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The First Book of Drawing

Click to return to index    Author:  Louis Slobodkin
Copyright Date:  1958
Publisher:  Franklin Watts
Pagination:  68 p.

     The ancient Greeks (some of whom you know were great artists) used the same word for “drawing” as they did for “writing.” It made good sense, really. When we draw we are actually saying with lines and smudges on paper what we know and think about these shapes, movement, strength, or weakness—and a lot of other things—of the person, animal, or object we are trying to draw.
     In this book I have written and drawn the ideas and methods which have helped me and which I believe will help you to say whatever it is you want to say with drawing. These ideas and methods have been used by good and great artists for generations. I do not promise that they will make you a great artist. For that you need a great talent. But I expect they will help you to draw with some confidence. And if you do have talent, they can help you to become the great artist you want to be.

T H E   S H A P E S   O F   T H I N G S

     Just about anything you see has its own special shape. And that special shape is made up of smaller shapes. They are the most important reason why things look the way they do. When you make a drawing of something, you are really drawing its main shape and the smaller shapes that are part of it. Therefore, the first thing you need to learn is to see and know these shapes.

D R A W I N G   T H E   S H A P E S

     Have you ever noticed that the drawings of most beginners look flat and unreal? That is because young artists have drawn only the outlines of shapes. They have given them only two dimensions, or measurements--the height and the width. What is lacking is the depth, or thickness, of the shape. We call it the third dimension, and good artists always try to draw it along with the other two dimensions.
     There are many ways of drawing the three dimensions of a shape. Here is one that has been used by many great artists for thousands of years. First look carefully at the object you want to draw. Try to see the large shapes that make up that object. When you think you know what they are, take a broad pencil, a crayon, or a piece of charcoal, and go to work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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