I’ve been taking a drawing and a watercolor class, and attending a painting group that has teachers come in. It’s been a very educational couple of weeks!
Here’s the latest homework exercise: draw two transparent objects. To balance it, I added a third pottery bird. An odd number of objects is usually better than even.
To make something transparent you accentuate the darks but keep the edges smooth and details vague. So in drawing, you smooth with the tool called a stump (rolled up paper in a pencil type shape that smooths out the graphite on the paper).
The glass is clear with a dark (blue) base and stem. The bottle is cobalt blue. The bird happens to be blue with a rusty side. The faint lines are the folds of cloth under the objects.
Here is a class drawing done before the homework: two pottery pieces and a wine bottle. Really interesting to learn how to make sure the items are in proportion to themselves and each other.
You can probably see the faint box around the pottery with a lid, and the transparent bottle. We drew the box based on measurements and then filled it with the actual objects’ shapes.
She taught us how to first measure one item (using a pencil and one eye closed and elbow straight), call it a unit, and then figure how it relates to the others.
For example; the front pottery is one unit and the bottle is 2.5 units high. I don’t remember the exact ratios. and then you have to figure out how far in front the one object is from the other. I had difficulty keeping all the ratios in my head, so in the homework, I actually wrote them down.
So going back to the first drawing: the bird is one unit high by one unit across, the wine glass is 1/3 of a unit higher on the paper, the bottle is 1/2 unit higher on the paper and tilted. The glass is 2.5-2.75 units high, the bottle is a hair over 2. It’s gratifying to see the boxes turn into the actual shapes.
The box makes it easier to make items symetrical because you fit them inside the box, marking a center line and balancing each side, best you can. with practice of course, it will get better…
We started out drawing class with simple shapes,and I thought…I should probably try to paint these… sure enough, in the watercolor class day two was painting shapes, in this instance with two colors,my favorites, an orange and a blue.
So my plan is to paint the bird/glass/bottle painting and transfer what I learned from drawing into watercolor… watch this space.