How to do a line drawing in black and white ?
Which are the primordial points of a line drawing in black and white ?
1 – Observation : the primordial points of a line drawing in black and white
> When I want to do a black and white line drawing, I first choose a subject which speaks to me, which seduces and bewitches me by its expression and its emotions, giving me the desire to draw and transform it.
> However this is just a part of my choice because it is not enough to draw a pretty kitten just because it looks adorable.
I look and observe my subject and I go beyond this to the more important points on which I must work on and highlight in order to heighten its expressions, emotions, attitudes, poise, allure, gestures, movement, look, lines, shape, curves, behaviour … and the reason why I want to draw it at this instant.
Why is it that at this moment precisely and not another that I was seduced ?
. All these points are capital and decisive to successfully carry out the best possible black and white line drawing.
However that is still not enough …
. When I deepen my observation of my subject I study it in its totality until I discover the particular trait which makes it unique and unlike anything else.
And I reflect on how to give it its exceptional, precious, exclusive, incomparable, curious, extravagant, amazing, amusing, surprising, funny, captivating … living side !
All is defined according to your subject which is perhaps a human, animal, vegetal or floral object.
. After having decided on the primordial points which characterize your subject you must pay attention to the two culminating points of interest essential before starting a black and white line drawing.
. You must be vigilant on these two crucial points which are, the shadow and light of the subject to be drawn !
Because it is through these two delicate points you can give dimensionality to your subject … allowing you to bring to life your subject … even in black and white !
> Let me explain.
Black and white indicate that the drawing is flat
. The white generally is the paper or canvas and the black is the colour added to this base.
And this colour is flat, so, without shading, nuance or highlight.
. Consequently by paying attention to light and shadow, by using your eye you can identify the bright and dark zones of your subject. And so you can determine which is in light and which is in shadow.
> In this way you pay attention to the parts which give dimensionality and life to your black and white line drawing.
2 – How to do a line drawing in black and white
. As a result of my specialized work taking into account all the important characteristics, finally I was able to put pencil to paper.
. From that point I began my drawing, all the time paying attention to what I had learned in my work of study and observation.
. I had to take into account my two colours, black and white.
Because I use the white of the paper as a colour.
Thus when I draw my subject, I use the white of the paper to highlight the light and the black to highlight the shaded areas.
> I play with the black and white to give volume, form, depth and expression to my drawing in black and white.
… But none of that appears in a line drawing.
In my head I visualise my drawing with its light and shadow while I draw the trace
. I perceive my subject and I have already carried out my line drawing in black and white in my head and in my eye.
Because I only have a pencil tracing and not yet the visible parts in black and white.
. That is why it is very important to visualise in advance your drawing, putting in place your points of study.
. It is – I agree – a difficulty to be overcome, certainly when you begin a drawing.
It is true that this is not possible the first time out and to succeed several attempts are necessary.
But it is only by constant repetition that you develop :
« Your Own Style »
> It is imperative that you bury yourself in your subject, get under its skin, understand it, live it so as to better transmit its essence the moment you draw it.
. The more you integrate your subject, the more you understand it and feel it in you … the easier it will be for you to draw it.
. Thus I advise you to start with a simple subject without too many characteristics or strong points. And to start with a simple line drawing in black and white.
That was how I acquired my own special technique.
I suggest you to read the article « Black and White Drawings : The Art of Charles Landston » which will help you to understand my first steps and approaches to line drawing in black and white.
Here are other relevant articles for you Gentlemen
Do not hesitate to consult them :
– How to do a line drawing in black and white ? –