Drawing Boot Camp – Light and Shadow

Last month, I gave a two-day class called Drawing Boot Camp-Proportion and Perspective. Yesterday, some of the same students and several new ones convened at my studio for the first day of Drawing Boot Camp-Light and Shadow. Everyone was issued a sketchbook, a 2B and a 6B pencil, a measuring stick, clips and a support board. Erasers were checked at the door.

We started off with a five-value grey scale. It gave us a chance to get to know the pencils and paper and to practice tip and side shading.

Our next project was a cone. A triangle was drawn on the sheet. A curved line was added from the lower left to the lower right corners. We did the drawing in steps, stopping to discuss some of the principles of light and shadow.

Our second exercise began with a line drawing of a cube. At first, we didn’t look at an actual cube. I drew a cube from memory, in line only, at my easel while I reviewed basic two-point perspective. Once we’d commenced to shade, the top plane was left as untouched paper and the two side planes were developed as two distinct values.

That’s when I put a white cube on a piece of white board under a lamp. It helped us to establish the cast shadow. Following that, a background was introduced. Then, our final step, we graded several of the planes, making them less flat and giving a more natural feel to the drawing.

It was time to work from direct observation. I placed four identical cylindrical bottles, made from brown cardboard, on the platform under the lamp. Each student selected a bottle that showed an interesting balance of light and shadow.

We completed four projects over a very full day of drawing. Day two of Drawing Boot Camp-Light and Shadow is next Wednesday. Stay tuned.

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One Response to “Drawing Boot Camp – Light and Shadow”

  1. Scott Cooper Says:

    Over the years I have found it very beneficial to occassionally get back to basics and review the fundamentals of picture making. Good work.

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