Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Drawing: Natural or Learned?

 A dear Blogger, La Table de Nana, (who has a most beautiful, creative, happy, loving blog), asked:
"Did you learn to sketch/draw with movement 
or was this natural for you?"

I replied on the previous post, but have thought more about it:

I do observational drawing by feeling the movement & gesture. It is my natural tendency, but I only found it when I was learning by the methods of Kimon Nicolaides in The Natural Way to Draw, 1st published in 1941!  I was lucky that my high school art teacher used this method because it was great for us minority kinesthetic & right brained learners. I think the book is best used in a class or group because students can pose for one another & someone can call time limits for the quick gesture studies. 

My college drawing teacher also emphasized perceiving your subject by physically feeling it rather than just visually aligning things. 

But a drawing can call for different approaches, in my opinion, so integrating the knowledge of diverse techniques & elements such as formal perspective is valuable. 

Finding a process & a medium that best matches one's own nature, as with anything in life, is important. For me, line, a sort of scribbling, is my favorite art element. If you only gave me one drawing tool to use with paper, it would be a fine ink pen. (But please, don't take away my colors!)

I seek out drawings to which I am intuitively attracted  as a way to discover my own inclinations. The drawings of Vincent Van Gogh have such linear energy, such feeling, such movement, as do the sensitively rendered drawings of Rembrandt.  

 (I should not be showing master drawings in the same post as my own sketch, but it is important not to compare one's work, & to just stay centered on what one truly loves to do.)


  1. The best kind of instruction (at least when it comes to creative things like drawing and writing) helps us to grow in our own natural ability, and expand on it, as well as learning various techniques and "rules." I wish this was more of a focus in school art classes, particularly in middle and high school. My son has natural drawing ability, but hasn't really enjoyed the structure in his art class this year. Hopefully next year his class will be less restrictive.

  2. If someone is interested in learning how to draw people, there is a great course on Craftsy "Sketching people in motion" by Marc Taro Holmes, great urban sketcher. He really good explains how to SEE and how to FEEL the subject.

  3. Wonderful explanation!..S..

    Lady Aga..I have taken Shari Blaukhopf's classes and Marc Taro Holmes is a friend of hers.thank you..I will follow up.
    As I do so love movement in your art Rita..

    I Pin so much of your work Rita because it has s much life and expression..and I do love your colors also!
    Merci beaucoup!

  4. PS I think you would LOVE the pen Shari recommends..from Goulet is the finest pen:)

  5. Pooh! Lots of good book suggestions in this post! Glad your fellow blogger asked the question! (I also have a master work comparison on my current post, so I understand your point very well! I think it's instructive though.)

  6. Great post and you have amazing talent!

  7. Great post and you have amazing talent!

  8. Dear Rita I love seeing your sketches. Your drawing skills are so good. They always look so fresh and free. So glad you shared your wonderful way if working. Have a super day. Hugs!


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