Saturday, 30 May 2009



*These were both done while my subjects were staring at their laptops, hence the gormless expressions...
I tried using the meaured approach from the book but it just seemed too wooden, like it took the joy out of drawing, besides, I think they turned out pretty well without it. I've come a long way from crudely drawn 'symbols' to taking the time to notice the subtle differences in the features such as the line of the nose and curve of the mouth.
Next I'll be looking at light and shadows.
I might walk to Bradgate park today and get some reference images for the ancient ruins project, and hopefully some textures aswell. I've spent the past week reading texture & environment books & drawing so I need a bit of a change.
Viva la sunshine!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The importance of negative spaces

note: negative spaces...very important

first attempt at a controlled, measured perspective drawing without rushing. Excuse the crosshair guide and chair that vanishes into nothing, apart from that I'd say it's an encouraging start :) next: portraits, if I can find a willing victim

Monday, 25 May 2009

To help with the struggle of translating 3d forms into a 2d drawing, an old method was to frame your composition using a clear pane of glass/plastic. Obviously it wasn't very practical on a large scale but Van Goph did actually do this when he was teaching himself to draw.

  • This task involved balancing the acetate over the hand and drawing directly onto it, every line exactly how you see them. It helps to have one eye closed aswell, to avoid binocular vision which can be confusing.

Then you copy it onto paper in detail and with shading and there you go. I added the bottle to make it more interesting. I think it's a successful result :) It's definitely easier with the plane so I guess to become a true artist is to practise until you can do it naturally without the plane.




Friday, 22 May 2009



Here's some more progress from the book. Most of these exercises we have been through with chris but it can't do any harm to reiterate these tried and tested lessons. I feel like I need constant instruction, which is good in a way but also voluntarily inhibiting and something I should learn not to rely on.

Anyway, first was the face/vase drawing which brings out the conflict of the two sides of the brain. Then I did a couple of upside down drawings which teaches you to focus only on line and space without thinking about what it is you are actually drawing, therefore allowing the shift into an alternate state of consciousness.

Pablo Picasso - Portrait of Igor Stravinsky

German horse & rider -unknown German artist


Although not perfectly accurate, it's obvious how drawing from a viewpoint which renders the image incomprehensible, lets drawing become free from trying to create what we think it's supposed to look like and just draw what you actually see without conflict in the mind.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Learning to see

So I've read a lot about this book called 'Drawing on the right side of the brain' by Betty Edwards and thought I should give it a go in order to improve my drawing ability. I know I don't have a natural artistic eye but I'm hoping this book will teach me to feel comfortable and confident with my style so I have faith in it when I begin a drawing.

The first tasks were to draw a self-portrait using a mirror, then draw someone familiar from memory and finally draw your own hand. So here they are:



^meet joe* (bf) *note: may look slightly different in real life^

Not as bad as I thought they would be :) but as you can see, from just using my memory, the brain reverts back to the 'symbols' I've used since childhood and the shading is less subtle because of my uncertainty. Mostly I struggle with the nose and how to describe the volume and shape with shadow.

Thankfully I'm not totally hopeless and I will continue to post my progress. It's been a really informative book so far and goes into a lot of detail about the research into the two sides of our brain and how they work separately.