Here is a question. What is good drawing

I have recently started a large drawing, in pencil and on paper. This is something I haven’t tackled for a while. I did the usual stuff to begin with, thumbnails, sketches,  and played with compositional ideas. After a couple of weeks I had decided on a drawing, what my aims where and what I thought I was going to achieve.  It took me another week to actually cut the paper and tape it to my drawing board, this lay blank for another few days. I think you may be getting  the idea.. I was a bit apprehensive to say the least. So I have started my drawing now and after a couple or three days I am starting to get into it, losing quite a bit of white. I am now pondering over my original intentions and starting to question my ability. Is this good or bad? Is my tuition taking over my freedom to do what I want. Is what I see in art galleries trying to tell me ‘that’s old school’  maybe a few squiggles will do it! Problems, problems. SO, what do I do. I know, without sounding big headed, that I am a fairly good draughtsman. I know how to draw figures,(opinion) I have sketchbooks full of em( my drawing will contain a dozen or so), but when it actually came to  refining my rough I seemed to be doing ok until it dawned on me that anybody could do what I am doing with a bit of practice. I am a big fan of the renaissance artists, Leonardo especially, and the way they drew, not painted, drew, but this is now looking back on their work. How did they feel about their work at the time. If they looked back at their past masters, and been as intimidated as I am now, would we have such great drawings as The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist ( my all time favourite). Is too draw well to imitate such drawings, or try too, no. But then again, as you may have guessed I am no fan of the stuff that seems to make the headlines today, I am adamant that this so called work will dwindle away very quickly, and in two hundred years student will not be looking at a certain T.E’s work to draw inspiration from. So I think to answer my question, What is good drawing, I  have to trust in my own confidence to draw the way I want to, try and get across the emotion I want it  to convey and strive to make it better( in your own confident opinion) than the last drawing I did. If you meet that set of criteria then you have produced a good drawing. As an artist(not a student) I have to dismiss what other people may think what makes a good drawing and rely on my own, have confidence in my own ability. This is the only way I am going to produce my good drawing!

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2 Comments

  1. karen robinson

    Hello Alan, found you via the iArt Forum that you have just joined. Must remember to leave a welcome message!! I so empathise with what you have written here. It is really hard to evaluate your own work, because there doesn’t seem any way of doing it except by comparison with something else. Ultimately this does my head in because either there is no way my work is as “good” as theirs (Leonardo?!) or no way it is ever going to be as successful as theirs (Damien What’s His Name), so where does that leave my work? In a sort of critical black hole. Is it any good or not? I am doing the pet portrait course with Melanie Philips (owner of the iArt Forum) and beginning to think that I can only compare my work with my own earlier work to see whether I am ever getting any closer to realising the perfect picture that sat in my head when I started but is always so elusive when you try to transfer it to paper. Technical ability is part of it, but somehow it isn’t everything. Anyway, I am waffling now. Know nothing about digital art so look forward to learning from you! Am off now to Google zBrush whatever that is! Karen x (in very rainy Devon): no website YET but the world is waiting…ahem.

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