Drawing

Notes and personal sketches from the The Art & Science of Drawing by Brent Eviston.

Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper
Dancer Adjusting Her Slipper by Edgar Degas (1873).

How to begin

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It’s important to get comfortable drawing with very light lines. Even the best artists lightly frame their work, then shape it later in the process. Darker lines should be an intentional choice.

Circles and ovals

All form can be distilled to a few basic shapes. Translating what you see in the world into these basic shapes is a fundamental aspect of drawing.

When drawing circles or ovals, it’s best to start the hand motion of the circle or oval first, then touch the pencil down while still in motion. Lightly tracing the shape multiple times will help it look more precise. Professional artists would fill ten pages with circles and ovals every day for a year for practice.

An Elephant
An Elephant, with ovals overlaid, by Rembrandt.
An atom and its orbits
An atom and its orbits

Straight lines and the shapes they make

Similar to circles or ovals, it’s best to begin the back and forth motion of the straight line before touching the canvas.

With straight lines, we can make squares, rectangles, triangles, polygons, etc.

Straight lines are fundamental in landscape drawings.
Straight lines are fundamental in landscape drawings.
Practicing drawing at angles.
Practicing drawing at angles.

Charting the course of curved lines

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