Before you start with drawing people from photos or attending model sessions, you need to understand the basics, which means still lifes.
First familiarize yourself with the concepts layed out in the below listed books.
- Basic Perspective
Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling
Perspective Drawing Handbook - Joseph D’Amelio
- Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis - Page 30-77*
- Light & Form
Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis - Page 78-88
Drawing Scenery Seascapes and Landscapes by Jack Hamm - Page 1-18
- Paul Felix’s Notes | Part 1 | Part 2 |
- Composition Tutorial - Phil Straub
- Compositional Framing Elements
- Ellipse Warmup - Before each drawing session, fill a whole sheet of paper (have things overlap, this is a muscle-memory exercise) with ellipses that possess a changing relationship to an imagined perspective/vanishing point.
Make sure to perform this exercise holding your pencil in the traditional position (the idea is to move your whole arm while drawing and not just your wrist):
- Perspective - Draw several renderings of shapes within various different perspectives (1-point, 2-point, 3-point), angles and positions.
- Form - Draw basic shapes in various perspectives with a single-light source in mind.
Make sure to that the shadows follow perspective as well:
- Abstract Composition - Fill a page with compositional thumbnails that all have strong focal points. These thumbnails should not be of particular scenes, but should feature abstract shapes.
Below is an example of some of Paul Lasaine’s abstract compositional thumbnails:
- Drapery - Hang a piece of solid-colored cloth (preferably white) against a wall in a room with a single light source (turn off the lights, fetch a lamp).
NOTE: For this and the next two listed self-assignments, draw on a large canvas, sheet of paper (I believe I drew these all on 17x24) and use a medium that will allow you to achieve the desired contrast (I used charcoal, but pastels and conte crayons will work too).
- Still Life - Arragned a collection of objects following the rules of composition in a room with a single light source.
- Portrait - Find a high resolution photo of a single individual that features a plain background and a single light source.
Tip: When looking for a good photo reference, look at the number of highlight’s in a subject’s eyes to determine how many light source there are:
* All page numbers are indicative of the book’s original page numbering, not the pdf document’s, unless otherwise unnumbered.