Drawing Lessons I – Leonardo da Vinci

?Having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the entrance?of a great cavern … Two contrary emotions arose in me: fear and desire–fear of the?threatening dark cavern, desire to see whether there were any marvelous things in it. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Leonardo da Vinci? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??


While student teaching last winter, I asked my students to complete a bio postcard, in an effort to get to know them better as individuals. The postcard included questions such as who their favorite person was and why, etc. One of the questions I asked was, if they could learn or create any project in art, what would it be? At least half of them answered that they would like to learn to draw better. They wrote statements such as, “I want to learn to draw things like they really are’, or ‘I want to draw something just how it looks’.

Many, many art students expressed this hope and wish about drawing to me from the time I started student teaching last fall. Also, I know that being able to draw really well has been a deep-rooted desire of mine, since I was a very small child.

So, this summer, to complete the last 6 hours of my Masters program, I immersed myself in a drawing course to learn to draw again, and contemplated the significance of drawing in art and to artists. To accompany the drawing class, I wrote a research paper about Leonardo da Vinci, his drawings, and his influence and inspiration for artists during his time and to this day.

For my undergraduate degree, I completed several Renaissance art history courses. Leonardo da Vinci and his work were only part of the emphasis of study in these classes. To complete the paper I wrote the paper about him this summer, I read over a dozen books and journal articles. Leonardo da Vinci was everything his reputation evokes. His genius together with his compassionate humanity, all revealed in his work and writing, are dazzling.

For my next several posts, I will excerpt my paper, along with thoughts and lessons I have learned about the vital and essential art of drawing.


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