Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cowboy Demo Day 1 -- The Drawing

     So here we go!  Today I’ll show you my drawing and how I completed it; using the master photo I gave you yesterday. 
     Notice my drawing is generally produced with straight working lines. These lines are the foundation of my drawing and they are measure lines.  I have talked about using the small sewing ruler in 1/10th increments.  (A special thank you to friend and fellow artist Chris Saper for showing me this wonderful drawing aid).
     Here is how I used it.  I made a duplicate of my master photo so I could show you how I proceeded with my measuring and drawing.
     It’s a bit of a challenge to demo this with a limited number of photos.  I will cover the high points, but if you have questions, please comment and I’ll answer you right away.
     Photo #1 shows the first lines that I will use to contain my drawing.  I almost always bisect my subject with a line, which makes measuring easier for me.  The next marks serve as “proportion containing” lines.  They show me the height and width of my subject.

     So far so good!  Now, I look for easy shape lines in the image.  These serve as measurement points to build my drawing from.  From here I proceed to finish my drawing through a series of measurements. 
     If you have never done this before, don’t fret.  I have recommended several good drawing books that will instruct you in this method.  If you’re bogged down and overwhelmed, then concentrate on learning these drawing skills and don’t worry about painting yet.  Because it’s my opinion, that until you start measuring your drawings, the final product will suffer.
     So here is my finished drawing. 

    This sketch will show you how I try and break the image into dark and light areas before I start painting.  Normally, I indicate this on my initial drawing.  But I always have a small thumbnail to show where the shadow side is versus the lit side of my subject.
     So, do this for a while and it will become second nature to you.  This is how an artist sees.  Look how just separating the darks and lights is already pushing my drawing from a static line drawing toward something that is taking on a more resolved and finished look.  That is what light does for your painting.  

     Enough for today.  TOMORROW WE PAINT!  Good luck.

All content and images © Mark Kohler Studio.


  1. I love the process shots. Thanks so much!

  2. Awesome! Very Cool Blog..... makes me want to pick up a paintbrush again. I guess I didn't stick with my classes long enough because I've never seen a picture divided like that before drawing. Cool! I'll be watching to see if you have any more tricks up your sleeve.