July 26, 2008

Secret of Drawing revisited

I mentioned in a previous post about a series on the BBC called The Secret of Drawing. I've now come across full length videos for 3 of the 4 episodes, on Google Video, plus one on YouTube. I'm embedding one part of part one, and linking to the Google videos -

Each episode is approx. 55 minutes long -

Episode 1 - The Line of Enquiry - website info, video is now available on YouTube in 6 parts - part 1.
Introduction to the series - The program presents drawing as utilitarian and observational drawings, going from scientific, anatomical, and nature drawing to Turner's abstracted observations of nature and Constable's landscapes.

Epeisode 1 - The Line of Enquiry, part 1 of 6 - embedded

Episode 2 - Storylines - website info, Google video.
It's nice to see otherwise lowbrow arts like Comic Books, Graphic novels, Japanese Manga, Storyboard Art, and Film Animation be covered as drawing, and therefore as legitimate 'Art'. Still, the show's perspective is a bit too much reliant on the 'artist as lone genius' perspective on creating art. For instance, in the segment on Comics, the emphasis is solely on the lone comics creator, in this case on Daniel Clowes. There is no mention of comics made in the more common commercial manner - made by multiple artists with one person writing, a different person doing the composition in pencil, another drawing in the lettering, another inking over the pencil lines. Several different hands drawing to create a whole work of art. Similarly, and more amazingly, there is little mention of the number of hands required to make an animated film. There is only the emphasis on the lone animator again.

Episode 3 - All in the Mind - website info, Google video.
Basically set around the idea of 'Why do people draw?" Going from cave paintings to outsider artists. The compulsion to depict the world, real or imagined, in drawn form. Is it for the artist or the audience, or both?

Episode 4 - Drawing By Design - website info, Google video.
Focusing on drawing as purely to be realized in other media. Architectural drawings, drawings for rock concert and theater set designs. The most interesting part of this is where he distinguishes between practical architectural design and architectural fantasy drawing.

In general, the series is as interesting for what it does not feature as much as for what it does. Still, it is rare to see any kind of emphasis put on drawing, and I like it. No mention of drawing for stained glass, of course, but many of the ideas are relevant, especially in this last episode. I like the idea of applying architectural fantasy drawing to stained glass. That is, I'd like to see a variety of artists create stained glass fantasy commissions in drawn form.

Posted by Tom at July 26, 2008 08:30 PM