Monday, February 7, 2011

Drawing-Learning to See Parts in Relationship and Grasp Composition.

The thing about drawing.......

The thing about drawing is that it is about more than drawing.  When you learn to draw, you are learning to see parts in relationship.  When you are drawing the figure and are looking at the placement of the knee, you are seeing the knee, not alone, but in relation to the rest of the figure. You are actually learning how to look at a subject. The details are good only in so far as they contribute to the whole.  You can draw a lovely hand which “doesn’t fit” and it has to go in honor of the whole.

So drawing in a broader sense teaches you about color.  Color is relative.  That red is only so in relation to what is around it. That’s why teaching color is so difficult.  No one wants to hear the bad news that drawing is at the heart of it. When someone who can draw looks at a blank paper, they are conscious of the four corners.  When they lay down one color they are thinking about what is around it or will be over to the left. The relativity of color is its wonder.  There are no right colors, just ones that work together to build something.

So let’s take it one step further.  Leaning to draw is beginning to grasp composition. Composition is about parts in harmony, or disharmony, if that what you choose. The magic of composition is that there is no right or wrong there either, just works or doesn’t. So there is no way to really learn it except by developing a good sense of how the parts relate to the whole. 

So begin at the beginning and learn to draw.  It is the foundation of abstract painting, performance, poetry and almost anything. Drawing does have a few rules that you can cling too and use until you get the hang of it.  It is mostly about erasing in the beginning anyway. Keep getting it wrong and you will soon go softly into drawing, knowing you are wrong and using a light line that recognizes this. when you begin the subject gets to small and as you proceed later parts seem to grow.  But better process will fix this. Process and practice, drawing is a sure thing.

If you choose to live a good life, you have to create balance. Here you can get lost in the details and miss what is working.  You have to keep standing back to study the whole before knowing what move would work best next. Trust me, Drawing will give back more than you put in.