Wednesday, 24 September 2014

So let us begin.  The first step is to actually find the book. I bought it many years ago, and put it away. It was buried under a couple of dog training books, cookbooks and 2 mystery books.  It is in pristine condition and that is pitiful.

Books, like baseball cards should be stained and crumpled.  The top of pages should be bent and marked for future rereading. I think I'll accidentally spill some coffee on it to get that worn in look as if I had used it. That would make me feel better.

I like this book.  I have a pet peeve of books that promise and don't deliver.  One day I will make a review of books that do that but today is not that day. I even like the cover it is clean and the drawing  shows what you are going to learn or would learn if I actually read it.  Let's skip over the intro which talks about learning to see and trust in your eyes.  He also tells of a story of an artist and a dead duck which I find gross.

Chapter One
Before he got into drawing, he talked about the difference between "Critical Dialogue" and "Practical Dialogue".  An example of the  the first is - this painting sucks or I can't draw trees.  Practical speech is the angle is wrong.  I think we should all take time to watch what we say to ourselves whether we are drawing, painting or any kind of creation.
He emphasizes your drawing will improve if you look more at your subject than at the paper (easier said than done). Here's a quote "look at the subject take note of a contour or shape hold that contour or shape in your mind for a moment and draw it while it's still fresh.  Look hold draw.  Don't think.  Isn't that the same speech in the movie Bull Durham?  The shortstop says to the pitcher "You just got lesson number one: don't think".
Project 1 Cross your feet and draw accurately.  Look at your feet more than your pad.  Use pencil pen or anything.  Don't erase.  Allow 1/2 hour.  Here's mine. s.charto

I'm calling for an intervention.  He suggested taking 1/2 hour for the sketch. I made 5 in 10 minutes.  I just couldn't slow down and observe.  Obviously I need this book.  Tomorrows exercise try to spend at least 10 minutes on a drawing and really observe. Have fun.

Monday, 22 September 2014

in the beginning

I have, as I am sure just about every artist I know has, a billion, well at least a million art books.  I have decided to stop buying new books and actually go through the ones I own.  The first one I am going to read and work through is "Keys to Drawing" by Bert Dodson. I chose this one because I love to draw and while I have pretty good drawing skills, I think everyone can improve.  I believe the better I can draw, the easier it is to paint and the more fun I will have.

So find your copy of "Keys to Drawing",  pick up your pencil, pen or whatever and join me in a book journey.  I am going to post results of the exercises quite frequently.   Lets begin with chapter 1 - a very good place to start. The first exercise is a drawing of your feet crossed.  I will post my drawing Wednesday.
Remember have fun.