Friday, April 30, 2010

Learning to Draw Straight Lines (Not for Art Professionals)

I love to paint and draw but have never had a steady hand, long straight lines were out of the question for me. Well I have been taking a Calligraphy Class and I am actually learning to draw straight lines! That means you can too. Like riding a bike, it just takes practice. I thought it was all gifting. I'm not there yet by a long shot as you can see but my improvement has to be at least 50% in just three short weeks, and all for a few minutes a day.

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I like this one because the Blue Ink is my teacher's flourish and I ventured one of my own with the black J third from bottom left.

I did not realize there would be a side benefit until I tried my hand at a watercolor of a little house with wood siding: all the lines you see in this section of my very unfinished little work are made freehand, no ruler, no tricks with a round brush and you might not know this but it's a huge improvement over what was. I'm not sure I'll like the finished work but I LOVE the much steadier hand...


Here's a suggestion: take any lined paper. Turn it sideways and with a ruler, draw in your own lines across the printed ones about an inch apart or less, sort of like so. The double lines are for air space in between. 

 Then I recommend angling your pen as for Calligraphy, which means 45 degrees from the top corner. It actually helps you see what you're doing, your hand is more out of the way than if you hold it straight up and down as I do for writing. Then ever so slowly, slowly follow the vertical lines down, one at a time. Take your time. This is actually very relaxing if you put on some of your favorite music. Or maybe I think that because I'm over 50.  I really like Classical music for this type of work, *simple* string like Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach is my favorite.

Here you see the angle better, make a 45 degree angle. The last three were made with a chisel  or calligraphy pen if you like. It's easier with a fat nib but I believe it'll work just as well with a regular pen as you can see here. Just follow those lines again and again like tutors and I'm sure you'll get results just as I have.

I will leave you with these B's which I enjoyed making, The Green Star was my commendation for the day :) Enjoy and hope it works for you!

1 comment:

  1. Your calligraphy is lovely, but what really caught my eye was the little house with the wood siding that you are doing in watercolor. Such nice work on all those lines! Can't wait to see it in person!