It’s tricky when an activity involves technique but is actually done best when you just get loose and let things happen naturally and effortlessly. Dancing is that way, and learning how to draw
and sketch is that too. There are a lot of things to consider, but in the end you have to take all the lessons you’ve learned and go with it.
That can be hard for me. I like to go over things again and again until I get them “right.” That’s why I am more inclined to pencil sketch rather than do any kind of formal drawing. Sketching is something you can do almost meditatively, repeatedly going over curves and lines in anatomy sketches; working through several iterations of a loose gesture drawing; or doing dozens of quick drawings when sketching faces of people around you. Sketch drawing is casual and offhand, and you can do it in an almost unconscious way. That sets me at ease when I pick up a pencil, yet I still like to feel a focus or purpose when I sketch.
That’s why I think a subscription to Drawing magazine
is the best idea for those of us interested in working on paper. Artists and drawing instructors discuss the importance of how to draw fluidly and sketch mindfully
. In every issue, it seems like the concepts of a good, expressive drawing are broken down in a new way, so that you can learn to sketch by focusing on rhythm, line quality, and composition, in a way that never gets old. And other sketching lessons bubble up too! They stick in my mind like the seeds of a good idea that I’ll be ready to sow once I put pencil to paper. Drawing
really points me in the right direction in terms of taking what I love about sketching into an arena where I have purpose and draw with intent. So let go and let draw! Enjoy!