I’ve started an art class at a local community centre as part of an attempt to learn more about art in general. I realised that because of interruptions in my education when I was at school, I’ve never actually done a proper art class before; spending two hours drawing with charcoal was something I’ve just never, ever done and I really enjoyed it.
I wasn’t sure if I could actually draw. I know I’m not totally hopeless; my son (who is very good at drawing and painting) gave me an impromptu art lesson in a cafe a few weeks ago and it wasn’t a total disaster, but drawing isn’t something I’ve ever really done.
I plan to add material from my art classes to this blog because it’s part of a broader visual education.
We looked at several artists this week but I really liked the artists that use movement to draw. I suppose I’m thinking particularly of Richard Long, Heather Hansen and Tony Orrico.
We also looked at the drawings of Picasso. I’ve seen his drawings of a bull before in ‘Think Like An Artist’ by Will Gompertz. I’m not sure if he started with the simplified version or ended with it; I had thought he’d ended with it, but that’s yet another point for me to follow up.
I was doing a very quick (2-3 mins) sketch of a photograph the tutor had taken in Iceland and I think that was helpful for me as someone who is studying photography as looking at an image to sketch it made me think about it and look at it in a different way. I think I found myself paying a lot more attention to areas of light and dark and the tones that were in the image. I had three types of charcoal available to draw with: compressed charcoal that gives a very thick, deep black; standard charcoal that blends really nicely and seems to me to give a greater range of tones; big bits of a sort of ‘raw’ charcoal – basically hand sized bits of burnt tree. When drawing on parcel paper I also had white chalk. So to me, it was all about shape and light and dark areas. I’m not sure I usually look at an image like that.