For the last few weeks, I’ve been discussing “drawing well”: does this mean drawing with “camera accuracy” or does it mean expressing something about your process or why you wanted to draw this thing. I’ve touched on expressive drawing, exercises to help make your drawing more expressive, and books to guide you.
Left to Right:
Traces of Peoples, Industry, and Dreams (detail) (36”x72”, mixed media on canvas, $5800, available at time of posting)
PortTown 4 (36”x24”, mixed media on mylar, $1020, available at time of posting)
Paint Draw 3 (24”x20”, mixed media on paper, $250, availalbe at time of posting)
Loci (24”x20”, mixed media on paper, private collection)
What characterizes your expressive drawing?
What do you draw?
Do you have a favourite subject matter? Are you a doodler?
What do you draw with?
Do you use ink? Ballpoint pen? Hard pencil? soft charcoal? Why? Do you like how it feels in your hand? Do you like the mark it makes? Is it just what was on hand?
Where do you start?
Do you dive into the center of the page? Start off in the bottom left corner? Do you work from that point and fill out uniformly, or do you work ‘all over’ the drawing?
How much of the page do you fill?
Are your drawings dense or sparse? Do you leave large areas of paper untouched?
Do you frequently use a particular composition?
Do you love a grid? A serpentine flow?
What are ‘your marks’?
Do you make lots of small, short marks? Continuous looping lines? Are your marks angular or curvacous? Tentative or bold? Do you have lots of shading or tonal areas, or do you stick to clear, defined lines?
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In the series of images at the top of this post, you can see certain similarities that characterize my drawing style:
- Composition often features a high horizon line.
- Markmaking includes oval scribbles, slightly angular meandering lines, slightly rounded zig zag marks, and occasionally very dark ‘loci’.
- I like to draw with black and greys, graphite, acrylic markers, lithograph and other crayons. I also ‘draw’ with my brush and scraping tools.
- I tend to start with that high horizon line, then bring things down into the large space below.
Do you have a recognizable drawing style?
It can be fun and informative to hang a number of your drawings up together and look at them to see if you have any clear characteristics.