OCAD Studio: Glazing and Scumbling

Both scumbling and glazing are indirect methods of painting, which means that they are applied transparently over a dry layer of paint. They were often used by the old masters because they can make for paintings with great deal of luminosity, depth and lustre without requiring a lot of expensive colourful pigments. The traditional way to use glazes and scumbles was to produce a grisaille monochrome underlayer in browns or greys which would describe the forms of the subjects, before allowing this layer to dry and thinly applying  transparent colours over the top.

Glazing

Glazes are applied by diluting the paint with a medium to make it easier to spread over the surface and leave a thin film of transparent colour. A glaze can be used to change the colour of a paint layer without affecting the drawing or thickness of the paint layer below. As such, they are very useful for adding colour to monochrome underpaintings as well as altering colours in paintings.

For instance, you may be painting a figure wearing a yellow coat and decide you would prefer it to be green. It is possible to achieve this by applying a transparent layer of blue paint over the yellow coat, the blue and yellow layer will mix visually and produce a green. The advantage of taking this approach rather than repainting it in green, is that you will retain the original shape and form of the coat, saving you time and paint.

Another common use of a glaze is to subtly change flesh tones in a figure or portrait. The colours in skin vary from browns to creams to greys to reds with many shifts occurring over the surface of the skin. For instance, cheeks are often more red than the rest of the face, so you may find it helpful to apply a thin layer of red over the cheeks to give a portrait more life and variety.

Glazing can be used extensively when working in a traditional manner. You can quickly produce a complex coloured image by painting a detailed image in monochrome before adding colours with glazes once this underpainting has dried. However, you must make sure you are aware of the glaze will alter the values and temperature of the layers below. If a glaze is a darker value than the layer below it will produce a darker and warmer effect when painted over. Sometimes this can result in unwanted lurid oranges, so it is recommended to experiment with glazing to see how much it can affect colours.

Scumbling

Scumbling is slightly different to glazing: it refers to a lighter colour applied over a darker layer and it usually uses thicker paint rubbed over the surface rather than paint thinned with medium. The result is often more textured (as it only catches the raised portions of the canvas, paper or panel) and cooler. The same effect can be seen when smoke rises from a chimney; when the smoke passes in front of a darker object (like a tree) is looks cool and blue, whereas when it passes in front of a lighter object (like a white cloud) it looks dark yellow.

Conclusion

Most artists use glazing and scumbling at some point when painting, even if they aren’t away that they’re doing it. So now that you know a bit more about the technique, I recommend trying it out and taking notice of how your glazes and scumbles affect your paintings.

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 7: Self-Portrait in Charcoal

Drawing self-portraits can be a great way to practice sketching techniques as-let’s face-it-there is no shortage of material when you draw yourself! Sketching or drawing yourself can be a great way to learn a lot about sketching, shading and proportions- this exercise will teach you a lot about art and yourself.

Task 7 comes in 2 parts:

Part 1: Get a tonal black and white photograph to work from

Part 2: Produce a tonal self-portrait using charcoal

 

The following resource will help you get started on this task:

Self Portrait

 

Part 1 allows you to get creative as well as to give yourself a great foundation on which to practice your drawing techniques. Adding meaning to your artwork makes it personal and you connect better with what you are doing.  Have fun getting your photograph just right. Some portraits will be of just the face of the artist, and other portraits will be of the whole body. The artist decides how he wants to portray himself… this is the experimental bit 🙂

Then it is on to Part 2. Everyone thinks they know the proportions of a face, but when you really study the human face, it’s easy to realise that the eyes are not near the top of the head, they are more about half-way between the crown of the head and your chin. See the previous task to learn more about these proportions 🙂

Get the major features first, lightly, to create a foundation so you can add in your details later. This way, if you make a mistake, you can easily erase it and it won’t affect the minute details you will spend more time creating later on.

Bring together the work we have done so far on charcoal techniques and observational skills. Turn the photo upside down to really ‘see’ what is in front of you to get accurate proportions.

When you are done you can ask yourself- does my portrait look exactly like the source photo? Your answer will be, No, and I don’t want it to! This is YOUR representation of the original photo. Remember, you don’t need to make an exact copy of the source, that’s what photocopies are for! Be expressive whilst following simple proportion rules to create a personal and unique work of art.

 

 

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: 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

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

OCAD Studio: Rhythmic Drawing from Life Part 1

Drawing Project #2

Rhythmic Drawing from Life Part 1

Finding flow-through lines and blocking in the shapes

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 1, you will learn how to use flow-through lines to capture the general composition and proportions of your subject, before adding a simple set of shadow shapes.

This main purpose of this project is to observe the relationship between different aspects of your subject and seek out lines that flow from one part to another. These lines will form the basis of the drawing’s composition and the visual rhythms therein. This approach will serve you in good stead when you tackle more complex subject matter or arrangements of shapes and figures.

 

Materials

  • A3 drawing paper
  • 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

Take time to observe your subject before drawing. Look for one or two major lines that flow through the entire subject. This line (or lines) will form the backbone of your composition. Lightly sketch them in with a few sweeping strokes.

Step 2

Add several more lines to define the approximate shape of the object. Try to make these lines flow as well, where possible.

Step 3

Begin connecting your initial lines with secondary flow-through lines. These may become apparent as you work so keep an eye out and don’t hesitate to alter the lines, as the purpose of this exercise is to find rhythms within your subjects, and these rhythms may take time to emerge.

Step 4

Once you’re happy with the overall impression your drawing gives, you can lightly erase any early lines that no longer form part of the drawing. Even though you will remove them, they will still be an underlying aspect of the drawing’s composition.

Step 5

You can now begin defining smaller forms with shorter connecting lines. Keep things loose as you work – you don’t need to make a finely detailed drawing at this stage.

Step 6

The final thing you need to do is define and lightly shade in any major shadow shapes. This will provide a great basis for you to work from in the second part of the project.

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

Inspiring Artists

There are just so many artists out there to give us ideas, teach us techniques and help us to develop our own unique styles.

I have copied many over the years, for projects with my own artistic development as well as within my classroom to teach students some art fundamentals.

There is nothing quite like looking at a work of art up close in an art gallery and seeing, for example, the colours and brush strokes in a painting to learn even more. One of my favourites for this was Van Gogh! I have been lucky to have travelled to many galleries, but, as we know the internet can get us almost as close to touching the real thing- even closer than the Mona Lisa- seeing as that is now behind bulletproof glass among swarms of tourists!

Anyway, here are my top 40 inspiring artists, although there are so many more I could list. Enjoy learning about them online, copy their styles, find/read their stories and be inspired 🙂

 

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