draw more

Most little children love to draw. You can see this ‘phenomenon’ for yourself. Go into any family restaurant and notice how a box of crayons, and a piece of paper will keep restless children happy.

So later, why do so many aspiring artists and even seasoned painters abandon drawing? The fundamentals for both drawing and painting are the same. Yet, the most important factor in drawing and painting is the ability to see.
After careful observation, the artist must translate the scene, and then record it on paper or canvas. This practice is simplified with crayons, markers, and pencils because they are easier to control than paint and a brush.
I myself, was born with a pencil in hand. But over the years, I have been guilty of slacking-off on my drawing skills.
Recently, I was reminded that artists should draw more, not less!

Plein air painting & sketch by Lori McNee

This point was reiterated to me while painting in Maine with landscape artist, T. Allen Lawson. Lawson is a master painter who begins every painting with a sketch and sometimes a detailed drawing.
Whether you choose to draw by quickly sketching the scene before you, or you methodically render a finished work on paper. Whether you are a studio painter or plein air painter, drawing will improve your art.

10 reasons why artists should draw more:

    1. To learn to see.

    2. To inspire the design.

    3. To record the geometric shapes and patterns of the composition 

    4. To organize the composition into 4 values or less for a strong design.

    5. To problem solve and analyze. Fixing the problems with a pencil is easier than with paint.

    6. To save time and spend more time painting and less time problem solving.

    7. To improve your art  – build stronger skills and better paintings.

    8. To help build an agenda for executing your painting.

    9. To learn artistic dexterity and eye-hand coordination.

    10. To help your memory. Drawing helps with short-term memory and ideas that might otherwise be forgotten.

Below you see a sketch and a drawing from Tim Allen Lawson’s personal sketchbook along with notes that will assist him back in the studio. Please notice the tree in the upper right-hand corner of the thumbnail sketch. The detailed tree drawing below was made to further aid Tim when it comes time to compose the information into a studio painting.

T. A. Lawson sketch T. A. Lawson's tree sketch drawing

And remember… 😉

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. ~ Joyce A. Myers

Happy drawing! ~Lori
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