Sunday, August 28, 2011

Drawing How To: Process

Armand Cabrera

When I’m drawing it’s important to have the simple value plan. I like three or four values at the most depending on the image. I start with placement. After observing the scene and getting the sense of the light and shadow patterns I come up with an arrangement that I think will convey the sense of this place. I want to incorporate the cloud patterns across the landscape and use them to help my center of interest and create a feeling of depth.

When I draw initially I like to keep my lines flowing and not too broken and scribbly. This establishes a sense of rhythm for my shapes.

I fill in the values for the sky and big hill and lay down some strong darks around the house. All the time I am working I’m watching the cloud patterns and thinking about how I will integrate them into the final scene.

Next I work on the foreground and decide on the lights and darks placement there.

After laying in the tones I clean up with a kneaded eraser and add a few more details and I’m done. Total drawing time is about 40 minutes on an 8x 11 pad.

These exercises help in a number of ways. It helps you to reduce shapes to contour lines first. This requires organization on your part. You learn to simplify the scene to a black and white image and to design the elements not just copy. The more you work at it the more you can take it to a high degree of finish and control. Learning to control the pencil and the strokes will help your painting. You will break a lot of pencil lead but I think it is worth the extra trouble in the long run.

If you work in concept or production art this type of sketching will help you build a mental library of real life experience to help in construction and design of environment drawing. I always felt one of the advantages I had getting work in those industries was the amount of drawing and painting from life I did and how it affected my work in the studio..