Fantasy Art

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Why Field Sketches Are Still Better Than Photos

When drawing in the field things are often moving very quickly and you just don't have a lot of time to do a great drawing, or even a very accurate drawing.  sometimes all you have time for is a quick impression while a person pauses in the middle of their activities.  Sketching in the field can still be better than photography in some cases because there might be too much foliage or other objects and people to get a clear shot of the critical action.  As a sketcher you can eliminate unnecessary things from the image and focus on what's important to the story.
This is not a great drawing, just a quick impression, but it puts all of the parts in the right places which makes my job a lot easier when I go to work on it later.  I use quick shortcuts that make this kind of thing go faster.  First I used a charcoal stick instead of a pencil.  It's a square stick like a chalk sharpened to a point on one end.  You can draw comparatively fine lines with the point or lay it on edge for a broad stroke.  This blocks in shadows and large dark masses quickly so you don't fuss over details.  Secondly I took a large charcoal stick and lightly toned the whole paper just enough to allow me to take an eraser and lighten the lighter areas.  This gets the whole figure blocked in in just a moment which is important because no one was really holding still.

As long as a palm branch looks like a palm branch and a stone step looks like as stone step no ones going to get mad at you for making them the wrong size or shape or for putting them in the wrong place.  But if human proportions are drawn just slightly wrong it's deeply disturbing.

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