25 Days to Better Drawings: Drawing Basic Forms

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Lesson Discussion

  1. Just completed day 9 and can already see an improvement. Love that I m following a planned system that builds skills. Amazed how much easier it is to work with shapes instead of trying to establish a contour line to describe an object. I am never going to misjudge the size of drawing to paper again! Pleasure to work along with a soothing relaxed teacher and to have something to revise with the e-book on each lesson. Thank you Matt, so glad to have found the right Instructor.

    • do any of you guys know what white charcoal pencil Matt used in the video? are there different thicknesses or textures that function differently? thanks!

      • Hi Jennifer, I didn’t see that anyone responded to you but Matt is using General’s Charcoal White. I only noticed it because I’d randomly bought a 2 pack of white charcoal on eBay and then spotted it was the same one as I had!

  2. I’d also like to know how to determine the shape of the cast shadows. Obviously, one could get a physical model of the shape and shine a light on it, but in the absence of that, is there a way to work it out geometrically? Or is it just a matter of experience?

  3. Hi there, I do have the same question as Carolyn. Why does the shadows appear on the right-behind-side instead if right-front-side, while the lightsource is definded coming from the upper left side. Are there any tips finding the shape of the shadows?

    Thanks, Buddy

    • Hi Buddy,

      The light source is actually from the upper left and slightly in front of the forms. This places the cast shadows slightly behind the forms, but also on the right side.

  4. Hello Matt,
    Thank you so much for your lessons, just finished lesson 9, it is amazing, as you would say awesome, i made so much progress, unbelievable…
    Thank you, Christiane

  5. Hi Matt once again another fabulous lesson I am learning a huge amount from these .
    Everyone must had bought the grey tonal paper iv been searching all sites to get a grey pad I finally ordered one guess what yes out of stock due in soon ! So I have it on back order!
    I am doing these lessons on white paper I will re visit as soon as my grey pad arrives .

  6. I’m confused. If light travels in straight rays – and it does – put your light at the upper left rear corner of the form. How do you bend the light so the form blocks it from the full left and casts shadow to the full right side of each form. It seems, and other tutorials indicate, that the cast shadow would be more on the front side of those forms than on the left side. Depending on how close to the form the light source is,the cast shadow can spread over into that right side, but I can’t make it feel right if it is completely on the right side. Where am I missing the thinking?

    • Hi Maryan,

      In all four forms, the light source is originating from the upper left corner and slightly in front of each form. I’m not fully understanding what you mean by “bending the light” or why other tutorials would tell you that the cast shadow must be in front of the forms. The location and shape of the cast shadow is dependent on the strength and positioning of the light source or sources. I think you may be assuming that the light source is originating from behind the forms – but it is not. Could this be the reason that it looks strange to you?

  7. Hi Matt,
    Is there a trick to visualizing the distance for the second two lines? I find I can not do it without using perspective, i.e. a horizontal line and two points
    Thank you,

  8. do any of you guys know what white charcoal pencil Matt used in the video? are there different thicknesses or textures that function differently? thanks!

  9. I believe that my paper is not the write color-white. But, it is all I have at the point. I know that may be a problem; but I have so much of it that it seems difficult to purchase gray with today’s economic issues. My question- does anyone else have trouble with their white charcoal. Mine doesn’t appear white (white paper?) and it also seems to smear the other color around it. I grabbed the Master’s Touch white charcoal pencils when I was out of town until my Amazon order is delivered.

    • Hi Amanda,

      I don’t think anything is wrong with your paper or your charcoal. Typically, white drawing media, like white charcoal, is used on toned or colored papers. It is very hard to see on white paper and is not usually used on white surfaces.

  10. I bought my gray-toned paper, and started sketching the cube with my new drawing pencils. But the set has no white charcoal pencil in it. So I am set back from finishing the drawings until I get a white charcoal pencil. In this small town, that could take 2 more weeks!

  11. if i was doing casts shadows without your help matt and with the light coming from the top left, my shadows would be at the bottom of each object and not to the right.i guess i need to learn more about cast shadows.

  12. Matt; I don’t see this question posed in the above comments. Why do you lay down a tone with your H pencil and then overlay with a 2B. Why not just start with the 2B?

  13. I’m not understanding why the left side of the box isn’t a lighter tone with the cast shadow where it is on the right. Wouldn’t that mean the light would be hitting the left side (and top) and thus need to be a lighter tone? The pyramid has that face lighter. Thank you.

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