Wednesday, April 08, 2009

How do you draw? #1

drawing is essentially about "I'm here and I need to go there. How am I going to get there?"
Michael Archer - Comments on The Draw of Drawing
How do you draw? This is about what you do with your paper - or any other surface that you use for drawing - when you draw. You're invited to participate in two polls about how you draw.

Swamped - a work in progress
coloured pencils on Arches HP

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Reading about how somebody drew yesterday reminded me that that we all draw in quite different ways - but maybe aren't aware of quite how many different ways there are to draw.

I've certainly come across people who've been genuinely surprised to find that other people don't draw in the same way that they do. I'm less surprised that many people aren't aware of all the media that can be used for drawing - or making marks in our space or environment.

I think this past blog post Comments on The Draw of Drawing (11th October 2007) - about a lecture given by Michael Archer, the Head of School at the Ruskin School of Fine Art at Oxford University, - is helpful to understanding some of the different perspectives.

Here's a short extract
  • drawing involves making a representation of our external world - but this can be done in different ways and can involve sculpture
    • drawing pathways is a drawing of a human relationship with the world
    • landscape architects may design an environment and include paths but people will walk where they want to walk. We can observe (or make) a line across grass made by walking (Richard Long 1967) - a real path across real grass is a desire line (although I'd also observe it's often the shortest line between two points when people are short of time - which also makes it a practical line within all possibilities!).
    • another way of drawing a line or lines is by removing part of the environment - such as by mowing through the daisies (You can see more examples of lines in the landscape on Richard Long's website)
    • the drawing for and sculture of Alberto Giacometti's L'homme qui marche' shows how a very insistent additive process of a man walking in a line, making marks as he goes with the same movements again and again, can be reduced to almost nothing (You can see other drawings and sculpture by Giacometti in the MOMA collection; Tate Modern and at Artcylopedia)
Comments on The Draw of Drawing
However - back to the readers of this blog!

How do YOU draw?

I'm looking at two aspects of the how we approach the support which I originally had combined until I realised they were obviously quite different issues. This is about the mechanics of drawing.

The Angle of Drawing

First there's the issue of the angle of your support and what tools or equipment you're using to help you draw. Most people probably assume that drawings can only be made using paper. However much contemporary drawing is done using digital tools or 'found' media in the environment.

How we draw also depends on the tools which are available and our very individual preferences. For me it's not a question of 'right' or 'wrong' responses to the question about how we draw - even if ergonomics suggest there are 'better' ways of drawing.

Static vs moving the paper around

Then there's issue of whether you keep the paper/support static or whether you move it around and approach the drawing from different angles. Whether or not you move the drawing around greatly influences your approach to drawing.

These polls will close at on the morning of the 18th April and I'll report on the results the same day.

Drawing Note:
"Swamped" - alternative titles welcomes - is a picture of Uncle Cosmo acting as a big warm furry bed for Polly's kitties. He really loved those kitties and those kitties really loved him! I don't often show a work in progress but thought you might like to see this one given it's at a slightly weird stage in terms of colour!