Precision and Art
Humans are naturally flawed beings, and out of the chaos that appears to be our universe, beautiful, happy accidents can occur. But for as much as we might long for those serendipitous moments in life, and in the studio, as practicing artists, we shouldn't rely on the inconsistency of accidents when it comes to our art. Embrace the moments of beauty, of course, but improve and further your work with precise practice.
Precision is an important concept for all artists. Just like a musician must practice scales in order to improv in a seemingly effortless way, visual artists must also practice precise techniques in order to create a foundation of artistic mastery. Even Jackson Pollock's foray into an artistic movement that appeared to be anything but exact was full of precise movements, years of practice, and defined decisions on placement, balance, and medium.
The basic tools for artists are, of course, where precision starts. These simple tools aid in more than just making a straight line; they help to build muscle memory, just like a basketball player taking practice shots from the free throw line. Rulers and straightedges are a must for artists of any experience level and medium.
Templates are another powerful tool for precision practice, and come in a wide variety. Circular templates are very common, but there are also templates for lettering, architecture, human forms, and even traffic signs.