Fear, Laziness, Impatience or Boredom?

What is about drawing with pencils that leaves me feeling deflated, and yet every time I prepare to draw, it’s the first thing I pick up? After many years of using graphite as my primary medium, you would think:

a). I enjoy pencil drawing; and

b). I’m at least comfortable, if not confident, handling it.

I go to a regular life-drawing class, and always take a handful of pencils with me – a couple of regular pencils in different grades, a graphite stick for thicker lines, and a watersoluble pencil, too. Several options to choose from when the teacher says ‘go’.

My default technique is a few quick sketchy outlines, ideal for quick warm-up drawings when we have just enough time to capture the essence of a pose. My hand moves so swiftly over the paper, class mates are often surprised at how much I can accomplish in just a minute or two. The trouble is I use a similar drawing technique for longer, focussed drawings, maybe with a few scribbles for shadowy areas, with very little thought about the finished piece.

When I review my life-drawings I consider the quality of line, level of accuracy, whether or not I captured the whole pose in the allotted time, and I’m often disappointed. After three years of regular attendance it appears I’m still struggling to get a grip on graphite. Is this through fear, laziness, impatience or boredom?

Have you ever mastered something after changing your mindset or your method?

WordPress Prompt: Struggle

The post Fear, Laziness, Impatience or Boredom? first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.


7 thoughts on “Fear, Laziness, Impatience or Boredom?

  1. I keep coming back to this post. I am curious, is it the pencil or is it the “life-drawing” subject which deflates you? I am not an artist, so I really do not know. Just wanted to give you ‘food for thought’ is all. Perhaps July will turn things around for you, with the new class. 🙂


    1. I started to write ‘it’s definitely pencil’ then hesitated, so thank you for pointing that out!

      I absolutely love the challenge of life drawing. It’s hard work, and I feel I’ve accomplished something no matter how my pieces turn out (and many have gone into the recycling bin). It’s the challenge of capturing something so complex, and the social interaction, that keeps me going back.

      I am tempted to start playing with watercolour so I’m ready for July 1, as soon as my relentless tickly cough subsides. Then I might have a clearer answer!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very glad to hear a different medium, watercolor, is in your thoughts. Your post suggests to me that you are ready to change your approach in some basic way. I had similar frustrations in life drawing that led me to change to charcoal and also focus more on the model’s head. These changes were very satisfying and meaningful to me after the newness wore off. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Carol, you’re right about needing a change of approach. I’ve started exploring charcoal in my life-drawing class, and look for foreshortened viewpoints whenever possible, which has helped lift me a little, and I’m exploring watercolour at home.

      Liked by 1 person

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