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Foundations of Drawing
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the picture plane


From:

Foundations of Drawing

with Will Kemp

Video: Using the picture plane

So now I am going to do a quick demo of how I draw using the picture plane. I've chosen this small plant to demonstrate a simple So actually hold your frame up, you're just moving it forward or back until What I'm doing is drawing over the lines, So this is a really key thing to note about drawing.

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Foundations of Drawing
2h 24m Beginner Apr 28, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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
Subjects:
Design Drawing Design Skills
Author:
Will Kemp

Using the picture plane

So now I am going to do a quick demo of how I draw using the picture plane. I've chosen this small plant to demonstrate a simple study because it has nice simple shapes within it. So actually hold your frame up, you're just moving it forward or back until you can get it, so it fills a frame and makes a nice composition. So this is why when you clip the black frame to the edge, you can use that to start to create interesting shapes within your actual frame. I'm shutting one eye and I'm finding one starting point.

I'm trying not to take the pen off the surface. What I'm doing is drawing over the lines, the contour lines of the subject that's underneath. If this is the first time holding up the picture plane, it might wobble a little bit and it can feel slightly uncomfortable. But just remember this is just a guide just to help you get started. So this is a really key thing to note about drawing. And the tiniest movement in your head, if you move it to the left or to the right, you notice that the line doesn't suddenly line up anymore. To be able to draw something actually, you've got to imagine that your head is in a vise.

So you just cannot move it, you've just got to concentrate straight ahead of what your subject is. So if you're drawing a view, and keep on slightly moving and you have a different perspective, every time you look up again at the same view. It's amazing how little room for maneuver that there is in your sight line. So then we can lay this onto a piece of white paper, so we can really actually see the shapes we've drawn out. So once you've got your line drawing down onto the picture plane, all you need to do now is transfer them exactly as we did the upside down drawing.

So just take off the black frame and you can now see why we did the frame with a permanent marker onto the perspects. So we can now see the edges that we're working within. So what we need to do is just draw around the inside of this frame onto your page, just with an HB or a 3B pencil. And then we'll have an exact match from one frame to the other. And then what you have got to try to do is copy this line drawing on to your blank piece of paper.

You can use exactly the same technique that we did with the upside down drawing. Just cover up part of it and move a section down at a time. Just and so you start to feel the confidence to try giving it a go with the whole drawing. One thing you'll notice that in this stage it's still very abstract. This looks like one big block of shapes within it. So this is just to give us a guide, this perspect is always a guide. And then when we come back to the actual object in front of us, we can start to put in more detailed lines of the actual composition that we're looking at.

So once you've transferred the drawing upside down, you can just turn it around the right way. So try and find a very simple shade that you can practice tracing on to the picture plane to get a very simple yet effective line drawing. And then we can go in back to our position where we were first looking at the actual object and carry on the drawing from there. So, this really starts to illustrate how important it can be just to get the line in. It can give us a sense of scale, a sense of form without any shading, any details, any color.

Just with a line. If you focus first on your line it will make the biggest difference in your drawings.

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