Welcome to Week Two!
This week is all about values. They can really make or break your contour drawings as you saw in class and can review on this page.
Some of you found the grid drawing difficult and frustrating. This is a good sign! There is no growth without effort, and we are trying to accomplish in 5 sessions what takes years to develop for most people. Crash Course is in the title of this course, expect to "crash" but know that you can recover. Time and again you will have to trust your eyes, shut down the subvocalizations and concentrate on graphemes. Simple, but not easy. In almost every case that I have seen in 10+ years of teaching this course, the difficulties arise because the artist is naming objects in their minds as they draw, and do not use the non-latent words. This is the single most important thing I can teach you, please don't think you can "out-think" your latent images. You can't. You have to give your mind clear instructions. If you see and say "ear" in your mind, that is exactly what it will try to draw, the latent image that it has stored away and not the ear you are attempting to draw.
The PDF presentation contains the homework assignment and a bit of information on shadows. Enjoy the assignment and contact me if you have any questions.
Folding the Grid
This is a quick simple method to fold the subject of your drawing and your drawing paper. This will ensure that your grid is in proportion to your drawing though you might find the bottom row will have a little more or a little less than the subject if the two do not have the same ratio.
If you want to keep your drawing clean, you can fold an extra blank sheet of paper and then transpose the measurements to draw light lines on your final sheet. These light lines are easier to get rid of than folds- simply erase. Use your HB pencil for the light lines and your initial contours. Remember that many of the contour lines will most likely not appear in the finished drawings as they will be blended and refined along the way.
Contours and Values
Click through the different images on the left. You will quickly see something very similar in each face. They were all drawn from the same initial contour drawing. The only difference is the width, value, position and shape of the shading applied to each drawing.
Notice how the different values create the depth and volume of each part of the face. See how the nose changes from long and thin to a rounder shape. Notice how the chin shifts from pointy to rounder. See how eyes change depth. See how the facial expression varies. See how the personalities change.
This demonstrates the infinite variations that can be applied to contour lines, in this case, the exact same contour lines.
When you are creating the contour lines for your drawings, keep this in mind. It is easy to get frustrated mid-process because the drawing just "doesn't look right." Realize that your contours will change radically as you adjust the grey.
To find flaws in your drawing (hopefully before you've gone this far) hold the image in front of a mirror periodically while you work on your drawing.
Flipped, we can see some flaws that were not as apparent before we reversed the image.
We see that the eyes, eyebrows and nostrils are not well aligned.
The same for the mouth, what happened there?
And these are just some of the shadows that are bugging me, they make the image look flatter than it should.
Just for kicks, through the magic of Photoshop, I made just a few changes, the eyes and mouth are still a bit off, but hopefully you get the idea, the mirror is a powerful tool, especially if you do not wait to use it at the end!
Here is the image, back in it's initial orientation with some of those features straightened out. Still wonky, but less wonky.
Graphite Values Palette
Feel free to print out more palettes and practice getting the darkest to lightest tone with each of the tools. Keep in mind, the higher the B's go, the darker they should appear, 4B should be much darker than an HB overall. The objective is not to get the different tools to match, but to see the difference in value so you can make better choices when comparing this value sheet to a black and white photograph.
This short video walks you through the sample grid drawing exercise but with more step-by-step examples, from contour to values and several stages of refinement.