Sunday, 22 April 2012

I Love Painting but I Cannot Draw

The under-drawing forms an essential component of painting. Regardless of the art technique used, a wonky ellipse or an impossible vanishing point could draw the eye in undesirable ways and spoil the finished painting. What is the best way draw accurately for oil painting without the fuss?

Draw What You See Not What You Think You See

The artist cannot get away from the drawing aspect of painting when exploring non-abstract art. Composing the drawing accurately will enhance the result of the final painting. However, during my term teaching, I came across many students who struggled to draw. This problem inevitably undermined painting exploration. For this reason, I have written a book designed to help the ‘picture dyslexic’ overcome this problem in the most painless ways.

Learn to Draw Well for the Beginner

My book, Draw What You See Not What You Think You See, begins at the very beginning with distorted perception in drawing. A test and questionnaire serves to inform on how our perception of the world can interfere with our ability to draw accurately. Drawing exercises begin with the language of line. Exercises that help develop our visual awareness as well as hand-to-eye coordination is where drawing really begins. Drawing a perfect circle exercises all fields of vision and launches a set of exercises on symmetrical drawing; an ability I believe is essential for drawing well.

Drawing Exercises for Picture Blindness

Drawing exercises progress steadily in difficulty and complexity to other areas of drawing. This includes the A, B and C of drawing, abstract shapes, drawing within frames, upside-down drawing, drawing objects in foreshortening and the weight of marks. The realms of tonality are embarked via simplified shading exercises with ‘keys’ to represent a particular tone. Combined with symmetrical drawing as practiced earlier, the learner’s chances of success in drawing is enhanced. View my book on Youtube.

Shading Techniques for the Beginner

The latter part of the book sets out more complex subject matter with subtle shading. Hints and tips are offered with each drawing. In total there are around 90 drawings within the book the learner can use as a resource for the drawing exercises. The final two exercises in shading explore the use of grey paper and chalk pastels for exploration. Step by step images are given for each demonstration.

Understanding Vanishing Points and Perspectives

Learn to Draw: Rachel Shirley
The more prescriptive areas of drawing are set out in the final chapter ‘when rules apply’, as I feel this can put some picture dyslexics off. This chapter however, serves to inform on such matters when required. How to draw buildings, ellipses and plotting drawing are set out with supporting images. A glossary and reference can be found at the back of the book.

Learn to Draw on Kindle

My book is available on Kindle as well as a hardcopy. The hardcopy’s dimensions are 8.5x5.5in and 114 pages in total. The book possesses approximately 15,600 words and 90 images with 12 chapters.

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