Friday, November 28, 2008

Beginner's Drawing Lesson 2: Paper and Use & Control of Drawing Mediums

I should have began my last lesson with the emphatic statement:

"Anyone can learn to draw!" (you too Sara;>)

It takes practice, and practice, and practice...and patience, and you may not learn the same way as other people, but you can learn. Every class I teach, almost everyone starts by saying "I wish I could draw", or "I can't draw" can.

The other thing I should have mentioned last lesson, under supplies is paper/sketch pads:

1. First one of the best things to buy is a "drawing board". The ones I have are inexpensive ($10-$15CAD), approximately 21" X 30", and come with two bull clips (to hold the paper) and a gigantic, thick elastic band (to hold all your paper when you travel back and forth). It also has a built in handle. This drawing board gives you a smooth surface to draw on and can protect your paper from becoming tattered. I clip a pad of paper to mine.

2. The paper I would suggest for a beginner or student is called cartridge paper. I just looked it up at the art supply store I go to and it is $5.10 CAD for a pad of 40 - 18" x 24" sheets. It is white and is a pretty decent paper for all the drawing mediums we have discussed.

3. Sketch pads: I have three:

a) one is 9" x 12',

b) The other is 11" x 14' . I prefer this larger one. Get one with a spiral's easier to use the whole page to draw on. Also, look for one that contains acid free paper, and has a good surface for pencil, charcoal, graphite and pen. Ask at the art supplies store if you are unsure.

c) The third one I have is a small hardcover sketchbook that fits in my back pocket. I'm usually a jeans and t-shirt gal and carry no purse because I always loose them. These small sketchbooks can be tucked into you back pocket. That and a pencil can be used like a camera to capture images or interesting things you see throughout your day...people on the bus, the tree outside your flat, the flowers in the garden, the rocks on the beach etc.

Learning to Use & control Each Drawing Medium:

This is fun, relaxing, and can empty your mind, relax yourself before beginning drawing and relieve anxiety or any bad thoughts if you are feeling anxious/depressed.

  1. Get a piece of paper and try the following over and over until you feel confident about the feel of each medium and your ability to control the following movements:

a) Pick up your Willow Charcoal:

  • draw lines across the first pressing hard and slowly changing to as soft as you can press and still create a mark on the page,
  • go backwards across the page hard (dark) to soft(light),
  • make the changes more quickly hard-soft, soft to hard etc.
  • Draw spirals that change from light to dark,
  • Draw thin lines to thick lines
  • Draw wiggly lines to straight lines.
  • Make up your own lines.
  • Do with the compressed charcoal,
  • Conte crayons
  • All the pencils (2b. 4b, 6b).
  • Go slow, fast, hard, soft. light dark, thin lines, thick lines until you feel comfortable using the drawing, have fun, relax.

b) "Patterning" Part of drawing is often learning to quickly draw repeating patterns, for example leaves on a tree, or grass in a field or rocks on a beach. I have a fun exercise that I get my students to do, and I also provide them with a blank template for them to create their own patterns. Patterns can be nonsensical and can incorporate some of the usage practices from exercise "a" above.

Handouts for, and examples of, the above to exercises:

Specific Patterns Exercise

Make up Your Own Patterns

Examples of some fun patterns

A Collage I made out of "Patterns" done on a small Pad of paper, then on each paper I tore the edges and glued the patterned paper onto a larger heavy paper.

The exercise really helped me learn to control my pencils


Lola Snow said...

I wish I had the motivation to do something like this, but at the moment am slipping into the staring at the wall type mood. I have bookmarked it though, and hopefully I will get up the energy to give it a whirl soon! These are great posts Aqua, your blog is becoming quite eclectic, with posts ranging from meditation to mushrooms to memory and now making collages!

Lola x

Aqua said...

Thanks Lola, What a compliment...if I could be anything in the world I wanted I think it would be to be "eclectic".

My motivation seems transient and what I manage to motivate myself to do is curious; certainly not understood by myself.

Immi said...

You've not only got the doc drawing, you've got me drawing again. Thanks!