Feb 9, 2011

Painting Demo: Stage 4

Drawing

I know you're thinking, "drawing? I thought you said it was all painting from here on out! I want my money back!" I did say I would be painting from here on out, but this is drawing with paint. And this demo is free, by the way. It is a common misconception that "drawing" is a term used only for black-and-white media such as charcoal or graphite. But "drawing" can also be defined as "the accurate placement of shapes," regardless of what medium an artist is using. When I first approach a canvas, I do not simply start flinging paint around. I must first determine precisely where to fling it.

In order to place the correct shapes in the right spots on my canvas, I use a measuring or "sighting" system. I do not use numerical measurements, but rather comparisons. It's kind of like those "connect the dots" exercises from when you were a kid. I imagine my subject covered with dots. Then I compare the distances between those dots. For instance, I might find that the distance between "dot A" and "dot B" fits 2 1/2 times into the distance between "dot C" and "dot D." Then I make sure to establish that same relationship on my canvas. The "ruler" I use to measure is my brush handle. By sliding my thumb up or down my brush handle, I mark off a length that matches the distance between two dots. Then I can compare that distance to the length between two other points. I keep measuring and comparing until I find where all those points go on my canvas. Then it's as simple as "connect the dots"!


Drawing Stage
(Sydney drawn too large)
Still confused? Don't worry, the above was my attempt to cram a whole week of college drawing instruction into one paragraph. Besides, I get mixed up too sometimes. Take the image to the right, for example. I drew Sydney too large and realized I would not have room on the canvas for her hands and basket of apples. I had to wipe it off and draw her again. But hey, that's life!

Here's the corrected version:
Drawing Stage















I wanted to show two approaches to drawing. You'll notice my drawing of Sydney is much simpler than the one of Jackson. An artist's drawing can be as simple or as detailed as he wishes, as long as he is able to establish an accurate foundation upon which to lay his final paint (to paraphrase the words of my painting instructor Mr. Jekel).

Drawing: Simple approach
Drawing: More detailed approach



Well, I kept this stage shorter for those of you that may have been overwhelmed by yesterday's epic post. Tune in tomorrow, Thursday the 10th, for more fun with Adam!

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