Friday, December 9, 2011

Take Advantage of Free Courses and Demonstrations

NorthLight Books recently offered a free drawing demo online to promote the artist Sandra Angelo and an upcoming course on the basics of drawing. I decided to link in and see what she had to say.

Viewers were allowed to type in questions and the artist would respond. Here are the highlights:

  • Do you use your fingers or a “stump” to shade your drawing?
    • “No. You can’t get subtle changes in value. It’s okay when you’re working with pastels or charcoal, but not with pencils.”
    • “It is better to use the range of pencils available to you in a set. Don’t stick with a 2B; add other pencil grades when you need something darker. Make gradual changes in the shading using a different pencil.”
    • “If you want subtle changes, use a softer touch. If you want an “impressionistic” style, let the lines show through.

Sandra uses the “grid” method for enlarging photos for a drawing. “If you have a lot of detail,” she said, “use a smaller grid.”

Her favorite paper? White. She likes to utilize the paper underneath for the highlights.

Does she like “tooth?” She prefers smooth paper for her drawings. That doesn’t mean that you must use it; but for her delicate shading, smooth paper works best.

Does she use fixative on her drawings? Only when she’s sure the drawing is complete. Once fixative is put on, you can’t erase or make changes.
She discussed storing your drawings in an archival sleeve. She adheres archival foam core to the back and a mat on the front. The mat serves to keep the paper away from the glass once it is framed. The glass should shield out UV rays which fade the drawing.

Brown archival paper is placed on the back of the drawing over the frame to keep out moisture. The greatest enemies to paper is light, moisture, and insects.

Was the class helpful? Absolutely. How many times do we forget what we have learned and need an occasional reminder. How often do we miss something in class that may be critical to our success? I draw mainly to create a map for my paintings, but even this requires accuracy, perspective, and composition skills.

I urge everyone who wants to improve their lives and their professional careers to engage in “continuing education.” If the costs are a deterrent, do as I did and take advantage of the freebies that are out there. More of Carol's drawings are @