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Figure Drawing with Confidence

When I was first learning to draw, as a child, I remember making a myriad of feathery lines to indicate an edge.  Sometimes I still catch myself doing that.  But my drawings are more successful when I draw single, confident lines, whether they are “right” or not.  After all, that’s part of the beauty of present day art — our culture allows and even encourages the artist to be expressive without worrying so much about technical accuracy.  Of course it is nice to have both, but if you have to sacrifice one, I think it is better to sacrifice accuracy in favor of confident expression.

But that is not to say that one should not strive for accuracy and technical merit.  Our model at Studio b. this week was very fit, a specimen, actually, perfect for studying developed musculature.  But none of our poses were long enough to do justice to basic anatomy, so I attempted to describe her muscular development by drawing the outer contours.  The lines are not perfect;  even an untrained eye can see that there are exaggerations and out-and-out “wrong” lines.

In the moment though, in the rush of the 25-minute pose, every line feels perfect, every line is drawn with confidence, the muse shouting at the top of her voice.

Most of my images are available for purchase.  Contact me if you are interested. — Joan Vienot