I’m working on another drawing video and my husband pointed out something after he watched it. When I look away from the drawing and at the subject, I keep right on drawing. I’ve tried to put this into words before and think it’s time to try again: Drawing is a felt thing.
There’s a “feel” to drawing curves, varied line, and even value. Learning this “feel” is similar to learning the steps of a dance. After you’ve gone through the steps several times, your body remembers how to move and you don’t have to think about it anymore. With drawing, your hand learns how to hold the pencil, how much pressure to apply, what angle is needed to create an effect, and so on.
If you’ve ever taken a drawing class, the instructor probably told you to keep your eyes on the subject as much as the drawing. That’s accomplished by looking quickly back and forth between the two as you compare the drawing to reality. Somewhere along the way, you no longer attend to each part in isolation and “looking” and “drawing” become one maneuver.
A wholeness, a complete use of body and mind, is felt when these two actions become one, and it feels good! Both body and mind are in full use and something even more magical happens too. This merging of body sense and mind builds a connection with the subject, which is The Other. This unity between you and The Other feels very much like dancing in step with a partner.
Many people, including myself, find drawing very calming and this is why. Drawing uses the whole body and mind and unites them with the world in the act of creation, and that is precious and good and it satisfies a deep hunger to dissolve the barriers of self.