How to Draw


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Skull drawn in one line with “H” pencil

This is a skull that I drew today while I was lying on the couch again, too tired to sit up at the table. I may end up drawing a lot of things from the couch.

My partner thinks this is the best drawing I’ve done to date. Maybe… not sure. It does not really matter whether these are good or not – the whole point is just to keep learning and practicing. For the moment, I just want to keep up with at least one drawing a day. Whether its a good drawing or an awful drawing really does not matter a whole lot to me.

This did come out fairly well. I especially like it because I drew it all from just one line. I never picked my pencil up drawing this. There’s a little handwritten note near the base of the left horn that has an arrow pointing to the place where I started and stopped the line.

At first I thought doing this one line exercise was going to mean I would draw one of those line drawings that looks like a wire sculpture, but then as I kept going with this, I realized I could do shading very well without lifting my pencil up. I was even able to do the softer shading by rolling my pencil over on the side.

The softer shadows on the right side were hard. It was hard to keep my hand steady. Don’t start one of these kinds of drawings if you have not eaten in awhile, unless you like the shaky hand effect.

The softer shadows were also hard because they were a second set of shadows. The light was coming from two directions on the skull, so I had the harder-edged shadows from the brighter light source on the right side of the skull, and those softer, more diffused shadows on the left side coming from the less bright light. I was worried having two sets of shadows would be confusing, and maybe it still is. I tried to just go ahead and draw what I saw as closely as possible, and just hoped that the end result would look okay.

This image is also a little off in terms of the shadows, because the paper I was using is rumpled. I have started going through a lot of drawing paper now that I really am drawing a lot, and so I was using an old sketchbook that had gotten rumpled.

Another thing about this drawing is that I used a different pencil weight. This was done with an “H” weight pencil. It makes a lighter line, but the pencil lead is harder, so you don’t have to sharpen your pencil every two seconds. See my earlier posts about how I don’t like soft pencils.

I think this came out well because I didn’t rush it. Even unrushed, it took less than half an hour. Drawing something as detailed as this is best done if you’re feeling patient. Otherwise you might as well just do a sketch.

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