Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

Beginning Drawing

  • Page ID
    67690
    • Front Matter
      Front Matter
    • 1: Introduction
      1: Introduction
      Drawing is a form of visual communication. It is also a cornerstone of both studio and applied visual art fields and is often the first step in visualizing and exploring an art concept. A drawing can be a work unto itself, or a preliminary step in the execution of a work in a different medium.
      • 2: Drawing Materials
        2: Drawing Materials
        This chapter covers the drawing materials needed for a beginning drawing course. Graphite pencils in various levels of hardness, acid-free papers for dry and wet media, charcoal and Conté, erasers, sharpeners, and pen and ink are all discussed in this section of the course. Everything you'll need to purchase to complete a drawing course is covered here, with recommended essentials as well as those special and unique drawing tools that are interesting, but certainly not required.
        • 3: Drawing Mechanics
          3: Drawing Mechanics
          How does an artist hold a pencil? Where should you stand or sit while drawing an object from life? These and other questions are discussed in this chapter. Although there are many ways to approach drawing, some of the best drawing studio practices and mechanical aspects are logical, and if learned, helpful if applied.
          • 4: Line
            4: Line
            In this drawing chapter we explore the art element Line. Line has several functions and can be quite expressive when used in what is termed a "sensual line," or quite mechanical in what is often referred to as an "impersonal line." In life, we do not see three-dimensional forms as lines, but rather as shapes and forms made up of values and color. By using line to draw, we are abstracting from reality by often simplifying what we see and reducing the forms to outlines, hatching, and sketching.
            • 5: Composition
              5: Composition
              In fine art and graphic design, the Principles of Design are used to create works that are balanced, have unity, successfully incorporate shapes and forms and, in general, have an aesthetic quality. In drawing, the term Composition is used to describe the design and placement of objects within the four edges of the paper. In this chapter we will cover the visual forces at work in drawing Composition, as well as Design Systems from Europe and Asia.
              • 6: Sighting
                6: Sighting
                Sighting uses logical and keen visual observations to analyze, interpret, measure and draw three-dimensional objects in two-dimensions. Covered in this chapter are visual aids such as viewfinders and specific analytical drawings techniques such "unit of measure," use of angles, and axes. Also, basic drawing skills regarding positioning of drawing boards, grip of pencils and drawing tools are discussed.
                • 7: Perspective
                  7: Perspective
                  Perspective is a technique used in drawing to visualize three-dimensional forms in space and to represent those forms realistically on a two-dimensional plane. Through most of Western history, drawings and paintings were created with little to no understanding of the concepts used in drawing with proper perspective. It is not until the early 1400s that we see Italian and Dutch artists beginning to adopt this knowledge into their drawings and paintings.
                  • 8: Tone
                    8: Tone
                    Light on forms creates values and often reveals the three-dimensional qualities of those same forms. The quality of light may have an effect on the values we see on three-dimensional forms as well. Highlights, shadows, and cast shadows also help to define the forms observed around us. In this chapter, the modeling of three-dimensional forms in two-dimensional drawings will be explored with emphasis on creating the illusion on paper of realistic three-dimensional objects in space.
                    • 9: Still Life
                      9: Still Life
                      Still life drawing and painting is an art genre dating back centuries. It is a great way to learn to draw inanimate objects using proper Perspective, balanced Composition, groupings, design systems, modeling of forms, and controlled lighting. The artist has control over the arrangement and subject matter of the objects in the still life. It also allows artists to practice the laws of Perspective and drawing ellipses.
                      • 10: Landscape
                        10: Landscape
                        Landscape drawing and painting is another popular and historical art genre. Using depth cues such as Vertical Placement, Perspective, Rule of Thirds, Foreground, Middle Ground and Background, and Atmospheric Perspective, with changes in values, help to create convincing and aesthetic landscape drawings.
                        • 11: Portraiture
                          11: Portraiture
                          The most popular art subjects are people. Whether in motion, in a quiet moment of contemplation, in battle, in the nude, or sitting for a portrait, people end up the subject of art time and time again. In this chapter, you will learn to draw a person using a simple template as a starting point. Also, the anatomy of the head and neck will be discussed. Drawing a portrait from life is difficult, but certainly a worthwhile endeavor given the popularity of the subject matter.
                          • 12: Charcoal Drawing
                            12: Charcoal Drawing
                            In this chapter, the techniques of using charcoal and Conté, as well as charcoal papers, blending stumps and brushes, kneaded erasers and chamois, are explored. Charcoal is an incredibly flexible drawing medium capable of quickly created the illusion of three-dimensional forms by revealing light on the forms and also by the subtle tones created when blending the medium. Humans have used charcoal for drawing for over 35,000 years.
                            • 13: Pen and Ink and Wash Drawing
                              13: Pen and Ink and Wash Drawing
                              Wet media is also part of the drawing toolbox. Pen and ink, pencil and wash, and pen and wash are all considered suitable for drawing. A limited watercolor palette of Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine Blue is great for adding a splash of color to a wash drawing.
                              • 14: 20th Century Modern Art Movements- Cubism
                                14: 20th Century Modern Art Movements- Cubism
                                Picasso and Georges Braque began a friendship in Paris that led to new ways of seeing the world and representing it through a new "low art." From paper, wire, and cardboard sculptures; to drawings, paintings, and collages using cut newspapers, photos, textiles, and other objects available in and around their apartments, they pushed art in new and daring directions. Inspired by their creativity, we explore in this chapter creative ways to draw using visualization and imagination.
                                • 15: 20th Century Modern Art Movements - Surrealism
                                  15: 20th Century Modern Art Movements - Surrealism
                                  Surrealism delved into the psychic mechanisms of human thought and several artists were caught up in this intriguing art movement. During the 1920s and 1930s, Salvador Dali and René Magritte were two of the most influential Surrealist artists. This chapter explores unbounded visualization through Surrealist-inspired drawing.
                                  • 16: The Grid
                                    16: The Grid
                                    The grid is often used in the production of fine art and in graphic design. It is used to proportionally enlarge an image; form a framework upon which forms are attached (like in Cubism); and as a way to create interesting patterns and repetition within a drawing. In this chapter, we explore the creative ways we can use the grid in drawing. We will also use a grid to enlarge a photo and, by using creativity and drawing techniques focusing on values, push the drawing to the level of art.
                                    • Back Matter
                                      Back Matter

                                    • Was this article helpful?