Learn How to Draw Part 3 (of 6) - Learn Drawing the POSItive Way
Learn How to Draw

Learn How to Draw Part 3 (of 6) - Learn Drawing the POSItive Way

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One of the most important things to learn when learning to draw is understanding the process almost every artist uses to fill a blank sheet of paper with more and more lines until she finished the drawing. Although seemingly complicated this process consists of several separate tasks.

Most artists follow intuitively these separate tasks step-by-step in the right order. Unfortunately when starting to learn drawing, you lack the experience to follow this strategy by instinct. But instead of waiting for the necessary experience, you can use the following shortcut.

I created a system around this process most artists understand and follow intuitively. It consists of four steps:

  • Placement
  • Outlines
  • Shapes
  • Illumination.

These four steps are quite simple and follow the common process to create a drawing. I abbreviated this system P-O-S-I - a POSItive way to learn drawing.

So let's get started:

1. Placement of Objects in Your Drawing

This is the first step. Have a look at the whole scene, identify the different objects in the scene and try to understand the scene. Focus on the different objects' locations and their position relative to one another. Finally if you think your understanding of the scene is good enough, mark on your paper where you want to place the different objects.

Try to be as accurate as possible unless you already have some competence in the art of composition. Advanced artists know how to alter the scene for a stronger impression without disturbing realism at the same time.

2. Drawing Outlines of the Different Objects

Now you know where to place the objects it is time to sketch them as simple outlines. Look carefully at each part of the scenery and try to understand its form and outline. Then draw its outline - only the silhouette - in a few light lines. Limit yourself to the outer lines of each object. Repeat this step for every object in the scene. Ideally you start with objects in the background and continue to the foreground parts.

After finishing the outline of the whole scene this way, it is time to have a final judging look (but not too judging tough!). Now it is still easy to reposition any object or to correct one or another line. But don't be excessively critical and keep in mind: every good drawing lives from slight deviations.

3. Draw the Shape of the Different Parts

Now it is time to turn our attention to the objects' shapes. Begin to add the internal structures of the scene's parts with few and fine lines. Place strokes in the right directions to follow and form the shape of the parts of every object.

For curved objects use curved lines and in flat sections use straight lines. But still limit you to few and light lines. Just try to get the shapes right. As there are still only thin lines on the paper you have still the opportunity to correct a line here and there.

Finally your picture has gained a stronger perspective and three-dimensional appearance. Time to fill out the white spaces and complete your drawing!

4. Illuminate your Drawing

Until now we only worked on laying out the scene using light lines. Sketching the outlines and shapes of all objects in the scene we created a line drawing that depicts the scenes outlook reliably.

But for creating realism something is missing: texture, light and shadow. In this final step we will fill in these elements that give volume to our drawing and finally make it look realistic. So in this step our opportunities for creating a great drawing are great but also is the risk of damaging it beyond repair.

What to do? Again look carefully at each part of the scene. Note how light and shadow fall on it, how its surfaces are textured and what the colors look like. Most important is the surface - because even if a surface is all one color, its structure and texture creates different shades.

The same applies to shadows. Look how the objects cast shadows on themselves and on objects around them. Add these shadows by first drawing their outline, correcting and perfecting it and then filling it with darker tones.
When adding all the shades and textures to your drawing always try to work from the background to the foreground. While doing this go from brighter tones and weak contrasts in the background to strong tones and contrasts in the foreground. This creates a stronger three-dimensionality.

With this final step you finished you drawing. Go one step back and enjoy. And keep in mind: if the little critic in you comes to life, put your drawing away, the more you will enjoy it in a few months!

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suzan hackerson  - just me   |:
try working BACKWARDS from your picture...you SEE the WHOLE detail, break it
down and back track..
One way, is take a piece of clear tracing paper lay it
over the picture. Now DRAW the BASICS and go from there and add on or remove,
see if that doesn't help you.
Mollie  - Ms   |:
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. However, I cannot seem to activate your
free e-book and free course.

Your articles really helps me a lot as a beginner
wannabe artist.

Mollie  - Ms   |:
Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. However, I cannot seem to activate your
free e-book and free course.

Your articles really helps me a lot as a beginner
wannabe artist.

sachin  - thank you   |:
Thank you for training me......
Tuan Vu  - wow   |:
Swapna  - Superb   |:
Thanks for the wonder tip
hans   |:
Yes ! thats very good.thanks
chandanee  - Thanks lot   |:
I really love the way you teach of art. I want to learn so far...but i have
money to pay for your book "27 Tested Steps to Drawing
should i do??
Rina Minné   |:
Hi Ruendiger

Wow this is great! I Love it.Thank you very much for the tips. I
bought your "27 Tested Steps to Drawing Mastery" and it is absolutely

Kind regards
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