This week has been all about drawing. And I mean drawing: I drew pretty much all day every day this week! I am currently taking two drawing classes, one Life Drawing (which I love…learning about anatomy and human form), and one independent study class where I am doing a review…catching up to where I “should be” in my drawing skills.
Last semester, I took Intermediate Drawing because I had taken beginning drawing twice before in two different colleges…about 12+ years ago. Luckily, the focus was on abstraction and expression, so my out-of-practice drawing skills weren’t as obvious…but they were to me. I struggled way more than I should have to do a simple still life contour, and began to realize that I couldn’t just pick up where I left off. I saw the projects from Beginning Drawing posted on the walls, and realized I really should have repeated that class! This semester I decided to work with my drawing professor independently to work on becoming more confident in basic drawing techniques.
There are many opinions out there on how important (or not important) accuracy in drawing is to an artist…but as I prefer the naturalistic (realistic) style, it’s very important to me. I don’t mean that I will never modify what I see, but I want it to be a deliberate choice, not because I can’t draw accurately. I’m a believer in that to break rules correctly (effectively, beautifully), you first have to master them!
The textbook we’re using is Drawing Essentials: A Guide to Drawing from Observation, but this week my professor had me doing the schedule from The Natural Way to Draw. I resisted this at first, because I hate doing “blind” contour drawings. I have never been able to understand how not looking at my paper will ever result in accuracy in drawing…but my professor promised that I will see results.
And I hear again: it’s not about the product, but the process, and it’s all training the eye. So…I did two three-hour (almost) sessions of modified blind contours and gesture drawings (another of my least favorite scribble drawing methods), and will continue doing it as often as I can…and I actually had a little fun with them! I’ll have this digital record of this year to show me how much progress can really be made by this type of practice. I am learning to appreciate how staring at something for an hour can increase observational skills: I know way more than I wanted to about my son’s headphones. I really need to work on patience and slowing down. I so appreciate my son, husband and standard poodle for posing for me…OK, my husband didn’t know for a while, but I’m pretty sure he was fine with it.