Tuesday, April 24, 2012

eraser free drawing

Good morning folks.

I've heard some people say that
they can never draw without an eraser.

Well, i'm here to tell you that YOU CAN!

When i want to paint something in watercolor
i usually draw an outline in MICRON pens.

But the outline, as you see,
isn't just one continuous line.
I think the most important thing when drawing
is to see the empty space
as much as the object itself.

When we draw, we often spend far too much time erasing,
or we draw in the one continuous line
and then get caught up in the details,
and then realize that the shape is off,
or the object is way too small
in proportion to the page,
or the angle is wrong...

we've all been there, right?

So here's my little secret.

1. LOOK at what you're drawing. (photo or still life)
2. OBSERVE IT before you begin to draw it.Where are the shadows? Where's the light?Where's the buckle with reference to the heel?In the middle of the shoe? More at the top?(...you get it, right?)
3. SEE the space around it (the empty space) 
4. BEGIN by drawing reference points (or little lines) on the page
5. BE KIND and patient with yourself.Yup. This is an actual step, and if you don't do it,the whole thing just fucks itself up. :-)

Obviously, as you see here,
the reference points don't need to be exact
and if you realize (like i did in this case)
that the shoe is actually more narrow,
or a bit longer,
then just draw new little lines!
You'll hide the old lines with the painting.

Cut yourself some slack,
be kind to yourself
and just keep drawing.

This takes practice...

Once the left shoe was done,
i basically did the same thing on the right.

a few little details and very rough lines...
it's not important for the line itself
to be precise here,
but the shape of your object.

my trusty little watercolor set...

I usually begin with the lighter colors
and work my way to the darker colors.

A few added details with the watercolor
and there you have it.

Little shoes that belonged to the unknown child of the Titanic...

Drawing techniques can be mastered by anyone,
but you want to draw with more than just technique.
You want to draw with emotion
and intuition
and trust
and feeling.

At least i do.

And you want to have fun while you're at it!

So get to it, peeps.

Take out the micron pens, or markers, or bic pens...
and try your hand at this.
I'm cheering you on, here!!

For those who are already masters at this,
just go get yourself a glass of wine
and join the cheering section.


  1. Such a history to your little shoes :). Thanks for sharing and reminding us of the process.
    Stay inspired!

  2. Good advice, yes, I tend to want to draw continuous lines. Learning to look at the spaces in-between helped me tremendously when learning to draw.
    Those baby shoes are adorable, they must be antiques. Love the painting!

  3. Love the story and the shoes, beautiful! Cheri

  4. Great post and great advice! :)

  5. Point 5 had me in hysterics! I do love coming here. In our usual synchronicity I have done a post on sketching so I referenced you and your helpful 'how to'. :) x

  6. Good teaching....I love to see your posts...with the beginning being a possibility of anything and then to see your finished piece...
    love it....


  7. LOL! I need to get past point #2. ;)
    You make it look so easy!

  8. i like this tutorial:)
    Hello my friend, how are you??
    I am going to sit for a bit and go thru your posts..I'm behind:)

  9. This is fabulous! I love your 5 steps- including the be kind - these are great tips for arting!!! Love seeing how the painting went from first outline to the final piece!

  10. Super sweet... love it!!
    A story behind the shoes, very clever :]
    Thank you for sharing your techniques. These elements are so true to own... for ourself, as creative people. ((hugs))

  11. Hi Pauline,

    I'm finally back from my blog break and it feels so good to be visiting everyone again.

    A fantastic post with a great tutorial on drawing techniques. I love working with my micron pens. It's not about perfection, it's about capturing the moment at hand.

    A lovely shoe sketch...and so nice to pay tribute to the owner who may well perished at the sinking of the Titanic.

    Enjoy the rest of your week,
    Serena xo

  12. Pauline, you are so brilliant and thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with us. When do I get to sign up for YOUR online course???

  13. Thanks for showing us our process. WOnderful! Terah

  14. Awesome. Thanks for sharing your technique. I have that same portable watercolour palette. I love it.
    Happy Painting.

  15. Thank you, thank you, for ALL your comments.
    Lorinda, i've been toying with the idea of an e-course for a while now. Not sure what it would be or how i'd do it. Hmmmmm.... food for thought. :-) xoxo

  16. Wow! I don't know why but this demo and explanation made me tear up! You certainly brought emotion to my heart with your painting/drawing of the shoes belonging to a child on the Titanic! Such good advice about how to approach a drawing, though, too.

  17. I love this - and hate using an eraser!Newest follower x lovely work x