Friday, November 29, 2013

Thoughts on drawing

Though I'm really into music and calligraphy and consider them another language of my expression, drawing with pencils to me was only a basic skill of arts before this class. I know how to use forte and piano to tell the story, and I am able to control every stroke to express my emotion, but with my limited understanding of drawing, I used to consider it a subsidiary form of other arts.

After learning to put different values on the lines and shadows, depict the space with foreground, mid-ground and background, and even insert realistic or unrealistic elements in my drawing, I began to realize the variety of drawing as a complete system of arts. I am really happy that in my last drawing, people will be able to see the dynamic state behind my static drawing that the dragon and the phenix are flying into the deep of the garden. It was the first time I felt the power of the drawing that it is able to tell more than what is in the picture. 

What I enjoy most is drawing trees in the background and reflection in the water. I learned that I do not have to draw every tiny leafs and branches. Instead, by observing the patterns, I only need to put different values to represent those objects. It was amazing when I stepped back and found out I could see how many trees back there and what color they were though I didn't fully draw all the trunks, branches and leaves. This reminds me of ink wash painting which I was exposed to. 
Ink wash painting only uses ink to depict objects and show different values by controlling the ratio of ink and water in the brush. Painter can even show variety in every stroke by dipping part of brush in the ink. It is acknowledged that the goal of painting is not to reproduce the appearance of the object, but to capture its spirit. 
"To paint a horse, the ink wash painting artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. "
"To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. "
"In landscape painting the scenes depicted are typically imaginary, or very loose adaptations of actual views."

Now my interest is greatly developed in implementing skills and philosophy of ink wash painting into pencil drawing as they both are black-and-white with different values and utilize line, shading and values to cause textures or movements to be felt. 

Resources: wikipedia "ink wash painting"

Meng'en Huang

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