A Letter From Draw123

Any artistic discipline requires two kinds of mastery: Creative and Technical. The Creative part is exploring ideas and discovering connections that lead to a fresh view of the world. The Technical part is learning to control an instrument, hit the right notes or make the "correct" lines on paper -- in short, to realize the artist's vision.

In the past half-century, many art teachers have neglected and even ridiculed technical training, calling it too "left-brained" and formulaic. This has damaged the development of many young artists.
We do not teach beginning musicians to improvise jazz without first teaching scales, fingering and musical form; yet life drawing students are told to "express themselves" without the tools of classic draftsmanship. An artist who has mastered draftsmanship can draw with impulse and inspiration, much as a jazz pianist who has mastered the scales can "let feeling take over" and not be frustrated by lack of skill.

It is true that over-emphasis on technique can bog down artistic expression, but that is the lesser problem for most students. Most students want to invent figures and draw them with authority, but don't know how. Most students want to master anatomy and perspective but find them overwhelming. Properly taught, technical skill is not a hindrance; it enables an artist to express an original vision more powerfully.

Classic illusionary drawing is a living tradition with a remarkable variety of style. It has a six-hundred year history of problem solving. As my mentor and colleague Don Lagerberg said: "It's unlikely that you're going to invent any drawing problem that the great masters didn't face." Every great master begins as a student, building on the creative and technical skills of the past. My goal as a teacher is to make these skills as simple and accessible as possible.

I love to draw. If you have not discovered the love of drawing, it may be that you are frustrated. I hope that I can guide you enjoyably and efficiently to the confidence that comes from skill, and prompt you to make the best pictures your talent can offer. -Marshall Vandruff -- mv@draw123.com

Draw123.com has been in business since 1997 offering fun art education for the serious artist. We follow the UPC guidelines for the video retailing industry and support direct shipping using e-mail notification. We have a spotless record of customer service. Draw123.com owns the copyright, trademarks and creates all the video content to retain the utmost quality. Retail opportunities available.

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