In Part One we looked at how to get a drawing club up and running— finding a space, setting a time, inviting a few folks over, committing to weekly meetings and getting the necessary supplies.
Next, we need to consider what we’ll do each week. First, if you’re leading the group you need to decide. If there is no one person in charge then each week someone should be designated to choose what the group will do the following week. I like a little challenge—creative challenge. So, if one week we work in charcoal, how about the next week we do portraits in collage? That sort of thing. In the Boston drawing club that I lead we experiment a lot. We try to push the limits of drawing. Remember—drawing is simply making marks on paper so there are infinite possibilities.
What sort of things should we draw? There are basically 3 kinds of drawing—Making Marks, Drawing What We see and Drawing From Imagination.
I like to start with Making Marks— drawing in an abstract way. It’s fun and hugely liberating to simply explore the marks we can make, the nature of our hand and the connections we can make between marks and meaning. Marks are an expressive language. Each time we draw this way, the results may well be different. Some of us will love expressing ourselves like this as Cy Twombly does. We can look at the work of Twombly and others to get inspiration. Here’s a whole discussion—Why does Twombly’s work affect us? And how? In time we can develop our own interests. Perhaps it’s chaos that interests us, or pattern. or the sheer energy in lines. Perhaps it’s the bold strength in a strong line or the fragility of a delicate one. The way these two elements speak to each other may speak to us. We draw to discover what matters to us. This kind of abstract, exploratory drawing is powerful and liberating.
So, let’s start there. It’s a place where there is no good or bad, no getting it right or wrong. It’s often a confusing place to start for those reasons. We’re often not used to stepping out naked without the protection of an acceptable coat. So let’s start by being vulnerable and open to discovery. That’s where great things happen.
There are lots more exercises in my book—
The Confident Creative / Drawing to Free the Hand and Mind