Friday, July 10, 2009

Drawing Practice

Since we've been doing so much work on the house, I haven't been painting much or posting to the blog. Well, really, not at all.
To get my art "fix", and as a discipline that I really need, I've been drawing in the evenings after supper, as we sit on the couch. I've not done a great deal of drawing as an adult, and I feel my skills in this area need improvement. So, practice, practice, practice!
Today's image is one of the nightly drawings. It was probably 30 min. work. I should also say that I was working from an image in a book, not from life. I bought several figure drawing books, and am reading and copying as part of a disciplined study.
Drawing is definitely a different skill than painting. Painting focuses on masses and shapes, while drawing is, by definition, more linear - focuses on lines. But even drawing can lean toward one or the other. This drawing is an example of a focus on masses rather than lines. Notice how the hair is treated as just one dark shape, rather than detailing individual strands. It tends to be the way I draw, probably because I really am a painter first and foremost.
Starting on toned paper gives me an advantage from the get-go. The tone of the paper becomes the middle value and the pencil is used to create the dark shapes and shadows. A white pencil is then employed to bring out highlights. I prefer working this way over using plain white paper, though probably I should force myself to do that more.
This is the first day of sunshine in about 6 weeks. Though, for mid-July, it is a bit chilly. 48 degrees! I think summer was cancelled this year. I'm headed out to paint, though, as I have missed it dearly.