Drawing is a very complex subject and one that needs to be approached in a delicate fashion. So many people are afraid to even try to pick up a pencil. It appears that topics such as cross-hatching and hatching brings people out in goose bumps.
Why should that be?
It is a drawing technique which has been used by the old masters years before it’s time. It is just a method of using interlocking pencil lines to create darker and lighter areas within your picture. The technique is great fun to use and easy to master. There are many other fun techniques you can use to make a subject really stand out on the page. One such technique is smudging, which is created by using a very soft pencil such as a 6B. The pencil work is rubbed lightly with the finger until it creates a smudged area, then a putty rubber is used to add contrast to the picture. We must not forget plain shading which should never be overlooked. It is important to create shadow around your art work, but you must determine where the light is coming from first. If your subject matter is a still life of fruit, it is possible to determine were the light hits the fruit. Then you shade from the opposite side. This adds depth to your picture and directs the eyes to the subject matter.
We hear a lot about the use of cameras and computers in this day and age and it makes you wonder if there is still a place for drawing in our busy lives today. It is true that you can draw using a computer and can use a camera to produce stunning photographs.
Does this detract from real drawing?
In my mind there is always a place for pure pencil work on good quality paper. The computer can not compete with soft and gentle pencil lines. The detail of hard and soft strokes upon the page are left completely for artists.
This is also a opportunity to discuss what interests and inspires people about drawings from the past. If we look to the past we can almost touch and taste real drawing. There is a picture of cats by Leonardo da Vinci which I particularly like. It is a comprehensive study of cat postures. It shows his mind developing the concept of the form and structure of a common cat. This pencil picture could never be replaced. It is a master piece of pencil work which is made more appealing since the subject matter is unlikely to keep still. Drawing is being pushed to the limits in our life time but still it holds a mystery and mastery element. The joy of producing a clear fresh image of an object can feel exhilarating. The mastery of the basic pencil can make you feel a million dollars.