For this task, you need a nice sharp pencil to draw a character that could sit in the foreground of your picture.
Watch the video below as a wee guide to the level of detail I’m looking for and how to preserve the light bits on your picture.
Obviously, the internet is full of images you can use. But your garden is also a rich source of beasties, flowers and mushrooms, especially at this time of year. Look under leaves and stones – you never know what you might find.
This exercise is similar to the two pictures that you drew last week, but you should spend twice as long on it.
The main difference is that I want you to think about contrast. Contrast in black and white pictures is the difference between light and dark in your picture. If a picture is said to have more contrast there is a big difference between light and dark. If the contrast is reduced, the difference between light and dark is lessened. If you’re messing with the settings on your television, increasing the contrast makes your pictures look more crisp and decreasing it makes the picture look more grey and flat. This can be used as a way to pull focus towards the front, or focal point of your picture.
Look at the picture below: the rhubarb leaf on the right has much greater contrast than the one on the left. It appears bolder and jumps out from the screen/paper more than the other two. Drawing in this way is a way to get viewers to focus on a particular part of your picture.
Now you’re ready for the lesson – download it below
Last week we looked at drawing close-ups of trees. Today we’re going to draw the whole tree. Use the source images provided or search for your own then draw a larger picture of a tree. The surface texture of the bark will be much less important than the overall shape of the tree and the branches in this task.
Silhouettes are super useful in paintings, to show strong light sources and shadows. Getting the shape of trees just right will help with this a great deal.
A Magical tree
With the group unable to meet at the school just now, Angus plans to share some of his lockdown lessons over the next few weeks. Called The Daily Walk, these will build pencil drawing skills and lead to the creation of a bigger piece.
Attached is the first lesson, where we will draw a close-up of a tree. Have a look at the work of an artist called Mark Frith, in particular “A Legacy of Ancient Oaks”, or Dina Brodsky‘s “Secret life of Trees” for some inspiration. (Do this after you’ve watched my wee film so my drawing looks less lame!)
Here’s some source images to get you started, or feel free to take a walk and collect your own. Looking forward to seeing the results.
More portraits this week, with Angus leading a string of varied drawing exercises for the class.
Using resources and each other as models (including Angus himself), members sketched their way through: drawing upside down; drawing while not looking at the papers; drawing using only straight lines; and using graphite pencils.
The class fell near silent as everyone concentrated on capturing the details of faces – though there was plenty of laughter when people went round the class to check out the results.
Coming up on Wednesday May 17 – more portraits and a painting challenge.
The main event last Wednesday night (May 3) was portraits, though the wonderful weather tempted a few members onto the roof for a wee sketching session.
Angus ran through the basics at the start of the lesson:
- draw an upturned egg shape for the head;
- eyes to go halfway down, with each eye taking up a fifth of the width and being spaced one eye-width apart;
- end of the nose halfway between eyes and chin;
- mouth halfway between nose and chin.
The brave grabbed a mirror and attempted self-portraits, while others used photographs of faces to have go. You can see the some of results below.
This week (Wednesday May 10) there’ll be more portrait work, with some drawing exercises designed to improve our sketching.
We’d love to bring you pictures of last week’s class but we don’t want to spoil anyone’s Christmas surprise. Just take our word for it that everything looked great and Santa has been very kind to you.
This week it’s a flashback to more colourful times with mixed media flower painting. Angus will demonstrate a range of techniques to allow the class to create beautiful and expressive pictures of flowers.
There will be materials available and, thankfully given the season, some source imagery, but feel free to bring your own.
Great to see so many members at the first Wednesday night of the new term – particularly with the lure of a perfect summer evening and the Olympics competing for your attention.
As well as the familiar faces, we welcomed two new members. And they were treated to a pretty perfect Spey Art Group experience.As well as getting a glimpse of the new banner, there were new Spey Art Group aprons for everyone present.
And with the atmosphere in the art room being so stuffy, a few of us went up on the school roof (for the second time this year) where the cool breeze was very welcome. The views were glorious and members enjoyed the challenge of sketching the Cairngorms.
And then there was cake, thanks to birthday girl Kerstin. Could all our Wednesday nights be this good this year?
This week we learned how to draw transparent objects for still life. It was good fun and the results were impressive.
The Cairngorms Learning Partnership is offering the chance to learn or improve your life drawing skills.
Dan Cottam will be teaching a life class at the Iona Gallery on June 18, from 10am-4pm.
Activities will include:
- quick sketches and warm ups
- compositional and proportional sketches
- measuring in space and using relative comparisons
- How to use light and shade to create form
- Using negative space
- How to create perspective and deal with foreshortening
The six hour class cost just £65. To book, click here to get to the CLP’s website.