Frustrated with my inabilities to realistically do perspective and depth, which I attribute to my lack of depth perception, I’ve decided to re-edu-um-cate myself! I signed up for an online gouache class by Lena Rivo, which has been great, as well as bought an eBook version of Bert Dodson’s Keys to Drawing. I have decided to dedicate part of each day to doing at least one of his exercises if possible. The hope is to improve my drawing skills, which are the problems behind some of my painting issues.
First exercise is contour drawing. The purpose of this is to get used to the idea of checking what you see against what you draw, and get the idea into your head that what you see is not what you think. This means looking at angles and curves as well as relationships of parts to each other. Here are my exercise examples, diving in feet first!
Next was fun – look at your hand face on – that is, fingers in your face! Close an eye. Draw!
And then, imagine a pepper. Draw it. Then get a real pepper and take a good, strong look at it, and draw. My imaginary pepper is at the top, and the real pepper, in three positions and three variations of drawing style, are below.
Very glad I chose to do this! More to come.
Once more, the house is in total disarray – the trees in the back yard have been removed or severely trimmed back. 5 trees out, 11 pruned. The guy who did it all is an artist – you can actually see the branches on the trees, and the neighbors. So what does it have to do with a post called “Lines & Shades”? All this disruption messes everything up! With such disruption – and being unable to leave the house – it was a strange sort of prison. I read murder mysteries for the most part until yesterday. It was quiet and no one was home except me and the dogs.
Back to basics. Pen and ink, contour drawing. The first one was kind of stiff, but as things moved on, it got easier and more fun. I wanted to make “lost and found edges” as well, to make things suggested, not spelled out.
I also decided to scan in a value study I did from a photo I took years ago of the Santa Monica River in the mountains nearby, on a hot, dry day. This is to remind me to follow a more traditional route in painting as my own sense of contrast – light – dark – is not the best. As you can see, I did it some weeks ago, but I hope to make it into a watercolor in the not too distant future. The hard part is finding the right color for the sandy river bottom, but I have an idea . . .