Creating a Preliminary Layout of Your Chalk Drawing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,345
    Art teacher Mary DAmico demonstrates how to create a preliminary layout of your chalk drawing.

    Mary D' Amico

    Mary is an Art Teacher in Fairfax County Virginia. Mary is in her 5th year of teaching. She also teaches private art lessons. Her specialty is in watercolor and pencil drawing. Mary attended Kutztown University and obtained a BS of Art Education in 2002. She is currently working to obtain a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from VCU. She has experience working with ceramic clay, fiber arts, jewelry making, oils and acrylics. Mary enjoys painting scenes of Italy from her visit there in 2004. She also paints series of beach seascapes.

    Mary DAmico: Hi! My name is Mary DAmico and I am private art instructor and this is Summer and we are working on our Still Life Pastel drawing, and right now we are going to start the preliminary drawing of the project. The first thing you would like to do after we have our Still Life set up of flowers. We want to make sure that its in a specific place where Summer one can see it from a distance, and normally she will be sitting down for her drawing. So, another thing as you would like to think about is where you are going to place it, make sure its not too close to the edge of the table, especially if you are using a glass, a glass base and we want to also think about the lighting that is going to fall on our Still Life, so that we can work with the lights and shadows. Again, you could either use natural light or if you have a spotlight. So, first thing we are going to do is use a pencil for our preliminary drawing; its a little bit easier to erase then the chalk pastel. So, we are just going to do a quick sketch layout of our drawing, and you want to make sure that you have an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. So, first thing we are going to look at is a horizon line, and a horizon line is where the sky meets the ground. So, our horizon line maybe where the tabletop is for our drawing, so that we can create some perspective. So, first thing we are going to start Summer is where the tabletop is going to start. So, if we are using a piece of paper of this size, we want to make sure that our drawing is going to fill the page for a great composition, and we can decide if we are going to put the drawing or the Still Life in the center of the page or off to the side. We want to make sure that there is enough room for the whole drawing so that the vase, if we are having tall flowers the vase can start down at the bottom of the page, and then we work our way up.

    So, first thing we are going to do is start with a tabletop, so you can decide where you can decide where you would like to have that. So, the drawing we are going to draw from left to right, so near the bottom of the page, there is just going to be a very light pencil line. So that if we do make a mistake then we can erase it and we will have as much as on our paper. Next thing, I am going to start with the vase, depending on what shape it is, you want to think about how you are going to lay that out on the drawing. So, this vase is much rectangular shape and its tall. So, we will probably want to start this going up to the middle, close to the middle of the page, so we have enough room for the flower. So, the top of the vase, we are just going to draw very light line and again, you can side if you want it in the middle of the page or off to the side. Then we can come down and this vase has a different shape to it, it kind of curves a little bit. So, if we will make this look three-dimensional. I want to show from all sides and especially if it is see through. So, we can create almost like a cube shape, 3D rectangle, and now our drawing will overlap the tabletop and we can go back and erase that later. Okay, so our vase is see through so we are going to just keep overlapping our drawing as we go. The next thing you are going to want to start with is stems of the flower and deciding on what you would like to do, you can go top to bottom or bottom to top. So, I am going to start top to bottom, you can do whichever you like, and so we are looking on first flower that catches my eye is this one to the left. So, the rose is here, so I am going to look at how the stem falls all the way down, and its not straight down, it curves a little bit. And then the point of the stem goes towards the back edge of the vase.

    We want to create 3D line; its the shape of the stem. Okay, so before we get to the whole drawing of the flower, we also want to look at how the rest of the flowers are going to fit there together before we get too detailed with the rest of the draw. Okay, so we are going to look at the other stems that are in there, and you can decide if you want to leave a flower out, if you want to leave some leaves out, if its a little too much you dont have to have all of the flower, petals that are on its all up to you what you would like to include in your drawing. So, now we are going to look at the other -- we can look at the other rose and it kind of overlaps. It crisscrosses inside of the vase, and its about the same height as our other rose. So, we are just drawing very lightly and we are overlapping. Okay, very good, okay, then we have the last flower thats in the back of our tall flower. So, that one is pretty much in the back of all of these and its something if you see a flower thats in the background, one thing you want to think about is the detailed of the flower and when things are farther in the background they appear to be smaller. So, we are going to try to create depth with this drawing. So, we are simply just drawing the stems, sort of just long rectangles, drawn lightly and then we want to think about the leaves. The leaves are the next thing that we see for working from bottom to top, and the leaves are just the basic -- we will shape if you want to make it simple. So, we just can connect some oval shapes from different angles. They just dont grow out of the side, they kind of -- we see them from all angles, all of the stem we see some of it from the back; we see them from the side. Sometimes you see the whole front of the stem. So, another thing to do is just vary the size of our leaves and they are all the same size. So, now you are ready to begin the flower drawing, and we do have two roses and various other flowers. So, when you start the drawing just focus on the rose petals, they do not have to be completely exact, but they -- just want to make sure that you are showing overlapping and you have organic shapes for the rose, its very light drawing. Once we get that far after this is what your first sketch when we are completely finished will look like. This is how far you want to get with your drawing before you start adding color and we are ready to move on to our chalk pastel techniques.