Embracing the Dance of Drawing: A Shift to Mark-Making

As artists, we often find ourselves tangled in the pursuit of perfection.

We strive to draw lines and shapes “correctly,” adhering to techniques taught and retaught throughout our education and practice.

However, I've discovered a liberating approach to drawing that emphasizes creativity and personal expression over precision: the shift to a mark-making mindset.

Drawing should not be a rigid task, where each line must be perfect from the start. Instead, think of it as a dance. Let your pen or pencil glide across the page, softly and freely. The process isn't about capturing your subject with a single, definitive line, but rather allowing the form to emerge gradually, organically, through a series of explorative marks.

This method doesn't disregard the importance of form and function. On the contrary, it encourages a deeper engagement with your subject. As you let your tool dance on the paper, moving it over and over the surface, you're not just observing your subject—you're connecting with it. Each stroke isn't just a part of the drawing; it's a part of a dialogue between you and your subject.

Forget the hard, thin lines dictated by traditional education—those that demand precision without room for error. Instead, embrace a looser approach. Let your lines flow, thick and thin, controlled and chaotic, as they need to be. As you draw, your subject reveals itself slowly, each line contributing to a fuller, more honest representation.

This mindset encourages you to make the marks you want to make, not just the ones you feel compelled to by old habits or strict rules. It’s about letting your hand and heart lead, allowing the true essence of your subject to emerge naturally.

Through this approach, drawing becomes not just an act of seeing but an act of discovery. Each sketch becomes a journey, not just a destination. And as artists, isn't that what we're truly seeking? A way to explore, understand, and communicate the beauty we see in our own unique language of marks.