Visual Handwriting

May 5, 2011

I spent part of the evening yesterday doing quick studies from drawings by Michelangelo. I’ve always loved the way he expressed the human figure. I also wanted to work on my “visual handwriting”, or my “touch” or whatever you call it.

I started out with two figures overlapping, just to get warmed up.

Then I tackled this one. I don’t like it very much.

Then I tried one that Michelangelo had done almost completely in cross hatch. I started out trying to copy his marks, because that exercise has been very helpful in learning from van Gogh. About halfway through I remembered the visual handwriting got frustrated and just took a go at it scribbling as usual.

That’s why I call it my visual handwriting. Trying to do anything else often feels like trying to forge someone else’s signature. I had fun with these, not taking too long on any of them but just trying to loosen up and find the style that feels comfortable for me.

I still like to stretch myself and learn new technique, but I also like that I’m finding what works for me. When all else fails, I scribble.