Art Books

I’ve been having a hard time feeling motivated to read this month, and so I’ve decided to talk about a book that I intend to read. Hopefully by thoroughly dissecting a page or two and discussing it for the blog, I’ll feel motivated to read the book in its entirety. I could easily lie and say that I’ve already read it, but that just seems unnecessary. 

I want to get better at drawing from life because I set very high standards for myself and know that if I were to ask someone to sit for me while I draw them, between the pressure of wanting to do good and lacking the skill, it would naturally end up looking disappointing. I did do a drawing from a live model in one of my classes in the spring semester, which I’ll share below, however I know that I can do better, it’s just a matter of how and when I’m going to get to that place of being, by my own standards, “better”.

The book I intend to look through and hopefully feel encouraged to read is titled Drawing From Life: Second Edition by Clint Brown and Cheryl McLean. Flipping through the pages had me feeling intimidated because there were a lot of diagrams and beautiful, skillfully done works. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to dive right in to the deep end and analyze a random page from the table of contents, or rather start from the first page and see where it takes me. Seeing as I do want to make an effort to read the book in full, I decided to start with the first page. Section one begins on page 3, and is titled The Fundamentals, so I suppose it is a good thing I did not decide to jump around. 

The first page stresses the importance of learning the fundamentals, and a comparison is drawn between that of working out for a sport and practicing the fundamentals of art (such as figure drawing) constantly. It expresses that even abstract artists practice the fundamentals in order to hone their skills, which, to me, is very important information. I always draw what I want in my free time, but knowing that the fundamentals could help me in the long run makes me want to ignore my worries of failure and go for the figure drawing. Ultimately, my attention span only humored me for this one page, although once I get around to reading the book, I may find something interesting worth writing about in the future. Even if I decide to only read one page a day, I’ll learn some important information and ultimately, albeit slowly, become a better artist as a result.

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