Monday, 25 April 2016

Circles and your pathway to a drawing

You hear art professionals teaching their drawing techniques.  Their knowledge and experience is very important to us all, whether we are beginners or experienced artists brushing up on some basic skills.  I do have to say that, for beginners in particular, the technique of drawing circles can seem daunting.  It is easy to see the principle of the exercise, but actually it can fill the beginner with a lack of confidence.  All those circles take over in the eye of the beginner, looking nothing like the subject they are trying to draw, and hence they tend to give up.

Here I'm using a photograph of our lurcher, William (many of you will be familiar with this lad, since I draw him almost every day).  

 Step 1:  Draw the basic 'shapes' first.  Ignore detail.....

Step 2: 
Having referred back to the photo, I saw that the head needed to move toward the viewer.  I also added the football in his mouth.....

Step 3: Now is the point at which I put in some detail.
Note that the initial circles are still there, but I'm 'correcting' some angles.....

Step 4: With that done I can erase the unnecessary circles -
and I have my drawing.....

and Step 5: Add some watercolour -
plus in this case some 'action' lines to indicate movement.....

A simple enough exercise.
Recap: From all those circles, you will find the pathway to your final drawing.


  1. Thanks for sharing this Ann. Yep I am one of those that get all confused with all those circles and they are usually demonstrated on the human form. This helps me a lot. Especially since it's drawing my favorite friend next to my own pups.

    1. That's great to know Clare. I know back when I discovered how this would work for me, it was like a huge breakthrough :-)

  2. I know everyone say look for the 'shapes' but most of the time I don't see the shapes! lol

    1. LOL...never mind Robin, just draw a circle regardless, it'll work out I promise :-)

  3. I need to try this with River. I had started a sketchbok devoted to her, but have hardly done anything in it. I must go get it out and try again. Thanks!

    1. Yes, if you keep the sketchbook handy, then it is more encouraging to jot down some sketches. When we first got William, I would sketch gestural jottings of him, just to have something noted down about him. Gradually it grew, oh boy, and don't I know it, lol.