Drawing grass and clouds

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  1. #1
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    Drawing grass and clouds

    Hi!
    Recently, I wanted to learn how to draw so I bought this book called "drawing for the absolute beginner a clear & easy guide to successful drawing" (mods, if this book not allowed here please just erase the name and not the whole post).

    In the book, there were several instructions about how to draw clouds (about 1 small paragraph) and almost no explanation of how to draw grass beside "making straight strokes"

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    TL;DR - So my question is, how do you draw beautiful grass and nice looking clouds?

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  3. #2
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    From life, go out everyday and for 30 min to one hour try do draw clouds and grass. Summer clouds are super fun to draw from life. You would be looking at value shifts and edges primarily. Whatever you do it is imperative to draw from life, it would do you more good than any recommendation you get here.

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  4. #3
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    I concur with Rabdi. Do not learn this stuff for my books or video tutorials. Why?? There are many reasons. I will give you three:

    1. Nature is very very subtle and the tiniest of lighting differences can change the colours of objects. Grass is not simply green or yellow, rather it could be a mix of many colours. Likewise the form of the grass is also infinite and thus can not be truly taught in a book. You need to build up you visual library by painting from nature and doing master studies.

    2. Save your self considerable time by working on realism from the get go. Nature is the master of masters and thus is the best source to learn from. Master studies on the side will help you learn how other masters have interpreted and simplified nature.

    3. When you work from nature you are able to truly appreciate the fact a grassy field does not simply contain grass but rather a plethora of different objects with their own forms and colours. So twigs, dirt, plants, roots, etc. This is what will give life to your paintings.

    Just my opinion : P Good Luck.

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  5. #4
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    Going directly to Nature for these subjects is not good advice in my opinion (I'm referring to grass/foliage etc. here, clouds might be different).

    The problem is that your medium is not really suited to mimick Nature- drawing is very different from paint in that respect. There are many things that you need to change, edit, simplify or stylize if you want to stay true to Nature in pencil or chalk. Some of those techniques are quite counterintuitive (e.g. while in Nature light is put ON objects and the shade left out, in Drawing the shade needs to be put ON the paper, the exact opposite process).

    If you're going directly to Nature, you need to find out how to solve those issues yourself, which, even if you do find a solution at some point, is a waste of time since you don't know what to look for.

    The much more efficient way is to look at successful drawings of nature, analyze how they were done, copy them and, once that has been done for some time, finally graduate to drawing from Nature. You will know what to look for and how to express what you see with the medium at hand. This is the process recommended in "On Drawing Trees and Nature" by J.D. Harding, a book I strongly recommend if you intend to draw landscapes.

    Last edited by Benedikt; August 12th, 2014 at 08:54 AM.
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  6. #5
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    I agree with Benedikt entirely. Also Jack Ham Drawing Scenery is excellent covers both those subjects with lots and lots of illustrations to demonstrate it. Its an essential book I would like to see recommended more often.

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  7. #6
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    I would agree with Benedikt in that sometimes especially with things like foliage it could be very intimidating to have a go at first time from life. I think there is still a lot of merit in trying to tackle these things on your own first, to see how your natural response is to the visual problems you're trying to solve. Then if you would go and copy good pieces of work relating to the area you are tackling you would perhaps have a deeper understanding as to how it differs from your initial try and see where you went wrong. I guess what I was mindful of at first is falling to the pitt of thinking clouds or foliage could be drawn ONLY THIS WAY which is sometimes the impression someone starting out would get.




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