Drawing grip [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Drawing grip

02-06-2013, 06:34 PM
What type of grip for drawing do folks on here use? I always used the basic handwriting grip, that's what I grew comfortable with...however, I've been going back and re-establishing fundamentals, and I recently bought a few books on drawing. One of them states that it is imperative to learn the "drawing grip" (thumb and forefinger only with pencil under the palm) and insists that you get comfortable enough with it to use it exclusively...another one states that both grips are acceptable and applicable for different scenarios but doesn't really expand on when to use which grip...anybody have any thoughts on this?

02-06-2013, 06:41 PM
Whatever works best for the artist...too much thought in this area is not really focusing your art where it needs to be. Although certain grips on equipment is easier to manage the outcome of what you are trying to achieve and could be healthier for you in the long run.

It all depends what I am working on and I will change the grip whenever it is deemed necessary.

02-07-2013, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the tip...I wasn't really focusing too much on the issue, I was just curious to see what other people thought...since I'm trying to challenge myself and get outside my comfort zone a bit I am going to go ahead and try to use the drawing grip for a while, but I appreciate the input that it's not totally critical.

The book that recommends using it exclusively also dictates that you should always drawing standing up using an easel and always position yourself 2' from the drawing board at all times...I think it's more geared toward folks who are doing classical style drawing, I happen to know that animators/illustrators/cartoonists/comic artists don't usually draw like that...but like I said, I never got good at that type of drawing and I'm trying to challenge myself, so I'll give all that a go for a while and see how it turns out.

02-07-2013, 03:01 PM
Lol. They would cringe over my drawing style...hunched over my dining room table or desk...sometimes sitting on my knees. Easels annoy the crap out of me. Nothing I do is proper and you know what? That's ok! :-)

02-07-2013, 03:27 PM
Yeah, agreed...like many people in my age group, prior to any formal lessons I taught myself to draw by replicating pictures from my favorite comic books...as a result I've always been most comfortable sitting at a properly adjusted illustration table perched on a stool with a pin-point sharp 4H pencil for capturing all the fine detail...but mostly for my own personal fulfillment and just to be more well-rounded I do want to try to master the more traditional drawing approach as well, my drawings tend to look somewhat 2-dimensional because of the heavy focus on line work I learned from doing comic style-art.

02-08-2013, 02:49 PM
I agree with the other comments. I think it is very much like handwriting...once we get past a certain age we are stuck with it. Whatever feels comfortable for you is the right way to go! Don't get too bogged down in the technical side of things and you will free to be creative! I am sure that you can improve your technique without necessarily having to alter your grip. Good luck!

02-08-2013, 04:25 PM
...once we get past a certain age we are stuck with it.

Don't get too bogged down in the technical side of things and you will free to be creative!

Bigvyor, I appreciate the input but I have to respectfully disagree with you on these two points...first off, I don't think one is "stuck" with something just because they've been doing it for a long time...one of the most revolutionary discoveries in the field of neuroscience in recent years has been the discovery of neuroplasticity, which basically states that virtually any skill can be learned/unlearned due to the fact that the brain is in a constant state of flux and basically rewires itself completely every couple of weeks...this is why you're able to learn new skills in the first place and also why you can sometimes "forget" some things that you haven't used in a while - if the brain loses it's neural network for that particular skill it's gone, but since it can rewire itself you can still get it back fairly quickly.
Case in point: I've been doing martial arts for years. I used to practice a particular style and got very accustomed to those movements...later I switched to a different style, with very different movements and found it virtually impossible at first to execute them...but with deliberate and precise practice those movements now feel entirely natural, and I am able to blend them seamlessly with my "old" way of fighting and even improving it...learning the new movements was at first constrictive, but eventually allowed me to be even more versatile with my fighting technique. Based on this I am assuming (hopefully correctly) that mastering a different style of drawing while still practicing and retaining my old style will have a similar effect, which brings me to my second point...

...which is that while I agree that being free to be creative is definitely the most important thing and for sure the ultimate goal of anybody practicing any art, being fundamentally sound on the technical side is what will eventually give you that freedom. I play piano as well, and the goal there as well is to be as expressive as possible with the music you play, but that isn't possible without countless hours of practice with scales, arpeggios, chord exercises, etc...drawing's a little different in that it's more perceptual and less structured, but it still comes down to mastering the different ways you can use your tool to create different marks, and while tedious, doing exercises and practicing technique for the sake of it I'm sure must have some effect on how freely you can use that tool to express yourself in the long.
All that aside, what it really comes down to for me is...I never learned how to do good, fully rendered, chiaroscuro type drawings, and I really want to. So I bought a bunch of books on it and I'm going to do every exercise in everyone until I find a style/method that suits me. Hopefully I'll make some progress and will have some work to post soon :)

02-09-2013, 12:28 PM
That's me told then? LOL I did not mean to suggest that you cannot learn something new. I just felt that it is so natural to hold a pencil or paintbrush that I think I'd feel really constricted if I had to make such fundamental changes. I know that there are many occasions when just such a learning process is absolutely essential and I admire your dedication. Good luck with your drawings and I look forward to seeing them!

02-09-2013, 02:06 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to make that previous post sound all lecture-y and everything, really I just got off on a rant because it's a subject that's been interesting me a lot lately and I can't help but excitedly babble (or type) on about it when someone gives me the opportunity...
I just wanted to make the point that yes, doing what you've been doing forever definitely feels natural and trying to do it another way might feel constrictive at first, but also I think it's both possible to learn a new way of doing things and, because of how the brain works, eventually can be quite helpful for your overall skill set...basically it comes down to you shouldn't avoid doing things just because it's hard, you should try doing them exactly for that reason, it will benefit you in the long run.
On a side not I've been experimenting with the whole altered drawing grip and standing two feet away from the easel at all times, and it's tough but I'm getting better at it...I think it will improve my drawings when I do go back and incorporate it into my normal way of doing things. :)