Drawing How To: Process

Armand Cabrera

When I’m drawing it’s important to have the simple value plan. I like three or four values at the most depending on the image. I start with placement. After observing the scene and getting the sense of the light and shadow patterns I come up with an arrangement that I think will convey the sense of this place. I want to incorporate the cloud patterns across the landscape and use them to help my center of interest and create a feeling of depth.

When I draw initially I like to keep my lines flowing and not too broken and scribbly. This establishes a sense of rhythm for my shapes.

I fill in the values for the sky and big hill and lay down some strong darks around the house. All the time I am working I’m watching the cloud patterns and thinking about how I will integrate them into the final scene.

Next I work on the foreground and decide on the lights and darks placement there.

After laying in the tones I clean up with a kneaded eraser and add a few more details and I’m done. Total drawing time is about 40 minutes on an 8x 11 pad.
These exercises help in a number of ways. It helps you to reduce shapes to contour lines first. This requires organization on your part. You learn to simplify the scene to a black and white image and to design the elements not just copy. The more you work at it the more you can take it to a high degree of finish and control. Learning to control the pencil and the strokes will help your painting. You will break a lot of pencil lead but I think it is worth the extra trouble in the long run.

If you work in concept or production art this type of sketching will help you build a mental library of real life experience to help in construction and design of environment drawing. I always felt one of the advantages I had getting work in those industries was the amount of drawing and painting from life I did and how it affected my work in the studio..

Bull Run Demo Summer 2012

I went ahead with my demo on Thursday in 100 degree heat. I want to thank everyone who came out to watch me paint Scott, Barbara, Pauline, Matt and Charlie and everyone else. We had about ten brave souls who stuck it out and I appreciate it.

Thanks to Mat and Pauline for the process shots. As I’ve said before I can demo and talk or I can demo and take pictures but its really hard for me to demo, talk and take pictures too.

The size of the painting was 18×24 and the painting time was a little over 2 hours.