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Drawing with correct proportions and without going out of the paper?

Envelope technique of drawing

 Sketching and drawing with correct proportions and doing so without reaching the end of paper can be achieved easily with one simple technique. Before getting into the technique, let’s answer 2 questions.

1. How many times has your drawing gone out of the paper?

2. How many times does it happen that you get the overall shape of the object all wrong?

For many of us, the answer to both these questions might be “many times”.”Envelope technique” solves both these problems easily. 

Envelope Technique 

Imagine that you are wrapping the subject of your drawing in a plastic wrap or imagine that you have to draw the outer shape of your subject using only 6-8 straight lines.

Envelope With 5 lines to get the overall proportions correct

  When you draw the outermost shape of the subject, what you get is an envelope. Depending on the size of the paper you are using, you can draw these envelope lines longer or shorter. This establishes the extreme ends of the drawing on your paper. It helps you see the big shapes and small shapes, it helps you to see the relative proportions of shapes and also establishes the dominant angles in your subject.

Envelope With few more lines to get the overall proportions correct

 Once this is established, there is no worrying about reaching the end of the paper, incorrect proportions or fear of rework. After this point, it is more of the same. Go on finding progressively smaller and smaller envelopes till you get all the details of the subject. Draw only straight lines, even if you see curves in the subject.

Envelope With many lines to get the detailed proportions correct

Remember that no line is final unless you decide to call it final. You are the artist and you have the authority to correct the lines that you drew earlier. Once you feel that you have drawn enough details, make the correct lines darker to finish your work. This is just like a sculptor who removes unwanted parts of stone to reveal the sculpture inside.  Drawing is more about observation skill than anything else. The more you learn to observe your subject, the better your drawings will become. 

Keep drawing! 

P.S. To learn many more drawing techniques, practice drawing with different tools and set up a daily drawing practice, take my online courses here.

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Exhibition : The Trilogy II

Blue toned oil painting showing sea and horizon.
In this exhibition, I am presenting a collection of realistic and realistic abstract paintings.
While realistic paintings try to capture the nuances and the grandeur of nature, the realistic abstracts portray the essence of the thought by being suggestive rather than descriptive.  This gives an opportunity to the viewer to participate in the interpretation than being a passive onlooker.
The paintings are arranged in multiple series, each having a unique theme and a story to share with the inquisitive viewer.

Paintings by Mandar Marathe, Sandeep Khedkar and sculptures by Chandrashekhar Joshi will be on display.

Inauguration:             Wednesday, 16 January 2013 at 5:30 pm
Open for Viewing:    17 – 22 January 2013 from 11 am to 8 pm
Venue :                         Darpan Art Gallery , Near Patrakar Nagar, Off Senapati Bapat Road, Pune
Venue map:                Click here for the map

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Bargue plate – Eyes

bargue plate

This is my take at Bargue plate about the eyes. 
First image is of my drawing.  Notice that I have drawn last three sketches of the Bargue plate vertically in the last column on my paper. I had to do that as I had started drawing in landscape mode rather than portrait mode. My bad.
Second image is image is Bargue plate.
The third image is one in which I have superimposed my drawings on the Bargue plate.

I did not draw this very methodically as prescribed in ateliers but drew it just by eyeballing. Superimposing shows where I have missed out angles or proportions and tells me where I need to pay more attention.

bargue plate
bargue plate
bargue plate
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Group Show – The Trilogy

Oil painting of water cascading through boulders during rainy season.

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to ‘The Trilogy’ a group show of paintings by me, Pravin and Sandeep.

Inauguration: Wednesday 28 September 2011 at 18:00 hrs
Open for viewing: Thursday 29 September 2011 to Tuesday 04 October 2011
Gallery Timing: 11:00 am to 8:00 pm on all days
Venue: Darpan Art Gallery, Kalachhaya Center, Opp. Vikhe Patil Memorial School, Near Patrakar Nagar, Off Senapati Bapat Road, Pune, India.
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Color charts with Camlin oil colors

color charts

Currently I am doing color charts with the colors (Camlin) that I mostly use for painting in oils. Though this method of understanding and learning to mix is mentioned in many books / websites, I got to know the details of doing those from Richard Schmid‘s book “Alla Prima: Everything I know About Painting“. Below are few photos of my progress.

color charts

This is the first stage. My colors laid out on my palette and the knife is ready to go. On the right is a board painted with 2 coats of acrylic texture white used instead of gesso. The lines you see on the board are of the masking tape making small squares/rectangles ready to be painted in. Measuring and making/taping the 12 sets of square/rectangles with each set containing 55 small rectangles took me and my wife about 4 hours. Doing it alone I do not know how much time it would have taken!

I am doing the charts with these colors:
Lemon Yellow, Chrome Yellow Deep, Gamboge, Yellow Ochre, Vermillion Hue, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Venetian Red, Sap Green, Cobalt Blue, and Ultramarine Blue.

The method of making these charts as explained in Schmid’s book:
1. The Top row across each chart is pigment as it comes from the tube. The vertical columns are those same pigments or mixtures with white added in increasing amounts, like a little value scale for each color.
2. The Bottom row should be just off white, as light as possible while still being an identifiable color.
3. The Middle row should be the value halfway between the top and bottom rows and will vary depending on how dark or light the color is.
4. The second and fourth rows should be halfway between the rows above/below them.
5. The First column (vertically) is each pigment straight from the tube and then lightened down to make 5 values. The first row is that color mixed with each palette color with the main color predominating, then lightened with white down to five values. Continue with a new chart for each of the palette colors.

Actually making the chart also takes lot of time and is tiring sometimes, but nobody ever said it is easy. 

After completing two sets but with the tape still on:

color charts

After 4 sets done and with the tape off:

color charts

The complete chart is done.

color charts