Drawing is the first thing most of us who end up being painters do, as children. I had my first art show at 7, all horses of course, and my mother bought them all for .25 each. Thanks Mom.
In some ways horses are my most difficult subject to draw now because my muscle memory still remembers how I used to draw them, and the repetitive mistakes I made. A bit frustrating!
For the last five months I have been going to an open studio, figure drawing, once a week. I had done very, very little of this before. I started with a pen because that was the only thing that felt good to me on the paper. Pretty limiting, but I was very tentative anyway and it worked for a bit.
Through time I have found that I do much better with drawing masses, rather than lines. Lines are important, but especially when it comes to something tricky or complicated that I am unsure of (like the face) masses really help me get it right. It's becoming fun and challenging rather than frustrating and depressing. Model poses ranging from one minute to thirty minutes are great practice for capturing the essence without worrying about details.
PracticePracticePractice.... how unmagical and unromantic is that?
The drawing at the top of this blog is one by Andre Pater that I am fortunate to own. He has recently become a friend and mentor to me, I am extremely lucky to have his insight and knowledge on my drawings and paintings, not that what he says is always pleasant to hear. I can take it!
At some point I want to have some sketches and finished drawings worthy to sell. Right now it is enough to freely draw with only the thought of improving, no other goal.
The timelessness, the history, of an artist drawing the human form from life... it's a very deep and almost otherwordly experience.
The camraderie, wine and cheese isn't bad either. :)