Saturday, January 24, 2009

demo - drawing ellipses


I have not posted in a while. My day job is illustrating children's books, and I am deeply involved in my 5th book right now. But....I really miss just drawing! So tonite I took out my Moleskine and sat down with one of my favorite and also most challenging items to draw - ellipses. I thought I'd turn this drawing into a little demo to show you how I begin my process.

I draw my ellipses freehand, starting with a center line and adding cross lines as reference points so that my ellipses are all as they should be. The rest, well, I "eyeball" the entire object as I draw it, measuring it in my mind and on paper. After drawing an ellipse, I turn my paper 180 degrees and recheck the ellipse. I may turn it 90 degrees as well and check it that way. When it comes to drawing, our minds have a tendency to lie to us and tell us everything is okay when it's not. It always pays to spend as much time as necessary checking and rechecking your initial sketch, since way too many mistakes are caught only after a drawing is finished. Mistakes can easily be avoided as long as you are not hasty in moving on to the rendering stage. In the end, it is worth the time taken to make sure your drawing is accurate.

My drawing looks pretty good, so I think I am ready to begin rendering it now.

9 comments:

Joan Y said...

I avoid ellipses like the plague so this little tutorial helps! Thanks for sharing your awesome talent with us girlie!

tlc illustration said...

Good reminder. You're right of course. If you're not careful it if very easy to 'accept' non-obvious asymmetries (which I have a tendency to do when I am in a hurry. Great idea to slow down and strive for accuracy often enough to ingrain it!)

Ginger*:)* said...

Thanks for the great tips. This works with digital as well, as I prefer the hand drawn look to the easier way of using the oval tools that can make a perfect ellipse.

These drawings are beautiful, Kate.

Jessie Lilac said...

Thanks for this Kate. I turn the page around too if I'm trying to make a symetrical shape and get shocks every time! Your drawings are beautiful done.x

Kate said...

Thanks Jessie. Yes, our eyes lie to us, so it is very necessary to do that, I think.

James Parker said...

Thanks Kate for an interesting little tutorial...particuarly rotating your work and inspecting it. My left eye is lower than my right, and if I work close in, when I step back, my entire subject slopes up to the right. I have never rotated my work, but after reading this, I have and it helps to see things from a different perspective. Hmmm..I guess all life's like that..if you don't step off and see things from a different perspective occasionally, then you just may not see things the way they really are. Thanks, Kate

Kate said...

So true James, in many ways!! Thanks.

princesstomato said...

great reminders, and great drawings!

kimprint said...

Love your sustained drawings - this is a nice little tute as well... like parallel parking - slowing down and thinking really helps!