For those who wish to draw more

Days Umpteen through Zimpteen November 13, 2006

Filed under: .Christopher,Day 06,Day 07,Day 08,Day 09 — tassava @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I’m trying to catch up. I’m failing so far, but still trying! Last night was very productive, both in terms of actually drawing some stuff and in terms of realizing that my ability to handle perspective is for crap. Any tips from those of you with a good grasp of how to draw things with complex perspectives, such as landscapes? I think that my lack of confidence and skills in this area (see “sharpener,” below) is what’s keeping me from tackling anything beyond these isolated items. I also sent all four of these to the Flickr group, so feel free to check out full-size versions there.
Day 6 – drawing chair

My chair of choice.

Day 7 – for sale

Somebody joked the other day that half the people in our town are trying to sell houses to the other houses. I’m not sure how this accounts for the half of town that cuts the other half’s lawns.

Day 8 – sharpener

My colored-pencil sharpener. Is it overkill that I use a seven-dollar German sharpener on a 99-cent box of Crayola pencils? (Regardless of whether or not that’s so, this little item drove me mad with the problems of perspective: I just couldn’t get the lower front curve to match the upper front curve, or either of them to match the lines along the side.)

Day 9 – white cedar

A sprig from a bank of shrubs on my favorite walk. This is probably the favorite thing I’ve drawn so far, not least because it smelled so good while I drew it.


4 Responses to “Days Umpteen through Zimpteen”

  1. hylacrucifer Says:

    Your white cedar drawing is beeeyooootiful.

  2. India Amos Says:

    I like them all, but my favorites are “for sale” and “white cedar.”

    When I have trouble with perspective, I find that somehow setting up a grid in my head helps. You could do this with the help of a viewing square, or using the pencil-as-measuring-implement method I mentioned earlier. Measurement would have helped with your pencil sharpener, for example. Or try drawing on graph paper! Sometimes just concentrating on getting the relationships of adjacent shapes to work out is enough, but it depends on the scope and subject matter of the drawing. For a landscape, nobody else will know if you’ve skewed it; for a geometrical, machine-made object like a chair or pencil sharpener, everyone can tell immediately if the angles are off.

    I’ve got lousy depth perception, and my perspective gets skewed very easily on anything bigger than a marble, so I’ve been making myself do undersketches for the last few drawings. That way I can check positions before I commit to ink or colored pencil or whatever. You may also find it fruitful to draw the same object—the chair, for instance—from a few different angles.

  3. d. f. tweney Says:

    It takes a lot of practice to be able to draw curved lines in perspective, especially when they’re on an object that’s just floating in space or against a plain background.

    You might try putting that pencil sharpener close to a few other objects: A coffee cup on the right and a simple square box on the left, for instance. Then look at the negative space between the objects, and draw *that* (forgetting about the objects themselves for a minute). Using a pencil, grid, or viewing square can help a lot with this exercise.

    Then once you’ve drawn the negative space you can try to fill in the objects themselves. Don’t worry if they look all wack. The point is to practice drawing the negative space. You can even skip the objects and just do negative space drawings. Hey, it’s art!

    After you do this kind of exercise a lot, you’ll be able to look at the objects themselves and abstract them into 2-dimensional shapes much more easily. It’s still hard to draw curves in perspective. But it does get easier.

    I found it also helped to do lots of perspective drawings of imaginary objects & landscapes. A book on how to draw in perspective can help here. I drew lots of floating cubes, giant buildings disappearing into space, surreal landscapes with converging lines, etc. All that “art” probably looked a lot like really bad Sci-fi paperback covers, but it did help me learn the rules of perspective.

  4. tassava Says:

    Thanks for the comments and the great advice! I think I’m going to try to draw something all perspectivey tonight and use the techniques you all describe. I appreciate the advice.

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