So after last nights painting I realized that the largest problem for me as an artist currently is my drawing. It seems pretty obvious what I need to do next, I need to focus on drawing with a brush. I feel that once I master drawing with a brush that there is nothing I can’t do with paint. So the question here is how do I focus on drawing with a brush, or what is the best way to draw with a brush.
I have several books and they focus on a basic block in of the object I’m trying to draw, like an “envelope” around the object. Then refining the envelope more and more until the object is drawn correctly. Other possibilities like with Richard Schmid is to focus on everything that is put onto the canvas is correct and measured with everything next to it. This is very difficult and require a ton of focus. I’m not sure which technique is best, or which one I want to choose but I am sure that if I want to draw and get that drawing correct I will need to measure consistently throughout the drawing.
The next thing I was thinking about last night is. What is drawing? Drawing is seen mostly in a linear format where all the lines are defining edges of the subject. With painting I feel that drawing can not only be in a linear format but in a block type format. Such as drawing the entire side of a small box with one brushstroke. When drawing in a block like format you have several edges created where the brush width ends and it is imperative that these multiple edges are correct. Linear drawing is more about drawing the specifics of one single line.
Now with drawing in general, how do you tell what is correct?
The only way to determine if what you have drawn is correct, lets say a single line, is to compare it with something next to it, or close to it, or in relation to it. You can draw a single-line on any surface and say it’s the exact width of your subject and it could not be deputed by anything except the next line you draw that is part of the subject. I would say in order for a drawing to be correct each drawn line or block needs to compare with something else correctly.
What are these comparatives? How do we compare specific lines drawn on a canvas to its object?
There are several ways, the first is the angle of the line. We could place any line over the face of a clock and depending on what numbers on the clock it hits, while intersecting the center of the clock we can get relative indication of what angle this line has. We would then try and match that angle on the canvas then double check.
The second comparative would be the length of the line drawn. We would draw a line and utilize a brush or some other utensil to measure the length of that line and compared the measurement with another line.
The third comparative would be distance. Mainly distance between lines and shapes. This is very similar to the length of a line but I think it’s difference is important.
So what is the best way to measure these three line Possibilities?
For measuring angles what I normally do is, hold the brush in my hand over the object and angle the brush so it matches the angle of the line that I want to draw. Then I would carefully shift my body so the brush was now over the canvas while keeping the brush at that angle. Once I have a fairly good idea of what that angle looks like over the campus I would draw it. Then I would check it against the object once more. Most of the time when I have done this, the angle has been incorrect. I believe the only way to fix this is through practice or multiple checks.
Now checking the length of the line seems to be a more common practice. I do the same as most artists I’ll hold my brush up to the line mark a place on the brush with my thumb that matches the length of the line and then compare that measurement on the brush with another line. Once I have that comparison and I know how my line Compares to another line on the object I will do the same and match results on the canvas.
This process is pretty hard to describe in words I may have to add an image to show the process a bit better
The last process of comparison is distance. let’s say you had two parallel lines on your object and you wanted to compare the distance between those. Finding the vertical distance or horizontal distance would happen very similar to how I compare the length of a line by utilizing my brush to measure it on the object. Again I would compare that with another line on the object whatever result I got I would do the same on the canvas.
What I need to do is look at these different ways of drawing and these different ways of comparing and figure out which ones are not accurate and how can I make the measurements more accurate. And at what point do I not measure at all? At what point do I have to rely on practice and craftsmanship to get it right? What parts of drawing will skill and experience play a part?