Drawing Quotes

I’ve mentioned Helen South’s posts on About.com before. (Ignore the ads and the layout. There is some good stuff there!) Today she had some interesting quotes about drawing. (The links are Helen’s own.):

Cennini: ‘Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good.’

Camille Pissaro: ‘It is only by drawing often, drawing everything, drawing incessantly, that one fine day you discover to your surprise that you have rendered something in its true character.’

John Singer Sargent: ‘You can’t do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.’

Cicero: Assiduus usus uni rei deditus et ingenium et artem saepe vincit. or – ‘Constant practice devoted to one subject often outdoes both intelligence and skill.’

Drawing for Painters

Helen continued: While it isn’t critical that you draw in order to paint… actually, no, what am I saying. Painters should draw. Drawing is about seeing and directly making marks, and realistically, you need to draw. Not finely detailed photorealist renderings in graphite – not that kind of drawing – but the drawing that is about taking a fresh, direct look at your subject and exploring its form, structure and perspective with line. Even abstract artists draw. Sometimes people draw with paint. But they are still drawing. Look, plenty of old masters agree with me:

Paul Cézanne: ‘Drawing and colour are not separate at all; in so far as you paint, you draw. The more colour harmonizes, the more exact the drawing becomes. When the colour achieves richness, the form attains its fullness also.’

Ingres: ‘To draw does not simply mean to reproduce contours; the drawing does not simply consist in the idea: the drawing is even the expression, the interior form, the plan, the model. Look what remains after that! The drawing is three fourths and a half of what constitutes painting. If I had to put a sign over my door [to the atelier], I would write: School of drawing, and I’m certain that I would create painters.’ – source

Frederick Franck from The Zen of Seeing: ‘I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.’

Hans Hofmann: ‘A work of art goes through many phases of development, but in each phase it is always a work of art. (Therein lies the importance of sketches.) A work of art is finished, from the point of view of the artist, when feeling and perception have resulted in a spiritual synthesis.’ from Theories of Modern Art

Drawing for Technique

Leonardo da Vinci: ‘Perspective is the rein and rudder of painting’ – more on Leonardo.

William Bouguereau: ‘Paint as you see and be accurate in your drawing: the whole secret of your art is there.’

Pablo Picasso: ‘Matisse makes a drawing, then he makes a copy of it. He recopies it five times, ten times, always clarifying the line. He’s convinced that the last, the most stripped down, is the best, the purest, the definitive one; and in fact, most of the time, it was the first. In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt.’

Bradley Schmehl: ‘If you can draw well, tracing won’t hurt; and if you can’t draw well, tracing won’t help.’

Glenn Vilppu: ‘There are no rules, only tools.’


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website johnpindararts.weebly.com
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5 Responses to Drawing Quotes

  1. veronicacay says:

    can’t agree more with the sentiments about drawing – for me it is the essence of everything I am trying to achieve.

  2. anneb54 says:

    It’s hard to break down the idea that everything you do has to be a finished, polished piece. Helen is quite right to say that drawing is about exploration, and that is something I need to keep at the forefront of my mind. Thanks for these quotes — and the reminders!

  3. segmation says:

    Love these quotes! Thanks for sharing.

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