Friday, August 2, 2013

Art Lesson: Seeing and Drawing in Reverse.

My art lesson this week is very late, and I am sorry about that.
I have been determined to get the cushions covered on the chairs on the front porch before summer passes.

Here they are.

Here they were before.
As you can see, they were in desperate need of attention.

Here they are looking off the porch from the other direction.

I used three different  materials on them as I got the material at a discount store and there wasn't enough of one.

I thought the contrast of the three materials would give some variety.

I hope to cover a couple of throw pillows in the orange and dark purple for the couch as soon as the old pillows I washed to recover are done drying on the clothesline.

I put the screen I had painted sometime back out on the porch to block the trash can/recycling can.
I think I may put a hook and chain and attach them to the wooden ceiling so that they don't blow over when it gets windy.

It is nice to finally have the porch as a good place to sit.
The cat Moon thinks so, too.  I think he may be the new couch hog.

Now on to the lesson.

When doing art, it is easy to draw the basic outline of whatever it is we are attempting to draw,
and then color that in.

Take for example, this echinacea flower above.

Once we get the basic outline and color on the paper, we then proceed to shade and add the detail.

Sometimes, however, it is essential to look at whatever it is we are drawing from a backwards viewpoint, drawing the outside of the object without drawing the object,
usually because it is white.

 This stretches the brain
(or perhaps I should say, it uses a part of the brain that we do not use a lot).

  I always find myself feeling a bit disagreeable when I have to use this reverse thinking,
but I know it is very good at stretching one's art abilities and forcing the brain to draw what it sees rather than what it knows.

I recently had to do this and the image in my sketch book, above, was a practice sketch.

I wanted to do a piece of artwork of some Queen Anne's Lace.

It is such a simple beauty, but I knew it would be hard to capture it's detail.

I decided to do the piece using my Prismacolor colored pencils.

First I sketched what I wanted onto tracing paper.

Because this is a white flower, I did not want to use anything too heavy to transfer it onto my good paper, so I just rubbed the pencil I was using onto the back, it being a harder lead.

I then flipped it over onto my paper and lightly traced it on.

I then started a bit of shading.

I find when I am doing a white object,
the background is going to receive more attention to make the white stand out.
I got to a certain point of my shading and decided to start adding in the background to help me visualize the white space better.

 Because the background of these flowers is blotchy, I did not feel I needed to put in all the background base color at one time, but chose to work in sections.

The picture looked nice enough to me at this point

(I tend to be afraid to keep at something for fear I may mess it up if I overwork it,
most likely because I have ruined projects by not quitting when I should have).

I could have stopped here, I think,
but my daughter said she thought the original photo was just so beautiful,
 I decided to work with it a bit more.

I find when working with a detailed project like this that requires a lot of reverse thinking,
I have to stop after a time and put the piece aside.

A fresh start the following day always feels great and gives a renewed look to pick up colors and areas of new work that may have been missed in the previous sitting.

 I have worked on this piece for two evenings, and am hoping I can finish it on the next evening I sit down to it.

Do you find you have to put some art or painting projects down and come back with renewed focus?

Have you ever tried to draw or paint something white?
Be daring and take the challenge this week and stretch your abilities.
Give yourself time to work on it when you don't feel hurried or pressured as it is helpful to be relaxed when working on something that requires this kind of thinking,

Work a practice run in your sketch book first.
You'll be glad you did.

And, as always, thanks so much for stopping by to visit!

(For those of you who may be wondering, I haven't forgotten the unfinished duck painting.
I plan to finish it to enter in the fair.  I just set it aside because I had to do this project for a specific reason.)

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  1. You're Amazing! I never tried anything in the detail you do--don't have the patience to wait for the next day. I need to work that part of my brain before I try the reverse thinking :) Your cushions look great! Your porch is cozy! and wow, your puppy is big!

    1. Thanks, Tammy. :) I love our porch now. The big puppy, thankfully, has passed the chewing things up stage, so those cushions better stay intact. :) Thankfully, he seems to know to STAY OFF them, too.

  2. Beautiful as always! You make it look so simple. :) Thanks!


    1. Thank you, Melissa. What a sweet comment!

  3. Tonya,

    I only have talent enough to draw stick people but it was so fun reading as you really did make it look so easy to draw that flower. I guess a good artist can make anything look easy and GOOD! :-)



Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.