Sharing knowledge and my original work

Posts tagged “Pencil drawing

Form Is Shape and Structure

Everything from a seed to a tree has form. Everything that exists has form. Form is something you see and feel.

Form has three dimensions, height, weight and depth. If you go to pick up an object you instinctively know your hand must go around it. So when you are drawing an object or subject you are creating an illusion of a real form. You are creating real life on a visual level.

Your paper or board is a two-dimensional surface. It has four sides up, down, left, right. You create a new dimension on the surface, depth. When you draw an object you are drawing a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface. You are showing the depth of the object or subject on a surface that has no depth at all.

Okay so now you understand the difference between the two. How do you get started? By creating the feeling of depth with perspective line, light and shadow. Every form cast a shadow when light hits it. So to show the form we draw shading and texture.

When you draw the form it must exist in the space, so be sure to have enough room on your paper. Before you draw the surface appearance you must have a good drawing of the shapes of the objects in your drawing. The basic forms is the first step in creating depth.

Sphere, Cylinder, cube and cone are the four basic shapes. These shapes can be modified and combined to draw anything you can imagine.

Start by looking for these shape in everyday objects. Look at the form so you can become more aware of the height, width and depth of the form. Take an apple it has the basic shape of the sphere, that’s where you start.

I suggest you find these forms and draw them without detail, just draw the form as a solid object showing how we use light and shadow to fill in the form.


The basic forms of everything

Knowing these shapes will help you with the principles of basic form of drawing and is the foundation of art. When you shift your thinking from the obvious to seeing the form first, you are thinking like an artist. Keep in mind that the details build as you feel the mass of forms as you draw them.

The basic form can be modified to fit the desired shape. A cylinder can be tapered or curved, a sphere can look more like an egg and a cone can be made into a mountain.

A convincing drawing of the form is knowing the depth of the objects or subject you are drawing. As you study the three-dimensional form take note of everything you see, the light, shadow and structure of the object. Don’t worry so much about the outline it has no depth.

Artist draw from the inside out. We construct each object or subject to create a three dimensional effect. The shape is the largest part of your drawing. Combining the basic shapes are in so many things we see in everyday life. Take an automobile it has a cubes with rounded corners, circles and cylinders for wheels. Legs become modified cylinders and a head becomes a series of modified spheres, triangles and cylinders. Every shape we draw has multiple forms put together to represent the shape of the object or subject we draw.

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Think With Your Pencil

Think With Your Pencil

The artist builds confidence by research and mastering the tools he or she uses to create their work. They all so build it by knowing their subject. That’s when research comes to play.

Thinking out loud with your hands comes easily for some seasoned artist. As a beginner you may want to start with a well thought out plan. This is a rough drawing. You can draw out your thoughts as fast as your brain processes them.

A rough drawing is where you really get to use your eraser. Test out as many roughs as you want you’re not worried about mistakes or lines left on this paper because it is not meant to be the finished drawing.

Your first thought should be about what is most important in the picture you’re creating. Every element you draw will support this. Some artist start with the outside shapes of the objects, animals or people they are drawing. The rough drawing is filled with shapes, light and shadow. It will develop more detail as the artist thinks more about what he wants to portray in his finished drawing.

Other artist start with guide lined, shapes and the back ground to draw your eye to the main focus of their drawing. This is a favorite of artist who what the action that has, will be, or is taking place. The finished drawing is filled with detail that are more precise.

A rough drawing is where you check the* position,* proportion, *perspective and* textures. The position of the objects in your drawing. Does the perspective support the proportion of what you’re drawing? What textures stand out and how are you going to represent them?

A rough drawing is where you plan out and tell a story with your pencil recording all the options you can think of. Until you come up with what you want others to see and experience.

*Perspective– a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface. Compare aerial perspective, linear perspective.

* Proportion – comparative relation between things or magnitudes as to size, quantity, number, etc.; ratio.

* Position – condition with reference to place; location; situation.

* Textures- Fine Arts. A. the characteristic visual and tactile quality of the surface of a work of art resulting from the way in which the materials are used. B. the imitation of the tactile quality of represented objects.

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Drawing Paper

Where do I start, there are different ways you can buy paper. It comes in sheets, rolls, books and on pads. Whether you are drawing with pastels, inks or my favorite pencils there is the perfect paper choice out there for you.

Paper like pencils come in many colors, sizes and range, they go from a very smooth surface to a rough surface. The surface of the paper is described by the “tooth”. You want one that is rough enough to take pencil. The rougher the tooth the softer the pencil. The glossier or smoother papers are great for inks, prints and even paints.

Papers are designed for to suit every artist need. The thickest which is illustration board and the thinnest witch is tracing paper. Choose a paper that is suitable for your needs based on fiber, weight, and surface texture or finish.


Visualizing papers are papers you can see through they include

Tracing paper (you can see through)

Layout paper (thicker and whiter)

Bond (used for typing and printers)

Opaque papers you cannot see through they are thicker and include

Ledger a durable, bendable paper used for writing.

Bristol board (comes in many thicknesses called piles which range from1 through 5 with one, two, and three, used for pencil drawing)

Illustration board (the thickest is drawing paper mounted on card board)

The thickness is the ply of the paper, one ply, and the thinnest and slightly heavier than bond. There are many surfaces from very smooth to very rough.

They range from very soft such as newsprint to very hard such as high quality Bristol board. You can erase easily on a harder surface. The one thing to remember is that no matter what type of paper you choose is fine as long as it is acid free.

Sketch books and pads are great to carry along to do a study or quick drawing. The paper is much lighter and not intended for a finished drawing.

Drawing paper and pads have a heavier weight and range in a cool bright white to a warm cream color. They allow you to erase and rework areas of your drawing so you end up with a beautiful finished drawing. Drawing paper that I use have a smooth service and is suitable for most dry media as well as pen and ink.

There are so many papers you can choose from just like the pencils and erasers we use. Finding what works best for you is part of your signature as an artist. These tools are part of your style and they will help Identify you as an accomplished artist.


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Erasers Are Valuable

Artist materials like erasers can help or hurt your work. Identifying your tools and how they work is the goal. The pencils best friend is are erasers. There are four erasers I suggest you try out. Practice using them so they will become an extension of imagination.

The first is the kneaded eraser. This tool picks up and absorbs the lead of your pencil or pigment of your pastels. It can lighten a dark area and clean up without leaving any waste behind. Just by pressing it on to the space you wish to make lighter. It comes to life with a few seconds of kneading. This easer can be molded, twisted into shapes, and can pick up soft lead from the smallest of place. It can clean up a piece of work that may have pencil dust, dirt or smudges on it.

Next we have the rubber eraser it is like the ones you find on a #2 pencil. It is used to erase the lines completely made by a hard pencil. Using this tool can be tricky. You will want to erase gently and slowly in a circular motion. If you rub too hard it can damage the paper.

Then there is the art gum eraser it is firm and soft great for cleaning up your work. It will all so erase lines after you do a pen and ink drawing. This eraser will not harm your paper or erase dry ink.

Last but not least is the white vinyl eraser it come in a paper sleeve for easy handling. It works very well on vellum and is sometimes favored over the rubber eraser because it does the same job with less residue behind. This eraser like others will leave residue behind, please don’t use your hands to clean your paper you can smear your work. Use a draftsmen’s dust brush and sweep away any debris from the eraser from your work.

Every tool we use as artist is an extension of our hands. We train our hands to do what our brain tells us to do. These erasers can all so be used as a drawing tool to bring light and shape in to a darken background.

So play with your erasers and have fun remember this is a tool that will help you reach your potential. I take every tool and try to use it to its full potential. I will cut an eraser down to fit my needs, I love this tool.

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Pencils Are Not Just For Writing

Pencils are the most valuable art tools you will use as an artist. These tools help us to think out our plan or composition. Every Piece of art work starts with a plan. We use pencils and paper by doing ruff drawings and fine pieces of art.

The pencil is one of the most versatile of all art tools. It is the first tool used by most artists, weather you finish up with paint, ink, wash or any other medium it usually starts with a pencil.

We can create line, textures, shapes and shading. Pencils make to easy to change your drawing just by using an eraser.

Pencils are found everywhere. They are the cheapest tool you can find and great for a beginner. If you have a few pencils, paper, eraser and a sharp knife you can be ready to draw anywhere.



Drawing Tools

Pencils, stumps, erasers (kneaded and flexible), architect brush, sharpener, single edge knife with changeable blades, masking tape, sandpaper block, drawing board and drawing paper.


The pencils we use range from a very hard lead or graphite to a very soft lead or graphite. The hard pencils make a grayer line can be sharpened to a fine point and hold the point longer. This pencil is only to be used with a light touch so you damage the paper. If you want a darker line use a softer pencil. The softer pencils are black and will have to be sharpened often to keep a point. Both hard and soft pencils can be darker depending on how hard you push down.



 Here is an example of pencils effect on paper and the degrees of darkness.

Every artist fines there favorite grades and will uses them in developing their style that set them apart from others.

Pencil Sharpening

I prefer to use a sharp knife or single edge razor blade to shave the wood exposing a long piece of lead about one half inch long. I keep my lead sharp with chisel point. The sharpener will keep only a point.


 Sharpening with a sandpaper Block

Sandpaper block

Roll your pencil between your fingers with the tip against the block to get a round point. Slide the pencil back and forth to get a chisel point. Experiment with both to find the desired point your comfortable working with.

I want to share just bits and pieces of the Famous Artist Course with you in these articles. It is the first professional art instruction that I got as a young girl. These books where easy to follow, written and illustrated by these artist.



These sets of books were a gift from one of my parents’ friends because they could see this was the direction I wanted to take my life. These men were the top in their fields in the 50’s and published these books as away to teach thru the mail in 1960 a year after I was born.


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