Week 6 Still Life with Toned Paper and Proportional Dividers

I finally got around to working on my homework for class yesterday, and I hate that I lost time this week.  I gave it about 6 hours, since that is what I had available, and it needs at least another 4-6 to make me happy.  Between running a business and finishing up a current painting sometimes real life gets in the way.

I didn’t spend as much time with my measurements as I needed to be because I wanted to spend the time practicing my shading.  I thought I was careful taking a photograph of my set-up from class and I found out when I sat down to work on my homework, that the real-life image was lower than the image in the camera.  All my angles for the ellipses in the glass that I had measured on my drawing had to be corrected. (Good practice, I told myself!)  Then, I couldn’t get the proportions from the photo to match the proportions in my drawing.  So I used my proportional dividers to scale up from the photographed image to my drawing.  Basically, I had to redo the whole drawing from the picture I took because EVERYTHING WAS OFF.  Next time it will take me less than an hour and a half to figure that out.

What are proportional dividers you ask?  They are an awesome tool for scaling up or down the size of an image.  For measuring when you are sight-sizing you can use a compass or a stick to find and record 1:1 measurements, but when you need to scale up or down from the original size, proportional dividers are the tool you want.  I knew they existed, and didn’t know how to search for them because I didn’t know what they were called.  I now have two pair.

 

The black dividers are now easy to find online and I see them in stores as well.  They are a little clunky and good for basic measurements.  These are adjustable by moving that middle knob either further to the left or the right to modify the ratio.  Once you figure out what your ratio is, say 1:3, as long as you don’t move that middle screw, everything you measure with the small end (1) will be translated to three times its size on the other end of the dividers.

The second pair is a Russian drafting tool from the 1960s.  After trying the black ones, I needed something with more precision.

This is my first drawing on toned paper and I think I like it.  I still have to fix stuff and darken down the bowl of the wine glass, and I still like it so far.  I’m always amazed when a drawing of mine is recognizable.  Isn’t that silly?

 

Six hours in and a long way to go to make me happy.

There’s so much to do in this class that sometimes I have to be content with just figuring out the concept of what needs to be done and move along.  That’s what happened with my cups from the last class;  I had to be content with understanding how to measure out the ellipses.  I still have the still-life set up, and I may revisit that with toned paper.  I haven’t decided if it is the best use of my time though.

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