Here’s a recent drawing I enjoy looking at. I’m still trying to find interesting ways to draw my nephew’s shoes, and this is a drawing that I think works. It is a busy scene. I like that, and I like how all the simple shapes of the fruit compliment the child’s playful shoe.
Drawing a scene like this can be overwhelming because there is so much I want to fit on the drawing page in a certain way. I wanted to make sure I got the left side of the shoe in, the banana and only part of the fruit bowl. I decided to crop the fruit bowl because if I sketched in the entire bowl, it would have made the shoes and other fruit proportionally small on my page.
So how do I decide how to crop the scene? There are several ways I do this. Lately I’ve been using a viewfinder that is proportional to my drawing page. (See sample picture below). I like this little artist tool; it’s quick and easy. If the scene is overwhelmingly busy and I want to only focus on a certain part of the scene then looking through this tool to determine sections I want to focus on really works. It helps me see the compositions within the page size in mind and helps me see the positive and negative shapes that come to the edge of the pages.
Here’s a picture of how I use it. It’s an easy tool to use. You move it forward and back to see how the composition will look on your page. There are many other ways to do this: sometimes I just visualize the edges then just start drawing and wait for final result. Or I can stretch out my arm, close one eye and visually align my pencil along the top, bottom sides of still life I want to draw, or I’ll us my hands to make a square with my fingers, this sometimes works. Whatever it takes, I just want to pick that composition so I can start drawing.