A few people have asked me to post the process that I go through when I draw. I know there are many methods out there, but this is what works for me.
I think the hardest part for me is deciding on the composition as a whole. How do I want to crop or frame the subject? What do I want to do with the foreground and background? Sometimes it is just a matter of, am I brave enough to try execute what I visualize in my mind? When I finally come up with some ideas I can begin drawing, and this is the fun part.
I start most drawings by blocking out shapes on my paper. I want to be able to erase the marks later, so I am very careful to make the markings light. If the graphite is ground too deeply into the tooth of the paper it is hard to remove. Too much pressure from dark layout sketches can also damage the tooth of the paper. While blocking out shapes on my paper I often squint, this allows my focus to shift from detail to shapes and silhouettes. Once I am happy with the collection of what looks like a bunch of shapes and lines I start joining these shapes to create a line drawing of my subject. Next time I will post a photo of this step.
As the shapes are being joined I will add some shadow lines or shadow areas. These markings become great reference points as I begin to add more detail. The photo below is a sketch I am currently working on. The shapes have been joined, most unwanted lines have been removed, and more detail is being added.
19×24″ Barrel Racer
In order to make the photo more visible the lines on this sketch-up have been darkened in Lightroom. My original is much lighter.
Before I actually start adding life to the sketch I will do a few small practice areas in my sketchbook. This helps me decide what look I want to create, and work out any problem areas before I start the actual drawing.
From my sketchbook
The practice drawing helped me determine what pencils I did and did not want to use and gave me a chance to try create the angled back leg.
As the piece evolves I will post updates on The Process. I just have to remember to take photos as I go. 😉 …happy drawing!