Preston Blair drawings, part 3

8 Aug

As my monthly assignment, I tried a Preston Blair drawing from his book. Before I was able to draw this version, I had to study different aspects, especially how Mr. Blair made his flat drawing appear three dimensional.

Prestion Blair Drawings, part 3

The ears gave me a hard time, so I did some study on them. The ears stand out at a 45 degree angle from the back of the head, pointed forward, with a break halfway. The ears have a traditional spoon-like shape, somewhat tapered at the base, with a broad tip. At the base, the ear shell is round in cross-section and flat at the tip. So the cross-section slowly goes from a half-round narrow at the base to a flat broad shape near the tip of the ear, as if they “unroll” going from base to tip. The left and right of an ear are somewhat rigid, while the center is more flexible. This means that at the break, the center of the ear shell sags a little, while the sides are somewhat rounded.

All this has to be taken into account if you want to draw the shape of the broken ear consistently from all angles.

This bit of study was only about how to draw the ear; the same applies to other details of the dog. I assume you need to study dogs and their anatomy thoroughly with (life) sketches if you want to be able to draw cartoon dogs in the style of Preston Blair. It seems that there are no shortcuts.

It is clear to me that Blair used shorthand in his drawings. It would be foolish to reproduce that shorthand without the mentioned thorough study. Only after you’ve drawn all parts in full detail many times, I guess you will be able to leave out some of the parts and join shapes to a new, more complex shape that is faster to draw than each separate shape the complex shape is based on.

I guess that means I have to keep repeating those drawing exercises before I’m able to draw in his style. I also need to do some life drawing of dogs to improve my skills in canine drawings, both naturalistically and cartoony.

That is all.

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