How To Draw Accurately (Part 2): Spiral

 

 

Last week I discussed how I use a sort of mental grid to plan and map out a drawing. This week I’m going to develop that a bit with drawing in a spiral. Using both will soon become automatic and second nature – and you’ll suddenly find your drawings are less inclined to go wrong.

Drawing in a spiral means you start at one point – you can choose any, but I pick a point at or near the centre – draw what you see, then fill in around it little by little. So you don’t go off in one direction and fill it all in, because if you do it bit by bit you will never go too far wrong. I don’t complete rectangles, squares or other shapes, until I get there in my spiral. That way I don’t commit before I’m sure.

You bring in what you learned with the mental grid too, in that you are estimating the sizes of shapes in relation to the shapes next to them. It is much easier to do this in practice than to put it into words so I recommend you practice a sketch at home, with your own kitchen hob. Don’t forget to put a few pots on it before you start – remember it’s always easier to use a grid or a spiral when there are more reference points!

Spiral Sketching – How It Works

Here’s an example of this kind of spiral sketching in action.
I took a photo of my kitchen hob…

Spiral sketching, photo by Róisín Curé
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2 Comments

  1. Sarah

    June 16, 2018 at 8:28 am

    I really like this technique and will give it a go today. I’m rubbish at getting the elements in the right place and I think this will suit me from getting despondent when the ‘big picture’ isn’t right. Thanks.

    • Róisín Curé

      June 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Sarah, I am so pleased to hear you like the technique I’ve suggested. It’s not easy to get the elements in the right place but treat your sketch like a map (“that line ends halfway along that window ledge” etc.) and if you gradually work outwards in a spiral you’ll stay on the straight and narrow! Good luck!

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