Drawing With Purpose

          Long time back I discovered something about myself and drawing. It was always a passion of mine, but it was half way through my career as an artist that I discovered a new value to drawing. Looking through my photos and sketchbooks for something to paint I came to the realization I knew more about my subjects captured with my #10 yellow pencil than about those subjects snapped with my very expensive camera. It was the time I spent with my subject. Drawing takes time. It takes careful study to draw a tree, a house, or a boy fishing. Snapping photos takes a second and then moving on to next doesn't allow the subject to ferment in my head, maturing into a work of art.
          Drawing a subject from life demands careful observation, allowing my mind to study the possibilities for expressing myself. There are no colors in my sketches, but the colors come to life as I relive each sketch I come across. Dragging my pencil across a tree trunk in such a way in sketching, I 'm hoping for the gray to appear pale pink. Knowing that is impossible, I am simply strengthening the image before me. Like words painting pictures, my drawing can carry the color of a subject, almost impossible not to recall the absent color of a subject looking at a sketch. Even years later the colors can appear. I still see the pale purples and pinks in the trunk of a tree I sketched twenty years ago. Had I simply snapped a photo of that tree I might not even remember it, or the photo itself. 
         Sometime back I discovered sketches done long ago held more than simple shapes. At the same time, I was tossing out photos because they meant nothing to me. It is important learning to draw, not just drawing but drawing with purpose. Drawing from a live model can be so rewarding: picture a model extending a hand out to you. Now, picture a tree extending a limb out to you. Learning to draw is so important no matter what subjects you wish to draw or paint. Limbs do not always grow out from the sides of trees some are reaching out to you, inviting you to come and paint.