It’s something that’s recommended in the book. From the 80 or so pages I’ve burned through the book, I gather it’s a tool allowing newbie drawers to project 3 dimensional scenes onto a 2 dimensional plane.
The exact resources:
You will need a piece of clear plastic, about 8″ x 10″ and about 1/16″ thick. A piece of glass is fine, but the edges must be taped. Use a permanent marker to draw two crosshairs on the plastic, a horizontal line and a vertical line…..
The internet being the glorious treasure trove it was, I thought to do a quick google search to see if anyone was selling aforementioned plastic drawing viewfinders.
Google promptly told me in it’s own way… No. (seriously search for it… if there were enough people learning drawing from this book, that’s a small business opportuity)
I checked out clear Perspex on Ebay. That shit’s expensive.
In the limited amount of time I wandered where I was going to find a piece of clear plastic. With my limited budget, and more importantly my limited time, I realised I was going to have to get creative … fast.
So ladies and gentlemen I present how to make a plastic viewfinder for less than £2.
Go to your nearest large store, whether it’s Tesco’s, WHSmith, Home Depot etc. The key is it’s gotta be a large store.
Now here’s the hunting part. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find any object which has a clear plastic component that is flat and larger than an A4 piece of paper. Look for anything. I initially considered Tupperware covers, but then found this teacher’s certificate box:
With your discovered piece of plastic, using a ruler measure out an 8″ x 10″ rectangle to cut.
Next find a piece of cardboard. Any will do as long as you can make a section larger than an A4 piece of paper. Now measure out a 8″ x 10″ rectangle. Then a 6″ x 7 5/8″ rectangle inside that. Stick a scissors in the middle like you did in primary school and cut out that tough son of a bitch.
Tape the cut out cardboard frame and stick it to your plastic with some tape
Finally find a permanent marker and draw crosshairs in the middle of the pane. Like you find in old fashioned windows.
Voila, you have a plastic drawing viewfinder! And for less than a cup of coffee.
I was once on an outing with a girl and we came across a public chalkboard. She started doodling little cartoons and iconic animals, and was encouraging me to do the same. I wouldn’t.
It wasn’t that I thought it was silly (I love doing silly things), I just couldn’t in any manner at that time. For me it was akin to someone asking me to roll my tongue when I couldn’t, or speak Spanish when I couldn’t.
I couldn’t draw. Not even to save my own life. It seemed the neural connections in my brain just didn’t exist.
However I know exactly why I can’t draw.
Back when David Heasman was a young sapling in the British Primary Education System, he used to get frustrated when asked to draw anything. This continued through into his later years. And it wasn’t the frustration with drawing that used to bog him down, it was the frustration that such a manual method was required to put one’s imagination to paper. I used to dream of a device which would transfer the image of your mind onto the paper. Just as I used to think learning languages was redundant as the Universal Translator would one day be invented.
At least I was right about one thing.
Anyway getting back to the matter at hand, I can’t draw. So why all of a sudden do I want to learn the damn thing?
There are a few reasons. One is after browsing DeviantArt and reading ImagineFX, I’ve developed the desire to paint some badass spaceships, awesome samurai warriors, and just general inspiring paintings. I bought a wacom purely for that purpose. Only to realise I have no idea how to “see” a scene. Secondly after I carried out one specific drawing exercise (the famous draw a picasso drawing upside down.) I found the process to be both meditative and relaxing.
Also this is a deficiency. Deficiencies are bad. I want to address all my deficiencies.
But learning to draw isn’t enough. I gotta set a deadline otherwise it won’t happen. So I choose 30 days. From some of the stuff I’ve seen about Metalearning (see the 4 Hour Chef Meta Learning Chapter and Josh Kauffman’s First 20 Hours), you need to have a tight deadline. And all you need is 20 hours to become decent at a skill.
So I choose 30 days to learn to draw. To do this I’ll practice drawing 45 minutes everyday.
While most of what I do is going to be practice I’ll use Drawing On The Right Hand Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards for deconstruction and autocorrect purposes.
Stay tuned later today for my absolutely horrible first piece of drawing.