Sunday, June 19, 2011

The art of drawing

I am of the school of thought that the fundamentals of drawing are essential to all areas of art, whether realism or abstraction. My training was very much dedicated to learning to draw well and to draw daily.  If my drawing was wrong, I had to start over again  and get it right.  I had to begin with basics and work slowly and steadily progressing from simple objects to complex pieces.  At the time, I didn't always want to do the work, but now I know why I had to and can reap the benefits of that training.

In some of the daily painting movement that seems to have taken over, the art of drawing has lost its place.  Society wants instant results and a common problem that I find in people I teach is that they don't want to take time to learn the fundamentals.  They want to get straight on to painting.  As a result, they struggle with the painting, adjusting and readjusting lines and shapes,  not having any structure on which to pin their paint.

Would you build a house without a plan? Start a business with no direction?  So why jump into a painting without the underpinning of a drawing?  The minimizing of drawing skills is cheating the world and artists of a skill and an art form that has been handed down for thousands of years. I have worked hard to develop my skill and continue to work hard to maintain it.  It is  the backbone of every piece of art that I produce.

This pelican drawing was done this morning in a 9 x 12 sketchbook using graphite.  Each drawing is a puzzle to solve in  shapes and should be an essential part of every artist's arsenal of tools.


Hedera said...

Yes - My own experience has also led me to believe that good drawing skills are essential to good art making - learning to observe accurately etc. can't be underestimated. I too remember laborious hours spent at an easel in art school - I truly value that time now.

Lydie said...

Je suis bien d'accord, c'est pourquoi même si je me débrouille pas trop mal en dessin je prends des cours depuis plus d'un an pour m'améliorer et j'en vois déjà les bénécifes.

A Brush with Color said...

You really do have such wonderful drawing skills, Jeanette. These are all amazing, (well, as is all your work.)

vivien said...

I totally agree - loose abstracted work still has to have a strong underpinning of good observation, with informed choices of what to simplify or leave out.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Well said - such a pity more would-be aerists don't understand the value of drawing

Jeanette said...

Hedera, drawing really is the backbone of art. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be stressed enough these days.

Lydie, je crois que rien ne donne une meilleure assise et contribue à la coordination main et l'œil mieux que le dessin. Son constant que la pratique montre des résultats étonnants.

Thanks for the kind words Sue. It really is down to practice, like anything as to becoming effective at it.

Exactly Vivien. Its frustrating to see the movement away from fundamentals. I hope we can push it back again.

Katherine, it may be part of current instant gratification society and not wanting to take time to do something well. I believe that society has moved away from valuing quality, hand made anything and prefers plastic, disposable. That seems to be seeping quickly into art as well.