Fine Art Drawing Techniques
These pages are designed as an information center for those viewers who are creating or want to create their own art projects. The tools and the techniques for each type of art project: drawings, paintings and preparatory designing, working drawings for craft projects such as quilting, tapestry weaving, three dimensional constructions combining painting and sculpture will be discussed. Some viewers may be beginners, and for others who are more experienced but are still learning about their chosen artwork.
Drawing techniques are fundamental to any artwork. There are many drawing methods including pencil, brush, fingers, and sticks in black on white or white on black [reverse drawing], and there are a number of tools that can aid the execution of these techniques. Tools are the first requirement, then there is a choice of surfaces upon which to work, depending on the desired use.
Necessary Tools for Drawing
A selection of artist's pencils with different degrees of softness and hardness. A typical choice is 4H, 2H, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B. There are about 9 different H to B pencils, but a basic 2H HB and 2B will work for beginners. There are two types of pencils: Bound in wood that must be sharpened in some sort of sharpener, and automatic pencils which take individual leads that can be advanced as needed without sharpening. [I use these most of the time, as the points are much finer and are always sharp.]
Also available in a selection of sized tips, some refillable and some with cartridges that can be used as refills. Be sure to get pens with archival india ink that won't fade over time. Felt tipped pens are notoriously not archival by exposure to normal light. This is true of colored inks as well. Check label. The only ink to use with brushes or steel tipped pen points is India Ink and check the label to make sure that it is light fast. It is easy to dilute with water if you want grey lines or tones. Use an eye dropper.
Sable brushes are the best but expensive and require care and moth protection. Modern synthetic ones work well, but choose short handles rather than the long handled painting brushes. A selection of sizes from fine to coarse is ideal. Oriental brushes with bamboo handles are wonderful to use, but require practice.
When using ink or paint brushes must be washed carefully. First with laundry soap, then with hand soap and finally clear water. Do not leave brushes in a glass with the points at the bottom, they acquire a permanent curve, but lay them in a shallow dish with a bit of water to keep them moist while you work.
Sticks and other instruments
Sharpened sticks can be used as well as fingers. If you're squeamish, use plastic gloves or finger cots to protect your fingers. Use cotton, felt, cotton cloth, etc. or found materials. Use your imagination!
Papers and other surfaces for art works
For sketching and planning
I use computer paper for throw-away works. However, in recent years I think twice before using it as it deteriorates, drys out and turns yellow or fades. So economizing may not be the best idea. [I have sketches done in 1964 of my son when he was 2 and crawling that have turned yellow. The only way I can save these sketches is to scan them and print them out on archival papers. But something is lost in translation] There are computer papers that are made for documents that must be saved. A 32 lb resume paper in Good paper is translucent if held to a light source, [unless it is very heavy weight stock]
Very rapid sketch 1 minute tops, as he was crawling at a pretty fast clip. Very soft 6B pencil on typing paper, which is now crumbling and yellow.