Why Learn to Draw?

As we move further into the 21st century, our communications accelerate, images are now a vital part of our everyday lives. We are blasted daily via our cell phones, the internet, television, magazines, and newspapers. With all of the Arts disappearing from schools in the education curriculum, the study of images or the Visual Arts is now more important than ever, especially drawing!  

Study of Orange. Conté on toned paper.

The Visual Arts possess a unique, compelling form of communication! Whether a quick sketch on a napkin, an illustration in a book, a schematic, blueprint, preliminary drawing or work of art, it  communicates any idea, design, imagination, memory, feeling or belief to anyone, sometimes regardless of culture. 

The 20th century saw an unprecedented rise of images in newspapers, magazines and on television. Discussing journalism and publicity from a newspaper article in 1911 , Tess Flandars was first quoted as saying,

Use a picture. It's worth a thousand words.

Anyone can learn how to sketch or draw, it is a skill that can be learned. Your skills will improve over time if you practice or take a class.

Drawing is one of the oldest forms of human expression within the Visual Arts in which a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or any another two-dimensional medium. Drawing instruments include graphite, pencil, pen and ink, colored pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, inked brushes, various kinds of paints,various kinds of erasers, markers, styluses or even various metals (such as silverpoint), used during the Renaissance. Drawings may also be considered artwork or fine art.

Sketching or a sketch is quick drawing that contains little detail but captures the main features of a subject. Sketches are usually executed freehand or rapidly, not intended as finished work of art and are often used to explore a theme or may help to plan another, more detailed drawing.

Both sketching or basic drawing skills will help you develop the ability to manipulate line, shape, value, texture or space, all which are part of the Visual Elements of Design, used to translate any verbal idea or message to an image.

Image if you were to write an article in French if you did not know the language or even the basic or simplest vocabulary how efficient would your communication be? Sketching or drawing skills are essential for any designer, architect, scientist or engineer and absolutely vital to any representational artist.

During the Renaissance artists, engineers and architects were all one in the same profession. An excellent draftsman was deemed omnipotent supreme! Good drafters possessed a unique skill, in which they could record, create, design, invent, experiment, organize, or clarify their thoughts, through a sketch or preliminary drawing.

Putting their ideas on to paper or into images, communicated their vision to the vast majority of a population, who were never taught to read. Think about it, everything in the human-made world now comes from a sketch, drawing or blueprint, even if it comes from a computer generated image.

The act of drawing requires the orchestration of multiple brain mechanisms functioning together including observation, planning, processing, visual and spatial intelligence, emotion, motor skills and also personally expressive mark-making.

All of the work of the hand is rooted in thinking.” — Martin Heidegger

Over time, with the practice of drawing, you will increase your ability to carefully observe, understand the observation in your mind, translate it and relay that translation to your hand, which will enhance your mental capabilities and capacity to solve problems.

Learning to draw is an amazing process itself and will enrich your life!

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