Some are familiar with the fact that every art form requires a degree of skill to fully master it and that learning begins with basic skills such as using the right tools or working on different types of art. This knowledge comes from years of exposure – you can’t learn to make art by just staring at a painting – or you’d find yourself stuck in what I call a ‘narrative problem’.
Narratives, however, are inherently difficult as they are hard to create and they require time to develop into something of their own. So what is the secret to learning to draw?
I had a revelation in 2015. I’d started using one of my friends’ drawings as a frame to illustrate the story of their life, and I became fascinated by the way the lines and shapes were placed between different events. I began to work through all the different shapes for different scenes, working out a way to make them match together and create an interesting and moving narrative.
Over the next few summers, I worked on the story of their life for the first time by taking time out of drawing to analyse the story and come up with more details. I worked on it, and I made sure it was the story that fit within the frame I’d created. And I also worked on the frame at home before I’d even finished illustrating it.
When I’d got that far, I made a very big decision. If I’m going to make the frame, then I need to work with it, and I can’t have a frame that fits my style and style of drawing. And I need to take a great degree of creativity into account if I’m going to make this work.
My style is drawn very differently from the style of other artists. As a child growing up in England during the 1920s, I worked with the big, heavy, traditional style, and with lots of pen and ink and some brushes. As I grew older, I moved towards the modernist style and developed a lot of my own techniques; and after the advent of digital photography, digital photography has become an extremely important way of creating images at this stage.
Now, in 2015, I do not have access to digital technology – I haven’t worked on a frame in decades – I need to be able to work using a digital process which can capture a very detailed drawing process and create something that’s easy to recreate in a digital environment where I can work in 3D, combine colours for different elements, and create an interesting and interesting
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