Thursday, 26 December 2013

Conception Verses Reality.

Michael Whynot. Head Study, 2013. Red chalk.

I wonder whether what I create conveys the reality, the beauty, of what I see, or, rather, merely the conception of what I see? And I fear that, while our creations may have a beauty in their own right, conveying the truth of what we see is impossible. How does one convey reality? Just attempt to describe it and you soon discover on what a slippery slope you're standing.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Nature of Beauty.

Michael Whynot. Portrait Study, 2013. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Portrait Study, 2013. Red chalk.

What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things. (Albrecht Durer)

I have begun to question the nature of beauty - and what, exactly, I am observing when I see that which I perceive as beautiful.

Is beauty intrinsic in an object or is beauty a quality of a perceptive mind?

Beauty must be subjective, as evidenced by the wide range of what is accepted as beautiful. But, it seems to me, that subjective beauty is mostly cosmetic; mere surface appearance. If we can get past our conceptions of what we believe beauty to be, and allow perception to be immediate and unencumbered by thought, then beauty may show itself to be universal and self-evident; a quality as real as truth or goodness.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Ideal Form: Michelangelo's Debt to the Ancient Greeks.

Michael Whynot. Torso Study after Greek sculpture, 2013. Red chalk.

Torso of Satyr. Ancient Greek.

Michelangelo. Last Judgement.

Torso Belvedere. Ancient Greek.

Michelangelo. Sistine Chapel study for Adam.

Michelangelo. Study for an Ignudo.

Michelangelo. Study for Haman.

The idea of beauty is the fundamental idea of everything. In the world we see only distortions of the fundamental idea, but art, by imagination, may lift itself to the height of this idea. Art is therefore akin to creation.  (Leo Tolstoy)

The artist is not a reporter, but a Great Teacher. It is not his business to depict the world as it is, but as it ought to be.  (H.C. Mencken)

Michelangelo understood the human form - understood its movement, its grace, its beauty. And, insofar as its depiction in drawing, painting and sculpture is concerned, one might almost believe that he had invented it. But he did not.

The Greeks discovered that naturalness of gesture over two thousand years ago; Michelangelo simply rediscovered it.

It seems we, as artists, periodically loose sight of this naturalness of form we call beauty or grace. Or, perhaps, there are simply very few artists who can perceive it; and, fewer still, who are able to utilize it freshly in their own work.

Many artists can copy a great work of art, but how many can successfully explore variations on that original concept? How many can expand upon and improve the concept - making it their own? This was Michelangelo's genius: his ability to understand ideal form and to be able to produce new variations of the two thousand year old concept from imagination alone.

And Michelangelo's exploration of those variations took the form of drawing - for, as brilliant as his sculpture and painting was (and it has rarely been equalled), it was through his drawings that he was able to wander along this path and discover new poses and forms, expanding our understanding of, and appreciation for, the beauty of the human form.

Michelangelo understood that the copying of nature was not the purpose of art. He embraced the idea of an ideal form that the ancient Greeks were seeking. He heard the call of perfection whispered across a two thousand year void and he repeated it aloud for those of us who would choose to listen.

I would like to include a link to the blog: The Best Artists. for a recent post comparing several of Michelangelo's works and the ancient Greek sculptures that inspired them. While I have been aware of Michelangelo's study of ancient Greek sculpture, I had not noticed the close correlation of some of his poses. An interesting post. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Head in Profile

Michael Whynot. A head in profile, 2013. Red chalk.

It's been nearly a month since my last post. I took a bit of a vacation and I have been trying to catch up on some much-needed yard work.

I spent an hour, this morning, studying the head in profile; the opportunity to show depth and volume being limited in this point of view. Try to distinguish, with tone or hatching, the side plane of the nose in contrast to the front plane of the cheek bone. The trapezius also conveys a sense of depth as it fits into the cylinder of the neck. The eye, nestled properly into its socket, and the hint of a cast shadow beneath the ear lobe also help. Not my favorite point of view.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Portrait Study from Life

Michael Whynot. Portrait study of Anne-Marie. Red chalk with white highlights, 2013.

Posting a short (fifteen minutes) study from last night's life session. I often wonder how much of an effect time has on our work? The fifteen minutes available for this study allowed for little more than a block-in with a couple of highlights to add dimensionality. Where would another fifteen minutes have led? Another thirty? An opportunity for improvement, or a chance to spoil the whole thing? I lie in bed at night and wonder about such alternatives: opportunities lost or blessings in another guise.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A Milestone Reached.

Michelangelo. Creation of Adam.

Beauty is a value as important as truth and goodness. I think we are loosing beauty and there is a danger that, with it, we will loose the meaning of life.    (Roger Scruton)

This blog reached a milestone today: ten thousand page views during the last twelve months.

When I began posting, last August, I meant to explore my ideas concerning the beauty inherent in natural forms - particularly the human form - and to chronicle my journey toward attaining the abilities necessary to depict that beauty in drawing, painting and sculpture, much as Praxiteles, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael had done before me.

I have come a long way, but have much further, yet, to go. I would like to thank everyone who has been following my posts, these last twelve months. I hope that you will continue to follow my journey; I hope my work proves worthy of your interest.

Drawing Between the Lines: Achieving Dimensionality.

Michael Whynot. Leg study in red chalk, 2013.

I began this post by preparing to upload a recent leg study without much in the way of commentary, but then I took a moment to consider the process of what I had drawn. Achieving a sense of dimensionality in the figure doesn't just happen; and it certainly won't happen by slavishly copying the external contours of the figure.

The eye of the viewer must be coaxed inside the form and away from the external contour. The way to do this is by not placing a hard outline around your forms, which is exactly what most beginning draftsmen struggle obsessively to copy from the model. Line quality and line weight are tied intrinsically to this aspect of good drawing.

Where to emphasize or not emphasize an external contour is an aesthetic decision that really defies rules, so study Michelangelo, Raphael, Da Vinci and Pontormo to understand how it should look when done well.

To persuade the viewer's eye to dwell within the contours, you must give it something to look at. The nearer forms must be modelled upon those forms which are farther away; in this way, depth is achieved.

Creating the appearance of dimensionality of a three dimensional form in space upon a two dimensional surface is not easy, but the sense of wonder it elicits is magical and well-worth our time and study.


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Drawing Upon Imagination.

Michael Whynot. Study of male reaching. Red chalk, 2013.

To 'draw' implies everything the word stands for: to pull or to drag or or to draw forth, as from the earth, a vein, or well.   (Lance Esplund)

Where are ideas born; from whence does inspiration spring? The imagination is little understood, but would seem to be a distillation of the remembered experiences of our lives. Hence, the infinite variety and scope of individual creativity.

Drawing is the ideal way of exploring the imagination: pulling new ideas to the surface, examining unfamiliar pieces of a puzzle until they fall into place. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pontormo; they all understood the link between drawing and the imagination, though its source remained mysterious to them - divine.

The drawing, above, was done this morning from imagination, and, like those masters five hundred years ago, I, too, have no conception of how it arose.

There are so many ways that a drawing can fail, that I am led to contemplate the hand of God in my work - the minor miracle exposed - when I actually succeed.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Recreating Form: The Role of Conception in Drawing.

Michael Whynot. Male figure seen from behind, 2013. Red chalk.

What is art but life upon the larger scale, the higher. When, graduating up in a spiral line of still expanding and ascending gyres, it pushes toward the intense significance of all things, hungry for the infinite.              (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

I am posting a study done last evening. The gesture is very subtle; weight resting on one leg, a nearly imperceptible twist of the spine. The angle of the wrist seemed curious to me, questioning something. We bring much of ourselves to the work we create. In truth, it is our conception of what we see that sets our best work apart from work where we simply copy what we see.

My goal is to not copy nature, but to recreate nature as I see it; the grace and splendor possible in the human form. This is the where a personal style emerges.

Who could argue that Michelangelo did not recreated everything he drew, painted or sculpted. His forms are idealized, conceived to fulfill a purpose; his purpose. Why is it that his work is so revered? Were his proportions more accurate, his modeling of form more realistic?

No. It was that his conception was more vivid, his imagination more divine. He saw form in a manner which others could not and he had the skill to render that conception in chalk, paint and stone, so that others could see what he saw: wonders.

So I will continue along the path of recreating form, nurturing imagination and conception, searching for the ideal.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Lure of Anatomy: Part 2.

Michael Whynot. Study of Arms At Rest and in Tension, 2013. Red chalk.

Michelangelo. Study for Haman.

Raphael. Study for the Massacre of the Innocents. 

Rembrandt. Seated Old Man in Armchair.

Today I had a question from one of the newer readers of this blog, asking if I had any tips on drawing muscles.

In a previous post (The Lure of Anatomy), I discussed, at length, when and why I believed that the study of anatomy is most beneficial to a new draftsman.

Muscles are no different than any other form: the better you understand the form, the better you will draw it. And the more frequently you draw it, the better you will understand it. It is a cyclically beneficial method of learning: drawing leads to understanding, understanding leads to better drawing, which leads to better understanding...(See my previous post on The Act of Drawing Well).

Having said that - drawing muscles well, like any other form, is best accomplished with a multi-pronged approach.

Draw from the live model as frequently as possible - there is no substitute to drawing from life. But understand that the amount of information on the live model will be immense and confusing for the new draftsman. And complicating the process will be colour, value, poor lighting, etc.

A good anatomy book will prove indispensable. It will help you to understand the confusing wealth of information on the live model.

Drawing from (i.e. copying- it is not a bad thing) master drawings. This is one of the most beneficial exercises that the new draftsman can practice. Artists throughout history have been doing it. It is how we learn to see what they saw - which elements they emphasized, which elements they downplayed or eliminated, altogether. Learn from Michelangelo, Raphael, Da Vinci and Rembrandt - there are no finer teachers, so utilize them.

In regards to drawing muscles, per se - they are rendered the same as any other form: they are three dimensional volumes with a width, height and depth and should be drawn as such. But remember that muscles change their appearance constantly, so simple recipes for drawing them are mostly useless.

I have included a study of two arms to illustrate the difficultly of drawing muscles. Remember, a muscle at rest is shaped differently than the same muscle in tension. Note in my study, that Biceps Brachii, in the arm at rest, is longer and flatter, while in the arm in tension, it is shorter and higher. This is the nature of muscles and applies to every one of them.

Orientation of the muscle in space will also affect how we draw them: look at your own biceps, from above, and then rotate to view it from the side - a totally different shape and relationship to the surrounding forms.

There is no easy way to learn to draw the human form. Study from life and from reference and, from that point on, it's all repetition, repetition, repetition.

And, a final point: anatomy should never be the embarking point for the draftsman. Gesture is the most important, and often neglected, element in drawing. Note, in the beautiful studies above, that the anatomy is wondrous in all three, but prominent in the Michelangelo and Raphael drawings, while, in Rembrandt's drawing, it is mostly hidden beneath drapery - but gesture is the foundation upon which all the other elements are built.

Anatomy is beautiful, in and of itself, but gesture conveys the life of a drawing: neglect it at your peril.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Random Study: A page from my sketch book.

Michael Whynot. Random Study, 2013. Red chalk.

Posting a random page from my sketchbook. A female head study and a fragment of a leg and torso. Hope you like them.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Study of the Arm and Hand.

Michael Whynot. Study of the Arm and Hand (after Michelangelo's sculpture, Victory), 2013. Red chalk.

I'm posting a study of the arm and hand (after Michelangelo's sculpture, Victory). I completed it this morning (20-30 minutes).

 There is something magical in Michelangelo's figures; some movement or flow of the forms which is missing from many other artist's work. We should explore his work closely if we want to elevate our own work. There is a reason why he is still revered nearly 450 years later. Study his forms closely; there are secrets to be found there.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Portrait Study: Stephen Resting.

Michael Whynot. Portrait Study: Stephen Resting, 2013. Red chalk.

I'm posting a short (30 minutes) portrait study from this morning. Capturing a likeness in a portrait is an elusive thing and, in some respects, more difficult than the figure. Many elements come into play. Being off a quarter of an inch in judging your measurements of the figure goes completely unnoticed, but being off the same distance in the spacing of the eyes or the length of the nose in a portrait will jump out immediately.

And, even once you have nailed the measurements, the more intangible elements of expression and gesture or attitude can elevate a portrait or hasten its slide into ruin.

We can continue to grow with each portrait attempted, but the learning curve is steep and the slope dangerously slippery, the path changing continually under foot with each new subject.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Foreshortening Forms

Michael Whynot. Study in Foreshortening, 2013. Red chalk.

Foreshortening is a powerful tool for the draftsman to add dimensionality to their drawings. When forms recede from our view in space they become smaller. We are so accustomed to seeing this optical trick in nature that our minds take it for granted and immediately notice, in a drawing, when this isn't done.

When handled properly, by using overlapping forms, the drawing gains dimensionality, with the nearer forms appearing to be in front of the more distant forms. And the form will appear shorter than we know it to be, instead of simply looking out of proportion.

The above study was a five minute study from life.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Poetry of Movement.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Torso Studies, 2013. Red chalk.

I'm posting two studies taken from my sketchbook from yesterday. There is such beauty in the movement of the human form, rhythm serpentining through the figure, uniting the parts; reminiscent of poetry or music, yet perceived by the eye, instead of the ear. I suspect that some rhythms may be uplifting, while others appear depressing, joyous or sad.

Just as music or poetry can touch us in spiritual ways - which we have all felt, yet, ultimately, been unable to explain - so too, movement of form has the same power to inspire. Such is the mystery of great art, in all its forms.

The figure is capable of conveying a multitude of emotion through its movements. I continue to explore its limits with constant wonder and awe.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace

Robert Liberace

Since I began this blog, last year, I have been documenting my journey as a figurative artist by posting my own work and thoughts on figurative drawing, sculpture and painting, as well as some of my influences from the classical tradition: Michelanglo, Da Vinci and Raphael.

I have shied away from pointing to many living influences, because, often times, such lists can end up looking like a sort of popularity contest. That being said, I would like to suggest that we, as draftsmen, should take a serious look at the work of Robert Liberace, whose work compares very favourably to the classical influences I mentioned, above.

Mr. Liberace's figures capture the elusive aspect of movement, furia, which (along with grace, grazia, and variety, varieta) was one of the cornerstones of renaissance art. During that period, great importance was placed upon the appearance of physical movement as an expression of the movements of the soul. We are now rediscovering these aesthetic values in figurative art, five centuries later.

I have been following Mr. Liberace's work for several years and he and his wife, Lina, have kindly posted a link to this blog on their web site. And, if you are serious about figurative art, you owe it to yourself to view his web site and closely study this master's work.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Multi-figure Study.

Michael Whynot. Multi-figure Study, 2013. Red chalk.

I'm posting this multi-figure study done this morning from reference. The figures are clothed this time, as requested by one of the readers of this blog. As explained in my last post, drawing the nude figure has always been the draftsman's greatest challenge. The use of clothing actually makes the figures easier to draw, in many respects. The folds and edges of the clothing as it wraps around the figure can help explain the orientation of the forms in space.

This, being a multi-figure composition, however, compounded the usual difficulties in judging proportion and perspective. I spent several hours on it and I'm still not, totally, satisfied with it.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Deliberate Practice and Figure Drawing, Part 2.

Raphael Santi. Study for Massacre of the Innocents, c. 1510. Red chalk.

Raphael Santi. Study for Massacre of the Innocents.

Raphael Santi. Study for Massacre of the Innocents.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

                                               (Robert Frost.)

In my last post, I touched on the subject of deliberate practice, and since that time I have been asked why my drawings are confined to nudes; no clothed figures.

The answer is that I always draw with a purpose, I never doodle; my practice is deliberate. I struggle with the question of whether greatness requires talent or hard work or both. And here is the problem: no one really knows. So my tactic has been to make a commitment, work hard, and see where it leads me.

Drawing the human form has long been considered the ultimate challenge for a draftsman. The human body's complexity of interconnected forms - which change their appearance immensely with changes in point of view, lighting, exertion, gravity, and numerous other factors - offer a mind-numbing amount of information.

Artists have risen to this challenge for thousands of years. The Greeks elevated the nude form to incredible heights in the 2nd century BC and artists, ever since, have considered mastery of the nude form as a rite of passage. And, once the nude has been mastered, any other drawing challenge will pale in comparison.

I believe that all clothed figures should begin with an understanding of the nude, just as all nudes should begin with an understanding of gesture; as the body is revealed through the surface of drapery, so is the body the veil through whose surface is revealed the soul.

To draw the figure convincingly, the artist must understand the form (see my previous post on drawing well). Then the figure may be draped in clothing and still retain believable volume and dimensionality. Note in the above studies, by Raphael, that he has begun his figures as nudes before adding the drapery.

I believe that deliberate practice - and, by this, I mean focused, persistent attention to the subject under study to the exclusion of all else - is the only way to achieve mastery of a subject, even when the concept of talent is considered. So, in respect to drawing the human form, it means drawing the nude figure obsessively, for years, until every aspect of the form is internalized and the figure can be drawn from any point of view, in every aspect in three dimensional space, from imagination.

So, be mindful of how you practice, as well as how often you practice: practicing a skill ten thousand time incorrectly will never lead to improvement and will actually be detrimental to improvement. This is  where a frequent, honest assessment of your progress is critical. This can be done by yourself, if you are honest with yourself, or, better still, by a competent teacher or master draftsman.

I have been drawing the nude figure, seriously, for over two years now. I believe that I have made progress along the path upon which I set out, but, like Frost's traveler in his poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, I, too, have miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Never A Day Without A Line: Deliberate Practice and Figure drawing, Part 1.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Graphite.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2012. Ink.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Ink.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2012. Ink.

Michael Whynot. Portrait Study, 2013. Ink.

Just posting a few figure studies done, in spare moments, from imagination and a quick portrait study done from life. All these drawings are quick and small (1 to 3 inches). I do try to draw something every day, without exception.

I believe that the ability to draw well hinges on the ability to see form in a certain way. Seeing form in this way is neither intuitive nor particularly common, but it is a learnable skill and once you do see in this manner, it is difficult to see in any other way. Drawing becomes an exploration of form in space and not merely random doodling. So, practicing every day is the means through which we improve our drawing ability only when we practice deliberately, with purpose. Drawing must never be done absently if we are to improve. Good drawing demands that the artist be present.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Life Drawing Figure Study

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Red chalk.

This is a figure study, from life (5 minutes), done earlier in the spring in red chalk. Not much more than a gesture originally, and I went back over it this morning and added a light source and some modelling, maybe twenty minutes in all.

I normally use a cream coloured paper and this drawing is on bright, white paper. Looking at the photo, now that I've uploaded it, the colour looks very cold and blue compared to my regular paper. The warm, red chalk really calls out for a warmer paper to achieve a nice, warm middle tone. It also allows you to use white chalk to accent the highlights. Oh, well.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Emotion of the Drawing

Michael Whynot. Study for A Lingering Doubt, 2013. Red chalk.

A face is not well done, unless it shows a state of mind. (Leonardo da Vinci)

Emotion is a mercurial concept in drawing, but the greatest drawings have it, while mediocre drawings do not. Emotion is an aspect of living, breathing creatures and, if we want our drawings to convey the essence of living things, then we must delve into it.

What is it that draws us(no pun intended) to great art, be it drawing, painting, sculpture, music, literature or poetry? It is the story. We humans love a good story. And what is it that makes a good story? It is, first and foremost, an emotional attachment to the characters. We want to care about the characters; we need to care about them. It is the essence of our true nature.

Emotion brings art to life, so whether it be with a facial expression, a tilt of the head, a subtle gesture of a hand, or the telling curve of the back, endeavour to find the emotional bond to your subject. Emotion, a state of mind, is the mechanism through which we glimpse the inner significance living things; nothing, more or less, than the manifestation of the human soul.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Study After Michelangelo.

Michael Whynot. Torso Study, 2013 (after Michelangelo). Red chalk.

Michelangelo. Studies of a male torso and left leg. Black chalk.

Michael Whynot. Foot Study, 2013. Red chalk.

Michael Whynot. Study of hand and forearm, 2013. Red chalk.

Nearly four and a half centuries after his death, Michelangelo continues to mystify us. His drawings are, arguably, the greatest ever created, and draftsmen revere his genius with the rendering of the human form. Attempts to copy one of his drawings (see my previous post on Michelangelo) are inspiring, educational and humbling, all at once.

The torso study above was done in about forty minutes and, in it, I attempt a depiction of the gesture Michelangelo drew and not a faithful rendition of the modelling of the forms, which would have taken much longer. Michelangelo's modelling was intricate and beautiful in its hatching, and gave his forms a tangible sense of volume and dimensionality.

I have also posted two studies of feet and hands from this morning's life drawing session. In conversations I had earlier this week, I understand that feet and hands continue to be a problem area for many draftsmen (see my previous post on hands and feet). So force yourself to draw them from life constantly; use a mirror to draw your own hands and feet if you cannot find someone to model for you. Study the structure of the forms; understand what you are seeing; visualize the forms and then draw them (see my previous post on drawing well).

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Foundation, Foundation, Foundation.

Michael Whynot. Figure Study, 2013. Red chalk with white highlights.

Michael Whynot. Thirty second?? gesture drawing, 2013.

I had someone comment this morning, during our life drawing session, that they liked my use of anatomy. And there is nothing more wonderful than to have our work appreciated.

But, while I do study anatomy, and its accurate portrayal greatly enhances our drawings, I worry that, often, anatomy is the only aspect of a good drawing that gets noticed. Unless the draftsman works from a strong gestural foundation, all the accurate anatomy, tone, etc. which they use later on, will be for nothing. Just as a carpenter would never attempt to shingle a roof before pouring the foundation for a house, so the draftsman must have their gesture solid before they worry about anatomy.

Shown, above, is a thirty second gesture from this morning's session and, above that, a thirty minute study completed, this afternoon, from that initial gesture. Notice that there is very little in the way of anatomy in the gesture; just the thrust of the forms, the tilt of the head, the twist of the torso. But it was all the information which was absolutely necessary to complete the final drawing. The pose is what was important; the natural rhythm that flows through a gesture is what makes our drawings come alive. Gesture animates anatomy not the other way around. If you build a drawing with anatomy as your foundation, you will find your drawings stiff and two dimensional; a lifeless endeavour. Concentrate on the gesture first; give it as much study as anatomy, or more. Life is what the viewer really sees in a good drawing, even if they don't realize it.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Female Torso Study: Deja vu.

Michael Whynot. Female Torso Study, 2013. Red chalk.

The figure study above was done this morning from a photograph in half an hour. I don't often work from photos due to their lack of depth and dimensionality, but this pose intrigued me. I was struck by the wonderful "C" curve flowing through the head and torso, surprisingly similar to the male torso in motion I drew from imagination in my previous post. Even the positioning of the arms was reminiscent of the male pose, although I had envisioned the light source coming from the left, instead of the right.

When you begin to understand the human form, imagination can replace photos, although it should never replace drawing from nature. As I said before, the artist must balance nature and imagination if they are to become well rounded.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Male Torso Study In Motion.

Michael Whynot. Male torso study in motion, 2013. Red chalk.

Drawing the human form in motion can be challenging. The figure above was drawn in fifteen minutes from imagination. A convincing rendering needs to take many things into consideration: gesture, point of view, light source, anatomy. These can all be set up in the studio with a model and props to help them maintain the pose, but it is expensive, both in terms of time and money. For initial studies, drawing from imagination can be the best option. Anatomy, light and shadow can be refined with the aid of a model after you actually have something.

I believe that creativity can wither with disuse. Too much copying of nature can be as detrimental as not enough. The artist must balance the two. Use your imagination daily; allow creativity to grow.