Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Drawing Lesson 1: The Basics

Introduction (The Basics)
The purpose of this art lesson is to teach you how to draw realistic images of the human face & it’s features.  To create realistic looking images you have to learn the art of blending, the value scale (or gray scale) of light & dark shades, and the 5 different elements of shading.  Blending has to be smooth & seamless.  The smooth blend is achieved by using tortillions.   The closer the tortillion is to the drawing paper, the smoother the blend will be.  The value scale consists of 5 shades from darkest to lightest:

Smooth Blend Gray scale

Crosshatch Gray scale

The elements of shading are as follows:
1. Cast Shadow This is your darkest shade on the value scale, which is black. This is when an object casts a shadow on a surface.
2.  Shadow Edge This is your next darkest shade (dark gray) on the value scale. This shade draws away from the reflected light of an object.
3. Halftone This is the medium shade on the value scale or the middle shade. The actual shade or ‘color’ of the object is the halftone.
 4. Reflected Light This shade is the lightest next to white on the value scale. The reflected light is located directly on the edge of the object located between the cast shadow & the shadow edge.
5. Full Light This is the lightest shade on the value scale, which is white. Where the light fully hits the image is the full light. It should be naturally blended from the halftone.

To draw any image you have to consider that image in terms of shapes.  This makes the    creation process more fun & less complex.  Knowledge of basic shapes is all you need to learn how to draw. If you can draw a stick figure, you can draw.  Below is a diagram of basic & 3D shapes with examples:
Basic (Flat) Shapes   

3D Shapes

The above examples seem simple enough.  Drawing the face, body, & any other object is just as simple.  All you need is basic knowledge of shading, shapes, patience, & determination! 
The image below is a rough draft of the face.  You can see some of the basic shapes represented. 

As you develop your skills in drawing the face using basic/flat shapes, you can gradually begin developing your skills in drawing 3D shapes.  This is necessary if you want your drawings to look realistic.
o   Drawing paper with a smooth surface 
o   #2 Pencil & Mechanical Pencil
o   Tortillions and/or Blending Stumps (you can also use tissue for blending)
o   Block Eraser
o   Kneaded Eraser
o   Fixative Spray or Aqua Net Hairspray (cheaper)
o   Ruler
o   Templates/Stencils
o   Art Case/Box (optional)

 v Key Points to Remember
   -Blending is the key to making realistic looking art.
   -Although I used 5 shades in the grayscale, you have the choice to use more
   -There are 5 important elements of shading: cast shadow, shadow edge, halftone, reflected light, & full light.
   -When drawing the face & body, simplify it by associating them with simple shapes (basic & 3D).
   -Have patience.
   -Don’t be hard on yourself & have fun!!
   -Keep practicing! It will make you a better artist.

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