Drawing is the the fundamental basis of painting; drawing an object lets us understand it, know it and learn more about it’s structure, not to mention how light falls upon it and plays tricks with our perception. Picasso used to say, ‘ I do not paint what I see I paint what I know.’ ‘Knowing’ an object well allows us to depict it in a way that might not look like a photographic representation, but perhaps in a more abstracted, more creative way, yet still retaining the fundamental essence of what that object is.
If you want to be a little more creative with your drawing, or perhaps you want to push your drawing more towards an individual, abstracted response, why not try a one of these ideas.
Start by taking an object, maybe an interesting vase, and make a quick large sketch of it, now change your view point and draw it again, BUT draw it directly on top of the previous drawing. Do this a number of times from different angles, how extreme you want to make the viewing angle is up to you – experiment. After completing say five sketches look at the mass of lines you have and start selecting, with a bolder line, what you believe to be the more significant lines. You should end up with a drawing that sums up the experience of moving around the object, seeing it from all angles in its full glory.
Another idea which can produce some interesting results is a variation on the idea above. Pick up an object you are not familiar with and hold it behind your back. Place your pencil in the middle of the paper and close your eyes. Roll the object around in your fingers, now draw what you feel, but do not open your eyes. Imagine the object from different viewpoints – still feeling the object in your hand -and draw a number of these again on top of each other. This idea is all about how your brain visualises purely tactile messages into a visual image. Be open minded about the result, try lots of objects – experiment. I am sure you can come up with lots of other ideas for exploring drawing, – let me know and I might publish them here.