For this exercise you'll need your picture frame and a
washable (non-permanent) marker. This time we'll be tracing a
picture in the frame. These pictures show a foreshortened hand, which many people
have trouble drawing. And why do people have trouble drawing
foreshortened objects? Say it with me - "Your logical
mind says it doesn't know how." Because the object seems
to get distorted in the foreshortening, your logical mind
freaks out and sees that the object you want to draw doesn't
conform to the "symbol" that it knows.
something that your logical mind will tolerate for some
reason, so let's do it. Tracing is basically copying. You have
the thing you want to trace and you put a piece of paper right
on top of it and copy it line for line. The difference here is
that we'll be tracing a three dimensional object rather than a
two dimensional one.
To start this exercise, print out one of the photos of hands on this
page. Now put the print in your frame (cut it to size).
Now, using your washable marker, trace the photo of the hand
right on the glass of your frame. Trace the contour of the
hand and trace the folds of skin where the fingers are
bending. Trace every line you see. When you're done,
take the hand photo out of the frame and look at your drawing.
You could put a blank sheet of paper in the frame to better
see your work. Did you get all the foreshortened fingers?
Looks good, huh? So now you know you can trace.
Put your hand under the frame and trace
your hand onto the glass.
my traced hand.
Now this part is tougher, and the real "meat" of
this exercise. CAREFULLY!!! wash the drawing off of the glass of your frame
and secure the glass back in the frame without a picture or
the backing so you just have the frame and the glass. Place
the frame on top of your non-drawing hand. Curl your fingers
so you get a little bit of foreshortening but keep your hand
flat enough so the frame won't slide around. Now, using your
drawing hand, trace your own hand on the glass just like you did with the photo of the
hand. Again, trace all the lines you see. It's a bit more difficult because you're now dealing
with a truly three-dimensional object and not a photo, but I
know you can do it. You're going to have to keep your point of
view the same all the time and you might want to close
one eye. Try to remember how you drew the
foreshortened fingers of the photo and draw your fingers in
the same way, with the same types of lines and curves.
did you do? Pretty fun and challenging, huh? If the drawing of
your own hand came out anything like the photo of the hand,
you really have got a handle on drawing. Now, all you need to
do is draw a subject when it's not right under your drawing
surface and draw rather than trace.