Archive for July 2009
Foreshortening plus male model equals very challenging. This week in class, however, I feel I started out strong… my very first gesture drawing was really not half bad! I’m thinking that, while self confidence maybe isn’t half the battle, it is certainly a portion of it. One of my favorite parts of class is walking around and looking at all of my classmates drawings. Everyone has a unique vision, and while some people are more talented, and some less, it’s always inspiring to see every person’s own unique point of view. Meanwhile, while I don’t think I’m going to produce anything in this class that will live to eternity… I do love getting back to the basics and remembering how to see things, and how to put that down on paper. Mostly, I love how when I’m in the moment, I really leave everything else behind. There are so many things in life that are constantly pressing on us. And it’s so hard to just take a step back. So for me it’s been surprisingly cathartic. I don’t often find it easy to just exist in the moment, but am finding I am totally oblivious to everything else when I’m in the process of drawing in this class. I forget about everything, both good and bad because my entire focus is about seeing the figure and putting it down on paper. It’s really been amazing and I’m learning a lot and am determined to keep it up… Meanwhile, being the stuffmaker, I’m compelled to make a bag for all of my drawing paper, pencils and whatnot. So stay tuned for the anatomy of a handbag.
I keep hearing myself saying that if one can draw the human figure, one can draw anything (boy, how pretentious do I sound?). Does it follow then that if I can’t draw the human figure I can’t draw anything? I’m hoping not. I have these memories of being in the “not half bad” skill level in my college figure drawing class, but I have to remind myself that back then I never used computers and was frequently found with pencil/pen/paintbrush in hand. As of late, all of the “drawings” I do are created using my wacom tablet and Adobe Illustrator with it’s multiple undos. So getting back to basics is an uphill battle. Or perhaps battle is a little dramatic, maybe journey would be more accurate. Today’s class started with gestures and moved on to longer poses, the longest which was 20 minutes. I think I’m showing a marked improvement over last week, but need lots and lots of practice. I’ve read that becoming an expert at anything just takes something like 1000 hours of practice (6 down!). The images above are the last two drawings of the night. The left took 10 minutes, the right 20.
I’ve decided to start a blog in order to both record and share my journey to learn how to make absolutely everything. Lofty goal, to be sure, but I’m optimistic, curious and have a lot of time on my hands so am undaunted.
At present I’ve just started a figure drawing class at Gage Academy here in Seattle. It’s been years since I’ve gotten back to the fundamentals of shape, form and perspective, and feel that if you can draw the human figure, you can draw anything. Sadly, it isn’t like riding a bike and imagine I’ll be needing lots and lots of practice. Let the journey begin!