- Lesson details
In this video lesson Steve continues his Landscape series by finally doing a demonstration that applies many of the principles previously discussed. Steve will draw a misty forest scene using Sharpie pens as well as a white Conté pencil and white chalk stick. Steve will demonstrate concepts such as composition, perspective, creating value, stylization, technique, as well as the idea of developing a narrative for your audience. Through this relatively quick study you will begin to understand the thought process and approach that Steve uses in his own work.
- Sharpie Marker
- Conté Drawing Pencil – White
- Toned Paper
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by finally doing a demonstration that applies many of the principles previously discussed.
Steve will draw a misty forest scene using Sharpie pens as well as a white Conte pencil
and white chalk stick.
Steve will demonstrate concepts such as composition, perspective, creating value, stylization,
technique, as well as the idea of developing a narrative for your audience. Through this
relatively quick study you’ll begin to understand the thought process and approach
that Steve uses in his own work.
and landscape design lessons, and those would be good to watch before. This time we’re
going to try and put some of those lessons together, how to take the basic shapes in
the composition, put it together so it makes sense so you can in a sense tell a story,
but so you can draw. Really a better way to look at it is to draw the figure in and through
the world the way you want them to do it, and to get the feel you want them to get.
So these visual components, these pieces of the puzzle, they’re going to go together
in a specific way that emotes specific vision.
And so we’re going to do a little sketch, not a real finish, but a modest sketch that brings together
some of the rendering techniques and some of the design techniques of the earlier lessons.
Okay, so let’s do a little study here based on what we’ve been talking about.
Always create your frame in your sketch. Don’t let the paper vignette out a way. Create that
window so you can look into it. Now, I’m going to do this little, work off this reference
as you can see. Let’s do this actually. I’ll sketch it in with light, with a white pencil.
Here is our little cross, our center here, an implied center.
We have trees coming out of that center.
So we’ve got a strong central placement. The fence line I’m going to take right through that center, the vanishing
fence line this way. So then the fence line is here,
and then what we’re going to do is pick up some trees over here.
We’re going to have then a crowding in on the left, and it’s going to be relatively opening in on
the right, so difference from side-to-side, and then one of the interesting things about
this—also, there’s a little tree down in the middle ground here. There’s really
nothing in the foreground so I just vignette out of the grass.
So what we’re going to do now is we’ve got that left to right dynamic difference.
There’s a crowding here, more open here. And I’m going to put down my floor plan.
And this why I really picked this up. We’ve got this really nice kind of zigzag shape
going on here, several of them actually. We have the zigzag or the triangular fence shape,
and then we have this zigzag back of logs laid in kind of a little ditch here, drainage
here coming across here. So you can see this kind of sweeping game plan that we’re creating.
Then we have a lot of verticality with the trees cropping up in verticals, leaning left
to right, and then fading back in the mist, that aerial perspective idea. So we’ve got
most of our interesting stuff is in the middle ground. The foreground, not so interesting;
it’s just grass. The background is faded out, silhouette of trees in that mist. The
middle ground is where all the action is.
Let’s go ahead and start. Let me go ahead and get the right pencil or pen.
I'm going to use a Sharpie, just use a simple Sharpie. This is a dried out one, so it’s not going
to make some very heavy marks. And here is the landscape, sky to ground more or less,
and it’s right through the middle. I’m going to let it be right in the middle here.
The reference shows it that more or less, and of course I could change that. I could
push it up. I could drag it down, get rid of some of that foreground. I’m going to
leave it right in the middle. So kind of boring. The top is the same as the bottom more or
less exactly, so that’s going to be something we have to fight a little bit. But I’ve
got so much stuff going on at the top and so little in the bottom and all those criss-crossing
zigzag triangular floor plan marks down there that there’s a lot of action that’s gonna
yank us through. So that quieting of the design at that moment where the top half and the
bottom half have an equality on that level when they don’t have an equality in any other
level really is maybe a good way to go. And if it weren’t, I would find out in the sketch
and I’d do another sketch.
So here is the tree here, and these are Cottonwood trees. They’re craggy.
I call them the wicked witch trees because they look really craggy.
This is in the springtime before they’re getting their leaves just past winter.
And what I want to do is lay in a few of the hot spots,
the high points, the interest points for the landscape before I start committing.
I’m working light and one of the themes here is going to be tilting verticals.
Not so much a theme but one of the devices I’m gonna use is tilting verticals. So none of
these verticals are truly vertical or none of them last. The verticality fades off. They
don’t stay vertical for very long is what I’m trying to say. And just kind of playing
this stuff in. Now one of the things you can do unless you have a real strong style that
you develop, and especially when you’re trying to build a style is try and get a technique
that gives a sense of the surface texture of the object you’re doing. It’s one strategy.
So grass maybe is vertical, so I’m going to maybe use instead of a line to show an
edge of grass, maybe I’ll do this kind of thing, kind of dot-dash broken line to show
the stalks of grass going up.
We’re going to have a little log laying here. One of the things I like here is notice
that that log lays at an angle and introduces us, draws us into the picture.
Let's just go ahead and pick this up here because that is a craggy fallen tree is really what it is.
Nice strong angle. Any time we have those angles from the outside going towards the
center anywhere near the outside, anywhere near the center it’s going to pull us in.
It’s going to draw is in. It’s like a visual magnet that sucks you right in towards
that central line. We have the same thing going on with our fence here.
Here’s the beginning of the fence line going, and these don’t stay vertical. It’s an old fence that gravity
and the force of nature have worked upon.
Okay, so kind of a cross-hatching, zigzagging, kind of a wandering stroke for that bark,
kind of a dot and dash for the trees. Nice, simple long stroke for the fence. Each has
its own personality. It’s all on a fairly rough paper so it has a certain roughness,
which not a bad choice for a landscape where we have an old farm field with old craggy
trees or wicked witch trees and then kind of meandering strokes that vary depending
on the personality that we’re trying to capture.
Let me look a little closer here to see where the heck that tree starts.
And my point on this is not to make a finished sketch. There will be time for doing that kind of sketch
for a finished drawing here. I just want to get the character, the personality, the placement,
the portions. Notice when I did the frame I did it pretty light. I do that because in
a sketch I’ll keep going, and I’ll realize it should be cropped more, or actually, I
like what’s going on off here and it’s now off my original design so I’m going
to open that frame back up and redesign it a little bit. Those light lines then will
just be ghosted versions in the finish, and they won’t disrupt.
So this is going to be the heaviest part of the composition, and this space in here is
called a sky hole. When you have a foreground that’s darker and it breaks open, and you
see the terrain or the sky, the distance behind it. It’s called a sky hole. It’s a leaf,
the leaf pattern between the twigs, that kind of thing.
Here’s those, like the straggly hair of a witch, we have those lovely crazy little twigs and branches taken off.
I'm letting that fade down into the line of the fence.
Now, these sky holes, I want each one to be different, so this opens up in a V, and
this opens up in a V. But this V kind of zigzags around.
This is more of a wandering U-shaped V, let’s call it. This V is filled
in with the craggy little limbs.
So each time we have this outcropping of branches
off the main trunk they’re a little different. The same, similar, and yet different. Contrast
and affinity, the same yet different. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking
at how they get along and how they are their own character, their own unique personality
that has never been before and never will be again. We want both those things going
on. It’s real spidery thin, and even the way I’m holding the pen is kind of almost
like it’s ready to drop. I’m just kind of chasing, don’t have a lot of control.
They’re just wandering lines, and they can do almost anything they want.
So let’s finish this off, and that’ll save me from myself to move along. Notice
how easy it is—I was going to say, this little sky hole is very different from that
sky hole. This kind of thing is easy just to get caught up in an area and render the
heck out of that, never get over here, and I just did that. Bad teacher. That’s the
first time I’ve ever done that. I’ve never gotten stuck in an area before. It’s very,
very easy to just get seduced into an area and want to finish that out when you’re
not sure that that’s as it should be, so you shouldn’t attack it until you’re sure of it.
Okay, let’s go over here. This is going to be darker. We have it misting back, a natural
aerial perspective with that lovely fog, the morning fog. We are going to pick this up
here a little darker. And then we have trees here.
I want these to wander and be their own characters too.
I’m going to do the large trunk and just a few of the limbs just
to get the sense of where it needs to be.
I’ll come back and add as I feel I need to. I’m going to keep this lighter than this stuff over here.
And then in this little bush here I’m going to do little horizontal bits on that to make
that a little different. We have a lot of verticality going on here. Play it that way.
So the strokes themselves can be part of the solution, part of the design idea. This is
the silhouetted tree line there, and we have this stuff over here.
get to know the personalities involved here. These cottonwood trees have a certain personality
to their shape, and once you get that you just play and make up a tree, add a tree,
change a tree because you’ve got the formula. You’ve got the MO of that particular character
or that particular type. It’s going to be very different than an oak tree or a cypress
tree. Same way with figurative work. Once you start to understand the shapes involved
in a torso or ribcage, a muscular male, and slight build female or whatever it is, you
can actually make up or redesign, change, double it up. Add more muscle in that area.
It gives you freedom to take it directions that the reference doesn’t quite give you.
There’s just a mound of brush behind this, so we’re going to lay that in making sure
it stays lighter than this. In my world things that get closer to me get darker. Things that
move away get lighter. There’s a certain logic to the world. I want to keep that logic
going. Keep it consistent. If I can show it to you consistently and confidently do it
like I mean it, you’re a lot more likely to buy into it. We’re happy to suspend our
disbelief. We’re happy to step into another world. In fact, we spend a lot of our life
wishing just that thing. Wishing to escape the world, wishing the world was different,
more or less of what we experience it to be. We have a ball being a superhero in the movies
for a couple hours or looking at an idealized figure in a museum for several minutes or
getting lost in a storybook land for a few days. That was Walt Disney’s great inspiration.
Let’s take the Hollywood movie set, the built, make-believe world that looks real
but isn’t, and let’s allow people not just to look at it from a screen separated
from it. Let them walk through it. Let them be a part of it, and a lot of people have
gotten a lot of enjoyment out of that inspiration. So we’re absolutely happy to follow you
into your world if we feel safe, if we feel like you’re consistent in the rules of the
world, and the world is an interesting dynamic, challenging. It has a good adjective attached
to it. Beautiful, safe, lovely, magical; angry dynamic, challenging; mad as hell, and I’m
not take it anymore kind of place. Any of those things. If you give it a good feel,
a strong feel. It doesn’t have to be good in the moral sense of it, a strong feel, people
are going to have some interest in it.
Okay, so now we’ve kind of laid this out a little bit. I’m going to add a few stalks
of grass. This is a pasture, so sometimes there will be tall stalks of grass. Sometimes
they’ll be thinner or shorter stalks of grass, but overall I’m going to make sure
that the grass gets smaller as it goes away from us. It’ll people the landscape, people
this ground with an environment. It helps.
Oh and then we have this guy here, another kind of ground structure.
We have this ditch structure.
I’m just going to use line. This is a ditch that goes in like this, dug out. Maybe some
old drainage ditch that filled in over a hundred years, and it’s going down in this way.
This is the side we see as it goes back. It’s dropping in that way. So I’m going to shade
that to show that drop off into the ground, losing light. Then I’m going to do a little
bit of line work to actually contour over that dropping down.
Then I need to bring that line work in here a little bit.
Okay, so now let’s go back to our white here. So look what we have. We have this…
and this… and this… and this…and this.
See how much fun the audience can have?
Here is a little line over here. I’ll bring that over here. See how much fun they can have
finding pathways, tracks to wander in. Those kind of things are subconscious but key, absolutely
key. The environment evokes. In film they think of it as the world as a character. In
a good film the world, the city is a character. In Batman the city is a jungle, for example.
It might be the mountains, a holy place. The river in Apocalypse Now from civilization
to savagery. Or in African Queen it’s the reverse. So in movies the environment takes
on a personality, becomes a metaphor for the character’s change. Lightning happens when
the character gets scared, say, lightning and thunder, those kinds of things. But it
evokes. We all have that sense. Life is a cloudy day when we’re not too happy, and
life is full of sunshine when we’re thrilled with how things are going.
So I start to create these little patterns of movement, these directional sweeps. And
that, you’re eye can follow along those and take these lovely little strolls. If you
were to be so kind to buy this masterpiece that I’m about to do you could come to it
several times over the several years that you own it and maybe find a different pathway
every once in a while. I’ll go, oh, I can go this way. I’ll zigzag this way. I’ll
S-curve today. I’ll go straight back in this time. I’ll step over that and go around
this. I’ll settle down in this area and just have a pleasant time.
So now let’s go ahead and bring in some of the mist behind our tress and define that.
So now I’m drawing the negative space. I’m not drawing the tree line here. I’m drawing
the sky, the clouds, the mist behind that tree line.
And how should I do that?
Maybe mist is just going in every which way. It spreads out, thins away. It’s a cloud that’s
come to Earth. As it hits it splatters, and so maybe I’ll crosshatch it or zigzag those
strokes. Notice still very subtle. I’m doing it because it’s a subtle piece, and it’s
a sketch so I probably won’t ever get to that full value range that my painting might
be, but also it’s this mist. We want it to be misty, soft, ghost-like.
Now see these sky holes.
Here’s the landscape catching the light of the morning in the mist on the pasture.
Come back and maybe build it up again. I haven’t really worked those trees, so
we can’t do too much around that. Here it is coming down here.
We’ll crosshatch some of the trees back into it.
But we have the hatching earth into the hatching sky,
whatever the heck that means.
So I’m just edging these things out. Notice now I’ve put
that little dark tree in there not completely but roughly, and maybe I want this to be the most
important thing. It’s right in the center. It’s in that center. It ends up a little
ball. It’s almost perfectly center. It’s just a little off. So maybe rather than pushing
it darker, I’ll push a little splash of light around it.
Notice when I use a tone drawing it’s a little more advanced. I’m using the dark and the light pencils or
markers or whatever I’m using to tint this.
I’m using Conte of Paris pencil but any of these chalks you can get Conte of Paris
this way too as a chalk. Any of these chalks or charcoal pencils. You can get them white
and in the dark colors or the black, of course, charcoal.
But what I’m doing is I’m using the paper as a middle ground. If it was a flesh I’d use it as a half tone and I’d
go lighter for the highlights, darker for the shadows. Here I’m using a kind of midground for the
grass, and then let’s now start to sculpt this.
Now, a lovely thing about gradation is gradation if you look at my Laws of Light lecture, gradation
rounds the form. It does a great job rounding the form. You create a light side and a shadow
side, light side and a shadow side, and then if you don’t want that to be a perfect box
then I’ll put some gradation. I’ll gradate out of the shadow back in the light. I’ll
take that darker half-tone and I’ll slowly go from darker value to lighter value. That
gradation will round the form. I can also use it to gradate a plane in space or to focus
the eye back into the area I want you to look at. In this case, back into that middle towards
that tree. Maybe I’ve made this top part of the tree pretty strong, so I’m going
to bring that gradation into the bottom part to diffuse that tree, to settle it in the
landscape. I can do it in a very careful, perfect gradation, or I can do it in a hatch
or a crosshatch. I can come in and add my little bit of grass effect in there. I can
push this darker and darker. Okay, so this is kind of a focal point now. But so is this
and so is this. So now I want to have a little bit more control over where you’re looking.
I’m going to come in here. I’m going to darken the heck out of this. They don’t
let me swear; otherwise, I would use a tougher word. I’m going to really push it. Strong,
strong, strong. I’m using a marker that’s kind of dried out. Notice by letting those
strokes be energetic they don’t stand out a lot because it’s gray on gray on gray.
You can see how they get a little stronger here. But now I get the feeling of that organic
growth, things coming up out of the ground, things that are grouped together, bunched
together, pushed together, but also have a separate character. My trump card here is
that I’m using a dried out marker, so I’m not getting near as dark as I could be.
pick up. It could be a branch blowing in the wind. It could be leaves coming off the tree,
dead birds falling from the sky. It could be anything you want. But it breaks things
up. One of the characters here is we have the blades of the grass. We have the scraggly
branches of the tree. We have the wisps of the clouds, the broken posts of the fence.
Everything is these little staccato moments that are bunching and separating, bunching
and separating. So having a freer technique at some point in some area to show that separation,
that breaking away from the group seems appropriate. So again, I’m trying to let my technique,
my style speak to the idea.
What we’ll notice when we look at our favorite artists and mature artists they severely limit
their subject matter oftentimes because they’re after a specific idea, a specific life lesson,
a specific thought, and so they focus all their powers on one subject to emote, to get
out of that. Maybe it’s a Chardin where he’s painting rotting fruit or something,
although he didn’t paint rotting fruit. But he’s a still life painter that’s painting
fruit that’s decaying to show death. Life is transient. Or showing figures that are
God-like monumental to show the glory of the hereafter, whatever the heck it is. They limit
their subject matter. So you’ll see that most artists will pick a theme and stick most
of the time or all the way in it. Degas, ballet dancers. That type of thing.
Alright, so now I’m going to come in. Wait, let’s do it over here too. So now I’m
pushing you up. There wasn’t much going on in, and this foreground was grass for God
sake. Who cares about grass? You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I’m going to
push you up in the area that’s a real breadwinner here, the real lovely bit, why you picked
the scene maybe to draw. It was these zigzags, or it was this misty trees fading off, getting
lost into the mist of the environment. You know, maybe it’s a metaphor for your life
in a big city or whatever the heck it is.
I always says this quite a bit in the lectures because it’s a true. Even in a little sketch
you’re spending some time here. You’re spending several minutes, oftentimes several
hours, sometimes several days or months working on a piece. Some of it’s going to be busywork.
Once you’ve got your idea down the rendering of it is just executing. I just have to do
another gradation. I have to do another stroke. I have to mix another color that I’ve mixed
several times before. And so what are you going to do with your head while you’re
doing this stuff? You can put on music. You can watch a Gilligan’s Island on TV. Or
you can think about why you’re doing what you doing. You know, why am I doing that stroke?
Or, what stroke should I do to make a statement? Can I show that these things, this is life
hanging on, and this is life that’s finally lost the battle? That one fallen tree. You
know, maybe this ditch is there—we’re going to bury that poor dead tree in the ditch
here. You start coming up with ideas. Most of them will be silly. Most of them will be
nonsense, but they give you something to think about. They give you a reason, a motivation.
So as I’m playing with these little shapes and picking it out, I’m building the motivation
like an actor would with their character. You’ll never know, probably, why I did that
or if I had a reason for it. But for me, it gave the sense of this sweeping wind going
across the grass maybe. I remember looking at Van Gogh painting as a student and going
that stuff is so wild and so unreal, so kind of expressionistic. It wasn’t even impressionistic.
Then I saw pictures of the windswept fields where he painted, and I went to North Dakota
of all pieces and sat out in a corn field or wheat field and watched the wind whip it
across. Those wild strokes of his look like him going crazy with all the painting.
It looks like him dashing his emotions on the canvas. And it was that. He was doing that.
But it was also what he saw. In a very real sense the wind was whipping that stuff back
and forth. It never stayed still. To render that stalk like a traditional Renaissance
still life painter would do was not appropriate at all because that stuff was in constant
motion like his emotions were bubbling all over the place in his life. That landscape
was doing the same thing. That kind of alignment of motivation, personal experience, and object
to be rendered creates magic oftentimes, and it certainly did with his work. You get this
incredible sense of this sensitive, troubled, screwed-up guy putting all of it on the landscape
but using it not as just pure self-indulgence, using it as a way to see what was really going
on. I say really but through his eyes, seeing it in a clear, personal way for the first
time in art history. It’s terrific stuff. And you might say I can’t stand Van Gogh.
I wish you’d quit talking about Van Gogh. But you don’t have to like an artist’s
style (and a lot of these guys I don’t like) to learn from them. So don’t mistake their
style, their lack of attractive style to their lack of wisdom. They might have a great lesson
for me. Matisse might have a great lesson to learn and to be taught to you
even though you hate Matisse.
Let’s now bring in some white. I’m going to go back and forth. Now I’m going to crosshatch
this and get some of the same wild strokes. I’m going to lay some of these down this way,
more of these down than I did this stuff over here.
Notice I’m slowly building up the center here.
And maybe even the strokes are starting to dive towards that center. Not all the time.
That would get a little silly. But a lot of them are starting to converge down in here like that.
Okay, now let’s switch to—let me do one other thing. I’m going to dust this back
here a little bit. We’re not going to take this a whole lot farther, but we will go a
little farther. Let me actually do a little more of the trees. Notice that you’re going
to be hard pressed to separate these trees. But it’s the sense of them, the impression
of them. You certainly could separate them all, but I don’t have the patience for that
kind of thing. I would rather get a sense of it and get a couple areas that have some
rendering maybe. This little kind of sketch thing we’re not doing really any rendering
in terms of tricking it out so it fools you in any sense. You go, wow, that is bark; or
those are cloud formations or whatever the heck it is.
And everyone of these is a little character, so I’m looking at this and most of these
strokes are about a quarter-inch to a half-inch, and they’re all coming out from that center.
They’re all kind of evenly spaced, so I’m going to get some that are out farther and
some that are shorter and some that turn down and sweep around and branch out.
Maybe here's a little limb that curls over and goes back the other way. Then I’ll take this off here.
So this is a crowd scene. These branches are a crowd scene, and we’ve got to feel like
they have their own lives to live. They’re going to walk away from event, go back their
lives, and they’re going to be real. When John Wayne walks into that bar we need to
feel that those are real people in there even if they never say a word. They’re all going
to have their own personality. A lot of directors will actually dress them in silhouettes that
are different. They’ll give them different size hats. They’ll give them loose clothes
or tighter clothes. Tim Burton is famous for that. He’ll create a silhouette. If you
turn out the lights and just put a back light on them so they were just cutout black, you
could tell the characters because of their silhouette. You know, the Mad Hatter or Sleepy
Hollow. Go look at Sleep Hollow. A number of years ago he did every town elder was like
a cartoon character of silhouettes. One had big puffy hair. One was long droopy faced
with jowls. I forget the other guys, but they all were like cartoon caricatures, completely
different types. You do that visually, and it does a lot of the work for you. You create
different types of branches. They’re all kind of squiggly. They’re all thin, spidery.
But none of them are the same, or they don’t stay the same for very long. That’s going
to instill confidence. It’s going to make it seem more sophisticated than it really
is. It’s going to do a lot of work for you.
Remember, the audience desperately wants you to succeed. They want you to create a masterpiece.
They want to go to that movie and see the best movie they’ve ever seen in their life.
They want to walk into that gallery and see the best set of paintings they’ve ever seen
in their life. They not only want them to be good, they want them to be life changing.
They want you to change their world with your art. They want you to show them what that
world, what this world could be, or what that world you’ve made up is that reflects what
this world could be. Or what this world shouldn’t be, for that matter. They want you to be great.
So they’re going to do a lot of work for you. They’re going to help you out if you
build confidence, instill confidence in them early and often. You can get away with some
stuff, suggest stuff, and then let them render it for you.
So I’m just kind of wandering around the knots in the trees that I’m imagining. At
this point, I’m not really looking at the reference that much. I’m just kind of playing
with it. Let’s pick up some sky holes of the environment between these trees, this
dot-dot. Now, look at this lovely little path we can walk. We can spend an afternoon in
our study looking at the lovely painting that we spend millions on that made you rich and
famous beyond your wildest dreams. And look at the journey you’ve given that old couple
to take for that afternoon back through the woods and out into the clearing.
Ah, it feels good to be back there.
Notice these have nothing to do really with branches, but they are the same zigzag, the
same thin spidery, and they suggest branches that are a different level maybe, hopefully.
Please, God, let it be.
Let’s go back here one last time and look at my reference here. Now I’m going to darken this area here.
This is not pencil or charcoal. It’s marker. It’s black on gray, and so
it sticks out. It pops off a little too much. So if just come in like that it’s going
to be a black dot there. If I spread it out it’s going to be ink blank area that’s
cut out. So I’m going to hatch it. That’s in keeping with my spidery, wispy world here
that I’ve been trying to create. It allows me to create. See how that blotch would, let’s
put it here. We’ll screw up the drawing right here. That blotch just screws things
up. It just sucks your eye right too it for no reason. But what we can do is we can use
our spidery hatches to break it apart. Especially if it’s over the gray area.
Okay. Now, I’ve got that aerial perspective going back in, so I can’t take this and
put it back there. I could in a little spot or two.
That’s not going to hurt anything, but if I do a big area it’s going to overwhelm
the subject matter and start to subvert all that hard work that we did
in terms of creating a gradation of things going back.
Okay, I’m going to go back to spidery line here.
Again, I’m not looking at the reference at this point.
In the final painting I may well be much more faithful, but I’m playing here
with my sketch and trying to get a sense, a feel for it, and a possibility of technique.
You know, what can I do to break things up in a way that really is interesting, that
I can teach my audience something. That’s what they’re looking for. Come into my world
and you’ll learn something. You’ll learn something about how paint or charcoal goes
down. Notice when you frame a picture how much more powerful it becomes. See how that
just kicked up a notch? It became a little more of a complete world now. We’re looking
into the window. This is my world. That’s not. This is my world. It holds us in there.
But they want to look in here and see what can a marker do. What can a line do? What
can a drawing do in terms of personality and tone? And learn about the technique of art
or more likely for most of your audience cause they’re not going to really care about that
very much. They’ll have a passing interest in how something was done if they end up buying
it or have an interest in art history. But more likely what they would like to see is
a piece of art that tells them how their world could be. What can they learn about their
own world? Cycles of life. Things come and things go, and even an old fallen log can
have its own kind of beauty or whatever the heck you think it should be.
That's why you’ll do it. Once you hang it on the wall or give it as a Christmas gift then it’s
no longer yours anymore. Then the audience, your Great Aunt Millie or some great collector
will decide what it means. They will buy it for their own reasons, and it’ll evoke something
from their childhood or a triumph they had in life or a fear of life or whatever the
heck. Whatever their baggage is they’ll put it on your artwork. That’s what it is
there for, really. It’s to let them work through to get a view, to see things, to get
perspective or to escape, to get away from.
I think we’ll stop there. Let’s do one other little thing. It’s all quite subtle,
but maybe I’m going to come in—now, I’m using a chalk here. I was using Conte of Paris,
which is a chalk but it’s a waxy chalk and it’s grudging. You have to work on it pretty
hard. It probably won’t super-duper white. But this is a softer pastel type of chalk.
So it’s got a lot of bang. I can kick up an area in value. Also, since it’s not as
waxy it doesn’t stick to the paper, so it blends more. So maybe I want this stuff back
here to be softer and out of focus. It’s gotten out of our depth of field.
The other thing we can do is we can use it to dust back. Maybe I want to dust back these trees away
from my main little fellow. You could that all sorts of ways. You can just hatch it back like that.
The nice thing about that is you go, ah geez, it was great until I did that
dot, and you can just erase it with your finger. It will go away. Not completely, but most
of it will go away. Enough for a sketch like that. If you need to get it all the way off
you’d use an eraser and just erase it back.
Okay, so we’ll stop there. I hope you got something out of that.
Free to try
1. Lesson overview47sNow playing...
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2. Lay-in of landscape15m 12s
3. Establishing directional lines and lay-in of the background14m 51s
4. Adding movement and expression, finishing touches20m 49s