Friday, April 13, 2012

“I Can’t Draw a Straight Line”

4/11/12, Copic Multiliner SP pen, Akashiya watercolors
People who believe they can’t draw use this expression – “I can’t draw a straight line” – to describe their lack of skill. Where did this phrase come from? It’s as if the ability to draw a straight line were a comparatively easy skill to learn.

I find it much more difficult to draw the perfectly straight lines of buildings, boxes and pencils than to draw the curvy, organic lines of people, animals and plants. Or perhaps it’s not so much that organic lines are easier; maybe it’s just that they allow more ambiguity in perception. Straight lines are much less forgiving. I seem to own a peculiar collection of organic drawing instruments. (See my previous post about sketching art materials for more examples of “organic” lines.)

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