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9th Annual Art-a-Day Challenge, January 2018!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A spot of realism, and some D-R-A-W-ing wisdom

watercolor of fruit bowl from photo
While prepping last month for the watercolor class I teach at the Cancer Center, I did a still life from a photo then decided the project was a bit advanced for my beginners, many of whom have dexterity issues from some of their treatments. Today, having added a few finishing strokes of soft reflected light on the papayas, I thought it might be nice to share this bit of realism, which I'm thrilled to discover I still can do.
On another note, I'm reading a book called "Learn Watercolor the Edgar Whitney Way," a distinguished artist, who in his day trained many of our current masters. He discusses the value of drawing, which I thought was relevant, since we've got so many diligent sketchers here...

    "In his last class at the Pratt Institute where he had taught for so many years, high on the front wall of the classroom, as large as he possibly could, he wrote the word D R A W. Then he underlined the word and took the line down the wall across the floor to the opposite wall, and up as high as he could, he wrote "Good luck, goodbye."
     It was his way of ramming into his students' heads the importance of drawing. He felt passionately that drawing was the absolute foundation of visual art. "Without draftsmanship--the discipline endured and the mastery achieved--your work will have limited context. It will lack the essential quality of ease and the sense of power."
     He told his students, the way to learn to draw was to draw everything, everywhere in sketchbooks, the more frequent, the more fast thinking and skill one gains. Ten minutes ten times a day is better than six hours once a week. Great draftsmen were eliminators, putting down only essentials, and this skill can be learned with a sketchbook because the limited time teaches you what is important and what isn't. You have to discipline yourself until drawing everywhere and at all times becomes a habit.
     Remember when you're sketching, you're not after results. The drawing is not important--the experience is. Your emotion and your degree of understanding leak through the pencil or brush onto the paper as you make your stroke."


Jim Bumgarner said...

I like that.

Terrie said...

Wow - great reminder - again. While I have been sketching more so far this year, I haven't been doing it every day and I often look up and wonder what to sketch. I guess I always think it needs to be some 'profound' thing but when I see a 'profound' thing I'm intimidated because I tell myself I can't draw. A conundrum! Get over it and draw anything/everything. I get it.

Thanks for the kind words about my blog....

Lapoynte said...

Wow Laura, you got skills! Great painting!

Unknown said...

While I knew it was important to keep at drawing in order to improve lately I've been hearing/reading that it's better to do short drawing sessions and more of them than it is do one long session. Now to put that into practice.

Bobi Wilson said...

Beautiful, Laura!! I am so inspired by the sketch-talk and commitment here.