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Expression vs. Accuracy
Drawing Classes

February 18, 2024

by Henry Vermillion

That anyone can learn to draw is almost true. The exceptions are folks with severe dyslexia. But while those folks often cannot accurately draw something in front of them, sometimes their drawings, while different, are amazingly expressive.

The rest of us "ordinary" folks can indeed learn some simple rules that enable us to draw well. The techniques are simple, but like any other skill, it needs practice—and more practice, to get better.

In my classes I teach simplification. Make simple shapes or scribbles, and they can become faces, people, faces, houses, or landscapes. An oval becomes a face, a rectangle becomes a human body—or a house, a horse, or the body of a dog.

Drawing should be done as much as possible the way a child draws: exploring and recording what interests the drawer; what's important to them in the world. But after some rules (and magic tricks) are learned, a grown-up person can also learn to measure—visually—the proportions of a figure, a tree, or a flower, in order to draw it more accurately, if that's what is wanted.

Line is very important. Thick, strong lines, or thin, sensitive, probing lines add character to a drawing, as rapidly or slowly-drawn lines add a different feeling.

I, myself, am still learning different ways of drawing, still discovering. There's no end to it.

Finally, accuracy is not the most important objective. Drawing expressively, with conviction and feeling, is most important. We're not civil engineers or architects, we're artists. As I always say: God gave us cameras so we could make exactly accurate images, if that's what we want.


Drawing Classes
Henry Vermillion will teach a series of two-week drawing classes
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-1pm, beginning Monday, February 19
For more info:415-152-6171 or 415- 215 1591.


Henry Vermillion was born in El Paso, and grew up in small towns in Texas and New Mexico. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, with degrees in English literature and biology. He studied Social Work in the MSW program at the University of Texas in Austin.

He is a U.S. Army veteran. In Raleigh, North Carolina, he was president of the non-profit Wake Visual Arts Association. In 1995, he was awarded the Raleigh Medal of the Arts.

In November of 1992, Henry, his wife Britt Zaist, and five other painters opened the co-op Galeriía Izamal, which, until its closing in January of 2022, was San Miguel's oldest art gallery.


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