Here are some short exercises focusing on planning, structuring compositions and analysing visual relationships. The theory is that all that gestural quick stuff I've been practising, along with some meaningful structure, should be the basis of eventually achieving effective drawing skills. Well, I tend to do a lot of this compositional thinking with my watercolour paintings already without being too conscious of exactly how I'm doing it.. but it's always useful to review things, even though in truth these exercises were a bit boring ! Probably quite useful though, especially if you haven't done a lot of drawing or painting before.
The drawing on the left is a practice of "blocking out" a composition which is basically determining the spatial relationships and proportional relationships between the objects and the dimensions of the paper. It's concerned with visually comparing and checking angles and proportional length of the subject and what you are actually drawing. You should end up with a "map" of your composition. My proportions did not turn out well or correct as you can see, so it would have been best for me to do a few more versions and concentrate a bit more on accuracy, as I think drawing things in correct proportion is a major area in need of improvement by myself -that's what I'd say if I had to analyse my stuff in a seriously stern manner ! Ok, more work needed at some point on this topic...
The drawing on the right of the edge of the table is to practice sighting with a pencil to determine angles and proportions. I'd done a bit of this before through Bert Dodson's book "Keys to drawing" - in fact I think his instructions were a bit clearer than Mr Smagula's in reference to this and other topics. I find this guy (Smagula) is waffling on a bit much and the actual instructions associated with each exercise can sometimes be quite vague. I probably wouldn't recommend this book for a complete beginner... but anyway, will persevere, as it is at least very comprehensive.
These are some drawings I did a few years ago from the wonderful Betty Edward's "Drawing on the Right Side of the brain" book (a book I would highly recommend to beginners or anyone who hasn't discovered it yet!) The one on the left is of the side of a room using a picture plane (pretty much the only way I can make an absolutely technically correct proportional drawing). The drawing on the right, using pencil is using sighting techniques with a pencil (explained very clearly by Ms Edwards) to measure angles and proportions of the inside of my old apartment. Things are slightly off in parts (door?) but generally not a bad effort, considering my problems with proportion...
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.