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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Help for my drawing class using that pencil measuring method?

    I just started my college course and am in this module called drawing fundamentals module and my lecturer teaches us to use this pencil measuring method to draw this two cardboard boxes stacked up together in the middle of the room, and then ask us to draw 10 boxes from different angles.

    I totally screwed everything up, I really don't know how to use the pencil measuring method or use it to draw the two boxes that was in the middle of the room? I mean it's like when I close my eyes with elbow locked, I'm trying to measure one of the slanted angle of the box right, and then when I finished measuring the angle and bring my pencil of that angle back to my paper, am I supposed to like remember the angle and then remove that pencil of that particular angle and then draw that angle out to my memory? Because I'm not allowed to take another pencil and use that pencil of that angle to use it like ruler to draw that angle out?

    I'm seriously really confused and my boxes looked so bad. I can draw anatomy from books no problem, but I can't believe that I screwed up that badly with boxes and my teacher said that the pencil measuring method is supposed to be helpful for artists but I felt that it really dragged me down and make my confidence to drop a lot?

    Some of my other classmates are doing it without too much trouble effortlessly and what they say is that all they does is doodle etc but why does it seem like I'm the only one that was struggling so badly? I felt so outcasted from the class and thus I just stoned all the way in the drawing class of that assignment.

    Help me please?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Thanked 326 Times in 276 Posts
    It sounds like you let yourself develop a bad attitude about it. It's not going to work for you until you change that. Instead of thinking "It just doesn't work for me no matter what" you need to get into the headspace of "Ok, what do I need to do to make it work?" - as long as you're subconsciously fighting it you'll never get it. Mess with it a lot at home - all it takes is a little practice. At first it'll be difficult, but as you go it'll come to you and then start to feel natural.
    "Figure drawing prepares you for painting at a high level" - Jeff Watts


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hamburg, Germany
    Thanked 449 Times in 245 Posts
    If it consoles you in any way: During my studies at Angel Academy of Art in 2008, I was the very last one in my class to understand comparative measuring. But eventually I understood it.

    Here is the thread I made about it back then:

    From what I gather, your teacher is teaching something similar or perhaps the same method (we just used a long, thin knitting needle instead of the pencil)

    Hang in there, keep hitting that wall until you push through it. That's just one of the many, many walls the journey of learning to draw will put in your path in the future. Art is hard but you knew that, right?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanked 2,359 Times in 1,212 Posts
    Yes, you need to remember the angle or distance in the short period of time that it takes for you to switch from looking at the angled pencil, to drawing the line. If you do not use the pencil measurement then you still need to remember what the box looks like in the short time that it takes you to look away from the box and look at the paper and draw the line.

    Anyway, instead of complaining about how all the other students find it easy, just go home and practice until you figure it out. Yeah it's frustrating to feel like you're the only one not getting it, but always remember that your goal in class is to learn things and overcome problems. Your goal is not to demonstrate to everyone else how wonderful an artist you are. You have identified a problem. Now go and work on it.
    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

    "There are two kinds of students: the self-taught and the hopeless."
    - Dr. Piotr Rudnicki

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Thanked 762 Times in 568 Posts
    First of all, it takes practice. Second, as a human being, you will be relatively inaccurate. So, be prepared to make corrections throughout your plotting process, until you arrive at a picture that works.
    Grinnikend door het leven...

    Sketchbook Blog

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Help for my drawing class using that pencil measuring method?

    Hey johnnew don't be scared about your drawing classes. You are a beginner artist so be confident and learn each and every little things related to drawing. Once you have learn all these fundamental things then you have to be able to make drawing individually without any fear.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thanked 127 Times in 95 Posts
    I never got the pencil measuring method either, but there are so many other methods you can try. The goal is just to get the proportions right. I just practiced and practiced until eventually I figured out a few methods that I personally found less confusing and easier to implement.

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