Does this matter? I believe it does.
In The Art of Learning Josh Waitzkin suggests that to be good at a skill, really good, you must learn the basics in depth. Twyla Tharp agrees with this opinion in The Creative Habit, giving the example of the exercises a ballerina does each and every day. Not that I think there isn't a place for free-wheeling work, or for exercises that help one to become more creative. I truly think that it's easier to free your creativity when you are also working on improving those basic skills.
But what are those basic skills? I thought about all the music exercises I did as a child and tried to think of the visual art equivalent and I came up with the following:
|Scales & Arpeggios||Drawing & Mark-making|
|Studies||Studies of Values, Color, Composition|
|Improvising||Preliminary work for paintings, Sketchbook use|
|Music theory||Art history|
|Instrument care||Knowledge of materials - paint, mediums, papers, canvas etc.|
Having grown up with a framework for music practice I'm interested to find an equivalent structure for improving my visual art skills. I'm always interested in learning: if you see any skills I have missed in the list please let me know!