Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Things You'd Think I Would Have Been Taught 1

It took me working through Fear Of A White Planet to discover that drawing is in essence a two stage process:

1. Thinking/Problem Solving
2. Filling in

1 is hard, the better you get at it the better artist you are. 2 is relatively easy.
To get better instantly at 1 here is my first handy hint I can't believe nobody taught me in my 13 years of art education or 3 years of graphic design (primary through secondary of course).

1A: Background Music -
Wrong Ipod setting

Right ipod setting

The reason being that whilst music can serve as inspiration it can also inspire bursts of energy or transition into a mood that is detrimental to the piece and then, just the plain old simple fact that I'm not smart enough to multitask. It may seem innocuous but when you remove the distraction of music you draw better, as in step 1 - thinking, problem solving because you are concentrating on the lines you are throwing down.

1B: The thinking man's grip:

I can't believe nobody taught me that in the composition/blocking stage of a drawing you don't grip the pencil like this:

But like this:

If the difference isn't immeaditely obvious to you, its basically the art of holding the pencil as far away from the tip as you can. You only adopt the handwritting grip for filling in details. Why? It just works in a number of ways, firstly gripping the far end of the pencil puts less pressure on the point leaving a lighter line that is easy to erase. Secondus it makes it easy to draw curves and straight lines through manipulating your wrist. The turning circle is much wider than gripping at the point, just like a compass creates bigger circles when you open its arms up widest.
Thirdly you can see what you are doing. Fourthly you can move the tip around the drawing area without having to shift your whole hand giving you greater control over the relative distances and proportions, something you need for composition.

Both lessons 1A + 1B will instantly improve your stage 1 drawing, I guaruntee it with a full money back on the purchase price of this blog post.

1A I learned two days ago from reading a book on animation, 1B from watching a DVD of Takehiko Inoue drawing. No teachers thought to mention these 101 basics. Then again by the time I got good art teachers they weren't teaching the basic techniques anymore.

No comments: