How Great Thou ART I AN INSPIRATIONAL APPROACH TO DRAWING by Barry Stebbing
How Great Thou ART Publications Box 48 McFarlan, NC 28102 Copyright 1995 Revised Edition 2007 (Lessons within HGTA Publications texts are reproducible for “in-home use” only)
Fundamentals & Objectives: Line Ellipses Simple Objects Thick & Thin Line Shading With Line Values Complex Objects Cast Shadows Composition Still Life Proportions Chiaroscuro Foreshortening Shadow Modeling Drapery Independent Studies Negative Space Nature Studies Trees Flowers Animals Human Anatomy Hands Gesture Drawing Portraits Perspective Freehand Perspective
Note: How Great Thou ART has been revised. The pen and ink assignments in the back with the marker cards are not covered on the DVDs. However, the instructions in that chapter should be self-explanatory.
Dear Budding Artist; Greetings. You are now about to enter page one of How Great Thou Art I. I hope there is a certain excitement brewing within you about learning to draw! It’s really not as difficult as it seems, nor is it necessary to have a great amount of talent. The ability to draw is a gradual process. Taking one step at a time, learning the fundamentals, and practicing as much as possible. The most important quality for the beginning artist is determination. Don’t give up. We all need teachers, but our greatest teacher can be ourselves. Guide your ship with the determination to do your best. Again, it is a gradual process. One does not simply jump in with paper and pencil and create masterpieces. Go with the pace that is set in the assignments and, hopefully, your ability to draw will grow with each new lesson. As you travel through the exercises, underline points that are important to you, reviewing them from time to time. Do not forget what you have learned! These assignments are not to be done and then discarded. Keep these basic fundamentals with you, referring back to them continually as you grow. The first two assignments in this book are learning to draw lines and ellipses. Even though they do not seem important, the most basic exercises sometimes are the most valuable. Most of these assignments will encourage you to work from life. Working from life (objects that are in front of you), will teach you to see correctly and allow you to work more with light and form. This is one of the crucial cornerstones in building a foundation in drawing. We would love to hear from you! Please write us. Send some copies of your artwork, any questions you may have, or just to say, “hello.” Hoping for the best. In Christ,
“Let us, then, be up and doing With a heart for any fate Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.” Longfellow Barry Stebbing How Great Thou ART Box 48 McFarlan, NC 28102
“Pleasure must be found in study.” Cezanne
MATERIALS Most beginning artists are like children in a candy store. “I want one of these...and some of that....and one of those......” Please, do not go overboard when purchasing art materials. Having an overabundance of supplies when starting out can often frustrate and overwhelm the student, with much of the supplies winding up in a closet never to be used again. In actuality, all that is needed in beginning drawing is a pencil and paper. Simply stated, draw and draw, and draw some more. However, for our purposes we will invest in this small list of materials:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1 “HB” pencil 1 “2B” and “4B” pencil 1 kneaded eraser 1 ruler 1 extra fine black marker pen How Great Thou Art I
1. “HB” pencil: “HB” pencils range from “HB” to “6B” and have a soft lead and a dark line. “HB” is the lightest and will be used to draw in our com positions. 2. “B” pencil: “2B” to “6B” are great drawing pencils, varying in darkness. “2B” is the standard drawing pencil and is what we will use along with a “4B” pencil (darker). 3. Kneaded Erasers are not recommended in beginning drawing. Students tend to use Eraser: them too much and often lose confidence in their drawing abilities. However, an eraser is required from time to time, and a kneaded eraser (gum eraser) will be best for our purposes. 4. Ruler: Students also have a tendency to “lean” on the use of a ruler for straight lines. Students should learn how to draw a straight line without the aid of a ruler, however, a ruler will be required for several of the more technical exercises. 5. Extra Fine Black Marker Pen: Some of the assignments will call for a black drawing pen. A reasonably priced extra fine felt pen will work well for these exercises. 6. HOW GREAT THOU ART I: This book will be used both as a text and a sketch book for most of the assignments. The paper is a standard drawing paper which makes it both affordable and practical for the drawing exercises.
â€œFar away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they Louisa May Alcott lead.â€?
Beginning Drawing There are many various mediums a student can use in drawing. For our purposes we will be using several drawing pencils and a black drawing pen. With drawing, there is a range from “HB” to “6B” pencils. “HB” has a hard lead and creates a light line; “2B” pencils have a softer lead and offers a darker line. “B” pencils go up in range from “2B” to “6B” with “6B” having the softest lead and the darkest value. It is good to have a variety of drawing pencils in order to draw from lighter to darker values. However, in the beginning, all you need is a handful such as “HB”, “2B”, and “4B” or “5B” pencils which will be fine for our purposes. Likewise, there are a wide range of black drawing pens available. For more advanced students there are technical pens with steel tips. However, a fine black marker pen will work just as well. Like technical pens, there is a range in thickness of lines for the student to choose from such as bold, fine, extra fine, and ultra fine. The pen that I use most is the extra fine, and that is what we recommend for this text. (The pen used to draw the farm scene below was done with a bold point.) One more word about black pen, or pen and ink, drawings is that the paper we have selected for this text is of a fairly good quality and will hold the black lines well, yet there may be some bleeding to the other side. The five pen and ink cards that come with the text are on a paper more suitable for not bleeding.
Bold Fine X-tra Fine Micro-Fine
“Draw lines young man, plenty of lines.”
Lesson #1: Line When Edgar Degas was a young artist, he had the opportunity to meet the great French artist, Ingres (angs). Degas asked the master what was the key to becoming a good artist. Ingres looked at him and simply stated, “Draw lines young man, plenty of lines.” How profound! After all my years teaching, that is still the one thing I recommend. Line is everything! Through the understanding of line, we have the Rosetta Stone to drawing. After all, a drawing is nothing more than a series of lines put together in a certain order to create a picture. Did you ever hear the saying, “I can’t even draw a straight line.”? There is a certain amount of truth to this statement. Until we learn to draw straight lines (without the use of a ruler) we will remain beginners. “Draw lines young man, plenty of lines!” Using your sketchbook in the back of the text, draw a series of controlled, parallel lines going from left to right. Start at the top and fill the entire page with straight, horizontal lines (A). Your lines should be parallel and close together, with a nice easy flow from beginning to end. Control is the key. When you have practiced an entire page of controlled lines fill the figure box below (C) with horizontal lines. Remember, no rulers! B.
NO! DON’T INCH ALONG WITH JAGGED STOPS ALONG THE WAY (B)! DON’T DRAW SLOPPY LINES THAT START TO CURVE DOWNWARD (B)! DON’T SAY, “THIS IS BORING.” BUT LEARN FROM EACH EXERCISE! C.
“Fear not that thy life shall come to an end, but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.” Cardinal Newman A.
Lesson #2: Ellipses Just as the beginning of modern man started with the wheel, the beginning of form in drawing starts with the ellipse. Simply stated, an ellipse is a circle seen on an angle. Look at a roll of masking tape, the top of a jar, or a lampshade.....all are ellipses, or circles seen on an angle. Once you understand what an ellipse is, you will begin to express form. To draw an ellipse correctly, lock your hand, wrist and arm into one. With a series of circular motions, hover your pencil above the paper like a helicopter just above the ground. Gently bring your pencil down on the paper, continuing the motion, until you have lightly drawn the circular motion on your paper four or five times (A). If done correctly, it will look like a circle seen on an angle, or an ellipse. Do an entire page of ellipses in the sketchbook to the rear of your text. Try to draw some ellipses that are more open than others. Remember, practicing lines and ellipses is much more than simply doing one page of each. You should practice these disciplines as often as possible. Upon completion fill the space below (D) with more ellipses. Go from your “HB” pencil to your “2B” pencil to darken. B.
..........DON’T PASS THIS EXERCISE UP! ..........DON’T BE HEAVY HANDED B!! ..........NO FLOPPY PANCAKES C!!! D.
“I drew, and I drew, and I drew some more.”
Lesson #3: Simple Objects When someone asked Michelangelo how he became a great artist he commented, “I drew, and I drew, and I drew some more.” It’s like tennis or baseball or anything else, the more you practice the better you are going to be. Drawing should be a disciplined part of each day. For instance, you may want to set aside thirty minutes every morning to improve your drawing skills. Simple Objects A. Use an axis line B. C.
NO! Jars, cans, glasses, spools of thread and cups are all simple objects, consisting of only ellipses and lines. Place some of these objects in front of you and study them for a moment. Notice they are all round and made up of ellipses. When drawing these objects, start with a light, vertical axis line in the center to balance your subject matter (A). Use a ruler and an “HB” pencil to draw an axis line to make sure it is both light and straight. An axis line not only keeps your objects straight, so they won’t “wobble” or resemble the leaning tower of Pisa (B) but also assists in equally drawing both sides of the object the same. First, draw vertical axis lines on your paper. Then, draw the ellipses for the top and bottom of each object, and add the lines for the sides (C). Draw 15 simple objects in your sketchbook using an axis line, ellipses and quality lines. Draw five of your best simple objects below (D). D.
...........DON’T FORGET YOUR ELLIPSES! ...........DON’T FORGET YOUR AXIS LINES!!
â€œ..... that you aspire to lead a quiet life, and to mind your own business and to work with your own hands.....â€? 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Lesson #4: Line Variation
One delightful way to show variety in your drawings is with thick and thin lines? Many beginning art students lack the touch necessary to create delicate lines, making heavy, dark lines. Do another series of horizontal lines below (C), as in Lesson #1. However, this time practice line variation. Start with some pressure on your pencil (making darker lines), and as you move across the paper, lighten up on the pressure. This will create a line that is thick, then thin, then thick again, depending on the amount of pressure. Draw horizontal, parallel lines, keeping them close together, as illustrated above (A). This is a discipline in control and consistency. When you are finished, fill the next page with ribbon exercises, practicing thick and thin parallel lines. C. Draw thick & thin lines below