Essentially I see drawing at its most basic and simplest form as marks on a page.
You can make these marks with a variety of media such as pencil like this waratah sketch, charcoals, pen, watercolour, pastel, etc.
For me drawing beginning to draw involves finding a surface – usually a piece of paper – taking a for example, a 3 dimensional object such as a vase of flowers and taking time firstly to perceive the object in a proactive way. Making an effort to pay particular attention to detail through your eye and into to your brain. The more you pay attention, the more you practice seeing with closer attention to detail and thinking how each section or part of the chosen object relates to every other section of the object – in size, proximity, texture etc.
Starting lightly with just exploring the overall shape of the object and then lowly working in the detail. Practice trying to represent what you see and translate that onto paper. Giving the brain time to organise the information and then practice working at incorporating what you have taken the extra time to look at in detail and develop that slowly into hand eye co-ordination to represent in some manner that object on a 2 dimensional piece of paper. It is in essence a skill building exercise not dissimilar to learning scales on the piano or developing the capacity to dance ballet.
You cannot expect to suddenly be able to draw an object correctly in proportion straight away – that is unrealistic. One of the best pieces of advice I was giving when working in life drawing classes as Art College was to keep all my practice drawings. To this day I still have some of them they remind me where I started and how far I have moved forward and are important so that you do not lose heart. you may not always remember where you came from but if every 6 months or so you have a look back if you have been diligent you will se the improvement.
When I took art as an elective subject in Year 9 (I was about 14 years old) my family wondered why? I had not really been particularly good at drawing or painting, so fair enough. At the time this annoyed me – ‘how dare someone tell me I can’t draw’! It was at this point that things changed for me – I went from a passive observer to a keen observer who really wanted to draw well and I guess there was also the element of ‘I’ll show them’.
I spent the whole of those holidays copying cartoon illustrations, practicing until I could get them in proportion. Slowly over the next 3 years I spent many hours practicing and chose to do drawing and photographs in my HSC 3 Unit course. These are the pencil, watercolour and ink drawings.
At art college I majored in Drawing and Relief Printing – linocuts – both these things alongside photography have been the things to capture my interest imagination and passion and therefore have been the things that I have pursued since i was 14 years old.
I guess what I am saying is that drawing is skill – a skill that can be learned with practice. The biggest hurdle to learning to draw is to think ‘it is too hard and I can’t do it’. Nothing to fear really just have a go!
So essentially – where do I start?
Pick up a pencil and some paper – start observing, practicing and developing the hand eye co-ordination and slowly you will improve.