Jenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration houseJenni Robinson Art Artist Artists Northern Ireland Belfast pet portrait animal landscape photography photographic print skinny dog sketches painting drawing dogs horses cattle sketching painting sketch custom artworks bespoke personal gift wedding birthday present home decoration house

Learn to draw in an hour

September 26, 2016

You too could draw a potato!  I feel a little bad that mine is now in the oven...

 

I spend quite a lot of time drawing outdoors at the moment.  People come and chat all the time, which is super, but there's a common phrase that almost everyone feeds me: "I can't draw".  

 

This is untrue.  If you can hold/move a pencil with some part of your body, you can draw.  Follow this basic Drawing 101 and you'll be well on your way!

 

The Tools:

Pencil

I highly recommend using the Shakespeare pencil.  OK it's really called a 2B (or not 2B, get it?!) and you can pick one up at any decent stationery store.  It's a great all-rounder, capable of making very light to dark marks, it also smudges easily but not too much.  Keep it sharpened.  

Paper

I have a compulsive stationery habit.  I own expensive papers in pretty covers.  If you're of a similar mind, go nuts.  For someone having a go for the first time, nick some copy paper from work, use the plain side of a cereal box, it doesn't matter!

A good eraser

Ideally a putty rubber (you can shape these and rip little bits off), but one of those good white ones your kid has for school is grand.  As long as it removes pencil rather than smearing it everywhere.

 

Ready? Go!

 

EXERCISE 1 - Getting to knooooooow you, getting to know allll aboooout you (r pencil):

Spend 5 minutes practising on a bit of scrap paper to see how light/dark you can get your pencil to go.  Gradient lines are a good way to do this - touch the paper as lightly as you can with the pencil and draw a line whilst pressing increasingly harder.  Get to know the different types of line you can make using the point or side of your pencil lead.  Hold the pencil close to the lead, hold it at the end.  Find the point of control that is most comfortable for you.

 EXERCISE 2 - Shading: Luke and Vader and everything in between

Shadows are an absence of light.  When drawing you'll see that the darkest bits are furthest away from your light source, and in any nooks and crannies that the light can't get to.  Shading is how you develop the form of your object, making it look 3D.

 

On your scrap of paper, practise some of the techniques below and get to know how your pencil handles them. 

 FYI, the octopus is on Facebook, it's really cool you should check it out!

As a note to the techniques above, your lines don't have to be straight.  If you're trying to show something as round and want to use curved lines, go for it.  It's your drawing.

 

EXERCISE 3 - Ready to draw a thing!

Get something smooth and relatively simple in shape.  I've gone for a potato, but an apple or a ball or something is grand. Sit it on a pale surface/bit of paper.  PUT YOUR PENCIL DOWN.  

 a) Learning to look - Pretend you've never seen one of these before.  You're an alien.  Give it a good stare - its lines, where the light's coming from, where the shadows fall around it, any bumps and bobbles.  Its outer shape - it's not perfectly circular, is it?  

b) Getting the scale correct - If you're some sort of maths genius or seasoned pro you can freehand.  For the rest of us, hold your pencil upright between your eye and the potato (I'm just going to say potato regardless of what you're looking at).  Put the tip of the pencil where you see the top of the potato, and place your thumb on the pencil where it lines up with the bottom of the potato (at its fattest point).  See below.  

 Keep your thumb there!  Get your drawing paper, and make a dot on it, quite low down.  Lay your pencil on the paper (vertically) with your thumb lining up with the dot and the lead pointing upwards.  Make a mark with the tip of the lead.  You should have 2 dots one above the other.

 

Repeat horizontally, make the marks on your drawing paper in relation to your vertical ones.  That's step 1 in the diagram below.  If you lightly draw a box around your dots, you've set a correct-to-scale area in which to draw.  Good job!  This is number 2 on the diagram.

 

c) - Sketch the outline - If you find it easier, draw 2 lines across the box to make quarters (step 3 below).  Look at your spud and copy its outline inside the box.  Lightly make out the shapes of any main shadows you can see.  Remember where your light is coming from!

 

 

d) - Shading for real!  Now it's time to colour that spud in - but we're not using colours, we're using shadows so just train your eyes to look for light and dark, and draw that.  Remember your shading techniques from earlier, experiment!  We're not looking for a masterpiece here.  It's a potato.  Use your eraser to pick out the really bright highlights, or to take back a bit where you've gone too dark.

 

e) You're a drawing bad-ass.  Go forth and apply these techniques to mugs, jars, fruit, veg, people, animals (granted those last 2 take a LOT of measuring and practise).  It's all just practising from here.  You've got this.  I'd love to see your efforts, post your pics to my Facebook (Jenni Robinson Art) or tag me on Twitter (@JenRobinsonArt)!

 

Oh, er here's my potato.  Yours won't have pen all over it

 

Thanks for taking part!  I'd love to know how you found it/if you'd be interested in other tutorials.  This one has been knocked up on my phone today, but if you like it, I'd like to have a go at some other areas of interest for you and will get proper photos taken etc.  Jen x

 

 

 

 

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