Monday, August 22, 2016

Change It Up!

Figure drawing is an endless process of observation and refinement. The more we draw, the more we look for detail, and the more we look, the more we find. At the same time, we're always improving our technique (at least in theory!). The more we draw and get comfortable with out preferred drawing materials, the more we develop confidence that is reflected in our finished drawings. And sometimes it works out just that way.

Nevertheless, there are other times we feel stuck, or we're not happy with something about our drawings. Sometimes we know what that something is, other times we're just, well, stuck. A common complaint people have about their own drawings is they don't like the line quality, or they feel like they're not adequately seeing the subject of their drawing. Still other times, we're drawing well, but we just lose our enthusiasm.

For me, the process of drawing is one of endless learning. I had a painting teacher who said "the purpose of painting is to learn something to take to your next paining." I don't know if that's the only purpose, but I get excited to find something I can learn from every drawing I do. Maybe it's some anatomical detail I never noticed before, maybe it's something about shading or about foreshortening, maybe it's the way the marks I'm making on the paper better define the image.

One of there best ways to get out of a slump, or to challenge your way of seeing, even your way of drawing, is to just change up your style or materials! In figure sketching alone, we can draw big, or draw small, we an use pens, pencils, crayons, brushes, watercolors, even oil paints. Typically, we settle on one way of working and try to perfect that, but you can find a lot of inspiration and perspective by simply trying to draw the same thing in a new way!

So next time you want a little more input, just change up your usual way of doing things, and see what you see.

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