Why The Beautiful Line?

A site dedicated to the art of drawing and painting, The Beautiful Line is an open forum for the sharing of information and inspiration about the drawing and rendering process in digital and traditional media.

This blog is created for all those who share a love of drawing and are enticed by the potential of a blank piece of paper, canvas, or board to create a unique work of art. This space is dedicated to the open sharing of information and experiences concerning drawing. Included here are tutorials on drawing and rendering a variety of subjects in easily accessible media.

Why the Beautiful Line? As a long time professional illustrator, artist, and instructor, I still believe that the most powerful tool for image making is the simple pencil, pen, or brush. In an era of fantastic advances in digital arts with the power to create new worlds of amazing realism, the pencil drawing remains an exquisitely elegant tool for expressing thoughts and ideas. With this in mind, I view it as a personal mission as an instructor to encourage students to draw their ideas first, before developing concepts within a software program.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Developing an Interpretive Drawing Style: Continued

Photo of 427 Cobra, 2007 Woodward Dream Cruise

"427 Cobra", 7x9 inches, Black Prismacolor pencil on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper, 2007

I have a particular love of drawing cars. I was trained in this skill set during the closing days of the old commercial studio system in Detroit--roughly 1981 to 1991. Having spent many years refining these skills, it should be no surprise that I return to this subject frequently when drawing for my own pleasure. This drawing of a 427 Cobra was created on Strathmore 400 Series Bristol Vellum paper using a Staedtler B graphite pencil. I drew almost every line freehand, with the exception of the edge of the open hood. For this I used a sweep, otherwise referred to by draftsman as a ship curve.

For smaller drawings like the 427 Cobra, I backlight an Epson color print of the photograph, by laying the drawing paper over the image and taping both from one side onto a thick plexiglass sheet. The illumination is provided by a standard fluorescent studio lamp tilted upside down on my drawing board and slipped under the plexiglass sheet which is supported by a custom ledge added to the bottom edge of my drawing board.

This technique is a carry over from pre-computer days when Photostats of cars were backlit to create accurate drawings of cars on thin translucent vellum or tracing paper. These drawings were then transfered onto illustration board using a graphite sheet. The process was time consuming, due to the need to re-trace the drawing on board. Today, I prefer to create my drawings as finished illustrations on 2-ply cold press paper mounted on board with gesso, which allows me to draw the image once.

1 comment:

  1. good to see this. hope you are doing well. I will talk more soon. Take care, Kaoru