Recently, artist and
our contributing blogger Daniel Maidman wrote a really insightful article about
varying your mark making that I want to share because it seems like so many of
us are refocusing our interest to drawing, and this is a great approach to
internalize as we do that. Enjoy!
|Piera 1 & 2 by Daniel Maidman.
I've been thinking
about ways I personally switch up techniques. The first one I think of is
variation in mark making. Consider these two drawings. Both are from the same
life-drawing workshop. The first is a 40-minute pose, and the second is a
20-minute pose. In the first figure drawing, I followed my ordinary practice—the
one I use for repetitive skill building. This involves tight drawing, line work
as accurate as I can make it, and a patient building up of light and dark
values. I have a ways to go with this approach, but getting even this far has
been a work of years. These kinds of drawings were really not very good at all
when I started.
The practice involves
subtle marks and focuses on details. This technique promotes a narrow vision of
parts, and I decided to change my mark-making for the next pose.
Instead of tight rendering of individual structures, I aimed for catching the
entire figure. Accuracy was a lower priority. I wanted to get the feeling of
dynamic tension, the overall play of light, and the energy of the model. The
pencil marks were correspondingly rougher, larger, and more visible.
As you can see, I'm
nowhere near as good at that as I am at the tighter mode of drawing.
But the purpose of
these kinds of exercises isn't necessarily to make a presentable finished
piece. It's to force your mind, your eye, and your hand to tackle the problem
of picture-making differently. By zooming back to the entire figure, I train
myself to see the entire figure even in the tighter drawings. By focusing the
marks on energy, I import energy back into my native drawing practice. This is
one of several ways to shock the system—to encourage yourself to grow faster
and stronger than repetition alone allows.
Another way to shock
your artistic system in the way Daniel is talking about is to pursue art practice techniques in detail, and our
latest studio essentials—Modeling with
Light and Drawing on the Dark Side—allow
you to do just that, explore the topics that hold your interest with nothing
else getting in the way. And check out our newest topic page on drawing
basics—an overview of all the ways drawing is the gateway to all great art. Enjoy!