What are the 5 basic skills of drawing? | A beginner’s guide (Part 2)

Hello my fellow bloggers! Hope you’re all doing great this week. In my previous article, we talked about the first 2 basic skills of drawing with examples. In case you’ve missed it check it out here๐Ÿ‘‡ for continuation of the flow.

The first 2 skills of drawing: Perception of edges and Perception of spaces

Perception of relationships

Ever seen an artist in a movie or any show, holding out a pencil or thumb in front of them to scale the object they are about to draw? It’s called sighting, a part of perceiving relationships.

Perception of relationships – Sighting

Let’s say you are standing in front of the Eiffel tower and want to draw it in your sketchbook. Now, what you need to figure out here is how to fit that hundreds of meters tall tower into a small paper and make it look convincing. This is where the sighting comes into play.

Perception of relationships – Sighting

Before you begin drawing this tower on your sketchbook, imagine you are looking through an imaginary camera. This is where you need to stop your brain from thinking too realistically, because obviously you can’t draw that tall tower into a paper of equal proportions! Instead to fit it in that tiny paper you’ve got, hold out your pencil or thumb to scale for proportions in length and width. Maintain the same distance between your eyes and thumb (or pencil) to ensure accuracy in the scale. In this case let’s say, the tower is one pencil height and one-third wide at the base.

Perception of relationships – Perspective

Take a look at this giant wheel. If we are standing perpendicular, that is at 90ยฐ angle, what we see is a perfect circle. But in this picture, from the point of view, it’s not actually a circle but oval. Note that as angle of view changes (imagine walking around the giant wheel in a circle), the shape we are supposed to draw too changes from circle to oval, then back to circle.

This perspective is very important because if we don’t pay attention to the angle of view, our drawing is a disaster. We can never make convincing drawings ever. It needs practice and imagination because, when we think of an object to draw, our brain automatically brings forward and fixes the default shape of it. (In this case, a wheel which is ‘always supposed to be circle’.) This is where our imaginary camera comes into play again. Imagine you are looking through a camera and with a little practice, it’s a piece of cake!

Perception of light and shadow

This is another important topic to be concentrated in drawing. It sounds simple but it’s got the power to make or break a drawing. If your drawing doesn’t look convincing enough, lights and shadows might play a big part in it. Read on to know what it’s all about and how to get it right every single time.

Perception of light and shadow

Let’s look at an example, like these beautiful pumpkins here. Apparently, the light source is at the top left corner. Half of the pumpkins are brighter and the other half in the right side are at a darker tone.

There are two types of shadows : form shadow and cast shadow. The form shadow part is the darker half, that is the half facing away from the light source. The cast shadow is the shadow that is cast on the ground by the object itself.

Perception of light and shadow

In this landscape scenery, I’ve chosen the light source to be at the top right corner. Hence the right side of the house is white, while the left side of the house is darker because of the concept of form shadow. Simply to remember, while drawing every object in a scenery, we need to remember the position of light source and imagine how the shadows will be cast and which portion of the object will be darker.

Perception of the whole or the Gestalt

The fifth basic skill – the Gestalt is very interesting, fascinating and huge topic. (May be in future I’ll make a detailed post about it.) Gestalt is a German word (pronounced in English as Gesh-tult), meaning unified-whole. It simply means how we perceive a whole drawing or art, the final impact it creates on us.

Our brain is a thing to be marveled about! When we see a group of separate objects, our brain immediately focuses on finding similarity or continuity between them, perceiving it as a whole and understanding the meaning of it. It’s almost as fast as a reflex action.

Perception of the whole/Gestalt

Let’s take a look at this drawing for example. I have drawn dead/dry branches in a way that as a whole what is seen is a human face. This is similarity/closure. It doesn’t have to be a perfect human face for our brain to perceive it. But of course, I can’t draw those branches randomly and expect everyone to see a human face! That’d be ridiculous!๐Ÿ˜„ There is a grey area between the two ends and that’s where you can dabble and create beautiful art!

There are five laws of gestalt: similarity, continuity, proximity, closure and periodicity, which I’ll talk about in detail in future posts.

So, these are the five basic skills that every artist should remember. It might look simple but it gets as complex as our drawing is. It might look intimidating to the beginners but all it takes is keeping in mind these things while drawing and after a little practice, it will come naturally!

Thank you for visiting! If you’ve liked this post, then take a look at few other posts of mine here. ๐Ÿ‘‡

Published by Yuvi's Buzz

I write, I read, I sketch, I repeat!๐Ÿ’•

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