How Do You Plan A Drawing?

One of our fellow pencil-ists has asked about planning a drawing, and I say the best way is no way at all. But, that reflects how I draw and it’s not how everyone goes about it. So, I’m not an expert on planning ahead, but I’ve come up with a few ideas.

1. Consciously look for beautiful lighting, arrangement, value, texture, form or any combination of interests and concentrate only on those things.

2. Take control and make objects interesting with lighting and arrangement.

3. Find a composition with a viewfinder.

4. Draw something you’re visualizing in your imagination. Unless you have a photographic memory though, this type of drawing is never precise and lacks detail.

I find drawings in my mind or in life. For example, I found this sketch called Big Dog In Small Bed as it happened beside me on the couch. My dog Dot tried to squeeze herself into a small cat bed and I took a quick photo, because animals always move before you’re done drawing them (this is a universal law, like gravity).

You can see how I change the arrangement of the background  (the parts around and behind Dot) until I like the way the whole sketch balances. This was a spontaneous sketch. I saw a scene and grabbed it. Developing scenes, pretty arrangements, dramatic lighting, and other visually interesting attractions become easier to spot with experience.

Most scenes are fleeting. Keep a camera nearby.

I drew this sketch on my iPad using the Procreate app.

Keep drawing everyone!


About Carol

I’m an artist, an accidental author, and lover of life. I grew up in Yorktown, Indiana, and I’ve been writing (and drawing) this website since 1999.

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