“If you keep going, you’ll get there. Consistency is the key to success.”
I promised that I’d post a scan of my geometric shapes study when I had a version I liked well enough. Once I got going on it, though, I decided to do a single drawing and keep working on it until it reached a state of finished-ness, when I felt I had accomplished what I had intended for the exercise. So, over the last few (several?) months, mostly when I’ve had opportunity after my morning walk to sit at my table for a while, I’ve been working on it, bit by bit, layer by layer.
I gave myself a couple of specific challenges for the project:
- First of all, I had to do it freehand, without the use of a grid. My purpose was to break away from using that method (not that there’s anything inherently the matter with it — it was Leonardo daVinci who devised the perspective grid, after all), to train my eye to see proportion within the scene as a whole, the positive and negative space, how each shape related to the others.
- Secondly, I was not allowed to use a ruler to draw any of the lines, or use my circle stencil to create the sphere. I allowed myself to use them as a way to check, but again, I wanted to train my eye to observe and then render.
I overworked some areas of the paper as I erased, redrew, laid down more layers of the different pencils, so the graphite doesn’t have a smooth and consistent tone in some places, but I think I’m getting a handle on the technique. I started shading the sphere first, then, when I began shading the cube, I discovered that I had apparently decided to make it shorter than the one in the reference drawing. I made some adjustments to give it better proportion, but chose not to do a complete re-draw, to accept the “flaw” and carry on. Learn from it for the next time.
So here it is, and as one of my favourite music directors would say, “It’s close enough for jazz.” You can click on the image to see it larger.
To see the original reference drawing click here (it should open in a new window).
Next step — watch and do the exercises on the 5-Pencil Method’s “How to Draw a Portrait” DVD . . .
P.S. If any of you know the source for the quote, please let me know :o) I’d like to give proper credit.