A Drawing Dilemma

If you had a year to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Here’s the thing…

I love drawing. I understand the theory, and can draw pretty well with either my right or left hand (and which hand I choose usually depends on my mood).  I’ve even taught drawing in an informal way.  But if I was suddenly asked to draw or paint something in front of me, without any mental or emotional preparation, I’m not sure I could do it.  As I spend the majority of my drawing time in life-drawing class, in my own head I feel I would struggle to draw anything else.  And with a new blog year pending, I’d like to approach this art thing in a whole new way.

As a recently returned dressmaker, I’m pacing my re-learning by choosing projects according to the fabric I wish to sew and the techniques I want to practice. My map will be drawn out by my Wardrobe Architect, and the souvenirs of my journey will be the new outfits I have to wear.

However, with drawing I’m completely stuck.  My key objective is to pick any of my art materials at random and draw (or paint) whatever is in front of me, without having to do a mental warm-up first.  But as this is driven by technique the subjects aren’t as obvious.  And without a plan, this challenge would be meaningless.  I’ve started listing things to try, such as line, tonal values and shading over a three-dimensional surface, but at the moment my short list isn’t firing up my enthusiasm.  So, I need your help…

If you had a year (or less) to teach yourself to draw and paint, how would you go about it?

Please add a comment or ‘get in touch’ (via Menu).

WordPress prompt: Meaningless

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Hesitantly Happy

Having only managed one attendance so far this year, last night I braved the weather and went for my weekly life-drawing fix. It’s refreshing to draw a model who understands how to pose well to make the drawing more of a challenge, and yesterday I had the joy of drawing a gentleman who often models for our two-hour nude classes.  For yesterday’s one-hour class he was wearing shorts.

These first three drawings were one-minute warm-ups, and you can tell my technique relaxes with each one.  My third sketch was definitely the most successful of the three (fewer lines, more punch).

male-1

Then we switched to two twenty-minute seated/laid down poses.  With my enthusiasm I managed to elongate the model’s body in this first drawing.  My second attempt (bottom) was much more accurately captured (and carefully planned).

male-2

male-3

Sometimes you just need to hold back with your mark-making until you understand what’s going on in front of you.  Look with your eyes rather than your pencil, and it helps to do a little measuring, too!

WordPress prompt: Hesitate

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Art Prof Art Dare

My pen wasn’t firing particularly rapidly as I drew these doodles (having done my ‘thinking’ in pencil first).  However, I’ve entered this month’s Art Prof Art Dare (pat on the back), and have a few more charts to complete before the deadline.

Art Prof Art Dare February 2017

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Your Art IS Valid

Doodles 26_01_17Sitting behind my table at a careers’ fair yesterday, waiting for the mass of teenagers to erupt into the room, I took the opportunity to ‘draw’ the other exhibitors as they also passed the time.  Although not yet a comfortable doodler I found secretive drawing of my neighbours quite fun.

My last art college was there dishing out prospectuses and encouragement by way of souvenirs with “Your Art Is Valid” on them.  A well-timed reminder if ever there was one.

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