Pacific Pup: The California Coast According to Annette

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Back to Geometry

Every once in a while, I get distracted by what I’m looking at. That sounds ridiculous, right? I guess what I mean is that when I’m studying something that I want to draw really closely, I get distracted by tiny details. I end up losing focus on the overall shape. It helps to step back a little bit and get down to the basic backbone of whatever I’m sketching. In order to do this, I give myself a little distance from the plant or animal I’m looking at. Sometimes I even blur my eyes slightly so that I can’t possibly see any small details. Then, I focus on the geometric shapes that make up the object.
It just seems easier to comprehend basic shapes and forms sometimes, rather than try to understand every organic line and curve of a living thing. It also really helps to pay attention to the shapes and space surrounding the subject. People refer to these shapes, which can often be just as interesting and dynamic as the actual subject, as “negative space.”  Don’t worry, there is absolutely no math involved here, just shapes and forms! That’s about all I can handle.
See you at the beach!
Annette Filice
(Scientific Illustrator Intern)

Sketch Notes:
Back to Geometry
Sometimes I like to break down my subject into geometric shapes before I start painting. This helps me if I’m getting distracted by small details.
1) I quickly observe and sketch shapes with a blue pencil. I usually make mistakes here, which are always informative.
2) Next I ‘sculpt’ more organic shapes from my previous geometric sketch.
3)Finally, I’m ready to add color!