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Conner's Choo Choo Train Workshop

Take a look at this photograph of a steam locomotive.  Ask yourself what will be the steps you will need to take in order to draw or illustrate this image?








Keep in mind that you are an artist not a photographer.  You don't have to duplicate the image.  As an artist you can interpret, change and modify to best serve your artistic creation.






The first thing you need to do is eliminate the background images of trees and bushes.  Concentrate on the image of the train engine.

As you begin to draw the train engine there will be images that you may not know what they are.  Keep in mind knowing why and how something works makes drawing it so much easier.


A good example of this is when you look at the dark mechanical image located at the very front of the train engine and positioned at the center of the bumper or cattle guard.  


It's called a 'Coupler'.  They are located on the front and back of every train engine and train car.  There is also a metal bar that is located just above the coupler.  This bar is pulled to raise  a metal pin that discounnects one coupler from another.  Below the coupler's are two rubber hoses.  These hoses connect to the next train car or engine.  These hoses supply air pressure to the train's brake system.  


If you didn't know what these images were, you might draw them incorectly or not even include them at all.  Artistic Interpretation is one thing, drawing and illustrating structurally inaccurate images is another.  If in the mind of your audience they can't imagine how something works, then the artist has failed to illustrate the image with enough accurate content. 



Sometimes what makes for an interesting or dynamic element in a work of art is picking a visual element and making it really stand out from the rest.  A good example of this would be to look closely at the rails the train engine must travel upon.  Studying what rail road rails actually look like and how they are constucted and work leaves very little room for interpretation. The mechanical functionality demands accuracy.  Now, as you illustrate them they will take on a life or characture of their own.  


Note:  It was diffcult to visualize what were the mechanical elements along the forward left side of the train.  By simply illustrating a steam cloud over that area I accomplished two things:  1)  elimated the need for the mechanical detail   

2)  added a dynamic of steam, energy, and the sense of movement.

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