About every six months or so I like to slow down and really look at what I’m doing with my painting. This kind of keeps me from aimlessly painting away without a focus.
Searching for some inspiration I came across this YouTube video by acclaimed artist Jeffrey Watts. During his drawing demonstration of a figure from life he had some very profound things to say, “a good drawing is a combination of what you see, what you know and what you’d like to see”.
That was it, the thing I’d been missing lately, painting what I’d like to see, using more exaggeration, manipulations, in short taking more liberties with my subjects.
In order to paint more of what I’d like to see, I need to get more of what I know.
Looking at drawings by masters like Michelangelo, I find myself asking; “did his models really look like that?”. More likely he probably was able to draw what he wanted to see, because he had the knowledge to manipulate his subjects.
I’ve decided to focus on drawing hands. Why hands? because I think the hands are the next most expressive element after the face in a figurative subject.
I found a free pdf download of a 1920 book by anatomy expert George Bridgman. His book plus photos I found in magazines and ones I took were the source for my drawings. A good practice is drawing from life……alot. The second best is drawing from pictures…..alot. After all a painting is just a drawing done with paint!