Drafting/Freehand Drawing

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This chapter deals with two types of freehand drawing. One pertains to artists' drawings and the other to drawings done by technical men and skilled industrial workers. Artists' drawings are generally freehand drawings; that is, drawings made without the use of drawing instruments or straightedges. Such drawings are made in perspectives; that is, pictorial drawings as seen by the artist's eyes. As his art medium he uses either a lead pencil, charcoal or carbon pencil, black ink, pastel, oil paint, water color, or crayon.

Technical men and industrial workers, on the other hand, make working sketches which are also freehand drawings but are shown in a special type of drawing called orthographic projection. Generally, an object is shown in three orthographic views—top, front, and side views.

A synonym for freehand drawing is sketch. All technical sketches are freehand drawings, but not all freehand drawings are technical sketches.

Pencil Techniques

In both freehand drawing and technical sketching, the techniques in drawing or sketching lines are the same. Horizontal lines, for instance, are drawn from left to right. Horizontal lines are lines parallel to the lower edge of the drawing paper. Vertical lines are sketched from the top downward, and inclined lines are also generally sketched from left to right. Short lines are drawn with finger movement while long lines are made with arm movement. Long lines, however, may be drawn in segments with very small spaces or gaps between segments. Those gaps are so small that the lines appear at arm's length as single line.

Perpendicular lines are lines which make an angle of 90 degrees with each other. Horizontal and vertical lines can be drawn perpendicular to one another. But not all perpendicular lines are horizontal.

Parallel lines are lines which never meet even if they are prolonged or extended to any desired length. Parallel lines may be vertical, horizontal, or inclined.

Lines may be drawn in various thicknesses or weights with a soft pencil. This is done by varying the pressure of the pencil against the drawing paper. It is this feeling of pressure exerted by the fingers on the pencil that must be developed in order to acquire the "feel" of the pencil. These varying kinds of line can also be drawn by using different grades of drawing pencil.

Curved lines, or curves, are regular or irregular. A regular curve is either a circle, an arc(part of the circumference of a circle), or an ellipse. Irregular curves are those which have no definite direction.

In sketching circles, the radii and the two-stroke method are often used. For an ellipse, the beginners should use the parallelogram method. The other two methods of sketching an ellipse should be attempted only after one has acquired the "feel" of the drawing pencil.

Drawing Pencils

Drawing pencils are available in various grades of hardness or softness. Hard pencils range from grades H, 2H, . . . , to 9H(the hardest). Soft pencils range from grades B, 2B, . . . , to 6B(the softest). Between H and B pencils are the HB and F. All of these pencils are available in the market. With HB, 2B, and H pencils, the student can easily make variations in the lightness or darkness of his lines even if the pressure of the pencil on the paper is the same for each grade pencil.

Pencil points may be sharpened into three different shapes: the conical, the chisel, and the elliptical. For sketching purposes, the first two are recommended.

The conical pointed soft pencil can make different thicknesses of lines by varying the pressure of the pencil against the paper surface. A hard pencil with a similar point can make different thicknesses of lines by varying the shape of its point. A dull point makes a broad line while a fine point makes a fine line. This is why soft pencils are preferred to hard pencils in sketching. The chisel point, on the other hand, makes wide lines depending on the width of the point. It is generally used in shading a penciled outline drawing.

Pencil points are usually sharpened on a sandpaper pad. The wooden part of the pencil is first cut off with a pocket knife or razor or stripping blade, thus exposing the lead about one centimeter long. The pencil point is then shaped on the sandpaper pad by rubbing the point while at the same time turning it.