Do you anticipate entire days in the studio with wide-eyed, fluttery fingered excitement? I have a full day of drawing & printmaking planned, and I fell asleep last night plotting the sequence of projects, bargaining what I might reasonably finish with no interruptions. Like a ravenous dog at a buffet table, I scheme my super-hero productivity with a list that’s way too long for a single day, but I’ll have fun trying. Two cups of coffee, supplies ready, and an audio book in the queue (State of Wonder by Ann Patchett); On your mark, Get set, GO!
A facility of hand is one of the first requisites in drawing whatever instrument be employed, whether Pencil, Pen, Brush or Modelling tool. Many are, by nature, endowed with a certain mechanical dexterity, or happy readiness with the fingers, to whom this facility is of easy acquirement; and all possess it to a certain degree, or they could not be taught to write, which, in the beginning, is nothing more than the drawing of certain conventional forms without any distinct idea of an object beyond the imitation of such forms. If the pupil has improved upon this humble beginning, so as to write a fair hand, he already, perhaps unconsciously, possesses an acquirement that will not only make easy his first essays in drawing, but essentially serve him however far he may extend its pursuit. Should this useful accomplishment have been neglected, he can not do better than practise his hand in the careful imitation of good specimens of penmanship, or place himself under the instruction of some good writing-master. The use of the pen has been too much overlooked by draughtsmen, especially by amateurs. It produces a certain line, and induces an early habit of care and accuracy, from the fact that it can not be easily erased. Many are falsely captivated by the spirited dash of a master, who overlook the means by which that ease and freedom have been acquired. It is the result of accuracy and labor; and to imitate the end, we should not shrink from the beginning.The American Drawing Book, John Gadsby Chapman, 1847