Life Drawing, A Way of Life
by FRED HOLLE
I’m a figural artist.
More specifically, I’m a painter/printmaker who’s aware that drawing is the genesis of all of my work. I constantly draw from models, partly for the great pleasure it affords but, primarily, to maintain perceptual sensitivity and to obtain fresh data to fill a reservoir of images that may be tapped, when needed, for my paintings and prints.
This activity enables me to develop complete works from my imagination.
Drawing from the model is always, of course, the best situation, but practice is the key issue. The ultimate goal is to sensitize your perception and hone your skills to the point where your assimilation of various drawing approaches becomes intuitive and second nature. In order to sustain a disciplined practice regimen, we suggest drawing from photographs when live models are not available. This practice can be supported by historical works created by artists from Delacroix to Warhol as illustrated in “The Painter and the Photograph” by Van Derek Coke (1972), University of New Mexico Press. The photos should be of interesting people whose images offer a lot of data. Magazines like National Geographic offer such photos and can be found at thrift stores such as the Good Will and Salvation Army. The photos can be pre-composed through the use of a composition window which will be, by ratio, the same size and shape as your drawing paper. Note: It is best to use a heavy piece of cardboard for the composition window.
As a teacher, I consider drawing to be an indispensable discipline for visual artists of all persuasions, be they academic, classical, abstractionist and even the non-objective artist. The best and limitless source of ideas and inspiration is nature itself. The danger for visual artists is that they begin to echo themselves with each work becoming more shallow and boring than the previous effort. Nature, in whatever form, the figure, still-life or landscape, are sources which replenish, refresh and motivate one’s work.
For this reason, I welcomed the opportunity to participated in the production of a series of five CLASSICAL LIFE DRAWING videos, each covering a specific aspect of figure drawing.
They remain in production under the trademark, Artist-in-Residence® videos. For more information, visit my website: www.bensco.com/holle/