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On the way to Grand Central Academy in NY, NY

Hello fellow artists!  I’m back on my second post on how to paint like the masters, sharing with you all the notes that  took from a particularly helpful workshop at Grand Central Academy of Art that  I took this past summer.  Let’s pick up where we left off, at the drawing stage.

In the previous post, we had all the major shapes blocked in and were starting to work from the inside out.

Continue to check your drawing against the model in front of you.  Make sure all the shapes are correct.  Continue in cycles from the inside out.  Give youself a rule–no rendering (shading with your pencil) yet!  Rendering will only look good and correct as long as you are drawing the shapes correctly.

As you are drawing, keep in mind that there are four basic lines:

1. Contour lines: the outside edge, sillouhette of an object.

2. Form shadow: the shadow cast by the form as it turns away from the light.

3. Cast shadow: the shadow cast by the form (like your shadow on the wall).  A cast shadow will be crisper and more definite than the form shadow.

4. Plane change: the subtle shifts in the topography of a form, such as in the cheekbones.  Plane changes are best suggested with a lighter line.

My first stage of sketching "Maria", by Jessica Libor 2011

In this stage, begin to work towards an organic quality rather than geometric.  Adjust your harsher lines with a new sensibility.  Every organic form is a bunch of fulnesses rather than concavities.  Again, thinking of form this way, particularly the figure, will give you that lovely sculptural feel that Michelangelo  achieved in his drawings.  He naturally thought of figures as full and solid because he worked primarily as a sculptor.  Your job, as a painter, is to think more three dimensionally.  This will bring your work to life!

"Erythrean Sibyl" by Michelangelo, 1508

Study by Michelangelo

Think volume and commitment to a line.

"Drawing of Maria" by Jessica Libor, graphite on paper, 2011