What are the drawing techniques?

What are the tools? Why do they matter for the project? What lessons are we learning about this process?

Each project consists of a set of three or four items: a sketch book, a sheet of markers, and a black pencil. That set might be as simple as drawing a square in a chalkboard — so simple, in fact, that I didn’t even include all of the tools to keep them all moving. There are three basic drawing techniques:

The “rule of thirds” is something I learned from my professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, when he demonstrated it on a chalkboard to an audience of students at my introductory art class. That exercise is the foundation of all other drawing and graphic design techniques. Basically, if it can be shown on a chalkboard, it will work on a computer screen — a little bit. The figure on a chalkboard is the subject of the drawing. The “rule of thirds” is a chart of three or four things that are always on the same plane. Drawing on this chart determines how the pencils will move through the same space. The chart also can show the direction of the line.

The “letterbox” is a design tool in itself. What it does is determine the position of the lines — the point in space where there’s no space. That creates clarity, which helps the design communicate what is occurring on your drawing page.

The “pencil box” has different points inside that form the basis of a design. In this case, that place was where the pencil is supposed to go. Most commonly used is pencil box #3 on a pencil sharpener, while larger and more powerful pens (such as the J. Herbin) will have a more natural curve. You don’t have to worry about the point of contact with any other objects you may create.

When you’re ready, you can start with a blank slate. All you need to draw are the three points inside the letterbox. If you want, you can add some sort of decorative border, but that’s unnecessary. Use whatever material works that day — a piece of paper, a pencil, a pencil case — that is not too thin and will not tear.

Before you start drawing on your paper, you might find a pencil in your sketch book. If that’s the case, you can use it in place of a pencil in the box, in your pencil box, or in your pencil box. This is a big advantage over pencil