Saturday, January 28, 2012

So, you understand the grid, now what?

The first time I used the grid was my senior year in High School. I was surprised to see they were teaching it at my college also. I'm not one to boast about my work. I'm highly critical of myself up until my art professor in college always used my stuff as an example. I couldn't believe it. The picture above was my very first drawing in college using the grid. Looks pretty good for a first drawing. I didn't believe it though. It took my professor to tell me this for me to believe it. So please don't be so hard on yourself and your work. Everyone is different in the way they execute art and it is all beautiful.

So, you've got the grid down pretty well and you want to challenge yourself a bit. Let's also assume you know how to shade. Shading is critical when doing a portrait drawing. I would love to teach you how to shade but it's almost impossible to do in writing. I recommend looking on you tube for some pointers or taking a class on drawing. Practice shading a ball. It helps you to understand where light hits on objects. Also the pencils you use are important. Everyone is different as far as what pencils they like to use. Some like charcoal, some like the soft pencils and some like the harder ones. Try them all out and see what you like best. Personally, I like the soft pencils 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, and 6b are my favorites.
Anyway, you think you're ready to draw a portrait. What should you start with? I highly recomment starting with a celebrity photograph. They're the easiest for me to draw. They have a ton of makeup and great dimension on them. They're photographs are already art. Use a celebrity you like a lot. I used a lot of Johnny Depp in my early years of drawing. I love Edward Scissorhands.

And Gwen Stefani from No Doubt...That picture has a bad glare on it from being behind a glass case at school...

Eventually from a lot of practice you will find you understand the body more and shadows. You won't need the grid and will be able to draw whatever you want more freely. The good thing about learning the grid is if you ever get stuck on a picture you just can't get to look like the photograph, you have the grid that will guarantee you will get it right. Below are my latest works without using a grid.

As you will see I have evolved from pencil to oils and colored pencils. I highly suggest you play with different mediums and find your passion. I would love to see your work from when you started and where you are now! Happy Drawing.

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