Kasia Posen is offering free drawing classes via a wonderful email newsletter. Below is a preview of one of her newsletters. If you would like to sign up for these classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
19th May 2020
This week we will take a look at Pablo Picasso, in particular I would like you to notice his brilliant use of high contrast to create drama and the visual balance he promotes across the artwork as a whole. Picasso’s alternate use of black and white across his artworks give a sense of drama and movement to the viewer.
I have chosen 4 very different images, different in style, subject and material but consistent in the ability to create drama whilst maintaining balance.
Here’s what you can do :
1. Look at each of the drawings and decide out of the 4 which resonates with you most, understand why, is it the subject, the material used or something else?
1a) Make a study of your chosen image using only black and white. You can use any material as long as it is monochrome – black and white or graphite if you don’t have access to B&W.
1b) Create a scale of lights and darks on another sheet using the same material as you have in the task above. Make your dark as dark as possible and your light bright white, this may involve using an eraser to get a really bright white, especially if you are using something smudgy like charcoal.
2. Choose your own subject. This can be inspired by any of the images here.
Please draw from life, you may draw someone’s head, or a still life you can set up or something in the garden or out on a walk.
2a) Sketch out your composition with light and dark in mind.
2b) Now simplify your drawing, block in your areas of dark and leave your areas of white, light or mid-tone.
2c) Stop drawing and look at your drawing, consider the balance of light and dark. Think about the overall distribution of visual weight in your a composition.
Sometimes large empty spaces can balance an area of detail, for example in the image of the jug and skull the texture of the table cloth and pattern of the book pages are balanced out with the contrast of the wall behind which has much less detail. An area of light can be balanced by an equal area of dark as seen in all of the artworks here. Adjust your drawing to create better balance if you need to.
3. Repeat 1. making a study of another of the Picasso reference images. Repeat 2. with a new subject and move through the same steps.
I am offering these weekly online classes for free, but if you would like to donate please email me and I will let you know how.