By Eric Bossik
I created this video for the beginning artist or anyone who would like to learn how to draw. I believe that drawing is a skill that can be learned by anyone, and you don’t need a special talent to know how to do it. With some solid instruction and practice anyone can learn how to draw.
Today I’m going to demonstrate the Block-In Drawing. This method of drawing has served as the foundation for some of the greatest artworks in history. Master artists from the Renaissance to the great art academies of the 19th century have passed this method of drawing along to their students. Today I’m going to pass this method on to you.
From left to right we have a stick of vine charcoal. You will use the vine charcoal to get your basic measurements, angles, simple shapes and big shadow values. The vine charcoal is very forgiving and easy to erase without damaging the paper.
Next we have the charcoal pencil. I’m using an HB, which is a hard charcoal. You can also use a 2B if you wish. The charcoal pencil is used to refine the drawing we created using the vine. The charcoal pencil is harder to erase and therefore a bit less forgiving than the vine. We start using the charcoal pencil when we are more secure with the original marks and lines made with the vine.
To the right of the HB charcoal pencil is our white chalk pencil. You can use either chalk or pastel. This pencil will be used to add highlights to the object I’m drawing.
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Next we have two types of pencil sharpeners. You can use either a simple metal or plastic sharpener. I use these sharpeners on the HB charcoal pencil and the white chalk or pastel pencil. I rarely sharpen my vine charcoal stick, but you can easily sharpen it with a small sheet of medium sandpaper if you’d like.
Underneath the sharpeners you see a kneaded eraser. Kneaded erasers are good for many reasons. They’re soft and do very little damage to the paper. They are very malleable and can be shaped to erase anything. And they can be turned inside out, exposing a clean side to the eraser. They also last a long time before having to be replaced.
In the very center is a hog hair bristle paint brush. The paint brush is used to soften, smooth and model charcoal and white chalk.
To the right of the paint brush we have a small paper towel sheet. You can use a paper towel or softer tissue for smoothing out charcoal lines and tone.
And last but not least, we have a chamois skin. This is used to erase the vine charcoal. The chamois skin does not do any damage to the paper at all. Like magic, it makes vine charcoal disappear with almost no trace whatsoever. The chamois skin can also be used to model or smooth shadow areas.
I’m using a grey toned charcoal paper for this demonstration. You can use charcoal paper or pastel paper, smoother or more textured paper. I recommend toned paper, so that you can use a white chalk or pastel pencil for highlights.
You can see that my charcoal paper is taped to a fiber board as a support. I used masking tape, but you can also use clips to fasten your paper to any rigid board. I’m using an easel for this demonstration. I use an easel when working on all of my drawings and paintings. I recommend a good sturdy easel. I also set my easel to a straight or vertical 90 degrees to avoid any distortion in my drawing.
For this demonstration I’m using a flood light for my light source. There’s a 100 watt daylight bulb in the light fixture. Daylight bulbs will give you a more natural, cool neutral light similar to north outdoor light. I’m using a pear as my subject matter, and I’ve placed the pear on a wood table surface.
In this demonstration I’ve set up the flood light so that 75 to 80 percent of the pear is illuminated and 25% to 30% of it is in shadow. This type of lighting is known as form, three quarter or Rembrandt lighting. Form lighting will allow you to achieve the maximum illusion of form in a finished drawing or painting. I’ve also set up the light so that I am able to get a long shadow cast by the pear onto the wood surface. A longer cast shadow creates more drama.
Measuring and Landmarks
I start by making a few marks on my paper to figure out how large I’d like to draw my pear.
I then hold out my hand horizontally with the point of the vine charcoal lined up with the widest edge on the left side of the pear and slide my finger across the vine to the widest edge on the right side of the pear.
I then rotate my hand and vine charcoal vertically comparing the width with the height of the pear I see in front of me.
I use my fingers to translate the comparison of width and height on my paper. I make small marks on the paper with the vine charcoal. You can call these marks landmarks for the height and width measurements of the pear. These marks are approximations and never 100% accurate. These marks will help bring me closer to the true relationship between the height and width of the pear. You can call this mark making a kind of GPS for where I will draw my lines. Doing these measurements and marking the paper will help me to be more accurate than if I try to draw just by eye and without measuring.
You can see that I’ve drawn a curved line stringing the top of the pear to the bottom of the pear. You can call this line an action line even though the pear is not an animated object. I’m also establishing landmark lines for the top and bottom of the pear.
Drawing the Simple Shape
At this point, I’m looking for the big angles on the pear. Even though I see a lot of curves, lumps and bumps, I just want to simplify the overall
shape. I’m looking to get the shape of the pear by drawing as few lines as possible. These initial straight angle or geometric lines will help me to establish…………………………………
———-This was the end of the first 5 chapters.———-
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