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« Map Love Madness No. 3 | Main | beauty »

How Do You Draw?

"The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done—men who are creative, inventive, and discovers. The second goal of education is to form minds which can be critical, can verify, and not accept everything they are offered."
Jean Piaget 

Pick your work surface: Do you work in a watercolor journal? On loose watercolor paper, copier paper, yellow legal pad, junk mail, netflix envelopes, textured handmade paper, cardboard cereal box, a moleskine drawing journal, photograph/shiny magazine, masking tape, fabric, wood, canvas, index cards? Describe your drawing environment: Do you balance your journal on your knee? Draw comfortably at a table, stand in front an angled easel? Journal balanced awkwardly on your lap on the metro, sitting on a drizzly park bench, lying on the beach on a towel on sand, in your art studio with perfect lighting? What do you do to your surface “before” drawing: Do you paint abstract watercolors or acrylics? Start with a rough pencil sketch or an uneven collage glued to the page, hand stitch the edges? How do you treat your work “after” drawing: Do you watercolor your drawings? Mail off your artwork as good mail day fodder? Paint with acrylics, shade in pencil, stitch on your sewing machine, add collage, perhaps embellish with gelly rolls? Cut up for art journal fodder? What about your color preferences: Do you work in only black or sepia? Adore a huge basket of fresh markers or overlapping transparent colors? Pick what type of lines you draw: Would we find an abundance of cross-hatching or curvy doodles? Clean edges, precise circles? Do you use a ruler or french curve? Do you like your lines to run or stay put? Light, bold... smudged?

Calculate the possible permutations

We all use our pens in different ways. I might draw and immediately watercolor my drawings. You might draw at the beach where the splash of water is inevitable. Permanence would be key for both of us. Or not.

What works for me, might not work for you. And vice versa.

As you get into drawing, you’ll get pickier about the writing implements you use. You will care about the consistency of the line, how long it lasts, whether you can carry it in your backpack. You will care whether it is waterproof, how quickly it dries, whether it feathers, whether it can take raindrops without dissolving.

You will want to know exactly what the pen can do.

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Reader Comments (5)

Just thought I'd let you know that I love your blog. It's the first one I check every day. Thank you.

02.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirstin

So True! The statement about once you start working with your pens/pencils you will start to care what pencils/pens you use. I have found this to be unbelievably true....I've become a bit of a pencil/pen snob! Haha....seriously though....I want a tool that will do what I expect it to surprises. I also have found that the tools teach me. I have so much to learn. Good post!! Thanks :D

02.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEden

I think my answer to all these questions is yes. I don't draw with any regular practice. (and I don't draw because I'm not good at drawing, but I don't get good at drawing because I don't draw) but when I feel like drawing it's completely random how/when/where and with what. and I keep ruining my writing implements because I draw over wet acrylics or oil pastels or any number of other materials that kill pens. I'm too damn impatient!

02.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenteriamrushmore

I use a sketch pad with heavy paper.....i curl up on the couch with the TV on for background noise mostly and i sketch lightly with a pencil with my handy dandy must
have eraser as i never get it right the first can sit at my desk or at the table but i do my best work curled up on the couch...........sometimes i draw randomly.....but i do my best work when i have a picture in my head of what i want the finished piece to look like. If i can't see it in my mind's eye then i have more trouble (read more erasing) Once my pencil lines are set if i've erased alot i'll use graphite paper and trace the finished image onto a clean sheet then outline the lines with a black marker. THEN the fun begins....i get to color it. Right now i'm deep into colored pencils and just received my first set of Prisma color pencils.....I use markers sometimes if i need intense color in small spaces. I like to have the colors worked out before i begin coloring and have a scratch paper to work out the colors on......I want to expand into acrylic paints which i am doing a little at a time.......Thanks for asking!!! :)

02.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

I love your list of really opens up all the possibilities, doesn't it?

02.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndria

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