Drawing on a large scale
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    Drawing on a large scale

    I have to draw on a large piece of paper for school and every time I draw on a large scale the proportions come out all wrong.

    Anyone have any tips?

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    farther.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by clintrussell View Post
    I have to draw on a large piece of paper for school and every time I draw on a large scale the proportions come out all wrong.

    Anyone have any tips?
    I too face the same problem sometimes...
    So I make a small sketch and get an enlarged photocopy or a print in actual size... then trace or use a light box.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atula Siriwardane View Post
    I too face the same problem sometimes...
    So I make a small sketch and get an enlarged photocopy or a print in actual size... then trace or use a light box.
    That's missing the concept of drawing on larger paper...Drawing larger gives me a better feel of the composition and makes me aware of the picture as a whole, rather than just limiting myself to smaller paper. Pushing me out of my comfort zone, and making me take a step back to see if the drawing is unified.(I'm referring to myself because I don't know if everyone feels the same about this) I agree with Chaosrocks and Noah Bradly, step back. Or do whatever you like.

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    Stepping back helps me, and if you're talking about drawing from life, cross referencing as well. Use a ruler, your pencil, whatever suits, but try and use some kind of reference point on the model consistently. Eg: shoulder to knee, tip of the toe to hip, whatevs. It helps.

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    If your class has a large tack-board on a wall, tack it on so that you can stand REALLY far back. It also helps to see it eye level and perpendicular to your line of vision, rather than on the incline of a drawing table.

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    stepping way way back is indeed key,

    i have found that a mirror helps alot, personally
    im so used to being able to flip my canvas when working digitally that ..i rely on that to bring my proportion issues to light. so looking at my piece, as i work on it, in the mirror, especially early on,
    its helped me a great deal when doing large scale work.

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    A grid might help you if you work out the composition on a smaller piece. Then step back and fiddle with things through cross referencing until you get it right. Just a matter of getting used to it I imagine

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    working with a grid is fun, nothing wrong with it at all

    ...but it will rob you of finding what is unique about drawing large. One hopes that the point isn't merely that the end result is big.
    (if that were the case you could just print it large)

    but , drawing and composing, with your whole arm and upper body for gesture.
    is an experience that is not to be found with any other technique.
    (especially with a live model)

    its simply something every artist should try.

    it will definitely change how you approach small pieces in the future.

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    Last edited by kingshaj; September 27th, 2008 at 05:58 PM.
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    Stepping back definitely helps. The reason being, that things on the periphery of our view are hard to see. When standing to close too your work it is difficult to tell what is happening at the edges of the drawing. Another factor that comes into play is perspective-not in the drawing but in real life. When standing close to the drawing, the distance from your eye to the center of your image is shorter than the distance from your eye to the edge of your image. This causes distortions in your vision and can make it hard to assess the correct proportions of what you have drawn-if that makes any sense.

    The other thing you can do is similar to the idea of a grid but much simpler and more practical to use. That would be using a bit of measuring. Place the overall object where you wish it to be in your composition. Check to make sure it's height to width proportions are good. Then find points that are half the length and half the width. In other words, find the center of the object. Then, DO NOT MOVE THESE ONCE YOU HAVE CORRECTLY PLACED THEM. This will help to give a basic guide for keeping your proportions accurate while you are drawing.

    Last edited by Carl Dobsky; September 28th, 2008 at 12:12 AM.
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    Or like Norman Rockwell who's canvas was so large, do a good size contour drawing on tracing paper and project it with a projector.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowlin View Post
    Or like Norman Rockwell who's canvas was so large, do a good size contour drawing on tracing paper and project it with a projector.
    ...but that wouldn't teach me anything, right?

    I started on it tonight. It's for something for homecoming. These cheerleaders are going to color it(ho-boy) so all I have to do is set the guideline basically.

    Thanks for all the advice guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clintrussell View Post
    These cheerleaders are going to color it(ho-boy) so all I have to do is set the guideline basically.
    ...with poster paint, most likely. Whatever you do, don't get too attached to this 'cause it ain't gonna be pretty when it's "colored."

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    I'm more worried about seeing so much wrong with it after a couple of days and having to see it every day at school. :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grief View Post
    go go gadget paintbrush

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    Hahahaha!

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    I have had to paint large pictures on walls before. Once I did a picture of the school mascot in their gym. I had to draw and paint a huge picture, and stand on a rickety scaffolding to work on it. Two tips on translating small drawings to a larger scale:

    Use a projector.
    If you can't then use graph paper or divide your drawing into sections. Measure your wall (in feet or meters, or whatever) and divide into equal sections. You can place markers to indicate the sections (pencil line, or tape). Then divide your little picture into sections, likewise, and work from there. Just draw the picture section by section.

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    I did a banner to go across a street about 20 years ago. No input from me design wise, but just an exercise in scaling from ” to 18” and paint it in emulsion (silk). Maths is sometimes your friend. They were still using it 5 years ago


    I didn't think it was possible to be called an artist when you have nothing to say. It's like being a writer who publishes individual words as books and expects to be praised for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearSelf
    Drawing larger gives me a better feel of the composition and makes me aware of the picture as a whole
    really? I see artists getting stuck at parts of the bigger painting/picture and overlooking the whole of it when they work big.... and the same thing about composition.... they just cant understand what is working where...
    (and them teachers told me to work on composition on a smaller scale and then applying to the bigger stuff)

    Mind telling how you approach the big paintings?
    (no sarcasm intended, I really want to know yer approach bro)
    Thanks Mr. Dobsky...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhanu View Post
    really? I see artists getting stuck at parts of the bigger painting/picture and overlooking the whole of it when they work big.... and the same thing about composition.... they just cant understand what is working where...
    (and them teachers told me to work on composition on a smaller scale and then applying to the bigger stuff)

    Mind telling how you approach the big paintings?
    (no sarcasm intended, I really want to know yer approach bro)
    Thanks Mr. Dobsky...
    I assume the question was directed at me, if it was directed at Dobsky then just disregard all this, and excuse me.

    Well when I'm working with bigger paper, or canvas or w/e, I'm a bit more afraid of making a mistake because it's so hard and time consuming to cover up compared to a smaller drawing. So I try to figure out the best composition before I start drawing/painting, like maybe sketch out some ideas of what I want to do, put down a few straight lines dividing up the drawing space, or draw a quick gesture on the drawing space of the object so I am aware of where I'm drawing in proportion to the canvas thing. I don't copy directly what I sketched out, I just use it as a guide, so I already have a feeling for what I want to do. And I continously have to step back from my painting and stare at the whole to make sure it's working, or just take a break.
    My paintings on big scale are not ZOMG AMAAAZIINGG, yet. But I'm having fun expirementing with the bigger things.

    I just noticed I plan more for bigger scale things than smaller drawings. I should probably do the same for smaller scale stuff... but I just usually go with what feels right. >.> Although it is easier to plan the composition for smaller stuff, that's probably why your teacher suggested you apply smaller scale composition to bigger scale. I also hope this made sense....

    Last edited by FearSelf; September 29th, 2008 at 03:01 PM.
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    Yeah man The question was directed to you....thanks ....
    yeah you are right ..mistake seem so much more apparent on a big scale painting...so much planning is required...

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