Starting With a Look Drawing – What Paper Can You Use and Why?

Starting With a Look Drawing - What Paper Can You Use and Why
Art Secret, Art Tips, Drawing Techniques

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During my first year at university, I studied interior design, and I did a great deal of handicrafts and art as required by the syllabus and the faculty, who were the founders themselves.

It was a very good lesson and at that time – in the 1980’s – we did all our painting work on the big A0 drawing boards, something that is rarely done these days, (due to the meteoric rise of computers) and spent years drawing many interesting things like programs, side views, technical drawings.

furniture, exhibition stands, film sets, all sorts of things, everything we had to design first. They were always on big sheets of tracing paper.

After that we began to learn to draw with the idea, and with this drawing on the tracing paper, it was done with the precision and intensity of the process as in all the story we had produced before.

Now I have always felt that the way our teachers wanted us to produce visual aids – straightforward and solid – was very limited and long-winded, especially because it made the subject very difficult to see that we were developing on paper, because heavy style had to draw them.

‘There must be a quick way to do this’, I thought to myself, it was! As a test, I looked at the large ‘make-up’ pad I had that was part of the list of tools we needed to have in order to be able to draw. I used a sheet of this to paint my drawing idea and suddenly I saw a big difference.

Instead of striving for a piece of tracing paper, I would rather use white paper with a pencil or a special fiber-reinforced pen to draw quick, vibrant, easy-to-use drawings, simply because it was a white background (Duh!

But that is not all. You see, because make-up paper is a flexible material, it can be used as tracking paper, by covering a new sheet of fabric over a pre-painted sheet at the bottom.

And because you could see the bottom line really well, it was easy to produce fast, fluid and live drawings at will, with no forced engineering style ‘using only one paper’ that we had to get used to.

Now what does my tip say? Yes, when you start with your first look, select the Layout page. Buy an A3 pad size from Daler or any other approved product and the next step is to do this: Take a sheet, fold it in half and carefully slide the sheet along the folded line.

You will now have two sheets, both of which are A4 in size. Take one sheet and load it onto your desk or drawing board (landscape) with masking tape (any diy store should sell this for you).

Choose your topic; start easily. Draw a chair, a camera, something boxy looking and start with that. Try not to get involved with your line work. Instead draw quickly and improve the liquid style.

when your drawing starts to look full of building lines, place another blank sheet of paper on top, paste it on the floor and produce your last piece following the ‘right’ lines you will see even though a layer of building paper is on top. When you’re done, add a color function to your desired location, either a cork crayon or a marker pen.

with a little practice you will enjoy this drawing method, as it allows you to correct mistakes by pasting new paper and drawing clean lines, instead of rubbing the extra lines you don’t get when they are all drawn on one piece of paper. And your hands are not dirty!

Once you have found its hang, move up to the ‘blood’ mark and A3 size. This is a little more compact than paper to make and is more expensive, but it allows you to use marker pens if you wish.

Of course you can just scan your drawings in Photoshop, Gimp or another graphics program and use your colors that way, if you know how to do that.

I hope this article is helpful to you and if you would like more information, then check out my website where you will find good tutorials, a gallery and an e-book that I am sure you will enjoy.

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