When I first began drawing, many years ago, I withered whenever I made a drawing that included big errors of proportion. I suppose I would have suffered a severe case of the vapors, back in the day, upon making a drawing like the one above. Drawing this mobile frisky parrot from life, I became very interested in the bird’s claws, and that enthusiasm appears to have completely commandeered my pen. Happily, big feet don’t bother me now.
I know today that “drawing is drawing.” I don’t worry about making a “correct” drawing. I just draw what I draw. Proportion is hugely important, and I personally like drawings that depict animals in naturalistic ways, but it’s equally true that exaggeration arrives at meanings that natualism misses. However, it’s just as significant that different drawings record different impressions and that sometimes you just act upon your direct unfiltered perceptions. If unfiltered thoughts pour into the parrot’s claws, well that’s just part of how the artist learns inside a lively process that shakes out lots of ideas over the span of many drawing sessions.
If you wanted an exaggerated drawing that registered the parrot’s claw as a mighty appendage, this would be just the start. And that’s a factor that artists need to recognize. Sometimes you want accuracy and purity, and other times you want extravagant ideas and “big” thinking.
Draw a lot, draw very freely, and you’re bound someday to have the whole continuum.