Monday, December 10, 2012

The Natural Way

It is hard to believe that it is early December. This year has been on fast forward for me, and it seems like it could be late August. However, the weather has not waited for me to catch up, and it is cold out. During these winter months I enjoy changing my routine. I have been working on the exercises prescribed in the book The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. I first heard about the book, from what I consider a great learning tool, Oil Painting, Develop Your Natural Ability, by Charles Sovek. Nicolaides taught at the Art Student's League. His influence on the teaching of drawing has been long-lasting and substantial, and his book is still in use today. In brief, he advocated a three-pronged way of learning to draw, through (1) slow and meticulous contour drawing, (2) free and rapid gesture drawing, and (3) vigorous tonal drawings of weight or mass.

The book has 25 Chapters. In order to complete the book, there is 15 hours of drawing to be done for each chapter. The 15 hours is broken into 5,  3 hour sessions. Nicolaides wants readers (participators?) in the book to have an experience. It takes much work to learn to draw, and any serious art school works it's drawing students for hours on end as well. I'm at the beginning of my journey into the book, but it already feels like a fascinating journey. For instance, in several university classes, there have been assignments to do blind contour drawings. My experience in the classroom is that these are quick, one minute at best, gesture drawings, but in the book, Nicolaides demands an hour. An hour, of moving your eyes and hand in unison a hair at a time, tracing around the subject. Mind you, that is the last hour of the 3 hour session, where the first two hours being very gestural. I'm hooked!

 There is still time to register for my winter workshop in Fish Creek. To view the class description, supplies list, and to register, please visit the Peninsula School Of Art Website. The workshop is the third from the top. If you have any questions, please email me at

Wildes Interior 14x11"

Sunflowers Still Life 16x12"