This article is meant for amateur and beginner artists, who are struggling with the free hand drawing, using a reference reference picture. Drawing a free hand is a fun activity, which gives you immense pleasure, satisfaction and ultimate freedom.
Let us understand how an artist’s mind breaks down the objects in a reference picture, so that the same can be replicated on the drawing sheet, using the free hand drawing techniques. This replication process has following three steps –
- Sketching and drawing : Create 2D drawing i.e. blueprint, using lines and shapes elements.
- Shading and rendering : Shade and convert the 2D drawing into 3D, using sphere, cube, cone, cylinder and other complex modified forms.
- Texture : Create texture, which is the surface quality i.e. look and feel of the form. Texture can be smooth, rough, shiny, silky and so on.
2D drawing method
- For 2D drawing, breakdown the objects in the reference picture into simple and familiar geometrical shapes and lines elements such as square, rectangle, triangle, circle, oval, heart, star, horizontal, vertical, diagonal and parallel lines etc.
- Locate the important landmarks i.e. reference points on the shapes and lines.
- Make sure that relative proportion, length, position, size and angles of above elements are correct. If required, make the shapes organic by converting corner into curve.
- Negative spaces allow us to verify the accuracy of the drawing. Negative spaces are the shapes, which are formed surrounding or within an object.
- 2D drawing is a combination of different shapes, and essentially is a line drawing. These lines are the containers for the shading to take place.
- Sketching, drawing and shading is an iterative and improvisation process. Therefore, draw the initial lines and shapes with a very light hand, so that at a later stage, it can be rubbed off easily without tormenting the paper. After shading, only a few and the required lines should be visible in the final artwork.
2D drawing Steps
- For 2D drawing, the first step is to draw the envelope, which helps to compose the scene on the canvas or drawing paper.
- Convert the envelope into silhouettes, i.e. exact outline.
- Find the important landmarks on the silhouettes, for the internal drawing. Sketch the internal details, using the above 2D drawing method.
- After completing the above process, rub off the guide lines and reduce the darkness of the drawing.
3D Shading Method
- For 3D shading, breakdown the 2D drawing into smaller forms such as sphere, cube, cone, cylinder and other complex modified forms.
- Identify the sources of light, understand the illuminated, form shadow and cast shadow areas.
- Find the darkest and lightest value in the reference pic. Create 5 value palettes to manage and control the intensity of shading. Five values are White, light, mid-tone, dark and Black.
3D shade steps
- Find the core of forms.
- Shade the core with dark value.
- Shade the lighter values on either side of the core.
- Join the smaller forms, so that it looks as one unit.
- Define highlights i.e. most illuminated areas.
- Darken the cracks, which are usually the meeting points of two forms.
- Add cast shadows.
Select a simple artwork from the Internet. and use the above method and try to sketch, draw and shade. Most of the armatures are able to draw reasonably well by adopting the above technique. For sure, it is going to be a pleasant surprise for you and your loved ones!