What are the 5 basic skills of drawing? | A beginner’s guide (part 1)

Hello everyone πŸ‘‹ Today let’s talk about the 5 basic skills of drawing that are to be learned to become an artist. If you are like me, you would have never thought about the intricate techniques, theories or the actual how-to behind a good drawing. You just draw, try to recreate a beautiful painting you’ve seen somewhere or let your imagination run wild and create something of your own. It’s good. But to make our drawing experience better, let’s get into the rules and details of the required skills.

5 skills of drawing

There are 5 basic skills of drawing which are as follows.

  • Perception of edges
  • Perception of spaces
  • Perception of relationships
  • Perception of lights and shadows
  • Perception of the whole or the Gestalt

Pure Contour Drawing

Before we get into the skills, it’s necessary to know what is pure contour drawing. It is nothing but the simplest form of linear expression. For example, take a look at this simple drawing.

Pure Contour Drawing

Here, to draw a fruit, simple and definitive lines are used. In simple words, pure contour drawing is linear drawing, that is, using clear and definitive lines or edges to draw without any shading techniques.

Perception of edges

After we learn about the pure contour drawing, we can move on to the first basic skill in drawing that is, perception of edges. In the world of drawing, an edge is not just an outline of an object but also a shared boundary between two things. For example, take a look at this drawing.

Perception of edges

Here in this simple line drawing, the edge is the shared boundary between the boat and the surface of the water. Also the horizon line is also a shared boundary between the water and the sky. We don’t have to draw separate lines for these things. It is our understanding of this concept of shared boundary and drawing it and the exact way it is perceived by the viewers, is what it takes to master this skill.

Perception of spaces

When I say spaces, it’s actually negative spaces. A positive space is the space taken up by the object that we are drawing. Negative space is the space surrounding and in between the space taken up by the object. In a way, the negative spaces are the ones that highlights and gives life to the actual drawing. Let’s take a look at an example.

Perception of spaces

In this example, the positive space is the space taken up by the furniture and negative space is everywhere else.

Perception of spaces

In this negative image, focus on the darker spots. Like an exercise, instead of drawing the chair, try drawing the negative, dark shapes. What you are doing here is, you are not trying to draw the chair but end up drawing a chair! Weird and confusing? Let me make it clear.

Let’s imagine a tougher drawing. For example a scenery in landscape.

Perception of spaces

In this drawing, take a look at the sky. The negative space here is the sky. Instead of drawing clouds, I’ve shaded the sky black leaving out the clouds part. So in a way, I’ve drawn clouds by not drawing clouds! Sounds cool, right? Also, for the ocean, I’ve drawn random strokes here and there to depict tides. It’s the negative white space, that gives life to the ocean. It is this understanding and incorporating this concept, makes us master this skill which in turn elevates our simple art to an ‘art with capital A’!

The other three skills will be discussed here in PART 2. Read on for continuity. Thank you for visiting! If you’ve liked this, then check out few other posts of mine here. πŸ‘‡

Published by Yuvi's Buzz

I write, I read, I sketch, I repeat!πŸ’•

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