Building a structure and drawing with a continuous line


Start by building your structure of sticks.
Whether you are using twigs, planks or matchsticks, get to know your subject matter by handling
it. Feel the surface texture, weight, strength etc… Starting from the ground (or a table
top for smaller materials), enjoy the process of building for yourself a structure of sticks.
Enjoy the challenges of building – consider how some sticks start on the ground and cantilever
into the air, how others balance and topple… Watch the overall shape of the structure grow,
and build an awareness of how you are creating a 3 dimensional mass with spaces and places
within. Now for the drawing! To help stop you feel
overwhelmed at drawing your structure, start by making a continuous line drawing. Continuous
line drawings are created as follows: Allow your eye to move slowly around the subject
matter. Imagine your eye is on a journey – visiting the forms in whichever order it likes. Begin
to make a drawing, with a single winding line, which echoes the journey your eye makes. Try
not to look too much at your page, your focus should be on your subject matter. Try to make
sure your eye and hand move at a similar speed, and that that speed is relatively slow. Continuous
line drawings have a certain look and feel – don’t be surprised if areas of your drawing
don’t quite “match up”. And allow your lines to dissect each other.
Once you have created a continuous line drawing of your structure, make a second drawing this
time in charcoal, perhaps using the side of the charcoal to create lines. Let this drawing
develop further, using an eraser or finger to work areas of charcoal, and going back
in with the charcoal stick to help make a really strong gestural drawing with plenty
of light and dark, shadow and structure.

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