Drawing the violin

July 27, 2005 at 03:16 AM · Does anybody have an idea of where I can find a tutorial on drawing the violin? I'm kinda into drawing, but my countour drawings of the violin always look so harsh...

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July 27, 2005 at 07:24 AM · Joseph, you could possibly find some step-by-step instruction. But drawing, like playing the violin, is something you practice over a period to become better. The good thing is, you can do this without a teacher. Get a pad of paper that you don't mind using up (something for sketching), and fill it. Find as many angles to draw your violin as you can. Spend time drawing only one part until it looks just right. Any time you're not sure, find someone whose opinion you trust and ask them. Their fresh eyes will be able to spot problems that you won't see.

Look at your drawings upside down. Pin them on the wall and stand far away and look at them. Hold them in the mirror. Let your brain have as many new angles on the subject as possible. Also, draw without looking at the paper. Look only at the subject and study closely the shapes of the lines.

When you look at your violin, stop drawing what you think you're seeing. Throw away all prejudices of what you think a violin looks like. Look at what you have in front of you. Look at the negative space (the part of your drawing that is not the violin). Look at how all the lines relate to each other. Mathematically, proportionally, angularly--think in terms of circles, ovals, triangles, right angles, etc.

Are you shading your drawing? Is it black and white? On a scratch sheet, practice graduating your shades from the very darkest to the very lightest. Determine where your darkest areas will be and lightest, and use those as reference points as you shade the other areas. Watch the way the light hits the instrument. Where are the shadows falling? They follow laws, and lay exactly accoring to the placement of your light source.

Draw lightly at first, with a medium-soft pencil, like 2B (ordinary writing pencil). A hard lead will be light, but may make indentations in the paper that will not come out. A very soft lead, like 6B, is hard to erase. Use a kneaded eraser, by the way. You can blot and lighten without actually rubbing. It also does little to damage paper. If your lines seem too harsh, they may benefit from the kneaded eraser.

If you drew nothing but violins for a year, you would definitely improve.

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