Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cowboy Sketch

Charcoal Sketch Approx. 12" x 9"
For several years I've been attending portrait drawing sessions once or twice a week. These sessions along with other drawing sessions, plus sketching on my own are how I've been able to develop drawing skills to any degree. The sessions have been very important to me. Without them, I wouldn't learn how to to draw. No amount of painting will make up for lack of drawing because drawing provides the structure that supports the painting.

Just as in sports or music, drawing requires practiced hand-eye coordination. The best basketball players, for instance, don't just read a how-to book and immediately go out and win a NBA MVP trophy. They have to spend a lot of time in practice learning, developing and polishing basketball skills. They study and practice the game. There are many fine books which teach drawing skills, but then the student of drawing has to figure out how to apply the book learning. That takes practice, practice, practice. No matter where a painter is in his or her career you should never stop improving your drawing. If you're not building drawing skills you're loosing them. Sooner or later that will show in your painting.

Developing good drawing skills isn't easy but needn't be drudgery. Finding a drawing session that provides a place to work and models for a reasonable fee allows the painter to network with other artists, get feedback, and join in the energy of a group of painters all developing their own drawing skills. And if someone brings snacks it's even less drudgery! Yum! (Thanks everybody!)

From time to time I'll post on this blog some of the portraits I've drawn from life at these drawing sessions, but for now it's time for me to saddle up and ride off into the sunset. Wish I had a horse!

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."


billspaintingmn said...

Hi James! A fun and interesting blog you have.

I can see you have drawing skills. The cowboy and the ladys portraits look great!
Also, I like the landscapes you're doing. I'll have to read more of your blog posts.
I see this is a fun place, probably because you're haveing fun!

James Gunter said...

Thanks, Bill. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. I try to be fun and useful here.

Quote: "A fun and interesting blog you have."

That's what I thought about your blog! Thanks again for commenting.