Saturday Morning Skraw - Drawing Lesson 2
Today's drawing lesson will be "Three Pears." Just follow along with me as we draw these three little guys the best we can. Remember, this isn't about being perfect. You are not trying to replicate the picture so perfectly that it looks like you traced it or took a picture of it. Drawing is all about "what you see" and "what you can do." No matter how advanced you are in your drawing skills, or painting skills for that matter, there will always be others who are better than you and others who are not. And, who determines who is a better artist? Well, don't let that voice in your head fool you. If Picasso and Pollack had listened to what everyone was saying about their work, the art world would not be nearly as exciting or interesting. Art is subjective. I must admit, though, that I need to remind myself of this often to keep going myself.
We will be using as our reference image a beautiful painting done in realism by Christopher Stott. He is a Canadian artist who has brought the visual of simple objects to new heights and visual appeal. I love his work.
Ready to grab your sketchbook? Well, let's get to it! Grab your sketchbook, your pencils, your kneaded eraser, and an open, creative mind ... (Note: At any time, you can click on any image in this post to get a larger view).
If you recall, last week I explained how everything can be broken down into basic shapes, and that is where we are going to start. Again, perfection is not key here. Simply pay attention to the "idea" of the shape - how you perceive the shape to be. As you can see from my own drawing, although it is sorta shaped like a circle, I put my own spin on the basic shape of the first pear by also trying to achieve the angle of the curves. It isn't perfect but I don't really want it to be.
If you look closely at a pear, you will notice that it is kinda rounded on the bottom and bottom-heavy. You will also notice that there is this odd shape on top, so let's break it down a bit. How about we draw a circle on top ...
Now, connect the 2 circles with 2 slightly curved lines ...
And erase what you perceive to be any unnecessary "mapping" lines. When we put down "basic shapes" to suggest an object's perceived "overall shape" we create what I call "mapping lines" as it is the basic shapes that help us along our path of discovery while we draw.
We seem to have the shape down for the first pear nicely, now let's focus on the second pear. Again, we want to draw the "basic shape" as we perceive it to be, paying attention to where it is located relative to the first pear, and also the size and shape relative to the first pear. It looked to me as though they were about the same size.
Now, draw the smaller circle on top, then I want you to use your eraser and your pencil to make any corrections you see that need to be made until you are satisfied. Remember, we are not trying to trace the original picture here, and we are not trying to duplicate the reference image - we are only trying to pull information from the reference image to create a drawing of our own interpretation.
Now for the third and final pear in our drawing. Start with a "basic shape." If you notice, it looks as though the third pear is settled a bit further from the first two pears.
You've drawn a lot of circles today, aren't you proud of yourself? Now add the connecting lines of your 2 circles and then use your eraser and pencil to take out what you don't need and correct what you perceive to be necessary.
How about we add some stems to these babies ...
Now, this next step is a little more difficult, but the more you draw, the more you will be able to see the shapes of the shadows and the shapes of the highlights. Here, I have put down a map of where I see the shadows to be.
Next, I fill in the shadows with the darkest value from my pencil by using greater pressure in the shadow area. Next, I let up a bit on the pressure and scribble in some mid tones. Then, I use my eraser to suggest the highlights on the pears or "that" place where the light source is hitting the pears directly. By shading the pears like this you will be giving them shape and dimension.
Finally, there is a reflection onto the table below the pears (not all a shadow but mostly a reflection). The shadow for these pears is directly under the pears as the highlight indicates that the source light is coming from the front and above (follow me?). That is why I don't have uniform shading in the reflection, but if you don't want to add this, it doesn't really matter and entirely up to you.
There you go! Hope you enjoyed our Saturday Morning Skraw! I think next week we might try a landscape. How about it?