As you may know, drawing is my number one passion, I love drawing and get an enormous amount of peace and comfort when I’m alone drawing. I also love travelling and exploring new places and trying different food. For a long time, I’ve wanted to combine the two together.Read More
At the beginning of my recent workshop, a student used the ‘classic sentence’: ‘I can’t draw!’. My immediate reaction was a combination of genuine confusion and bewilderment. Even though, I have heard the same words throughout the years, it is something I have always had trouble understanding.
When I hear the words: ‘ I can’t draw’, I interpret the words to be ‘I can’t breathe’. I simply find this not to be true; if someone wouldn’t be able to breathe, they simply would cease to exist. As while as someone can breathe, someone can also communicate. Either, verbally or visually. Drawing has evolved and also how we view our world. It’s just that our own creativity has been suppressed and we are afraid to making mistakes and being judged and mocked.
The true fundamentals of drawing is a matter of using perceptive intuition and expression. It is a matter of making use more of your left brain and switching to your right brain. It is a matter of making mistakes.
When we were children, we were playful, we explored and we learnt to have fun and we weren’t afraid of making mistakes. Institutions such as: Schools, family and work project a limited and rigid view on how to see the world and how to approach it, often frowning upon creativity and focusing more on logic. This is the mistake. This why you think you can’t draw. This is why your confidence in creativity has been eroded.
What to do
In order to improve on drawing, we have to think about how we see perspectives differently. I think it is important to practice using the eye as a muscle to exercise, as we would with our feet when we go jogging. It is not so much about technical skill, but more to do with how we perceive things when we look at things and how to execute it in a way that suggests an honesty.
If the sentences of ‘I can’t draw’ lingers long enough in your head, then despite what you do, the idea becomes manifested as true. Another sentence is followed with: ‘but I want to draw it how I see it’.
Most often than not, most people aspire for the presentation preference of the geometric, pragmatic, two-dimensional, structural engineering process. The concept for perceptive intuition becomes void and anything with wonky eyes and a long nose gets shunned upon by the person’s own creation or feels embarrassed if presented to others.
Avoid being an expert. Old ideas become a repetitive ritual. New methods can become a gateway for an improved you.
How to draw better
Stop labeling objects! Question, challenge and dissect the thing you want to draw. This can include drawing from multiple viewpoints, using different materials and having distance from it (hang it up - step back and look for what needs improvement)
Cezanne used to sit; analyzing and studying his subject for long periods before actually working on his pieces.
Instead of trying to draw a perfect symmetric face or to replicate the subject, think about what you are actually seeing in front of you as opposed to what comes from memory and what you think it should look like. Consider using your pencil as a measuring instrument. Pick the subject up if it’s small or walk around it - see it from a different angle. Get close to the subject. The more you research and try to understand the subject, the easier it will be to translate it from your eyes and hands to the paper or canvas.
Feel confident in what you know and understand the best you can about the subject. That will make you better, if not great at drawing.
The term “mind the gap,” is irrevocably linked with the London Underground’s audible and visual warning to passengers crossing the spatial gap between the platform and its train carriages. The phrase was first coined in 1968 and introduced across London Underground stations in 1969 at the same time as the Race Relations Act was making its way through Parliament. This was the 'Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom making it illegal to refuse housing, employment, or public services to a person on the grounds of colour, race, ethnic or national origins.’
As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the UK remains a divided nation. According to the Home Office in October 2018, hate crime has increased by more than double in the last five years with no sign of abating. With Brexit imminent, this is a crucial time to create a dialogue to try to prevent any further tensions.
Mind the Gap is a mixed media exhibition of works by London born artist, Ali Tareen, exploring nationalistic themes of division and race. This is Ali’s first exhibition in London in over 10 years and the final exhibition at Ma-Wah Gallery.
Ali was born in East London studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, graduating with a First. He has had solo and group exhibitions in Czechia, the UK and Spain and his works are in private collections across the UK, Europe, the USA, Russia and Australia.
The exhibition opens at 6pm on the 1st March and runs until 8th March.
Mah Wah Gallery,
200A Chingford Mount Road,
London, E4 8JR