Talent Is A Reward For Work Done


Teaching a figure drawing class I heard myself explaining which lines are best for Jordan's ribcage, where it begins and ends, and where her waist line begins and turns into her hip. I explained why the lines widen and thin as they move down Jordan's torso.

Teaching makes me verbalize the thoughts that get me through a drawing. Teaching makes me think of drawing more intensely than I believe I do while actually drawing. Verbalizing is a strange idea for me. I find myself explaining things I don't normally think of while drawing. Like how Jordan's arm raised out toward the students is helpful when drawing trees, an idea that just came to me as I was saying it. Standing there behind my students, looking at Jordan standing there with her arm out towards me, the thought came to me that most artists seem to only see limbs of trees growing out from the sides of trees. I love those limbs and branches that twist and turn out towards me adding interest to the tree.

The timer sounded and Jordan takes a new pose bringing me back to my class. These thoughts come out in a figure drawing workshop. They come to me when I want to explain the importance of drawing the human figure. How gesture studies at workshops like Ronnie's, play into composition and design when beginning a painting. A reason for landscape artists to study from the human figure, to master gesture studies. Understanding how gestures from the model can aid the plein air artist is important.                           

Drawing the dips and rises in a hillside can be seen in the thighs and hips of a reclining model. Even abstract artists can find drawing from a live model useful, giving distance or form to an abstract shape. Knowing who is in my class I point my thoughts out to the different students, I also absorb them myself. Learning through teaching. I review what I learn all the while I'm working on a painting or drawing.  

Lately I have been drawing portraits of some of my friends, rough weathered faces with lots of interest. Again, great practice for other subjects. Sunken cheeks, bumpy noses, bags under the eyes all add fun and interest to working on such portraits. Drawing is so important for an artist no matter what their subject. Having a good drawing is the foundation to build on.

The challenge of showing others my skills is a bit of an ego trip to be honest. Let me show off a bit though. I worked thousands of hours honing my skills, which also gives me a bit of insight into what others I admire went through to get where they are. It's why I believe talent isn't a gift, talent is a reward for work done.