Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Drawings I Like

I've always loved portraits more than any other type of drawing. For as long as I can remember I've been captivated by artists who seem to be able to express a subject's entire personality with nothing more than a few gestural lines scattered across a sheet of paper.

The ability to draw a convincing portrait requires an incredible understanding of another person on so many different levels. The artist must first possess an intimate understanding of each and every detail of the subject's physical body - his unique proportions, as well as those peculiar imperfections that define the subject's form.

However a truly brilliant portrait moves beyond these elementary necessities involving superficial features. The very best portraits are able to convey the inner workings of the subject's soul. While we can seldom identify exactly which specific aspects of a portrait accomplish this prodigious feat, we immediately recognize those portraits that possess this distinctive quality... and those that do not.

A person's essence is expressed through a combination of infinitely many subtle qualities.
A gesture perhaps. A veiled expression. A slight curve of a lip or the hint of a glimmer in an eye. It is the portrait artist's ability to identify these nearly imperceptible details and reproduce them for others to recognize that I find truly awe-inspiring.

Here are a few of my favorite "portrait" drawings:

Leonardo da Vinci

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

John Singer Sargent

Norman Rockwell

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is Drawing

When I was in the second grade, I drew a flying unicorn for the school art show. My teacher titled it "The Flying Pig." Clearly my artistic skills were not up to par. As years went by, I drew, I painted, I glued, but never really became "good" at art.

English sculptor and artist Henry Moore once said, "discipline in art is a fundamental struggle to understand oneself, as much as to understand what one is drawing."

I don't think being good is what truly matters. Art is about expressing yourself, about using your creative imagination—however little you think you may have—and translating it into something you can understand. Something tangible. While many people draw on commission or for a class, it should inherently be for yourself.

Some people believe that when you have a photo taken, a part of your soul too is taken. I believe the same goes for drawings, except you are giving that part of your soul willingly to your creation. With every drawing you create, you put yourself on the line a little, exposing yourself and your emotions far more than words could ever convey.

I enjoy drawing because it is fun, and it helps me express myself. Maybe I am a horrible artist, but I don't care. I am expressing myself, and who are others to tell me that it's not good enough.

Regardless of how well my drawings turn out, I love looking at those of others. I've included some of my favorites below.


Da Vinci




Thursday, November 17, 2011



I have learned to love the richness of it, the possibility of creating a world so much more drastic yet simple than the one in which we live. The opportunity to let the world see what I wish existed is beautiful, to say the least.As Glenn Vilppu once said, "There are no rules, only tools..." and that is one aspect of drawing I adore. Once you can create, know the fundamentals, know how to put the thunderstorm of ideas in your mind on paper, there ARE no more rules.

And for that very same reason, I absolutely hate still life drawing. To me, there is little capacity for creation or rule-breaking. This form of art is stifling and basic; I don't connect with it and don't care for it. Now, if you can string together objects and tell a story with them...MAKE a connection happen, I don't mind as much....but without life present, my inspiration fails. I think it is evident in my work as well. At this class' start, my work was admitted not my best. It wasn't that I wasn't giving effort, I actually gave more effort then than now. I just couldn't connect with the material, and therefore the art didn't come naturally. However, with narratives and the possibility to be creative, I think it is evident that I have flourished compared to the beginning of the class.

Now that I have told you my opinion on drawing in general, here are some examples of why I love it...time to show, not tell: (one of them is a little fake, but I still like it!!!)