Richard Scott Workshop - January 2020
12 Secrets to Drawing Like a Master
by Arda Derian
As our long-time favorite and sought out artist, landscape architect, teacher, and author, Richard Scott presented a unique concept of teaching drawing at our January 25th Workshop! The entire day Richard shared, one at a time, his new ideas called "12 Secrets to Drawing Like a Master"! We were all curious and ready to settle down and listen! It was the best way to introduce how to draw something starting with small, simple steps and building upon it one step at a time, with more challenging steps to each preceding "Secrets", which fascinated everyone in attendance! In my own experience as an Art Major in college, I hadn't had such detailed and simplified instructions in drawing as we had in this wonderful workshop.
Using an overhead projector, Richard had three simple geometric shapes, seemingly at random, on the screen in front of the class, which we were instructed to draw. This example was his "Secret #1" asking us to look at each shape as an abstract puzzle, looking at the proportion, alignment and angles of the three shapes. After that process came "Secret #2", adding the concept of distance and space between the shapes and relationships to each other. Finally, "Secret #3" culminated this concept of simplifying what you see, as Richard puts a photo of a shuttered window on the screen to point out shapes, distance, and proportions to each other. With careful observation and thumb-nail "measuring", we took time to draw from the photo of the window.
"Secrets #4 -7" pertained to varying degrees of light and dark values in a drawing to transform it from a 2-dimensional to a 3-dimensional drawing. At that point, we started to shade the previous window drawing beginning with very light shading with the pencil, gradually darkening the shadows and reflections. Our next project, first was to draw a banana, then a pear using all the concepts we had been introduced to already such as - simplifying shapes, various degrees of shading, learning new vocabulary for those various degrees, and when, where, and how to use lighter shades of value as highlights and darkest dark as accents in shadows as we sculpted the values from the obvious to nuances.
"Secrets #8 - 12" involves the intellectual aspect of using both sides of the brain - right side being the artistic or abstract concept and the left side portrays the logical thinking aspect. So once you develop the skills of how you perceive edges, shapes, relationships, lights and shadows, you have the skills to draw with self confidence. As you start to draw limit your subject matter to a "Cone of Vision" (narrow it down to smaller area), be selective and draw what matters to you the most. Last but not least, the key to a successful drawing or painting is never to overwork your subject with a lot of details but define the relationships in a cohesive manner.
With a lot of practice, all these "Secrets" become second nature as we, hopefully, mature in our realm of artistic mastery, thanks to Richard Scott!