What makes a mark ?
The moment you put down two or three marks on a piece of paper, it starts to look like a drawing. You can suggest landscape, people and faces with extremely little. It all depends on that : the human ability to see mark as something.
As Shakespear put it it in Antony and Cleopatra:
Sometimes we see a cloud that’s dragonish,
A vapour sometimes like a bear or lion.
We can find such images in the sky, or, as Leonardo da Vinci suggested, ‘walls spotted with various stains, or with a mixture of different kinds of stones’.
We obviously want to see pictures, don’t we? If we put down four marks, everybody knows it could be a face.
Drawing extremely well is something you need to learn.There are certain techniques that were handed down. Just like , Michelangelo at a young age set himself the task of copying an engraving by a northern artist or perhaps he was given an exercise by his teacher. He tried his utmost, as we learn from his biographer Ascanio Condivi , not just to imitate but to exceed the other work : to depict the subject more vividly and powerfully than the artist had himself.
A History of Pictures
In his book ” A History of Pictures”, artist David Hockney accounts how he started drawing at an early age and he drew every day. By the end of four years in the art school he got quite good at drawing. By the time he was 20, when most student are just getting started, which is a bit late, he was already a better draftsman. Artist in the past started at an early age. Musicians begin when they were much younger.
In his book he mentions artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo and Turner, began to study and work in their early teens. Drawing is a manual and a mental skill like playing tennis to a musical instrument. In his book “Outliers”, Malcolm Gladwell famously posited ‘10,000 Hour Rule’. This is, to attain success in a given skill is largely a matter of practice for a long,long time.A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen
Getting Started with everyday Things
Have you ever tried sketching ‘plein air‘, the French expression meaning “in the open air” : the act of painting outdoors with the artist’s subject in full view .
Theres something so immediate, so personal, about working on the spot. Unlike working from a photo or from one’s imagination, everything around us informs our sketch. It becomes part of it, lending it a depth and a freshness that studio work seldom seems to achieve.
Drawing Everyday Fare
One can learn to draw to a certain level, not like Rembrandt and Picasso. The young Picasso was a virtuoso, and his father, who was an drawing teacher himself, quickly saw that he was better than him. Most people can be taught to play the piano, but only one or two can play like Horowitz. There are always elites. However, that should not deter you from picking up your pencil and sketch.
Anyone can sketch. It is just making marks on the page while your mind is busy thinking or listening. Your brain doodles without judgment, without thinking or giving commands, and without expectations about the process. Disengaged from your inner critic, flowing along in the moment, you are present.
Think about when you were a child—curious, carefree, and not so critical of yourself. Chances are that you liked to draw or color, but that you stopped doing so at some point along your journey to adulthood. Here’s the thing: It is perfectly okay to draw like your six- or eight-year-old self.
The reality is that we can all draw. We can each have a style that’s unique and expressive, just like we did when we were kids and everyone in the room had to make a self-portrait: all the kids did it, and they were all wonderful and unique.
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All children are artists. The problem how to remain an artist once he or she grows up.Pablo Picasso
Your sketch journal is about your life. Become a looker and seeker; see your hometown with new eyes, highlighting the little things and the not-so-glamorous things that you see each day. There are so many valuable metaphors and lessons in the process of living in the moment.
We are able to capture a piece of every day, and realize how lucky we are to have these moments, whether they are good or bad, then turn the page and start fresh again. You see, creating your pages can have a positive effect on the people around you, too—regardless of whether you share the work or keep it private. The time you give yourself leads to perspective on your emotions and helps you understand the people around you with more clarity.
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