Outliners Anonymous

I never cease to be amazed at how many ingrained habits surface during my drawing classes.  No doubt some of you have them too.  The habit I’m on about today is putting a strong outline on a drawing once you have finished adjusting a sketch to your liking.  I can imagine the automatic thought process-  “Yep, that’s right.  Now to firm it up and make it proper!”

In class this morning Lee-Anne, my longest standing student, asked “Do you think they have an outliners anonymous?”

cylinders1
Which one looks more three dimensional?

Outlining automatically, because you think it’s the right thing to do, is NOT a great idea.  If you are after a stylized, decorative drawing then that’s wonderful.  Then outline deliberately, because you want to emphasise the lines and not out of habit.  However, if you wish to render your subject in traditional 3D then strong outlines are not your friend.

The quality of your lines should vary depending on whether you wish to show a light or dark edge, or make things come forward or recede.  Tones that change depending on shadow and light do not need outlines.  The change between one tone and another does not need a line to emphasise it.  Strong lines tend to make your drawings look flat instead of three dimensional.

cylinders
Which one looks more three dimensional?

 

Oh yes. Strong lines are also really difficult to erase.  Even if you’re sure that you’ve made all the adjustments you need to, chances are you’ll need to change something.

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Apple – take one

I am continuing, in fits and starts,  with the journey of producing my “Get Drawing”  book.  In the process I am also filming myself drawing the sketches that may eventually appear in the book.  So the journey is one of broadening discovery as well.  Discovering how to set the camera up in the best possible way; how to edit the resulting video; how to make it interesting;how to add a narration (still to come) etc.

My home video studio
My home video studio

On one of our recent hot nights (27 degrees Celsius at 11.30pm!) my thoughts found their way to ideas for the book and I remembered that I thought my new camera (purchased for my trip overseas last year) had some sort of way of connecting to my smart phone.  So the very next day I experimented and discovered that the camera could, indeed, connect via wifi to my smartphone so that I could remotely see what the camera could see, zoom in or out, and then take a picture or start recording a video.  Woohoo!

So, I’d love you to take a look at my first try and leave any comments.  Just in case you think I’m working very fast, I have sped the video up.  Future videos will hopefully have tighter editing etc. but I was excited to get this out there.  The beautiful music accompanying the video is my talented brother, Ilan Zagoria.

Click Apple video to view.

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