Notebook, 1993-

MATERIALS & METHODS - DRAWING - Drawing Materials - Drawing Techniques

Learning to Draw - (NYTimes) -- Works on Paper - Paper

Sketch - Study - Finished Drawing


"If the hand did not run as quickly, it would be behind the thought; if the improvisation were less sudden, the life brought across would be less; if the work were more hesitant or less sizeable, the work would become impersonal . . . . " [In lines consecrated to Rubens and written in 1876, Eugène Fromentin, in his book 'Old Masters'].

"A drawing can hold a position anywhere on the scale; it can be more or less whole depending on how commitment and skill come together to produce that combination of shape plus meaning by which a drawing lacks nothing . . . . The desired effect in the tersist possible fashion . . . . " [Collier, Graham. Form, Space & Vision, An Introduction to Drawing and Design. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1985.]

"Drawing - art of the draftsman. In its broadest sense it includes every use of the delineated line and is thus basic to the arts of painting, architecture, sculpture, calligraphy, and geometry. The word drawing is commonly used to denote works in pen, pencil, crayon, chalk, charcoal, or similar media in which form rather than color is emphasized. For centuries drawings have been made either as preparatory studies (see cartoon) or as finished works of art. Preparatory drawings sometimes reveal a vigor and spontaneity lacking in the completed work. Among the many artists acclaimed for their drawings are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dürer, Rubens, Hogarth, Goya, Daumier, Klee, Picasso, and Matisse. Drawings are often used as illustrations and are reproduced by such processes as etching, engraving, and lithography. See Paul Sachs, Modern Prints and Drawings (1954); Heribert Hutter, Drawing: History and Technique (tr. 1968); K. T. Parker, ed., Old Master Drawings (14 vol., 1940, repr. 1970)." [Harris, William H., and Judith S. Levey, eds. The New Columbia Encyclopedia. New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1975.]

" . . . One can draw a line in such a way that the eye is induced to follow its direction, the rhythm of its curves, and the elegance and beauty of its movements. Such a line has the character and value of a pattern, but in itself, has "no significance . . . . " On the other hand one can draw lines - not just a single one; two are almost necessarily required for this purpose - related to one another, in such a way that the eye has to interpret them as the bounds of a corporeal, a plastic form situated within them. To put this another way; these coupled strokes are drawn in such a manner that the eye is prevented from following them lengthwise, but must apprehend them in a direction independent of their own. It must proceed beyond the flat sheet of paper on which they lie, and to which they are tied down, in the three dimensional space. In this case, the lines have a "significance" beyond charm of their own lead and their descriptive capacity; they signify spatial extension, and are at the same time expressive, demonstrating by means of their forms the inner tension, the lively vigour of the body which they make apparent . . . . Delacroix was unable to do justice to these lines (single lines) because they play no part in expressing ACTIVE LIFE. On the contrary, they are opposed to it, tending to restrict the richness, vigor and abundance of living forms. Ornamental line (the single line) has no "significance" for him because it achieved exactly what his own art never aspired to; it stills life, reduces its fullness, and curbs its vigor . . . . By means of . . . . the ornamental line an artist dominates life, by soothing and purifying it and setting it in an emphasized order . . . . By means of the second (a multiplicity of coupled strokes), an artist dominates life by extolling its power, expressing its vigor, and implying its volume and richness . . . . Between these two alternatives the art of drawing swings. There is no third, unless, indeed, one be arrived at by the synthesis of the former two. Such synthesis, uniting calm and purity with power, vigor and the richness and volume of life has been rarely achieved, and by very few masters." [Kurt Budt, EUGENE DELACROIX DRAWINGS]

"When we use lines to draw we are registering the transmission of force of no less credibility than nature itself . . . . Basic types of linear energy inevitably determine the dynamic quality of any drawing: a. Direct linear thrust [concentrated] b. The meander [relaxed]. c. The curvilinear swell [even area of pressure] . . . . Each carry connotations of DIRECTION, RATE OF MOTION, FORCE OF MOTION . . . . How does the line read? time rates - accelerations - varying outputs - patterns interact - tone value - smoothness - roughness - heaviness - lightness - brokenness - continuity - sharpness - etc . . . . " [Collier, Graham. Form, Space & Vision, An Introduction to Drawing and Design. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1985.]

"With a single stroke, light is separated from dark, and space and scale are evoked from a void. In the beginning of all the arts lies this graphic act by pen, pencil, brush or chisel with which, and from which, all else follows." [Colin Eisler, The Seeing Hand, New York: Harper & Row, 1975. p. 7]

"Drawing evokes a dialogue between itself and the viewer. Becoming familiar with the physical structure of point, line, and area is like learning how to spell and pronounce a few essential words of a new language. . . . . "[Crofton, Ian, ed. New York: Schirmer Books, A Division of Macmillan, 1988.]

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The Work Featured Above: "Andrea del Sarto Florentine, 1486 - 1530 Head of Saint John the Baptist, c. 1523 black chalk on paper laid down on panel, 33 x 23.1 cm (13 x 9 1/16 in.) Woodner Collection 1991.182.14" (Click on the image above for indepth notation.) (Collection of
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC)



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