Art: how do you guys hold your drawing tool

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  1. #1
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    Question how do you guys hold your drawing tool

    I went to my first art student's league class in anatomy with life drawing with Frank Porcu. After drawing for a while he explained to me and this guy next to me that the writing method of holding the pencil is incorrect for drawing. He showed us a method that uses the shoulder rather than the wrist. Is this grip good for all types of drawings or for just large scale? Its hard for me to imagine doing details or technical work with this grip. Feedback please

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  3. #2
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    Yeah I got told that by Costa V. I just use that to set up the big lines and get the gesture. I find it hard to control for short distances but its great for making straight lines and arcs. I think its to wean you off the finicky sort of line making that you do when you hold the pencil like youre gonna write with it. The two instructors I have use just the side and long arcs to create whatever they do. I guess it just takes practice. Sharpen up your pencil too so you have a nice long nose to it. It makes it easier to put in tone.

    Last edited by winjer; October 10th, 2003 at 11:47 PM.
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  4. #3
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    hehe yea he constantly sharpened the pencil he was using to show me. it looks like a great technique for charcoal. I guess I have to just practice and do the excercise he reccomended

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  5. #4
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    eh what excercise is that? I could do with some practice too.

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  6. #5
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    the method in which your both discussing is how most draughtsmen today do drawings. Its how tonal drawings are done. The charcoal pencil or whatever pencil is sharpened to to a tapered point, and it allows you to get a multitude of line weights. You can get a variation in line with a normal pencil. Plus your wrist doesn't have the range of motion your shoulder does and you can't fill in large masses of tone that way. But by drawing from your shoulder this is much easier. And yeah you can get into fine details this way too. It just takes practice to build up your dexterity with the pencil. Tonal drawing is like painting in charcoal, and all the masters like sargent and sorolla and so on drew this way. Go and look and kevin chens stuff or fredflickstones charcoal drawings on these forums. Those drawings are done this way, from the shoulder, with the kind of tapered pencil I mentioned. A good way to practice is to just draw ovals and pull lines in multiple directions and see what kind a line variation you can create. Anyway hope this clears up some stuff.

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  7. #6
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    the ovals were very similar to what he reccomended us to do. He told me to draw a circle and then draw circles that go around its form like a ball of yarn. He varied it by creating objects with the circle and making some of the lines parallel to create thickness of lines. He said do it 10 - 50 times a day for a few weeks and you'll get it down

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  8. #7
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    can anybody post a pic of this method

    cheers

    :chug:

    Wanted: 30 chinamen and a zeppelin for an elaborate practical joke... can you help?
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  9. #8
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    Wow I practiced it for a day and used it for another class at ASL and I can do things I couldn't do before.. like draw faces somewhat accurately. The method is really simple, just draw a circle and then imagine it in 3d as a sphere. Draw the lines that go around that sphere. And repeatedly add lines until you can't tell where your drawing . I would post an example but I can only do perfect circles for now

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  10. #9
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    This is the best method ever. I use it in my sketchbook at times. It does take practice, and a lot of messing with, but it helps so much. An easy way to describe the "hold" would be a toothbrush. Hold it like you brush your teeth, and let your knuckles glide across the page in smooth long strokes. I also practice doing curves and such before every life drawing session. It helps a lot. IF you guys have never heard of Conte pencils, they are the tool to use for fig drawing (imo). Kevin Chen uses them, and so do many people. If you can get em, they are called CONTE pencils, A Paris France 1710 and I suggest 2B. They last longer. Make sure its 1710 though, cuz if they aren't then its like you're using a totally different pencil.

    hope I helped!

    -http://iwasink.com/-
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    oh thx for the information about the technique, people! and thx for the info of the conte pencil, i.was.ink! really helpful!

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  12. #11
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    thanks for the info guys
    thanks iwasink, I couldn't remember how to hold a toothbrush, so I just brushed my teeth and now I remember

    Wanted: 30 chinamen and a zeppelin for an elaborate practical joke... can you help?
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  13. #12
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    Thats how you do it... I swear ! lol also use your pinky as an anchor when applying the lines so you dont smear the charcoal.

    happy penciling



    -dns

    my hand looks fat in that picture... i guess its true what they say about the camera adding weight.

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  14. #13
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    Conte pencils are the best thing since Ritmos ... maybe i should have taken the picture with that instead of the Wolffs Carbon. hmmmm... Go with the 1710, i suggest the B so you can stay lighter if your heavy handed.

    -dns

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  15. #14
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    I picked up some of those conte 1710's and they dont erase to well. I like the glidy feel of them though.

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  16. #15
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    thats exactly how dns2k, but I don't care about my knuckles getting dirty, I actually like it.

    winjer: You're not supposed to erase them. That's the point. With life drawing you want to get so good that when you put a line down, it stays.

    I can post some of those stroke exercises I do before each session, if anyone's interested.

    -Iwasink

    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
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  17. #16
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    dont go too dark causing the suface to score or it wil be a pain to get out. Use light lines, and gradually build up to your darks.

    -dns

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  18. #17
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    Well I'm not good enough to where i don't have to erase, so i do. If you do use the b's do stay light. If your heavy handed, the charcoal will more than likely not come out. Try the hb's instead and work your way up. But the wolffs carbon pencil is also a good alternative too.

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  19. #18
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    For fun, I recently tried using my tablet stylus this way (holding it in the palm, rather than over the thumb.) The main problem was getting my tablet at a slant, but it is more relaxing. I've always drawn on large surfaces with the pencil (or whatever) in my palm, but never tried to do it with a tablet. Tablets are apparantly designed to be laid flat, and the working surface is a bit small for drawing this way.

    -David

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  20. #19
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    tablets are meant for the writing style of drawing. the point of drawing this way is to do it with your arm instead of just your wrist. This improves your dexterity over time and then drawing the other way is easier when you are forced to.

    -dns

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  21. #20
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    inky, the 1710 contés are the "pierre noir" ones, right?

    i picked up one of them some time ago. they're really great to work with, although the b one i bought needs too much pressure to leave that wonderful deep black they make. need to get my hands on a 2b, it seems

    i'd be interested in those stroke exercises btw.
    i plan to go larger in format (larger than my a4 sketchbook )so these exercises could help getting over the inevitable clumsiness i have when working large scale.

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  22. #21
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    hmmmm.....so who here votes I post some of those exercises? Not that Im a pro at em or nothin, but I can show you guys what I do...

    If anyone's interested!?...

    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
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  23. #22
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    post em

    -dns

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  24. #23
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    just post em those who are not interested don't need to look at them

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  25. #24
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    Thumbs up

    Please post 'em, ink! I need more practice w/ this holding method.

    Btw, I've got about 1-1.5" lead per your notes ink, but I keep breaking the point and have to start all over. I keep distracting the other students by screaming "dammit!" because this happens to me a lot. I guess I'm using too much pressure, but how do people get such contrast using 2B conte pencils (which is what I'm using)?

    -Bad Mange

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    Could you find me?
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  26. #25
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    post'em

    Wanted: 30 chinamen and a zeppelin for an elaborate practical joke... can you help?
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  27. #26
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    there u go

    Some people had asked for my stroke exercises when life drawing. So basically, I do these on an individual sheet of smooth newsprint paper. They help keep me loose and think about lineweight, rhythym(sp?) they get my arm ready for drawing. They are all done with the same pencil too. Also something that might help is to hold your pencil farther back, so you dont get to dark too fast.



    How I hold the pencil


    Just in case you guys want to check out how I draw the figure check out my Art Center thread

    Let me know if you got any questions.

    -Iwasink-

    Last edited by I.was.ink; November 16th, 2003 at 05:43 PM.
    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
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  28. #27
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    thanks inky

    damn, i cant tell you how confused i was about how lighthanded you must be when you mentioned somewhere how much of the pencil lead you cut free for drawing. now that i know you use those contes, its all clear
    i bet you can stab someone with the tip of even that 2b one.

    i think i will try that in every case. it cant do more than help.

    now i just need a place to hang my newsprint sheets for drawing

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  29. #28
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    Gekitsu I use a masonite board with clips on top. You can go buy one, or just go to the hardware store and buy a smooth board of masonite, some clips and your set, for like half the price.

    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."
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  30. #29
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    Originally posted by dns2k
    tablets are meant for the writing style of drawing.
    Depends on the size of your tablet.
    I've got the Intuos 9x12, and it does wonderful charcoal sketches in Painter with the shoulder technique, which I learned in college some 25 years ago (yeah, I'm an old dog, but I still learn new tricks all the time!!!).

    Especially with the adjustments for tilt, pressure, and size, I get some great shading strokes without holding my stylus like a writing instrument!

    Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional
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  31. #30
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    inky: that actually is a great idea, thanks

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