I Better Practise What I Preach

charcoal demo


This was a little charcoal drawing that was part of a demo for one of my drawing classes. It’s not anything special, it was done quickly without trying to capture the objects perfectly or precisely. It was made to show how you can work back into a charcoal drawing, and be as gestural with an eraser as you can with a stick of charcoal, that the light is as important as the dark, the negative space as important as the positive and to not be afraid of messing up a drawing, what is taken away can be put back, to push and pull the drawing and not be too precious. After class I snapped a photo, then crumpled the drawing up and tossed it in the bin.

The lesson for me?

Recently I think I may have been falling back into a bad habit. Focusing too much on one project to the exclusion of all else. Time to open back up, to push and pull and not be too precious about the work. To revel as much in the drawing of a mandarin before I eat it as I do in the precise graph making I have been doing in the studio. To draw another plate if the pattern interests me, what is taken away (from a practice) can be put back in. And occasionally (very occasionally), crumple something up and throw it away without regret, the negative is as important as the positive.


One thought on “I Better Practise What I Preach

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I felt the same way when I told my class that sometimes a quick drawing is better than one they have laboured over (I think Noel would have laughed and laughed if he’d been there… we’ve had many conversations about my valuing the labour of drawing).

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