Wednesday, November 02, 2016

How to Draw Rocks

John Muir Laws
"To observe and to not ask questions is to…sleep.” ― Todd Newberry
     “Rocks are common elements in almost every landscape. On a big scale they are mountains, on a small-scale they are the boulders or stones in a field[1]. Getting comfortable with depicting rocks that show planes and structure will help many of your drawings. Here are the key points for success:

Learn to see planes, even rounded boulders have planes.
Show planes with shading line angle, shadows, and cracks.
Use a simple value scale and see the shapes in each zone.
Look for and include the light and dark wedges (more on this below).
Cracks will change angles as they move from one angle to another.
Ground the rocks with dark shadows...
      Start observing rocks around you. Try your hand at simple studies to carve the planes and give your rocks volume. The best way to learn how to draw rocks is to practice with real rocks you find around you. Also learn a little about geology and the history of the rocks you draw. They will become even more wonderful to you.” ~

  My Questions: Where is that particular bunch of stones shown in that first drawing? Did the thought cross your mind that the stones could be said to resemble a Turtle - or species specific, a Desert Tortise? Were these stones humanly placed, perhaps humanly enhanced? Is it near a row of stones, thinking of those East Bay Walls, also known as the Berkeley Mystery Walls, a boulder carapace and cobble stone head perched on an outcrop (pointing north)? 
I've seen a few photos of some other Desert Tortoises:

 John writes: “We live in a world of beauty and wonder. Train your mind to see deeply and with intentional curiosity, and the world will open before you. Keeping a journal of your observations, questions, and reflections will enrich your experiences and develop gratitude, reverence, and the skills of a naturalist. The goal of nature journaling is not to create a portfolio of pretty pictures but to develop a tool to help you see, wonder, and remember your experiences in nature. You can learn to do this. You do not need to be an artist or a naturalist. These are skills you will develop as you go. The time to begin is now.”

[1] Or Field Stones and Boulders in Stone Piles or Rows of Stones.

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