Tag Archives: Project 1B

Keys To Drawing – Project 1-B – Hand, part 5

11 Apr

In my previous sketch I had a lot of problems putting the parts of a face in the correct place and at the right scale. I wanted to know why that was, so I returned to an exercise from the book “Keys To Drawing” by Bert Dodson. The exercise was to draw your left hand (or right hand if you’re left-handed), with the fingers pointed towards you. The purpose of this exercise was to learn you to see foreshortening and how it does not conform to how we think a hand should look like.

Keys To Drawing, Project 1-B - Hand, part 5

I was finished in less than 15 minutes, while the instruction clearly stated that you need to take at least 40 minutes to complete the sketch. So, that seems to be the problem. I’m rushing through, instead of taking my time to observe and take the visuals in.

I need to slow down. Drawing isn’t about speed, but about concentration, and for old fogies like me, concentration takes time. I’m not as fast a thinker as I used to be in my twenties.

As an aside, this is the best sketch in the series so far. Obviously, my drawing skills have progressed. However, that doesn’t mean I should be over-confident. Each drawing and sketch deserves full attention of the creator.

That is all.


Keys to Drawing – Project 1-B – Hand, fourth attempt

24 Mar

I tried to draw my left hand for the exercise in Bert Dodson’s book “Keys to Drawing”, called Project 1-B – Hand.

Keys to Drawing - Project 1-B - Hand, 4th attempt

I can see that I’ve improved considerably, but already during the drawing I saw the thumb was too far apart from the fingers. Still, I finished the drawing as good as I could.

That is all.

Keys to Drawing, Project 1-B – Hand, 3rd attempt

10 Mar

It never ceases to amaze me if you start drawing something, keep a good look at what you draw, step back now and then to get an overview, that that alone is enough to produce a convincing drawing, where everything fits. You’d expect some magical ingredient, like talent, but no, taking the right steps brings you to a successful result.

The only problem is that you need to do it a lot, and then I mean a whole lot. Malcolm Gladwell seems to suggest that you need at least 10,000 hours of intense practice to become good at any skill. If you spend 4 hours a day on drawing, then you’d need 2500 days, or about 7 years to become good at drawing. I currently spend 2 hours a day at drawing. I guess I should put more effort in my hobby if I want to become good at it any time soon.

These two sketches were part of the drawing exercises in the book "Keys to Drawing" by Bert Dodson. The point is to learn to see object from strange perspectives and draw what you see, instead of what you think you see. Draw lines instead of things.

Keys to Drawing, Project 1-B - Hand, 3rd attempt

I’m still having problems with proportions and putting details at the correct location. Luckily, I saw browsing through the book, that this subject matter is dealt with.

So while I keep drawing away, slowly working my way t hrough t he book, I’ll get better at drawing. When I’m done, I won’t be a master draftsman, but I will be able to draw things from life much better than I’m able to do at this moment.

Keys to Drawing – Project 1-B – Hand, second attempt

6 Mar

The second attempt at drawing my left hand. This time with little available light. This meant that my old eyes didn’t see much detail, only the most important parts.

Keys to Drawing - Project 1-B - Hand, 2nd attempt

That is all.

Keys to Drawing – Project 1-B – Hand

3 Mar

The key point of this exercise is learn to draw from observation and not to rely on experience (what you know about the world).

Foreshortening is something that often causes problems for me (and many aspiring visual artists, it seems). The tricks is to forget what you know and just put lines on the paper that coincide with what you see.

Keys to Drawing - Project 1-B - Hand

It requires some concentration to focus on what you see, instead of what you know about the world. Luckily, with all the drawing exercises I’ve done lately, I now have learned to just draw lines instead of things. What is on the paper are lines, traces of graphite left on paper, that represent some object, but not being the object itself.

This realization that what you draw isn’t the object itself, but something that represents the object, as a collection of lines and curves that have been put there by the artists, is a profound idea. What you see is not what you think you see, but just a collection of lines (or pixels in the case of digital art), which is reconstructed in the mind of the observer of the artwork as an object in the real world.

Enough theory, more practice. I need to repeat this exercise, to keep honing my skills.

BTW, I have changed the contrast and brightness of the scanned image to better show you the pencil drawing. Without this manipulation the drawing comes over as faint, and would be hard to see.

That is all.

Procrastination be gone!

3 Feb

I’m noticing that I’m putting off the drawing exercises from the book “Keys to Drawing” by Bert Dodson, which isn’t good if I want to become a draftsman. So I decided to write the key points of chapter 1 (well, the first part of chapter 1, up to exercise 1-D) on a piece of drawing paper. I hope that this will help me to get started.

Here it goes:

Keys to Drawing Chapter 1 Part 1A

Keys to Drawing 1 The Drawing Process
* think practical, look mostly at your subject
* look, hold, draw -> essential basic skill
* drawing blind -> ideal for first stages of drawing
—-> Project 1 – A – Feet (drawing from observation)

Keys to Drawing Chapter 1 Part 1B

* Seeing vs. Knowing – a conflict -> drawing what you see goes above all
* Squinting makes details go away, large shapes remain
* What is it? -> Draw from unconventional angles to “unlearn” what you know about the world, and simply draw what you see
—-> Project 1 – B – Hand (extreme perspective)

Keys to Drawing Chapter 1 Part 1C

* Seeing vs. Knowing – mental images Shapes and contours kept in memory are less detailed than reality. That’s why drawing from life is so dramatically different than drawing from memory (or imagination)
—-> Project 1 – C – Pepper (drawing from memory vs. drawing from life)

Keys to Drawing Chapter 1 Part 1D

* Individualization Shift from language of things to language of lines * An exercise in Individualization
—-> Project 1 – D – Eyes (individual shapes)

The idea is that I go through the points, and look for a subject to draw that somehow fits the point. I know this is going to take a lot of time. However, I’m afraid if I don’t do it in this more structured manner, I won’t do it all.

Procrastination is so tempting, so much easier than actually doing it.

That is all.