View Full Version : Chp2: The Practice And Science Of Drawing

10-29-2006, 09:03 PM
Hi ya! chapter 2 is on drawing.

or sort of.

Do you do it good or do you do it bad and who decides?

This is where Speed leaves us at the end of Chp 1.

the point of view from which the following pages are written, and if it also serves to disturb the "copying theory" in the minds of any students and encourages them to make further inquiry, it will have served a useful purpose.

I put disturb in bold text because I tend to agree to copy just to copy is not what I believe art to be about. Maybe someone can presude me different. I'm not sure I believe it's to teach moral values, or to decorate a wall over a sofa or to be made in pursuit of an income or at request of a commission though these things are certainly done by artists with something called "art." So what is this further inquiry? What it is and why useful? I'm looking forward to reading his view on line, value and form. And he starts this chapter on form. But dosn't commit all yet.

Drawing Speed writes, is here meant the expression of form upon a plane surface.

He goes on to express you need to be able to draw with a cold ability in order to move on to express feelings of a moment in time....my understanding.
Ok yes, if you want to draw a chicken crossing the street, you don't want it to look like a cow jumping over the moon.

Good artists of strong natural inspiration and simple minds are often quite unconscious of doing anything when painting, but are all the same as mechanically accurate as possible.

Don't agree that strong natural inspiration & simple minds go together or that a simple mind is unconscious of doing anything when painting. Good art and mechanically accurate as possible is a result of an artists' plan or intent to make art in a naturalistic way. Speed sits on both sides of the fence, with this:

It is this difference between scientific accuracy and artistic accuracy that puzzles so many people. Science demands that phenomena be observed with the unemotional accuracy of a weighing machine, while artistic accuracy demands that things be observed by a sentient individual recording the sensations produced in him by the phenomena of life. And people with the scientific habit that is now so common among us, seeing a picture or drawing in which what are called facts have been expressed emotionally, are puzzled, if they are modest, or laugh at what they consider a glaring mistake in drawing if they are not, when all the time it may be their mistaken point of view that is at fault.
But while there is no absolute artistic standard by which accuracy of drawing can be judged, as such standard must necessarily vary with the artistic intention of each individual artist.

However I do agree with this.

This physical standard of accuracy in his work it is the business of the student to acquire in his academic training; and every aid that science can give by such studies as Perspective, Anatomy, and, in the case of Landscape, even Geology and Botany, should be used to increase the accuracy of his representations yes, yes, yes, if they want to work in a representational way.

The next chapter is on vision, can't wait to hear what you think. I'm not trying to side with or against Speed. Of course today we don't normally walk around writing of how well people think but on second thought, it is as common as ever.

10-30-2006, 01:57 PM
Nickel, your 2x2 cents are adding up.

I think that art- to- get- a- point- accross is as obnoxious and flat as copying art. I think art a tool of communication. Every learns to talk by copying but what one says reveals who he is. art can leave one naked!! quick find me a fig bush!!!!!

10-31-2006, 08:18 AM
This somewhat sums up my own personal artistic goals when I have ideas I would like to illustrate. I want to be accurate enough to allow the viewer to recognize objects and people in my work without distraction. At the same time, I would hate for rendering to become such a focus that I lose the original thought. I was getting into such a photocopy frame of mind, that "Why" I chose to draw this or that was becoming moot. For me, the golden egg will be when I can render a believable picture to provoke those 1000 words everyone always talks about.

10-31-2006, 04:14 PM
Azulparsnip, yep, come out from behind the figbush, lol! Yes naked as a jaybird. Couldn't agree more, if a painting says this is blah blah blah, well it hurts my eyes, ears, brain too.

Hi Shehaub, absolutely, I agree, when you let someone see a painting, you don't want them to be distracted by mistakes. I've been there too, draw this exact, make this smooth, do it this way because that is what is expected. It's the idea of how to create those 1000 questions with maybe one or two answers along the way to cause a query that so tempt the mind.

I've moved on, :)
Here is a link to Chp 3


11-01-2006, 08:15 PM
The idea that art “owes more to form for it’s range of expression than color” was a really interesting idea. There is probably quite a bit of truth to it. And since so many artist study color so intently, I can see that “form” may be an area to pay more attention to.

I have read about artists from the 17th C and the Renaissance both using a limited palette based on colors used by Apelles (and other ancient Greek artists). One of the reasons that they did so was that the small number of colors would have the artist concentrate more on value and form. (Red oxide, yellow oxide, ivory black with maybe a burnt umber or burnt sienna or raw sienna were common palettes of this sort.)

I love the saying that “Drawing, although the first, is also the last thing that a painter studies”!

It was interesting that he described the drawings of Botticelli and other italian renaissance painters as “light”. That may be one of the things that has always drawn me to renaissance art!

It is great to hear his description of art as allowing one to experience things second hand. I love that art allows us to extend our possible experiences.

It is good to read that he also agrees that an artists needs to focus on accuracy for an extended period in the beginning!

Hmmm, Art does reveal so many of our thought that we aren’t even aware that we have! It’s always funny to see how even when people copy, they still reveal themselves!

I did find Speed’s sections that talk about knowing what to emphasize and de-emphasize good to see. I had a prof who talked about drawing the lettuce, pickle and tomatoes on a hamburger and then forgetting to draw the burger or the bun!

Shehaub - I haven’t seen you around in a while! It’s great to find you here!

azulparsnip - Great description! :D

Barb Solomon:cat:

Sam Cree
11-01-2006, 09:11 PM
I have seen that most representational artists warn against "copying."

I think it's because you really cannot copy nature molecule for molecule...there is too much there, and you can't really make paint into reality...as David Leffel obscurely puts it, you can only paint paint, not reality.

The artists is making an illusion of reality, a suggestion of reality, not reality itself...the artist must select what to emphasize, what to de emphasize, how to interpret the whole thing and give it life, how to give of himself to perhaps show a reality that the viewer may not have been able to articulate or see, but which will delight the viewer nonetheless and increase his appreciation and understanding of that reality on any number of levels.

Sam Cree
11-01-2006, 09:14 PM
Of course there is one area that must be copied to some extent - proportions ought to be accurate.

11-01-2006, 11:21 PM
This kind of reminds me earlier when we said that the “great masterpieces” often had aspects that were “wrong” in some sense or other.

You are right. We only paint close enough to look as if the image could have been!

Still, most of us can still find things that we could learn to be even more realistic.

Barb Solomon:cat:

Precious Mazie
11-01-2006, 11:31 PM
not sure as a photographer that I agree with his opinions of photography. I have been very moved by photographs and see them as art. "What fine form" is what photographic art is all about. But that is really a side point. I thought that the final statement that your aim should be to strive for "a searching accuracy" during your academic training was refreshing. Considering that present art training seems to throw off accuracy and drawing as mundane or stifling.

11-03-2006, 12:29 PM
I simplly loved this chapter..... the talk of the emotional signifiance of objects and of "art enables us to experience life at second hand....
enlarging of the experience is true education..... and of practicing accurately well so that we can well express subtilities under the excitement of strong feeling.....

it all makes me feel so alive........