This week began with some exercises to loosen us all up (there are 7 of us now). I suspect that they may have been firmly aimed at me because I have admitted that I am finding the drawing hard and maybe the stress is showing! The lesson started with drawing the outline of our left hand without moving the pen from the paper and most importantly, without looking at that drawing we were doing. I think I draw more effectively when I don’t look.
Then we had to draw the person opposite using our non-dominant hand, again without lifting the pen from the paper, then the same with a pen in each hand, and then the same again using two coloured pencils taped together. I think I managed to turn someone into Jesus because I couldn’t lift the pen from the paper and both my hands wanted to do the same thing in opposite directions so I ended up giving a woman a huge beard.
For the remainder of the class we drew one of three deer skulls, trying to use all the techniques we’ve learnt so far, so various mark-making, tones and shading. My immediate thought when I saw the skulls was “I need to ask for something easier as I will never be able to draw that,” but we had a bit more time than usual – about 40 minutes – and although I felt that what I did wasn’t as good as everyone else’s was, it ended up being a lot better than I’d imagined it would be so that’s certainly progress. I used a 6B graphite stick for this. Some people used ink which was really effective for the subject but I wasn’t brave enough to do it without an eraser next to me.
One of my favourite things about the class is that I get to see how everyone else draws and I can now pick out who has produced each drawing from the style of the lines and marks they make. The people in my class are really talented; I genuinely enjoy their work.
Every week we look at a different artist, and this week it was Albrecht Dürer.
The class is arranged into blocks of 5 weeks, so it’s really flexible. I’ve signed on for the next two blocks now which are sketchbooks and printmaking. I want to try and find the time to draw outside of class as I think it will make a huge difference to my progress. At the moment I only draw in class which is a bit like taking music lessons and not practicing; essentially pointless as you can make progress but it is unbearably slow.