Daily Archives: February 4, 2016

Timeout for Art: Learning to See


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When drawing is a daily activity, the eye and the hand work together. There is no thought process to interfere with the operation. No brain arguing about relative size or depth or the effects of foreshortening. As the eye takes in the subject, the hand moves to put it down on paper. Later, when this activity between seeing and drawing becomes second nature, there is room for cognitive advice: an organic line there would give volume to that shape; let the line fade to nothing there, or make it a dark, strong line where the subject has weight.

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When drawing is not a regular habit, first lines are tentative, soft and slow. It takes time to learn Рor to relearn Рhow to see and interpret. It takes time to  trust what is there.

As drawing practice becomes normal, all aspects come easier. The hand gets better at following the vision. Compositions fall into place more readily. Shadows help to establish objects in space without overwhelming.

It all comes in time.

When drawing practice is new, there is a softness and timidity in the finished works. Lines are a little bit tenuous, borders are sometimes over-drawn. Baby steps. They aren’t what could be called “strong” drawings, but they have their own good character. I like them for that.

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