Over the years I have found that there are 2 kinds of artists. Those who can draw and those that can’t. I realize you are scratching your head right now trying to figure this out, and saying to yourself, “I thought if you were an artist you could draw?!” That isn’t always true.

During my lifetime as an artist I have found that many artist either trace the drawing, if it is small enough, or project it onto the surface they are using and trace it from there because they are unable to draw it. Do not get me wrong! There is nothing wrong with doing this if you are capable of drawing it out. Many famous artist and renaissance artist used some form of tracing or a grid to transfer a painting onto a canvas, and it is totally acceptable. The main thing is they are capable of drawing it. When transferring a work onto canvas I use a grid system, but after I have made studies of my design. The final design may be from a drawing or one designed on Pixelmator if I need to make sure that the proportions are correct.

Drawing is the basis of all art, and without it you can never find the joy and meditative feeling of art. Everyone can draw! Yes that is true! The comment of “I can’t draw a straight line.” is an excuse. Most of the time I don’t draw in straight lines, and if help is needed, I can utilize a ruler. Drawing teaches you the fundamentals of seeing, and it teaches you how to interpret what you see. Drawing makes you look below the surface in a way that tracing will never allow you to do. It makes you see the movement of things and it teaches you how to use them to make a better drawing.

It is ok to work with photos, and things like Photoshop and Pixelmator are wonderful tools to have to help you with your designs. But that is all they are. They can let you see things in a different way, but without knowing what you are really looking at you will have trouble finding the essence of the painting or drawing or sculpture or whatever you are working on.

The main thing drawing will do is to make you a better and stronger artist. Drawing helps give you the ability to put what is in your head out to share with the world, and more importantly it will give you a foundation to build your work on.

Drawing also helps you as a person. It is a form of meditation, and is a wonderful way to simply relax. It is a great way to record memories, and it is a tool for finding you inner being. It will make you look into yourself and to question where you want to go as an artist. Drawing is not just an art; it is a way of life that allows us to see, to search, and to create.

“I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice.”

Erich Fromm