On drawing, A line is not a line

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On drawing, A line is not a line

From Juan Carlos Martinez

Published before 2005


I don't agree with your positions on this one. Those sorts of drawings can have very useful purposes besides the obvious one of understanding classical beauty. We often forget about that. Doing a drawing of a death mask or life cast is not the same thing as working from the antique.

In any event, using a point (charcoal, pencil, etc.) to complete a complex and subtle tonal drawing (of a cast or whatever) accomplishes two additional things. One; BECAUSE it takes such a long time, it forces the student to concentrate, and to contemplate -- very hard -- on the vast amount of subtlety and nuance of tone and form that is in front of them. And, two, it helps create in the student a sense of artistic discipline which most people today tend to lack -- North Americans, in particular, but the rest of the world is catching up. Those drawings are very useful, and they don't need to take 300 hours, either. With proper instruction and encouragement, doing those meticulous cast drawings can also teach people to be more efficient.

Juan