Thursday, September 10, 2009

Outline: Drawing from the Outside In or Inside Out? Drawing Resources Online, Part 1

In this corner, champions of nailing down the outline first. In the other, people who start their drawing in the middle and let the proportions evolve from there. At least, it’s starting to sound like a fight to me, as I begin cataloging and reviewing online art lessons.

The get the outline right first camp terrifies me. A perfect outline? Not going to happen; so I’m defeated from the get-go. Seems easier to me to paint in the general areas of light and shadow and refine the edges from there.

Maybe the conflict between outside in versus inside out is the conflict between drawing versus painting. Or media which are set in stone or nearly so, such as ink or watercolor, or oil paint you can push around. Or line versus color.

One proponent of silhouette – and a whole lot more interesting material – is Michael Britton at You can see a sample online portrait how-to video on his homepage. I would get on his mailing list post haste. Sculpture plays a big role.

Cheap Joe’s Art offers has instruction online, with a watercolor slant. This article shows the graphic power of getting the outline right in figure drawing: Getting Figures Into Shape. One suggestion is to take an old not-quite-right work and reconfigure the silhouettes to come up with a more successful design. Hmm, maybe if I can get this silhouette thing working for me I’ll warm up to the idea …

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