Friday, October 19, 2012


Some times the simplest approach works best. These straight forward pencil drawings without a hint of color do the job very nicely. They need nothing additional to convey the natural beauty of these figures.  In a way the soft graphite marks may say more,  precisely because of that restraint. Think of a lovely poem or favorite song lyric. Very often a few well chosen words or elegant phrases are so beautifully descriptive they may move a person much more profoundly than a hundred pages. Words are not real, actual things, they are a collection of abstract symbols which with some insight and  organization, are capable of wonderfully nuanced description.

 Drawing also is abstraction.  It may convey the illusion of reality but is nothing but a collection of non-random marks on a receptive surface. Neither of these figures is drawn completely.  The young woman's hands are barely there, the back of her head fades into a bright background yet we understand that she is not somehow disabled or disfigured. The young man above exists here as an arm and shoulder but we accept that he is actually whole in life. We may even make assumptions about his health and character based on the simple stuff we see there.

You, the artist, are a creator of a distinct product.  A room full of expert artists, drawing from the same model with the same materials will produce a marvelous variety of images. Not just because they have different positions in the room, but because they perceive things, process things through a life of previous experience and because they each move differently to make unique marks.  You can see that I, drawing on different days with different people before me, produced two significant images by touching the paper with diverse pressure. These soft images are also quite  different in character from the contour drawings I posted just a few days ago.  Here the emphasis is on subtle gradations in form produced with fine hatching while the other were all about edges.

In the end you will do, and should do, what works for you.  Look and learn and strive for good craftsmanship, good perception, good interpretation but be good to yourself. Keep it simple!

"Those persons who have perceptive eyes enjoy beauty everywhere."  Paramahansa Yogananda

"The abstract nature of reality is the source of beauty."  William Raymond

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