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Why Drawing is Important (Why We Learn to Draw)

Why is it important to learn how to draw? Why do we need to spend gobs of time doing it?

Here’s why: the basis of all that we, as artists, do is Drawing. The act of drawing isn’t simply to output “a Drawing”; it does so much more. On one level, it’s like taking notes. Your visual, motor, and cerebral processes work more and more in sync. New neural pathways get made and practice makes those paths stick. You’re also storing a whole lot of knowledge, even though you’re not consciously aware of it all.

Finally, there are two Biggies: 1) Practice and lots of time logged gets you comfortable with your Marks. All drawing and painting are (at their abstract baselines) are a series of marks you’ve put down to translate what you’ve perceived. 2) That practice and time will also make you comfortable with your own Drawing Funk. Anything that deviates from the “exact” form/etc that you’re drawing is that Funk. And this, after a while, turns into your style (in the good sense, not the put-on/fake sense). The Funk still has to be based on good observation and skills (and it can’t be arbitrary, careless, or tacked-on), but it’s what everyone is looking for.

There’s no shortcut for this learning process, and besides guiding words of wisdom, no one can do it for you. It can’t be taught (for example, if someone shows you how to ride a bike, they’re only improving *their* skills.) You hafta do it yourself by putting in the time.


2 responses

  1. Patricia St Onge

    I am a relatively old lady – well everything is relative to everything else – so I can not perhaps speak in your language but what I do know is I LIKE IT. Like the words you use to describe who you are and what you do and dream and like what you put out there for the rest of us to see and touch with our eyes and hear with our ears. There is immense beauty here ….more than the usual kind – something like what Manley Hopkins the poet called INSCAPE – you are getting inside of things and people/realityPlease keep on giving. Shalom,Pax,Salaam, Frede,Paix,Peace- Pat
    Salaam, shalom, frede/paix. pace, PEACE to your artist soul.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:06 am

    • Pat,

      Thanks so much for your comments. I very much appreciate them, and you provided a good shot in the arm. I keep meaning to call you and Tim, sometime; will do soon.


      March 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

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