Learn to Draw - seeing line and shape




Seeing Line & Shape

Wrinkled Paper

Here's another exercise that will show you that you can draw forms and shapes and not just symbols. Take a blank sheet of typing or printer paper and crunch it up in a ball in your hand. Now open it up again, but don't smooth it out. Open it enough so it'll lay relativly flat on your desk. Now, tape or clip a few pieces of paper to your board and TURN AWAY from the wrinkled paper so you can't see it. Turn only your head so you can see the wrinkled paper, but are no longer looking at your drawing board. Now, look intently at the creases and dents and wrinkles in the wrinkled paper, and draw them WITHOUT LOOKING AT YOUR DRAWING PAPER. Outline each fold with your eyes and mirror that fold's outline with your pencil on the drawing. Try and gauge the spaces between the folds mentally and move your drawing hand to where you think the next fold or shape goes. DO NOT LOOK AT THE PROGRESS OF THE DRAWING - KEEP DRAWING!! If you feel your drawing hand fall off your paper, just pick it up and drop it back on the paper without looking at where you've placed your hand. Draw every wrinkle and shape you see in the paper, and draw for five minutes.

When you're done go ahead and look at the drawing. It's a giant mess, right? What could possibly be the point to an exercise like this? There's no meaning to the composition and it looks nothing like the wrinkled paper. But look closer, compare it again with the paper. Find a line in the drawing and then find the corresponding wrinkle in the paper. You found it, didn't you? As you look at the drawing you can find every wrinkle from the paper. This shows you that you CAN draw what you see, you didn't draw your "paper symbol". In this exercise the final product isn't the reason for the exercise, the process of seeing and drawing the wrinkles as you see them is the object. Here, as in the first exercise, you probably were not thinking about what it was you were REALLY drawing, rather you saw the individual shapes and forms that make up the whole.

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