In my post IMPOSING THE GRID, I mentioned the Renaissance invention of Drawing Engines, grids of wire or string used by artists to observe and analyze their subject in order to render them more accurately. This came into use around the same time as modern Linear Perspective, as pioneered by Brunelleschi.
In Dynamic Drawing one of the core ideas is the best way to learn to draw quickly with a fluid line and get greater control, is to spend time just practicing that! Pretty simple really. To facilitate that we have Live Dynamic Gesture Drawing, using moving rather than still subjects. The model repeats
If the marks we make are just random, we would not have art. Just a mess. Modeled drawings can be Gestures, made of Continuous Lines. It creates a very distinctive stylistic difference, if your drawings do or don’t use Contours. But Identifying each and learning them separately lets us be conscious of their individual traits; intentional about how we combine them; or if we choose to do so at all.
Anyone able to hold a tool and make marks can learn to draw, and make more skilled marks. But how you hold your tools does matter. Your grip is hugely impactful on the kinds, quality, and range of lines and marks you can make as an artist. What the Video
Posted here are two pages here from The Natural Way To Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. I recommend it, it’s a complete study guide including exercises & assignments! I own a copy today as does the school, I suggest taking a look at it. Nicolaides laid the ground work for a lot of ideas people
Mike Mattesi has a fantastic take on capturing a dynamic line and form in his work and great notes to accompany his examples. The book is well worth owning! I’m just missing the middle child in his main trilogy myself. Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, and Force: Animal Drawing: Animal locomotion and design concepts for
You will never get better, unless you make mistakes. So this comes up often in my class, it’s a universal obstacle to learning, and improving rapidly. This often leads to a lot of cautious, stiff, even scratchy lines when we draw too. The hesitation, not trusting your hand to do the
Dynamic Drawing at Syn is build on the idea that deliberate focused practice on discrete skills is better than trying to learn by doing whole drawings, straight through from start to finish, aspiring in each one to some kind of perfect finish.
You’ll notice in my posts here, and in class, I keep stressing practice, repetition, doing many interactions, drawing a lot. One can never stress enough the single biggest “secret” to drawing well is drawing often. You also need to know how to study, and have a reason to do all
[ezcol_1third] I recorded doing some blocking out my perspective freehand in pencil, for one of the panels of my comic Dream Life. This is pretty much Single Point Perspective, but I exploited those curvilinear lines/angles I showed you in the cropped version [b] of the 5 point perspective grid [a]
In this weeks class we’re introducing the principles of perspective, with an emphasis on using perceived/impressionistic rather than optical/mathematical applications in our art. But i Also wanted to make a point about the value of the humble single point perspective technique, and how in many cases it’s very powerful by
Pattern & Rendering exercises. Your assignment is to gain a greater familiarity with patterns! Learn how each can be rendered, stylized, with a variety of drawing implements. I recommend you begin with pencil, crayon, brush, pen, even tablet if you plan to be using it. Do these digitally if that is
The chalk trails of Peter Han. A talented designer who teaches for CG Master Academy in New Westminster BC. He gives good demos containing many compatible ideas with our class’s approach to drawing. watch, think, try his methods. Many of these exercises are the same as those i’ll be teaching.
About line for tone & value, cross hatching, contours, and to follow surface or not. In the this post, I introduce basic feathering, hatching, cross hatching & basket weaves as part of your regular practice regime. We’re going to explore hear how you can use them. The idea using them to do
A lot of what makes our work is Design: Designing the picture plane = composition. Designing the form = how we use structure, surface, texture &, lighting! STRUCTURE. Remember this handout from the start of our classes? It shows the range of techniques for drawing the human body, from abstract gesture, to contour
The study of the natural & built environment! It’s obvious of course, why we study Anatomy the human body in order to draw it. Likewise its essential to study our built environment, it’s anatomy and design, in order to render it. And the greater natural world as well!
To build on the introduction to brush and texture exercises i’ve put up already, I thought i’d record myself doing some work in ink and wash for you all to observe while explaining why I use what techniques I do when I do. There’s a 5 min time lapsed version
Artists have been using mechanical aides since the beginning. Variations on the idea go all the way back to the Egyptian ‘canon of proportions’. Grinds are a classic way to break down the picture plane, compose space, alter and record it. Archaeologists use them too, in order to document the spatial relationships
In class 3 we talk about some basic compositional rules. The Rule of 3rds – the golden mean; Lead room; Geometry and symmetry; Rule of odds; & Simplification! And how those ideas and other lend contribute fundamental elements of what makes for dynamic art. To illustrate applications of the Rule of 3rds,
Doing formal studies and serial studies of both live subjects and other artists work is a core learning tool! The goal is to have fun while systematically refining our skills and broadening our visual vocabulary. Related: Exercises like pattern work and gesture studies. Subjects of study can be anything. Art by existing master’s’ compositions
Moving bodies for moving lines “You should draw not what the thing looks like, not even what it is, but what it is doing…Gesture has no precise edges, no forms. The forms are in the act of changing. Gesture is movement in space.” ― Kimon Nicolaides This page is a
Greater Hand-Eye coordination via greater physical awareness and control One of the tools I use in the classroom version of Dynamic Drawing is to basically recreate some of the revelatory experiences I had with doing things like dancing at a live event, and then sitting down and drawing others doing
After you have the structure, you need a skin. A lot of that is about lighting, and textures! In this post we’re going to focus on the Lighting! Lighting forms and shapes. Lighting is fairly simple really but it’s common for people to take a while getting into the habit
‘En plein air’, a French phrase meaning “open (in full) air” As a painting practice, for both the study and formal practice have really been around for a long time – painting live on location of various rural, scenic and urban subjects. – in the mid-19th century, working in natural light
Understanding is key to confident drawing. You can try to fake it, but you’ll know if you are. There are no real short cuts to actually feeling confident. Secure in your own knowledge having actually done the work. So detailed studies of the human body are key to being able to
A handy time saver when working in analog or digital mode, is to lay in under your art, a perspective grid to follow when drawing objects in space! I’ve made and used many over the years. To the right is one I found on google, looked up the site credited
I’m often asked by studentswhat to use for corrections over ink… Historically I’ve been a heavy user of Pelikan Graphic White, an artists’ Gouache i’ve relied on for over 20 years now! But, Pelikan has discontinued it, so I needed to find a new alternative to use both for myself
Drapery is a valuable area of observational art to study, given everyone tends to where clothes. That’s in fact not the only reason, but it’s a good one. Also in the context of Dynamic Drawings emphasis on gesture drawing, notably drapery forms often follow patterns that are very user-friendly for a
This incredible mural by Diego Rivera is an amazing study in composition and narrative art. The fantastic online resources provided by the DIA, include this great virtual extensive video tour of the work! I’ve made a playlist of all the clips below for ease of consumption but the mapped version on their
The bars never move. They establish a fixed mid ground. Your brain does the rest, accentuating awareness of the foreground, and background. And along with texture, lighting, and Bifocal Perceptual Curvilinear Perspective this is how to create dynamic, deep space in your art.
A fun way to practiceis to just doodle! I prescribe it wholeheartedly and it isn’t just goofing off! I’ve kept many sketchbooks over the years and often half or more of the pages are filled with random bits of mind wonderings. It’s a great meditative practice to blank your brain, don’t
The combination of musical rhythm and a moving subject that tends to move in predictable and interesting ways makes doing live studies of musicians an entertaining way to learn about body language and rhythm. Adam Cantor modeled for us, and returned with guests Russell Simco on the fiddle, and band mate Jonathan Furze on guitar.
Actors Kristina San and Shawn Baichoo came and pretended to do grievous bodily harm to one another for our edification and then sat for a couple of more traditional long posses. This post is of a series of clips and photos to use for ongoing dynamic gesture studies.
I’m a big proponent of practice and self directed learning. The way people get good is by doing with informed intent, and more you do that the better you get. Of course i’ve built in some tools in the form of these posts on the site here, and Syn Studio