Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Drawing Tutorial 06 - Tools

After talking about lights and shadows, I wanted to examine a natural pre-requisite of it all in more detail. (QUI la versione in Italiano)
It might seem to be an obvious excursion, but I feel it a necessary one to take before moving onto other subjects such as coloring. I am talking about how to handle a brush or a pencil.
Another reasons for this post is a comment someone made about the way I as a left-handed person hold the pencil not to blur my own drawing out when I pass over it.
Everyone has a personal style, no matter if your are right or left handed: I have seen great artists draw and said to myself "how can they do that?". Personal preferences aside, there are a few rules you should be following and of course break at will later on.

First, you should never rest your wrist on the table while you draw: it is not only good to avoid leaving smudges on your drawing if you are left-handed, but
it also allows you a greater range of motion. Pivoting on your wrist, allows you to cover a much smaller area compared to what you can reach using your whole arm. I have not always followed this rule in the previous tutorials, but I can say this to my credit: in order to shoot the tutorial videos, I needed to keep the paper on the table still and I would stop it from moving around using my hand. I tend to move the paper around quite a bit when I draw.
Second, in order to paint or draw strokes that are as smooth and loose as possible, you should drag the brush or the pencil and not push it forward on the paper. This will reduce the friction the paper between drawing surface and pencil for example and give you an even higher degree of motion over your canvas. These rules can be even more critical when you talk about brushes: you just cannot rest on the surface when the paint is not dry yet: for this very purpose, there are special sticks you can stick on the canvas which have a special padded surface for you to rest your arm while you paint. It becomes very useful when you have a long and detailed work to do and each stroke is small and restricted to a small portion of the canvas.
Normally, you hold round brushes just above the little iron ring, where the handle is wider, while you tend to hold flat brushes a bit higher than that, where the handle is starting to get wider and wider.
Another good rule of thumb with brushes is to never load more than 2/3 of tip of with color: the iron ring portion should never get color smudges on it no matter the technique you are employing (watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache). So, please, do not abuse the poor brush by pushing it hard on the canvas as if it were a screwdriver, but delicately dip the tip in the paint and gently lay it on the surface. Well, feel free to knock your brush around and get some color on your clothes if you are putting a new coat of paint on your walls or an old object you want to fix: even with all the care in the world, you often end up working in strange and uncomfortable positions and the paint will inexorably drip everywhere.

To view the other tutorials click HERE

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