Art Before Breakfast: Measuring!

If you’ve ever wondered how to figure out the proportions of something you want to draw, you’re in luck today. It’s Friday and time for the next in my series of simple videos on how to see and draw, based on my latest book, Art Before Breakfast.

If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful. (Here’re the past episodes, in case you missed any.)

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from pages 28-9. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

Art Before Breakfast: Deeper into negative space

Here’s the third of a series of simple videos I’ve made to walk you through the steps of seeing and drawing from my latest book, Art Before Breakfast. This one builds on the previous lesson with a different exercise in how to see negative space. That’s the space between things that helps us understand better what we are seeing and hence better how to draw.

If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful. (Here’re the past episodes, in case you missed any.)

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from pages 26-7. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

Art Before Breakfast: How to see.

I’ve made some simple videos to walk you through the steps of seeing and drawing as I outline them in the first section of my book, Art Before Breakfast. This first one is about why you don’t need talent to get started, just a couple of simple ideas that might jog your brain, including a demonstration of contour drawing. If you’re new to drawing or are struggling with the basics, I hope this series will be helpful.

Every Friday I work through an idea from Art Before Breakfast. It would be lovely if I could imagine you out there drawing along with me. This particular exercise comes from page 25. If you decide to do it too, please share with me how it turned out! (Share the results on your own blog or on Facebook and post a link in my comments section. Use #artb4bkfst on Twitter or FB).

The shortest distance between two coasts is a wonky line.

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Playwrights say that if a gun appears on stage, somebody will use it before the curtain falls. Photographers say that the best camera is the one you have with you. The New York Lottery says “You gotta be in it to win it.”

I just spent ten days in a car with a journal on my lap.  As  result, I did a lot of drawing. Not that drawing in a car is ideal. I am prey to carsickness so jolting highways and juddering views are usually not the ideal environment for the delicate stomach of my muse. Nonetheless, as I looked out the windshield four thousand miles, I was constantly drawn to draw.

Aphorists say when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And as I spent my whole day with a pen lightly gripped in my hand, everything looked like a drawing. The only effort required to start a drawing was to shrug off the cap and, whenever I wasn’t at the helm, I seized every excuse to draw (thank you, Tommy Kane).

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The unfolding miles inspired me to use the pen which in turn defined the journey we were on. I saw connections between things, I saw unusual shapes, I saw common things suddenly looking very uncommon. I was hyperaware of the light, of the weather, of the ravages of time. Holding a pen can be like donning polarizing sunglasses, sharpening everything in your field of vision.

Now I am back on terra firma, I want to hold on to that urge and habit. To keep recording all the days that pass under my feet, to keep seeing even the most familiar landscape with the fresh eyes and open mind of a traveler.