Action Sketching: A supplies list
Sketches that are appreciated by others are usually based on an artist’s ability to correctly depict proportions. Proportionate work does not need to be photo-realistic, but it should not look like a non-skilled child drew it, either.
Leonardo Da Vinci, for example, was able to accurately draw subjects because he did not guess at proportions; he measured them. With the right tools (all inexpensive) and techniques, drawing becomes easy, appealing, and fun.
While Soccer Sketching won’t teach you how to draw exactly like Leonardo, it will greatly improve your action drawing skills to the point where you will want to share your work quite possibly for the benefit of your team.
In preparation for future tips, I recommend the following tools. If you can afford it, buy all, even if you currently do not know how to use them:
Any inexpensive mechanical pencil and printer paper. Store your sketches in a file folder or 3-hole binder. Negligible cost.
Possibly, better paper. I recommend Canson Mix Media Paper as it can be erased and it takes ink and watercolors relatively well. Optional.
A rubber kneaded eraser. Do not get a polymer eraser. 3 for $4 or similar prices.
An inexpensive swing-arm protractor. It will help you see perspective. $4 to $7 for a set.
An Accurasee Artist Proportional Divider. This is a “must have” that will change your artistic world. $12 to $13.
An artist’s dividers, calipers, or compass. These are easy-to-use measuring devices. Optional.
An inexpensive kit of French curves. Smaller ones are better for sketching. $8 to $10 for school-grade curves. Optional, but handy for smoothly drawing curved lines.
A Circle Template. How else will you sketch soccer balls? $10. Very handy!
A fully-jointed artist’s mannequin , such as a COLOR-LILIJ or Body-Kun model, as previously discussed. This is a “must have” that will change your action-drawing world at around $20.
A LED Light Table Panel (not a light table box). Highly recommended at a cost between $30 and $120.
A Small Photo Studio Light Tent. This is optional, but handy when taking photos of the artist’s mannequin. $15. Optional, but useful as a backdrop for photographing your mannequin.
The estimated prices are from Amazon. Most items are available in local craft shops, art stores, and other online stores.
As we go forward, I’ll go into more detail on how to use these tools, emphasizing speed of sketching versus traditional studio work.
- Admitting to the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, by Karen Little, published in April, 2013 on the The-Vu.com
- Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters, a book by David Hockney.
- Vermeer’s Camera: Uncovering the Truth Behind the Masterpieces, a book by Philip Steadman.
- Tim’s Vermer, a Penn & Teller Film. See the tricks used by a master painter on DVD or Video. It’s available for rent on Amazon.
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This article was written by Karen Little as part of an ongoing series of blogs on Action Sketching.
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