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May it be an UP day! k

Friday, September 30, 2011

Step By Step Still Life Drawing Example

To enlarge any of the images, just click on them.

 To begin your drawing...  remember it's all about finding a good relationship. Find the big shapes first.  Break them down....  NO DETAIL needed to start.  All the detail in the world will not improve your drawing, if its out of proportion.  Confirm that you have all the relationships in place before you start in on the details.  These first three photo's are examples of the steps in how the foundation of your drawing begins. With your subject being broken down to very basic shapes, look at the relationship of the objects. Did I mention its also all about finding  GOOD RELATIONSHIPS. (Yes the fundamental lessons in life are also a part of learning to draw  :0)
NOW that you have a good relationship :0) You can start on your next step. As you start to think about the detail, now its time to remember the world is not defined by a line around it.  NOW its time to find the values in your shapes


Many of your edges are actually defined by a value.  Within the shapes that you have already defined , the relationships that you have already established, now your next step is to focus on is hard edges vs soft edges with your values.  Your eye will be led to where the dark and light meet, in other words the highest contrast.  Four simple values are; Dark, Next to Dark, Next to Light and Light.  Light often is the value of your paper in graphite drawing.  In Conte, its your white chalk. Note, Dark is as close to black as you can make it.  This is what your soft "B" lead pencils are for. The higher the number, the softer the lead, and the darker its effect. This just touches on all that is is available to learn about drawing, (tools, technique... foundation).  This foundation is what actually enables you  to paint.  Even abstract artists need to learn these techniques and what makes for a strong composition.

One of the hardest lessons to learn when drawing is that the negative WILL make your positive.  The way you draw the light... is by NOT drawing it... but planning for it.  Notice here how the original basic shapes of the flowers are now broken down and further defined.  I intentionally did not use the word 'detail'.  Its still about finding the good relationships, shapes and values.

This, of course, is just the basics in approaching a still life and learning to draw.  With a few basic foundational tools, we all have the ability to draw.  We may not all be Leonardo Da Vinci. There is a reason Da Vinci is titled a "Master" not to mention a genius.  You will find the most important way to learn is practice practice practice.  Leonardo spent countless hours applying this foundational tool to every piece of art he created.  Good draftsmanship is key. As in life as in art... finding good relationships is key.  Its not about the details, its about the relationship.

To summarize : When you start your still life.  
  • Remember it begins by finding the overall relationship of your objects.  
  • Break down the shapes. 
  • Define your values, and your edges with values.  
  • The negative will make your positives.  You need DARK to make the LIGHT.  Dark is how you draw the light.... by NOT drawing it, but planning for it and drawing the dark around it.
I am offering drawing workshops this season where this and more will be explored.  Workshops  ONE of the popular "Building A Strong Foundation - FUNdamentals of  Drawing.  It is a three day workshop.  One will be held at VAC  Workshops  I also have another at Boca Grande Art Alliance Workshops .  I will show you much more than this, and help you to develop this foundation to every good work of art.  Solid draftsmanship.... by DRAWING.  Will help teach you to SEE like an Artist.  Hope to see you soon!


Anita said...

Excellent demonstration Karen. As you know, drawing is my weak spot so i really appreciate you're skill. Tank you!!!!

Anita said...

Much love to you - I miss you!

An Original Hitt said...

Thank You Anita, Drawing is where we ALL need to simply remember the basics... and trust what we see by using our 'artist' eye, instead of painting or drawing what we imagine is there. When we pay attention to the shapes and values and proportions, then the images actually start to draw themselves :0)

An Original Hitt said...

miss you too ANITA! <3