A grown up version of an umbrella.
Originally I was going to pick shoes for my subject, reason being I sometimes still have trouble with drawing feet and boots, I have drawn shoes before, this image is from 2016 which was timed (I think an hour to complete) was part of WHSmith drawing contest on social media.
Side note – I was one of the winners in one of the contest – I won when drew our Queen.
Because of this I think it best to give myself something new
Ok, so most children draw umbrellas at some point, I even did a child like illustration in July 2018, this was part of helping my daughter learn how to use photoshop and my wacom, I designed this so only used one layer, one brush, limited palette, a very simple, easy design for my daughter (6 at the time) could recreate on her own.
I figured like human anatomy is worthwhile knowing in and out, so if you are doing a detailed picture if you know how an item works and all the parts it helps.
A little research into the parts of the umbrella, While my main reference are a couple of umbrella which I own, I thought it will still be useful to also create a mood board for this exercise to just see the shape, texture and different angles of an umbrella in order to get a good visual understanding.
Objective drawing techniques, these really are something that has been slowly drilled into me, of the top of my head, I can think of measuring with a pencil, negative space around objects, breaking down into simple shapes, blocking in shadow shapes and the good old putting the picture in a box with your hands.
I have to admit I do not do as many objective drawing as I should these days, I do believe good artist/illustrators should really do so, pretty much to keep the hand/mind movement and being able to “see” things. I’m not a huge realism or hyper realism artist as while yes the level of technical ability is breathtaking, it’s not the area I wish to push as I like to express myself, push an image in sense of more movement and have more creative freedom. Lets say in terms of portraits I personally prefer more stylized.
So it won’t hurt to do a bit of a refresher for myself.
First I took to google, I came across this blog https://thevirtualinstructor.com/blog/7-drawing-techniques-for-accuracy , which listed 7 way to improve accuracy in your drawing. While I did list some of my own more is on the list, one method that I never use is grids mainly as I do not believe long term your art progresses.
Firstly I drew to size pretty much as wanted to really look at detail and folds. Drew a recorder and pen for size reference.
Then I drew smaller scale and had a little idea for texture references so added some clear plastic and mini umbrella designs.
Also quickly sketched out another smaller umbrella to size which had a pattern design.
I had the look at the details and also quick sketches from memory.
I drew the last page in fine liner and without “pencil” guides so direct drawing based on the studies I did prior.
I wanted to try something different to fine liners, so using charcoal pencil I created the above. I wanted to try and gain the smoothness and shine a little better.
I’m not sure if i went of track, the first few drawing was in detail but I find naturally as I draw my lines become looser and more expressive. I’m not sure I am the best for technical drawing, I tend to find myself exploring mark-making even as I sketch.
That being said, this exercise is very good for the visual memory, I wished a drew a umbrella before starting this exercise so I could have compared the improvement.
I also think I could have explore more with different angles, so I think maybe next time give myself room to explore deeper with the reference.
I think I will start doing this type of exercise more in my personal sketchbook.
Reference, research and credits