I thought I’d post this demo as it’s very easy and most of you probably already have the materials on hand.
One of the things I see students struggling with is making a transition from drawing in line to drawing with form. Line is one of those things that people tend to cling to much longer than necessary.
Here is the deal, in order to improve or learn something new, you want to take something that you are already good at, or confident with, such as your drawing skill and make it easy to turn line into value. That way you can rely more on shape than you do line.
Basically take a kleenex with a couple of drops of turpenoid and use it to smear the stroke of prisma pencil. You are now turning a line into value/shape. I forgot who said it but it was an excellent example, when you look at a yearbook with all the groups of people with faces smaller than your smallest fingernail, you can still recognize who the person is because of the shapes of light and shadow on their faces. Shape can communicate more than line and this is an important thing to realize when you move into paint.
This was a demo that I did for my illustration students. Aside from the technique, a photocopier was utilized.
Here is the original image. It’s kind of beat up as it has seen a lot of travel back and forth from my house to the school. It’s prisma on 11 x 17 vellum. The important thing is that I am ONLY using line.
This is a photocopy of my line drawing. The advantage of using the photocopier is that my lines are fused to the paper. Put the original line drawing in the machine and put a sheet of the same vellum in the bypass tray. The machine then copied my drawing onto the fresh sheet of vellum. This serves two purposes; 1) it makes your lines permanent and 2) if you screw up while applying value, you can still make another photocopy of your original drawing and start again. If you were working on your original and had to start over, you would have more work having to redraw your image and more likely than not it wouldn’t have the same degree of ‘freshness’. Often times when you project or trace a drawing to put it onto an opaque surface, you tend to lose some of the spontanaety of the original drawing. By using a copier, you keep the freshness and the copy acts as a safety net, enabling you to be more daring than you would otherwise be if you were working on your original.
This image is made by applying your black prisma pencil to make your shadows and using the kleenex with turpenoid to blend out your lines. That way they read as shapes of value. The light areas are made with a kneaded eraser. Electric erasers will also work with this technique, but I save that for highlights in the hair and eyes.
Now this is another copy put onto a fresh sheet of vellum. This time, I copied the value drawing above. Now my values are established and not moving, I now use only the colored prismas and leave out black. I don’t need it as now the toner from the copier is my black and it’s not moving.
Here another class demo where the same idea about is line, except this time I am tracing reference from National Geographic.
The advantage is you can use the copier to increase or decrease the size of your line drawing before you apply value.