Wednesday, June 06, 2012

On Art and Ears

"Draw from life" a phrase that every kind of artist, weather writing, dancing or drawing hears as they lean to create art.

It generally means that as we create art we need to see the life around us and put in what we create so there is truth in the stories we tell. Then people can relate to it, understand it, and probably love it.

But I want to talk about "drawing from life" in a slightly more literal sense.

A Memory
When I was in college we often had professional artists come to visit to teach us stuff, be cool and generally inspire us with the awe of what we could become. One of those was Walter Rane. It's safe to say he is my favorite artist today who paints religious themed paintings. I recommended giving his site a look

As part of his visit he attended my figure drawing class and drew with us. I remember the moment I sneaked up a little ways behind him with my friends and had a look at his drawing. He had chosen a spot to sit that gave him a view of the model's back, and  more importantly the back of her head. This is a place that we as students probably had shunned wanting to draw interesting things like the face.

I remember looking at that drawing and seeing how he had drawn the back of the model's ear. It was amazing! In that moment I realized that even though I often drew while looking at the model I let my brain fill in the pieces it wanted to with out really seeing the full of life details that were right in front of me. I was drawing ears from my head. Lame.

This Sunday
I was at church drawing the people around me. Something I often do as I listen, but this week I decided to focus on certain details. I started with hair and moved onto ears. That's when I remembered my ear experience from college. I don't know how well I've applied this lesson to my art. I hope I can do a much better job "drawing from life" as I move forward as an artist.

Here is the sketchbook page from Sunday

"Draw from life"
For the visual artists the phrase has two meanings and if we take full advantage of both of them I think we can't help but create amazing art.


  1. I'll be thinking about this as I draw in church this Sunday. Thanks Manelle. Great insight!

  2. Thanks, I'm really glad it sounds like you found something valuable in the post.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...