I didn’t realize how important muscle memory and pure ‘mileage’ of mark making and training your arm/hand/eye coordination can be until this past year. Which sounds kind of silly, but I suppose I always had the assumption that art skill was all talent* + creativity + intelligence. I guess it’s just a reflection of how I tend to live with my head in the clouds, and that I need to ground myself in my physical body more.
The more I practice realism, the more I feel the importance of having a range of and control over the marks that I make. The ability to draw objects, environments, creatures, and the human figure which appear closer to reality than abstraction is a difficult ability to master. The nature of the marks we are able to make — their range and qualities — is a basic component in creating visual illusions.