Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 24, 2007

By E H

Never the sun sets in the horizon without seeing some exhibitions in Dhaka. There are artists, palettes, colours, lenses and that god-gifted imagination which springs forth what we call art. Be it photography or painting, the galleries are enviable affairs. For some art just meets the eye and for some it touches the soul. What one chooses is what one gets.

Those who care and dare to delve into the depths of art do know more. But those for whom abstract drawing is just geometric shapes merged into one another and technical drawing is just smart use of CAD, this is a welcome note.

There are definitely more number of art forms than the number of pages of the tabloid that you are reading at the moment. But for now we will focus on three kinds of drawings that have a growing market.

Architects need draftsman for technical drawing, a new cloth needs its own fashion drawing and my teacher loves to hang abstract paintings on the walls of his apartment!

Abstract Art
Each man should know that art is a lie told to realize the truth, said an artist. And following the chain of thought that this line initiates, abstract art too is a way of communicating through bars and circles, to say what would have sounded harsh or over-sweet otherwise.

Abstract drawing is the art of expressing a thought, feeling, or emotion without creating a realistic image on the canvas. It is much like music, in that there can be several variations of the format, and the mood of the artist can be brought out similarly through certain visual styles.

Take, for example, a song on the radio. The abstract emotion can be felt as the voice of the artist raises and lowers, becomes gruff with emotion, and softens after an emotional outburst. The music in the background supports the feelings being expressed with harder beats or with gentler, flowing notes. The same can be accomplished through abstract drawing. Instead of having an object that the artist is trying to capture, the artist wishes to show emotion or thought with the drawing. Colors, shading, and certain strokes of the brush can say a lot about the mood of the artist at the time the piece was completed.

For example, shades of blue that are blended together, along with a little gray, usually mean sadness or gloom. These shades may also be somewhat hushed in their appearance, without clean brush strokes differentiating between the hues. However, a painting covered in red and orange slashes could convey anger or irritation. In fact, it could even express violence in the attitude of the artist at that time.

Doing it yourself
There are many different means by which one can express oneself in abstract drawing. The artwork can be very geometric much like that of Malevich, a well-known Russian abstractionist. Of course, one could also be very dramatic and unorganized, simply sweeping lines and brush strokes across the canvas with no seeming rhyme or reason. If one wishes to begin delving into abstract drawing, one method by which to start is to paint what is real. Don't involve a lot of detail paint outlines and skimp down to nothing but shadows and shapes representing nature or a scene of some sort. Then, begin to blend the items together, doing away with all sense of reality by simply blurring the edges together to create a work of abstract art.

When working on an abstract drawing, especially in the beginning, you should not try to use too many colors. Determine the mood of the drawing that you wish to portray, and limit the palette to the colors that represent the mood of choice. For example, jealousy and greed call for shades of green and yellow, while reds and oranges are angry or upset. Blues and purples remind the viewer of sadness, and yellows and pinks are usually cheerful images.

Study abstract artists and their works to get a better idea of the meaning behind an abstract drawing. Study Malevich, Kandinsky, or any number of other abstractionists. Find one that speaks to the heart through his or her work so that a true journey to the world of abstract drawing can begin in earnest. Without some study and training, it is nearly impossible to learn about a subject with as few rules as there are in regards to abstract drawing. It is simply a matter of becoming part of the community.

Fashion Drawing: where Art meets Advertising
Many forms of drawing are simply for pleasure or for show. However, some illustrations go beyond this and can actually become part of a career that requires some technical skill. Fashion illustration is a good example of this as it is the art of literally drawing the latest fashions and designs. It is the first step in designing a piece of clothing that the world has never seen. Fashion drawing is also featured on packaging, store displays, and other public spaces.

Different elements can be combined with the realistic qualities of fashion illustration to make the drawings creative. For example, you can focus on a particular application of the clothing, drawing your model in action to advertise the versatility of the clothing. You could be whimsical with your work, making the model and clothing appear longer and leaner, even sleek, with long, thin marks on the paper. It's important to remember that the model and fashion should still appear as they are and should not cross the border into abstract art.

You'll rarely want to draw your model in a simple static pose. What you will draw is that same model, staring down at the river under the bridge, leaning on the fenced edge and the wonderful fabric strapping her body smoothly playing with the wind. To say this in another way, you'll never simply draw a dog in the latest pet sweater for the winter the dog will be featured in a parade or maybe working in an office with his new threads.

For example, if you are drawing an ad for golf shoes, you could choose several topics for the fashion illustration. You could show it on the step side of a golf cart as the wearer climbs in, or you could show the golfer walking through the field or even taking them off for protective purposes before wading into a pond to fetch a lost ball!

The idea behind fashion illustration is to sell the subject of the drawing. In other words, your artwork should be unique enough to catch the eye of a potential buyer. Any time you can get creative in the presentation of the subject, you should, as it adds that extra punch to your already fine work. Always remember that fashion drawing is still art, and it requires just as much if not more innovation.

Tech-ni-kale drawing
The name technical drawing must give you a slight idea about its meaning, but let me define it exactly: the method of creating exact representations of objects for architecture and engineering drawings is called technical drawing. Its other famous name is drafting. A person who is a professional practitioner of this art is known as a draftsman or draftsperson.

Well, with the development of technology, the technicalities of drafting task have also been automated and highly accelerated due to the use of CAD systems.

I just want to scratch the surface of technical drawing here for you so that if it interests you, then you can hunt down further information. Even if you are not a skilled practitioner, you may want to know about the basic mechanics involved in technical drawing. So, here I can provide you with some information regarding this.

Actually, the basic workings of drafting include placing a piece of paper or other material on a drafting table. Drafting tables are used, since they have a smooth surface with right angled corners and straight lines. Thereafter, a "t-square", which is a sliding straightedge, is positioned at one of the sides. While placing it, it is ensured that it is slid across the side of the table and so, over the surface of the paper. Now, you must be thinking what the use of the t-square is. This t-square is used to draw parallel lines. How? Simply run a pencil or technical pen along the edge of the t-square - can't get much easier than that! The use of a t-square does not end here, normally; it is used as a tool to hold other devices like triangles or set squares. Though this may sound a little confusing, don't be, the ability to easily draw straight lines is extremely important when you are doing technical drawing.

Most of these methods are passé now. These days, you will find most modern drafting tables equipped with a parallel rule. This rule is supported on both sides of the table so that a large paper sheet can be slid over it. Do not think that this is the only tool a draftsman uses. Different tools are used to draw curves and circles. Remember your junior school geometry kit? Those old plastic shapes are some of the same tools that professionals use then they are doing their own technical drawings. Important among these include the compass that is used to draw simple arcs and circles and the French curve, which is generally a piece of plastic having complex curves on it and a spine that can be used manually to draw most curves.

If you are thinking that technical drawing only needs a few fancy lines drawn on a piece of paper, think again! For drafting, one also needs exact understanding of geometry and the professional skills. If you think, you already have all these or you are ready to learn this, I urge you to pursue your technical drawing as it can lead to a great career.



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