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How to achieve dark tones in graphite drawing

How to achieve dark tones in graphite drawing

Question from Anastasia, Drawing Academy student

Dear Vladimir,

I have seen some drawings with very dark backgrounds. When I try to shade dark areas, the graphite marks become glossy.

How to achieve dark tones in graphite drawing?

What is the best technique to render really dark values? …

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Linear and Tonal Drawing

Linear and Tonal Drawing

Question from Anastasia, Drawing Academy student

Dear Vladimir,

Thank you very much for the drawing course! I have learned so much from your video lessons.

Please see my portraits below that I was doing in a life drawing class. When making these sketches, I have been told by an art instructor that the line use is wrong; she insisted that it all has to be done tonally. Can you please clarify the correct way to draw sketches?

Thank you again for your support and opportunity to study! …

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Blind Contour Drawing

Blind Contour Drawing

Question from Slater Smith, Drawing Academy student

Hello,

Some artists and instructors have recommended making blind contour drawings. Without looking at the paper, you move your pencil “with” your eyes until all the contours of an object have been drawn. The practice is supposed to help hand-eye coordination, but I’ve never seen a Master drawing from any period that uses such an approach, or at least not from what I can tell.

On top of that, all I ever manage to get out of blind contour drawings are scribbles that hardly resemble the subject.

What does the Drawing Academy have to say about this technique?

Should I use it, or am I better off avoiding blind contour drawings? …

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How to draw from imagination

How to draw from imagination

Question from Steven Lee How do you apply constructive drawing, or drawing what you know, to things from imagination? Answer from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy Tutor The purpose of constructive drawing is to enable you to draw even those things that you never drew before. Creating from imagination you can only draw what you know or imagine, not what you see in front of you. For example, if you want to make a realistic artwork of a girl, car or a spaceship from your imagination, the results will be much better when you apply the constructive drawing rules. These drawing rules are universal: Linear and aerial perspective; Golden proportions and proportions of a human body; Principles of composition; Axes of symmetry and other helping lines; “Seeing” an object through as if it is transparent; and so on… All these rules…

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Quality vs Quantity in Drawing

Quality vs Quantity in Drawing

Question from Slater

I was wondering which aspect is more important while sketching: quantity or quality. I often hear people say that, when learning how to draw, practice is the only surefire way. I completely agree, but I have noticed a few variations on what is expected to be achieved from a practice sketch.

The sketches found in Drawing Academy look, at least to me, like quality ones with clean lines, accurate proportions, and marvelous shading. On the other hand, when I look at the sketches of certain Old Masters, especially Rembrandt’s, they seem to be done rapidly with an emphasis on style, but appear to be slightly lacking in proportion and crispness…

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How to Draw Eyelashes

How to Draw Eyelashes

Question from Ray, Drawing Academy student

I seem to have a real difficulty getting the eye lashes rendered. It seems as though when I do an eye on a male, as soon as I start rendering the eye lashes, the eye soon becomes a woman’s eye. I have tried laying in sparse lashes, very small, and then a few longer ones without any luck. The bottom lashes are just fine, very soft and not to many. I am sure there is some way to solve this issue…

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Grounds for Silverpoint

Grounds for Silverpoint

Question from Ron, Drawing Academy student

Vladimir,

Are you aware that inkjet photo paper can take silverpoint? If not, give it a try and see what you think of the paper as a ground. I have been experimenting with silverpoint, and because inkjet paper is a prepared paper that had a fine tooth that acted as an abrasive I decided to try it and was pleasantly surprised. However, I feel perhaps the depth of tone may not be deep enough. Regardless of that, it may be a useful paper for soft rendering…

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Drawing Texture

Drawing Texture

Question by Yuri Magalhaes

I have a question about drawing textures. Say, for example, that I’m portraying an old man, or a scene that shows some concrete or a wall: how do I show the textures and irregularities of the surface under the layers of hatching? …

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