|Artwork by Tran Nguyen for Moleskine III exhibition at Spoke Art|
With the increasing demands of my "adult" life, being more deliberate with my practice could be just the thing to get me drawing again. And I think that seeing it as "practice" will prevent me from getting so involved with the crowd-pleasing details that turn it from an exercise into an art-piece. Just as a musician doesn't perform their practice routine, I shouldn't need to worry about who is going to look at my drawing practice. I might even dispose of most of these drawing exercises after each session. Yeah, I like to live on the edge.
So what does it look like to actually practice art, especially illustration? Using the classical methods found in the fine art academic tradition is a good start. Traditionally, there has been a focus on accurate observation of form and light and rendering the human figure. There's also the practice of copying the work of master artists, which reveals their technique and unique way of solving a composition. Composition is also a focus in illustration education, but in addition, conceptualization is frequently discussed because of its role in creating artwork that clearly communicates an idea or narrative.
By combining these approaches, we end up with a practice schedule that hones in on skills that, when practiced, I think would result in creating illustrations more "easily" and effectively. I think one hour a day is really all I need as long as I stay consistent. Here is the break-down of my practice schedule:
-20 minutes timed drawing
-20 minutes master-copying
-20 minutes idea-generating
|Some lovely composition studies by an unknown artist.|
So what would your practice routine look like?