To draw you must close your eyes and sing.
Picasso may be referring to a state where you lose your ego. For artists this is a big challenge, one in which the sketchbook is an invaluable resource. It can be a place where fluency can be developed and outside influence can be silenced. Seeing happens on many levels, most of which operate better without the constraints of self judgment. If the goals are limited and focused, something interesting will happen: just leave the ego out of it.
I had a yoga teacher in college who was a very bendy babe. She was a woman ” of a certain age” who was frankly more spry than most of the members of her class. She clearly knew something about something bigger than yoga.
She told us to remember whenever you bend in one direction you should do a counter bend in the opposite direction. Seemed like a good play for sanity and balance. This point has stayed with me.
I have been painting shapes with gouache for a bit, so now I am going to do a bend in the opposite direction: linear description.
After many years of doing highly precise and technical drawing with rapidoliners, I admit a kind of fine line PTSD. I usually choose more natively ” expressive tools” in reaction to the lack of balance in the past .
The challenge using these tools now, will be in some transformation of my point of view: can the fine line be expressive ? Of course.
Paper with a slight tooth will help with more individuated mark making. The ivory paper in the STILLMAN AND BIRN DELTA journal also adds a feature of warmth when greeting black line.
These drawings start with a time limit and a free form gestural base that tries to summarize the environment. I make quick notations in the areas of darkest shadow, and midtones. People are placed first because they refuse to sit still. When they have moved on I focus on the environmental particulars.