Drawing – Look, Hold and Draw

Posted 2008

Three words define drawing succinctly; they are “look”, “hold” and “draw”.

Lookmeans just that, looking at the subject and taking note of the shape, height, width or form.

“Hold” means holding that contour or shape in your mind for a moment.

“Draw” means to put your marks down while the image is still fresh in your memory.

The idea is to bypass your conscious thought and to forget what you know about the subject.   A previous post titled “contemplation” in the free tutorials section of this blog talks about the disadvantages of naming your subject.

If you can keep your conscious personality from interfering with the drawing process, you will end up with a truly truthful and personal drawing.

EXERCISE (This will take about 30 minutes)

This exercise will require you to sit comfortably with your feet crossed and place your sketchbook on your lap so you have a good view of your feet.  Be mindful not to look at the paper more than you look at your subject.  I have used a marker pen which prohibited me from erasing and helped to create a vibrant drawing.  Use restatements to add character and try “drawing blind” at least some of the time.

First look and make a note of the contour of the shoes.

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Then hold the shape in your mind for a moment and draw a line while the form is still fresh in your memory.

2008a 001

Then look back to your subject and continue the outline.

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Continue to draw while looking at your subject and keeping your pen on the paper as much as you can.  You can occasionally stop to check your lines and restate if need be.  If you find yourself lost, just draw back over where you have been to get to where you want to go.

2008a 003

Again look back to the subject and continue this process until the drawing is complete. Remember, try to keep your pen on the paper at all times.  This is a secret artists use to create a unique drawing.

2008a 004 2008a 005 2008a 006

By using the “look, hold and draw” process you will develop your own natural rhythm. Practice makes perfect, try another one for good measure if you have time.

Voila! Your drawing will have character, charisma and speak of you and you alone.


3 thoughts on “Drawing – Look, Hold and Draw

    • Yes, I have two of Dodson’s book. Apparently, “Keys to Drawing” is a rare one now. Amazon tried to buy it back from me! Thank you for your comment


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