Drawing as a type of human cognitive activity is a complex process that includes cognition, study and creation – the creation of a fundamentally new artistic image. During drawing, a person perceives, understands, studies reality, and gives an artistic image of meaningful reality in the form of a drawing. Despite the fact that knowledge and creation are always in close relationship, in the process of drawing, they flow in different planes. In one case, creation prevails, in the other, knowledge.
Thus, we note the differences between educational and creative drawing and determine the characteristic features of both educational and creative drawing. Of course, drawing is both an educational and a creative process at the same time. Just as in pedagogy, we argue that education and upbringing are a single inseparable process, and in drawing we also mean in this case the indissoluble unity of the educational and creative process.
There is one incorrect opinion that if a student draws, fully complying with academical rules and canons, there is no creativity here; in the same case, when a student draws at random, ignoring rules and laws, he is supposedly creative in his work, is looking for, and is not afraid to experiment. But if we consider creativity from this position, then we strongly risk all creative activity of a person, based on pure reason, reduced to mechanical.
To all the above, it should be added that the primary importance of art education has always been categorically not accepted by the so-called theorists of “free education”, especially at the initial stage of student familiarization with drawing. We conventionally share educational and creative drawings in order to identify the specific differences of both.
In order to evaluate all the specifics of academical drawing, it is first necessary to find out how academical drawing differs from creative one. Creative drawing is born on the basis of the totality of all the knowledge and skills acquired by the artist. In this case, the creative component prevails, leading to the creation of a previously unknown artistic image.
In the course of creative work, drawing as a technique for constructing an image is not studied at all, since it is already well known to the artist. And, on the contrary, within the framework of the educational drawing, a student has a weak idea of how to build the image correctly. In the process of educational drawing a student only starts to study this process. The main thing in the educational drawing is the process of cognition, which includes the study of the construction of objects and methods of building an image.
Of course, the analytical tasks of educational drawing do not exclude any creative moments, but at the same time they are so insignificant that they can be omitted. The goals and objectives of drawing as an academical discipline are fundamentally different from drawing creative. While creative drawing is based on existing experience in order to create a radically new; in the educational drawing, the tasks of educational and analytical nature are of the first priority.
Educational drawing is systematic. The curriculum drawing course has a clear task – namely, to give students concrete practical knowledge and skills. The course should teach how to properly see and convey the environment on the plane, help to understand the principles of the structure of the shape of objects and correctly use these laws when working on an image. In the academical drawing students are given specific tasks of an educational nature.
They assimilate information that has been accumulated and systematized for centuries, even thousands of years, but they themselves do not reveal new rules and canons, they do not engage in experimentation, but only learn, observing the basic methodological and didactic principles, well-known truths. The goals and objectives of academical drawing directly originate from the visual arts. The main, primary task of realistic art is the truthful, not distorted display of life and the phenomena of the real world. Educational drawing with all its provisions, first of all, teaches the artist to correctly see objective reality, specifies effective rules and ways of its representation. The task of paramount importance in academical drawing is the desire to equip the artist with the necessary knowledge, to teach the basics of fine arts literacy, to teach him when working directly with nature, and to be able to create a truly realistic graphic image.
A true realistic image must be figurative and accessible to the viewer, without a clear imagery it is difficult for the viewer to realize the ideological plan of the artwork. In the drawing of a professional artist, every detail in its place, the constructive construction of the form is literate, which means that the drawing will give a convincing image.
The task of a teacher is to transfer the student’s attention from direct live observation to the ability to abstract, from the external form of the subject to the internal structure — proportions, nature of the structure, which together determine the main features of any form. When drawing from life, the student learns to correctly combine the results obtained by him as a result of lively contemplation and abstract thinking. Giving priority to one sensual data, and consciously underestimating the role of abstract thinking, we will come only to the formal accumulation of bare facts, and, consequently, to an incomplete, distorted view of nature.
But in turn, the restriction of the cognition of nature through abstract thinking, the complete or partial disregard of the sensory organs of perception leads to an unjustified image convention, dryness, i.e. to what academical drawing suffered in periods of decline. Only if the student will observe the unity of the internal and external analysis of the realized form of the subject, will there be a fullness, realism and correctness of his image.
There is an opinion that superficial observation is enough for an artist and that “immediate”, “naive” perception of nature is valued in art. Allegedly, scientific observation kills art as such and takes the artist away from the surrounding reality. Proponents of these views are deeply convinced that children do not need to be taught literacy drawing. They believe that children can be completely self-represented, since professional drawing education only spoils children. But this point of view is false. The transition from sensation to abstract thinking should not be perceived as a departure from reality into the domain of abstract concepts and abstract phenomena.
A serious, thoughtful, truly deep and truly scientific knowledge of nature cannot harm the artist, but on the contrary – will help to more accurately and vividly reflect the nature of the world in all its manifestations. The peculiarity of educational drawing from living nature is that the student consciously studies the peculiarities of the structure of nature and tries to accurately depict them in the drawing. The teacher controls the process and ensures that the future teacher conducts a serious scientific analysis of nature. And even if the drawing at any stage can turn out to be “dry”, then from a methodological point of view it is quite natural.
In an educational drawing, observation is very purposeful, conscious perception of the nature of the world; it is the collection of objectively accurate data about nature, which make it possible to identify and realize the laws of its structure, in order to competently apply them in image practice. Observation must take place according to a specific system. The process of knowledge of the surrounding objective reality by the artist consists in the knowledge of rules of drawing and application to the practical goals of art.
Comprehensive and deep knowledge of the academical drawing, its rules, is the main and most important condition for realistic art forms. Without knowledge of all the main rules of drawing, it is impossible to correctly understand and truthfully display your realistic-style artwork.