The first part of tutorial series.
I'll start explaining how I see the world around me. While it may be a bit boring, otherworldly and not really telling you how to draw, it may help you to understand the concepts behind my drawings. Also, I'm not master of drawing myself yet, so this is not absolutely correct all the time.
These things are in very conceptual level at this point, but when I get to draw human characters, you will see how useful they are. These things will have a lot to do with the perspective drawing, which I'll cover later.Nothing is as it seems...
The funniest thing about drawing is that we already have all the reference we possibly need around us and still we fail at drawing. How is this even possible?
It has mostly do with our brains, because our brains intentionally filter a lot of information away. The eyes gather simply too much information that it's no point using so much processing power, when certain reactions, habits and learnt knowledge will get the job done. For example, a leaf in shadow looks like it has the same color as one in light. Also, a person far away still look human sized. We can see several sides of a box, but it doesn't look skewed to us.
That said, while this kind of learnt knowledge is very useful, it's a real hindrance for an artist in training. An artist needs to learn seeing all the things our brains have filtered and then transfer that true visual data to the canvas. I believe that the power of art lies in illusion. For example, we know that our skin color is a bit yellowish. However, if our average Joe would paint the skin yellowish, it would look terrible. That's because our skin isn't really yellowish, but that's what we think it is. When an artist paints skin, she uses very different colors and for some reasons, the skin looks exactly like it should and we think it looks! How is this possible?
It's really fascinating how artists can make their paintings or drawings even more realistic than reality itself. I call this an illusion: something looks like A but it's actually B
. So like in my previous example, a skin looks yellowish, but it's actually mix of purple, orange, red, green, blue and etc. The same principle of illusion can be seen almost anywhere.
To summarize, you need to draw the things very differently than you would think they. The table example is something I came up while playing piano. The effect is more evident there. Also, artists in training: read your assignments carefully. Field of vision
Should be quite self-explanatory. You can see a lot of the surroundings around you. I recommend trying to look around your room with your peripheral vision, just like with the table. Sense the space around you. You should get this spatial feeling in your drawings too.Scale and proportions
This may sound like an architects point of view, but these are the most common rules you will be dabble with. If you can see the proportions, you should be able to get most of your anatomical mistakes fixed. Of course, you will need to know what are the desirable proportions before you can fix the issues. I'll cover human character proportions in detail later.
But as a principle, I always try to find references from the elements in my drawing. If I know that a box A has certain proportions, I'll try to use a previously drawn box as a reference to get the proportions right. At the same time, I use other drawn elements in my drawing to determine the angle of new objects so that they look right from the beholders point of view.
Sometimes elements have the same proportions, but they are in different scale. For example, one cube may be smaller than another, but their proportions are still same. The bigger cube is just scaled up version of the smaller one. Then there is this case where two objects have the same proportions and scaling, but they still appear visually different in size. I call this distance scaling which takes place in perspective drawings. So in order to understand perspective, you will need to be able to see the proportions of the objects and their relation to each other and to the beholder.
If you didn't get anything at all, don't worry. You will understand it eventually if you keep practicing. The moment you understand them, I don't have much to teach you anymore.