What Makes A ‘Pretty’ Drawing?

Friday, 5 June 2015

Disclaimer: I'm no art critic, so I'm going with my personal notion of 'pretty'.

quick sketch of my left hand

I drew this on Thursday night as a way to pass the time while waiting for Han to come home from a dinner outing. It had been quite a long while since I last did a small painting so I was very happy for the opportunity to draw. That it was a cool, quiet evening contributed to this piece, I am sure.

This is also the first time I've felt satisfied with an attempt to draw my hand. Trust me when I say that I have practised this exercise regularly ever since I was 12. After many a rumpled paper and crossed out embarrassment, this finally looks right.

What makes it look pleasing (to me, at least)?

I recall reading somewhere that drawings are all about relationships. How shapes are proportionate to one another. The spacing between lines. How planes meet. How colours blend, or contrast. When these elements are placed well, a drawing just works.

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? However, while it is true that some may happen more easily and naturally than others, crafting beautiful relationships can take years of hard work - if not a lifetime. And even if one reaches one pinnacle of a relationship that offers a breathtaking view, there is the certainty of a descent before one is able to reach the next peak.

Such is life.

So I will turn back the pages in my journal every now and then to look at this drawing, feel happy, and also look at failures or mishaps and try to do better in my next attempt. Good relationships are worth working hard for - and are a joy to behold.

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