I picked up Ron Tiner’s book, ‘Drawing From Your Imagination’, some time ago and only got around to reading it now. His key emphasis is on drawing from life as much as possible and practice every day which is sound advice. Sometimes, it’s only a matter of flash drawing, the artist equivalent of a flash story. That is, capturing the figure in a few lines in a couple of seconds than doing anything intricate. More so for action poses when drawing the unsuspecting public. I remember when I was doing an adult art class that my art teacher encouraged me to do more than on sketch in an evening when the rest of the class took their time. In did more than a few lines but I also draw very fast.
Practice does help to understanding the form, whether figure or building when it comes to creating out of your mind. I might add to that, especially if you have one of those weird memories like mine, is pay attention to what you see and be capable of translating it into line when needed but even that needs practice. Never be without your sketchbook and pencils wherever you travel and draw.
Tiner also shows how he develops his own work for publishers and the requirements of being a professional and drawing and painting for a living. A useful point for your CV portfolio is show you can draw anything and not just one topic. Apart from getting your practice in, you don’t know quite where it will lead or if you’re remembered, I thought I was the only one who ever drew in ballpoint and glad to see Tiner sketching that way as well.
I’m not so sure as to what it will teach you in terms of encouraging your imagination. Tiner lays down the application of what you see about you as a grounding but less on how to change it to something fantastic from your imagination. In that respect, that probably depends on your own abilities. I would also add to his suggestions that for period dress, look to some of the museums out there, and for animal practice, the odd zoo visit.
This book is worth picking up if only to show the variety you need to do. Most pro-artists are forever drawing and no subject is missed. If you want to develop your talents it should encourage the right kind of discipline you need to develop no matter the medium you work in.
(pub: David & Charles, 2008. 128 page illustrated and indexed softcover. Price: It varies a lot in the UK but if you know where to look, you should get a decent price. ISBN: 978-0-7151-292-2)