, creat in g,
116-118
weigh t , 119
livin g room it ems,
drawin g, 171
logical left . See left -brain
M
Marin , Joh n , 338
mat erials, 21-22, 83-85
al fresco drawin g, 180
boards, 85
brush es, care of, 129
ch arcoal, 129
ch ildren s mat erials,
307
color media, 328
drawin g boards, 22
drawin g lan dscapes,
213
erasers, 22, 85
fixat ive, 129
guides
plast ic pict ure plan e,
152
viewfin der frames,
153-154
n eed for good mat erials,
142
paper, 21, 83-84
brist ol board, 84
cold press paper, 84
h orizon t al orien t a-
t ion , 92
h ot press paper, 84
n ewsprin t , 84
rough -surfaced
paper, 84
variet ies, 128
vellum surface, 84
vert ical orien t at ion ,
92
wat ercolor paper, 84
weigh t , 84
paper st omp, 129
pen cils, 22, 84, 129
pen s, 129
dry-erase, 174
referen ce mat erials for
ch ildren , 308
st en cils, 322
st orin g, 85
t ravel journ als, 144
views, 171
plast ic pict ure plan es,
159
Mat erials Ch ecklist ,
345-346
mat t in g, 331
measurin g
an gle measures, 207
an gles, 132
perspect ive, 206-207
mech an ical pen cils, 22, 84
medit at ion , 36
mesoch eph alic faces, 289
mesomorph ic, 276
mid-ran ge, 94
Mon et , Claude, 213
mout h s, 289
movemen t , 236
an imals, 257
people, 296
muscles, 275
museums, 340-341
drawin g from art , 341
n at ural h ist ory, 263
st yles of drawin g
t h rough h ist ory, 340
N
n at ural h ist ory museums,
263
Natural Way to Draw, The,
8, 37
n at ure. See out door
en viron men t
nature mort, 102
n eck, 283
n egat ive space, 67-68, 154
drawin g exercises, 69-73
process of drawin g, 155
n ewsprin t , 84
Nicolaides, Kimon , 8
n oses, 289
O
OKeeffe, Georgia, 9, 142,
327-328, 338
object s
arran gemen t , 92-96,
155-158
con t our drawin gs,
96-97
eye level, 96
ran ge, 93-95
sit in g t h e image, 96
359
Index
composit ion , 93
det ail, 132
fin din g object s t o draw,
91-92
form, 157
h ouseh old, 165
an t iques, 171
bat h room, 172
bedroom, 168
ch airs, 171
fabrics, 169
h at s an d gloves, 170
kit ch en , 166
livin g room, 171
pat io, 174
pit ch ers an d bowls,
168
sh oes, 170
silverware, 167
win dow arran ge-
men t s, 173
isolat in g wit h plast ic
pict ure plan es, 152
n egat ive space, 155
out doors, 179-182, 186
an imals, 189, 262
ch airs, 191
drawin g caut ion s,
188
flowers, 181-184
garden it ems,
186-188
in sect s, 183
veget ables, 185
relat ive an gles, 132
scale, 131
surface det ails, 132
t on ed 3-D object s,
drawin g, 119
on e-poin t perspect ive, 201
orn amen t als, 188
out -of-body experien ce,
13
out door en viron men t
an imals, 189, 262
bot an ical, 179-191
addit ion al object s,
183
caut ion s, 188
con siderat ion s, 180
flowers, 181-184
garden it ems,
186-188
veget ables, 185
wildflowers, 316
See also lan dscapes
ch airs, 191
con siderat ion s, 180
drawin g caut ion s, 188
farmyards, 231
an imals, 264
farmh ouses, 250
garden it ems, 186-188
special st ruct ures, 232
veh icles, 235
wat erfron t s, 232
P
PageMaker, 333
pain t in gs, drawin g from,
341
Palmer Met h od writ in g,
33-34
paper, 21, 83-84, 128
brist ol board, 84
ch arcoal, 128
cold press paper, 84
h orizon t al orien t at ion ,
92
h ot press paper, 84
n ewsprin t , 84
past el, 128
rough -surfaced paper,
84
variet ies, 128
vellum surface, 84
vert ical orien t at ion , 92
wat ercolor, 84, 128
weigh t , 84
paper st omp, 129
parallelogram, 68
pat h s (garden s), 188
pat ios, 174
pen cils, 22, 84
colored pen cils,
328-330
h ardn ess, 22
lan dscape drawin g, 216
mech an ical pen cils,
22, 84
sh arpen ers, 129
wat er-soluble, 129
pen s, 129
people, 271-284, 287-288
act ion an d gest ure, 296
an at omy, 274-277
body t ypes, 276-277
muscles, 275
skelet al syst em, 274
body proport ion ,
278-280
caricat ures, 323
clot h in g, 294-295
feet , 282
gest ure drawin gs,
272-273
h an ds, 281
h eads an d faces,
283, 288-292
ch ildren , 290
posit ion in g facial
feat ures, 289
sh apes an d propor-
t ion s, 292
n eck, 283
port rait s, 290
self-port rait s, 293
set t in g scen es, 292
scale an d posit ion in g,
296
360
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
perspect ive, 197-209
aerial perspect ive, 198
drawin g, 203-206
eye level, 200
formal perspect ive,
198-199
h orizon lin e, 200
h ouses, 244-245
in formal perspect ive,
198-199
measurin g, 206-207
on e-poin t perspect ive,
201
pict ure plan e, 199-202
plan es in space,
208-209
t h ree-poin t perspect ive,
202
t ips for drawin g
out doors, 203
t wo-poin t perspect ive,
201
van ish in g poin t s,
200-202
views, 203-204
ph ot ograph y
an imal port rait ure, 267
lan dscape drawin g, 217
Ph ot oSh op, 333
Phthisic habitus, 276
pict ure plan es, 48-51
buildin g, 48
drawin g exercise, 52-53
drawin g wit h , 48-49
grids, set t in g up, 50-52
h ist orical uses of, 49-50
perspect ive, 199-202
t ran sferrin g drawin gs t o
paper, 54-55
visual con cept s, 49-50
pit ch ers, 168
plan es in space (perspec-
t ive), 208-209
plan n in g lin es (drawin g
st ill life), 110-111
plast ic pict ure plan es, 152
measurin g an gles, 131
pat io doors, 159
polit ical sat ire, 322-323
port rait s, 290-293
an imals, 265
set t in g t h e scen e, 292
pract icin g, 8, 161
begin n in g t ech n iques,
85-87
h an d an d eye warm-
ups, 34-35
Palmer Met h od writ in g,
33-34
preh ist oric drawin g, 4
Pren dergast , Maurice, 340
primary colors, 329
prin t (et ch in g/ prin t ), 128
prin t paper, 128
prin t in g images (comput -
ers), 332
privacy, 166
problem solvin g (t each in g
drawin g t o ch ildren ),
310-312
profile/ vase-vase/ profile
drawin g exercise, 23-25
proport ion s, 62
an imals, 258-259
body proport ion ,
278-280
faces, 291
h ouses, 245
port rait s, 288
Q-R
Quark, 333
ran ge, 93-95
rearran gin g object s for
drawin g, 166
recedin g plan es (measur-
in g an gles), 132
reflect ion s, 223
relat ion al righ t . See righ t -
brain
resources for learn in g t o
draw, 347-348
reviewin g drawin gs, 151
from a dist an ce, 158
righ t -brain , 6, 17-18
ch ild developmen t ,
19-20
developin g in ch ildren ,
7
drawin g exercises, 23-30
profile/ vase-vase/
profile, 23-25
righ t side up/ upside
down , 26-30
st ren gt h en in g, 6
t each in g ch ildren righ t -
brain approach t o
drawin g, 302-303
righ t side up/ upside down
drawin g exercise, 26-30
righ t -h an dedn ess, 17-18
roads, 230
rough -surfaced paper, 84
S
safaris, 265
Sargen t , Joh n Sin ger, 339
scale, 131, 199
an imals, 268
people, 296
scan n ers, 332
sculpt ures, drawin g from,
341
seash ells, 182
secon dary colors, 329
self-con ciousn ess, 151
self-port rait s, 293
sh adow colors, 329
361
Index
sh adows, 188
lan dscapes, 225
t on e, 115-118
3-D object s, drawin g,
119
chiaroscuro, 119
drawin g exercise,
119-122
t on al ch art s, creat in g,
116-118
weigh t , 119
sh apes, 67, 119
an imals, 258-259
in fabric, 169
faces, 291
flowers, 135
geomet ric sh apes, 86-87
Sh apiro, Harry, 343
sh arin g your work,
341-342
Sh eeler, Ch arles, 338
sh ipyards, 232
sh oes, 170
sh rubs, 217
silverware, 167
sit in g t h e image, 96
skelet al syst em, 274
sket ch book journ als.
See journ als
space, 67, 119
lan dscapes, 215
n egat ive space, 67-68
plan es in space (per-
spect ive), 208-209
Sperry, Roger W., 17
spon t an eous drawin g, 148
square, 63
squirrels, 189
st at ues (garden ), 188
St ella, Joseph , 338
st en cils, 322
st ill life, 101-102, 155
an t ique it ems, 171
bat h room it ems, 172
bedroom it ems,
168-170
ch ecklist , 157
composit ion , 104-106
Golden Sect ion , 105
cubes, 108
cylin ders, 109
drawin g in boxes, 110
ellipses, 107-108
eye level, 106-108
form, 158
fruit an d veget ables,
104
h umor, 172
kit ch en it ems, 168
livin g room it ems, 171
pat ios, 174
plan n in g lin es, 110-111
rein ven t in g t h e world,
321
select in g object s for,
101, 104
van t age poin t , 106
viewpoin t , 106
win dow arran gemen t s,
173
st ill life space, 94
st orin g
drawin gs, 331
mat erials, 85
st ory illust rat ion s, 319
st ruct ures
h ouses, 241-242
buildin g mat erials,
248
cit yscapes, 247
coun t ryside, 247-248
det ails, 245-252
drawin g at differen t
t imes, 243
farmh ouses, 250
perspect ive, 244-245
proport ion con sidera-
t ion s, 245
Vict orian , 249
special st ruct ures, 232
un usual st ruct ures,
251-252
st udios, 80
reflect in g t h e art ist , 142
st yles of drawin g t h rough
h ist ory, 340
surface det ails, 132
symbolic drawin g, 301
T
t each in g drawin g t o
ch ildren
ch ildren s brain devel-
opmen t , 7
drawin g exercises,
310-312
en couragin g creat ivit y,
304-305
makin g drawin g a
posit ive experien ce,
307-310
problem solvin g,
310-312
righ t -brain approach t o
drawin g, 302-303
visual developmen t ,
305
visual learn in g, 303
t ech n iques, begin n in g
t ech n iques, 85-87
Ten Comman dmen t s of
Frederick Fran k, 344
t ert iary colors, 329
t ext ures, 132, 158
an imals, 261
t h erapeut ic drawin g, 147
t h ree dimen sion al (3-D),
50
t h ree-poin t perspect ive,
202
t h umbn ail sket ch es
(lan dscapes), 216
t ime, fin din g t ime t o
draw, 82
362
The Complete Idiots Guide to Drawing
t on es, 115-118, 158-160
3-D object s, drawin g,
119
ch an gin g t on al ran ge,
161
chiaroscuro, 119
drawin g exercise,
119-122
t on al ch art s, creat in g,
116-118
weigh t , 119
t ools (garden ), 187
t ravel journ als, 144
t ravelin g, 315
t rees, 216-217
trompe loeil, 198
t wo dimen sion al (2-D), 50
t wo-poin t perspect ive,
201
U-V
un usual st ruct ures,
drawin g, 251-252
van Gogh , Vin cen t , 197
van ish in g poin t s (per-
spect ive), 200-202
van t age poin t , 102, 106
veget ables, 185
st ill life, 104
veh icles, 235-236
vellum surface (paper), 84
vert ical orien t at ion
(paper), 92
Vict orian h ouses, 249
viewfin der frames, 59-60,
152-154
drawin g wit h , 63-65
makin g, 60-62
viewpoin t , 102, 106
views, 171
lan dscapes, 214
plast ic pict ure plan es,
159
vin es, 220
virt ual sket ch books,
331-333
visual con cept s (pict ure
plan es), 49-50
visual developmen t , 305
visual learn in g, 303
W-Z
warm-ups (h an d an d eye
warm-ups), 34-35
wat er, 223
wat er-soluble pen cils, 129
wat ercolor paper, 84, 128
wat erfron t s
an imals, 263
special st ruct ures, 232
Web sit es, 332
Weber, Max, 338
weigh t , 119
paper, 84
wildflowers, 184, 316
wildlife, 189
win dow boxes, 187
writ in g, Palmer Met h od
writ in g, 33
Wyet h , An drew, 339
Zen , 148, 342-343
Zen of Seeing, The, 91
zoos, 266