Lesson 13 - In Which You Draw Many Drawings Quickly with a Pen on One Page

Congratulations on finishing 2 months of drawing lessons. Even if you haven't had a lot of time to do the lessons, if you read the lesson or watched the videos and did one drawing each week, you get an A.  If you thought about doing the drawing for the week you get a B.  If you didn't go to the page and look at the assignment, then I need to call your guardian.

This week the assignment is to draw multiple drawings,  all on one page.  Try to do the drawings with a pen instead of your pencil. If you make a mistake and want to erase, you can't with pen, so just draw another line right over the one you would erase if you had drawn in pencil.  Try not to spend more then 3-5 minutes on each drawing. If you are drawing a pet, they may move during your drawing time, so just abandon your drawing and start another one or try to finish the drawing from memory. If you simply get carried away with a drawing, then ok, you can spend up to 10 minutes on it.  However, the learning principle behind this assignment is not to be concerned with the results of your drawing, just to practice some of the things you have learned about drawing  in this class. 

For the drawing I posted here, I used a fountain pen.  I  used gestural sketching to begin the drawing and get an idea of the side and direction of the subject..  Then I  drew the shapes I saw and threw in some shading with the ink.  I think I am going to do a lot more of these pages because once I did the first two or three sketches, my drawings seemed to loosen up and I was able to draw  confidently  and was happy with the page.  Let me know how this works for you this week. Happy drawing. 

Lesson 14 The Value of Contour Drawing, Receding Elispes and Ink Wash

I have never been a big fan of contour drawing.  Usually the first drawing technique they teach you in art class is how to draw a blind contour of your hand. What you do is look very closely at your hand and not at all at your paper (that is the blind part).  Then you move your pen (that's right, no pencil, you are supposed to do this with pen), slowly following the the path of what your eye sees as it moves around you hand. You don't  have to draw just the edges of your hand you can move you eye and your pen simultaneously in and out of the entire surface of your hand,  Try this at home in your sketchbook.  The results will look weird and perhaps not at all like a hand. If your drawing looks really good, then either you have practiced this technique a lot of time before or you peaked at your paper. If you practice this technique your drawings improve.

As I take my own online Drawing and Painting Daybook class with you and study everything I can find on how people learn to draw, I realize there is significant value to practicing blind and semi-blind contour drawing often. The value is you increase your powers of observation as well as your eye hand coordination.  Both are important foundation skills for drawing.  Also you need to throw in the additional drawing skill of "re-stating your line" if you don't draw it correctly the first time.  Your continuous attempts to get the right line in the right place also build eye hand coordination.

So this week we are going to work on either or both types of contour drawing, semi blind- where you look at your object most of the time and only look at your drawing 5 times or less, or contour drawing where you do not look at your drawing at all.  Try to do 3-4 in your 18 minute drawing session this week and let me know how it goes and if you see any improvement in your drawings. 

This is the line drawing I did first with no pencil at all.  I used a Lamy Safari ink pen which uses water soluble ink cartridges in tip size Fine.  Notice that the ellipses in the front of the drawing are  wider and they get narrower as they recede toward the back. That's the secret!

In this photo you can see I added wash for shading to my line drawing. I did this by using a paintbrush dipped in clean water and just lightly touching the ink lines to create washes. Where you have drawn many lines you can have a very dark wash if you add water. If the wash spread out too much or was too dark, I just dabbed it with a paper napkin to remove the part I did not want.