I’m a Metalsmith and I Like to Draw

I am an obsessive doodler. I start with geometrics if I am blocked. The act of mark-making usually jump starts my brain.

Drawing comes naturally to everyone. I know many of you will say you say you can’t draw — you are wrong. Remember those drawings you made in elementary school on manilla paper, sidewalks and your mother’s dining room wall? You can draw. It has just been beaten out of you through harsh criticism, mistaken ideas of “good” or “bad” art, and you forgetting that the act of making a mark is a basic human drive. Cave paintings prove this out. Drawing will help your metalwork, and remember that you can draw. But, you have to follow these rules:

Get a black permanent marker. Use white paper. Draw on it. Do not think, just draw. Do not throw your drawing away. If you can’t bear looking at it, file it in a drawer and look at it in a few weeks. If you can’t decide where to start, draw a square and decorate it. Then, draw another, and another until the page is full. Do this every day. Soon, you will look forward to drawing, and you will sketch out your metalwork ideas before you touch metal. Trust me, with the price of metal, this is a more economical way to work things out.

Todays tip: Use PH down instead of commercial pickle. I buy mine at the end of season pool supply sale for 50% off at my local big box store. Mix about 1/4 cup to a quart of water in your crock pot.


About Helen Driggs

Metalsmith, Teaching Artist, Writer, Maker of things. Former Senior Editor of Lapidary Jewelry Artist Magazine View all posts by Helen Driggs

2 responses to “I’m a Metalsmith and I Like to Draw

  • Susan

    Thank you. You’re correct about the feeling one “can’t draw”. Amazing the damage we do to children (or adults) with a negative word. Your idea is one I will share with friends that feel the same way. So glad I found your blog. Your DVD will be next!

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