To paint anything, it is necessary to make the Drawing first. Even if it is an abstract painting, the Drawing can differentiate areas and allows us to plan what we are going to paint and how we are going to do it. In this article, we will talk about the necessary Drawing for a non-abstract painting, whether it is realistic or not.
Well, we are going to start painting our picture and we need to make a drawing on the canvas (or on the cardboard, canvas board, etc. that we are using as support).
What do we paint the Drawing with?
Traditionally, charcoal has been used to draw on the canvas. It allows painting on large surfaces and it is possible to “Clean” it with a cloth so that the Drawing remains marked in gray on the canvas, but the paint dust is removed, so it does not end up mixing with the paint. Of course, it is also possible to use a normal pencil but, if the painting is going to be large, it is better to use something that allows us to make larger strokes more quickly, such as charcoal.
The model to be painted
It is always easier to paint from a photo than if we do it from life because we go from a two-dimensional model to another in two dimensions. When we paint from life, the models have the annoying tendency to move (especially if they are alive), the light can change. We will not be able to resume work so quickly from one day to the next repeating the exact conditions that we had the previous day. Despite everything, if you have the means (a portable easel, for example) to do it, I recommend bringing other types of satisfaction.
To begin, it is better to use a photo of the model to be painted. The model can be a person, an animal, some fruits, a vase full of flowers or all together and mixed with a good number of dancers. Many times we believe that we have to find something very beautiful to paint because we hope that what we paint will become part of the decoration of our living room and visitors will fall in love with our talent. That is an error.
We have to do exercises and try to paint anything, bring to life something ugly. It does not matter that the result is not good. The important thing is the process and, when we have done a thousand exercises, we will realize that we like how we are doing.
Choose some fruits with a point of light to learn to paint rounded shapes with lights and shadows, choose a glass to learn to paint transparencies, choose an autumn landscape to learn to paint colors, choose your hand to learn to paint fingers.
When you go down the street, observe the colors of everything you see and take a photo with your mobile of those things you like to be able to paint them later. You have the advantage that if you don’t like the framing of your photo, you can change it later when painting the picture.
In short, don’t worry about the model; you are learning. Draw and paint anything, everything you see.
How to keep proportion?
Sometimes it isn’t easy to keep the proportion between the model and what you are painting. And if you want them to be similar, as in a portrait, for example, this becomes especially important. If you are painting from life, use the same pencil that you are using to draw as a ruler to take the base unit of the figure you are drawing. You stretch out your arm and, with the pencil held so that it is at 90 degrees in your hand, measure what you want to paint from the edge of the pencil to your thumb. You paint a measurement that you consider the base unit on your canvas in proportion to the one you have taken with your pencil and you paint based on that base unit (two base units and a half, etc.).
Here I explaining this concept:
The truth is that I never use this technique. I usually draw my eye and when the perspective is complicated or I want to make sure I get it right, I use the grid technique. This technique is especially useful when we are going to expand the scale and is the one that was used before it was possible to print movie posters for large-format cinemas. For this technique to be possible, both the photo and the canvas must have more or less the same proportion between height and width.
Your photo and the canvas are of the same proportion if there is a number such that multiplied by the width and height of your photo gives the width and height of your canvas.
If your photo does not have the same proportion as your canvas, you will have to cut the photo so that it has it or, apply it only to a part of the canvas and fill the rest with a background that will not be in the painting.
Once we have the photo and the canvas with the same proportion, we go on to grid both supports the same number of frames. To do this, divide the width of the photo (n) by a number that represents how many frames you want to have. For example, between 6 and the height (which in the figure is less) between 4. Mark on the photo with a ruler the five marks that will come out of dividing n / 6 and paint a sign above and below the photo with that distance and draw a line between the two marks.
I have chosen the numbers 4 and 6 because the height is less than the width, but if the photo and the canvas were placed vertically, the numbers would have to be inverted.
Once we have squared both media, the same shapes that appear in the photo are passed to the canvas, taking advantage of the guides provided by the paintings. Thus, we can help ourselves from the grid to see that the left eye begins in the first column and the second row.