Pattern and Style

In this lesson I will review and help to refine the previous drawing lessons.  I'll talk a little about working with pen, choosing a style, utilizing surface pattern, and will introduce a couple of important perspective tricks.

~ - ~

A review of how to draw organic shapes:

At bottom left I've shaded the "peanut" more evenly using soft still wrapping strokes  and I've let the line for the plane-break suggest the core shadow.

At bottom right I've reversed the used roughly the same silhouette and have used polka-dots and stripes instead of tone to suggest the form.

~ - ~ 

Introducing pattern onto the form is a way to show the three-dimensional form when the shadow patterns are ambiguous or your style doesn't rely heavily on chiaroscuro.

~ - ~ 

Using ink is a great way utilize the effects of hatching.  Sketching with an ink pen also teaches an artist to get lines correct the first time and therefore helps to develop line confidence along with speed.  This is the ability to think about what a line needs to communicate before touching the paper.

 Hatching works as a "stand-in" for value and can mimic the value scale from black to white.  An Ink pen will only make black lines. However, if the white lines between each ink line are the same with of the line itself then you have optically created a 50% gray. Controlling the amount of space between the lines creates either a lighter or darker value. The bottom two swatches above represent two ways to make a gradation from black to white; either by making the lines more dense or by increasing their width as they enter shadow.
Valued hatching can create the illusion of form even without an outside edge.

~ - ~ 

Style Choices:

Different tools, paper and different line scaling results in different styles.

The top two cylinders where drawn with a Sharpy marker and are a more of a short hand symbol for a cylinder.  This is good for sketching quickly to brain storm or make objects look comical. Using detailed dry brushing can add a lot of subtly and realism as can many thinner lines.

~ - ~

More on perspective:

If you know an object on the ground plane is roughly the same size then it will have the same relative relationship to the horizon. At top the eyes of the men all align on the horizon. Below each man's knees rest lay on the horizon.  This results in the illusion of the ground plane and works as a yard stick to measure distant objects in relation to foreground objects.  Like doorways and light poles.

Using vanishing points too close together cause distortion in the image.  Avoid this by using vanishing points well outside of the drawing area.  The red circle above represents the zone safe from distortion.  Try to keep your drawing in this area.

I'm sort of tiptoeing through this point because I'm trying to simplify the generally dry and joy killing details of perspective.  However, the truth be told learning to draw accurately using perspective is crucial to "getting better" at imaginative but still representational drawing.

I'm going to try to distill what I know into some immediately useful tricks and rules of thumb. However, if you're still asking why and how perspective works, the following website can go pretty deep to enlighten: .

~ - ~

Often times, it helps to use straight lights to keep curves from becoming wonky and inaccurate.

~ - ~


Here's an assignment to take you through to a more or less finished piece.  The purpose will be to combine drawing what you see with drawing from your imagination.

1) Choose a small geometric item from around your house.  Something that you can hold in your hand so you can easily look at it from different angles.   Nothing too simple, like a battery or tennis ball, but something with multiple parts that are fastened together and have different shapes and planes.  Also nothing too complex like a motorcycle engine or a saxophone. It could be a stapler, a kitchen gadget, or some small detached machine part.
2) Fill a page with 15 - 20 thumbnail sketches of the entire object from different angles.  Make some of these black silhouettes. Try and keep them all the same size (1-2 minutes each).

3) Make 3 or 4 small detailed drawings of close-up details in the item. (10-20 minutes each)

4) Do 5 more sketches of possible shadow shapes including both the form and cast shadow. (~5 minutes)

5) Now put the object away from view and redraw it in full value from memory, inventing the light and shadow on your own. Only use your sketches for reference. (1hr +)

NOTE: take pains to use every trick we've discussed in class.

~ - ~


No comments: