Monthly Archives: February 2016

Seize The Drawing Moment

  1. Carry a sketchbook with you at all times. Seize the drawing moment!
  2. Make a specific time each week for drawing (each day if you can) to draw. Keep this time sacrosanct and don’t let it be hijacked by chores, friends or family. Even 15 minutes will make a difference.
  3. Book a workshop or a class. Mixing with like-minded people can be really motivating. If you can’t do something regularly perhaps attend a one-day or residential workshop. Check out your local museums for classes – they often run drawing events for adults. Check their ‘What’s On’ and book early as they are often over-subscribed.
  4. If you are not near any museums, look online – there are some fantastic e-groups out there where like-minded people from all corners of the globe share their frustrations and triumph in drawing and creating.
  5. Don’t wait for the muse to strike – you’ll be waiting an awful long time. Draw regardless of whether you feel ‘in the mood’. Just start drawing and see what happens…
  6. Buy a box file or other storage container and collect images that inspire you… magazine cuttings, postcards, photographs, bits of fabric. Create an ‘ideas’ box you can draw on.
  7. Keep your drawing materials accessible and to hand so it won’t be a big performance to start drawing.
  8. Make an artist’s date with yourself once a month. This is a time for you to do something to nourish your inner artist – perhaps visit a gallery, go sketching, visit somewhere new, do something you wouldn’t normally do – whatever you want but do it by yourself and make it fun. Step outside your comfort zone. When we struggle, we learn, when we learn we grow.
  9. At the back of your sketchbook make a list of things to draw and each time you want to draw just pull off the first thing on the list. Here’s a start: draw a shoe; an egg beater; the first thing you pull out of the kitchen implements draw, your hand; your foot; objects on the mantlepiece; a pair of spectacles…

The Art of Paper Sculptor

Kids have been fond of flying kites and of creating paper planes. Simple and innocent – these paper planes can be very easy to make. A basic origami, a simple draft fold, or some cutting, bending, more appeal folding and shaping-these are all the elements of a draft sculptor. Just when you think it is just paper and folding, lo and behold, the next thing you will see is an impressive paper art.

This is the art of manipulation of form with the goal of forming a 3D image or structure. An artist can use various techniques-curving, folding, shaping, or cutting. If he has the skills in origami, this can also be used in letter sculpture. Other artists also use embossing and other methods. The most beautiful solicitation sculptures are those which are bold and neat as this art places high regard on accuracy of details. Another technique can also be incorporated, which is paper mache. This can be used for bigger projects, wherein a card is used instead of the ordinary paper. This is most especially helpful for projects as they grow bigger in size. Other tools, such as wire and wood, can also be used to support the card or letter when needed.

Why paper?

It is one of the most ordinary things in our daily lives, but creating something beautiful out of it is extraordinary. You may have seen hundreds of drawings in your lifetime, made your own sketches in your spare suit, but paper sculptor is exceptionally different because you create something out of just papers.

Basically, a draft sculptor is an artwork that is created by combining or shaping various types of form and it needs precision and skills. Paper sculptures are made of several pieces of paper unlike origami which only uses one. This art mainly focuses on the cardboard itself and other elements are just tools.

Styles, Tools and Materials for Paper Sculpture

There are various styles of papery sculpture. It can range from realistic models of buildings, to 3D scenes and abstract art exhibits. What is unique with paper is that is a versatile material that allows the artist to apply his own techniques and create his own style. One of the most needed skill is cutting and this will allow the artist to create styles that are complex.

Basically, the tools and materials that are needed in paper sculpture have no restrictions. The artist is free to use anything he can see, as long as he thinks that these materials can add more aesthetic appeal and quality to his craft. An artist does not need a big investment on materials. The only secret tool in paper sculpture is creativity. A creative mind will take you a long way.

The art of letter sculpture requires preciseness and patience. Every artist knows this-from ensuring his working area is clean, his hands are free of dirt, and the use of minimal glue-every paper sculpture project should be treated carefully.


Best of Pastel Pointers

“Color gets the glory and value does the work.”

Most of us love color. We’re drawn to it hoping to accomplish something expressive in our paintings. If the value structure (the relative lightness and darkness) in a painting is wrong, however, all the pretty colors housed in our pastel cases won’t work, and the painting will fall short. If you’re one of the fortunate painters that has a keen eye for value—congratulations! If, on the other hand, you’re among the many that work diligently analyzing value ranges, here are a couple of tips that might help.

  1. First, convert your reference to a value scale. If you’re working with photo reference, you can digitally convert it to a gray scale and remove all traces of color. This will instantly show you the value relationships of all the individual elements in the scene. Another option, if you have a color photograph, is to scan it into your computer and then convert it to gray scale. Or, go down to your local copy center and use one of the better copy machines. This isn’t as accurate as converting your own digital files but still serves a useful purpose. Remember that any photographic reference has its limitations; value ranges are never exact to what the human eye is capable of seeing. Shadows are often extremely dark and lights get blown out. So use these black-and-white representations as a generalization.
  2. Second, when you’re working from life, employ a piece of red plastic. Red has its limitations but serves well for most outdoor situations. The majority of landscapes are saturated with green, blue, and gray, allowing the red plastic to neutralize the color and producing a monochromatic image in appearance. When painting in the Southwest, which has bright reds and oranges, green plastic is useful. Holding this up and scrutinizing the scene, as well as your painting, will help remind you of the relative value range. This allows us to use all the color we wish without compromising the structural form.

Two Drawing Tips to Consider When Sketching Faces

Drawing skills are a great foundation for painting. We learn the building blocks for brush work, proportion, hand/eye skills, etc. In the beginning, drawing faces and figures is a lot like learning to play an instrument–there are mathematical proportions that we study and practice like learning musical scales. Over time the mechanics become automatic, allowing quality of line, shape and value to emerge and express more than the technical process of early attempts of sketching faces, for example.

If you’re new to portraits, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when sketching faces.

• Consider the placement of the eyes within the oval shape of the face. Looking straight on at an average face, the eyes are aligned horizontally approximately halfway within the oval. Often we place eyes too high between the top the head and bottom of chin. We forget that there’s a forehead and in most cases, a hairline that encompasses a similar space to that below the eyes.

• Consider the size of the eyes. We spend a lot of time looking into people’s eyes and have a tendency to exaggerate and enlarge the eyes. On an average face there are approximately five eye-widths from one side of the head to the other. Keeping this in mind, you’ll have greater success with rendering proportionate eyes.

Taking away the subject can remove fear and opens the door to seeing and shapes in values and colors. You may choose to grid your subject and surface as a method of drawing an accurate face.

Drawing should be enjoyable and, like fitness, the more you do the easier it becomes. Whether in an organized figure class or squeezing in ten minutes a day in your sketchbook, make drawing a part of your routine.