Drawing as Meditation

January 14, 2013

Several years ago I took a week-end drawing workshop with Frederick Franck.  He basically follows a drawing method outlined by Kimon Nicolaides in his book, The Natural Way to Draw.  The idea is to only draw while looking at the object, never while looking at your paper.  If you want to look at your paper, you must stop moving your pen.  Franck regards this as a kind of meditation, which he calls “Seeing-Drawing.”

My renewed interest in watercolors has led me to do more drawing,  Here are some of the drawings that I did as part of “seeing-drawing” meditation.  I pick ordinary objects whose shapes provide some challenges.

A shoe can provide a challenging subject

Drawing of horse

Drawn from a bronze figurine


I draw in India ink because i want to discipline of not beige able to erase a line.  I use a pen than can be refilled when the ink runs out.  Not every drawing accurately reflects what I’m seeing.

line drawing of leg

Here’s a drawing where the line for the back of the leg forms too sharp an angle at the ankle.  If I were drawing with pencil, I could erase and redraw the line.  While this would produce a ore accurate drawing, it would not be in keeping with seeing-drawing as mediation.

Seeing-drawing is just one of my meditation practices, so it isn’t done every day, but it has the advantage that it shows me how to do drawings that can be the basis of watercolor paintings.

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