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
Dynamic gesture drawing, demo and notes
In Dynamic Drawing one of the core ideas is the best way to learn to draw quickly with a fluid line and get greater control, is to spend time just practicing that! Pretty simple really. To facilitate that we have Live Dynamic Gesture Drawing, using moving rather than still subjects. The model repeatsContinue Reading
Six Rendering Modes
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.Continue Reading
Getting a grip!
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. [ezcol_1third] Your grip is hugely impactful on the kinds, quality, and range of lines and marks you can make as an artist. What theContinue Reading
Moving Subject Studies and Kimon Nicolaides
Posted here are two pages here from The Natural Way To Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. I recommend it, it’s a complete study guide including exercises & assignments! I own a copy today as does the school, I suggest taking a look at it. Nicolaides laid the ground work for a lot of ideas peopleContinue Reading
Notes from Force by Mike Mattesi!
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
Drawing from life : Music Dance and Theatre!
For a long time i’ve enjoyed trying to sketch at live shows, readings, cafe’s and parks, Plein Air sketching is a joy, and a fantastic way to learn and stretch yourself.Continue Reading
Don’t Fear Failure: learning from mistakes!
You will never get better, unless you make mistakes. So this comes up often in my class, it’s a universal obstacle to learning, and improving rapidly. This often leads to a lot of cautious, stiff, even scratchy lines when we draw too. The hesitation, not trusting your hand to do theContinue Reading
Deliberate Focused Practice
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.Continue Reading
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
Order & Chaos
Craft is when we do something well, knowledgeably. We all recognize it. It gets called talent a lot but in truth it’s always the result of practice. The application of craft.Continue Reading
Freehanding faux 5 point perspective city streets.
[ezcol_1third] I recorded doing some blocking out my perspective freehand in pencil, for one of the panels of my comic Dream Life. This is pretty much Single Point Perspective, but I exploited those curvilinear lines/angles I showed you in the cropped version [b] of the 5 point perspective grid [a]Continue Reading
Single point perspective in the films of Stanly Kubric
In this weeks class we’re introducing the principles of perspective, with an emphasis on using perceived/impressionistic rather than optical/mathematical applications in our art. But i Also wanted to make a point about the value of the humble single point perspective technique, and how in many cases it’s very powerful byContinue Reading
Patterns and drawing exercises, from basic to advanced!
Pattern & Rendering exercises. Your assignment is to gain a greater familiarity with patterns! Learn how each can be rendered, stylized, with a variety of drawing implements. I recommend you begin with pencil, crayon, brush, pen, even tablet if you plan to be using it. Do these digitally if that isContinue Reading
Notes from Peter Han on drawing exercises
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.Continue Reading
About line for tone & value.
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
Constructive drawing and Structure
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
An intro to the Pocket Brush, and Line Weight
To get a head start on this weeks class here’s a 10 min intro to this great little tool and some basic tips on using a brush to draw for those of you new to it. After this you might want to look at the pages on Pattern & RenderingContinue Reading
Informing your eye
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!Continue Reading
George Pratt working freehand in ink
George Pratt is one of the most impressive artists working today. This Academy Guy clip of him working on a movie poster and explaining it all as he goes is inspiring, and informative.Continue Reading
Applications of inking and wash techniques
To build on the introduction to brush and texture exercises i’ve put up already, I thought i’d record myself doing some work in ink and wash for you all to observe while explaining why I use what techniques I do when I do. There’s a 5 min time lapsed versionContinue Reading
Imposing the grid and thumbing it
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
Rule of 3rds – the golden mean!
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
Masters Studies and the Long Series!
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. [ezcol_1half] Subjects of study can be anything. Art by existing master’s’Continue Reading
Dynamic Drawing – Youtube clips slowed down
Moving bodies for moving lines “You should draw not what the thing looks like, not even what it is, but what it is doing…Gesture has no precise edges, no forms. The forms are in the act of changing. Gesture is movement in space.” ― Kimon Nicolaides This page is aContinue Reading
Tai Chi As Drawing Proprioception Tool
Greater Hand-Eye coordination via greater physical awareness and control [ezcol_1half] One of the tools I use in the classroom version of Dynamic Drawing is to basically recreate some of the revelatory experiences I had with doing things like dancing at a live event, and then sitting down and drawing othersContinue Reading
Light and Dark!
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
Virtual Plein Air – more spots!
Even more places to practice Virtual Plein Air! Read the first post on this topic here!Continue Reading
Virtual Plein Air
‘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
Basic anatomical study
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
Perspective Grid tutorials & downloads
A handy time saver when working in analog or digital mode, is to lay in under your art, a perspective grid to follow when drawing objects in space! I’ve made and used many over the years. To the right is one I found on google, looked up the site creditedContinue Reading
White paints & ink test!
I’m often asked by students what to use for corrections over ink… [ezcol_1half] Historically I’ve been a heavy user of Pelikan Graphic White, an artists’ Gouache i’ve relied on for over 20 years now! But, Pelikan has discontinued it, so I needed to find a new alternative to use bothContinue Reading
Tip Sheets for studying Drapery
[ezcol_1half] Drapery is a valuable area of observational art to study, given everyone tends to where clothes. That’s in fact not the only reason, but it’s a good one. Also in the context of Dynamic Drawings emphasis on gesture drawing, notably drapery forms often follow patterns that are very user-friendly forContinue Reading
The Detroit Industry fresco cycle by Diego Rivera
This incredible mural by Diego Rivera is an amazing study in composition and narrative art. The fantastic online resources provided by the DIA, include this great virtual extensive video tour of the work! I’ve made a playlist of all the clips below for ease of consumption but the mapped version on theirContinue Reading
Mid-ground rules & the walls bend and breathe
The bars never move. They establish a fixed mid ground. Your brain does the rest, accentuating awareness of the foreground, and background. And along with texture, lighting, and Bifocal Perceptual Curvilinear Perspective this is how to create dynamic, deep space in your art.Continue Reading
Doodling & Automatic Drawing
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
Dynamic Drawing : Drawing The Band
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. Continue Reading
Dynamic Drawing – Theatrical Combat Session
Actors Kristina San and Shawn Baichoo came and pretended to do grievous bodily harm to one another for our edification and then sat for a couple of more traditional long posses. This post is of a series of clips and photos to use for ongoing dynamic gesture studies.Continue Reading
Quick pose and anatomy resources online
[ezcol_1third] I’m a big proponent of practice and self directed learning. The way people get good is by doing with informed intent, and more you do that the better you get. Of course i’ve built in some tools in the form of these posts on the site here, andContinue Reading
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