OCAD Studio: Basics of Form

What is Form?

In the context of representational drawing and painting, a form is anything that is 3D in your artwork. It could as simple as a ball, or something as complicated as a human figure.

Form drawings use a combination of light shapes and shadows shapes to create the illusion of an object being 3D. This explanation and accompanying video lesson will introduce how you can go about separating the light shapes and shadow shapes in your drawings, before adding simple halftones.

Light Shapes and Shadow Shapes:

How do you decide what is a light shape and what is a shadow shape?

Light shapes can be found anywhere that the light source is hitting directly. Everything else in your drawing is a shadow shape. There are two types of shadows; cast shadows and form shadows. These two different types of shadows happen for different reasons:

Cast shadows occur when one object in a scene blocks the light source from hitting another object. For instance, when we are standing in direct sunlight we cast a shadow of ourselves onto the ground. This happens because the light from the sun is blocked by our bodies as it travels towards the ground. Cast shadows often have sharper edges than form shadows.

Form shadows are a part of the object; like when the sun is shining on a ball and one-half of the ball is dark and the other side is light. The part of the ball that is in dark is a form shadow.

Halftones:

Halftones are grouped into the lights, so when you begin a drawing you leave them out and just focus on separating the shadows from the lights. Halftones are the in-between values that connect your shadow shapes to your lights shapes. They help to show what kind of form the object is. If a form is round like the sphere below, the halftones will change gradually, whereas a more angular form will have more abrupt halftone changes.

 

Check out the accompanying video lesson and exercise. Let me know if you have any questions.

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 6: Portrait Proportions

Hi there,

This week we move onto PORTRAITURE!

 

Ah! Portraiture, portraiture with the thought, the soul of the model in it, that is what I think must come

Vincent Van Gogh

 

If you take the image all at once and dwell on how many details you have to draw and how difficult it will be, trying to tackle drawing a portrait would be intimidating for anyone! You can make the process significantly less daunting by taking it one step at a time.

 

Step one & this week’s task: Portrait Proportions

When drawing, it is easy to let your brain take charge and begin to draw what we think is there instead of going with a fully observational approach, and drawing what we actually see-remember Task 1?? One way to overcome this problem is to draw lines in order to analyse how the features align on the face. Using this technique will help you learn how things like the eyes, hairline, nose, ears, cheekbones, etc. interact with each other.

Draw vertical and diagonal lines to get a sense of how the placement of the nose relates to the placement of the mouth, and chin; how the corner of the eye interacts with the neck and jawline; or the relationship between the eye and the edge of the nose…I will go on to show you how to do this 🙂

Determining the proportions of the head is an important factor when approaching self-portrait drawing. These proportions are generally common to all faces and need to be right in a portrait.

So your task is to follow these rules to sketch out a basic drawing, leaving in all measurement lines, just to showcase these rules in action. Refer to the resource below where there is a much more detailed step-by-step approach to this task. In short, here are some of the rules:

  • The eye line – typically half way between the top of the head and the chin
  • The width of the distance between the eyes – the width of one eye
  • Eye level to the end of the nose – end of the nose half way between the eyes and the chin
  • The centre line of the mouth – typically about half way between the nose and the chin
  • The inside corner of the eyes line up vertically with the edge of the nostrils
  • The centre of the pupils line up vertically with the corners of the mouth

Interesting stuff.  Test your own measurements against these and see how you get on with this sketch! It is the beginning of this section where we are focused on learning to draw portraits 🙂

Resource with a step-by-step guide: portrait proportions

Enjoy! This is tremendously encouraging, to witness as we slowly improve our skills and get better right before our very eyes. After all, that’s what practice is all about, nothing but a beautiful journey of discovering how much we are capable of.

 

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

OCAD Studio: Rhythmic Drawing from Life Part 2

Drawing Project #2

Rhythmic Drawing from Life Part 2

Breaking Down Longer Lines and Finding Forms

Introduction:

This project will help you to approach your work in a more expressive manner. You will learn to produce an artistic interpretation of a simple subject, making use of flowing, expressive lines.

In part 2, you will learn how to use break down the longer flowing lines from part 1 into more complex rhythms and find large and medium forms within the subject.

 

Materials:

  • Your drawing from part 1
  • 2B and B pencils or charcoal
  • Pencil sharpener or a knife and sandpaper block
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Hard Eraser
  • Drawing board (at least A3)
  • A simple still life subject (fruit with leaves, teapot, small curiosities etc. Preferably lit by a single dominant light source.

 

Process:

Step 1

Begin by adding more detail to the outside contour of your drawing, looking for the particular rhythms that break up the longer lines from part 1.

Step 2

Don’t make your lines too regular, always observe the specific difference in the length of the lines that make up the shapes in the subject. In nature, these rhythms are typically complex, which is what makes them so beautiful.

Step 3

As you work on the lines, you can also begin adding larger forms to the drawing by shading in the shadows and the portions of the subject which are generally darker. Make sure to leave a lot of white paper in the lighter sections, otherwise your drawing will start to look too grey.

Step 4

Once the outside contour is complete, you can start adding detail to the shapes inside the subject. At this point you can also start adding medium forms within the larger forms you have already established. Make sure to keep the values of your medium forms linked to the value of the larger forms (so that they look correct in context).

Step 5

You can keep refining the drawing for as long as you like, by adding more detail to your lines or progressively smaller forms and textures.

Check out the accompanying video lesson and exercise. Let me know if you have any questions.

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 5: Knife, Fork and Spoon using Graphite or Charcoal

Let’s finish off still life with a tricky one! Metallic objects with shine can really test your observation and use of tone…so a great one to bring together what we have done until now.

High contrast is the key to drawing bright reflective surfaces. So, for this task we need to know about tonal range but also; composition techniques, charcoal techniques, graphite techniques, observation techniques and a generous helping of creativity! Experiment with a style you have developed and enjoy to make this task your own 🙂

 

Tips:
Graphite or charcoal can be used for this task-I will demonstrate by using both! The graphite is good for the reflections and midtones, whilst charcoal will give great cast shadows and give that real dark contrast we are aiming for.

If you are using white paper, that is your lightest value so save that for the extreme highlights you observe on your objects.

The environment or setting in which you draw your subject always affects the subject itself. The effect can be dramatic with reflective objects so you need to consider that when setting up your still life for this task.
Working from photographs is great as you can rotate them! Great for practicing. As we have already seen from task 1 you can ‘see’ and interpret the shapes better if you turn the photograph sideways or upside down. Plus the photograph is 2 dimensional and you are translating this to another 2 dimensional surface, your drawing. Nothing beats the real thing though, so keep those real objects in their composition right in front of you.

Accuracy of the shapes of the reflections is important when drawing metal objects but with cutlery it keeps this simple as you can set up so no actual objects are reflected!  Although the contrast of the reflections is crucial for a realistic drawing: from bright white highlights to black (or nearly black). Also, have a good look at those objects you set up, can you see the sharp clean edges of the reflections? You have to be bold with this drawing and make those sharp edges apparent with less blending. Reflections are what make your surface look metallic- you can make anything look shiny with bright highlights but metallic is different. Smooth gradual changes in value will still appear within a shape, but this will not affect its clean, sharp edges. So keep those pencils sharp! You can’t make crisp edges and outlines if your pencils are dull.

Go for it 🙂

 

Check out this resource of mine which talks through the process to help you with this task:

Drawing Cutlery

 

Also my FB Iive video can talk through some of the hints and tips from the resource to show you how you could approach this task 🙂

 

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Still Life Tasks: Perspective Drawing

Task 3 and 4 both involve still life drawing. Being able to draw in perspective is an important aspect of drawing to understand.

Leonardo Da Vinci said of perspective:

Perspective is to painting what the bridle is to the horse, the rudder to a ship.

Many artists though do make the point that perspective is merely a tool and it depends on what final effect you are going for. The Pop Art artist Roy Lichtenstein, who disliked certain rules said,

People think one-point and two-point perspective is how the world actually looks, but of course, it isn’t. It’s a convention.

Either way, it is something that should be practiced and understood 🙂

The meaning of perspective used in art involves creating an appearance of depth. This emphasis on distance stems from it being a difficult and impressive effect to achieve, especially upon paper that is completely flat. Here we are attempting to convey a sense of reality with space and depth on something which has none.

I will be the first to admit that learning and practicing linear perspective is a little bit like eating your veggies when you are a kid. You aren’t sure about them even though you know they are good for you but, in the end, you learn to love them. But what is really worth remembering about perspective drawing is that if you know the basics, you’ve got all the capabilities of a 3D drawing in your hands. That’s why understanding linear perspective is so important for artists, beginners included.

Linear perspective revolutionised the way artists perceived and incorporated spatial depth in their work. Established in solid, mathematical terms in the 15th century, linear perspective creates the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

To create effective linear perspective, artists establish a horizon line, a vanishing point on that line, and multiple orthogonal, or vanishing, lines. The horizon line is a horizontal line that runs across the paper or canvas to represent the viewer’s eye level and delineates the sky meeting the ground. The orthogonal lines, which distort objects by foreshortening them, create the optical illusion that objects grow smaller and closer together as they get farther away. These imaginary lines recede on the paper to meet at one point on the horizon called the vanishing point.

The difference between one-point perspective and two-point perspective is the number of vanishing points and where they are placed on the horizon line.

Here is a resource to support you with developing this technique:

Perspective

My Live Session which quickly demonstrates how to create both One & Two Point Perspectives 🙂

It might just help you with adjusting those funny angles in your artwork and allowing you to see some extra fundamentals in observational drawing 🙂

 

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 4: Still Life Using Graphite

Back to graphite we go…

So we are beginning to bring together all of the skills we have learned so far. We will soon be moving away from our tonal work so let’s try another Still Life drawing but this time with our graphite pencils.

Things we have covered so far:

  • Observation Skills- right side of the brain
  • Tonal Scale & Universal forms
  • Charcoal Techniques
  • Composition Considerations

Now we need graphite techniques to complete our skills in observational drawing.

You can use similar skills developed using charcoal for your graphite drawing, such as using a kneaded eraser to help with highlights. Do what you feel is right for you whilst applying the full tonal range to your drawing.

The same composition techniques we have discussed will apply and you should refer back to your universal forms to remind yourself of the different highlights and shadows. This time it should be easier as you will have the objects in front of you; if your light is good (natural light by a window) and your choice of objects is good (range of sizes, forms, textures) then you should be finding it easier to observe and create successful observational drawings.

Doing some different mark making exercises will also help you to decide on your style. It will also develop your understanding and control of using a graphite pencil in different ways. We have looked at adding tone to our shapes in a Sfumato sort of way so far, but there are many others that might suit you better and give a different character to your work.

Check out this resource to help you:

Mark Making

Have fun and remember to share your work for friendly feedback to support your progress – Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and a friendly art community – see you there 🙂

Here is the video link to my FB Live Mark Making Lesson

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 3 Part 2: Still Life Using Charcoal

The final part to this task is to use all you have learned with universal forms and observation to produce a final still life drawing using charcoal.

This time you can actually observe objects and position them near a bright window to enhance the tonal range (highlights and shadows).

Composition is an important aspect to a still life drawing so here is a resource to support you with this task. Read about the different composition techniques you can apply to your drawing. Techniques covered are:

  • Golden Section
  • Rule of Odds
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Using View Finders
  • Focal Points

Resource: Composition

 

See my Facebook Live Video here where I discuss some composition considerations to improve your still life artwork 🙂

Here is my charcoal still life from the live session above…few wonky angles but you get the idea with using a range of tone to create focal points, and also can see the rule of odds! It is worth planning your still life work and using some of the techniques mentioned to maximise the final effect of your work.

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – post your own artwork for friendly feedback and discussions! see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 2: Graphite Intro

Tonal Scale and Universal forms

Check out the resource above to support you with this task 🙂

The aim is to add a tonal scale to Universal Forms.

Universal forms are: Cube, Cylinder, Cone and Sphere. Once you can apply tone to all of these forms, you can observe and add tone to any object!

The great artist Paul Cezanne said of universal forms:

Everything in nature adheres to the cone, the cylinder and the cube.

 

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community where you will find a demonstration of this task- see you there 🙂

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

 

 

Sketchbook Ideas

When starting out on an Art & Design course it is hard to know what your sketchbook ‘should’ look like. There is no real style other than ‘your’ style!

Art projects that are based on existing artists, which interest you, usually are more exciting because you are passionate about the subject you are studying. You can then interpret those artists work in your own way.

Take a look through this gallery to see how students have presented their artist study work.

Try producing your own creative sketchbook pages by copying artists work and seeing what inspires you. Take time to think about the details; every image placement, font styles for titles and headings, use of media… research into the artist and find out more about their style and their technique-learn what you can and apply it to your own work!

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART

Task 1: Right side of the Brain

Learning to Draw- Task 1
You have two brains: a left and a right. Modern brain scientists now know that your left brain is your verbal and rational brain; it thinks serially and reduces its thoughts to numbers, letters and words…
Your right brain is your nonverbal and intuitive brain; it thinks in patterns, or pictures, composed of ‘whole things,’ and does not comprehend reductions, either numbers, letters, or words.

Getting your right side of the brain working is as simple as drawing upside down! The purpose of this kind of practice is to force your left (thinking) side of the brain to give up identifying what you draw…so let’s have a go. Here is a document to practice your observation-draw it upside down

Share your work with our community and our qualified tutors will feedback on your work!

1- upside down drawing

Join our Facebook Group for LIVE lessons and friendly art community – see you there:)

Why not have a go at this and post your artwork for me to see. Maybe I or the community can offer support, encouragement and helpful feedback.  – share your work on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM – POST  using our hashtag #ONLINECOLLEGEART