Click below for a contribution to the accuracy versus expression debate. It is the first chapter of my book “Drawing on Both Sides of the Brain” which is made up of two volumes: “Drawing with Feeling” and “Drawing with Knowledge”. The drawing of Durer’s Mother below is one of the six illustrations in the chapter used to illustrate the expressive potential of the accuracy aspiration. Please enjoy.
“DRAWING WITH FEELING”-CHAPTER 1 – “ACCURACY V EXPRESSION”
Chapters from “Drawing on Both Sides of the Brain”.
- Chapter 1: Accuracy versus expression
- Chapter 2: Traditional artistic practices
- Chapter 3: Modernist ideas that fed into new teaching methods
- Chapter 4: the sketch and explaining the feel-system.
- Chapter 5: Negative shapes
- Chapter 6: Contour drawing
- Chapter 7: Copying Photographs
- Chapter 8: Fast drawing, learning and expression
Other drawing related Posts
- An inspirational 19th century teacher and his widespread influence on Modernism in drawing and painting
Click here for a full lists of other Posts
14 thoughts on “Accuracy versus expression debate”
This is good to bring up the “accuracy” versus “expression” dyad, and to confirm that the two are not mutually exclusive as some may imagine them to be!
It may be unnecessary but perhaps the only thing needed to bring to the course in Montmiral is passion to draw and paint. Knowledge of French unnecessary although you may be inspired to try. From a returning student with more passion than talent. Best two weeks I have ever spent. Not to be missed…
Accuracy if it’s part of the project yes but it’s passion which has the potential to echo,
This chapter is profoundly relevant to my learning process as I work very hard to learn to draw and paint. I study with you much too briefly each year. I hope to change that somehow. Thank you for your time, brilliance and endless generosity, both on site, and through sharing these wonderful chapters from your book.
Very enticing post, Francis. After my first “proper” drawing lesson, I am even more motivated to pursue your ongoing teachings – especially the “feeling system” and more. Thank you for continuing to share your book.
And I would love to hear more about this Experimental Life Drawing week in Norfolk.
Thoughtful writing. I am thinking there are layers to how I respond to drawings. I do look at the realism, but also I pay attention to how I respond to the piece. Sometimes I have a deeper reaction to someting that is not realistically drawn but elicits a deep emotional or intelectualr reply from within. It is like having a conversation with the drawing and the artist behind the drawing.
I am reminded yet again of a phrase i first heard from David Shepard, “the illusion of detail”.
After just two weeks at the Painting School of Montmiral, I will go home with a new process for drawing that feels its way through space and proportions – marking, checking and double checking each decision. Going back to see the wrongs and accumulation of wrongs. By making mistakes, I am seeing more clearly. A song played on the guitar might sound good enough for folk music but until the guitar is accurately tuned, you cannot know what you are missing.
I am learning that using accuracy is a powerful tool but not an end in itself. I have acquired a new attitude about the drawing process. Back at home, I now know what I will need to practice in to order to be free with my expression.
I know I’ve posted on this page, but it remains a valuable resource each time I reread it. Just wanted to say that.
Francis, thank you for this. Rereading just this first chapter after a couple of days of fitful efforts wrestling by myself with drawing, reinvigorated my interest and enthusiasm. In this pandemic year, I am your “virtual” student, and very grateful for this book. Thank you for these chapters! They will accompany me painting and drawing journey each day during my social distancing summer!