Every now and then an outstanding artist and instructor shows up on the scene. When they write books that are accessible and practical, it’s even better. Alphonso Dunn is one such person! He has a personal website, a YouTube channel full of information and wonderful tutorials, and two fantastic books.
The workbook was published after the simple guide, but is used in tandem with the exercises found in the workbook. Besides using the two together, head over to YouTube for a really great set of instructions.
Today, rather than paint, I finally sat down and did some exercises from Dunn’s books. The exercises were on lines – direction, shape, shift. It takes a bit of patience and time to understand what may be going on. I had to think about how I had my pad of paper, how far up or down my fingers were on the pen, whether to use my fingers, my wrist, or more of an arm movement. In many ways, doing these exercises made me think of learning printing and cursive back when I was a sweet young thing. Lines, repetition, thinking about how to do things, and doing them over and over.
Skill is bought with repetition – but repetition of itself is rather dull. Rewards sure help! Thus, a few drawings – one of a hat from Dunn’s book, and one of a Christmas cactus on my patio. In each, I used straight lines, or slightly curved ones. I thought about light and dark, repetition and straight or curved lines, or placing more lines over ones already laid down.
To aid with the line studies, I ruled pencil lines onto my sketch paper. It helped. Sometimes I also drew vertical lines, or extra horizontal lines, either in pencil or pen.
Nothing like a pen in hand to make me happy! Altogether a pleasant way to while away an afternoon. I shall continue!