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[Reflections] Fine Art: The Antithesis of Graphic Recording?

By January 27, 2019Graphic Recording

I have been graphic recording (“drawing out”) ideas fast and furiously for the past three years. But when I started taking Fine Art classes, it felt like the exact antithesis of what I did — hardly fish to water.

“Here’s a photograph. Just draw a pencil outline of this on paper as accurately as you can, by following the picture closely. No erasers please.”

My first Fine Art drawing lesson. The task sounded simple enough. After all, I have been drawing out ideas as a business for the past years. How challenging can this be?

I was very wrong. Minutes after starting on that whale drawing, I could feel my eyes boggling from the overwhelming details — even in a seeming mass of a creature like a whale. The more I tried to go fast at the deceptively simple task, the more I shrivelled up at my unwitting departures from photo-accuracy.

Two lessons later, when I congratulated myself for getting better at this outline thing, I realised that I hadn’t actually gotten it right yet. Instead, I merely thought I did. Drew two birds, both ridiculously plumper than the photos. Yet it was difficult for me to see (literally) where I went wrong.

It took a while to calibrate my eyes. But one day I began to see and articulate where I had missed. Once I could, I began to able to correct my mistakes.

In between, I had continued graphic recording work. Surprisingly, I was beginning to notice shifts in my visual style and expressiveness, even when required to draw it quick, that attention to detail was coming through.

I realised that my eyes were not seeing things for what they were, but what I thought things were. Despite teaching graphic recording participants about seeing to draw, I had a lot to undo myself.

The veil was coming off.

That shade of “blue” you think skies are? Often, it’s not really blue.

Uniformly white clouds? If you’d painted them white, you’d get flat slabs of paper cutouts.

Two terms on, I continued on a new medium with my Fine Art teacher. I saw my new classmates go through that struggle to see, as I had.

This time, everything finally clicked for me.

The fine art of drawing? It’s simple.

Trust and obey. Trust the Way, trust your Guide. Have faith and patience.

[Photo: Kailin’s charcoal drawing of a dragonfruit, at @SchoolOfKingdomArts]


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