Gestural drawing & painting
When beginners take up art they will work photographically, because that is how we see the world around us. So it becomes the default position. But when we consider this approach, we soon learn that it is a very limited view of the world, as beginners will lack the skill, courage and guidance to experiment with the drawing and painting process. We only have to look at art history to realize that artist have from time to time challenged accepted art practice.
A good example is the birth of Impressionism in the 1860's in Paris, lead by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and others. They challenged the accepted way of doing art, rebelled against it and Impressionism was born. 12 years later and a new generation came along, Matisse (Fauvism), Picasso (Cubism). In the 1940's Abstract Expressionism was born, Jackson Pollock. In the 1960's Andy Warhol and Pop Art, and so on, with little further shifts in experimentation. Non of these new 'isms' were greeted with enthusiasm by most of the art critics, or indeed the public. But within a short period of time they are seen as the 'New Thing' and start to fetch high prices in sales!
Thinking beyond mere representation
The biggest challenge when members take up this way of working is they find it difficult to think out of 'the box', or their 'comfort zone'. This is way it has to be a gradual step-by-step approach. But almost without exception members get a real benefit from experimenting with gestural drawing and painting. Suddenly another creative world opens up for them, one without preconceptions where everything is possible and where nothing is either right or wrong!
…be inspired but never copy; the emotional detachment associated with copied work will make the painting lack the feeling and the soul of the original piece. It will always be a paler imitation. Slavishly copying, like calendar photo or whatever source, can potentially create soulless results.
Above, an example of Abstract Expressionism, by Jackson Pollock. It's all too easy to look at his work and see nothing but squiggles and randomness. But on closer examination you see more...! That appearance of randomness becomes something more considered; that there is a thought process at work, as you might use in a more descriptive way of working. Often the mark-making is repeated. The artist is using eye, brain and hand co-ordination, while dripping, throwing paint across the canvas. End result sees a lot of repeated mark making that gives the canvas a harmonious and unified appearance.