No Tricks

For the past year or so, I have been on a quest to find out what artists I really admire and why I respect their work. Something I have come to realize is that the illustrators I most enjoy are artists who can  draw with no excuses and no tricks. They have just learned how to draw and they own it! Of course, what it means to be able to draw is different for each one of us.  To me, it means they can capture movement, expression, and body posture extremely well. They don't use detail or tricks of the material to seduce the viewer. They are true observers of the world around them.   

Drawing by Quentin Blake

Drawing by Quentin Blake

Drawing my Gabrielle Vincent

Drawing my Gabrielle Vincent

Drawing by Gabrielle Vincent from her children's book series Ernest et Celestine.

Drawing by Gabrielle Vincent from her children's book series Ernest et Celestine.

Drawing my Beatrix Potter.   Look at that light pouring out of the windows onto the cat!

Drawing my Beatrix Potter.   Look at that light pouring out of the windows onto the cat!

I have been trying to study and memorize body postures and textures to improve my own drawings for some time now. However, a recent drawing I did pointed out to me that I should revisit the rules of perspective as well.  I hated perspective drawing in beginning drawing classes, it seemed so forced and tedious. Luckily, I later learned that you could forget those rules when drawing from life because you could just draw what you see! :) The problem is, now I want to be able to draw from my imagination. I want to be able to set up environments without having something to look at. Doing that requires going back to the rules. :( I learned this with color, during my undergrad years at IU.  After many classes of painting from life, I found myself in my studio wanting to paint from my imagination. I wanted to create depth and space with color and struggled through many paintings before I tried recalling rules about equal value and how our eye perceives color as it recedes in space. 

All that to say… I have a new goal: work on perspective drawing!