7 Fundamental Principles of Cool Drawing
The material conditions of a good drawing
It all starts with the meeting of good material conditions because cool drawing is also a physical exercise. The basic material for sketching is quite rudimentary: at worst and in unforeseen situations, poor quality sheets of paper and any graphics tool, even a simple ballpoint pen, can do the trick. However, let us avoid being handicapped by a poorly sharpened pencil or a ruffled brush. Before starting to draw, make sure we are comfortably seated, a good distance from the subject, and that we have as much lighting as possible. Sketching exercise that can be practiced as soon as you have about ten minutes of peace, in all positions, even lying down, taking your feet as models. You can draw almost anywhere: at home, in a park, at the beach, at the cafe, on the train… while driving a truck (no, just kidding).
The wild sketch made in public places must be executed. As discreetly as possible, without the knowledge of the intended model if we want to be able to grasp a natural attitude. Pets often make good models at home, but sometimes it is difficult to convince them of the benefits of stillness: start by one line drawing tutorial them while they sleep; then, if you find that your greyhound is not holding the pose, you can always naturalize him or try to trade him for a turtle.
Pets often make good models at home, but sometimes it is difficult to convince them of the benefits of stillness: start by cool drawing them while they sleep; then, if you find that your greyhound is not holding the pose, you can always naturalize him or try to trade him for a turtle. Pets often make good models at home, but sometimes it is difficult to convince them of the benefits of stillness: start by cool drawing them while they sleep; then, if you find that your greyhound is not holding the pose, you can always naturalize him or try to trade him for a turtle.
Proceed by division and not by addition
Cool drawing is an exercise requiring unique skills, the most important of which is to see the whole before the game. On the contrary, most of us have learned to consider the world as an addition to the elements that compose it. We thus tempted to start a cool drawing with detail because we believe that by adding all the parts, we will end up forming a whole as surely as one obtains a box of apples by adding apples to it one by one. Unfortunately, it is impossible to draw in this way because the cool drawing progresses by the division of a primordial unit and not by the addition of small units.
You must therefore learn to understand your subject as a whole from which you will extract parts and not the other way around. This set is not a complex sum of simple elements; on the contrary, it is he who is the simplest element and therefore the first to draw. It is possible to extract an organ from a living organism, but not to obtain an organism by adding dead organs. If we forget this principle, all of our cool drawings will look like the creature of Doctor Frankenstein.
Pose the problem of drawing in the language of cool drawing
This is the typical example of the “shortcut” that the designer will not be able to deal with before reformulating it in more appropriate terms. In the world of cool drawing, no leg moves forward or backward because here there only the two dimensions of the plane: the lead of the pencil placed on the sheet of paper can take many directions and perform all kinds of dances, but it can neither move away without piercing the paper nor approach without ceasing to be in contact with the surface of the sheet.
If the whole universe were flat like this sheet, cool drawing would be as easy as tracing. But the reality in which we operate is a three-dimensional volume with relief and depth. How to overcome this difficulty? By training to see flat, to see the lines of our subject. As if they those of an images printed on a glass plane placed in front of our eyes. It is then possible to formulate questions admissible in the two-dimensional world of cool drawing.
Take measurements from good benchmarks
The naked eye is rarely able to escape all the optical illusions that it encounters in the effort of perception. It is therefore essential to use suitable measuring instruments and benchmarks. We have used, at least since the Renaissance, wooden or cardboard windows stretched with horizontal and vertical threads, sometimes even diagonals, through which the designer can solve difficult problems of perspective. For most sketches, a transparent ruler is sufficient. The pencil itself can of course fulfill this function but in a somewhat less precise manner. It is also possible to use a piece of string (not too elastic) that will be transformed into a plumb line by attaching an eraser to one of its ends.
Outstretched eye and relaxed hand
It is common to observe an energetic inversion in the work of the sketch which consists of looking at the subject with a rather limp eye while the hand tightens on the pencil. What’s going on? The more badly the designer looks at his subject, the more awkward his cool drawing is; the more he asks her hand for the precision which it is incapable of finding in itself and which the eye alone could give it, the more it responds with harshness.
In doing so, the helpless hand unnecessarily depletes the energy that the eye increasingly lacks, and the designer draws more and more poorly. The only way to get out of this vicious circle is to re-establish a proper collaboration between the eye and the hand by giving an active role to perception and a passive role to execution. In the cool drawing, the hand only follows. Even when she performs a work of great virtuosity, it is the eye that guides it.
Exercise freely without fear of the result
It is impossible to make significant progress in cool drawing before realizing that a good sketch is not a goal to be pursued at all costs but the gratuitous consequence of an experiment carried out for itself. It is better to focus on the quality of artistic action by living it in the present tense rather than obsessing over hope or fear of its outcome. The student of drawing should see himself as an experimenter cut out for artistic adventure and not as a producer anguished by failure, engaging only in what he is sure to gain and refusing to taste the flavor of the unknown. The mission of a study is to allow us to improve our perception, so its defects are as rich in teaching as its qualities.
Love to draw to draw
Cool drawing requires an effort of concentration that cannot be sustained if it is not accompanied by certain contentment. But what does the pleasure of sketching consist of? It would be a mistake to reduce it to the complacency of the skillful artist who commits no fault. Cool drawing with constant ease can sometimes mean that the practice confined to the realm of established skills: weariness is near. In reality, true artistic enjoyment produced by the sensation of transforming, not by the lousy feeling of success. Encountering difficulties in cool drawing stimulates our research. Fatigue, nervousness, and bad mood also have their part to play by offering us indications on how to modify our psychological posture. The world of cool drawing is not an abstruse tragedy: questions find answers and no problem is insurmountable. The main thing is to explore it as a game where you discover the rules.