As a member of a brilliant local arts group, I had the opportunity yesterday to be go to a drawing class, the first I had done in about 15 years. Despite being an inveterate doodler, I am no artist, but very keen to brush up my skills (excuse the very bad pun!). At the start of the class we were presented with a fabulous A3 pink pig art pad to keep (yay!), and given lots of tips and ideas on how to draw faces.
My major problem is this (and I wonder if other people find the same): if I have a tutor standing behind me (not literally, but in the room offering encouragement), the artistry flows and I produce some nice pieces. M'lud, the first exhibit:
This one took me about ten minutes, and I didn't try very hard, I was just trying to capture the essence of the shapes. Yet it's not bad.
This one I did even faster, as I was running out of time, and very keen to try out the technique of using bleach as a highlighter (it's a bit blobby but you can see how well it works along the nose). Again, not perfect (I didn't look back at the eyes so they don't match up very well in size!), but not bad. And each of these portraits I did in pen, so no rubbing out involved.
So - this afternoon I decided to have a go on my own. I pick a photograph as a reference, and spend about forty minutes producing a sketch. I hope you realise how selfless I am being in sharing this with you!
As you can see, the proportions are all wrong ... and somehow, there's no life in it. Although I enjoyed the process I am not at all happy with the end result, and despite lots of rubbing out and repositioning of just about everything, I still couldn't get it right. I haven't the confidence to draw without someone standing behind me saying "go on, you can do it!" - which would work out very expensive if I needed a cheerer every time I got the sketchbook out!
Never mind, we will get another session with the tutor soon and I will have another go at honing my skills. In the meantime, I shall carry on practicing (though I may not be brave enough to share the results!)