Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation / Edition 2

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Ideal for introductory studio art courses in drawing, Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation, Second Edition, explains clearly and in depth the essentials of depicting form and space on a two-dimensional surface, focusing on the cultivation of observational skills, increased sensitivity, critical thinking, technical refinement, and knowledge of materials.

* Written by an award-winning artist with thirty years of teaching experience
* Presents clear, direct explanations of drawing fundamentals including: the process of sighting; scaling techniques; creating meaningful line variation; methods for tonal development; creating effective still lifes; understanding the human figure, portraiture, and anatomy; color theory and application; perspective systems; using photos as references; and brainstorming to generate ideas
* Provides helpful pointers on both group and individual critiques
* Offers practical advice about traditional and nontraditional media and surfaces as well as alternative processes that can be combined with drawing
* Includes a comprehensive appendix featuring more than eighty illustrations by twenty-one contemporary artists, a bibliography, and a list of supplementary readings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It has long been my wish that there could be one splendid text that a foundation art program could adopt and repeatedly use for each of its courses (a 'bible,' if you will). This one 'core text' would need to be both versatile and so clearly fundamental to a foundation art program that entire faculties could agree upon its use. Drawing Essentials seems like it may very well be the one."--Sandra Lee Starck, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

"The inclusion of student work provides examples that are often more accessible and attainable than the work of old masters or contemporary artists alone. Drawing Essentials has an exciting array of images from students and professionals alike, providing the introductory-level student with an important resource. . . . I am not aware of any other introductory-level textbook that has such thorough, in-depth coverage of visualization techniques."--Lari Gibbons, University of North Texas

"Rockman's text is excellent in the realm of hands-on, how-to drawing texts. It is written at a level that is easily comprehensible for the audience it is addressing. It is a book that does one thing exceptionally well: it teaches beginning students the fundamentals of drawing."--Karen Bondarchuk, Western Michigan University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199758944
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/2/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 139,144
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Rockman is Chair of the Drawing and Printmaking Programs at Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University.

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Table of Contents


1. Essential Skills and Information: What Every Student Should Know About Drawing
Sighting and the Use of a Sighting Stick
The Principles of Composition: Theory versus Application
The Golden Section
Line Variation and Sensitivity
Working with Value Structure
The Illusion of Space and Depth on a Two-Dimensional Surface
The Technique of Scaling to Determine Accurate Size Relationships
Creating an Effective Still Life

2. Spatial Thinking and Visualization: The Essential Principles of Perspective Drawing
An Introduction to Perspective
The Terminology of Perspective
Perspective and Cubes
Using Perspective Grids
Increasing Complexity in the Perspective Environment
Constructing Ellipses in One-Point and Two-Point Perspective

3. Advanced Perspective Techniques
Taking Perspective to the Next Level
Mathematically Precise Cubes in Two-Point Perspective
Using Measuring Lines for Equal and Unequal Divisions of an Area
Inclined Planes in Perspective
Geometric Solids and Transparent Construction
Three-Point Perspective
Suggested Perspective Exercises

4. Essential Drawing Principles in Relation to the Human Figure
The Human Figure
Gesture Drawing or Rapid Contour Drawing
Enhancing the Illusion of Volume and Space in the Human Form
An Introduction to Portraiture
Mapping the Figure in Space
The Figure and Anatomy

5. Color Theory and Application
Understanding Color
The Spatial and Volumetric Effects of Color
Hints for Observing and Recording Color
Drawing with Color Media
Colored Pencils
Oil Pastels
Some Final Thoughts about Working with Color

6. Developing Ideas, Resolving Problems, and Evaluating Results
Ideation: Generating Ideas
Diagnosing Problems in Your Work
Intentions versus Results
The Importance of Critiques
Key Questions for Critiquing Work

7. Drawing Materials and Processes
Media and Materials for Drawing
Transfer Techniques Combined with Drawing

Appendix: Contemporary Art: A Gallery of Drawings
Glossary of Art Terms

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