April 12th, 2011
So you want to learn how to draw and paint. Some will find this easier than others. Most will need some form of model. For most of us our minds are not tuned to reproducing what we see each day at the detail level we actually see it. Instead, it appears more like a motion picture with individual frames filled in by our minds. Even when we stop and stare, our eyes and mind pay attention to portions that fit our preconceived biases and beliefs. Therefore we fill in gaps, with our own detail. Does this mean that it is impossible to see and draw correctly just what is there. Of course not, but for most it is a constant challenge. Drawing has been likened to writing in that it is necessary for the individual to master it in order to convey his ideas correctly.
There is no doubt that the anyone who draws well is free to concentrate on the problem of paint and color, and that poor drawing is a constant stumbling block at every stage of painting. We all hear of artists who, although mediocre drawers, are able to hide their lack of that ability with beautiful color, but unfortunately, few of us have such an eye for color!
I do not believe that the old method of drawing from still life’s, for several years, or spending weeks drawing a model in the same pose, is an absolute requirement. I think that by sketching and observing details in everyday life anyone can master enough of the rudiments of drawing to be able to paint well.
This sketching can be of the things that are around us. That is why I will tell you as I have told others in the past, ‘to me art is everywhere’. Utensils, furniture, the view from a window, people at work and children at play. I have made some very good art from the most common things I see around me. You should vary your sketching, working sometimes in outline, stressing the shape aspect of drawing. At other times concentrate on light and shade. The main thing is to keep drawing. Even when others may discourage you, keep drawing. Take advantage of drawing classes available in your area. Join an art club, or start an art group among any of your friends who are interested in drawing.
Next time I will talk to you about perspective drawing.