You may have noticed in my previous Doodle-a-Day posts that I am not very good at drawing, which is why I am taking part. In particular I am hoping that more drawing practice will help my oil painting ambitions. It is all helping to improve the old hand-eye co-ordination (and I do mean old!) and, even after three days I think it is getting easier.
I need to get on with some painting as well. So today I have started a longer exercise which has entailed drawing the boots shown in the photo above (they are on the floor next to my desk) in preparation for making a painting. I have drawn them using a black watercolour pencil on oil painting paper simply because I think that the watercolour pencil will merge quite happily with my water-mixable oil paints. We shall see.
Normally, when preparing to paint, I would have made a fairly light drawing of the main shapes in outline without any shading.
If any complete beginners are reading this and thinking “I wish I could do that”, let me tell you that I am not very far ahead of you and you could easily overtake! I tend to start rather tentatively but taking care to get the main proportions about right (perfection can wait for later – much later). I start by making scratchy little marks on the paper that are barely visible, marking out the height of the left boot for example, then the width at the widest points. Then I do the same again for the other boot, bearing in mind that the whole lot has to fit on the paper. This is not easy and may require several corrections as the drawing proceeds – hence the scratchy little marks. Then I use equally delicate lines, consisting mainly of dots and dashes, to join the earlier marks. I will not pretend that it is easy but it is enormously satisfying to get a recognisable result.
It helps a lot if you can support your paper in such a way that you can see the object being drawn, and the paper, with the minimum of head movement.
Eventually I have a more or less finished sketch consisting of lots of little furry lines made up of dots and dashes and slightly longer strokes of the pencil. If intending to paint this picture in oil paint or acrylic I would stop drawing there – it is quite a light sketch and that would be all I would need. For Doodle-a-Day I need a stronger image for the scanner – so I go over all the lines making them darker – and add a bit of shading to make it all look a bit more three-dimensional.