Tutorials + Techniques
A space for us to share things that we have learned along the way, explore when ever we can and practice everyday.
Sketching Calisthenics- Point to Point (straight line)
We are starting the first addition to Tuts+Tech+Edu section on Lineweights, the same way we try to start each sketching session…with sketching calisthenics. Just like an athletes, sketchers need to warm up too! It is an exercise that many of us have been doing since we first began ID sketching, and we continue to do them today. No matter how practiced you are at sketching, these techniques are a great way to loosen up, calibrate your hand to eye coordination and should be done as often as possible.
Below are 8.5×11 pages you can with which…in the immortal words of yoda….. “train yourself to let go of your fears.”
When doing the Straight Line Exercise, the key is to nail it with one stroke…none of that chicken scratchin business or fuzzy lines, just one line, lay it down and move on. It won’t be perfect but remember that this exercise is about building confidence behind your lines. Try to do this exercise with a Sharpie as it forces you to do it in one stroke. Make sure to pace yourself and not just do quick lazy lines. Another tip…draw with the shoulder not with your wrist…
Sketching Calisthenics- Ellipse
This warm up technique is used in many design sketching classes, ive heard horror stories of the class at ArtCenter (where you spend months on different degrees of ellipses)…great practice thou. So just like above, the first page is the 8.5×11 for you to print out and practice on your end…the second page is the warm up I did this morning. Enjoy!
Sketching Calisthenics- Box
This warm up technique covers both straight line and ellipse calisthenics but also ads perspective and space awareness in drawing. It is important to be able to draw primitives well in perspective especially boxes. Boxes are the most fundamental objects a designer or artist will use to get an idea of proportions, measurements, spacing and perspective in a composition. A box can represent many things becoming the building blocks of more complex object.
The first line that is drawn will be the first edge of the box that will be closest to the viewer. This line can be any length, but for now try to keep it long enough so that the box will fit inside the drawing area.
The next lines will be drawn from the top and bottom of the first line to an imaginary vanishing point. Up to now we are assuming most of you understand one point, two point and three point perspective and have been drawing for something to have trained yourself to estimate where the vanish points of lines will be.
Vertical lines are then drawn to a third vanishing point to create the sides of the box. Again, we are estimating where the vanishing point are.
Back to the top of the box, the top surface is created by drawing two more lines to an estimated vanishing point. A box has been created, although not a perfect box. Do not worry if the box has issues especially with perspective. The whole point is to warm yourself up and get into the groove of drawing well. As you draw more boxes you will be able to gain more insight about how your are drawing your boxes and you will be correcting yourself.
And just for practice we will draw diagonal lines from each corner to the other corner of each surface to practice straight line drawing.
Now we can practice ellipses. The idea is to make sure that the ellipse hits all four sides of the edges of each face so that those edges are tangent to the arcs of the ellipse. Again, don’t worry if they are off. Just keep practicing.
Once a box is finished do another. Turn the paper and create another box and train yourself to estimate where the vanishing points will be.
Things will get a bit complicated and you can get lost in a sea of lines. This will help train your eye to see what is happening in the composition. Most designers and artist draw through there sketches and drawings to figure out how things will appear using construction lines. Drawing a box in a sea of boxes will help enable the ability to draw through objects and find what works and what wont.
Now to add more clarity. We can choose which boxes will be in the foreground and which boxes will be in the background. Using a thicker line weight draw the edges of the boxes. Eventually the boxes will appear and there will be some depth in the composition.
We have more Calisthenics tutorials coming – Perspective, Arch, Circle, etc…