Foundations of Drawing
Illustration by John Hersey

Foundations of Drawing

with Will Kemp

Video: Mark making

This is just to illustrate a variety of different So what this helps And this So this is applying an even pressure across the whole of the shade.

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Drawing
2h 24m Beginner Apr 28, 2014

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Anyone can learn how to draw. Success comes down to three things:

Shape: By focusing on the shapes of the objects (and more importantly the shapes between the objects) you can view subjects with a whole new outlook and focus.

Simplicity: You'll get better results by concentrating on simple subjects and drawing techniques that will still prove powerful when used together.

Structure: A structured approach makes drawing easier to master.

Each chapter in this course is built on these three principles, combining drawing theory and practical examples with worksheets and drawing assignments. Will Kemp brings his passion for teaching and infectious love of drawing together in these lessons. You'll learn about line, value, tone, negative space, and perspective, and come away with the confidence to start making drawing a daily practice.

This course was created and produced by Will Kemp. We're honored to host this training in our library.

Topics include:
  • Materials you need to draw
  • Drawing theory
  • Framing your composition
  • Using the picture plane
  • Creating contrast
  • Using negative space to create more powerful compositions
  • Creating form from shadows and light
Will Kemp

Mark making

This is just to illustrate a variety of different marks you can make before tackling your final drawing. The first one is just a simple hatch. So what this helps to do is build up an area of tone but without being completely solid. So to solid up a hatch, what you do is what's called a cross hatch. So you just work across that first hatch. And this starts to build up again, a second layer of tone.

So you can work between having single hatches, and cross hatches, or you can keep on hatching at a slightly different angle every time, to darken that area. Then you've just got the basic shade where you don't really take the pencil off of the actual paper.

So this is applying an even pressure across the whole of the shade. You can also do a smudge once you've gotten the initial shade down, where you use your finger and you just blend that in. So you've still got a similar tone, it's just a slightly bit smoother than when you shade it just with the pencil.

If you've got a slightly softer pencil, this is a 6b, what you can do is you can take a soft brush and you can use that to smudge in or blend in an area. Also if you've just got some graphite dust, you can use the brush with that. It's very soft, blended effect. So you can also just use a dot. And again, what this does is build up that area of tone.

When you squint your eyes, it'll give you tone or shade. But you can just build it up, the more and more intensity of dots you put into that area. A broken line can be great, so that you can just literally pull the actual pencil off the page as you're working. Try to keep it as random as you can, and what this will just help to do is just give you areas that don't feel as solid. This is great for say the edge of a table top rather than having it as being one solid line.

If you just lift your pencil off and have it as a broken line, it will be a lot more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. By using an underhand grip of your pencil, you could then do a heavy line and then lift it off and then get a very fine line and then heavy again. So I'm, like, making a line and then twisting the pencil, so I get that sharp edge and then pushing it down again so I get a softer edge, and then changing it again. You can also use this same underhand grip for get getting that side shade.

And notice how closely I'm holding onto the pencil really close to the end of the pencil. Be careful not to go too tight an angle, because what you'll start to do is, you'll pull off some of the color that's on the actual pencil. See, if I press it hard here, you see how I've got the blue coming off from the pencil. So you've just got to bear in mind not to do that if you're working with a overhand grip. If you're working this way round, you've got more control and more distance between the edge of the pencil and the actual page that you're working on.

Okay. So now we've seen a few varieties of different marks we can make. We've got all our tools, so now we can start our final project and start to incorporate these different shading techniques within the one image.

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