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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

A Little Black & White

I find it rewarding to help artists improve their drawing skills. Today's Beginners' Drawing Workshop's artists all had some previous experience making art. They flew through the exercises that encourage the "right brain" to engage.

After a couple of hours of "right brain" exercises, the challenge was to sketch their own footwear.

And, to get the darks dark enough. It's those shadows that help to make the shoe look three-dimensional. Notice how each artist has their own unique style of drawing? The above artist is very precise and the one below has a looser style.

After doing some "upside-down drawing", our artists were presented with a table of good quality photos as reference for their final project. Below is half of them. Over the years, I've received permission from various photographers to use their photos as reference for paintings. Hopefully, there is something on the table that will interest my artists.

This artist chose to draw a simple grid over both the reference photo and on her sketch book. Lucky for her, the vertical line went right through the owl's eye. Not going to misplace that eye on the page! After an hour and a half, the sketch went from this.....

..... to this. Good job. It looks alive. She got the reflection on the pupil and the shadow under the "eyebrow" perfect.

The artist below had two unique challenges. One was drawing a lizard! Look at all of those scales. The second challenge was to expand the image by 50%. A lot of math was involved. It will take a day or so for this one to be completed at home. I have no doubt that it will look good.

Often I use this photo as reference in watercolour workshops. Today it was used as reference for a pencil drawing. It's not quite complete in this image. But, even at 80% complete, I feel like I am there in the woods.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Thomas Merton

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