I believe drawing is the
single most important skill for any visual artist to acquire, whether they are a painter,
illustrator, graphic designer, or fashion designer. It is simply the act of
"seeing" made visual. When one learns how to draw, what they are really
learning is the ability to see more clearly and communicate what they see or can imagine.
As such, drawing is a
tool for study, and communication even before it is a tool for making art.
Some Superb Draftsmen
( & things they are especially good at )
Honore Daumier (gesture)
Alphonse Mucha (line quality & design)
Michelangelo (modeling of forms)
Adolphe Bougereau (sensitivity)
Questions & Answers
draw a picture, do you draw the character in blocks first or what?
I just can't seem to get my characters anatomically right. I
saw your booklist on your site. Do you know of any books which
teach you to draw the body in blocks?
From Christine Lau
I don't draw
"blocks" first when drawing a figure. Usually I'll
do a very loose, light, scribbly "gesture" drawing
If you want to learn the "blocks" method, try any of the
books by George Bridgeman, Andrew Loomis, or the books by Robert
Beverly Hale. (all are listed on
my site) Avoid books by Burne Hogarth, (one of my old
teachers) as they aren't very accurate and can be very misleading.
Vilppu's books are also an excellent source!)
By far, the best book for anatomy though is the book by Stephen
Rogers Peck (also on the site). There is no "quick
fix" for drawing anatomy...it just takes a few years of
study. Keep it up though, it's worth it once you get a
handle on it!!!
p.s. Also, draw from live nude models as much as possible, that's
the best method to learn it.
...What is the hardest
thing to draw?
Nothing is really harder or
easier to draw in a mechanical sense. If a person can draw one thing, they are
perfectly capable of drawing something else with the same degree of accuracy.
The problem is in the phrase "the same degree of
accuracy." If someone says they can draw, for instance, landscapes, but they
can't draw people, what they are really saying is, "when I draw landscapes, I draw
well enough that no one can tell what I've drawn incorrectly."
The reason people, and especially faces, are so difficult
to draw is not because they themselves are any harder to draw than a tree. What
changes is our tolerance as viewers for any degree of inaccuracy. We are so
intimately familiar with faces and their associated nuances, that the slightest deviation
appears as a gross misproportion.
Because of this, I am constantly demanding my students draw
people, and especially self-portraits, because they effectively highlight any weak skill
areas that need attention. My students erroneously believe it's because I'm
...What purpose does
drawing have for artists today?
From Carole (Shropshire, United Kingdom)
I think people often
misrepresent drawing as a medium, or group of mediums, rather than an activity. I
see drawing as the visual equivalent of language. It is simply the way we
communicate ideas visually through a series of marks on a ground. So to rephrase the
question, it is a little
like asking "What purpose does speaking have for people today?" For both,
the answer I would give is the communication of information. This information can
take the form of ideas, thoughts, commentary, entertainment, or just literal facts, but
for all of these, drawing is just the mode of transmission. How artfully this is
done is another, separate, issue.
In the case of artists specifically, it is the fastest and most
efficient way to represent an idea visually. Far more immediate than any other way
of doing it, a quickly drawn sketch or thumbnail is usually the "first look" an
artist has at how they might execute an idea.