Aha! I bet I fooled you.
Did you think this post would be about ways to draw something so you’d get uniform results? Or did you know me well enough to know that is so…not…me.
In fact, I thought this drawing would be a good one to show you exactly the opposite. Well, obliquely the opposite. This post isn’t about the techniques I used to draw of color, but the method I used to make decisions about what to draw.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get going, or decide what to put down next. I did this one day when I was a bit flustered over remodeling problems, and just sort of blank-minded. I’ve often mentioned that I usually start drawing and then decide what I’m going to do. That happened here, and for once, in a way that I can easily share. If you’re interested, read on below.
This drawing was done in a Stillman & Birn Delta sketchbook. I started with a base of Shock Orange Montana marker acrylic paint, drew the line work with a J. Herbin brush pen, and add the highlights with a Sakura Moonlight yellow gellyroll pen. The orange was a good choice, because it is light enough that linework shows up easily, but dark enough that highlights really stand out.
So starting with the orange paint already dry, I added some lines at the top, which made me think of fabric, and since I was at the top I thought of hanging fabric, like curtains, and I started lacy type patterns.
But I didn’t really want to do curtains. For some reason, on that day, curtains just seemed like too much effort. they wouldn’t have been, but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes, your mood dictates things a certain way, and you have to go with it.
So I looked again and thought the fabric-y lines seemed more like a neckcloth, and those were epaulets at the side. You know, like part of a uniform that Napoleon might have worn (he would have never worn a uniform like this–but just go with it, lol). I didn’t want to draw a uniform. But where curtains are more simple in design, uniforms gave me lots to work with.
Understand–I did NOT want to draw a uniform, I wanted the elements of a uniform to give structure to what I was drawing. And here’s how that works.
Uniforms often have vests or stiff collar points or chokers.. Never mind that I already had a neck cloth. I added another neck thingee of some kind with lots of embellishment. I chose patterns that made me think of lace and stiff brocade.
And uniforms have buttons. I chose a pattern that made me think of the debossed metallic patterns on buttons.
And seams. The pattern is self-explanatory, though I could have gone with a zig-zag or chain or lots of other type stitching.
And, of course, I couldn’t forget pockets. Pockets with embellishments…
I realized I was being too literal, placing all these things where they might actually be on a uniform. I did NOT want to draw a uniform. So I placed my ribbons down below the pockets. I decided not to use a pattern for these (even though I hadn’t added the ‘wool’ effect yet).
I had enough things that could be found ON a uniform, so now I decided to focus on WHAT a uniform might be made from–wool and some kind of weave. Oh, this would be FINE uniform. Just smashing!
My page was pretty much done. And you know what? It looked way too much like a uniform, lol. I decided to add some depth, so I darkened a few areas and shaded it to look like a pathway.
But, if you didn’t see a uniform in the finished drawing, you probably do now, no matter what.
I’m going to do another drawing using the same steps, but I’m going to free myself when it comes to placement of the elements. Hopefully, I’ll have it to share on Thursday. I want to show you how you could use this method to help you make decisions and come up with a different drawing every time.