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Drawing the Mastering of Form.

Visiting the Boymans in Rotterdam I was surprised by an invasion of students copying old and modern masters in pencil and charcoal. The return of copying and model drawing in art schools seems a new evidence. I remember a discussion with Harry Holland a painter and former drawing teacher at the Royal Academy in 2014.

Drawing has a number of definitions because it has a number of purposes. What most definitions have in common is observation, exploration, preparation, and visual evocation of the material world. They are judged successful by their qualities (e.g elegance, gravity, wit etc.), their inventiveness, truth, accuracy of depiction and  insight. Also whether they are good preparation for work which is to follow, for example by formulating good compositions or spaces for paintings, or good indication of form for painting or sculpture. All this visually, for in the extent to which you need words to explain a drawing, to that extent it has failed.

Harry Holland - Study for 'Awake', 1982
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