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Drawing Position

Drawing Position

From David Vercueil

Hi Vladimir,

Sorry to bother you. I only have one leg and find sitting and drawing on a tilted ( +/- 20 degrees) board more comfortable than standing. I am very happy holding the pencil as you have demonstrated as the first “position”. I do however find it extremely uncomfortable using the pencil in the “standing position”.

Is it necessary to practice using the pencil in a standing position?

Once again, thanks.

Regards,
David

Reply from Vladimir London, Drawing Academy Tutor

fine artistHi David,

Many thanks for your question! I’m glad that you asked this question in the very beginning of the course, in order to ensure a proper position for drawing.

The way you hold your pencil is based upon the position of the easel, rather than whether you are in a standing or seated position.

When your drawing board is tilted at a 20-45 degree angle to the horizon, it is easier to hold your pencil like you hold a pen for writing.

However, when the easel is standing upright in front of you (tilted 20 or so degree from the vertical line), then it makes sense to use a “candle” grip. This rule applies even when you’re sitting in front of the easel.

In the first instance, when the drawing board is more horizontal, the drawing will be closer to you, which is good for small-scale artworks.

The upright easel is better when you do larger scale drawings, or when you are sketching a model or a natural scene. Then you want the drawing at about an arm’s-length from you. It gives you a better view of the drawing and of the model, since you don’t constantly have to shift your glance as far. You can see the drawing without distortion. In addition, such a position grants your pencil more freedom of movements.

When I was learning drawing in the Art School, we had freestanding upright drawing easels, with drawing boards tilted 20-30 degrees from vertical. We were sitting on chairs in front of these easels, so our eyes were on the same level as our drawing boards and models.

Kind regards,
Vladimir

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