26 May 2016

abandoned house in Vermont drawing

This was a puzzler for me to figure out how to draw. I picked it for the details, obviously, but what isn't so obvious is how much detail to draw and where. There were several false starts and changes of direction in getting what was in my head into the image.

I work from photos as a rule, have for decades. I don't know many people who can sit in one place for days or weeks to make a drawing or many people who can pose for that period of time keeping the same crazy expression you want on their face. This makes some people think there is no difference between the photo and the illustration which is never the case. So to make the point I decided to show the reference photo.

As you can see I don't draw "every leaf and blade of grass" though it might seem that way at first. Background and foreground elements are often eliminated or changed to fit what I have in mind. In this case I could have gone with a total black silhouette for the rear trees. I decided to go a textured route (but not follow what was there too closely) so the building would stand out more. I also, maybe by laziness, decided that drawing a million weeds and plants was a little much and would take away from the house itself. I also thought of adding reflections in the windows but liked the pure black as a contrast and - maybe-  over emphasized the distance of the broken blinds to add some dimension to the front of the house. I also did not draw some details I thought were distracting like the misc. wires, pipes and weeds hanging off the building.

Finally, I added a light grey wash to the rear trees so darken them further but not lose the details in the texture.

The images can be enlarged by clicking on them and this place was something I saw along my bike trip to Colchester Vermont last fall.


T' said...

Editing is a huge part of drawing. It's the part that no one ever sees and non-artists don't generally understand. I find natural textures like this really hard to deal with, too and rarely come up with as good solutions as you do. Well done! It's a tough balance and I applaud your determination in getting it done. It also shows the depth of thought on how you choose to depict things when you show the ref photo. I like the explanation, too. Coolness!

Behemoth media said...

I didn't mention how much work I put into the photo. I sort of forgot about that part. I crop and, highlight and sometimes will combine more than one to get the composition I want for the drawing settled before I start. I will even make 3D elements if I think it's warranted to fill out the look I want. Those images look a mess as photos but mostly come together in the illustration.

If i am stuck on the natural textures I take out that book we discussed a long while back, Drawing in Pen and Ink. It's really my bible for this sort of thing!