Synopses & Reviews
"The guidance to be found within these covers reflects the author's inspired ability as a teacher and artist of the highest magnitude. It is probably the finest book on the subject of drawing the human form that I have ever seen."—Irving Shapiro, A.W.S., Director, American Academy of Art
This unique guide offers a bold, innovative approach to drawing from life. Instead of teaching the traditional method of building up a drawing from lines, leaving mass and tone till later, noted art instructor Douglas R. Graves takes precisely the opposite tack. The student is encouraged to begin seeing and thinking in terms of tonal masses immediately. This approach enables students to draw quickly and accurately without the need for a line drawing first. The author compares it to learning to "paint" with charcoal.
Step-by-step demonstrations and over 200 of the author's own drawings offer inspiration and practical guidance in the technique. You'll learn how to "see" tonal quality, how to key a drawing, how to translate color into black and white, and valuable techniques for keeping the figure from looking "stiff." Other topics include the role of alignment in achieving proper proportions, foreshortening, male and female figure distinctions, the use of modeling to achieve added dimension, drawing the face, positioning the figure, and many other aspects of life drawing.
For students of drawing—beginner to expert—this book is an invaluable guide not just to drawing from life but to the essential principles of observation, composition, and draftsmanship that underlie all successful drawing and painting. It belongs in the library of every artist. For this edition, the author has revised previous chapters and added a new one on "Different Modes of Charcoal."
Revised and enlarged Dover (1994) republication of the work published by Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1971.
Innovative method of drawing by tonal masses. Step-by-step demonstrations, with over 200 illustrations, cover foreshortening, drawing the face, and other aspects.
Rather than building up a drawing from lines, this innovative method encourages students to begin with tonal masses. Suitable for experts as well as beginners, its step-by-step demonstrations feature over 200 illustrations.
Rather than building up a drawing from lines, this innovative art instruction manual encourages students to begin with tonal masses. Suitable for experts as well as beginners, its step-by-step drawing lessons feature over 200 illustrations. Topics include foreshortening, use of modeling to achieve added dimension, facial features, and other aspects of life drawing.
Table of Contents
PROJECT 1. Materials and Exercises
PROJECT 2. Seeing Tonal Quality
Single Light Effect
Tones and Their Relationships
Learning to See the Tonal World
PROJECT 3. The Difference Between Lines and Edges
A New Way to Observe
Using the Middle Tone
PROJECT 4. Objects As They Are
Lifting Out Lights
Thinking About What You See
The Mind's Influence on the Eye
PROJECT 5. The Traditional Use of Plaster Cast Figures
Charcoal as a Study Medium
Squinting to Compare Tones
PROJECT 6. Keying A Drawing
The Value Scale
Interpreting Tones and Their Values
PROJECT 7. Translating Color to Black and White
Judging Color Intensity and Tone
Light and Shadow with Color
PROJECT 8. Some Basic Figure Proportions
Two Goals of Life Study
Staying Loose and Free
"PROJECT 9. Keeping The Figure From Looking "Stiff"
Examining Parts of the Body
"Movements of the Spine, Shoulders, and Hips"
The Expression of Action
PROJECT 10. Seeing Large Tonal Masses
Mass Versus Detail
Simple Statements in Tone
Staying Within the Large Tone
PROJECT 11. Allignments: Constructive Aids to Correct Proportions
Checking Relationships by Alignment
Aligning by Triangulation
Using Lines for Construction
Estimating Contour Angles
PROJECT 12. The Recling Figure
Using a Measuring Device
PROJECT 13. Foreshortening
Foreshortening as Body Perspective
"Drawing What You "See"
PROJECT 14. Idealization or Interpretation
Copying the Figure
Two Creative Directions
PROJECT 15. Why Study Anatomy?
The Burden of Anatomical Study
"Seeing" First - Anatomy Second"
PROJECT 16. Male and Female Figure Distinctions
Comparison of Anatomical Differences
Some Standard Proportions
"Fat Deposits, Subcuaneous Prominences, and Hair"
PROJECT 17. Negative Shapes
Seeing Negative Shapes
Using the Grid
PROJECT 18. Two Sources of Light
Values and Secondary Lights
Reflected Light and Double Contrast
PROJECT 19. A Tour of the Life Class
Working over the Whole Figure
Seeing Larger Tone Masses
Preconceptions and Figure Distortions
Preoccupation with Detail
Self-Concepts and Figure Relationships
PROJECT 20. Controlling Edges
Textural Qualities of Edges
Making Hard and Soft Edges
"PROJECT 21. Scupturing, Modeling, and Rhythm"
Modeling for Added Dimension
Rhythm and Composition
Constant and Progressive Rhythms
PROJECT 22. Movement and Muscles
The Moving Figure
Arm and Leg Movements
"PROJECT 23. Drawing the Face, Head, and Hands"
Placement of Facial Details
PROJECT 24. Different Modes of Charcoal Rendering
PROJECT 25. Composing a Figure On a Page
PROJECT 26. Mass Drawing in Fast Action Poses
Warming-up with Quick Sketches
Contour and Gesture Sketches
Making Lines with Tonal Media
PROJECT 27. Line Drawing: A Bonus from the Mass Approach
Expressing Light and Shadow in Line
Tonal Drawing as a Step to Line
A Final Word