My musings. Possibly, background information about my life and some over sharing.

Take your Drawing to the NEXT Level: Drawing Instruction V: COPYING

| 08 September, 2013 22:19

Materials required:

1. printer

2. printer paper

3. an image that fits the size of the paper in your sketch pad

4. ebony pencil, I belive it is prismacolor which makes the best one

5. pen

6. tape


Possibly a long awaited instruction

as my promises to be a weekly one 

were not so

I want to use this instruction to delineate the importance of copying

I think as an artist you may find yourself without ideas; occassionally - or more than you want to admit

You want so badly to be ORIGINAL and unique

To be unique--so much so, copying seems completely OUT of the picture!

You are right to think that

If you are any kind of artist; in real terms--

copying is not the most attractive of exercises


For this exercise, please, put that notion aside

I am NOT in any shape or form saying to trace

But I am saying it is time....


Well, let's back up a minute....

You should already be keeping a drawing journal of your original works 

that come from your memory

Start a new page and find a picture of something you love

Something you want to reproduce 

that you wish was your original work

If you have a printer or have access to such

print it

print it to the size that will fit in your sketch pad

Step by step: Drawing Instruction V

1. Print out a picture you would love to reproduce

2. Turn the paper over so the image is facing down

3. Take an ebony pencil in your hand

4. Shade the back of the image with your Ebony pencil evenly and light enough that you don't destroy the integrity of the printed image on the other side

5. Tape that image to your sketch pad; image up; printed side up

6. Draw over the lines on the print out with your pen; the lines you covet

7. Draw ALL of them....all of the lines you love

8. Once you are done

9. Take the tape off and remove the printed out image

10. There should be a slight transfer of the lines you drew on top of the printed image you drew in your sketch pad

11. Keep the original print-out for reference- but put it aside

12. Complete the drawing--reline the soft graphite looking image

13. Put yourself into the drawing; your passion and excitement

14. Get out some colors or use different mark making techniques to fill in the image

15. When you are finished-admire yourself

16. Tell yourself that sometimes it is good to pay respect to those who have mastered a technique enough that you felt compelled to copy

17. Realize that copying is the HIGHEST form of flattery

18. Realize that the art gods deserve a service; this your service--your church--your solemn moment this holy damn day!

19. It isn't the artist, who made that image, but it is the force of art making that requires respect and flattery.

20. Realize that it isn't the artist that requires flattery, as the artist has flattered him or herself 'out of his or her mind' making beautiful imagery, rather, the compulsion is that which requires flattery.

21. How does one flatter a compulsion? By doing something about it---in this case--make art

22. Make someone else's art and love yourself for it! Love art for it! 

23. Remind yourself, that to be a true artist, it must be your religion--an art museum your church--your marks a tribute to the world that requires your existence.

It may seem to you that there are SO many artists doing shit that you think you  could never do. People are always coming up with ideas that squash your ONE AMAZING idea that week! Get over it. This is normal to think this way. We all struggle there. But the place where you need to take the time to realize art and the art way is to pay respect. Pay respect to all of those that have given you inspiration. In the end, this will make you a better artist. 

At the risk of sounding superstitious or authoritarian -- you must pay respect to the art gods. Once you realize it is a force outside of you--the same as the force that makes you breathe--which makes you want to draw, paint, etc. -- the sooner you will be able to get over yourself and make true art.