The primary act of drawing is circumscription - you place the tip of a mark-making tool on a ground and draw a line that goes around the subject represented ...
and then ... Lines don't actually exist outside of drawing them.
Tania Kovats Drawing Water 2014
I came across these two apparently slightly contradictory quotes about drawing when dipping again into Tania Kovat's beautiful book Drawing Water. This is a book I love and about which I blogged here at the end of March.
Among so many other things, the book is full of thoughts about drawing, its meaning and ways of approaching it. I have been thinking about those thoughts ever since I first read the book so I went in search of quotes from it when I found this sample in a small pile of (sadly undated) drawings done sometime last year. It seemed to fit so neatly into the comment about 'circumscription'.
Although I can't remember exactly when I completed it, I do remember clearly that the circumscription of the shapes was the most important thing for me at the time I was drawing - as it so often is. I set out to delineate the outline of the gourd and the branch, the forms within and the shapes of the shadows cast as my primary concern, together with the pattern they seemed to make.
Strange to think that the lines were in my mind rather than on the gourd and the branch I was drawing and that they did not in truth exist purely as lines at all. ....