Here are two sketchbook drawings from earlier today. One is a life study from a figure drawing session, and the other is from a reproduction of Vermeer’s The Milkmaid.
This was the first life drawing session I have attended in several months. It was good to work from the model again.
The reproduction of the Vermeer painting was in the copy of David Hockney’s book Secret Knowledge that I have borrowed from the public library. Secret Knowledge is Hockney’s historical investigation of the use of lenses in making paintings. He convincingly demonstrates that as early as 1430 artists such as Jan Van Eyck were using the advanced optics of their time to transfer a real image to their painting surface.
Along with the large art book, Hockney produced a two part video series on the topic. Like the book, I find the videos enjoyable and convincing.
The idea that lenses were used in making some great paintings does not make me think drawing is not worthwhile. Drawing is a great way to connect body and mind. For me, today, it seems necessary.