An Eye for Drawing

Bearded Iris, graphite

Drawing is therapeutic for me. Drawing is also the basic skill needed in any type of realistic or pseudo realistic painting. Some painters may argue that point. Drawing is the starting point for botanical painting. The foundational skill to base all other skills on is drawing. Honing drawing skills will hon painting skills even if your painting style is Impressionistic, Expressionistic or even Abstract. Believe it or not, good drawing skills will make for great Abstract painting. Don’t believe me? Try a week of focusing your entire art practice just on drawing. One week! That’s not too much.

Pick a subject for one week and draw that subject for at least one drawing a day. If you are a botanically inclined artist, pick one flower and draw that one flower daily for a week. At the end of the week, look at your drawings. Did you notice anything changing? Perhaps as the week went on, you used your eraser less frequently. Maybe you saw things in that flower you had not seen before, like the way the petals turn, or the ruffles on the edges. The shapes that make up a flower might be more apparent. If your imagination is like mine, you may even start to see a personality in that flower. Many poets have written odes to flowers.

Yellow Iris, oil on canvas

At the end of the week, instead of writing odes like the poets, create a a painting or two on the subject of your drawing. Did you paint any differently? Did you put some feature into the painting you may not have included before? Drawing skills can be eye-opening. Are your eyes open a little wider after a week of drawing? I’d love to know!

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