I came to this via the oca website and process.arts and I feel like I found it at a perfect moment during this drawing course. The nine short videos on Ruskin’s basic principles of drawing, as developed for his students, are presented by Stephen Farthing RA.
The following statement is taken from The Ashmolean website (http://ruskin.ashmolean.org/welcome) that holds the 1470 works of art that Ruskin carefully catalogued for his students.
Ruskin established his Drawing School at Oxford in 1871. He intended it not for the training of artists, but of ordinary men and women, who, by following his course, ‘might see greater beauties than they had hitherto seen in nature and in art, and thereby gain more pleasure in life’. His method required the student to master the rudiments of technique – outline, shading, colour – through a carefully directed course of lessons in copying both works of art and natural specimens.
I found the prescriptive approach surprising but useful, the following are my shorthand notes of what I want to keep in mind right now:
- Practice…”but also look at real drawing, see how it’s been made – we don’t draw the way we do today just because we invented it yesterday”
- Lines can be changed and improved – remember that if you rub something out, it doesn’t mean you are reinventing – you are improving.
- Tone gives volume and depth and a basic rule is darker = closer to the viewer
- Toned paper can provide the mid tone. It can receive both light and dark marks
- Relating to the use of ink – working quickly will transfer the energy of your body, giving an atmosphere and rhythm. Brushes can be more lively and lyrical than pencil
- Many good drawings are done as a result of measurement and any drawing that becomes part of a pattern, needs to be measured.
- When adding colour to a pencil drawing, apply sparingly, carefully and in layers
- Field Notes (sketchbook): observe, make notes
- Creativity is invention, the making of new things