E.J. Gold showing good drawing techniques

Basic Rules of Good Drawing

by E.J. Gold

  • 1. Locate the light source and stay with it. Never lose the light source. Keep focused on the light source as a meditation. Never violate the light source.
  • 2. Start lightly, gently, softly. Very very slowly and patiently work your way to dark. Only at the very last should you place your darkest tones, when you have arrived at a Third State drawing.
  • 3. Start working your chiascuro shading at the upper left corner if you are right-handed, upper right corner if left-handed. This is to avoid smudging and dragging bits of graphite across the drawing surface.
  • 4. Work slowly and carefully. This means: work slowly and carefully. Another way of putting it is, "work slowly and carefully". Patience rules.
  • 5. Keep your pencil totally absolutely sharp. Sharpen your pencil often. One way to keep your attention rooted is to use a pencil easel which holds 12 very very sharp pencils. This is a necessity if you are not within 18 inches of a very good electric pencil sharpener such as a Boston or Panasonic. I do not advise an Xacto sharpener unless you want a 1 inch stubb within 10 seconds of starting a new pencil. Did I mention that a sharp pencil is very, very important? Never let your pencil get dull and rounded. Keep it sharp. Sharp means sharp, not sorta sharp.
  • 6. Use a Prismacolor turquoise, Berol or Eagle 9B. If you cannot find a 9B, use a 6B, 7B or an 8B. If you cannot find any of those, use a 2B. If you cannot find anything but an HB, consider buying online. Jerry's ArtORama has pencils.
  • 7. Hold the pencil correctly...not the same way as you'd hold a pure graphite pencil -- caveman style. To develop true classical drawing skills, hold your pencil as you would hold it for writing, the way they taught you in your basic penmanship class...for those of you who are younger than 65 years old, you never had penmanship classes, so just do your best.
  • 8. Be patient with the pencil, the paper, and yourself.
  • 9. Don't forget to breathe as you work. Holding your breath will not help you to master good drawing skills. It will just cause you unnecessary pain.
  • 10. Did I mention that the pencil must be sharp at all times???

See you in Drawing Class!!!