Every time we open our urban and field sketchbooks to draw, we’re faced with the same challenge—to swiftly transform flat 2D pages into believable 3D environments the viewer can walk into.
For the ranch buildings, shown above, I lightly sketched dominant angles (indicated with red) before drawing anything else. Dominant angles are the essential framework for sketching accurate 3D representations of buildings in a composition.
Notice the angle of the table in the foreground compared to the buildings. Getting these foundational angles correct was crucial in giving a place for the viewer’s eye to travel into the depths of the sketch. Continue reading Walking Into a Sketch
I learned to draw flowers at a young age. You probably did too. As children, we were encouraged to make each flower an object of beauty. But what about wilted native sunflowers? Why would anyone spend time drawing such dreadful looking things? Continue reading In the Eye of the Beholder
Every drawing you do has the potential to suck. Or not.
The fear of making mistakes is what keeps many of us from even trying to draw. However, it’s possible to embrace failure and actually enjoy salvaging a drawing from the brink of disaster. Sketching through your mistakes on paper is an important and fun part of learning to draw accurately.
Continue reading Practice Failure
Paging through decades of drawings quickly unlocks specific memories. The way shadows were cast on a summer afternoon in rural Mexico, or the emotional roller coaster of love and loss in suburban California. Each drawing reveals the history of impassioned urgency to capture the essence of my subjects with quickness of line. Youthful notions of exacting realism give way to experimentation in style and techniques. When making and viewing sketchbooks, the joy is in the details. Continue reading Letting Your Eye Fall in Love
Animal sketching can be a fun challenge. The fun is in quickly capturing a likeness of your subject, and the challenge is in accomplishing your sketch with a minimal amount of lines, before your subject decides to change position.
Continue reading Animal Instinct in Sketching
Japanese manga comics are a popular form of entertainment and creative expression. Two of our high school Drawing Lab students wish to take this form of artistic storytelling by the horns and draw their way to having an audience of loyal readers. Matthew Acuna and Daryna Reyna have spent the 2013 spring semester starting to build college level portfolios with Rob Court, drawing coach. They were given assignments such as creating character model sheets, story layouts, and studies in movement and expression.
Both Matthew and Daryna are prolific storytellers, highly skilled drawers in various media, and they fill sketchbook after sketchbook with fantastic concepts. They can quickly shift from manga to a traditional drawing style that accurately depicts real life objects and scenes–a rare skill with young artists. Furthermore, when adapting their ideas to digital media, drawing with a stylus is second nature to them.
Let’s take a look inside the creative minds of these two budding manga sketchers.
Continue reading High Schoolers Matthew & Daryna Draw Their Stories to Life
Gianna Goodpaster is a Santa Cruz teenager who doodles, draws, and paints. What sets Gianna apart from other students is her quiet, self-determined journey of creative exploration. After viewing the extreme variety of media she experiments with, we’re compelled to jump on board just to see where her extraordinary journey will lead in the future.
(Click on images to view larger details.)
In fact, Gianna is a daring shapeshifter when it comes to artistic styles. During the past couple of years, having her as a Draw to Learn student required me to keep a wide assortment of tools and subject matter on hand. Whether doing study sketches in charcoal, highly detailed ink renderings, or vivid pastel compositions, she shifts creative gears effortlessly. Gianna’s impulse to create is apparent the moment she walks into the classroom. Quickly choosing her materials, she sets her iPod; then explodes with unpredictable, irresistibley cool drawings. Continue reading Gianna Goodpaster Draws Her Future