My dad and I were talking about drawing–Dad is also taking an art class–and he quoted Picasso as saying he drew everything his eye saw. That wily Picasso. He mastered drawing what he saw as well as almost anyone on record (if you only know his abstract art, see what I mean here or here), but he knew perfectly well that drawing is also a matter of deciding what to include and what to leave out.

The two hands in these drawings illustrate my attempt to meet this challenge. Both of them are pretty sketchy. A few outlines, a few patches of shadow; much more is left out than put in. In the top drawing, a hand emerges out of those few marks, and in the middle one, it really doesn’t.

I’ve preserved that middle drawing, though, because it’s not a bad start at buttocks, a part of the body I find particularly challenging to capture on paper. Maybe it is that I find it hard to draw what my eye sees, so influential is the cartoon version in my head–and the cartoon version insists that a strong line delineates the two buttocks, which is seldom what we actually see. On this drawing I decided to focus on the troublesome area and I started to get somewhere.

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