Monday, August 11, 2008

Charcoal Thumbs

Abandoned Barn Thumb #1

Abandoned Barn Thumbs #2 & 3

Thumbnail sketches, in charcoal, of the abandoned barn image. Remember that buildings seen from above suggest 3 point perspective. I'll remand you to the search engines to look up drawing perspective. Note, the query "3 point perspective" works better than a query like "drawing perspective".

I find that after you learn drawing skills, it's effective to NOT think too hard about the technical aspects of perspective. Just trust yourself to draw it and the quicker the better - your result will be fresher and more lively. That's right, I said "lively" in describing a building!

Then, after the fact, if something doesn't look right, review your drawing's perspective.

The 3 thumbs above represent a closely cropped version of the abandoned barn scene. And, each crop is a little different, and the results are very different in my eye. I find this image to be simple enough that I won't distinguish between a line sketch and a value sketch.

Going back to this perspective issue, I want to mention that the barn exists in a 3 point perspective space, but the landscape exists in a zero point perspective. The land in much of the American West is rolling hills with mountains in the distance. The artist must organize his lines for the overall graphic needs of his painting, rather than point style perspective. My own bias is to make the lines lead the eye into the painting, and hardly ever out! Upward directed lines at the edge, diagonals and "Z" shapes are helpful here. I also noticed several triangular patterns where grass patches abut the fields and crop lines. They provide interest and direction.

As far as the barn is concerned, my thoughts are to keep it anchored to the earth. Just like figure drawing, ask yourself how the interface of the feet to the ground of a standing subject appear. Believable
? Or floating strangely in space?

Next: Color Studies.


Gesa said...

A drawing post after my own heart... there's so much in here, Casey - great. I really like your explication of the Z-shape and the anchoring. I've done of a couple of sketches of yet more fields. One really intrigues me but the composition doesn't work literally - although the actual images produces a very good photo. I'll take your comments to heart and will try again!

Casey Klahn said...

I'll try to comment on photos and fields in the next post, Gesa.