## Outdoor Sketching

In the afternoon following the figure drawing lesson, we headed to HASS to do some outdoor sketching and to understand the theories of perspective better. Prof demonstrated how he construct a sketch using one-point and two-point perspectives.

For one-point perspectives, there are two pairs of parallel lines, each pair established by joining the lines extended from the vanishing point; for two-point, there is one pair.

By determining the lines of building structures that are parallel, we can leverage on that foundation to draw the basic structures of the building.

Prof told us to always focus on the big picture first: draw out the general structure before filling in the details. Should we rush into the details and the details aren’t drawn accurately, this will subsequently affect all other structures.

Prof also mentioned that in the scenario where the perspective is particularly hard to construct (or if we are simply lazy or bad at perspective drawing), we can make use of space to cover up our weakness by placing smaller structures in front of bigger ones so that the edges of the buildings are obscured.

These are some sketches that I made that day:

I wasn’t overly rigid in my drawing in the sense that I was quite loose with plotting the construction lines. I merely got a general sense of the direction of the line and went ahead to draw it out. I guess judging by the conceptual (focus more on form) vs perceptual (focus more on what you see) distinction that Prof mentioned, I belong to the latter.

## Figure drawing 2

Second figure drawing session!

Today we dealt with Chiaroscuro, learning to deal with light and shadows and knowing how to demarcate edges of a form just by playing around with tone.

Some quick sketches we did as warm up to try portraying the figure using different tones:

There isn’t quite enough tonal ranges in these sketches, but I did get a rough idea of what we are supposed to learn here.

1.5h sketch:Here, we first smeared the background with charcoal so that it is mid-tone black and then brought out the human form by using an eraser. This exercise helps us to identify the brightest and darkest parts of the human figure, and this aids us in elucidating the form accurately.

My figure is too small again….. Somehow I cannot visualise how the figure will translate on the paper, and so I couldn’t estimate the size of the drawing. Here I think I managed to mark out the form of the body quite clearly (other than the hands which I casually skipped). Some shadows are too sharp (like the one at the model’s right shadow) and some edges are rather weird (e.g. the left arm). I am very happy with the model’s left leg though!! I thought it turned out quite well :>

However, I wasn’t very successful with capturing the mood. Even though the background shades vary in tone, they don’t really give you the idea that there is some sort of air flow or movement at the back. They literally just look like different blocks of different shades in the background. I should work on this more in the future.

## Figure Drawing 1

In the third week of school, we are already working on nude figure drawing! I was quite surprised as I thought we would be working more on still-life setups as well as learn the human anatomy before actual moving on to real life models.

I thought that Prof’s method of teaching was quite effective. For basics, he instructed us to focus on the torso and taught us to construct its shape by using two boxes — one representing the upper body while the other representing the pelvis.

For the upper body box, the upper edge is to be extended from the hollow located along the clavicles (collarbone) at the top of the shoulder while the bottom edge is to be aligned with the ends of the ribcage.

For the pelvis box, three points are to be first identified: two points at the ends of the iliac crest and one at the pubic bone.

Iliac crest:

Interestingly, when a human is standing, the upper box will be tilting backwards instead of being upright or inclining forward. This is often overlooked, even when I tried to sketch later on.

Easier said than done! Even though the theory sounds extremely simple, when I tried applying it I found that just getting the proportions of the boxes right is a big enough headache. It is difficult to pinpoint from the nude model where the boxes starts and ends and what their orientation in space is.

Quick sketches I did:

Proportions feel rather off here. Also, I did not know that the boxes should be rectangular instead of taking a trapezium shape. In the bottom right sketch, I was confused by the twisted torso of the model and thought that my boxes should be distorted as well. However, Prof told us later that we should be thinking of the boxes themselves as representing immovable blocks (we can’t twist our ribcage or pelvis after all). What gives rise to the idea of the ‘twist’ is by displacing the alignment of the top and bottom box.

We sketched for longer periods after:

I realise I have this very bad habit of sketching the model too small…

I hope there’s a lot more figure drawing sessions to come because it feels like it is very hard to master and will require loads of practice. Hopefully, through better understanding of the human anatomy and techniques to figure drawing, I will get better and faster and more confident at it :)

## Foundation drawing: tones and textures

This week, we worked with charcoal to learn about textures and tones in a drawing.

Texture:

Since drawings are 2d, we can only create the illusion of texture by manipulating light. For smooth surfaces, there will be a smooth graduation from light to dark; for rough surfaces, there will be sharp contrasts of light.

Tone:

Varying tones is crucial feature to have in order to bring life to a drawing. Objects have no outline in reality – hence for realistic drawing, it does not make sense to have clearly delineated outlines. Hence, without outlines, the only way to portray an object will be to describe it based on its tones and how it behaves under light.

Takeaways from Prof’s demonstration of a rainy day:

• The importance of creating a delusion, and acquiring the know-how. In a rainy day, there are no sharp shadows due the diffusion of light from the rain droplets, the ground, the walls, etc. As sunlight is still the main source of light (other sources including street lights/ lights in buildings), the ground (horizontal surfaces) will reflect the most light among all surfaces. Additionally, due to the reflection of light among rain droplets, the further the distance, the brighter it will appear. Hence, in a rainy scene, furthest objects will appear the brightest.
• Prof barely drew any details, yet we could tell that it is a rainy day. We could make out the forms of the cars, the people, the umbrellas….. with minimal strokes. This goes to show the importance of light and dark in a drawing – they make all the differences

We had a chance to draw a still life set up. Here is my from the session:

I am not foreign to the use of charcoal, however I had some troubles adapting to the paper I was using which was somehow quite different from what I’ve used in the past. For examples, I found that it was more difficult to erase and get a sharp edge. Also, the charcoal does not seem to adhere to the paper – when I rub on the charcoal with my fingers, the tone lightens immensely more than I intend.

I think it can be quite distinctly observed that the quality of drawing drops from the right towards the left (excluding the crumpled paper texture). This is because I am a rather slow worker. Thus I was drawing at a more comfortable pace at the start and spent a lot of time on the glass bottle. However as more and more time passed, I was pressurised to work quicker, and the rushed drawings do not fare so well.

Tones

For the ceramics, it was very difficult to capture their tones because the change in tone is very subtle under the diffused studio lighting. Prof mentioned that it was very important to ensure that the darkest parts of the ceramics are lighter than the darkest parts of the darker objects.

For the kettle, I think that my tones are changing too abruptly and the contrast is too large. Also, each band of tone (which I drew as a flat solid colour) should have a gradual change in tone within itself.

For the crumpled paper (in the background), while I did not have enough time to work on them, the portion that I did draw is too dark and the tones too flat.

Texture

Again, I found it more difficult to work with the ceramics – their textures are so hard to capture! Reflections on the kettle and glass bottle are a lot more straightforward because each change of tone is very clean and distinct. Since their surfaces are smooth, all I had to focus on was the reflection.

Drawing

Even though this lesson did not focus on the drawing itself, I find that my proportions and perspectives are rather poorly done – especially the eclipses.

Personally, I love drawing. I would love to attend more drawing sessions and improve as much as possible.

## Foundation Drawing lesson 1

Hello, I’m Yu Qing :) I graduated from Hwa Chong Junior College and was from the science stream. I do not have any formal art background, but I like to draw and doodle since young, so it’s really great that ADM has a foundation drawing class to help me get my basics right. As I plan to major in animation, I feel that acquiring strong drawing skills will be very beneficial. I hope to make the very best out of this class in this semester!

For our first Foundation Drawing class, our prof introduced a style of sketching that he would like us to have a go at. It is rather charming – instead of drawing objects in isolation and being obsessed with bringing out its form, his way of sketching is a lot looser.

• Scenes are to be looked at in the overall perspective.
• The sketch is primarily concerned with the interplay of positive and negative spaces.
• There need not be any clear boundary of whatever we were drawing, we can simply allow one object flow to the next.

I feel that our prof’s demonstration drawing is very ‘fluid’, natural, and somehow visually comfortable. One table can morph into another table in the back, yet the front is represented by positive space while the latter negative.

Shortly after, we went down to Canteen 2 to do some sketching! Prof suggested we apply quick strokes when we are confident and slow down when we are not.

This was the very first sketch I made. I feel like I didn’t understand what Prof was trying to tell us. My sketch remains too clean and I was shading into spaces quite arbitrarily.