Monday, October 5, 2009

Beginning Drawing

I'm taking a beginning drawing class at the Worcester Art Museum where I teach calligraphy. I missed the first class because of the rotten cold so I was a little nervous when I walked into the studio and sat down. I've never had a formal drawing class. I can draw letters, doodle, and trace, but that's about it. I thought I would be completely lost. Needless worry. The instructor, Patti Kelly, put me at my ease.

We will be using pencil, charcoal, and Conte crayons on a honking giant 18" x 24" pad of drawing paper. I don't like to work big so so I'm definitely out of my comfort zone.

Our first exercise was to draw a tonal bar with pencil working from black to white. This gave us a chance to vary pressure to see all the gradations. It sounded like a very easy exercise. Easy in theory but not so easy in practice.

Our next exercise was to copy a drawing of a woman's face. I nearly went into a panic looking at that huge white wall of a sheet of paper. Then we were told to look for the shapes we saw. What shape is her nose? Her forehead? Her face? Triangles. Very lightly, using a 4B woodless graphite pencil. I sketched some triangles where her nose, forehead, and hair would be. Tentatively, I began to color and shade. The pencil was smooth and creamy, and I began to relax. Was rather nice being a student again.
If we asked if we were doing it "right", Patti offered constructive suggestions. One point she made was we all had our own unique style and she didn't want to impose her style on us. This was a non-threatening class and we were encouraged to experiment.
I surprised myself with my first effort. When I showed it to The Young One, she recognized it as a face. I was relieved she didn't say "looks like grapes."

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad the class is going well for you. The instructor sounds like a peach.