Lesson in the “Basic Unit” principle. Same exercise in terms of drawing with negative space, only except this time when you start you have to pick the Basic Unit or starting shape that essentially is your anchor for the picture. In essence, this is probably one of the most important exercises in the book. If you do not pick a good starting point then you can pretty much guarantee that something will be off in the final drawing.
My basic unit for me in this drawing of one of my kitchen chairs was the middle negative space in the back of the chair. I drew that first and then the remaining negative spaces. Afterwards I added the tone to the background.
Just as important than the edges are the spaces in art. Negative space when focused on causes the brain to force itself into “art” mode. It also helps when drawing foreshortened views because of shared edges mentioned previously.
After completing this one I found that when looking at it I do sense more balance in the composition than if I had tried to just draw the edges of the leaves instead. It’s interesting how it came out considering my focus when drawing was instead on everything BUT the leaves
Taking the flower lesson a step further, drawing the orange with shading is a more difficult version of proper placement and perception of edges. All lessons up to this point are teaching that ALL lines are shared edges and never a sole one. The idea here is to get you thinking of subjects along with their surroundings as a whole and not individual parts.
Learning to draw with all of the dimensions doesn’t come naturally right out of the gate. First you have to learn how to line draw. Drawing a flower with the Picture Plane helps with positioning in the composition and the completed work with no shading allowed (because it is a line drawing) shows that if drawn properly anything can still look good.
Another exercise to reduce the conflict between artistic and non-artistic brain modes. When drawing upside down it apparently makes your brain short circuit a bit and force the use of the brain part that is made for drawing (R-mode).
I was quite pleased with how both of these came out, especially the knight. The shading I used really added character the the piece and it probably is a favorite exercise sketch so far.
The purpose of this exercise was to “shift” my brain into what the author calls “R-mode” or not left brained. It is meant to illustrate the difficulty pf overcoming the dominance of the language system and shifting to the part of the brain that is specialized for the function of drawing.
Personally I felt this exercise came naturally to me. This book is written for teaching literally anyone to draw so some of this is a rehash. I do find the techniques she uses to prod a non-artist brain very interesting though.
I actually started the Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain workbook about 3 years ago and never finished it (I know, shame on me). I’m going to finish it but I want to retrace what I’ve done first up to the point I stopped.
These first 3 drawings were all pre-instruction drawings to gauge where you end up at the end of the lessons. Looking at my self portrait now I can surely say I wish it was better. I look really depressed or something. Anyways the hand and the corner of the room came out ok I suppose so it will be interesting to see where it ends up at the end of the lessons.
Another sketch after Big John Buscema. Wolverine about to beat the tar out of someone.
I finally feel like I’m getting my drawing groove back. This sketch took me about 20 minutes and flowed quite nicely onto paper.
What I liked about this one was the “looseness” of it. It’s exactly what penciling in comics is like. Draw fast, make it expressive and show correct anatomy.
Tonight I finished reading a book about John Buscema (“Big John Buscema : Comics and Drawing”) who drew comics for Marvel for many many years back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He is for sure one of my favorites as he really understood human anatomy. What I find amazing is that he actually wanted to be a painter his whole life but instead kept drawing for comics because he loved art so much. His wife states that even after slaving away with work for Marvel, at the end of the day he would go back in his studio and just draw more personal works. He had to draw and sketch…it was like breathing to him. While that seems extreme to me I can say that whenever I do draw there is a peaceful feeling in me that I cannot explain.
That is why tonight when I did not really feel like drawing I did it anyways. Even a simple sketch like this one of Cap is a good exercise for my brain and soul.
I decided to go back and touch up the Woman sketch. I highlighted the heck out of her hair which was a bit overkill, so to fix I made her hair darker. I also noticed her chin was not protruding out enough and her jawline was not sleek like a woman’s. I like the results here much better.
Even after all these years of drawing it still amazes me how slight adjustments to a drawing can really make a difference. I’m sure there is more I could perfect on this one but I’m going to leave it be as it reflects a personal style.
I’ve included the reference I used for this too (that I found on Pinterest).