Today I continued sighting angles and drawing in the form of my subject with straight lines, then adding the curves where needed. I also incorporated a “two-value stage” of shading described in Proko video How to Draw an Eye – Step by Step. I really like this approach to shading because I had gotten stuck adding values in these discrete shapes, naming each part as I went. That’s a habit I’m trying to break out of, and by instead determining what’s in shadow and what’s in light it helped me with this. This reminded me of Dianne Mize’s notan video as well.
I also thought about edges as I sketched — where I could lose an edge into the background or shadow, and where to sharply define an edge. For shading, I used a combination of the side of the pencil for softer gradients and broad strokes, and the tip for some sharp hatching. The woodless graphite HB pencil I used in the top sketch is lighter than I’d like, but the control I get with it is nice. My pencil tip goes dull very quickly with the 2B.
Yesterday evening, after I wrapped up my work, I configured a standing easel at my work bench by clipping my drawing board to a sign I had made for my handmade business. My goal was to find a better way to bring my whole arm into drawing and standing at a more vertical surface helped with that. My little sketchbook has become an obstacle for this style of drawing though, which I discovered while sketching this little cosmetic pot. I do like how it turned out, though!
I used the two-value shading stage. The lid of the pot is black, and this demo about bracketing values was super helpful for helping me determine how to shade the different sides of it: black isn’t black in the light, just in its deepest shadows. Artist Mike Rooney does a great job of simplifying the concept of how you’d paint the 3 visible surfaces of a white, grey, and black cube with 5 values.
Last night I read something that struck a chord with me while catching up on Stranger Things (I’m late to the show, but I finally get what all the hype is about!). It’s from the book Rendering in Pencil by Arthur L. Guptill:
“So the beginner must strive to retain in any subject the elements that have the greatest significance, in some cases even exaggerating them, and sacrificing at the same time some of the lesser truths, if this makes the drawing as a whole easier to read or understand.”
It made me think about finding that balance of learning how to skillfully draw with accuracy and using artistic license to convey the spirit of the subject. It’s really easy for me to get caught up in describing details, losing sight of the bigger picture. And that doesn’t just apply to art! ;)