Drawing Exercise

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Eggs make for good beginnings

To become a better artist, you have to take a crack at a few eggs. We may think we know what eggs look like, but you haven’t really seen an egg until you try drawing a dozen. An egg is the ideal subject for learning to observe shapes and tones. “Drawing eggs is the perfect way to do a light and color study. You can really see the color of the light you’re using, the color of any reflected light from nearby objects and the values created by how strong the light is. Light from multiple sources or strong reflected light can create even more beautiful effects.” says Robert Sloan, an artist who works in oil pastels. Although I used an agate egg for the sketch above, I’ve painted birds eggs of many sizes and shapes. It is really quite pleasurable once you get the hang of it.

Try doing a simple egg study, first, by using just a plain egg from the fridge. Start your sketch by drawing an oval. Then draw some arc lines at at the points where the egg narrows. I used arcs to check my curves in step 3. Once you feel your shape resembles the egg, shade from lighter to darker areas. Erase where you see lighter areas or highlights. This will give a three-dimensional look to your egg drawing. Once you’ve got one egg, you’re golden.

If you’re as eggs-cited as I am about eggs, take 15 minutes to draw one. You can use this photo as a reference for a full-blown drawing or painting. Just click to enlarge it, then download to your computer.