Make Your Own Drawing Space!
Let's start by calling this your own "Drawing Space". Knowing where the boundaries or edges to the drawing are hopefully will free you to feel more comfortable when you start to draw. This is a self-determined space with it's own height and width. When you make small drawings it is easy to see your whole drawing at once because it is smaller and more condensed for now. The whole drawing -- everything within your "drawing space" is called a composition. In smaller compositions all elements of the composition are more closely related because they share a small space.
So with respect to the paper that you are drawing on -- let's begin by making a custom space for you to draw inside. You can use any paper and any pencil. You don't need special drawing paper or special drawing pencils. For now, with a standard pencil you can press to make your marks darker and draw with less pressure to make lighter marks with your pencil. I am using a darker drawing pencil here to make darker marks so that you can easily see my marks. This drawing pencil that I am using is called a 6B - you don't need this for now but you may enjoy it sooner or later.
Draw your "drawing space" in the center or the middle of your paper and leave plenty of plain paper all around the sides of your rectangle. Don't use the edge of your paper as one or two sides of your rectangle. This would cause you to put your box in a corner - and you want the box in the middle of the paper with plenty of blank paper all around. For now, just draw one rectangle per piece of paper rather than several rectangles on one piece of paper. Don't worry about using up too much paper -- your learning is worth multiple sheets of paper. If you want, you can use the blank sides of recycled pieces of paper.
Let's make our first of several of these now. We will use one sheet of paper -- and just one side for each shape that we draw that we are now calling your "drawing space". Keep the size of your rectangle no larger than the palm of your hand. Again, don't use the edge of your paper for one or two sides of your rectangle. Keep your rectangles floating in the center of your paper. Also, for now, don't draw several rectangles on one piece of paper. Again, just draw one rectangle per piece of paper with lots of space around the rectangle.
Make your own free form format and still center it too in the middle of your paper and make it not much bigger than the palm of a large hand.
For drawing a vertical rectangle you may want to change the direction of your paper to the vertical position. This way your paper is higher than it is wide. I did not do this in the adjacent video but it is a good practice to do this -- or at least be aware of the direction that you paper is positioned. The vertical format is called a portrait format. When drawing a portrait often the paper or canvas is turned so that it is HIGHER or more VERTICAL than it is wide. We will repeat drawing a rectangle in the center of our paper not much larger than the palm of our hand. It will float in the center, be the only rectangle on the paper and be surrounded on all sides by plain paper. This time it is a portrait or vertical format rather than a horizontal or landscape format.
Making many, many repetitions is the way we learn.
So that you don't think that all drawings and paintings must be made on or in squares or rectangles we will also create a free form or non-rectangular format. Starting to work with this now will allow you to experiment with this non-rectangular format from the beginning. You could also make holes or open shapes or spaces in the body of the format. You can make the edges of your more wild format with curved and straight lines or only straight lines with different angles or you can only use curved lines without any straight lines. Sometimes these formats are called (in paintings) shaped paintings or sometimes these formats are said to be "organic". Nothing is very standard in the terms that are used for these "irregular" formats -- and the formats are not standard!
Make your own free form format now. Draw it in the center of your paper and again make it not much bigger than the palm of a large hand or the size of a smaller hand.
Here I'm using a straight edge again -- but not in a precise way and the format is closer to being square.
Here IS a smallish format. It is not very high but it IS fairly wide. How would you describe this format? Is it a horizontal and thus landscape format? Or, would you say that it is a vertical and thus portrait format??? I'm sure that you know that answer. But it is a good idea to use and repeat what you are learning often. Learning accurate art language will help you be able to use the specific art words in your own self-talk when you are looking at and thinking about your work.
When you begin to talk to other artists, designers, children or gallery people -- you will be able to communicate with them more easily using simple art terms or simple terms to say what you mean about visual media.
With a lightly drawn format I went in and added a wall-to-wall design (wall-to-wall so far is NOT an art term). I wanted to show you that the edges of the format are easy to see when you DRAW inside the lightly drawn format. Now you can discover this for yourself by drawing any way your want INSIDE your FORMATS! Take your drawings past where you might have stopped before by drawing as much as you can from edge to edge filling the WHOLE of the format with many marks, lines and what you might call "shading in". You can use patterns and little symbols or "real" stuff or lines -- whatever you feel like drawing and experimenting with in this moment. Remember this is all for you to begin to experience drawing and to gain some "low stakes" experience that doesn't have to be anything or turn out in a certain way. This is just the beginning of learning to draw. Be sure not to harshly judge what you do and be open and accepting of what you do draw NO MATTER HOW IT TURNS OUT. Think of this beginning lesson as and a great start along a well crafted drawing path. Faithfully taking this path will create in you some easy and eventually advanced drawing skills along the way. The key is to play and be easy with yourself and your expectations.
This compositional sketch uses similar subject matter but the format is changed to a horizontal or landscape format. The placement of the table is different and there is a darker value around the window behind the table. The lighting or illumination is fairly consistent with the way it works overall with each element. The window is moved over to the back RIGHT side of the format. This indicates or shows how the light from the window comes from behind and a bit towards the right and thus casts shadows more towards the LEFT. Notice that with our shadows moving down towards the LEFT we get some good diagonal lines or implied diagonal lines.
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Copyright 2010 Margaret Welty. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to link to this site, information or to quote WITH author notation: "From the Drawing Free Ezine Created by Margaret Welty at www.drawingfree.com".
DRAWING FREE - ART FROM THE START
Presented by Margaret Welty and the Drawing Dog
Each lesson presented in the Drawing Free Ezine gives you ways to massage your own neurological white matter to further form and train your ever transitioning ART BRAIN. Remember that the key is to DRAW, play and be easy with yourself. Eliminate any unrealistic expectations and judgements about your work. Work to be happy while you draw! Draw like a child with no expectations beyond your current beginner's brain, eyes, hands and heart. Orient your focus toward the fascination that consumes a small child upon discovering that she can make her own marks appear. Make your own marks appear!!
Create a chance to draw. Draw every chance you get.
Make a space to draw. Draw in every space you make.