Saturday, November 26, 2011

Important things from I have learned from Drawing 100: Introduction

 EDIT: Just a few changes made (citing the sources for the two worksheets), sorry for the delay.

One of the first classes I took at SCAD is Drawing 100, a class that focused on teaching students how to use basic skills and techniques used in creating wonderful pieces of artwork.  These skills and techniques include using contour lines and cross-contours to describe the form of an object in space, and using the theory of chiaroscuro to show how light and shadow on an object, and how to use simple but important tools like the viewfinder and thumbnail to analyze the composition.

From a viewpoint of my animation major, the skills and techniques taught in this class are very important in creating storyboards, designing characters, creating a layout or a setting, and so much more.  Even though I had experience in other art classes before this one, I still need to refresh my artistic skills to become a better artist and to develop into an amazing animator.  I'll say, one of the most important things in developing my skills is drawing what I see, not what I think or know.  In other words, I need to observe the world around me.

Drawing from life helps refine my understanding of how I draw my fantasy creatures and also encouraged me to draw other subject like people, inanimate objects, and animals.  Drawing from life also helps me to recognize shapes, patterns, and proportions in my subjects.  By using sighting and measuring techniques, I can establish an object or two on a page and use parts of that object to help me find the proportions of other objects.  I often draw boxes around some of the objects as long as the boxes have the height and width of the object.

Original thumbnail sketch showing objects drawn in boxes.  The thumbnail is useful in figuring out how a composition looks before drawing the final artwork which is featured in my last post.

This is extremely helpful in sighting and measuring objects in perspective.  Knowing that an objects' edges recede in space, I can measure the height and width of a subject in perspective and draw it according to what perspective I see it in.  I use boxes once again to draw around the subject, but this time in one or two perspective.

1. According Professor Clifford, this worksheet shows different scenarios for objects in two point and one point perspective.

Drawing ellipses, circles in perspective, were difficult at first because they almost appear to be 2-dimensional.  I use the same boxes with the ellipses' height and width.  To get a perfect ellipse I bisect the boxes to find its horizontal and vertical axis and use them to create a smooth ellipse.

2. A worksheet by Zimmer, copyright 5-2-01.  The author show how to draw different ellipses correctly.

Another important thing I learned in class is creating a composition which demonstrates an inventive use of the picture plane (your canvas, paper, etc.) and use a variety of lines, rhythm, and scale.  The composition is the inventive organization and arrangement of design elements: line, shape, texture, color, and space.  In Drawing 100, we draw still life objects we assembled ourselves or a group of objects the teacher installed in the class room. 

Drawing still life art may sound boring but if we create a composition that engages the viewer by a using movement, rhythm, and scale.  We didn't just draw a cup, water bottle, and an apple; we drew a clutter of random objects of different shapes, texture, and sizes.  We use a 3x21/2in viewfinder, a scaled downed version of our 18x24in paper, to select a grouping of objects within the still life.  Then we draw the subjects in a 3x21/2in thumbnail to analyze the composition.  From the thumbnail I can see which areas are faster or slower, which objects have vertical, diagonal, or horizontal lines, and if I'm doing a value drawing, which local values of each objects are affected by different lighting conditions. 

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