a problem with angles

by menna

hi :) i seem to have a serious problem with angles and shadows, as you see in this drawing,

something is wrong in it, it just doesn't seem real. can you help me please :( besides, i think it seems very messy, no matter what i do i just can't control charcoal, i don't know what is the problem, could it be the type of paper i use??
i use paper like the one used in printing, it's soft and relatively thin, does that affect the quality of my drawing??
please i need help :(


Hi Menna -

You've done a fine job of working with charcoal, especially if you don't have much experience with it! I do see that your drawing has a slight problem with angles, but the shading on all of the objects looks pretty good actually. (I kind of like messy drawings as they remind me of Impressionist paintings). Give yourself credit for the good things you have going with your drawings. If you love drawing then you have a lifetime to get better at it.

About the Paper: When using charcoal you want a smooth paper but not a thin paper. It needs to be able to stand up to rigorous erasing! My favorite is Bristol Smooth or Vellum (just make sure it's not shiny slick like poster board). Next time you work with charcoal, try getting your background layer of gray a little bit darker. Then use your eraser to draw in some highlights, it helps make things look a little more realistic.

As for the angle problems - have you watched the Measuring angles and proportions video? It could help you draw the angles of your objects more correctly.

Lets talk at your drawing for a moment. Looking at the polygon shape (6 sided hexagon), it looks like it's resting on the edge of one of it's corners (like it's been propped up) instead of resting on one of it's flat sides. Also, the bottom curve of the cone shape does not match up with the top sides. Try drawing the lines behind the other 2 objects (the lines that are part of the cone) so you can see how bottom curve of the cone might not be in exactly the right place (it's a little bit off center).

Are you drawing objects that are sitting together on the same table? If not, make sure that you do. It's very hard to make angles look right if you are drawing from your imagination. (Unless you're using the rules of linear perspective of course, but that's a different topic! ;)

Learning to draw from observation requires a lot of focus. Sometimes we need a break from the intensity of creating realistic looking drawings. Whenever I find myself frustrated with drawing real objects I like to try some more creative kinds of art making like collage. Once my mind is rested, I tackle the realistic stuff again.

I hope this answer helps at least a little bit! Thank you so much for your questions Menna!

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