The Artist's First Steps

 

A Blog Featuring Established Technique and Original Approaches to Get You Started in Drawing from Observation

#025 Why Leading the Eye with Three or More Objects Makes a Difference

2021 drawing lessons Jul 26, 2021
 

Hi! 

Have you ever thought of what makes a drawing good. Well, it's lots of things, but good composition (arrangement of the pieces) is a big part of it. One object may be uninteresting because we look at it for a few moments and then we are finished. But when we introduce three or more objects to our drawings our eyes are fixed on the picture longer. This is because our eyes move from one object to the next. As our eyes move around the picture our attention is focused on it for a longer period. Today you will have the opportunity to try this our for yourself. 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, author of ARTistic Pursuits.

 

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

  • One object causes us to fix our eyes on it only.
  • Two objects cause us to bounce back and forth between the two - a bit tiring. 
  • Three objects cause us to rotate around the pieces and holds our attention for a longer period. 
  • Cut or break objects to see what's inside and add even more interest to the...
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#024 How Negative Shapes Improve the Accuracy of a Drawing

2021 drawing lessons Jul 19, 2021
 

Hi! 

Here we examine the space between objects and the space around objects - the negative shapes. Watch as I demonstrate how this focus on shape makes all the difference! 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, author of ARTistic Pursuits.

 

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

  • A shape is made when a line is drawn around the edge of the object.
  • Finding clues that suggest distance
  • Looking at the space between and outside the edges of our buffalo
  • The shapes and spaces that are not the buffalo are the negative shapes and spaces and can help us to draw more accurately.

 

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#023 How to Navigate a Face with Construction Lines

2021 drawing lessons Jul 12, 2021
 

Hi! 

Here we look at how we can use construction lines to show the form of a head, just as we used them to map out the distances of a pot in Lesson #018. Watch as I draw my face and demonstrate how construction lines make all the difference! 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, author of ARTistic Pursuits.

 

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

  • How a head is formed
  • Where to draw the vertical and horizontal construction lines
  • Where to place major features of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and hairline 

 

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#022 Why Overlap Creates a Believable Illusion of Space

2021 drawing lessons Jul 05, 2021
 

Hi!

Today we look at ways of arranging a group of two objects so that they most clearly show the illusion of space. Why is this important? Because our drawing does not have three dimensional space like the real world. Instead, it is an illusion of space. We create this illusion in different ways: 

I want to remind those of us that are older, to be considerate of younger students. Younger students are still approaching the drawing process in a different way and prefer to show the entirety of each object. This is just fine. Everyone, no matter their age or ability, should be able to draw in the ways that make most sense to them. When you are ready to use the topics in this lesson, you will enjoy drawing this way!

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, Author of ARTistic Pursuits.

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

1. Objects sit higher up on the horizontal plane when they are in the distance or behind another object. Lower on the horizontal plane means that the object is up close.

...

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#021 Aggregate Shape - The Shape That Goes Around Everything

2021 drawing lessons Jun 28, 2021
 

Hi!

Today we will look at the darkness that a few different kinds of pencils make, including a good quality #2 writing pencil. 

We will look at the first part of the drawing process! You'll find out why you may not want to finish a small part of the drawing and then work out from there as a type of drawing process. Instead we use a special shape that contains all the small parts and will ensure that the objects will fit well within the space of the page. 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, Author of ARTistic Pursuits.

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

1. Soft pencils make a darker mark and are used near the end of the drawing to create contrast with the white of the paper.

2. Hard pencils make a lighter mark and are used and the beginning of a drawing so that those first lines can be erased easily.

3. How to use an aggregate shape to ensure that the objects within the still-life fit into the space of the page. 

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#020 How to Draw Same Size to Improve Visual Skills

Uncategorized Jun 21, 2021
 

Hi!

Today we will expand our ideas of what to draw by looking at objects from different angles. I want to emphasize that there are always options in art. Each person is an individual and will want to make a plan that fits their personality and drawing style.

I want to remind our older students that these simple types of assignments are the types of activities that adult artists use in order to keep their eye and hand coordination on target and their skills sharp. 

I want to remind our younger students that your drawings are beautiful. Don't compare what you can do with my drawings or the drawings of others in your family. I love what you see. I love what you draw. We all draw differently and that's the beauty of art. I love the art that you create!

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, Author of ARTistic Pursuits.

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

1. Drawing from memory is limited.

2. Each object is a subject for drawing and each can be seen in many ways: angles,...

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#019 Building the Organic Object with Shapes

2021 drawing lessons Jun 14, 2021
 

Hi! 

I'm so glad you've joined me for our third drawing lesson of Summer 2021. Many objects in our homes and in the world of nature can be drawn using a combination of simple shapes like circles, ovals, rectangles, and triangles. As you analyze an object that you've chosen, look for shapes. These shapes will not be perfect geometric shapes, but will vary from those types of shapes. These are called natural or organic shapes. 

 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, author of ARTistic Pursuits.  [email protected]

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

  • Learning to draw anything you are looking at. Real objects give us more information and details.
  • Looking for shapes in a natural object with parts. 
  • Use big general shapes. Refine the shapes by adding details. 

 

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#018 When Construction Lines Help

2021 drawing lessons Jun 07, 2021
 

Hi! 

I'm so glad you've joined me for our second lesson of Summer 2021. I hope that in each drawing you make, you worry less about mistakes and you go for it in what appears to be an effortless way as you start your drawing with a plan.

I want you to keep that attitude as you delve into drawing more deeply. Today we will look at drawing construction lines. Construction lines are not lines that we see. They are a way of drawing more accurately by what we know about a round object like a vase.  

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis, author of ARTistic Pursuits.  [email protected]

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER

  • You can find your own problem areas in your art and make the changes in those areas to get your artwork back on track. 
  • How construction lines help us build the object more accurately.
  • Locating distance from center to the left and right sides.

 

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#017 Drawing Better Vertical Lines, Horizontal Lines, and Ovals Too!

2021 drawing lessons May 31, 2021
 

Hi,

I'm so glad you've joined me this summer for our first lesson of 2021. Children to adults can sometimes be tripped up by the first steps to drawing from observation. I'll discuss ways of drawing that will help you get those first lines on paper with ease. Yes, I truly think you can greatly improve your skills in drawing in just one summer. Once we understand the underlying construction used to turn a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional drawing, we can focus on those practices in drawing that take us to our desired goal. 

I can't tell you how important drawing is. Any fully-rendered, shaded drawing or colorful painting relies completely on those first lines that you put onto the paper. If your line drawing is off, no amount of shading or coloring will make that better. That's why I'm starting at the beginning by showing ways of constructing or structuring the objects in your drawings. 

Enjoy Drawing!

Brenda Ellis

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL...

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#016 Flipping our Thinking - Flipping the Drawing

Uncategorized Aug 17, 2020
 

Hi! 

I'm so glad you've joined me for our final drawing lesson of Summer 2020. I'm so proud of you for drawing so many different types of objects this summer. I know that some of them were perhaps a challenge, but you tried them anyway. You worry less about mistakes and you go for it in what appears to be an effortless way as you start your drawing with a plan.

I want you to keep that attitude as you delve into drawing more deeply, getting past first lines, and exploring other topics like texture, values, and shading within our books. You might even add color and paint to your line drawings using one of our books on color. Whatever kind of art you make, it most likely starts with a line drawing. Now I'm sure you feel more confident in making that drawing because you've done it again and again, making the neural pathway for drawing easier and smoother. 

Be sure to write to me and let me know how this series has affected your drawing or share any ideas that you'd like...

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