Drawing Skills. First Steps

Drawing Skills. First Steps

The first steps in our Drawing Techniques class were to me just a bit of a shock. The first step, creating a shading gradient, was a simple enough exercise, in principle. I’m familiar with gradients but creating one by hand was interesting.

Camera (20)
Gradient Exercise.

The next step however was quite daunting for someone who has never picked up a pencil in anger before. 12 images of a chosen object, (I picked a camera…..obviously)  focusing on detail, shading & perspective. So, one at a time I guess.

20150928_155540Here is the object I chose to sketch. Not the plainest of objects but I felt it would provide both plenty of details to draw & also enough of a challenge. No point in making it easy.

I was actually fairly surprised by my first 2 attempts. While they’ll never win awards I did manage to get some level of detail & shading onto the paper.

The images above show 2 levels of shading on the same image. The one on the left gives a much better definition to the finished image.

“Black pushes back, Light brings forward”

Image number 2 below is a closer look at the front of the lens. This introduced a problem for me in that there was an area of black with white  text on it. I could have drawn the letters & then avoided shading them in but I wanted to find another solution.

Camera (12)
Image 2

What I came up with was the idea to use the point of a compass to inscribe the lettering on to the page before shading in, creating a depression on the paper. When I shaded in, the pencil skipped over the depression leaving the fine white writing instead of chunky drawn letters.

Image 2

Image 3

The 3rd image was a bit of a come down. To be honest, I think I may have missed some details & then just lost patience with the job. Lesson learned… Pay attention to the details.

The next couple of images worked out quite well in that I was happy with the details & the shading. I used the compass technique twice more, on one occasion I tried doubling up on the lines to make it a bit more defined as it was a closer view.

Camera 8
Rubbing of grain for back door.

Image 8 found me struggling for ideas a little. I chose to sketch the back panel of the camera which only had a small port on it. I felt it would be cheating a bit if I were to just draw that so I looked for a way to reproduce the detail on the body of the camera. In the end I decided to take a rubbing from a piece of timber I had, transferring the grain to the image to represent the grain on the back door of the camera. I think it worked out quite well. I added the shading to give the image a little more depth.

Of the last 4 images, I am least happy with image 10. I don’t think I gave myself enough detail to work with, what I did have I didn’t do great with, and the shading on the background is very uneven.

As a body of work for this exercise I don’t feel I did all that badly considering  I had never done this kind of work before, however, I am sufficiently disappointed in some of them to make me want to try again on some other subjects.

Here is the finished panel of images along with my initial ideas for what views to draw. as you will see is the note beside one sketch I was thinking of shading the image in one direction but it didnt look right when I shaded in so I went with the other direction.

Final panel of images
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