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Caroline Henry Art Blog

Does Drawing Matter

by Caroline , May 20, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: Drawing, artists and their work, ink, painting, pencil drawing, technique

This work is purely a drawing, and of course drawing is absolutely essential to the pen and ink artist. Doing this piece was pure pleasure as it is when form emerges from a series of dots or strokes and the brain of the viewer completes the process of changing marks to powerful symbols. A sheet of paper becomes a delta scene, and this piece is ready to hang in a show I'm participating in during June.

But is drawing equally important to the painter? I recently attend a watercolor workshop where fewer than half of the painters were working from their own drawings. (This was not "draw with your brush" type painting, but require a pencil drawing on paper). They had used their own photographs; their compositions were authentically theirs. They had chosen to either use projectors trace the image, or they had enlarged via copy machine and traced the image. I know this is common practice used by many absolutely wonderful painters. I've used such devices for getting the main angles of a building or a few base points on a portrait that was proving difficult.

I feel more authentically myself working with my own less perfect drawings. There seems to be more of me, of the world viewed through my eyes, whether I draw directly from the model, use the aid of reference photos, or draw from imagination and memory. What about you?--do you have a drawing demon that demands you work through a drawing, or do you prefer to short cut that step in order to get on with the business of painting?




  Caroline Henry ( homepage )

05/20/2009 * 22:35:59

Enjoyed your comment. There is indeed a great deal of power in kinetic learning across many discilpines.


  Kelly ( homepage )

05/20/2009 * 15:56:18

Caroline -- Such a wonderful delicacy to this drawing; I'm waiting for the heron to rise and take flight!

I like you point about taking the time to work through a drawing first. It reminds me of Helen Frankenthaler's remark that "she felt the painting in her arms" because she had made so many preliminary sketches of "Mountains and Sea" at the Cape before the final creation.

There must be some kinetic force between the drawing and sketching and then moving (if one prefers) to the painting of it?

It makes me want to dig through my sketches that tend to pile up and get buried somewhere!

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