The artist's handwriting. Drawing involves two modes of mark making, intuitive and analytical. The first is free and the second is controlled. Our intuitive skills help us grasp the essence of what we draw, to capture the spirit and feeling. Our analytical skills help us to sharpen and refine.

quick, sketchy, assertive
nervy, sweeping
impulsive, loose, connected

precise, subtle, careful
patient, judicious
deliberate, fragmented

a tangle of lines
use a swift, accurate brush
a decorative, elegant line
turbulent, swirling strokes
a neat, skillful controlled scribble
patient crosshatched mark
soft tones with crisp edges

Problems can occur when we try and use both types of mark making at the same time. Analysis freezes and blocks the loose attitude required for intuition. Intuition softens and blurs the faculties needed for analysis. For the best result each mark must work on its own. When you can become disciplined keeping them apart, you will begin to understand how they work so well together.

" If it is necessary to rough cast with a broom, it is necessary to finish off with a needle. " Delacroix


Change property of line by changing the pressure of your hand.
Change pressure of your pencil point on the paper. Go from pressing hard to light
Move from using the tip of the pencil to using the edge in a single mark.


Line quality adds life to drawing. Consider your lines.

Single stroke light to dark, light to heavy
Start slow, building confidence in a single stroke.



When you are drawing freehand you can translate the ideas below to help yourself recognize if angles in your sketch are accurate.




CONTOUR drawing is like climbing a mountain, as contrasted with flying over it in an airplane. It is not a quick glance at the mountain from far away, but a slow, painstaking climb over it, step by step.

GESTURE drawing is to be done FURIOUSLY.
Imagine you are describing the object with your hands as you talk. Marks are quick and deliberate. Each mark must say something significant. Gesture has no precise edges, no exact shape no specific form. In a gesture drawing you should draw not what the thing looks like, not even what it is, but what it is doing.

To learn to draw, both kinds of efforts are necessary, one balances the other. In concentration, one can act furiously over a short space of time or one can work with calm determination, quietly over a longer extended period.

Experiment with drawing from the wrist, elbow, shoulder.
Draw "gesturally" swinging your drawing tool around on the paper. Trying to locate the whole scene at once. While looking at the object notice:

points of tension
directions of weight or pressure
protrusions into space