PA Clive Riggs shares some excellent tips to improve your drawing.
Drawing to most of us, will mean expressing the form of something on a flat surface. To some, myself included, it is far more important than colour as the effective use of colour depends much more on an intuitive sense or reaction and is therefore more difficult to teach. Form therefore, ought to be the target for those wishing to improve their drawing skills and through this, their painting.
Stage 1- The use of line
When we think of line drawing, we are most likely going to think of drawing “outlines”. We know that in the real world outlines around things don’t exists so it might be helpful to think of a different definition to help with a clear understanding of what you are looking for when we instinctively draw outlines.
On the left we have three individual diamond shapes, seen flat. On the right, they combine to create the illusion of a box in three dimensions. Where two shapes meet, they share one boundary. This is the first principal that needs to be learned in order to draw successfully with line. Visually
deconstruct objects in order to identify the individual shapes, see them as flat and transfer them to your picture surface.
TIP - when seen flat, everything has a shape, even shadows and highlights and especially the spaces between objects that appear to be empty.
The first stage then in improving drawing using line is to practise identifying the flat shapes you see in front of you, drawing their boundaries and putting this together as a kind of jigsaw puzzle. This is the fundamental skill that transfers directly into painting. Don’t be tempted to use tone yet, stick to line and flat shapes until you are confident using line for boundaries of flat shapes.
Clive is a professional artist, Educated at The King's School Ely, he served with 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers before studying fine art (painting) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee. He qualified as a lecturer in 2006 and taught art and design in an FE college before deciding to dedicate more time to painting and printmaking while still teaching adults both privately and in community education.
Find out more and visit Clive's website