Drawing Boot Camp – Light and Shadow – Day Two

We started our second day of Drawing Boot Camp-Light and Shadow with a brief review of our work from Day One. The subject of our first drawing exercise was a single apple. Our materials were the same as those of Day One; a 2B and a 6B pencil and a measuring stick. Erasers were not used.

Our next drawing exercise was of a white jar. It’s shiny surface gave us a chance to consider reflected light and it’s relationship with direct light. Also, this plain old jar was a good challenge in terms of proportion.

Towards the end of the exercise, and to the huge relief of all, I distributed kneaded erasers. I firmly believe that the overuse of erasers is a hindrance to drawing. I have often observed students scrubbing away frantically at every single line they put on the paper and getting absolutely nowhere. First of all, one should strive to draw with a light touch. Secondly, your preliminary and planning lines are useless if they are constantly wiped off the sheet. Go easy on the erasing.

We took a break and looked at a few books of master drawings. Thoughtful study of the masters is not only instructional but a great pleasure. We discussed the Cours de Dessin, an influential academic drawing course first published in the 1860’s, by Charles Bargue. I have a copy of the 2003 reprint. The very classical Bargue approach had a huge impact, as unlikely as it might seem, on Vincent Van Gogh.

We wrapped up our Boot Camp with a drawing of apples in a bowl. I enjoyed our Boot Camps and hope that everyone learned a lot. I’m considering a series of drawing classes for this fall. Anyone interested?


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5 Responses to “Drawing Boot Camp – Light and Shadow – Day Two”

  1. Scott Cooper Says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on the eraser issue! My students used to grumble about it all the time, but, like you, I encouraged more careful observation and the development of a light touch. Nice work.

  2. Monica Says:

    I overuse the eraser too. Now I shall try to limit my use. Thank you!

  3. Inese Poga Art Gallery Says:

    I’m really happy to see how you are encouraging students to draw directly from observations. Same thing I’m doing in my classes. excellent work! Enjoyed a lot!

  4. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Your classes always remind me of what I should be doing. I really like the boot camp idea. Very powerful way to learn.

    • Barry Coombs Says:

      Thanks for your comments, Linda. I think many of us are more relaxed when painting the mundane objects. They’re not as intimidating as a gorgeous bouquet of flowers might be.

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