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Sunday, 22 February 2009

Party Time

This post really follows on from the second part of my previous post, in reply to which several of you, either in the comments or by email, made the point that drawing involves putting in only the important lines. In other words, it is essentially an excercise in leaving out. The trick is in the deciding which is which, which are the lines of stress and which the lines that just confuse and muddle the work. This is an excercise intended to make you an artist in seeing, as it was once put to me. A Picasso in seeing, maybe. It is really no different from what I described last time.

If you are skilful or confident enough to draw freehand, there is no problem. Do that. Choose one of the images I give below and try to draw no more than twelve lines to convey its essence.

If you are not yet at that stage copy an image into your graphics program, but not straight into it. Open the program with a background layer first, then copy the image into it as a new layer. Now place another layer on top of the image, either a transparent layer or one sufficiently transparent for the image to show through.Now, making sure that the top layer is the active layer, draw in your lines. When you are happy with it remove the image layer, leaving just your lines. (Of course, you could do this using tracing paper, but it is much easier to remove lines and change tings using the programme.)

When you are happy with the result, try again, using fewer lines. The challenge is to use the smallest number of lines possible.

And the Party stuff? Ah, yes, well, with just a little judicious adaptation, it can make for a good party game, should you be planning the right sort of party.


Jinksy said...

That all sound fascinating, but it would have to be the tracing paper option for me - not clever enough on computer! (Still can't email you, no matter how hard I try...Mail man doesn't like your address... sorry)

Unknown said...

Hi Dave,

Despite being someone who 'can't draw a straight line' I might just have a go at this - to see how Picasso-esque I can be!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

That sounds like a great sort of party! :) I will take you up on your challenge this afternoon, I've never been great at drawing but this feels like an opportunity to try.

Unknown said...

That sounds like an interesting exercise-- in some ways, it clarifies the Picasso progression from your earlier post. Excellent.

Leanne Pizio said...

Hey Dave,
I just found your blog through another blog. I was so happy to be here. I'll have to come back soon and peruse more of your lovely posts.
I was also excited to know about the Picasso exhibit. We are going to be in London next week. How lucky is that?

Noelle Dunn.... A Poet in Progress said...

hey, thanks for the tip...I will have to try this sometime!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

I enjoyed you information...though I can't join the party just now...I would be interested to see what others come up with...I adore the middle photo..what feline intensity. <3

Rosaria Williams said...

This is just the sort of thing that I love, someone who will help me get over my fear of drawing. I will practice and let you know how it works.

Totalfeckineejit said...

That's interesting Dave I've often thought (well wondered) the same with photography ie not so much what you put in, but that which you leave out ,to make the pic.

Rachel Green said...

Fascinating post, Dave.
I had a few goes.

LR Photography said...

Thanks for the tip Dave!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sounds too hard for me, Dave - I am a terrible drawer. As for using it as a party game, I think I will stick to pinning the tail on the donkey - that is about my level. I have tried many times to draw (my teacher says that drawing is 1 per cent putting pencil to paper and 99percent looking!

Unknown said...

What a fun idea! I haven't thought about drawing like this since freshman year in my Interior Design program when we had to contour draw. Of course that was all freehand and I was so slow. Importing the lioness into Photoshop now & if it comes out good I'll post it on my blog & let you know :) This is a perfect "lazy Sunday" exercise thanks for the suggestion!

Jeanne Estridge said...

I once had someone, during a fierce round of Pictionary, inquire if I were drawing in another language, so I think I'll sit this one out. Love to see what turns up, though.

Dave King said...

Tracing paper should be fine. I have received your email. Didn't look in my box over the weekend, I fear - Grandson's 18th. And no, I did not hit any brick walls - I think I know where most of them are by now, having hit them all in the past, as my nose can testify.

You should be okay; there are no straight lines in nature! Go man, go: out-Picasso Picasso!

Best of luck, let me know how you make out.

Thanks for that.

Painter Girl
Welcome to the blog. Sure hope you enjoy London and see the Picasso. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Hope it goes well.

Thanks for that.

You have absolutely nothing to lose. Thanks for the feedback.

Absolutely, though I have always found the leaving out that much more difficult in photography. I take my hat off to those who can achieve it.

Great. Thanks for that.

Hope you found it satisfying.

Weaver of Grass
I would agree with your teacher. Absolutely.

Perfect! I shall look for it on your blog for sure. Have fun - that's the main thing.

Drawing in another language? That's a new one on me. I shall try to remember it - might come in useful! I did once have the Prin' at art school look at my drawing of a felled tree trunk and ask was it a transmocrified Roman Basilica.

Karen said...

I'll have a go at it. Thanks for creating a new way to be creative.

Rosaria Williams said...

I nominated you for an award on my post. Check it out.


Fantastic Forrest said...

That is fun! I like the pics you've offered, especially the mountain goat.

But 12 lines seems like a lot. If you don't lift your pen, you can just keep going all the way around a critter and call it one line.... :-)

Conda Douglas said...

This reminds me a lot of how I "learned" to draw from a class I took in "Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain." I put learned in quotes because it's a different way of seeing, really.

Fun post, Dave. If I have a few moments free I'll give it a try!

Linda Sue said...

This will be fun! I draw very well, I need to break away from such detail and this seems the perfect excercise. Thanks, Dave.

Unknown said...

Can you post larger versions of the pictures? I tried to copy them, but they are too small to work with on the computer. I think this looks like a very interesting exercise and would like to give it a try.
David C.

Cloudia said...

Your parties must be fun! aloha-

Dave King said...

Best of luck - and thanks for commenting.

I do thank you very sincerely, but I made a decision a little while back not to be involved any more with awards, partly because they slow the blog down and partly because they can be so time-consuming in sthe setting-up. I had meant to remove the existing ones by now, but somehow I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. What an indecisive creature I am. I do hope this reply will not offend, and thank you again for thinking of me.

Fantastic Forrest
12 lines is very generous, I agree. I would count not lifting the pen or pencil as a bit of gentle cheating, but it's up to you. What works for you is fine.

I agree it is a different way of seeing. That is what drawing is all about. Thanks for the comment.

Linda Sue
Breaking away can be very hard to do, but it can refresh you for the return.

David C
I will see what I can do. I actually chose Blogger's largest format, so I am not confident about doing so. If the worst comes to the worst you might be able to enlarge them, or even use photographs of your own. I will try, though.

I'm not a great party person, actually.

Unknown said...

I think the problem is the size of the originals--e.g., the buffalo is only 102x158 pixels. By contrast, the bull pics in your other post are about 250x350 pixels. If you can save the originals in a larger size, closer to 250x350 or a little larger before uploading, it would work better. I had a go at enlarging the buffalo, but it didn't work well with so few pixels to work with. Having said all that, don't waste a lot of time on it. I can just scrounge up some other images to play with.
David C.

Tumblewords: said...

I'll try this - fascinating. Generally, it's easy to start with a little but for some reason I have a tendency to keep adding and adding and adding. :)

Dave King said...

David C
I have tried incrasing the size of the image, but Blogger still prints them small even when I choose the larest of the three formats. I can't think why, it has never happened before. I will try again.

A common enough problem. Fight it!

Unknown said...

Thanks for trying to enlarge the pictures. I found one at Wikimedia Commons which I used. Here's a link to my attempt.

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