Thursday, 12 April 2012

Some thoughts on drawing

Over the last couple of weeks I've been adding to my portrait collection.
I've noticed a few little things about the way I approach drawing people, and how it affects the outcome.
  • Drawing from life forces you to be quicker, more spontaneous in the movements of the pen/pencil across the page. This can be so satisfying when you manage to capture the 'look' of your subject in quite a simple sketch. Sometimes then it seems adding more detail is unnecessary. But it also means there can be a lot more trial and error moments- if I'm not happy with a drawing it seems pointless to use a rubber on it and labour over one drawing until it looks right- I'll just try again with a new one. 
  • Drawing from another image/photo (which is what I mostly do for my figures at the moment) allows you to labour over it- you can be slow and come back to add more/make changes. I like being able to do this. I often find that when I begin a drawing I'm not always happy with how it looks at first...I'll consider how I'll probably have to start again. But then often this is not the case, as the look of the drawing evolves as you add more detail. I've been unhappy with how pencil drawings have started out, only to improve them by adding colour or pen lines-whether it's ink, watercolour or pencil crayons etc.
  • Drawing from imagination is the hardest, to me, by far. I used to be able to do endless pictures of princesses, dragons and various fairytale things when I was younger. It's still a fun thing to do when you feel like you're just play drawing. But when I feel as though my drawing is work, this changes, and I think about everything much more critically. Materials are selected much more carefully, composition and format has to be taken into account. And basing things on real life becomes much more important. For example, if I wanted to draw a monkey I could easily scribble one out that could be recognised; but if it was for a project I would start by studying images of real monkeys, get a feel for how they really look, then develop the idea with my own stylisation. It becomes a much more thoughtful process. Drawing people from imagination is something I feel I am still learning to do. It seems easy to do a basic drawing and make it look like a person, but when you want to create someone detailed and real looking, you have to pay attention to things like subtle shading of features, body proportions, capturing a particular expression. I rely on being able to see this in front of me to be able to do it accurately, but maybe with enough experience drawing from real life, it would be easier to improvise and create someone from the imagination.

No comments:

Post a Comment