Why are Complex Drawings easy?

©2011-Cathy Read -The Lowry Centre and Bridge- A4 - Ink
©2011-Cathy Read -The Lowry Centre and Bridge- A4 - Ink

The recent appointment of Tracey Emin as professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy of Art is causing outrage!

The loudest objectors feel the post should be given to “someone who can draw”. Or words to that effect.

But what is good drawing?

Is detail or simplicity more important?

Should movement be sacrificed for quality of line or vice versa?

I’m always impressed by the technical skills expressed in many cartoons.

But they’re often undervalued. The average person never sees the hours/weeks/months of practice required to make simple lines accurate and fluid.

Simple line drawings are perceived as easy.

But they aren’t!

If you don’t draw, try copying one and you’ll begin to appreciate the skill! Anyone who draws knows the simple lines are often the hardest to recreate because so much relies on subtle nuances.

To the inexperienced, complex drawings are seen as requiring great skill.

And many do! But, mistakes can hide in the details of complex drawings. Mistake which would stand out in simple ones.

Personally I prefer a few, well executed lines that convey movement.

Complex, detailed drawings with layers of shading are OK, but I think less is often more where drawing is concerned.

I can’t claim to be a fan of Miss Emin, but, if her appointment makes people question what makes good drawing then I’m all for it.

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