Monday, January 20, 2014
Pushing the envelope
Classic drawing techniques start with an envelope. This is a line/value map drawing of the most basic overall form that makes up the general outline of the subject, whether it contains a single object or many objects together. If you squint you will reduce the form to its simplest shape and see the starting point of the general shape.
One of a beginner’s points of conflict in drawing is running out of room on the paper. This is usually the problem of starting with a specific object then adding more and more until the edge of the paper is met. By creating an overall shape and deciding on the width and height before any detail is added, you eliminate overruns and ensure that your drawing always meets the confines of the picture plane you’re working on. Once the overall shape is in place, refining the forms within it becomes easier to control.
This drawing was part of an advanced drawing workshop that I held over the last couple of weekends on still life studies. In the first section of the workshop, different elements that traditionally make up a still life were drawn, culminating in a full still life study this weekend. I threw out some options on Facebook to see what others thought about arrangements, and of four that I provided, this was the most popular. While I had another preference, this was the simplest in terms of form. Participants were given an option of photographic or life reference to use.
The top image is my demo drawing from the photographic reference. I draw from a 32” tv screen in the classroom actually are very rarely print out a photo to use as they’re consistantly poor in terms of providing sufficient information.
The sketch below is the second demo drawing I did, but from the life arrangement instead. I was standing and walking back and forth and kept losing my viewpoint. I was starting to add some values to the forms and will continue to work on the piece as it will form another tutorial for the future.