It Starts With The Line

This is the first of a series of lessons from my Art of Visual Expression Basic class

It starts with the line, drawing is about finding the line in what it is you wish to record on the paper. This sounds so obvious as to seem silly but is anything but so. Try it out and you will be surprised at how it shifts your sense of seeing things. Go and look for lines, take a pad of paper and a pencil and just collect lines, not attempting to make a full drawing, simply pulling lines across the paper with the pencil. Do it again and again, take your pad of paper with you everywhere and collect lines whenever you have a moment, a car, a coffee cup, vitamin bottle, curve of your friend's nose, the apple in your lunch. This helps to develop a link between what the eye sees (the outside) and whatever it is that caught your attention (the inside) and then bringing that back outside onto the page. It is about teaching your mind and hand the skills needed to do what you want to express visually and this needs repetition (the same way a toddler learns to open and close the cupboard door by doing it over and over again.) The ability to pick out the line simplifies drawing, which is really what drawing is all about, simplifying and choosing from the myriad of visual information experienced in every glance. The art of visual expression begins with finding the line, be it a study in abstraction, portrait or landscape; it is where I begin with every drawing or painting