The Act of Drawing: Matisse

Matisse drawing with pole

Matisse was willing to go to great lengths to achieve a good quality line! It could be that drawing with a pole was a self-imposed sort of handicap, to keep the drawings of this masterful draftsman fresh.  Sometimes having too much skill can actually be a liability when it comes to making art, so a technique like this can provide a balance.

Matisse drawing model


  1. I've used a method I learned to achieve spontaneity: Do not look at your page but travel your eye over the object or model in a contour like way. As you look, move your drawing hand over the surface of your page in a similar fashion. You might find your pencil or crayon will abruptly fall off the page. That's OK. What remains though is a true reflection of your perception.

  2. We do something similar to this in the Drawing Workshop I teach. It is called "blind contour drawing"! Thanks for your comment!