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Mar 122011

On today’s  episode of Man vs. Art I want to explore how the act of drawing has thoroughly shaped our lives.

There was a time when the ability to draw was seen as the primary essential skill of any artist.

But in the age of the cut and paste pixel and digital imagery many see drawing as an outdated activity.

I  want  to challenge the modern prejudices that say  drawing is uncool  and that those who do draw  are sad Luddite weirdo loners stuck in a dead past.

Drawing is the most rewarding and essential artistic skill at work in the world today.

Drawing lies behind everything we see and use in the our modern world.  The building you are sitting in, the computer you are using, even the shoes you are wearing started as a few lines on a page.  Then through a series of  more enhanced drawings were transformed from a figment of the imagination into the object before you.

Drawing is everywhere people! It  has so much to say about artists and how we think, look at the world and express ourselves!  Drawing is about how we communicate with each other telling stories through the timeless language of pictures.  We use drawing to understand with the world around us, to grasp it’s beauty and especially to grapple with our own place within it!

Leonardo Da Vinci

In the late 1400’s Leonardo DaVinci  began anatomical drawing to satisfy his insatiable curiosity about the human body.

For Da Vinci to understand the human body was to understand the soul.

George Stubbs

18th century scientist and artist George Stubbs  had a fixation on the  subject of horses that culminated in some of the most brilliant anatomical drawings the world has ever seen. His ability to capture the weight and grace and poise of a horse  was impeccable. His sheer obsession with how he approached the study of horses is astounding.

Stubbs ended up creating one of the greatest artistic scientific projects of investigation of the 18th century.


John Russell

In 1764 portrait painter John Russell  looked at the moon through a telescope and he was hooked. He made a sketch of what he saw and it changed his life forever. He bought himself two telescopes of his own and his life’s work began in earnest.Over the course of the next 20 years he built up an incredible collection of superbly detailed drawings of the moon’s surface.

John Russell drew this while looking through a telescope over 300 years ago!

Russel was so meticulous with his process he even designed his own crayons with which to draw his lunar landscapes. Scientists today can identify the craters individually from Russell’s studies!

John James Audobon

At the beginning of the 19th century John James Audobon found an unshakable fascination with the wildlife of North America. He wasn’t a trained artist but an outdoors-man yet he wanted to catalog North America’s wildlife treasures with an obsessive zeal! In 1819 the bankrupted Audubon threw himself into compiling an epic work of ornithology, “The Birds of America” He spent 20 years making extraordinary drawings of every single bird species he could find in the woods of America.

Carolina Parrots by John James Audobon

His prints are some of the most reproduced works of art in North America. His compositions showed dramatic scenes that were loaded with scientific information. He chose to make the book with prints of the birds all life sized. Which made the book HUGE and difficult to reproduce. In the end only 200 were ever made. Very few remain to this day, one sold at auction a few years ago for 9 million dollars.
His epic 430 page masterpiece was his way of saying his adopted homeland was God’s country.

John James Audobon Birds of America

Drawing has deepened man’s preoccupation with Nature from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, and has driven the advancement of modern science!

Thank you Drawing!


Also mentioned in the podcast is

Minion Robyn Mallory’s who wrote in to Man vs. Art http://revulo.deviantart.com/

Andrew Miller from DrewToonz who left a voice mail. http://northshorecartoon.com

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 Posted by at 11:25 pm

  4 Responses to “Man vs. Art Episode 45! For the Love of Drawing!”

  1. Awesome! On referencing that art seperates us from animals…people are always baggin on abstract stuff like Jackson Pollock and they always say stuff like “Anyone can do that…even a monkey..” Well, yeah, a monkey CAN do that…but an monkey won’t know that it’s art.
    Also shout out to Drew Toons…I follow him on YouTube. : )

    • Not only won’t a monkey know it’s art, he’ll also slop out the matting and pick a horrible frame, and then sell it for a banana. Stupid monkey.

      As for people who knock abstract or non-representational art, I agree with you totally Gras, they are dumb asses. “Sunset over Pomona by Grasiela Rodriguez?! That don’t look like no sunset over Pomona. That looks like someone shoved a cherry bomb up a skunks butt and lit it! Anybody could have done that.” What these mouth breathers don’t understand is that YES! Anybody could have painted that. But the point is NOBODY EVER DID. Grasiela DID!

      I always welcome your AWESOME comments Gras! You “get it!”

  2. Yes! I dare say that the act of drawing is at the heart of all visual art endeavors. It kills me to talk to so-called painters and hear them say that they don’t draw. Are you kidding me!? Or when talking with architects or architectural draftsmen and finding that they have no need to draw. What? What the heck does it mean to be a “draftsman” then!?! These people represent a culture that fails to observe and come up with any innovative ideas. They have allowed themselves to be slaves of their tools and not masters of their craft. I think that anyone that is in the profession of creating anything visual (painters, architects,engineers, movie-makers, etc.) should make it a habit to draw on a regular basis. Surely anyone getting an education in these said fields should absolutely understand the rudiments of getting things down on paper before moving on to the next step.
    Drawing is how we think, articulate, clarify, illustrate, elaborate and create. It is so important. Thanks for another awesome episode.

    • Drawing is one of the greatest things a person can do. It spreads ideas, breaks down barriers and advances culture! You are welcome!

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