To grow really good and solid drawing skills, you need to consistently practice them. Employing different approaches, a variety of motifs and put your self in different drawing situations.
It´s something I´ve experimented with for many years, to find and develop my artistic voice. And at the same time honing my drawing skills and staying in drawing-shape (yes, there is such a thing 😀 as being drawing shape. I´ve also tried to loose it and luckily finding it again. More about that in another post) .
Preparing my upcoming, NEW sketching retreat, has given me the chance to reflect on the different types of drawing, I feel it´s important to continuously work on, to find a beautiful sweet spot, that is your unique creative voice in drawing and art expression.
Since last: In last weeks blog post, I asked you to tell me about your experiences with drawing in *this post*. The responses you confided in me has touched my drawing teacher heart deeply and filled me with so much appreciation. I am still in the process of reading all your honest and beautiful answers, and working on helping you the best possible way in my upcoming sketching retreat.
The tree main types of drawing situations
There are myriads of ways of approaching drawing. I could write a book, just about this one topic.
But here are three important situations or modes of drawing, I find that one needs to consider in the kind of creative environment we live in today, dominated by the computer and digital universe.
- Drawing from photo references – be them printed out or on computer, phone, tablet etc.
- Drawing from life – meaning drawing directly from 3 dimensional objects and views in our real physical world, with naked eyes.
- Drawing from memory and imagination.
I list these modes in what I would say is the easiest on top, being from photos, and the most complicated and challenging at the bottom, being drawing from memory and imagination, without any references to look at, whilst you are actually drawing.
This 1 hour sketch was made partly from photo references and partly from imagination.
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That´s some biggies here.
Practicing all these three areas of drawing is crucial, to forge your own way into drawing, discovering your sweet spot and personal voice.
Here are some reflections of mine, based on personal experiences.
Drawing from photographic references …
is the “easiest” (but not necessarily easy, though) – beacuse they are already 2D, and not 3D, like in the physical world. This alone takes away some of the challenges of drawing, and it is easier to directly translate what you see on a photo, on to your paper, than “real life” subjects. One of the amazing opportunities of drawing from photos is you can find references of and draw virtually anything. The possibilities are almost endless, and can really deepen our stock of visual memory and imagination. By the way, my favourite resource for royaltyfree reference photos is the site unsplash.
Drawing from real life …
is much more challenging, for a number of reasons. Everything is much more out of control. First of all, what you see is in 3D and the challenge of translating it to the 2D language of drawing is radical. On top of that, there is the challenge of size and scaling what you see down to the limited space on the paper. And on top of that, there is the elusive challenge of your binocular sight. Drawing from life can be a profound joy, once you tap into it, and I would dare say, have the potential of completely changing your world view, in the best possible way. That´s what I experience, personally.
Drawing from memory and imagination …
Many of us, me included, have dreams visions and ideas inside of us, that we have a deep desire to express on paper. This is another subject that deserves a book on its own, but here is some food for thought, that can be very helpful. To draw from memory and imagination, first you need to thoroughly work with drawing from references and life (the two first). Because your visual memory and imagination largely originates in your real life visual experiences. So if you really commit, to drawing from references and life, that will inevitably pave your way to successfully draw from memory and imagination.
I systematically work with these three main types of drawing, to keep in as good drawing shape as possible.
In the sketching retreat I am currently preparing, I will teach you exactly how I do that, so you can build a habit of these three kinds of drawing and sketching that is manageable, joyful and that hones your skills.
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What is your experiences with drawing from references, life and memory/imagination?
In todays discussion, I would love to hear what your thoughts and experiences might be.
- What is your experiences with drawing from the three types of motifs?
- What did you find the most challenging?
- The most joyful?
- Please feel free to add more points
- … let´s talk drawing!
It can be very illuminating to put words on.
And of course, what you betrust in me, I will take to heart and work towards creating the best possible drawing and sketching lessons for you.
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Here´s to your drawing bliss!
Love, Light and Drawing Shimmer,