Pope Benedict IX wanted to commission some paintings for St. Peter’s in Rome, and accordingly sent a messenger to the painter Giotto to report on what the artist’s work was like. On being asked to produce a drawing to take back to His Holiness, Giotto took a piece of paper, pressed his arm into his side to hold it steady and with a quick twist of his wrist, painted the most perfect circle on the paper: “See if this is understood,” he said.
The messenger,feeling that he had been made a fool of, nevertheless took the drawing back with him.When he showed it to the Pope and explained how such a perfect circle had been drawn without moving his arm and without a compass, the Pope and all those present acknowledged Giotto to be the most skilled artist of his time.
A Miscellany of Artist’s Wisdom – compiled by Diana Craig
The simplest , yet the most difficult thing to convey to students is to JUST KEEP TRYING! It’s not glamorus, not romantic, not mysterious….. to learn how to draw and draw well you just have to keep doing it. It’s repetitive , yes , maybe boring if you let it be but every single mark you make has the potential of infinite variety and can convey something different each time you draw.
One of my favorite beginning exercises to give is ,’draw 100 circles 100 entirely different ways.’ Use any media you want . Go ahead , give it a try! ( you can use squares or triangles if you want!)