|da Vinci, "Study for Battle of Anghiari" black chalk, ca 1504|
|"Draw, Antonio" 1522|
For many, a period of drawing to begin every studio day serves as a way of loosening the "muscles" of the mind, gives the eyes a chance to see and the mind an opportunity to translate the perception. Drawings help sharpen skills with whatever medium is being used. A mentor of mine used to talk about his own practice of drawing for half an hour every morning, the stated point not being to make a masterpiece or even a finished drawing in the classical sense, but instead to work out, in a sense; to train the eyes, mind and hand(s); to introduce the chance to enter that creative state some have called "flow." Most of the results will never see the light of day, and should not. They are only practice, no matter how accomplished the results. I doubt that either of the masters whose sketches are posted here ever expected anyone except an interested student or artist to see them.
Here are a couple of drawings that resurfaced somehow after a couple of years. Each is graphite on a small sketch page of about 5"x7" or so. Neither was intended as more than a study; neither has been shown anywhere. Both were more than likely drawn from a reference either in a book or perhaps a newspaper. When I drew these, possibly in 2012 or 2013, I was most likely using a 2B pencil on this slightly tan and rougher paper.
The image to the right is a quick digital sketch of a woman dressed for the Iowa winter weather. She had just come inside from the cold still wearing her jacket and an enormous scarf, which was what attracted me to sketching her in the first place. In Sketchbook I used the pencil tool for the finer lines and the airbrush tool for the broader ones.
Practice is a foundation of creativity. In all of the arts, whether it's dance, music, visual art, drama, or the written word, experimentation and repetition make practicing effective. Practice gives me the chance to hone skills and try new materials and media. In particular, drawing practice is the foundation of everything I do.