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.
Tracing is 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
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.
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.
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.