After you have the structure, you need a skin. A lot of that is about lighting, and textures! In this post we’re going to focus on the Lighting! Lighting forms and shapes. Lighting is fairly simple really but it’s common for people to take a while getting into the habitContinue Reading

‘En plein air’, a French phrase meaning “open (in full) air” As a painting practice, for both the study and formal practice have really been around for a long time – painting live on location of various rural, scenic and urban subjects. – in the mid-19th century, working in natural lightContinue Reading

Understanding is key to confident drawing. You can try to fake it, but you’ll know if you are. There are no real short cuts to actually feeling confident. Secure in your own knowledge having actually done the work. So detailed studies of the human body are key to being able toContinue Reading

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Dynamic Drawing at Syn is build on the idea that deliberate focused practice on discrete skills is better than trying to learn by doing whole drawings, straight through from start to finish, aspiring in each one to some kind of perfect finish.

Several of these tip sheets came from Lesson Nine: Cloths and Folds, “Famous Artists Cartoon Course“. And one of the examples here, is “Some Notes on Drapery” by FUNKYMONKEY1945 on deviantart. And a few of these are from creativespotlite.com’s Free Drawing and Sketching Lesson post here. Also looking around I found a nice setContinue Reading

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If the marks we make are just random, we would not have art. Just a mess. Modeled drawings can be Gestures, made of Continuous Lines. It creates a very distinctive stylistic difference, if your drawings do or don’t use Contours. But Identifying each and learning them separately lets us be conscious of their individual traits; intentional about how we combine them; or if we choose to do so at all.

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You’ll notice in my posts here, and in class, I keep stressing practice, repetition, doing many interactions, drawing a lot. One can never stress enough the single biggest “secret” to drawing well is drawing often. You also need to know how to study, and have a reason to do allContinue Reading

A fun way to practiceis to just doodle! I prescribe it wholeheartedly and it isn’t just goofing off. I’ve kept many sketchbooks over the years and often half or more of the pages are filled with random bits of mind wonderings. It’s a great meditative practice to blank your brain, don’tContinue Reading

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Anyone able to hold a tool and make marks can learn to draw, and make more skilled marks. But how you hold your tools does matter. Remember, continuous strokes, unending lines. Move steadily, as fast as you can comfortably. Don’t worry about end results, focus on the action of drawing.Continue Reading

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Mike Mattesi has a fantastic take on capturing a dynamic line and form in his work and great notes to accompany his examples. The book is well worth owning! I’m just missing the middle child in his main trilogy myself. Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, and Force: Animal Drawing: Animal locomotion and design concepts forContinue Reading

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Pattern & Rendering exercises. Ok, let’s start with the basics! The following are exercises–starting with very simple hatching and patterns in pencil, then brush and pen. And with increasing complexity and diversity–may seem simplistic but they are important to improving coordination and hand-eye control. The more you do them the fasterContinue Reading

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The chalk trails of Peter Han. A talented designer who teaches for CG Master Academy in New Westminster BC. He gives good demos containing many compatible ideas with our class’s approach to drawing. watch, think, try his methods. Many of these exercises are the same as those i’ll be teaching.

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About line for tone & value, cross hatching, contours, and to follow surface or not. In the this post, I introduce basic feathering, hatching, cross hatching & basket weaves as part of your regular practice regime. We’re going to explore hear how you can use them. The idea using them to doContinue Reading

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A lot of what makes our work is Design: Designing the picture plane = composition. Designing the form = how we use structure, surface, texture &, lighting! STRUCTURE. Remember this handout from the start of our classes? It shows the range of techniques for drawing the human body, from abstract gesture, to contourContinue Reading

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The study of the natural & built environment! It’s obvious of course, why we study Anatomy the human body in order to draw it. Likewise its essential to study our built environment, it’s anatomy and design, in order to render it. And the greater natural world as well!

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Artists have been using mechanical aides since the beginning. Variations on the idea go all the way back to the Egyptian ‘canon of proportions’. Grinds are a classic way to break down the picture plane, compose space, alter and record it. Archaeologists use them too, in order to document the spatial relationshipsContinue Reading

The combination of musical rhythm and a moving subject that tends to move in predictable and interesting ways makes doing live studies of musicians an entertaining way to learn about body language and rhythm. Adam Cantor modeled for us, and returned with guests Russell Simco on the fiddle, and band mate Jonathan Furze on guitar.

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In class 3 we talk about some basic compositional rules. The Rule of 3rds – the golden mean; Lead room; Geometry and symmetry; Rule of odds; & Simplification! And how those ideas and other lend contribute fundamental elements of what makes for dynamic art. To illustrate applications of the Rule of 3rds,Continue Reading

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Doing formal studies and serial studies of both live subjects and other artists work is a core learning tool! The goal is to have fun while systematically refining our skills and broadening our visual vocabulary. Related: Exercises like pattern work and gesture studies. I’ll be adding new proposals for exercise constraints here over time. AContinue Reading

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In my post IMPOSING THE GRID, I mentioned the Renaissance invention of Drawing Engines, grids of wire or string used by artists to observe and analyze their subject in order to render them more accurately. This came into use around the same time as modern Linear Perspective, as pioneered by Brunelleschi.Continue Reading