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How Drawing and Perceiving Can Improve Your Architectural and Design Skills


Drawing and Perceiving: How to Master the Art of Sketching by Douglas Cooper




Do you want to learn how to draw anything you see with confidence and skill? Do you want to unleash your creativity and express yourself through sketching? Do you want to discover the secrets of drawing and perceiving that professional artists use?




drawing and perceiving douglas cooper pdf download


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If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. In this article, I'm going to introduce you to a book that will teach you everything you need to know about drawing and perceiving. The book is called Drawing and Perceiving: Life Drawing for Students of Architecture and Design, written by Douglas Cooper.


Introduction




What is drawing and perceiving?




Drawing and perceiving are two sides of the same coin. Drawing is the act of making marks on a surface that represent something you see or imagine. Perceiving is the act of interpreting what you see or imagine through your senses and your mind.


Drawing and perceiving are not separate skills that you can learn independently. They are interrelated processes that influence each other. To draw well, you need to perceive well. To perceive well, you need to draw well.


Who is Douglas Cooper and why should you read his book?




Douglas Cooper is a professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also an award-winning artist who has exhibited his drawings in galleries and museums around the world. He has been teaching drawing for over 40 years to students of architecture, design, art, engineering, and other disciplines.


His book Drawing and Perceiving is based on his extensive experience as an educator and an artist. It is not a typical drawing book that shows you how to copy pictures or follow step-by-step instructions. It is a comprehensive guide that explains the theory and practice of drawing and perceiving in a clear and engaging way.


The book covers all the essential topics of drawing and perceiving, from the basics of using your eyes, brain, and hand, to the advanced techniques of drawing perspective, proportion, composition, landscapes, people, objects, imagination, memory, reference etc.


The book also includes hundreds of examples of drawings by Douglas Cooper himself as well as by his students. These drawings illustrate the concepts and principles discussed in the book as well as demonstrate the variety and creativity that can be achieved through drawing.


What are the benefits of learning how to draw and perceive?




Learning how to draw and perceive can have many benefits for your personal and professional life. Here are some of them:



  • Drawing and perceiving can improve your observation and attention skills. You will learn how to see more clearly and deeply, how to notice details and patterns, how to compare and contrast, how to analyze and synthesize.



  • Drawing and perceiving can enhance your communication and expression skills. You will learn how to convey your ideas and feelings through visual language, how to use symbols and metaphors, how to organize and structure your information, how to persuade and influence.



  • Drawing and perceiving can stimulate your imagination and creativity skills. You will learn how to generate and explore new possibilities, how to combine and transform existing elements, how to solve problems and find solutions, how to innovate and invent.



  • Drawing and perceiving can enrich your aesthetic and cultural skills. You will learn how to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and diversity of the world, how to understand and respect different perspectives and values, how to express your identity and personality, how to contribute to society.



As you can see, drawing and perceiving are not only useful for artists or designers. They are essential for anyone who wants to develop their visual literacy, critical thinking, creative thinking, and emotional intelligence.


Chapter 1: The Basics of Drawing and Perceiving




How to use your eyes, brain, and hand to draw what you see




The first step in learning how to draw and perceive is to understand how your eyes, brain, and hand work together when you draw. Your eyes are the organs that capture the light rays that reflect from the objects you see. Your brain is the organ that processes the visual information that your eyes send. Your hand is the organ that controls the tool that makes the marks on the paper.


To draw what you see, you need to coordinate these three organs in a smooth and efficient way. Here are some tips on how to do that:



  • Use your eyes actively. Don't just stare at the object you want to draw. Move your eyes around it, scan its shape, size, position, orientation, color, texture etc. Focus on the parts that interest you or challenge you. Look at the object as a whole as well as in detail.



  • Use your brain wisely. Don't rely on your memory or assumptions about what the object looks like. Observe the object as it is, not as you think it is. Avoid drawing symbols or stereotypes that represent the object in a simplified or distorted way. Draw what you see, not what you know.



  • Use your hand freely. Don't be afraid of making mistakes or corrections. Experiment with different tools and materials, such as pencils, pens, brushes, charcoal etc. Try different ways of holding and moving your tool, such as lightly or firmly, slowly or quickly etc. Vary the quality and quantity of your marks, such as thin or thick, straight or curved etc.



How to choose the right tools and materials for sketching




The next step in learning how to draw and perceive is to choose the right tools and materials for sketching. There is no one best tool or material for drawing. Different tools and materials have different advantages and disadvantages depending on what you want to draw, where you want to draw etc.


Here are some factors that you should consider when choosing your tools and materials:



  • The purpose of your drawing. Are you drawing for fun or for work? Are you drawing for yourself or for others? Are you drawing for practice or for presentation? Depending on your purpose, you may want to choose tools and materials that are easy or hard, cheap or expensive etc.



  • The subject of your drawing. What are you drawing? Is it a person or an object? Is it large or small? Is it simple or complex? Depending on your subject, you may want to choose tools and materials that are suitable for its shape, size, texture etc.



  • The style of your drawing. How do you want to draw? Do you want to draw realistically or abstractly? Do you want to draw loosely or tightly? Do you want to draw with lines or with tones? Depending on your style, you may want to choose tools and materials that are appropriate for its expression.



  • The environment of your drawing. Where are you drawing? Are you drawing indoors or outdoors? Are you drawing in a quiet or noisy place? Are you drawing in a bright or dark place? Depending on your environment, you may want to choose tools and materials that are convenient for its conditions.



How to practice drawing simple shapes and forms




The third step in learning how to draw and perceive is to practice drawing simple shapes and forms. Shapes are the two-dimensional outlines of objects, such as circles, squares, triangles etc. Forms are the three-dimensional volumes of objects, such as spheres, cubes, cones etc.


To practice drawing shapes and forms, you need to understand how they relate to each other in space. Here are some tips on how to do that:



  • Use basic shapes and forms as building blocks. You can simplify any complex object into a combination of basic shapes and forms. For example, you can draw a human head as an oval shape with a cylinder form for the neck. You can draw a car as a rectangle shape with a cube form for the body and cylinder forms for the wheels.



  • Use geometric shapes and forms as guidelines. You can use geometric shapes and forms to help you measure and align the proportions and angles of your object. For example, you can draw a circle shape around your human head to help you locate the eyes, nose, mouth etc. You can draw a grid of horizontal and vertical lines over your car to help you align the windows, doors, lights etc.



  • Use organic shapes and forms as variations. You can use organic shapes and forms to add interest and realism to your object. Organic shapes and forms are irregular and curved, unlike geometric shapes and forms that are regular and straight. For example, you can modify your oval shape of the human head to make it more asymmetrical and expressive. You can modify your cube form of the car body to make it more aerodynamic and sleek.



Chapter 2: The Elements of Drawing and Perceiving




How to draw lines, curves, angles, and contours




The fourth step in learning how to draw and perceive is to draw lines, curves, angles, and contours. Lines are the most basic element of drawing. They are the marks that connect two points on a surface. Curves are lines that bend or change direction. Angles are lines that meet or cross each other. Contours are lines that define the edges or boundaries of an object.


To draw lines, curves, angles, and contours, you need to understand how they affect the appearance and meaning of your object. Here are some tips on how to do that:



  • Use lines to show direction and movement. You can use lines to indicate where your object is going or how it is moving. For example, you can use horizontal lines to show stability or calmness. You can use vertical lines to show height or strength. You can use diagonal lines to show dynamism or tension.



  • Use curves to show curvature and fluidity. You can use curves to indicate how your object bends or flows. For example, you can use smooth curves to show softness or gracefulness. You can use sharp curves to show hardness or aggressiveness. You can use wavy curves to show flexibility or playfulness.



  • Use angles to show perspective and depth. You can use angles to indicate how your object is seen from different points of view or distances. For example, you can use acute angles (less than 90 degrees) to show foreshortening or closeness. You can use obtuse angles (more than 90 degrees) to show elongation or farness. You can use right angles (90 degrees) to show normality or flatness.



  • Use contours to show shape and form. You can use contours to indicate how your object has a definite outline or volume in space. For example, you can use closed contours (lines that join together) to show solidity or completeness. You can use open contours (lines that don't join together) to show transparency or incompleteness. You can use varied contours (lines that change thickness or quality) to show texture or detail.



How to draw light, shadow, value, and contrast




The fifth step in learning how to draw and perceive is to draw light, shadow, value, and contrast. Light is the source of illumination that makes objects visible. Shadow is the absence of light that makes objects darker. Value is the degree of lightness or darkness of an object or a part of an object. Contrast is the difference between light and dark values.


To draw light, shadow, value, and contrast, you need to understand how they affect the mood and realism of your object. Here are some tips on how to do that:



  • Use light to show the source and direction of illumination. You can use light to indicate where the light is coming from and how it is hitting your object. For example, you can use a single light source to create a dramatic or dramatic effect. You can use multiple light sources to create a complex or realistic effect. You can use directional light to create a strong or clear effect. You can use diffuse light to create a soft or subtle effect.



  • Use shadow to show the shape and form of the object. You can use shadow to indicate how the object blocks or reflects the light. For example, you can use cast shadow (the shadow that the object casts on another surface) to show the position and orientation of the object. You can use form shadow (the shadow that the object has on itself) to show the volume and depth of the object. You can use core shadow (the darkest part of the form shadow) to show the curvature and direction of the object.



  • Use value to show the tone and texture of the object. You can use value to indicate how light or dark an object or a part of an object is. For example, you can use a value scale (a range of values from white to black) to show the gradation and variation of the object. You can use value patterns (a distribution of values across the object) to show the rhythm and harmony of the object. You can use value contrast (a difference between light and dark values) to show the emphasis and focal point of the object.



  • Use contrast to show the mood and atmosphere of the object. You can use contrast to indicate how the object stands out or blends in with its surroundings. For example, you can use high contrast (a large difference between light and dark values) to create a dramatic or intense effect. You can use low contrast (a small difference between light and dark values) to create a calm or gentle effect. You can use warm contrast (a difference between warm and cool colors) to create a lively or energetic effect. You can use cool contrast (a difference between cool and warm colors) to create a serene or peaceful effect.