It is natural to work on the non-dominant hand (the left hand for a right-handed, and vice versa) on the drumset, where it is required that both hands develop equal strength and precision. It is not considered when drawing, but as my recent studies focused more on observing than on technique, why not letting my non-dominant hand draw too?
I felt that the observation step was as accurate as by right-hand drawings. The difference came when I had to draw – my left hand has very seldom held a pencil, so there is no muscular memory of a pencil grip. I somehow grouped my fingers together and started with the mare’s head. You can see the hesitations and trembling. There was sometimes too much opposition from the paper, that my left hand had to try hard to move the pencil. Another difficulty that arose half-way was that I started drawing, as usual, from the left – not taking into account that my hand would cover the drawing, therefore I went on holding the hand and arm above the drawing, like left-handers do when they write.
The drawing took maybe ten minutes to be done. It is of course very sketchy and by no matters finished, but the point is made: a good observation matters more to me that technique. Even from an unschooled hand, the subject is recognisable and with acceptable proportions.
That made me also think how adults can forget how hard it was to learn to write and draw when they were children. It is a good refresher for my teacher’s future.
I hope this is of encouragement for you! Let me know in the comments or on your blogs about your drawing experiments.
Yesterday I went to Berlin’s Museum for Natural History and admired both the expositions of the T-Rex Tristan Otto and of Spinosaurus. I took time to draw part of Tristan’s skull, that was wonderfully lighted; Spinosaurus was equally well displayed but I wasn’t able to find a good place to sit/stand for the time I needed to draw it.
I’m glad to have taken time to draw again, after many months; I plan to keep a more regular schedule and draw a little – more often. More to come on my Flickr page and here in the blog!
This time I copied the shadows of a pumpkin flower. While drawing, I changed the ink cartridge and the second was a bit lighter, but I am not unhappy with the result. Still, what I want to achieve is a finer mesh (then I need a finer pencil or pen).
Yesterday I was looking for a recipe in a cookbook about fish, and my drawer’s eye went to some of the many good pictures that show various fish species, and of course the prepared dishes. One seemed quite easy to be reproduced with colour pencils, and so I picked up my very heterogenous set of pencils (some from my childhood!) and started drawing.
I was once more surprised at how slowly, but surely, the whole shape of the fish emerged from the small colour patches I kept filling, one next to the other. The mental process is definitely twofold: first, I observe the full image or live subject, decide which part I will draw, then I start drawing the first shape (of medium size: from that one, all the proportions of the drawing are set) and by a sort of triangulation method, I get all the neighbouring shapes and colours one after the other.
In the case of this colour drawing, I first made a small palette on a corner of the paper, to select the few pencils I needed for the drawing (not in the picture).
Today I visited the childrens’ park near my house and found a nice model, with a good proportion of light and dark areas. It is a turtle made of wood, the size of a big dog. Children were playing all around, and even chalked a bit of the turtle!
Here it is:
I didn’t draw everything as I got tired and the cirrus clouds took away some of the light; anyway I am quite happy with the result as it is.
This time I didn’t use hatches as I wished to practise uniform tones. My pencil is not a fancy one, it is probably a HB pencil. I like to use it for a few minutes with the same inclination, so a small flat area results from usage, makes the stroke larger and more uniform. I periodically rotate the pencil when I want a darker tone, that comes from the pressure on a smaller area, or a finer stroke.
The process of choosing how dark to fill an area is not unique. My way is to observe the whole subject and find which areas have the same amount of darkness. Then I try to see the contours of these areas. If there are not, as it is in many cases, I try to see where there are abrupt edges like the ones of the lower parts of the turtle, in full darkness, that emerge from light background. Then I start making a uniform tone of the lightest shadow, all over the dark areas, leaving out only the lighter areas. I then repeat this process with darker tones. Usually three iterations are enough. Finally, I make the continuous transitions and some smaller details.
Have fun with your own drawing!