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The right treatment - Draw Like A Pro

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The right treatment

If you give the same subject to different people to draw, their work will be necessarily quite different. Besides how correct the outline is and how accurate are the proportions, what matters is how is what kind of treatment was chosen. Sometimes, drawing in lines can give a very accurate description of distances, light, shade and perspective just as well as any type of mass drawing. We also have plenty of examples of masterpieces where the outline is totally put aside and shading used as the main technique. After all, the outline doesn’t belong to the subject. Furthermore, it changes as we change position. Figs. 1 and 2 show us two drastically different ways to draw. Fig. 1 is 100% line technique and Fig. 2 is pure mass drawing. It would be hard to say which one is more accomplished than the other. Obviously, each one has its charm and style, each one is as respectable as the other. It’s hard to set up a general rule. An artist might prefer one treatment to another because of many possible reasons. Also, a subject might call for one treatment more than the other. Besides all the variety in the choices, it is to be said that a good work calls for consistency throughout the work. Drawing in lines As you draw in lines, you should use different widths of lines depending on the distance of the subject. The nearest to our eye, the thicker the stroke should be and of course the furthest away, the thiner it has to be. Actually, some lines, as they represent a scene far away can be almost invisible, barely suggested (Fig. 3). As it can be a good thing to add objects to give roundness to drawing, it could be more difficult to respect the laws of perspective when using the outline approach. Fig. 4 gives a good example of a simple drawing done with the line approach. Fig. 5 shows us how details can totally change the general aspect. You can see how the perspective on all the details on the coin are respected. Sometimes, it is possible and even recommended to leave gaps in the outline if you want to depict an excess of light or if you want to give an effect of speed. Those techniques come from the very essence of human vision. The way we focus on certain things more than on some others changes our perception of what we really see. In order to catch the essential, the eye (or the brain) omits or simply guesses parts of the lines that are actually there. For the same reason, you can also draw a mass of lines going in the direction of the speed and simply suggest the background . Drawing in masses Always remember that when the light on your subject is bright, the contrast of your shading must be emphasized. The shadows must be darker and the parts facing the light must be lighter specially indoor. In general, shading has to be regular. There are quite a few ways to put lines together in order to obtain different effects. The thickness, the spaces between the lines, the curving of the lines and the ending as well as different effects can be used. The first step would be to practice lining up series of parallel lines and then you can practice adding up new series of lines crossing each other. It’s better not to make the second set of lines at a right angle so you avoid having that checked effect. If you cross the lines in smaller angle, you end up having a much better effect. Most the time, as the angle from the light changes, the shaded part gradually lets the light cover the surfaces. So if you want to show that progression, you can use broken lines with bigger gaps as the light appears. Those gaps shouldn’t be opposite to each other though. The thickness of the strokes and the distance between them can also be used for showing a certain variety in the tones. Another well-known technique is to use a big amount of dots, just like in newspaper printing. Sometimes, it’s hard to cover a big surface with parallel lines so you can use the small blocks of parallel lines. Of course, those techniques (Fig. 6 to 12) are a small example of what can be done and after mastering in what you see, then sky is the limit when it comes to the tricks you can use to express your vision of our beautiful world…

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