REREADING KEYS TO DRAWING BY BERT DODSON – WEEK THREE

by | Last updated Sep 12, 2018 | Published on Jan 21, 2016 | Art Blog, Learning with the Masters

Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson
Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson - Intensifying with depth principles exercise, by Artist Sophie Lawson
Intensifying with depth principles. This exercise has you setup a still life, with the emphasis being to apply the four depth principles (see below). I decided to place one of my high heels at the front, with my little piggybank on top of a manga book in the background, and some of my business cards in the middle. I loved drawing the heels, I’d like to have taken it a bit darker, but I still feel it has the illusion of being in front of the other items.
Rereading Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson - Contrasting Textures exercise, by Artist Sophie Lawson

Contrasting textures. This exercise turned out to be a lot of fun, just because it was so different to what I normally do. You had to place two different textures next to each other, to highlight how this will make each texture appear more textury :) I placed my phone on top of a fluffy cushion, and used Berts shape and scribble technique. I feel it has the beginnings of looking soft and fluffy. I also like how the phone appears to be pushing into the cushion :)

“FOR GOD’S SAKE OVERLAP!”

– One of the Hosts from the DrawnToday Podcast

One of the main takeaways from the illusion of Depth chapter, was the four depth principles. These are simple things to understand, but super powerful for adding depth to a drawing. I would imagine these will be especially helpful to remember when creating characters, and scenes from your imagination.

THE FOUR DEPTH PRINCIPLES

Overlapping shapes
“When two shapes overlap, the eye perceives one as being behind the other, thus creating a third dimension.”

Diminishing sizes
“Same-size objects which recede into the distance appear to get smaller. Even objects of irregular size, such as clouds, are better able to suggest depth if those nearer the horizon are drawn smaller.”

Converging lines
“Sets of parallel lines like railroad tracks, will appear to converge as they meet the horizon. This phenomenon is the basis for linear perspective.”

Softening edges and contrast
“As objects become more distant, the intervening atmosphere will soften edges and lessen contrasts. This is sometimes called aerial perspective.”

I think it’s worthwhile getting these principles in our head so we know them without even thinking about it. That way, we can start to introduce them into our art, even when it doesn’t exist. Exaggerating, for instance, the size of a person in the background, to create even more depth.

“THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. TO MAKE A GOOD ELLIPSE, YOU WILL HAVE TO DRAW A LOT OF THEM.”

– Bert Dodson

Rule One
Establish your eye level
Rule Two
The ellipse closes, or flattens, as it nears your eye level.
I think the page on drawing ellipses is worth reading multiple times, there’s some basic tips, such as ellipses never have pointed ends and how they’re always divisible into four equal quadrants, but the two rules above, really stood out to me. Just understanding that ellipses have to follow a certain rule will make life a lot easier when seeing and drawing them. As will drawing through, which is something Bert covers in great detail, but it’s basically where you draw the whole shape, regardless of if you can actually see it or not. Sort of like having x-ray vision :) With ellipses, drawing through will help make the ellipse more of an ellipse shape, and avoid the pointy ends I suspect :)

“REPETITION WITH VARIATION IS A DESIGN PRINCIPLE IN BOTH ART AND IN NATURE.”

– 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

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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)

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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