Thursday, October 1, 2009

Keep Up With Your Drawing Skills!

Just back from a 3 hour figure drawing session with Diane Rappisi. Covered with charcoal, a change from the pastel dust - dirtier I'd say. Diane studied with Nelson Shanks at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia and is bringing her expert eye and teaching skills to us at North River Arts Society. We have a class of top notch artists. The energy, pace, and teaching is stimulating!

Bringing me to my topic of the day. Drawing skills.

It is my observation as an instuctor that the single thing that holds most artists back is not their mastery of a specific medium but their underdeveloped drawing skills. Whether pastel, oil, watercolor, etc., if you haven't had instruction in or mastered basic drawing skills you will only be able to advance so far in your development as an artist. An artist needs competency in perspective, composition, value, volume, shape, and line quality which act as the foundation for any piece of art they choose to create. I highly recommend that every artist carry a sketchbook with them and draw as often as possible. Taking classes may or may not be an option since sometimes basic drawing classes are hard to find outside of a collegiate setting, but every time you put pencil to paper you are improving your eye hand coordination and observation skills. Keeping up with your drawing is like working out. That is what I am doing. Figure classes are a fabulous way to improve your drawing skills. Even if there is no instructor, you are bound to improve your understanding of proportion, volume, and value. Draw whenever you can! I'm taking my own advice....

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