Drawing – Taking A Line For A Walk


It is difficult to outline the word “drawing” because it embraces a good vary of connected however completely different activities. At its simplest, it can be described as marks made on a sheet of paper, and in this sense, it is one of the most basic of all human activities. Young kids relish scribbling with a pencil or crayon as shortly as they need developed sufficient deftness to grip the implement, and long before they take into account relating what they are doing to the world they see around them.

This enjoyment of the lines and marks made by various drawing implements is an important factor in all drawing, and paramount in the work of some artists the modern Swiss painter and draughtsman, Paul Klee, described his drawing as “taking a line for a walk”. For most artists, however, drawing also performs a descriptive function: it is a direct response to the visual stimuli of our surroundings.

Learning to Draw

Drawing is often regarded as a special gift, and it is true that there are people who seem to be able to draw quite effortlessly. Yet drawing, like writing, is a skill which can be acquired; if the motivation is there, most people can learn to draw accurately. In the past, students were taught to draw in a certain way, with the emphasis on mastering a specific set of techniques, but this ignored the essential fact that drawing is first and foremost about seeing.

Although technical skill is important, it is not the first stage in learning how to draw, as it is pointless to develop techniques in a void. You may produce beautifully even lines of hatching and cross-hatching but still find that you have failed in the primary task of drawing, which is to describe the subject to your own satisfaction. Such failures are
nearly always the direct result of poor observation, not of inadequate technique.

It sounds easy enough to say that if you want to learn how to draw all you need to do is to look at things, but it is not that simple, because you have to learn to look in a certain way, analytically and objectively. This can be a surprisingly hard skill to master, as it involves looking at a subject with a fresh eye every time, abandoning
preconceptions. Our brains are cluttered with information which can be actively unhelpful in the context of drawing, leading us to quite the wrong conclusions we tend to draw what we know from experience rather than what we see with our own eyes.

A classic example is a relative size, which can be hard to get right, particularly when you are drawing familiar objects. If you place one large object on a table with a much smaller one in front of it, the chances are that you will make the larger one too large because of your prior knowledge of it. But in fact, the effects of perspective will have caused it to “shrink”, so that it may be smaller than the object nearer to you. The only way to approach drawing a known subject, whether it be a portrait, an apple on a plate or a tree, is to force yourself to abandon preconceptions by pretending to yourself that you have never seen it before. Only in this way will you be able to assess it thoroughly and draw it accurately.

Different kinds of drawing

A drawing can be many things: it can be a few lines of “visual shorthand” in a sketchbook, made to remind the artist of some salient point in a subject; it can be the first step in painting, subsequently hidden by layers of paint and thus having no independent existence; it can be a finished work of art in its own right, planned, composed and executed with as much thought as a painting.

The kind of drawing you make depends on how you view the purpose of the activity why are you drawing? You may draw simply because you love to do so, in which case, once you have mastered the “alphabet” of drawing you will find it a satisfying means of self-expression. You may have aspirations to become an illustrator, or you may simply want to improve your observational skills because you enjoy painting.

If you view drawing as a necessary foundation skill for painting, accuracy will be the main aim, and it does not matter very much which medium you use, but for those who relish drawing for its own sake, it’s pleasing to experiment with completely different media. There is now a wider choice of drawing materials than ever before, from the traditional graphite pencil to a whole range of colorful and versatile pastels, colored pencils, inks, and felt-tipped pens.

The word “drawing” no longer conjures up an image of timid grey pencil marks on white paper much more exciting effects than this are achievable.

Monochrome Drawing Materials


This post contains the content of book Art School How to Paint Draw_ Drawing, Watercolor, Oil Acrylic, Pastel