How to Draw


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Pencil drawing of Rufus lying down

This is today’s drawing: Rufus lying down. I went outside to try to draw the garden again. That did not work out very well, but I looked down and saw him, and so I took a shot at it. I think he came out okay, though I messed up his nose a bit, and his tail looks really weird because its filled in to look like fur and the rest of the drawing leaves his fur blank.

What I should have done (why do I see so many things once I scan something and upload it here that I never saw when I had the drawing pad out in front of me!) is just erased his tail completely and started over. Trying to erase just the inside of the tail is hopeless – there is not an eraser on the planet that is precise enough to get around the lines I want to keep and erase the lines I want to get rid of.

His nose is another problem. 95% of his head is invisible from this angle – all I could see was the far tip of his nose. This is one of those perspective situations when you HAVE TO forget about what you know (because you know nothin’) and draw exactly what you see, and hope that whatever comes out on the paper makes sense. This sort of makes sense, but it looks a little weird. And this is about the fourth try of drawing his nose… ironically, the first time I drew it I got it best.

There’s another lesson in this, actually. When I come to these parts of a drawing that really stump me, instead of trying to figure them out in the drawing, I do much better if I find a piece of scrap paper or a blank area of paper somewhere and then do a couple of studies of whatever the difficult subject matter is. This helps most because it takes the pressure of getting whatever the part is right, so I relax and have more brain function available for drawing. It also gives me the practice I need to do to get it right… which often means deliberately doing a bad version of it. That’s often when I do something new (if what you have been doing before was not working, in order to get it to work, you will have to try something new…) and so I do something new, and it looks weird, but I get to solution from it. And then I can go back to the drawing and make whatever two line mark is required to fix the problem.

Its enough to make you crazy when a drawing either works or doesn’t based on two little lines. Or perhaps I am becoming obsessive?

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