Second Realm

Eric P. Rhodes, Artist

The Lost Art of Drawing


A Window to Conscious Observation

Drawing, for many, is more than just a skill or a hobby. It’s a way of engaging with the world, a method of truly seeing and understanding what’s in front of us. For me, drawing has always been the most fundamental way of engaging the world. It’s through the act of drawing that I find myself truly observing, truly seeing.

In recent years, art schools have shifted their focus. The integration of computer-dependent art practices into the curriculum has led to a decline in the emphasis on traditional drawing. While this equips individuals with skills for their professional lives, it deprives them of a foundational tool to understand the essence of their existence. Drawing, in its purest form, remains a primary means of experiencing reality.

In today’s digital age, where screens dominate our lives and keyboards have become our primary tools of expression, I find solace in the age-old practice of putting pen to paper. It’s not just nostalgia or a nod to tradition; it’s an integral part of my creative process.

Every idea, every project, every vision I’ve ever had starts with the tactile sensation of a pen or pencil gliding across paper. This act of physical creation, where thoughts flow from mind to hand to page, is where I think out loud. It’s a dance of ink and imagination, and it’s what has always drawn me to the world of art.

As a child, when words eluded me, colors and images became my voice. The canvas of a blank page was my playground, a space where I could freely express my emotions, dreams, and ideas. Drawing was more than just a hobby; it was my lifeline, a way to communicate when words failed.

Even today, as a seasoned digital artist, most of my projects begin with pen or pencil on paper. It’s a ritual, a way to connect with the essence of my ideas before translating them into the digital realm. Drawing is not just a step in my process; it’s the foundation upon which everything else is built.

Every drawing is a journey, a miraculous occurrence born out of time, effort, and observation. And while many believe that the challenge in drawing lies in its accuracy, I’ve aft accuracy is just the beginning. Mastering accuracy is essential, but it’s the stepping stone to the realm of expressive drawing, where the soul of the artist truly shines.t

On the lost art of drawing, there’s a glimmer of hope. It seems to be making a comeback with the rise of NFTs. And why shouldn’t it? Drawing is the most direct way of understanding our visual world. There’s an unparalleled purity in the act of drawing that makes us conscious of the world we inhabit. As I often tell my students, the first time I genuinely see someone is when I feel the urge to draw them. The act of drawing awakens our consciousness to the visual intricacies of the world.

In practical terms, drawing equips us with the ability to demonstrate our ideas without relying on pre-existing material. Without this skill, we find ourselves scavenging for existing content to represent our thoughts, which is hardly the ideal way to start any creative endeavor.

Drawing is more than just an art form. It’s another tool, a medium of understanding, and a way of truly seeing the world. As we move forward in this digital age, let’s not forget the power and purity of a simple pencil and paper, and the wonders they can create.