Pathways Outside the Square

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Are you an open-minded person who likes to look at things laterally?  If so, this could just be the exercise to make a difference to your drawing.

Above is my “outside the box” drawing of an iron using the exercise below.

But first, lets consider some pertinent points…Could it be there are different ways to draw geometric shapes?  Could a circle start at one point and complete the full circle or even stop halfway and return to the beginning before going in the opposite direction?

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Possibly a square may likewise be drawn as four lines or two triangles.

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Pointless information?  Indeed yes, until you put it into context. You will be surprised to see just how quickly your proportions and accuracy improve by practicing this different pathways exercise.

Can you see the effective use of different pathways in the pictures below?

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Exercise – Allow yourself 30 minutes of drawing indulgence..

Try drawing a camera, iron, hammer or other complicated object.  It is best the object have both curved and straight lines.  Look for shapes on the object and try to draw them in different ways than you would do normally. Check out as many opportunities to retreat to a former position as possible.

When you search for alternative paths, you’ll often have to trace back to a point where you have travelled before.

Performing the step of going back to an earlier point helps teach you proportion and relationships without interrupting your line.  There is no stopping and measuring, the flow of your line is preserved.

Try to leave your pencil on the paper at all times.  This means you will be drawing the retreating lines as well as the deliberate lines.  Drawing more heavily on the outlines and faintly on the lines that cut back helps to produce an authentic drawing.

This is fun to do as a “blind” or “non-blind” drawing and ends up much more accurate than stopping and measuring.

You won’t realize it while you do this exercise, but travelling back to a previous point is the most natural way to learn about angles, proportions and relationships.  It has helped my drawing more than any other exercise so far.

Good Luck!


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