Friday, July 25, 2008

Crawl Before You Walk

If I'm to ever accomplish goal #7 - get a painting into a gallery - I'm going to have to start small and start now. With drawing. I'll get to painting once I've got this down. So I've started sketching and learning to draw properly using the 1979 best-seller Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Excellent book. According the author, Betty Edwards, drawing (meaning composing a realistic image with pencil or graphite on paper) can be taught just as reading and writing and arithmetic can be taught. She says there are five basic elements to drawing well:
  1. Perception of edges/contours
  2. Perception of shadows and light
  3. Perception of relationships - perspective and proportion
  4. Perception of space - positive and negative
  5. Perception of the "thingness" of the thing (huhwhat?)
Drawing the hand is supposedly one of the most difficult things to draw well, so of course Betty asks you to go ahead and do a sketch of your left hand. I think I have no real trouble with the perception of contour, but the shading is not right. Anyway, I'm only on lesson two in the book, which is on the perception of negative space. (Very Zen, all this "draw what is not there" stuff.)

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