Sunday, 15 June 2014

Summer Drawing Project – lesson 7

This week’s challenge is to make the paper surface appear to be curved. This will be an optical illusion of course but you can do this by covering your page with rings, each one changing in some way to suggest that the surface isn’t flat.

Discover ways of modifying your rings by gradually changing the way you draw it –

  • changing its size
  • changing its colour
  • changing its tone, change its shape
  • changing its texture
  • perhaps combining more than one of these


Covering the surface with different sizes and different types of rings made interesting pattern effects but they didn’t seem to make the page look as if it was curved.

I decided that I needed to organise the gradation of sizes and shapes in these ideas so that they gradually change from one to another. See if you agree.


I found it easier to draw the rings shapes lightly in pencil first to help me get it right in coloured media. I covered the page with just one graded idea before deciding which colouring method to use. Notice that each ellipse and ring were sometimes drawn several times over each other until I felt the ring was right. No need to rub out – just work on top a bit darker over it when you think it looks better. You’ll notice a lot of rings underneath other rings in these pages –  this is just me trying to get into the right ‘swing’.


Making the rings appear to get flatter and flatter towards the top of the page and becoming more elliptical so seeming to disappear over the curved surface. Also by grading the intensity of colour.

8 8 10

Drawing the elliptical rings in the same way and because there seemed to be so many ‘trial’ rings on this page, I decided to draw pairs of over-lapping rings – a blue one and an orange one.  I then ‘coloured in’ by adding solid colour to the shape created by the overlap; see the right hand image close-up above.

12 14 

This page is drawn with several rings where the sizes are graded from large to small (at the top). Several colours were used inside each ring to emphasise them. Notice the brave addition of ‘arc’ shapes towards the bottom to suggest rings that were too large to be added to the page. Best to draw these by turning the sketchbook around so you make good use of the natural radius arc that your arm can do to make a smooth and confident curved arc.


A pattern of rings of the same size, same colour but different textural scribbles and tonal changes from top to bottom.

23 24

Columns of over-lapping rings (draw vertical lines first to keep your rings in columns). Then look what happened when I stared to add colour. Must add more colour to make more of these lovely undulations. I’m sure there are more variations to be found.


Playing with a different composition of different sized rings I worked in black but added a change of texture by filling in the rings in different media. I couldn’t believe how this page seemed to curve!


A fun one to do – trying to make the perfect rings at the bottom look as if they are melting away towards the top of the page. I changed the shape gradually and made the colouring more and more watery. I sometimes dipped my water-soluble pencil into water to draw with; I sometimes wet the ring with clean water and then crayoned into it using different degrees of pressure.


The last mage shows an interesting drawing using rings of graded sizes. I found it in a book (‘Principles of Form and Design’ by Wucius Wong) and decided to try to copy it.

It looked like a 3D form – perhaps a cone with an inverted crater? I was fascinated to try to work out how to draw it. All the rings are separate – not spirals and you start with a small ring in the middle of a large ring and then add all the other rings. Anyone like to try it? And if you do, try it with colour?

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