Friday, August 15

Learn to Paint and Draw

Today's Graphic
It’s Friday, which means we review a book or another source about art.
I'll get back to our series on 4 Steps to Renew your Interest in Art next week in Step 3- Explore Art with a blog about exploring art supply vendors in your area.

In the Art Library

As I mentioned above, Orbisplanis is doing a series on steps to renew your interest in art. In conjunction with that, I wanted to tell you about a book that provides a simple to understand overview of popular art subjects you may be interested in learning to draw or paint. This goes hand in hand with renewing your interest in the subject.

The book is Learn to Paint and Draw-A Complete Guide to Drawing and Painting Techniques. Interestingly, there seems to be no author of this book, at least I couldn’t find anyone listed as the author. So, I’m assuming it’s a compendium of articles by several writers, none of whom unfortunately is being recognized for their efforts. I did find that the book was published by Paragon Publishing in 2003 if you’re going to look for it.

Be that as it may, the editor(s) of this book have done a pretty good job of covering the basic steps in learning to draw and paint. I think this is a good starting place if you’re one of those who want to get right to it. I’m talking about those who don’t want to spend much time in the getting- ready phase, but who want to actually do it. Let me add there’s nothing wrong with that as I am in that camp.

After a brief Introduction, the first section called Getting Started is straight forward and, in no more than two to four pages on each topic, covers a whole lot of ground on such things as: pencils and charcoal, pen and ink, drawing with color, sketching with paints, modeling with color, simple perspective, and composition, just to name a few.

With the Getting Started section as your primer, you’re then effectively ushered through techniques on drawing and/or painting in the subsequent sections:

  • Still Life and Nature
  • Landscapes and Seascapes
  • Buildings and Streets
  • People and Portraits
  • Animals and Birds

As you can see, this book runs the gamet on popular subjects that artists like to tackle.
It takes a simple approach to make you feel comfortable to accomplish what you set out to do. For example, in the Still life and Nature section, it starts you off with how to set up a still life, and after you’ve done that, it says you’re now ready to try a simple arrangement with words of encouragement and hints on what to do. In the Landscapes and Seacapes section, it schools you on drawing trees and foliage, then moves you from pencil to pen and ink to colored pencil and finally to watercolor.

It also drops in practical advice along the way, for example, a subhead in the section on Buildings and Streets tells you, “Try to capture something of the restless energy of the city in your street scenes—the ebb and flow of people going about their business, the hubbub of traffic, the color and noise.” Now that’s something that most how-to-draw books have never told you.

In People and Portraits, usually a challenge for beginning artists, you are eased into it with a discussion about proportions and measuring, which is key. It shows you ways to go about drawing the human figure, figures in action, and the head, for example. It also suggests you, “get into the habit of carrying a pocket sketchbook around with you,” always good advice. It then gives you practice sessions in doing portraits using pencil, pastels, and watercolor.

All in all, a very good book on learning to draw and paint. What makes it different from others of this type is its emphasis on the subject of what you’re drawing rather than tools.


No comments:

Post a Comment