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

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