Apr 5, 2018

Have you Felt the Freedom of the Line?


Have you Felt that loose free stroke as it dances across the Page?

That moment when you are alone with the line, it is alive and  . . .
 there is No Fear.

Times Gone By - Ink, Sketchbook Entry
Funny, when you think about it, how can drawing a line take courage.  But it does.  I think whether you work with a brush or pen, that moment of Fear hits everyone at some point.  When I first started drawing those Fearful Moments were common occurrences.  I painstakingly drew everything in pencil and then even more carefully traced over it with my pen.  Yes, the drawings were good but . . .they did not have the liveliness of a Free Flowing, Fluid Line.

Poppies - Pen and Ink - Use contour lines to capture the fragile edges of the petals

Steps to A Lively Line:
1.  Study the contour of your shape.  The Poppies were drawn by studying the contour of the petal.  Eye on petal, pen on paper.  As the eye moves along the poppy, the pen moves along the paper.  This will give the petal edges a very free look.  Challenge yourself to leave at least 2 breaks in a long edge as you go.  The large petal on the top right poppy has a break which really adds life and interest to that petal. Use a small dot on your paper to mark where you want to start and end and then draw the petal edge freely.

 2.  Do a Rehearsal to draw a swiping line.  The stems in the poppy picture need to be drawn in one continual line.  This is where a Line Rehearsal will leave you free to draw a lively fluid line.  See my last post on Doing Line Rehearsals for more information on this.

Heron In the River - Ink, Graphite & Coloured Pencil
3.  Use a Gesture to draw. Gestures are freely drawn lines, intent on capturing the pattern or shape.  Often they are not mean as a final line.   To capture the movement of the grasses in Heron In the River, there was first a series of gestures suggesting the pattern of the grasses.  These lines were then refined: some made darker, some thicker, some lengthened, some had little dots and squiggles added to them or beside them.

4. Loosely Block in a Shape.  This is a hard one.  If you are not careful you will end up drawing everything and then tracing over it again with a pen.  Not the lively line you wanted.  Challenge yourself.  As you practice give yourself brief directions as to where you want your lines.  For example when drawing the Poppies, I suggested dots to mark starting and stopping points.  For the picture at the top Times Gone By,  the placement of the the main elements, foreground log, tree and stump, were drawn with straight lines and a box.  This gave me the confines of each shape.  Then using contour line drawing I was free to draw the bark and shapes of the shadows and edges within each element.  My favourite part is the log left of the tree. I have a favourite spot in all my drawings.

5. Remember Shadowing covers a wealth of unwanted marks.  This Step is more about combating the Fear in Drawing rather than a technique. Remember, Mistakes are only unwanted lines that can be incorporated into your work.

Once an ink line is drawn it is permanent. A little different from lines in paint, which can be painted over or lifted.  But in the ink world we have our secrets too.   A permanent line can be made to disappear.  Shading, with crosshatching, covers many of those lines making them texture.  If you look closely at the truck of the main tree in Times Gone By, you will see I changed my mind on the spacing for the bark grooves.  They were too close together so I drew new ones.  The old ones were covered by shading and actually add a lot to the texture and movement within the tree truck.

Directional lines can work the same as your Shading/Crosshatching.  In the Poppies, there is little crosshatching to cover a stray line.  However, within each petal are a few directional lines.  Adding just a few directional lines can camouflage many a wayward line.  The key here is add only a few.

6. Practice Drawing with Pen and Ink. Pick up you pen and go for it.  Your sketchbook is your friend, it loves a drawing of lively fresh lines.  Let it be your place of refuge.  Confidence is the strongest defense against Fear.

 Do you have ways to beat the Fears and draw free loose lines on your page?  Share your thoughts, every little trick helps.

Spring is hear and time to get ready for moving outside with your work.  My sketchbooks are calling me.  My next few posts will be focused on working with my Sketchbook Friends.

Want to Beef up Your Drawing Skills in a Fun Way?
Learn the power of 'the line' and 'the Rehearsal' - feel the free flow of ink on paper.  Join me in a Spring Creative Card Class.  You will be using Butterflies and Flowers to create Whimsical Cards for any occasion.(See Samples in Last Post Here)  Just imagine the fun of giving such personalized cards to family and friends. Cost $35 supplies included. Contact Wendy to register.  Classes are small and fill up fast.

Saturday, April 21, 10-12pm, Art by Wendy's Studio/Gallery, N. Surrey
Wednesday, April 25, 1:30-3:30pm, Mandeville Gardens, S. Burnaby

Are you ready to try something new? You will be surprised how new skills and ideas can creep back into your work in so many ways.

My Etsy StoreWendyMouldsArt  is always open and new things added all the time.  

Spring Shows and Classes: 

 Artswest Spring Art Show & Sale  Sunday, April 22, 10-4pm.  Sullivan Hall, 6306 152 St. Sry.
Winter Rains means lots of New Works!! – Come see what Artswest Artists have been working on this winter. Artswsest is a group of Local Artists working in a variety of mediums, show features Original Art, Raffle, Refreshments, and More.

Paints'n Bloom Spring Show & Sale - Thur - Sat,  April 26-28, 10-4pm
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr. Burnaby
Featuring Award Winning Artists Audrey Bakewell, AFCA & Wendy Mould, AFCA  

Pre-Event An Artfilled Day:  Wednesday, April 25
Gardenworks at Mandeville, 4746 Marine Dr. Burnaby

1.  Beginner Watercolour Class 10-12pm
Learn the secrets of Watercolour, the Big Wash, Wet into Wet, then drop in those Sprinkles of Detail to bring it all alive.  Just in time for your summer fun. 

2.  Creative Card Making Class 1:30-3:30pm
Start your Spring season off with a fun afternoon of making Creative Cards for those special people in your life; Mother's Day, Father's Day, Birthday, Friendship, Thank You's are more meaningful with personalized cards created by you.  Learn tricks and techniques to put your ideas into action.   

Workshops $35 each, all supplies included. Register Now with Wendy 
They have a wonderful little cafe there which I highly recommend for lunch. 

Drop-In & Draw Sessions: 
 Mondays: April 2, 16 & 30- 10-12pm or 1-3pm, Tuesday: May 22, 10-12 & 1-3pm
Expression Art Gallery, 227 & Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge,
Choose a morning or afternoon session. Bring your sketchbook or project and come and work.  I will be happy to give you pointers.  $15 Pre-Registration Required.  Contact Wendy Here. 

Good Follow-Up Session to the Marketing Workshop: 
April 9 - Building Your Online Presence with Wendy Mould, AFCA 6-8pm. Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC. $20 nonmembers $15 members.

How to Find Your Starting Point in a Drawing - here
3 Steps to Putting Magic into Your Art - here
Time to Crack Open that Travel Journal - here

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Have a great Artful Day,

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