Disney animator, Frank Thomas, gave the advice above to young animators. I believe this is solid advice for anyone wanting to be an artist or wanting to perfect your craft. In order to create, you have to understand. In order to understand, you have to observe. In order to make the viewer understand, you have to be able to communicate.
You can communicate in many different ways. Artists use the elements of art to communicate. They use form, shape, texture, line, space, value and color to express themselves. Learning how to draw the world around you is going to help you better understand. Drawing every day is going to make your understanding more complete.
The Agony and The Ecstasy by Irving Stone is a biographical novel of Michelangelo. When Michelangelo is a student in the novel he is not allowed to paint or to sculpt until he can draw. He draws for years trying to perfect his understanding of the human form.
I believe that we would all be better artists if we spent more time drawing. So this Friday, get out some paper, pencil, or pen and take some time to draw.
Dear Lord and Father of all:
I come to you today asking for blessings for all that are trying to perfect their creative abilities. Please focus our sight so that we might better understand. Give us the ability to communicate our emotions and feelings through the elements of art. Teach us as we draw. Bless our efforts. In Christ’s name. Amen.