Pencil and paper.
You read right. Just a pencil and paper.
Now don’t denigrate the pencil. After all, that is how I came into being. My sublime form is first drawn in pencil and then later written over in ink. When the ink dries, the pencil is erased. So for me it serves a temporary purpose: mere growing pains as my form comes alive. But pencil drawings can be much more than guidelines for inking; they are in many cases profound works of art. And they make great art projects for adults although not necessarily easy art projects.
The pencil has an interesting history. The forerunner was the stylus which was used by Roman Empire scribes. In consisted of a thin metal rod that left a light mark mark on papyrus. The familiar pencil using the softer and darker graphite did not exist until graphite mines were built in the England during the mid-sixteenth century.
In the hands of an expert, the pencil can create extraordinary artwork. Mr. Walters, my creator, once took a drawing class from a very gifted artist. The class focused mainly on drawing in pencil, although charcoal and pastels were introduced during the tail end of the course.
As the class demonstrated, treatment of light is crucial when drawing. When the artist began a new drawing project for himself, he would select an outdoor scene to draw (often shores of rivers or lakes). He would spend the entire preceding day watching how the light would change. Only after he memorized how the gradations of light operated over a full day would he attempt to draw the next day. You may consider such attention to light as extreme, but the extraordinary results of his work justified his detailed study of light.
Since Walters personally wields a pencil, I’ll let you in some advice that I have found out the hard way since I often find myself beneath the tip of his pencil:
- Remember you are drawing in reverse. It is the dark areas that you are drawing the heaviest and the light areas that you are drawing the lightest. When you are looking at your subject, note the area with the most light. This is the area on your drawing that you will leave blank indicating the brightest place of your subject
- Don’t get in the habit of erasing. A lot of erasing will add irremovable grays that could ruin what you are drawing. As a remedy, try drawing with a pen on occasion. This will force you to not erase at all.
- Make every line mean something. Your drawing will be more efficient and you can get out of the habit of erasing.
- Use basic shapes as the basis for you drawing. As you add more detail, the shapes will fade into the background and your subject will take a more solid form.
So draw away, adult earthling. I’m sure you will come up with something. But don’t expect another Zeno to appear under you pencil since I am one of a kind.