Thoughts on Drawing -- Juliette Aristides

Selections from Juliette Aristides' book, "Classical Drawing Atelier"

"Art affords pleasure to all who study it and increases each student's ability to appreciate the art created by others."

"Mastering the basic principles of art does not limit expression, distinctiveness, or personal freedom in our work. Rather, it strengthens these qualities by giving them structure."

"The artist can become stuck in a perpetual adolescence where his passion outstrips his ability...a far more powerful art form is created when artists seek to first master the craft of art and then use it to express their individuality."

"Once a student knows how to draw, lack of skill will not hinder the development of a personal vision."

"Understanding the foundational principles of drawing is the priority of the student, regardless of where they train."

"Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to greatness; becoming a master artist takes a lifetime of sustained effort, study, and focus."

"Often the more masterful an artist is, the more cautiously and lightly he will begin a drawing...knowing that a good beginning will make the entire drawing process proceed more quickly. By contrast, beginners often etch in deep and dark lines and then quickly find themselves 'finished' with the drawing, no longer knowing what to do, yet not quite happy with the outcome."

"If a likeness is not captured with a few lines, additional lines will often not help."

"With art, as with many things, one must know the rules before one breaks them."

"Once a student has learned to draw a cast (three-dimensional sculpture) well, he can draw anything."

"When an artist has mastered the tools, principles, and techniques of his trade, he can focus on self-expression, knowing with confidence that the expression that follows will be one of choice rather than accident."

"Beginning artists often draw the equivalent of symbols...the result feels artificial...and is often marked by distortion. The artist should focus on what he can actually see...and must trust that if he draws it the way he sees it, it will look convincing."