Drawing By Your Own Rules

Drawing By Your Own Rules

A good drawing is held together by the artist’s own “inner rules.” Discover the rules, and you will discover the artist.

What goes into making a personal style of drawing? I believe much of it has to do with an artist’s own “inner rules of drawing.”

By this, I don’t mean rules that might be taught such as rules of good composition or rules of handling a particular medium. I mean those rules which are internally based.

These “inner rules” are not adopted from external sources but rather spring from what the artist feels is visually correct. An internal rule is one that the artist feels compelled to follow or else the drawing will feel like a failed attempt no matter how others might admire the work.

As you study the drawings of an artist, you will begin to understand the inner rules that the artist follows not because they have learned them but because they must follow their inner unwritten guide. I believe these rules form the foundation of the artist’s personal style of drawing.

I first noticed this while studying the drawings of Takashi Shuji, an artist that I admire. It took time to put into written words another artist’s inner rule as I perceived them because these are by their nature most often unspoken and subconscious.

What “inner rules” can you discover in these drawings? What “inner rules” can you discover in your own drawings?

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