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Understanding 4 Basic Drawing Skills

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Whether you are an experienced artist looking for a refresher or you have just realized your artistic passion for drawing, it’s always great to bring it back to the basics. Drawing classes in Toronto are a great way to cultivate your drawing skills regardless of what stage you are at. Today we’ll briefly discuss four basic skills of drawing so you have some preliminary knowledge to back up your drawing talents.


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Perception of Edges

  • Edges delineate between objects and space in the areas of a drawing
  • From a young age we understand that edges act as a separation between two spaces – often displayed as a line
  • As our drawing talents progress we understand that utilizing single lines to show difference flatten our viewer’s perspective
  • Edges are not simply single, solitary lines – but are composed of a number of various soft and/or hard edges to delineate between two different spaces
  • Distinguishing between soft and hard edges in your composition can achieve a level of realism through the illusion of depth

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Perception of Spaces

  • We can understand space as being either positive or negative
  • Negative space is anything that isn’t the focal point of a drawing – it is the space that you have left untouched
  • Positive space is the space that is taken up by what you have drawn
  • We focus on negative space when drawing to come up with an accurate depiction of what it is we draw. This is because we do not have a language-based idea as to how more abstract shapes are to appear.

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Perception of Relationships

  • When we complete a drawing, we must understand that every aspect or area of our work direct impacts other aspects or areas of our work
  • Sometimes a slight change in one area will result in the illusion of change in another part of our drawing
  • Understanding the importance of relationships will help us make informed decisions when making those changes and adjustments accordingly

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Perception of Shadows

  • Knowing how to accurately depict light and shadow will contribute to a more realist or 3D illusion to your work
  • Deciphering light and dark values in your work will establish this illusion of realism
  • The first step to understanding light and dark is to understand these values as a relationship. If we make shadows too light or dark, it alters the surface appearance of our work – effectively failing to establish an illusion of realism
  • Media constraints are also an important consideration in creating gradients when drawing. Some pencils can only reach a certain level of darkness – so understanding the difference in values will have to also be considered when selecting the right pencil to draw
  • One of the best ways to see value relationships in your work is by narrowing your eyes (squinting) as it removes the more intricate details from your work so you can focus on the differences between light and shadow

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Enhancing Your Artistic Skill with Drawing Classes in Toronto

Work on developing your perception of edges, spaces, relationships, and shadows by enrolling in drawing classes in Toronto with the VR School of Art. Cultivate your skills with our Advanced Drawing Course and learn how to draw a variety of plaster models that vary in complexity. Our award winning artists are here to show you how to effectively understand the different relationships that exist when drawing. We are here to help you expand your artistic ability! Call us today to learn more about our art classes.

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