View Full Version : Am I out of subjects?

01-11-2003, 06:18 AM
...or just blind as a bat?
I'm currently going to this art/design course, and we have a weekly assignment of drawing three objects w/graphite in our scetchbooks, as realistic as possible.
Well, I'm beginning to run out of things (that are fun to draw) in my home - I'm a poor student and haven't that many possessions yet...
I sort of want things that look interesting and make for a nice drawing, but still not overly complicated. And I can't seem to find anything anywhere! I'm guessing I simply can't see the forest for the trees, so I'd like to know if any of you "seasoned artists" has some advice on how to "make a subject out of anything", so to speak?
Also, it might just be that it's saturday morning and I've only had one coffee...:rolleyes:
Ev'ryone have a nice weekend now, then!


01-11-2003, 11:17 AM
Try looking at the same three objects from different angles.

Turn the coffee cup on its side, or upside down even.
Balance the apple on top of the beer bottle.
Put the TV Remote in the coffee cup.
Lay the figurine on its side...

The purpose of limiting you in that manner is to expand your eye and mind as well as sharpen your skills...

Good Luck, and post some of your results!


01-11-2003, 11:23 AM
you might also try involving more of the senses.

eat a bite of the apple and taste it as you draw it. try to draw the taste.

turn the volume way up on the tv while you are making the drawing of the remote control.

other approaches: natural objects are inherently more interesting than machined ones, but too much of either gets old. seashells, leaves, twigs, can give way to headphones, shirts over a chair, etc.

try doing multiple sketches of a single object and picking the best one. you havent told us what you like to draw.

what do you like to draw?


01-11-2003, 11:38 AM
Not sure if it's appropriate for your quest, but have you looked at the hundreds of photos in the WC Reference Library?

01-12-2003, 05:59 AM
Thanks for the response guys,

madster: I guess I'll actually get to post something now, as my roommate has just gotten a decent digicam. Finally...

erik: some really nice suggestions there, I've never tried the taste approach. As for what I like to draw - for scetches like these the only criteria I have is that it's something not too difficult, so that people _will_ recognize it in the end, still not so simple as to make me fall asleep while drawing :)

justjoga: Yes, yet probably a bit half-hearted - I tried to find something like kitchen utensils / tools, but I mostly found glass bottles and stillife compositions. Maybe I should have another peek.

01-13-2003, 02:05 AM
Ohjay, your post reminds me of my own art school days! We students all lived in similar rented rooms with, as you say, very few worldly possessions, and we'd come dragging to class with drawings of the alarm clock on the second-hand dresser, our shoes, a coffee cup, etc. What a drag! Even if we traded objects we'd still be drawing the same things. Try dropping by an antique store, flea market or junk store, you're bound to see something you like and the owners will probably not mind your doing a drawing there if they're not too busy and you're not in the way. Store window displays are good, too. A department store dummy is an object isn't it? Churches, if you can find one open between services, have nice candlesticks, vases, etc., and they are nice quiet places and often have a very interesting light, which is another thing that can give new life to familiar objects. It's a good thing to start while you're a student spending a little money now and then for a meter of a fabric you like, especially prints. You can put it under the same old coffee cup and see how they interact. I see you got some good ideas from other posts, too, especially about ready-to-eat food. One of my favourite pictures is a tomato sandwich and a glass of ginger ale by Mary Pratt. It always makes me hungry. Of course it's in colour, which helps, but some kinds of food might make good black and white pictures. Anyway, hope this helps, those art school years are precious even if they can be frustrating.

01-13-2003, 04:52 AM
Thanks for understanding and a bunch of good ideas, Agnes.
The antique store thing sounds nice, except that I still have some problems drawing when people are looking and I believe they expect something of my drawings - don't mind drawing in public as long as noone is watching over my shoulder...

btw, what you described about drawing the same things - that's excactly what the situation is like. I believe everyone at school has got a drawing of a toaster and a mixmaster in their scetchbook (except OJ who drew his espressomachine instead...)

well now, I'd better go take a look at that banana I was thinking about. It's just about rotten enough to make an interesting subject :) Thanks again, people! Have a nice day!


01-13-2003, 07:10 AM
banana done - posted it in the drawing/scetching forum...
go on and have a looksey then!




01-13-2003, 10:52 AM
Good job, ojay!

Like the folks in the drawing forum, I can almost "feel" that banana, you captured the texture so well !

Glass is one of the greatest challenges, and you've done pretty well. I once had an art teacher assign us to draw a still life of nothing but glass objects. I still have that sketch 27 years later, although it didn't come out all that great. I just had a blast doing it, and still feel pride looking at it remembering all the work I put into it...

Glad you've come out of your "nothing to draw" slump!

01-13-2003, 04:42 PM
thanks madster,
last week we had an assignment where we were to create a monster/fantasy figure with body parts made up of different kinds of texture/material. And done in different media. I went for glass wings in coloured pencil...man oh man what a flop. Makes my head spin thinking about a glass-only stillife ...ugh.

But yes, I'm certainly on a roll now - the drawing forum will get sick and tired of me soon, I guess :D Better try some other media too...

Too bad I ate that banana - I could have tried doing it in cp otherwise...:rolleyes:

It really wasn't that rotten, though.


01-13-2003, 09:50 PM
You could always do the empty peel....:D