thumbnail of Freehand Drawing; 1
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
You a. Boo. Boo Boo. Boo. Boo.
Boo. And.
In. An. Hour. And. A. I just finished ordering breakfast. In Tokyo Moscow. Madrid. Vienna Berlin Montreal you name it. And I've used my second
language the language of drawing. Now I have learned this language and you can learn it too and I can help you. It will require some effort on your part. But it's worth it. And why. There are times when drawing can be the most effective way of communicating a simple idea. For example I have a container here. No label. I know what's in the container and I like to communicate this to you wherever you are in Africa Asia Europe. So with the use of a simple picture or a symbol even crudely done. You can get the message. Now you don't know exactly what's in it but you get the important message that it's poison. And regardless of the language you spoke that crude little symbol would mean something to you almost any
place in the world. Now drawing is also the most effective way of communicating a complicated idea. For example this is a schematic a diagram of a. Tuner television tuner tuner somewhat like you have in your set. Now just imagine if you had to explain that orally or if you would want to write it in a narrative form it almost be impossible. And this is the best way. So you see that drawing can be at times the most effective way of communicating a simple idea. Or a complicated idea. Now there are three primary reasons for drawing three uses. First is to record. We make a record and drawing is our oldest recorded language. We have pictures dating back past 20000 years that have been recorded by artist that long ago and they have made a record. They tell us something. And then the next important reason for learning to draw is to
communicate these pictures even back 20000 years have been recorded. And today they will communicate to us as they did then. So we learned to record and we learned to communicate. And then of course we learned to design and to build now to design and to build will probably be. The most useful way of. Incorporating drawing in your work or in your hobbies. Can you imagine trying to build a house and the plumbing and the wiring and all of that by reading a book without plans. Plans are probably. Used for every item that was built in your home when the drawing was made of every object of furniture in your room. It's probably not a coincidence that most of the inventors the well-known inventors we know of were artists for example. You know Leonardo da Vinci of course Eli Whitney George Westinghouse Robert Fuld
Samuel Koch. SINGER. Morris all these men we know as inventors but they were all artists they had the ability to put down on paper to plan to design and build. Now. You know why we learn to draw the next seven lessons will be how how do we learn and what do we learn to draw like this. Not really. Certainly not at that speed. We learn to draw by method and approach. Drawing is a very methodical language and it has a vocabulary and the vocabulary that we will use is five basic geometric forms. But to start to draw you have some decisions to make first. We just don't pick up a pencil and paper. We have decisions that the artist does unconsciously and through training. For
example. If I wish to draw a house here and a tree and a boat I make a decision on something about what I'm going to draw about where I intend to draw it about what size and what viewing angle then I determine the major basic shape of the object the geometric shape. Then I'm ready to draw. So I'm going to very lightly suggest. An eye level here. This is a horizon line or ilevel. I have selected this and my. The major shape of the House is really a block. In this case in most cases blocks rectangular solids. So I draw the sides and it's resting at the eye level.
Very likely. You'll notice the lines go in perspective toward a vanishing point. This will be a subject of Lesson number three so don't worry too much about it. Now I'm simply demonstrating. So I have the major basic shape. I have minor shapes. For example. I'll add a roof so very lightly I'm going to come back and refine those lines. I don't worry too much about them. Now I'm thinking of the design. And the proportion. And the perspective. Then over here. I have another basic shape. A comb which will be a fir tree and I can add another one here for purposes of demonstration. Part of a sphere or a ball and that can be come later become shrubbery. So I'm drawing either
from memory now or. I'm just simply designing. I'm not looking at anything. And I'll. Probably put. Let's see a boat down here. And a boat in major basic shape is really a rectangular solid. So. I have. In reviewing this I have established my level of parts and the geometric shape of each of these parts. And you notice we don't finish any one unit. We work around our
picture until we have it pretty well laid out. Most of the drawings that we will be making will be objects and not landscapes or scenes like this but the procedure is rather. Similar. You go through the same steps you still have the laws of perspective to deal with. And they may sound like scary terms now but. They're easily learned with very little effort. I can add. Many things to this house I can come out here and out of porch. And I put a slope to the roof. Like this and. Porch posts. And if I wish I could come over here. And had. A small shed to the side of the house.
And I had these to show you that once your perspective is set up. You can draw within. That perspective adding. As you wish doorway. Let's say we. Suggest that when they hear. And. SEE go over to here and down and suggest another when they hear. And I may put. A chimney here. And that could be. If it's metal it would be a cylinder. With a cone on top. I could suggest the back ground. Of trees. Very lightly. Now the picture is. What I'd call laid out. I go
over now and you really look at my lines and improved my best lines. There are a lot of sketchy lines there that. We'll never use but they tend to disappear. As you draw. And if you wish to raise them that would be your business. Refining. Almost like sculpturing. And to the artist. This sheet of paper. Is not really flat. He wants to create the illusion of depth. So he thinks of it as a window space where we can draw back in to it. Ten feet or 20 miles. Now I'm adding a little what are called texture. Boards to the side of the building. And I can darken the roof and it helps. When you add shadow.
Or. Tome. It helps define and form. And these details. Can be put in or left that. You can carry your drawing as far as you wish and usually an object drawn we draw only that which we need. Because our goal is not pictures to hang but communication. And we when we have said visually what we want to say that's really all that's necessary. And if I. Turn the light source here Sunderman. Then.
The opposite side. Would be injera. Here. And let's take a look at this boat. Here's a little trick of using the center lines and section lines. Now if I want to sculpt a cut top of that boat I have points to draw from that when I make a mark here to show you. These three. And then you see I can go around. It makes it much easier. There's no use guessing when you don't have to. And. You. Can draw the transom here. And I'm making the lines darker than I normally would. But. You can
see. A lot easier and then of course I could put. Seeds or. As much detail as. I wish. And add a tone. Then working around the picture again I may suggest texture. Or moisture. Sometimes I use a side of my pencil. In this case chalk. It look. Wet. I'm. Putting a little more realistic silhouette to this tree. And some fun.
And I'd probably cast a shadow under the porch here. Now I mentioned the importance. Of depth the illusion of depth. On a flat surface. We achieve that by perspective by overlapping by size. And one. Point you can make here in size in a picture you won't have this in the object should drop it in a picture. You'll have a. Background. Where things appear smaller. You have a middle ground. And in this case it's your. Main subject. Then you come down here and you have a foreground and I can make more pronounced foreground by adding
some. Cat tails here. And of course I'll draw them larger because they appear closer to us now and drawn. You draw things not as they are but as they appear. And that sounds rather strange at first but. Let me explain it this way the cat tails here in reality would be the same size. But since we want these to be appear closer the eye sees those larger and the camera does too. So we draw as the eye sees not as things are. The boat is really in reality not larger than the cabin. They didn't create an illusion of depth drawn as the eye sees it's closer to us. So we do have more. Of a size. Given to it.
So this is fun you can try setting up. A situation. In your following programs. I invite you to have pencil and paper. And draw along with me because. Most every program we have a time devoted to draw long. And it helps you to go through. The procedure with me and then you can draw on your own. Now I could add to this of course I could put more cat tails I could put a. Person here. Maybe you fishing sitting on a bank. With a fishing pole. That it's a rough sketch thumbnail sketch. And then review. We
started by making some decisions. We decided. What we wanted to draw where we wanted to draw approximate size. At what viewing angle. That means at what I level the eye level was right here at the base. And then we decided on the. Simplest shape of the dominance of your picture which was a camp and then we started sketching but we had four or five decisions to make first. These are all in your manual so I won't go out on those any longer. You can review them. In your manual and you can see how this is a language that makes sense and is. Teachable and learnable. And useful and I can throw cast shadows shadows help determine and warm. And I could.
Tie the boat to one of the posts. We could add lily pads and carry it on just as far. As we would want to. Now I've made a record. Not something I've seen but something I have imagined or something I've remembered and that's the advantage you have over a camera. A camera. Needs to have this subject there. Also you can look at something and record it in any position not just as it is. Now we have demonstrated. The procedure. Briefly. Briefly the procedure we go through in drawing from memory or drawing from recording and drawing an object that you are looking at a picture or the real object. The procedure is about the same. For example if we wish to draw this fire extinguisher here. We look at it whether it's a picture. Or. Whether it's.
The real object in this case a picture. And the procedures we go through. Are first we decide where we want to draw it about what size at what the viewing angle and then what is the major basic shape of the main object and the other parts. For example a man could say the major shape. Of the fire extinguisher is a cylinder. This is a mental decision. In about that proportion. Then there are minor shapes up on the top. Up here and that's a cone. And there's another comb over here. These are mental decisions he makes. Then he's ready to draw. So he would. Probably draw. The cylinder first. The major shape.
And here's one we didn't talk about right right joining the top of this cylinder is a sphere incomplete. Sphere. And then up here. Is a cone. And another cylinder here. And then down here at the side. Is another cone. Of a different proportion than this one but it still belongs to the same family. So in reconstructing this from looking at it. You simply draw. The basic shapes in proportion. To one another. And in proportion.
As they appear in the object. And we had an attachment here. And I think part of the. AU's wouldn't come here. Now you lose the complete sphere. I'd like to sketch the sphere complete and then section it. However it may be. Drawn about the same way. You have something here constructed if you wish to build a rock for it. You could. But it's nice to have the drawing first. Then you could dimension it. Or for whatever purposes that. You may have. So whether you are drawing from memory. Or you're drawing
from life looking at an object we're still alive. Your procedure is the same. In our next program we'll be taking a new look at the visual world that surrounds us. We'll be learning to see to see as the artist sees to see all objects in their simplest geometric form and shape. Now this is a new way of viewing for you but it isn't really new. We go back over 2000 years for the idea from the Greek mathematician Euclid and then we'll be coming up through the time scale to the Renaissance period and picking up the illusion of depth what we call perspective that was developed and introduced by the artists of that time. And then we'll put it together. And now we have a language that has an approach to it and it's scientific and it's a system it's a scientific way of learning to draw as a language a teachable language
and it can be used and applied to your needs. Now have a pencil and paper ready next time and a book or a support you may rest on your lap and we're going to have a draw a long part of our lesson will be drawing along. Now I've enjoyed our first visit and I'm looking forward to the next seven. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom Boom. Boom
Freehand Drawing
Episode Number
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/394-021c5dr9).
Episode Description
#1: Freehand Drawing (Master)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Fine Arts
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Copyright Holder: MPT
Producing Organization: KOKH-TV
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maryland Public Television
Identifier: 32891.0 (MPT)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Freehand Drawing; 1,” 1980-06-17, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 9, 2023,
MLA: “Freehand Drawing; 1.” 1980-06-17. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 9, 2023. <>.
APA: Freehand Drawing; 1. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from