Thoughts on Drawing

So many people are disillusioned with the process of drawing.  First of all,  many people feel like they are not capable of drawing well.  This is just not true. ANYONE can draw and do it well, IF they truly want to put in the hours of practice that will result in true skill.  I think that so many people “buy into” the great talent myth that they limit themselves.  There is NO talent.  Sure, some people are able to learn and develop quickly.  But no one is born with the skill of drawing.  It is a skill that must be learned and developed.

Secondly, drawing is not something that happens in the arms or the wrist.  It is a process that occurs in the mind.  It is about seeing objects and arriving at a form of understanding about the object that is being drawn.  It about understanding how we see things.  How light is reflected off of objects.  How we perceive space, texture, color, and so on.  Too many people think that drawing is something that happens elsewhere than the mind.  When it is acknowledged that drawing is a cerebral activity, than it can more easily be digested as an attainable skill.

Drawing is a skill.  And just like with any other skill , drawing can be learned and developed.  Any skill that is worthwhile takes time and attention.  In other words, drawing well requires practice.  It does not happen “overnight”.  There are tips that may help us to better understand how we “see” objects, but in the end, the skill of seeing and the ability to draw well, comes with practice.  Look at the great athletes.  They practice constantly.  The athletes that are at the pinnacle of their sport are usually the ones that practice the hardest.  Drawing is the same.  In order to progress and develop at drawing, we must practice our craft.  Keep a sketchbook and draw constantly.  You will notice your skills improving.

Drawing is not just relaying what you see in a literal manner.  For a long time, I was enamored by highly detailed and realistic drawings.  And to a certain extent, I still am.  However, the drawings that appeal to me most, go beyond acquired skill and literal interpretation.  Drawings that speak their own voice are stronger than those that speak what we already see.  Therefore, the development of style and communication is also important in understanding drawing.  This skill is perhaps the most difficult to develop and learn.  And while still attainable and available to anyone who wants learn this skill,   drawing with a unique voice is the most difficult aspect of drawing to develop.    With time and practice however, this skill can also be learned and developed.  Drawing is one of the oldest and deepest means of communication and expression.  What do your drawings say?

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