Maintaining a daily sketching practice
enables me to capture fleeting expressions and to chart
the progress of my thoughts and inspirations over time.
Each sketch was created on a 5" x 3.5" framed space.
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It is not only as a beautiful accomplishment, or a source of amusement for leisure moments, that the art of Drawing should be cultivated. It has its practical uses, in every occupation of life. It opens to all inexhaustible sources of utility, as well as pleasure; practices the eye to observe, and the hand the record, the ever-varing beauty with with nature abounds.
Observe well, before you touch your paper, where the line is to begin, what direction it is to take, and where to terminate. When you can achieve this, with ease and accuracy, you have made a sure beginning.
The first broad and general impression or conception... is of primary importance... Herein lies one of the great secret of the ease and freedom in the expression of an idea, that give such a charm to the sketches of the experienced artist - by which he conveys his impressions in a few lines, apparently dashed off at random.
All the rules and recipes, that were ever promulgated, cannot teach one to draw the most simple weed, without a feeling and capacity for the imitation of form.... Go forth, sketch-book in hand, into the fair fields that nature has provided, in her Free School of Art.
By study and comparison, the eye must be made sensitive, and by practice, the hand must be made obedient. We must become practically familiar with the power of art.
Many a beautiful idea has been suggested by a few random lines; even by an accidental blot, or stain, upon the paper, which the sensitive eye, and fertile imagination, of the artist have dectected, and his ready hand developed with a few touches, that defy imitation.
Genius could have done nothing, unless aided by knowledge, observation, and practical experience: and this is the buisness of the student, and must form her constant pursuit - for there is no end to the pursuit of excellence in art.
The human face... in nothing else are combined so many elements of beauty and expression, such established and well-defined principles of form.
To know how a thing should be done, is not enough in art: we should know how to do it. One can no more learn to swim, without going into the water, than learn to draw without practice.
As in nature, objects take every variety of form and direction, so should the lines or touches, used in their delineation, have equal freedom in their direction... and [be] as expressive as possible, of the true form and character of the original.
Begin at once your portfolio. Even when you haved failed in any attempt, you should... destroy nothing that you do, and you will soon learn to do nothing that you would desire to destroy.
Almost the only alloy to the enjoyments of the true artist, is the consciousness of want of power to reach that remote perfection, which ever recedes, as his strengthed perception capacitates him to follow it as his guilding star: which shone as brightly, to the young imagination of Michelango, and doubtless seemed nearer to him, in days of his boyish efforts, than when, as an old man, he sat mushing, alone, among the ruins of the coliseum, and replied to the Cardinal Farnese, who expressed surprise to find him there, "I yet go to school, that I may learn something."
- John Gadsby Chapman.