REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON – WEEK ONE

by | Last updated Sep 12, 2018 | Published on Jan 9, 2016 | Art Blog, Learning with the Masters

Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson Book
Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson - Pepper exercise, by Artist Sophie Lawson
My favourite drawing exercises this week, were the pepper and the five minute burn. The pepper exercise has you draw two peppers; one from your mind, and a second looking at a real pepper. This allows you to compare the two side by side, highlighting how your mind can’t store all the necessary information needed to draw … that’s the job of your eyes. I like this exercise as it’s a real eye opener (ba-dum-ch) lol
Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson - Five Minute Burn exercise, by Artist Sophie Lawson

The five minute burn exercise has you sit in front of a pile of stuff, drawing what you see as fast as you can. No need to consider proportions or accuracy, just go for it. I find this exercise very freeing, it forces you to draw loose and the finished drawing is kind of cool too :) I need to do one of these each week for fun *makes note on whiteboard*!

“THERE ARE NO LINES IN NATURE, ONLY AREAS OF COLOUR.”

– Edouard Monet

The main thing I learnt this week, was realising how important it is to change the way you see. How you see is the foundation of drawing. The key to seeing differently, is to see the world as shapes. This is something I realised I do almost instinctively now, and it’s given me an even greater appreciation for Bert and this book. Shapes are everywhere. Everything is a shape.
I’ll quickly go over four rules of shape that Bert discusses, which are the cornerstones of changing how you see, and ultimately draw.
2 | LOOK FOR ENRICHMENT SHAPES
Enrichment shapes are things like highlights, shadows and reflections. You have to start seeing everything as a shape, even shadows; this was a big one for me! I remember when I first started seeing shadows as shapes, I started seeing them everywhere! It was actually really fun being self aware of all these shadow shapes. I remember being at my old job, sat at my desk ‘working’, but noticing shadow shapes all over the desk. It became addictive finding them :)
3 | TIE SHAPES TOGETHER
This is a way of bringing all your individual shapes together, to create a cohesive whole. This is achieved by blending shapes together when adding tone.

“THE ART OF DRAWING IS AN ACT OF UNCANNY COORDINATION BETWEEN THE HAND, THE EYE AND THE MIND. EACH OF THESE IS SUBJECT TO TRAINING AND HABIT.”

– Bert Dodson

There are so many topics covered in chapters one and two, but I feel seeing shapes is by far and away the most important, it may even be the most important topic in the entire book. Other highlights include drawing blind, changing how you talk to yourself while drawing and trigger words.
Trigger words! Something that I still haven’t managed to make a habit. Bert says, look at your subject, lets say a soft fluffy cat. Now, repeat the word ‘fluffy’ in your head, over and over again while drawing. It will make you draw the fluffiness, I tried to make this a habit many times, but it never seemed to stick and I had actually forgotten about them.
Rereading about trigger words this week gave me a mini epiphany.
For the past year or so I’ve kept thinking to myself, I want to be able to capture a feeling in my future paintings, but how do you capture a feeling? Trigger words! I knew about them all along I had just forgot. These may be the magic words that help take our art to the next level.

“THE ONE SIMPLE RULE TO FOLLOW IS: AT EACH POINT OF FRUSTRATION OR CONFUSION, ASK YOURSELF, “WHAT DO I SEE?”

– Bert Dodson

WEEK TWO

Covering
chapter 3 (Proportions: Taking the Measure of Things)
chapter 4 (The Illusion of Light)

Including
Bert’s discussion on three Sighting Strategies:
1. Finding the Midpoint
2. Using Plump and Level
3. Taking Comparative Measurements

WEEK THREE

Covering
chapter 5 (The Illusion of Depth)
chapter 6 (The Illusion of Texture)

Including
four depth principles:
1. Overlapping Shapes
2. Diminishing Sizes
3. Converging Parallel Lines
4. Softening Edges and Contrast

LIFE DRAWING WITH IAN BARLOW 2017

“Every Pose is Different. Ask yourself. What is it about this pose, that gives me a nice feeling?” – Ian Barlow

LIFE DRAWING WITH IAN BARLOW 2016

“Everything’s got rhythm. Look for the movement.” – Ian Barlow

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REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON – WEEK THREE

Week three of Rereading the Art Book Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. Covers Chapters 5 (The Illusion of Depth) and chapter 6 (The Illusion of Texture)

REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON – WEEK TWO

Week two of Rereading the Art Book Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. Covers Chapters 3 (Proportions: Taking the Measure of Things) and Chapter 4 (The Illusion of Light)

REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON – WEEK ONE

Week one of Rereading the Art Book ‘Keys to Drawing, by Bert Dodson’. Covers Chapter 1 (The Drawing Process) and chapter 2 (The Artist’s Handwriting)

REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON

Bert is Back! I reread the Art Book ‘Keys To Drawing, by Bert Dodson’

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Time for a little critique, after the past ten weeks of creating!

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“The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

George Santayana