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Key Stage Three novice students
We are really going to step things up a bit now that you can shade and draw 3D shapes. It's important to remember that you won't learn these skills immediately, they will take practice and patience. But if something's worth doing, it's worth doing well.​ These exercises really take you into how to draw from observation. Unlike the earlier exercises, these require you to really LOOK hard and study what you are seeing. Too often people draw what they THINK is there, rather than drawing exactly what they see. Their memory and imagination takes over, they take shortcuts and they get it wrong. Our brains have a knack of taking the easiest route and we draw symbols of things, instead of looking hard and breaking it down into those simple shapes we learned earlier.


Mastery: Try to really master the exercises in this programme before you move on. It's important not to rush through the tasks, take time to get them right!

Exercise 1: Shading from observation

You will need to prepare a little for this exercise, because you need something white to draw and shade. The white object helps you to see the shadows better. If you want to you can just print out the bottle sheet and copy the shading from the photo on the video. However, it's much better to try to shade something white from observation if you can.

Paul's Tip

One of the important things to learn in this exercise is to be able to look at an object and see where the dark, middle and light tones are. This is very difficult and often you need to squint your eyes to be able to see them. By starting with a white object you can see the tones better before you move on to coloured and textured objects.


Exercise 2: Adding Details.

On the very first page of this programme I told you that drawing was being able to see information, remember it, process it then copy it accurately to your page. Well this exercise gets you to really look hard at the things you are drawing. It also helps you to use a range of mark making technique

Paul's Tip

When you watch people learning to draw all the time as I do, you notice the things they often miss and adding detail is one of them. People just don't look hard enough or they just stop drawing when they reach a certain point.By looking harder and getting some extra details in, you can really give your drawings a lift!



Exercise 3: Measuring

All artists need to measure when they are drawing so that things look the right size. Artists don't use a ruler they use a pencil and their eye. It might be difficult to understand this at first but stick with it, you'll get the hang of it.

Paul's Tip

Learning the way artists measure baffles some people. They find it very strange, but what artists are trying to do is find out the proportions of things in relation to each other. So they might estimate how many plant pots will fit into the height of the chair for example. This is an example of maths in art and it's very important when you are drawing to get the maths right! Weird huh?



Exercise 4: Observational Drawing

This stage takes you into drawing a group of objects from observation. It should take you a couple of hours to do this drawing so you might want to do it in stages to break it up a little. And also remember that you might need to do it a few times to perfect it.

Paul's Tip

When you can draw and shade simple things like fruit from observation you are really at a good stage of learning to draw. You've come a long way and learned a lot but it's no time to stop yet! Move on to the next stage and draw three things or four! You might still get things wrong and struggle a bit, but who cares? Just do another drawing, then another, then another! Soon you'll be making it look easy peasy.


Assessing your work

The following guide should help you to see how to improve your work. When we draw anything there are always things to improve, so don't take it personally. Drawing takes time to improve. Look at the images below for further guidance on assessing your work. Select which code applies to your work then follow the advice given.

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