Thinking art. Learning technique. Worshiping God.
Why draw before you draw? Because you need a guideline. It may seem tedious, and--trust me-- I know how hard it is to sit down to do a drawing anyway. I've never been a fan of all the prep and set up. I'd rather get right into my final drawing. But, there's is a critical reason for thumbnailing--composition. This sounds super artsy, but we're just talking about where you put your objects on the page. A vase smack in the middle of the page leaves little to be desired. What if you draw only half of the vase and a few flowers on the table? What if you knock the vase over and draw the aftermath? Think about what message you want to convey and how your page can suggest this.(Read a word on connecting theme to composition here.) In short, thumbnails can keep you from finishing a drawing and realizing it's boring and doesn't draw the viewer in. So let's learn how to do it!
By Carole Ruffin
So, you’ve got that blank piece of paper in front of you, your still life set up, your pencil poised and ready to draw. But what mark do you make first, and where--and how?? Let’s back up. A blank paper’s often daunting at first, but remember the sketch is not the final drawing. In fact--done right--the sketch isn’t even visible after you finish shading. Here are some tips to consider:
By Carole Ruffin
1- Tell The Truth.
Drawing what you see means telling the truth. Ultimately art is communication-- you are communicating what you see to the viewer. (You are also drawing what you feel. This is where artistic license comes in and I’ll put more on this in the next post) So, what do you see and how does it make you feel?
Image: A Brief Survey of Christian Philosophers and Artists, from left to right: Variations on a Theme by Grace Carol Bomer, Revelation (graphic book) illustrated by Chris Koelle, How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer, Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey, Well Worn by Dr. Mark Sprinkle, Sergio Cariello, The Narnia Trilogy by C.S. Lewis, the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Courageous by Stephen and Alex Kendrick.
Christians are rediscovering their need to be a living, breathing part of the arts.
This means making art that engages the broader culture. While many believers turned away from the arts as a viable avenue for Gospel expression, we now see the powerful influence of those Christian artists who dared to remain and artistically give answer for the hope within them.
Woman's Healing Hurt by Carole Ruffin, 11 by 14- mixed media
It's a challenge to draw an inward journey. How do you draw something you can't see? As a Christian artist and writer, I'm met with this hurdle often. Putting into strokes- or even words- the life changing experience that happens when we encounter the cross is almost impossible. Yet so much of our experience is internal: salvation, growth, and personal change to name a few. I can communicate the journey by adding text or I could also use symbols like a dove or a cross, but I'm challenging myself to push beyond quick telling techniques.