Drawing Now: Week 3

Hello! The third week is about simplification. I will discuss with you how we can simplify complex objects, and how sometimes it is good to step back and stop trying to perfecting every little detail.


We draw a lot from real life, and maybe even more often from references. When trying to depict real objects as precise as possible, it often happens, that you can spend 30 minutes, drawing a nose, just to find out afterwards that it was placed somewhere in the middle of the right cheek. Of course, it can be done on purpose 🙂 However, to have a better feeling of a successful drawing, one needs to make a step back and start with the fundamentals: proportions, light and shadows, major shapes and masses. It is similar to the feeling you may get when signing a card by writing HAPPYBIRTHDAYTOYups, not enough space!

Therefore, let's think on a bigger scale. This letter is more about tasks than explanations, because the main message from me is - do not think an eyelash, think a round ball for a head. Being able to find large shapes is very useful when looking for balance in composition.



Take any of the paintings or photos you like, and copy it only by using enormously large simplified shapes. You can think in terms of colour blobs, or squint your eyes and define lighter and darker areas. Sketch, repeat.


Think of some complicated object (maybe from previous homeworks), or look around you and try to simplify the objects with shapes. If you have a lamp which you can move, try to create some strong shadows and merge them into shapes (could be also for a self-portrait!)


Try to come up with some abstract composition of shapes. You can get inspiration from natural shapes, animals, tools, architecture. Do not use more than 4 colours!

Additional Reading

Posted on February 4, 2021
Tags: #drawing-now