Sketching - Elaborate Doodles or Real Art?

I really admire artists who can create intricately detailed graphite pencil or pen and ink drawings. It's a style that really sits well with me whether it be a drawing of an old barnyard or some fantastical, wildly imaginative depiction of mythical dragons, fairies or other such creatures.

It's also a style that I am more than capable of working in myself however I don't (except on very rare occasions like for this blog post) because creating this kind of art seems like very elaborate doodling and not really 'proper' art.

When I say it's not proper art I mean it doesn't feel like creating proper art to me. It has nothing to do with whether I think this is proper art or not when others do it (because quite certainly it is art - and very impressive to me at that).

Perhaps it's because I'm so used to the routine of sketching then taking the finished sketch up to a painting? Maybe, psychologically for me, a finished sketch is only a half realised artwork that should progress to a painting. Maybe it's just that I spent many years doodling intricate pictures in my school notebooks when I should have been studying?

I don't know but somehow I can't bring myself to work in this style on a regular basis. Not even for series of artworks, illustrating a Harry Chapin song, that I've been meaning to try in this style for nearly ten years now. I can see the entire series in my head. Beautifully delicate graphite and pen drawings framed in nice simple black frames with black matte surrounds. Some day...

If you're an artist reading this, do you have the same problem with any particular style of art? A style you know you can do well but really don't feel like you've created 'art'. Feel free to comment below.

Image Details: Dragon Fly, Pencil sketch on paper, 14.8cm x 21cm, 1st February 2008

1 comment:

  1. I like this sketch - I think you have a talent for drawing or painting dragons! (I wonder have you tried to draw or paint a 'realistic' type of dragon as against the fantasy type, with flaring nostrils and fire, all scaly-looking etc?) Just wondered how that would turn out.

    I've saved this one to my comp. It is strange, but when I was at school in my early teens, I always preferred to draw rather than paint. I quite loved sketching. I was quite good at trees, doing individual leaves and gnarled bark etc.

    I liked to also copy sketched drawings from books, and could copy almost exactly, as I would do it line-for-line, curve-for-curve painstakingly! I also copied cartoons like this, such as the Andy Capp ones, making near perfect copies!

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