Drawing

How your drawing is part of your process and how you could improve that creatively.

Drawing, how I love drawing, I draw because I am, mostly I draw in public places when I am relaxed. I suppose there is a bit of Degas in me, I like to draw people and I sketch most when I am in the pub or a restaurant and I am relaxed and people watching.

I keep my A6 sketchbook and pen with me at all times, and I am finding that the more I draw, the more it informs my visual memory. With my sketches as notes with the help of the lay figures I can construct a fairly convincing painting.

I use drawings to work out my ideas and compositions in larger sketchbooks but I am beginning to treat my compositional and tonal drawings as maps rather than blueprints and to paint around the feeling of the drawing rather than the actuality of it.

I photograph my drawings and overlay them digitally with compositional grids and triangles and golden sections and pyramids just so that I am sure that there is a structure beneath the surface of my paintings that will hold the whole edifice together and so that it can be there without drawing attention to itself. This probably comes from my day job where the foundations support an impossible building or the concrete frame work supports a pretty cladding.

The day job is probably another reason I do prepatory drawings. If I start a drawing I invariably finish it, whereas a painting can go on for a while longer. The prepatory drawing has the ability to retain the original idea for longer than it takes for the painting to be made or the subject to disintegrate. In a way I think this helps as rather than painting the actual subject, you a painting a solidified memory of the subject.

The Still life restaurant series that I painted was helpful in this regard in that the third in the series was three steps away from the original sketch, a long way from drawing and although I made a few drawings to get the feel of the new direction I went I feel that this was just to calm down a bit of unfamiliar territory before leaping in with the brush. The last painting is not very like it’s prepatory sketches and the inspiration for it came more from the previous paintings.

The only drawing, involved drawing that was involved in the in the third painting was to draw round a dish and a jar to get the circles. At the request of my tutor I have been drawing with a brush, this is giving my paintings a freer looser quality that I quite like and avoids the grin through of pencil lines.

Perhaps less drawing is the way to go forward, drawing and painting are of course two distinct activities while in historical times such as cave painting and Egyptian painting the two were closely allied they have moved farther apart since then. I need to make this separation clear in my own head especially when I dance at my easel, more dancing less drawing.

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