BASIC DRAWING REFRESHER ASSIGNMENTS-- You may have already done some of these exercises. They should be able to be done quickly for that very reason. But please remember, fast should not mean careless.
EXERCISE ONE: SHADING TECHNIQUES Use a separate page in your sketchbook for each of these drawings (5 pages in all). Draw four spheres and one square. Each sphere must be at least 3" in diameter and the square should be a minimum of 3" x 3". For each of the first three spheres use one of the following shading techniques to create the illusion of a 3-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional picture plane: hatch or curved hatch, stipple, and scribble. Study the hand out if you need more clarity. The fourth sphere can use any of the three shading techniques. The difference will be that you will use a blending tool to blur the edges of your lines and smooth them together. If the blending tool lightens the darkest edge too much feel free to go back in and darken it more. For the square you may also want to use a blending tool. Your goal is to start from one corner or side and move to the opposite corner or side becoming continuously lighter so that you go from pure dark to pure light. Work carefully so that the tone is graduated and you leave no distinct lines. NOTE: Different shading techniques create the sense of different textures. Hatch marks, for example tend to make object look rougher while using the blending tool can make objects look smoother. OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER-- *When drawing an object that has curve to it, making your marks go with the curve of the object rather than against the curve of the object helps create the illusion of the curve. *Shading an object communicates to your viewer when the light source might be originating. The lightest part of your object is receiving the most light. The darkest part of the object (usually on the opposite side of the object) is the farthest from the light source. *3-dimensional objects will usually cast a shadow on the surface on which they sit. The entire cast shadow should be a uniform tone and should extend in the opposite direction of the greatest concentration of light. *A horizon line helps to indicate that your object is sitting on a surface. *You will need to decide which is lighter and which is darker--the surface or the wall/space above the surface. You will also need to decide whether the sphere is lighter or darker than the surface on which it sits and the space/wall behind it. HINT: the object's relative tone may change depending on whether it is receiving a lot of light or whether it is in the shadow. Again study the handout to help your understanding.
EXERCISE TWO: CONTINUOUS LINE DRAWING Use 9” x 12” paper or larger Use one of the grouping of three objects to complete a continuous line drawing from your observation. Truly examining what you see is important. For this exercise you need to concentrate on capturing all the smaller shapes, created by the differences in light and dark, found within the larger shape of your objects. To accomplish this, place your pencil anywhere on the page that you want your drawing to begin. Then without breaking the line of your pencil draw all the "lines" you find in the objects. Obviously, if you need to rest your hand, get up for some reason, etc. you can lift your pencil off the page. When you return to your drawing put the pencil down where you left off. The lines you see in your object are simply differences between light and dark. A ridge, a bump, a reflection, or for some other reason more light is caught in one place than another. This exercise is helping to train your eye to see more fully. OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER-- *Before you start your actual drawing you may want to lightly plot the outer edges of your objects so that you can plan your composition. This guide will help you fill the page without going off the page. IF, as an artist, you want to extend parts of your drawing beyond the page remember to consider the question of balance--how do you maintain balance? Or, why do you want your drawing to feel unbalanced? *Don't forget to ground your objects. Grounding objects is accomplished by including a cast shadow and/or a horizon line.
EXERCISE THREE: COLOR THEORY Keep the same still life set up you used for the Continuous Line Drawing for all three parts of this exercise. We will critique them all together. Use the same size paper you used with your continuous line drawing and orient your drawing the same way.
Part One: MONOCHROMATIC--Using a colored pencil, pick one primary or secondary color to use. I prefer you do not pick yellow since yellow does not show up as well on white paper. Draw the objects in your still life set up as realistically as possible. Use any of the shading techniques you practiced in EXERCISE ONE. Your goal is to create the illusion of form by capturing the shadows and highlights, as well as the textures of your objects. The lightest parts of your objects can be left white. The darkest parts should be as dark as you can make the color you chose draw.
Part Two: COMPLEMENTARY COLORS--A: Your goal in part one A is to paint an Acrylic Color Chart. Tape a piece of 9"x12" watercolor paper to a board. Split it into 5 rows of 11 columns. Column 4 and 8 will be blank spaces between the three groups of three columns. Label column 1-3 Red at the top and Green at the bottom. Label columns 5-7 Orange at the top and Blue at the bottom. Label columns 9-11 Yellow at the top and Purple at the bottom. Label columns 1, 5, and 9 TINT. Label Columns 3, 7, and 11 SHADE. A TINT is made by adding white to a hue. A SHADE is made by adding black to a hue. GETTING YOUR PALLET READY TO PAINT Set up a pallet with a full dip of Red, Green, and White. Use a smaller dip of Black (a little goes a long way). You will need multiple brushes. For ease of mixing, place the black and white paint next to each other on the pallet. Moving clockwise around the pallet skip a bowl then put red, skip three bowls and put green. You should have two bowls left before you get back to the beginning. Begin by painting pure red in row 1 column 2 and pure green in row 5 column 2. MIXING YOUR PAINT Now for the mixing process. Mix a larger amount of red and a smaller amount of green (From here on out indicated by R/g in the cup next to red but between red and green. Be sure to mix enough paint so after you have painted the chart you still have some left to split it into two parts. Use the R/g hue to fill in the square directly below the pure red square on your chart (row 2 column 2. Next mix a larger amount of green with a small amount of red (G/r) in the bowl next to the green but still between the green and red. Again, mix enough paint to split into two parts later. Paint the square directly above the pure green with the G/r hue (row 4 column 2). The third hue you mix will be equal parts red and green (R/G). Place the R/G hue in the remaining bowl between the red and green. Paint the center square between red and green (row 3 column 2) with the R/G hue. MAKING TINTS AND SHADES In the bowl on the other side of pure red place half of the remaining R/g hue. Add a tiny amount of black (REMEMBER black goes a long way in influencing colors). Adding black makes the shade for the R/g hue. Paint the square to the right of the R/g square (row 2 column 3). Add a small amount of white to the bowl which has the last of the R/g hue. This will create the tint for the R/g hue. Paint the square to the left of the R/g hue (row 2 column 1). Now move on to the mostly green a little red (G/r) hue, Place half of the remaining paint in that bowl in the empty bowl next to the pure green. Add a tiny amount of black to the G/r hue. This mixture creates the shade for the G/r hue. Paint the square to the right of the G/r hue (row 4 column 3). Add a small amount of white to the remaining G/r bowl. This creates the tint for the G/r hue. Paint the square to the left of the G/r hue (row 4 column 1) Follow the same process as above for creating shade and tint for the R/G hue. Take half the R/G hue place it in the only empty bowl. Add a tiny amount of black. Paint the square to the right of the R/G square. Add a small amount of white to the remaining R/G bowl. Paint the square to the left of the R/G hue. The only shades and tints you have remaining are for the pure red and pure green. If you need a little more paint to complete these two hues feel free to get it. Just remember try not to take more than you need. Since you have no more bowls you will use the center of your pallet to mix your shades. Take half of the remaining red and add a tiny amount of black. Paint the square to the right of the pure red (row 1 column 3). Add a small amount of white to the remaining pure red. Paint the square to the left of the pure red (row 1 column 1).Finally, take half of the remaining green and put it in the center of your pallet. Add a tiny amount of black paint the square to the left of the pure green (row 5 column 3). Mix a small amount of white in the remaining pure green and paint your last square in this section (row 5 column 1). Repeat this process with the remaining two color pairs—orange/blue and yellow/purple. REMEMBER: When adding black you only need a tiny amount to impact the relative darkness of the shade.
Part Two: COMPLEMENTARY COLORS--B: Pick one complementary color pair: red and green, orange and blue, or Purple and yellow. Use the same still life group and the same orientation as you did with the last two drawings. Use a 16" x 12" canvas. Paint your still life using one of the colors from the color pair. You can use white to lighten the pure colors in order to make the brightest highlight. To make the shadows mix the complementary colors. As your shadows darken they can almost becoming a gray-brown. For the very darkest shadow add a touch of black. Be careful not to completely overwhelm your hue with the black. Only a touch will be necessary. Feel free to use your color chart as a guide.
Part Three: WARM OR COOL COLORS--Pick either three warm colors (red, orange, yellow) or three cool colors (green, blue, purple) to complete this “drawing”. If you pick warm colors for your objects use the cool colors for your background. If you pick cool colors for your objects use the warm colors for your back ground. The point of the exercise is to help you see the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows. Begin by deciding where you want your horizon line. Of the three back ground colors, save the darkest to use later. Between the two remaining colors, decide which color to use above the horizon line and which to place below the horizon line. The color you use below the horizon line will become the surface on which your objects sit. Cut this piece to fit below the horizon line. Glue it in place. You will use the three object colors to represent your objects and make distinct shadows and highlights. Begin by deciding which of the three colors will represent the object as a whole. From colored construction paper tear or cut out the shapes of your objects. Paste them onto your background. Pick the lightest color to use as highlights and the darkest color to use as shadows. After you have your objects in place, tear or cut the shapes of the shadows from the darkest color and glue them in place. Then, cut out or tear the shapes of your highlights from your lightest color and glue them in place. In addition to a horizon line, you need to ground your objects by making a cast shadow. REMEMBER: shadows lay flat on flat surfaces and face outward from the objects on the opposite side from the brightest highlights. The cast shadow should be the darkest of your background colors. DO not get alarmed if this “drawing” seems less realistic than either of the other Color Theory still lifes.