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Thread: What do you get out of drawing?

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    Senior Member Kaputnik's Avatar
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    Default What do you get out of drawing?

    I haven't posted anything on FPG for a while. I just thought I'd bring up something that I've been pondering lately, for a while, actually. What do I get out of drawing?

    This is a rather late in life obsession for me, and I have to have modest expectations. One can get better at anything with practice, and I have, but "better" is not the same thing as "good". I see the efforts of others here, and realize that I'm unlikely to reach their level. Although I can try.

    But what have I gotten out of it? I think there are two main things. It has taught me to be more observant; one never sees things quite the same way again after trying to draw them. And in fact, whatever or whoever I'm looking at now, I often find myself thinking how I would render it (or them) in pencil (mostly) charcoal, or ink. That doesn't mean I'll succeed, but I think about how I'd try.

    And it's also teaching me to be more appreciative of what professional or high level amateur artists do. Whenever I look at a drawing these days, whether it's a highly realistic illustration, or a simply drawn cartoon, I think about how the artist got the effects that he did, what techniques were used. I notice what can be done with a simple line drawing, and think about all the work that went into a more detailed effort.

    Oh, and I just like drawing. To re-purpose an old saying, a bad day drawing is better than a good day at work. And I'm glad that my job doesn't involve drawing.

    That's me. How about you?
    "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."
    G.K. Chesterton

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    Senior Member Johnny_S's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    I draw for pleasure, just using a limited number of cased pencils, H, 2B and 4B and I agree with you about observing your subject, especially taking note as to how light falls across the object and that is usually my starting point for a drawing, never an outline, draw the shape of the brightest light first of all, follow this with the darkest areas. In effect you are drawing with light.

    If you like landscapes you could do a lot worse than look at an Ansel Adams landscape, a master of light in my opinion, a hand drawn copy of an Adams photograph would be excellent.

    Portraits are so difficult, Holbein was the master:

    https://willkempartschool.com/the-encounter/

    Naturally enough, there are some on here who have taken to using fountain pens as a tool for drawing, they have my admiration, a successful drawing is difficult enough without the added complication of a fountain pen.

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaputnik View Post
    ...I see the efforts of others here, and realize that I'm unlikely to reach their level. Although I can try....
    I think that there is only a handful of people who can say that they are at the top of the capability of drawing.

    99% of alle the people who are drawing are in the same position as we are: there are others that are way more advanced in their skills than we are.

    In short, this is normal and affects not only drawing but almost all areas of activity.

    I am not an artist and although I earn my money in a rather creative industry I feel the need to exercise my personal creativity in drawing.

    But to find the satisfaction I am looking for, I don't measure with Holbein (my personal favorite would be Dürer...), but look for a field of activity that I am up to, but can still grow from.
    Last edited by christof; August 28th, 2021 at 12:18 PM.

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    Kaputnik, all that stuff you mentioned plus an exercise in discipline and judgment. Along the way one enters a different state of consciousness and awareness. I like being there.

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    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_S View Post
    ... just using a limited number of cased pencils, H, 2B and 4B...

    Naturally enough, there are some on here who have taken to using fountain pens as a tool for drawing, they have my admiration, a successful drawing is difficult enough without the added complication of a fountain pen.
    Interesting, I am probably at the opposite end of you when it comes to tools for drawing (sketching).
    I was never happy with my pencil works. They always feel weak and incomplete. But that's my issue, I admire plenty pencil artworks by others.

    When I first tried sketching with my fountain pens, it instantly connected with me. I found my tool. Nothing to erase, just focusing to visualize what I have in mind. Quite liberating.

    Of course, your definition of "successful drawing" may be very different than mine
    To me, I am successful if I enjoy the process of sketching and the result, enough to carry me to the next one.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    I sketch a lot of graphs and curves with fountain pens while working out math problems, but if i’m doing anything artistic, i prefer to use a brush pen, charcoal or artist's pencils with softer lead.

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    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you get out of drawing?

    When I try to draw something, it stimulates my visual acuity: I need to see more precisely, to go beyond simply identifying and cataloguing. It also taps my imagination, trying to get that unique thingness of an object or scene across to the viewer.

    While teaching a writing course at the Teton Science School, I did the drawing assignments with the students. Here's a specimen from the museum collection.



    Beyond capturing the details accurately, I wanted to convey the stiffness of a dead, dried bird, while suggesting the qualities of movement and flight it had in life.

    Here's a second try, without color:


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