Saturday, 7 March 2015

Upon Closer Examination: Drawing and the Beauty in the Details.

Michael Whynot. Figure study. Red chalk.


Michael. Detail.


Michael Whynot. Head study. Red chalk.


Michael Whynot. Detail.


Michelangelo. Head of a Young Man  C. 1516.


Michelangelo. Detail.




There is something wondrous about drawing: this ability to illuminate the three dimensional world of forms upon a two dimensional medium - light where there is no light, shade where there is no shade, and form where there is no form. Simply amazing.

And, as beautiful as drawings are, we can often be so beguiled by the illusion of three dimensions where there are only two, that we fail to examine, closely, the actual marks themselves that created the illusion. And in so doing, I would argue that we miss the beauty inherent in the details themselves.

The lines of a drawing reveal themselves not merely as the edges of forms, but serve to describe form beautifully as they travel over the surface, creating patterns as they bunch up and spread out, flowing in one direction and then another.

If you truly wish to appreciate a good drawing, and draw better yourself, don't be content with studying the big picture; examine the details and you may come away with a better understanding of the drawing and the wondrous illusion it creates.