Have an Experience

A pencil drawing of Thomas Eakins’ head from a photograph in A Drawing Manual by Thomas Eakins. Back when I had more time on my hands, I lived closer to The Beverly Hills Public Library and its amazing selection of art books. The Eakins book was based on lectures delivered at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the late 19th century and was largely a technical discussion of perspective with an interesting section about reflections on water. Unlike books on art technique of a similar vintage, there is no public-domain PDF available on the web — the Eakins book was published posthumously in 2005 based on an abandoned manuscript.

I think the bearded fellow is from the cover of a giant red Wrox tome called Professional XML. His question is a reminder that the joy in drawing is at least as much about the mental process and experience of making a drawing as it is about the finished product. Which is a good thing to remember when drawings are turning out the way I’d like them to.

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