Thursday, June 25

Drawing Naturally or Is That Naturally Drawing?

Today’s Image
A Sphere

Today’s Image is a sphere. Read on to see how it ties into today's OrbisPlanis art blog, which is a follow-up, sort of, to the one a couple of blogs ago on sketching. I got to thinking, the first benefit of sketching for artists in the list was “keeps your drawing skills fresh,” or some such, and how that presumes you already have drawing skills.

Not everyone has drawing skills, of course, and I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure there a lot of artists and wanna-be artists that fall into that category (unfortunately).

Oh, you can get by with mediocre drawing skills, but it’s so fundamental to art and design. With less than adequate skills, you’re short-changing yourself and your art.

What to do?

Sketch and draw. Keep doing it.

And while you’re at it, enroll in a beginner drawing class or enroll in whatever level class matches your skill level. And buy a book about drawing—there are hundreds if you haven’t noticed—and read all the exercises and tips on how to do it.

Then draw and sketch some more and keep doing it.

If you're a long-time reader of the OrbisPlanis, you may recall I discussed drawing in several of the blogs about a year ago, and if you want to go back and read a few of those, just click on the links in this sentence.

Sometimes I forget about the information included in the right hand column of my blog—eyes to the right. I update it when I run across a new “artist factoid” or see a favorite artist quote I want to add. Anyway, I happened to be scrolling down the blog and saw the quote from Paul Cezanne, the notable artist from the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th.

A while back I had added this quote from Cezanne, "See nature in terms of the cone, the cylinder, and the sphere." It’s so fundamental and yet so true. I think he was referring to natural rather than man-made things or to the relatively few things that truly have no shape (hmmm, what would they be?).

Think about the following:

- Depending on the type--a tree is nothing more than a cylinder with a sphere on top or maybe it’s just a cone.

- The same goes for a dog—cylinders, a sphere, and a cone for the muzzle, maybe.

- A portrait of a human face--nothing but spheres, a cylinder, and maybe a cone or two with hair added.

You get the picture (pun intended, of course)?

So, If you can remember Cezanne's simple quote when you’re sketching or laying down your initial drawing on a canvas, it can help you achieve a really good, artistic look for your work.



  1. This is so true! Technical drawing skill is so often overlooked, especially in the University setting where ideas are the emphasis. I've addressed some of these topics in my blog as well, as I truly believe that fundamental drawing skills are the basis for all art whether painting, sculpture, photography, or even video. Drawing teaches about tonal value, composition, line quality, proportion, perspective, etc. Absolutely essential!

  2. Thank you for your comments, which are so true. Drawing is fundamental. I hope others feel free to comment as well.