Artist Carole Raschella shares her masterful portfolio, and discusses the very nature of drawing. Read more about this talented artist by visiting her website.
Because I was born and raised in a small English town, my only exposure to art education was in grade school. But as it turned out, I didn’t need it. My father had a friend who worked as a professional illustrator, which to my five-year-old mind, put him up there next to God, especially when he gave me the only instruction I would ever need.
Glancing over my shoulder, he complimented my drawings, then made the comment that changed everything. Taking my pencil, he outlined a simple oval egg, added a little shading, and said, “There are no lines in nature.” He proceeded to redraw the egg, using the same shading but eliminating the lines, and suddenly a perfect, softly rounded egg appeared. I still have the scrap of paper with his quick renditions.
It represents the full extent of my art education and to me, is worth all the classes, all the instruction and all the years of a full art curriculum. It’s my only guiding rule. Everything is light and shadow. There are no lines.
Beyond technique, there is only one essential requirement, and that is the ability to see, which is not nearly as easy as it sounds. The brain invents its own simple shortcuts which the artist must bypass in order to capture the reality of nature.
For example, the eye is not a flat collection of lines and circles surrounded by lashes. It is a round ball exposed to the light from the shadows of the socket in which it floats. Leaves are not merely a series of geometric patterns varied only by type.
They are shapes created by the negative space around them, in the same way the top strands of hair are defined by the darker layers behind them.
Once your eyes have been trained to see, your options are limitless. With only a pencil, you are able to create any form or shape in nature. Can you draw a cat? Of course. A cat is light and shadow. A dog is light and shadow. A tree is light and shadow.
Color is everywhere and can be so intense that it seems to vibrate. For the artist, it introduces more options, and in some ways, makes the work easier. A simple contrast in color can define and separate shapes, make them recede or approach and add or take away warmth, all of which, in black and white art, can only be achieved with light and shadow. It’s a challenge I look forward to every time I start a new project.
Drawing is not just a path to painting. Drawing is art all on its own, using a pencil for a brush and paper for canvas. Drawing is painting in pencil.
Carole Raschella invites you to like her Facebook page.