Exercise Two – Shapes and Values-Part One of Three
It’s easier to analyze shapes when the subject of the drawing is not influencing the analysis. Turning a drawing upside down is helpful.
Continuing with the idea of quick, sketchbook line drawings suggested in Exercise One, use the same drawing tool for the quick drawings. Change the medium you used for adding values. In Exercise One I used a fountain pen for the line drawings and Ciao Copic Markers to apply values. The line drawings will be closed form drawings, the image made up of separate shapes defined clearly with an outline similar to a stained glass window. (Matisse’s line drawings of figures are an example of open form drawings. The lines suggest the form, but the shapes defined by the lines merge with one another.) In Exercise Two I’ve used a fountain pen for the line drawing and Burnt Umber watercolor and brush to apply values.
The focus is not on the switch of media. The intention is to strengthen your awareness of values and to focus on the importance of shapes … as well as identifying your personal preferences for value ranges and composition. The purpose of switching media is to stretch your flexibility and to break whatever resistance you might have to trying new tools and techniques.
In this case, it’s the odd shape of the stove window that’s been altered. Notice that I adjusted the shape when creating the line drawing. Since it’s easier to apply paint than to remove it, I painted only the large portion of the shape and scanned it before applying value to the rest of the shape. The beauty of working in a sketchbook is that I am completely aware that I’m experimenting. Nothing is precious. If I add something that isn’t an improvement, I don’t care …. I’ve learned something in the process and I will use that knowledge at some future date.
You decide which you like better. You might feel that it doesn’t make any difference at all…. it’s up to you. Remember that when you cut a mat for a drawing or painting, the way you crop the image can alter the shapes and composition …. sometimes drastically …. then again ….. sometimes not at all. Just be aware of the importance of your shapes.