I Danny Gregory does a lots of small drawings on a page, they somehow unite to form a greater, more glorious whole, like the voices in a choir. Each individual drawing may not shine by itself, but when it's placed alongside another, equally imperfect pal, they all work together.
Assignment: With this exercise, we're just going to go around your home or school, drawing the equivalent of little Instagram snapshots of different corners. If you have a frame, just hold it up until you find some random composition and copy it down into a square on your page. It doesn’t matter if objects are cut off or hard to identify. In fact, the more abstracted the slice of life you depict, the easier it may prove to draw. Keep going until you fill up the page. Feel free to take your time with this exercise.
Assignment: Now we’re going to tackle our most ambitious drawing, a view of a whole room or a complex landscape. But don’t be intimidated, it’s just the next logical step in what we’ve done already. Plan on spending a while on this drawing so you can really take your time and break it down.
Start by doing some overall measurements and laying down some marks on your page to orient yourself. Look for the biggest shapes, then the ones alongside them. Break them down into further components. Look for the smallest details last.
Use all of the tools we’ve discussed already: the ABCS, measurements, negative space, contours, etc. to orient yourself and record what you see.
Assignment: Let’s go back to where we started and see how far we’ve come. Do another drawing of your hand but apply all of the lessons we’ve learned. Now, look at it alongside your first drawing. How do your hands compare?
Landmarks are helpful to locate ourselves as we travel through a subject's twists and turns. But what about the straightaways? How do we figure out how long a straight line is, how sharp an angle is, what the overall size of an object is, relative to another? We measure — but not with a ruler or a tape measure. We use something that lets us gauge the relative proportions from where we sit. You can use your thumb or your pen to set a benchmark. Just pin your elbow to your side, close one eye and measure the length or angle in question. Then mark it down with a little dot on the page. Turn the pen and measure the next element. Take as many measurements as you like until you feel confident.
Assignment: Pick a subject and try this measuring technique. It could be a piece of furniture, the view out a window, even your own reflection in the mirror.
Assignment: Download the PDF page of letters below, print it out, and slowly draw the negative shapes. Ignore the letters themselves and just draw what lies behind and between them.
Today we worked on contour and blind contour drawing.
Assignment: Draw a shoe without looking. Try to keep your pen on the paper as much as possible. Take your time!
Assignment: Pick an object to draw, something fairly complex but not overwhelming: an egg beater, a coffee pot, a stuffed toad, a head of broccoli.
Run your eyes slowly around the edges of the object and copy the line down. When you have that outside contour recorded, draw the larger shapes within. Then draw the details inside. Keep going until you have drawn all of the shapes you see. Use your alphabet and take your time.
Assignment: Turn the object to a fresh angle and get ready to draw it again, on the same page as the last drawing. This time look for landmarks. Notice where things protrude and intersect. Notice how things on one side line up with the other. Use these landmarks to help define your proportions and relationships.
Assignment: Time for a third perspective on your subject. Turn it again and do a new drawing, still on the same page. By now you're getting to know this subject pretty well. Apply that learning to this fresh perspective. Look for new landmarks, angles, curves. Notice how your drawing has evolved.
Assignment: Draw a variety of contour drawing of your pet from different angles on the same page. If you don’t have a pet handy, use a friend’s pet as a model or a wild animal (bird, squirrel, etc).