Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Figure Study 1

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Drawing. Foundational, critical, the corner stone upon which the height of an artist’s skills and abilities depend. And historically, figure drawing from life is the standard which artists have used to develop and refine their skill sets. Sadly, it is also the most neglected of all skill sets. I know – early in my art career I also neglected drawing.

Concept such as light and shadow, massing shapes, edges, line are learned. These foundational skills are then able to be transferred to most any type of painting. I paint most all subject matter and I can truly say that my current level of drawing proficiency is very telling when I pick up a paint brush.

You see, how well you draw is very much dependent on how much you draw. As soon as you stop for several weeks you will notice a difference. The longer you do not draw, the more you will notice a degradation of your skills when you return. That is why master artist continue to draw every week. Yes, they can stop and two months later they will still be able to draw better than you or I, but they will not be able to draw as well as they did before stopping. And they know that the loss of drawing skill will at some level translate to loss of their painting skills. I draw and paint weekly with well known artist Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon. Besides painting, Scott and Susan draw every week, usually multiple times a week. They consider it absolutely critical in maintaining their expertise.

So start drawing, and draw every day or at least several times a week. Join a group, do it on your own. If you have not had formal instruction in drawing I would advise you to consider doing so. The payback is considerable. At least get a good book or video on drawing as there are definite techniques you need to know, and you may or may not learn those on your own.

You may not become a master by practicing your drawing, but I can guarantee that you never will if you don’t. Thanks so much for your visit!

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