Fittingly placed at the end of the “Drawing Secrets Revealed” series, “Elements of Composition” punctuates all the concepts presented in the series with terrific tips and “secrets” for identifying and arranging interesting, compelling compositions to draw or paint. Even having all your drawing skills mastered is no guarantee that viewers will be arrested by your work. This lesson gives you the tools to accomplish this!
Posts in category DSR 1.0 Lessons
This is a concept that most teachers will present at the front end of their instruction, but I have it toward the end because there is a necessary foundation you must build before you can proficiently incorporate perspective. It is essential, but through my years of training and learning, I have come to the conclusion that perspective is better taught after more foundational principles. If you have any interest at all in including landscapes, cityscapes, or any kind of architecture in your drawings, this lesson is an absolute MUST.
Drawing on the concept of gridding presented in the last lesson, this lesson will show you in detail how to apply that technique to the human face. The demonstrations in this lesson will focus heavily on values but will also bring in materials other than simply graphite pencils and white paper as well as techniques on shading and highlighting.
I believe it’s important to have the previous concepts introduced before bringing in this particular technique of gridding because using a grid can very easily become a crutch that artists depend too heavily upon. But while you’re learning to really analyze a subject, it is a useful technique to use because it trains your eyes to identify the shapes and lines of a subject. Eventually, you’ll wean yourself off of a grid to use just a horizontal and vertical axis line. But I think you’ll be really pleased with the accuracy of your details using a grid in this lesson and the next.
The driving motivation of many would-be artists to begin learning how to draw is they dream of drawing or painting portraits. Human subjects can be so interesting because few other subjects present so many rich emotions or fascinating characteristics for artists to capture. This lesson really helps you analyze any human face by presenting a general pattern to go by in rendering a likeness.
Understanding and incorporating relative proportions is how you draw realistic subjects. If you use other concepts covered in this series but don’t master relative proportions, your drawings will still appear amateurish. By understanding this technique, you will be able to realistically render any composition, from very small to enormous, from a sleeping kitten to a city skyline.
Action and gesture drawings are some of the most fun, exciting drawing exercises you’ll encounter. Just remember, this lesson is NOT about creating a finished drawing. It is to show you how to invest movement, life, and vigor into an unmoving drawing on a piece of paper. It provides a base on which to build a realistic figure and helps you to see the core of movement in any subject.
This is one of the most important lessons of the entire course. Even with paintings, the values make up the realistic highlights and shadows, but this is especially true of black-and-white pencil drawings. Inaccurate values are a sure sign of amateur work, but if you take your time to master the concepts presented in this lesson, you’ll have taken a big leap forward in producing beautiful, realistic work!