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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.
- 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
Skill Level Beginner
When you're out and about choosing a subject to draw, assessing the landscape especially when it feels very big in front of you, you've got to be aware of how shapes and spaces can be really deceiving when you're trying to create a balanced composition. One of the most important things to try and have is variety in your drawing. When we look at the space here in this Venice scene, the tendency for a lot of beginners is to try and draw the posts very evenly spaced, because that's how we know they actually are in the environment.
But to have an interesting composition, what you've got to do is look for all the shapes in these spaces, between these posts, and create variety within them. If you just look at the shapes, say, here and then that shape there, they're quite similar. So, for this particular view, I'd say this isn't the best view for a drawing. So I've moved to the side slightly and just tried to change my angle, then I start to get an area that is of more interest. For example, this area where all the shapes in between the posts very slightly, only very subtly, but will make a massive difference in your actual drawing.
So you start to see all the different spaces, the different levels, and different sizes, and this is what starts to make a drawing look interesting, because there is that subtle variety in shape. So, here you can see the effect of perspective. But when we start to isolate certain parts of it, just by drawing around the shapes, it's a lot easier to see where massive difference in scale, from this tiny house in the distance, to this massive one right in the foreground. When we don't have those guides on, you don't really notice it as much, but when you isolate them even further, and take away the actual picture, it's not easy to see the difference in scale between the two objects.
So when you measure objects or check the unit measurement against different parts of the sea, it can really help strong proof you'll bring that what you're looking at and what you are drawing is accurate. You'll start to see that this element of keeping things slightly different is used, albeit on a subtle level here, when you start to look at the shapes that are in the reflections from the houses. So this whole area along here is essentially like a mini little abstract painting that's saying right. But all of these shapes in between are all slightly different.
This one's a bit bigger than that one, and it goes on and on. Of course, there will be some elements where there very, very close, but you're still just trying to look for that variety. In the viewer's eye, they're only focusing on one part. So let's have a look at this second picture of Scotland that I've done. It's got that nice variety of space in between everything. It's got a nice depth of tone, so you have nice dark areas next to light areas. And then, what I often call in drawing jumping off points, where your eye jumps off from one dark point to the next dark point.
And if you notice throughout this whole painting, all these little bits of darks and all these tones just jump to a height all throughout them. The same thing happens with the lights, the whites. They'll jump again back to there. So there's this harmony between them, and how your eye flows along just from the tones, the actual lights and darks in the painting. And then when you see in black and white, you can see it more clearly, how there's a balance around the entire composition. There's also a change in scale. And if we look at this house here and just highlight around that, and then compare that to this house here, those actual shapes have really changed a lot in terms of their scale; and, as the viewer, you can gauge there's a distance between the two.
But, you often think when you're drawing it, it's not going to be such a big jump in scale for such a small perceived distance.