If art was a place on the map, pencil sketching would be its
somewhat lawless backcountry. Sketching is all about freedom from rules and learning how to sketch what's in front of you no
matter how unexpected. That's why sketching seem like the perfect method for
depicting landscapes that are a little wild and untamed.
|Sandpit near Abinger, Surrey by George Price Boyce,
watercolor painting, 1866-7.
I grew up in the South. Kudzu and creeping vines covered
almost everything if you let it. And while I've left home, my mind--and
hand--still love to imitate the curling, meandering line of those vines. I think
it is probably the same for a lot of the places we know--for every nice and tidy
lawn there is also a landscape not so manicured and well tended just begging
for your sketching time.
If you are interested in furthering your experience with pen
or pencil and paper, seek out those wild places. They will be a sketching
tutorial in themselves!
A) The lines you see will be varied, testing your eye to really "see."
B) The large shapes you
make out won't fit into conventional molds--calling on your skills with
composition to accentuate them to the best effect.
C) You will also learn how to
sketch in ways that will show you what hatching, cross-hatching, and simple
line can really do.
||Thistles Along the Roadside
by Vincent van Gogh, drawing, 1888.
This kind of exploration isn't about playing by the rules.
It is about using your artistic muscles in new ways that will make them grow
stronger, just like a hike that goes off the trail has you using muscles you
might not have worked if you had stayed on the path.
I've come to realize what a changeling sketching can be by
using it to draw those "lawless" places I've discovered--as well as seeing the works of other draftsmen in Drawing magazine. Every issue shows artists working in different
ways, and yet they are all connected because of the respect they give to mark
making and using it to further their art, not keep them in the same comfortable
place. I hope it is the same for you with your Drawing magazine subscription. Enjoy!
P.S. Tell me what wild places you've sketched or painted. Thanks!