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[Drawing] In Dimensions
August 21, 2010

One benefit of teaching yourself to draw is to be able to pick and choose what you want to do and how you want to do it.

For me, I just want to draw, I don't want to be bogged down with theory and whether I have everything exactly right. So long as my drawings look alright to me, I'm completely happy!

If I wanted to sell my drawings, I'd certainly learn the exact science of drawing but that's not the path I choose to take.

If you feel the same way, you can be assured that you will still slowly but surely absorb the theory of drawing as you go along. No boring lessons for us, hey?

So, in keeping with that spirit, I'm going to talk about drawing in dimensions.

You might notice a lot of talk about 2 dimensions and 3 dimensions but not much explanation comes with it. Thankfully, it's easy to understand and I'd like to elaborate on it just in case it's something you wonder about.

A dimension = the measurement of an object in any one direction.

1D = Dimension in one direction is length.

2D = Two dimensions is any surface length and breadth (like paper).

3D = A solid object has three dimensions. The longest dimension is length, next is breadth (width) and the shortest is known as thickness (or height or depth).

You look at life in 3D -- every solid object that you see and touch has three dimensions. i.e. length, width and thickness. For example, your computer monitor has 3 dimensions.

Just by reading this information, you are absorbing it. Even if you are not ready to include 3 dimensions into your drawings, you will come to understand what it means. Let your pencil/eye co-ordination create the object before you and 3D will eventually be incorporated into your drawings.

A lot of problems in drawing start with trying to represent a 3D object into 2 dimensions. One trick is to go around the outline of everything. If you draw a group of objects, go right around the outer perimeter, ignoring individual pieces. This converts 3D to 2D on paper.

When you draw in 3D, you set out to create the illusion of depth on your flat drawing paper. Using light and shade in your drawing is just one way of illustrating three dimensions.

You won't have to worry much about dimensions if you don't like drawing from life. It's all about the choices you make. Ask yourself what you want. If something is not enjoyable to you, then it is not worth doing.

What's New at

Your Drawings

Thanks everyone for sending in the spectacular drawings for the past month.

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Tip of the Month

To help you overcome any difficulty understanding 3D, try drawing the same object from many different positions.

Each position shows you a new perspective and you learn more about your drawing subject. This knowledge is transferred to your pencil, unbeknown to you.

If you are teaching yourself to draw, there is a variety of digital art books available online that might suit you.

For common drawing questions, visit the frequently asked questions page.

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, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this issue.

Until next month,

Have many happy creative days!


"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't." - Henry Ford

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