26 November 2013

[art] In The Beginning, One Must Copy

2957.The current issue of Drawing magazine seems to suggest a trend.

Originality is to be striven for. No matter what one does as an artist, I think we all, accomplished as well as tyro or aspiring, reach for a unique expression of what is our own voice, no matter how we do it.

But in the beginning, as one of the keynote articles say, you can learn a lot from a master, and since you have no access to the master, you can at least draw what they have drawn and, in so doing, grasp eye-hand coordination and get a taste of how they understood form and shape.

Dan Gheno's article demonstrates how to draw from multiple sources - from as 'mundane' as comic books and film images and as rarefied as sculpture and the great masterpieces - to learn basic lessons of art and composition. You can gain facility on drawing certain body parts (I know few artists who don't approach hands, for instance, with some trepidation … even the wonderful artists at OryCon we saw, some of them mentioned this). The idealized and refined ideas of classical sculpture can impart a unique challenge of anatomy lessons to the hand and the eye. Sketching the old masters can teach ineffable lessons about composition.

And, as always, draw, draw, draw.

One may not have access to a live teacher. Fortunately, teachers live all around us. We just have to learn how to look, which is another artists' sine qua non.

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