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.

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