First of all - before you go away, thinking, “I can’t draw, this is irrelevant to me,” know that absolutely anyone can learn to draw.
At least I think so. Another professional designer I know agrees! That should convince you, right? The two of us say it’s true, it must be so.
Further proof: look at my very first drawing assignment.
No joke. That’s where we all had to start!
Eventually we learned about how to draw in a few planes. And then to add gradations of darker areas and lighter areas. These two things are what create the magic of “3D.”
Then, after another term of lessons and lots of practice, we could create whole rooms of these shapes.
Every one of those sketches were done to the best of my ability at the time of rendering. Any improvement at all between them was something taught to me by another more experienced artist. …online. I’ve even learned all that I know about drawing from digital lectures, videos (if I was lucky) and seeing the example of fellow classmates’ work. If I can manage THAT, learning to draw is, indeed, possible.
Beyond possibility, there must be interest and inspiration to tackle a whole new skill. I find that seeing the work of professionals makes me interested in being able to try and emulate the kind of amazing work they are presenting. And, as an admitted office/drawing supply nut, new pencils, markers, or shnazzy papers make me all the more excited. Oh geeze.
The most recent inspiration comes from artist Michael Doyle. One of my instructors pointed out his work in class this week as an excellent example of, well, many things, including tinted paper.
What is this you speak of?!
Evidently, this was the first time I’d ever heard of such a thing. Whhhyyy so enticing? Well, look at this drawing:
Can you see the bright white highlights throughout the drawing? As well as the deep shadows along walls, casting off from people walking up the stairs, and throughout the plant life in the circular patio on the right?
Contrast of light and dark is how we perceive what the eye can see - this contrast defines form, texture, even the kinds of materials in use.
Tinted paper makes it really easy to apply both dark and light values. You can imagine adding white to white paper doesn’t do much. Rendering becomes all about adding varying degrees of darker value. With a middle gray already established on the page - when the paper is tinted as in the image above - the artist can play around more freely with shadows and highlights. In otherwords, the entire effect of the drawing.
Now, I can’t wait to get myself some lovely, medium gray, tinted paper.