3D becomes 2D and the transparent made plain

Drawing of glass, bottle and pottery bird

Drawing exercise, two transparent objects and one opaque

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.

pottery and wine glass sketch

In class exercise. Drawing using boxes to define relative size and distance

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…

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Class exercise: Simple shapes: cones, cylinders, spheres and cubes in watercolor

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.

Savvy Painter podcast and great new drawing book

I have recently found a great podcast called the Savvy Painter. I highly recommend it.  It is a mix of artist interviews and interviews with marketing/motivational people, and I’ve found it fascinating.  Antrese Wood’s voice is soothing, the quality of the podcast is great, and the information she shares is really helpful.  One I especially enjoyed recently was the interview with Sam Bennett on her book Get it Done.  Another great talk was with Pamela Slim.  Interesting to hear marketing tips for Pinterest and Facebook.

In the interview with Kathleen Dunphy she mentioned a great new drawing book which I ordered and have found extremely helpful in making drawing complex subjects not as overwhelming. It is called: Sketching from Square One to Trafalgar Square, and is written by Richard E. Scott.   Again highly recommend