I love to draw. Since I was a child (and way before I ever started chasing girls), I’ve always seen any scrap of paper as a potential surface to scratch out an image with a pencil. There’s something very intimate about drawing in graphite or charcoal. This intimacy is compounded when rendering the beauty of the female form. I’ve always admired the skill of those who are able to quickly and accurately capture the essence of a subject with a few well-placed lines. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to sit in on several drawing sessions with some very skilled artists. The wide range of drawing styles among my peers fascinates me. Some are able to whip out truly elegant drawings in a matter of a few minutes, quickly taking down a visual spirit and refining from that rough idea. Others are more deliberate, treating the drawing more as a painting, carefully placing each stroke in the exact correct spot before moving on to the next. Regardless of the technique, it’s something I could watch for hours on end. Drawing after all, is the prerequisite skill needed to visually convey our thoughts. Isn’t that what art is all about? Highly developed drawing skills perpetuate a great deal of freedom in an artist’s work. No longer bound by the inadequacies of less than perfect reference material, the ability to move and manipulate objects to enhance a composition allows the artist to push the creative envelop.
So now that those scraps of paper have evolved into pages in sketch journals, I’m able to see the progress in my skill. By no means a “master” of drawing, each page turned is another step forward. Another journal atop the already considerable collection shows a remarkable growth. Comparing the first and last pages of each book, most don’t even appear to be rendered by the same person! It’s the best way I know to improve my work.