Thursday, May 24, 2012

Line Drawing - Tips and Tricks: Harold Speed 9

If memory serves, I took this photo at the Fort Worth Zoo three years ago.

I've been working my way through Harold Speed's book on drawing. Chapter 8 is entitled "Line Drawing: Practical". It is a large chapter full of tips and tricks - it is mostly practical whereas the book thus far has been theoretical. There is way too much in this chapter to put in a single blog post. I can't even prioritize the different tips - so I'm just going to list three quotes that I can benefit from and urge you to read the book yourself!

"Speaking generally, lines of shading drawn across the forms suggest softness, lines drawn in curves fulness of form, lines drawn down the forms hardness, and lines crossing in all directions so that only a mystery of tone results, atmosphere."
-- Harold Speed

  • These "rules" are generally true and can certainly be broken.
  • As a pencil artist who likes showing her marks (leaving my pencil strokes visible) it would be good for me to think about these rules when I'm planning my next piece.

"Don't burden a line drawing with heavy half tones and shadows; keep them light. The beauty that is the particular province of line drawing is the beauty of contours, and this is marred by heavy light and shade."
-- Harold Speed
  • Here Speed is definitely advocating a certain type of line drawing he finds most beautiful.
  • In terms of colored pencil, I think this idea can be used to support high key (all light values) CP drawings. As an art viewer, I love high key paintings. Given my way of working with CPs, high key is good - I find it difficult to get large areas of strong dark color in my work.

"As it is only from one point of view that things can be drawn, and as we have two eyes, therefore two points of view, the closing of one eye will be helpful at first."
-- Harold Speed

  • This is one of the first tips any one gets in any art instruction.
  • It bears repeating though, because it is so easy to focus attention on the exact thing that you are drawing - thereby losing the "glance" viewpoint that made you fall in love with an image. This is definitely an area I'd like to work on.


Teresa said...

I forgot about the closing one eye thing! Thanks for reminder :-)

Rose Welty said...

It was a good reminder foot me too!