Feb 2, 2017

Drawing A Seagull - Painting & Drawing Tips


Actually this really should be called "Pencil and Eraser Becoming Friends" .

Learning to draw is a daunting task but when I talk with my friends I realize it is something many want to learn.  They don't aspire to be another Leonardo de Vinci but they do want to draw and have enjoyment in what they do. That is something I can totally relate to.  That was my goal when I started.

Their comments and concerns have lead me to this lastest series of posts on drawing.  Last post, Erasers: Your Friend or Enemy? was a start in getting your materials in order and ready to draw.

 Today, let's jump in and draw this seagull
Look for a basic shape or line to start with: two circles works well here
 I will be using my Derwent 2B pencil.  It gives a nice soft line without scoring the paper.  Remember to keep your layout lines soft, they are gestures that you will refine as you go along.

To start, study the subject a bit. 

Look for shapes or lines to get started.  In this case a circle with a flat top and bottom is a good starting point.  I placed a smaller flat circle on top for the head.  The legs are started with a line.  (note the legs are not perfectly straight. Try and include those little bends in your gesture).

Big Circle and small circle, gestures to start
As you are drawing your circle study our little guy. Is the head in the middle or to the left.  Is it half the width or less of the seagull's shoulders.  Look for these kinds of relationships as you draw each shape.  

Time to Measure and Refine

When looking at your subject use your pencil to measure a small section that can be then used as a unit of measurement.  For the figure, the unit is often the size of the head.  In this case I have used the distance between the bottom of the foot to the belly.  I can see that the seagull is 3 times this distance.  I can now refine my shapes, add a bit to the belly on the right and to his back on the left.  Notice, I haven't done any erasing yet.  Leaving my old lines there gives me a frame of reference as to how much to add.  
My pencil can also be used to check the angles of things, which I did to draw the lower part of the wing. 

Using you pencil, measure the seagull.  In this case I used the distance from his foot to his belly as a unit of measure.  I found that he was 3 units high.  As I refined my shapes I kept this relationship in mind. 

My pencil can also be used to check the angles of things, which I did to draw the lower part of the wing. 

Drawing the legs.

No, you don't have to draw them in first but I love those knobbly knees. They looked fun to draw so I did. (This is one of those little encouragers I talked about in dealing with Drawing Despair, see more here.)  There is no rule as to where to start in refining your drawing just make sure you are happy with the over all shape before go into the detail. (Note my line gestures for my legs became the middle of the left leg and the side of the right.)

Move around the drawing refining each part.

Checking reference Lines as you go

As you move around the drawing use your pencil to check your reference points.  The right leg to the shoulder and head and the left leg.  How does the negative space beside the the pencil compare with the seagull?

The beak

Beaks on birds are always a problem.  Use gesture lines to get the shape and carefully refine them.  I have left my gestures around the beak so you can see what I did.  When I was happy I erased all the ones I didn't want.
Soften lines and clean up unwanted ones.

Clean up time

Once I have settled on my layout, I clean up the unwanted lines with my kneaded eraser.  At this time I also go around and lighten lines that are going to be white: top of his head and his shoulder and the top of the beak.
My little seagull is ready to be shaded in.  Get your drawing up to speed and we will shade him in next week.

Take the Plunge and start drawing!  If you want some help I have several ways to help:

1. Zentangle Doodle Card Classes: Thursday, Feb 16, 1:30 - 3:30pm & 6-8pm Expressions Art Gallery, Maple Ridge.  Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30-12:30 (FULL) & 2-4pm. (1 Spot Left) Art by Wendy Studio, N. Surrey   $30 Supplies Included. We will be working with mice and owls on our Zentangle Doodle Cards  (you knew I would have animals somewhere) Contact Wendy to REGISTER

2. Buy a few of my Zentangle Doodle Cards and start  Colouring. See my collection here.   They are fabulous fun, just imagine how special your cards will be when you personalize them like that.  Those special people in your life will cherish your cards.

3. Private Drawing Lessons -  2.5 hr sessions in my studio, flexible scheduling to fit your schedule. 3 lesson package $225. Beginners to Adanced are welcome.  Adults, Teens and Younger Students. ( $35 for 1 hour sessions for younger students.) more info here

Special Note to Artists: 
February is Marketing Month for Artists, time to really work on your Business Plan. Join me for a full day of getting ready to make 2017 your Best Sales Year ever.  

All day Marketing Workshop - Let's Get Your Art Out There - Sunday, Feb 26 or March 5, 10-3pm.  This is an opportunity to work with a small group focusing on ways that work for you, to market your art.  Whether you are looking at full time or part Art Sales, there are effective, proven strategies that will get your work out the door. $70 Limited to 8 per session.  Art by Wendy Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey, BC.  REGISTER NOW  with Wendy.   Out of Towners  & Skytrainers give me a call and we can set something up.

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 Have a great artful day, Wendy

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