The easiest way to transition into painting from drawing is to work in black and white when you begin. If you have a strong foundation in graphite drawing then your ability to understand value should be strong and will help you recognize value in a painting medium. Now, you need to learn the limits of a painting medium; since your ability to understand value is strong starting a b/w painting will be an easier approach.

One of the most important ways to improve your skill level is to draw a sphere or ball. A white ball. Draw using a 2H, 3H or 4H for the entire drawing. You can use all three pencils at once but start using only one. This will teach you the range of value you can get from one. Now, most artist use these styrofoam balls which have too many bumps or pivots which do not give you a clear refection of surface to see from. Look for a white ball in home decor sections of stores. There are these balls of just about anything people put in bowls and sit around their places. I found a white ceramic ball at The Christmas tree store, a cheaper anything store, but it had “T” on it. I painted it with gesso a few times and so far it is working. You can also buy a kids balance ball and spray paint it white with flat white paint. It works but it takes several sprays to get a good result. Plus it is messy! Place the ball on a Dixie cup to spray and eventually turning to achieve an even coat.

Spotlight with a strong lamp for the light and highlight, tonal range and shadow with refractive light.

Also find other shapes to draw, a block, an egg shape, cone, square and other simple shapes. Place in a grouping and draw. You need a strong foundation in value studies. Make a ten box stripe for each pencil; box one white and box ten the darkest you can get the pencil to go. Number five box is the middle tone between one and ten. Gradual  shades two to four and so on. You want to display the pencil’s range of value. You want to know what that pencil can do for you. There is no way around learning the scales.

The Elements of drawing:

1. Line: gestural line, contour line, construction line, cross contour line and lines of shading. Line, shape, shade, form, color, value, space and texture.

In order to understand value range in scale and shape, form and line you need to have a strong foundation in understanding these elements and drawing. I suggest starting in graphite, a black and white medium. You need at least three to five solid compositions under your experience in order to start to understand value of shades along with solid composition. If the composition doesn’t work then the entire drawing will not work neither. Squint at your artwork, if no darks pop out at you then there are not enough dark values. If you are afraid of adding darks [B’s] because they are hard to erase than you need art lessons with me. Don’t be afraid of the dark B pencils, they are the avenue to realism.


In the exercises below what you want to do is first draw a square, rec-tangle and draw a wiggle line hitting the corners. After a few try to draw the same line without a box. Try the others shapes as well. This teaches your hand and eye control of the pencil pressure applied and teaches your fingers to move, not the wrist. This will help you with control of shading values and gentle gradations of value ranges. If you think you do not need them….then your wrong. You need a strong foundation of principles. Once you master these principles on all the elements your work will come more easily to you. Plus, a Life drawing class is the strongest foundation you can start with. You will learn to see all the elements with out too much pressure when working on a composition. When you are working on a drawing or any artwork you want the artistic magic to flow and it will with a strong foundation. Trust me on this. I am sure you have seen still life set-ups with circular shapes, sphere, cylinder, and cone shapes? These still life  are to teach you basic shapes that can relate to all things found in the natural. This teaches you the elements and how to draw them, but how to see the changing light on one object and how they affect each other in light. The following pictures may help you understand what I am saying when I say elements. One picture is from a drawing book [ Drawing the creative process by Seymour Simmons III and Winer] the sphere is one of  mine from college. These are great drawing exercises to practice.

Wanting to learn to draw and paint.

Posted on June 10, 2013

I want to share a few thoughts with you about drawing and painting. If you are becoming frustrated with your painting skills and it seems like you can paint to a certain point, but you know something is wrong? Something just doesn’t look right or you wish you just knew how to proceed and improve your skills. This is why you are frustrated, you do not have a solid foundation to work off of. Remember: VERY IMPORTANT; also draw in the direction of the form. Once you are a master of drawing then you may shade in opposite and various directions. Once you completely understand drawing and your skills can hold their own and understand form and shapes {how to bring them to realism} then painting will be easier and you wont be as frustrated. Trust me with this.*********
***********TRUST ME::::::::once you learn to draw and control value and use the warm and cool tones to your advantage the painting and form will be easier. Always draw in the direction of the form or shape of the objects you are drawing. I will be adding video demos in the next few weeks which will help.

I suggest and recommend you go back to learn the basics  and fundamentals in drawing. Drawing 101…….I have several post regarding drawing and improving your skills, in the search tab in the menu. Also, in the menu there are tabs regarding drawing and papers.

Start with re-learning the values in graphite; the H graphite pencils, [warm tone] and B graphite pencils [cool tone]. Make a value scale from one to ten; the first block is just paper white and the tenth block is the darkest you can get the block. Number five is middle tone; therefore number two block light until block five and block six to ten shaded in gradual increments.as seen in the graph. Learn what each penc

1 thought on “DRAWING TOOLS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s