Wednesday, 5 October 2011

How do you draw?

The urge to draw seems to be something we are born with.

Along with prehistoric man, young children seem to be driven to mark-making and they do it without inhibition. They don’t question whether their scribbling is ‘good enough’ or whether they are going about it the right way – until much later!

I must admit, I’ve worried about my drawing. I often don’t seem to be able to get the line that I wanted the first time round. I often seem to ‘feel my way’ to the line I was looking for, with the result that my drawings can be messy in the extreme.

But I actually think there are as many ways of drawing as there are personalities. And even within my own drawing there are two distinct types, depending on whether I’m standing at an upright easel, or doodling on my lap, half-watching tv! When I stand to draw, my lines are much more definite and confident. I draw from the shoulder and sometimes it feels as if I’m drawing with my whole body. A far cry from when I sit down with a pad of paper on my knee!

(That laptop certainly has a very strangely shaped lid!!!)

So I was really heartened when Ann Buckner, a watercolour artist whose work I admire, described on her blog how she achieves that most tricky of drawing challenges, the perfect ellipse! She describes the process here.

I think it would be wonderful beyond words to always be able to hit the right spot first time round. Some artists can – I suspect Durer did  - although we don’t know for sure whether he actually did. Maybe he just had a very good eraser!

Annigoni, on the other hand, lets his initial exploratory marks remain – giving people like me hope that our art can still be worthwhile, even though we draw in a way that may seem to suggest less confidence.

So – how do you draw?

Do you work slowly and meticulously, revelling in getting tiny details correct first time?

Or do you prefer the increased energy of a quickly carried out sketch?

Does it really matter?

What do you think?

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