Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Article Three - Light and Shadows

Drawing Lessons: Using Light and Shadows to Create 3-Dimensional Shapes

Repost from:  
What gives objects form and shape?  Light and the shadows it creates.  Since graphite creates only shades of gray, values are all we have to represent light and shadow.  They are also the most expressive and effective tools we have. In this entry to Pencils.com’s stable of drawing lessons, we’ll explore how we can use light and shadows to create 3-dimensional shapes.
There are 4 main components of light and shadow:
Highlights – where the strongest light hits the surface of the object
Mid-tones – where light is indirectly hitting the surface
Reflected light – light bounces back onto the object
Shadows – core shadows are the darkest and strongest, cast shadows are various values depending on how strong the light is.

We know this is a red delicious apple because of its naturally dark mid-tones and shape.  We can almost “see” that is it red because colors correspond to specific gray values.  Imagine drawing a green granny smith apple and consider how you would draw it differently with lighter values and a rounder shape.
Good Drawing Practices
  • Avoid drawing too light.  Find the darkest area and establish your blacks.  This allows you to use the full range of values from white to black.
  • Work right to left if a lefty, left to right if right-handed.
  • Work background to foreground; top to bottom.
  • Start on the most detailed (focal point) area.  All other areas can then be sketched with less detail.
  • Understand what you are sketching before you put down that mark.  Being timid will show in your work, so be confident in your pencil mark.
  • Avoid overworking your sketch. Fresh, spontaneous pencil mark will create energy and keep your work alive.
  • The 3 P’s – Patience. Practice. Perseverance.  Be patient with yourself.  Practice, practice and practice some more.  Your perseverance will be rewarded! Happy Sketching!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Werner Barn - Commission

Commissions offer a unique opportunity to collaborate the ideas of one individual with the visual artistic skills of another.  I really enjoy listening to the thoughts, ideas and stories from clients and then incorporating them into a piece of artwork that they had a "hand in" creating.  My goal is to bring their story to life on paper. 

I had the opportunity to do a very special commission for a former classmate, Dave Werner.  Dave and I have known each other since 2nd grade and got to catch up on our lives during our 35th high school class reunion this past summer.  Dave's parents were moving from their family farm and Dave thought a drawing of the homestead barn would be a great way for them to remember their life on the farm.  This drawing was a gift to his parents for Christmas.  I can't think of anything more special than a gift of art honoring his parents life-long efforts.

This barn has been well taken care of and represents the sense of pride family farmers have of their farms.  The quilt block on the face of the barn is a common decoration in the mid-west rural landscape.  The beautiful row of flowers and the white fence offer a rich texture to this simple composition.

Royal & Langnickel Kits

I have been working with the company, Royal & Langnickel over the past few years on a variety of art projects.  There are numerous blog posts showing artwork created for drawing and sketching kits.  They have given me the opportunity to explore a wide variety of subject matter and mediums.  I am always impressed with the beautifully designed products and look forward to more projects in the future.

I'm excited about the two newest kits created with my artwork.  These are "hot off the press" and I haven't seen them yet in stores.  Product Numbers are:  AME-110 for the Sketching Zoo Animals and AME-101 for the Drawing Colored Pencil Birds.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Horse & Colt

4/7/13 Update:  After setting this aside to work on a few other projects, I finally completed this drawing. 


2/15/13 Update:  Continuing to create definition in the background tree on the left.  Adding shadows from the  trees on the fence on the right.  Horse facial features added and the colt is starting to take shape.  Understanding the horses muscular under-structure helps to develop and define their three-dimensional form.

Here is a work in progress of a horse and colt.  This one is a bit larger than I have done in a while 
12 x16 on Canson Foundation series Bristol Board Smooth paper.  

After roughly sketching in the horse, colt and background placement, I lightly shade in the sky.  After the light layer has been applied, I use a chamois to smooth the graphite.  I leave white areas for clouds and still need to build up a some form to them as I continue to work on the trees.  The trees are in various stages of completeness.  The one on the far right is the most developed with varying shading to depict the bundles of leaves.  The far left one is the first layer roughly laid down identifying the general shape and placement.
The horse is shaded an overall medium value and then darker areas are layered in to build up the three dimensional form.  

This drawing is a project for a Royal Brush drawing kit.  It is fun to see my work incorporated into a variety of art sets sold in large box stores such as Michael's and Hobby Lobby.