“Line is the probity of art.”
~Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
The drawing is the structure of the skeleton in which all else drapes over; just as the steel girders are the bones of the skyscrapers. The principle of a sound drawing has always been paramount in the tradition of Western Art.
The drawing on the prepared Masonite board must be clean and light. That is why I prefer a mechanical pencil over charcoal. My favorite pencil is the 0.5 Pentel mechanical pencil with F grade leads. F is neither too soft or too hard.
The drawing should be refined and exact. There won’t be any alterations of the drawing after this stage. During the drawing process, make sure that you apply the pencil lightly because you want the pencil lines to be easily erasable. Some effective ways to get your drawing onto your surface are the use of digital projectors or the grid method. Both methods are perfect for our purposes.
The drawing should look like a cartoon, meaning no shading. The contours as well as the most important details should be lightly indicated. The less important details need only to be suggested yet accurately done. Even the so called insignificant areas of the subject like the fingernail or the under lid of the eye needs to be accurately rendered in contour lines. While you are drawing during this stage you need to continually lighten and clean up the lines with a kneaded eraser. Remember this is where you are making your linear decisions and you will have to live with these decisions in the under painting and color stages of the painting. Here is an example of a drawing that is ready to be under painted. Tomorrow we will discuss the under painting process of your pastel painting using the “Pastel Palette Method”.