Below is a video which shows how NOT to draw. In it is one of the most depressing developments I’ve seen in painting in a long time.
Please, I beg of any artist reading this, never ever sit and hold your drawing implement like this person and never ever confuse what this man is doing with drawing. It is called copying. Copying is not drawing. Copying and drawing are mutually exclusive. If you are obsessed by learning to copy you will eventually destroy your ability to do anything BUT copy.
I understand the urge in this chaotic thing that is making art the comfort one can find in sitting down with a structure and copying, knowing that if you’re diligent you can go through all the steps and reach nirvana. The perfect, lifelike image with all the tones in perfect relation to one another.
Perfection, right? But think about it. What if every single artist were learning to draw just like this… each one making a perfect copy. Artist after artist, each one making a perfect copy. Galleries filled with perfect copies of perfect models by perfectly rigid people in perfectly organized studios …. and those little boxes…little boxes…little boxes… made of ticky tacky and they all live in those boxes and they all look just the same.
I’m exaggerating (slightly) for sake of effect. You may do some academic drawing. I myself have done so…. shudder. It’s actually very relaxing, particularly the days long version. Like drifting into deep meditation. But break away from it. Like Picasso, like De Kooning, like Beckmann, van Gogh, break away fast. Not having it is no hindrance to painting. Drawing is central. But look at real Old Master drawing, like Rembrandt, Poussin, Pontormo, Tintoretto. Note the energy, the dynamic movement. The extraordinary looseness and flow and freedom. The dance. The sense of the body moving with the mind. The marks as marks in their own right, idiosyncratic, suggestive of form–not making everything obvious and filled in so that the eye can’t move along with the mind.
The mind grows dull looking at academic realism, just as it does at photo realism. There is nothing erotic, which is present in all the great masterpieces. The enthusiastic embrace of life lived. Look at Picasso!