Chronicles of a Wannabe Artist – Day 6

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There was more live model drawing on Saturday and I think it’s safe to say that I think I’m improving. I like the progression of this class in that every class is a “one step at a time” approach and if we have any hope at getting better than it is up to us to bring it home and practice. Which I am proud to say that I have been doing and I like the results I’m seeing so far.

I would be lying if I said that I feel a lot better with my drawings but I will say that I do see an improvement. On Saturday I often found myself looking around at my classmate’s drawings and comparing them to mine which I probably should not have done. One thing I seem to forget is that not everyone’s drawings are going to look the same because everyone is unique and have their own style and this class tends to be rather free in that department. When I looked I saw that the girl next to me had very rigid and solid lines, the man in front of me chose a more detailed and almost clean-line approach. As for me, I refrained from immediately saying “horribleness” and looked for the positive aspects and discovered I have a softer and slightly scratchy style with excess amounts of lines in the details (which I should calm down on apparently).

I think that this class has been good not only in teaching me something new but also in teaching me how to like what I am capable of producing. Too many times I put myself down and tell myself I’m no good at something and either give up or just not show it to anyone. With this class I have had to show things to my teacher in order to be able to improve and I also choose to show my boyfriend because he’s the one who encouraged me to take the class in the first place and always want to see how I’m growing. I have taken the criticism I normally take to heart and turned it into improvements and thrown it into my work. I listen and constantly remind myself of the pointers my teacher gives me about not hesitating and to stop thinking and I feel like for once I’m doing something right. I’m really sad that this class is almost over and I’m very much inclined to sign up for another one of the classes they have to offer no matter the cost.

See you on Saturday!

Chronicles of a Wannabe Artist- Day 5

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I’m actually getting around to writing this post on the day it happened (barely) instead of 3-4 days later. Part of the reason being because I want to be sure to bring out the emotions I’m feeling about today’s class as well as write a post on time for once. My boyfriend also might have been an influence and had encouraged me to at least try and write it this weekend being that he’s seen how much I beat myself up over constantly putting writing off.

We had a live model come in today seeing as we have now learned the basics of sketching it was time to apply what we’ve learned to actual poses. This was a first for me and I definitely ran into several problems in class today. I think this was partly due with my mood when I woke up this morning. I had had a hard time waking up this morning and found myself not wanting to go but I managed to convince myself that I wanted to. I’m paying for it after all, there are only ten classes, I want to improve, and I know afterwards I always come out happy. In all honesty I’m glad I went because I did learn more but I don’t think my head was in the right place for it today.

I’m still struggling with proportions and the basic outline of a figure and today I was getting frustrated with it. We had 5 minutes for each pose and I never ended up finishing just the outline and by the third pose I started slowing down on the sketching hoping that I wouldn’t get past the torso before the 5 minutes was up. Bad, I know. When it came the 10 minute poses I tried to get back into it and it kind of worked but reverted back into frustration and trudged through the 15 minute pose.

When my teacher was making his rounds I was really thankful (although very embarrassed at my lack of effort) for his pointers. One thing he told me was that I need to stop thinking and hesitating and just draw. This is a bit of a weird concept to me seeing as I always seek perfection when I draw and I have to stop that. The notion of just drawing what I see is some-what foreign to me, I’m too used to seeing every detail.

I’m not going to let today discourage me, although I can feel how easy it is for me to let that happen. To help this I went out and bought a fresh new sketch book that I’m going to dedicate solely to sketching and try and practice as much as I can!

See you next Saturday!

A Return to Familiars

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Two weeks ago I was hit with a strange case of homesickness and decided to take a trip home for a few days last week. One thing to know about me is that I moved away four years ago and have since become relatively comfortable in my new city so homesickness has become almost non-existent. When it does make itself known though it’s one I can easily move past. This one came with tears instead. I longed for familiarity and wanted out of the chaos.

The thing I have come to realize with visits home is the return to familiars, a return to streets I have driven on many times and places that carry unforgettable memories. For me, home is a reminder of who I once was and who I said I wanted to be. In a big city with a new set of friends and more freedom than I think should be allowed for a person, it’s easy to lose yourself especially if you’re used to a slower life in a quieter city.

Although short it was still long enough to feel as though I was able to hit the reset button on myself. I got to spend endless hours chatting with my Dad catching up and talking about nothing. I got to walk around my city and see how it’s changing and what still remains. I visited an old friend who took me to her boyfriend’s farm where I was also reminded of how beautiful my country is.

At the farm all that surrounded us was open fields and trees with a small river a little ways away and I was left with the feeling that nothing else existed except us and the ducks. I felt as though time had stopped and I did not want it to stop.

As I sit here back in my new city a week later reminiscing about that short but refreshing time I can’t help but smile. I got to see home, I got to see my Dad and spend time with one of my closest friends whom I had not realized how much I missed until I saw her. I would be lying if I said I have remained in that reset state after all this time but it does still linger.

I guess what I want to say is that the return to familiars can be good, in that it can remind you of what once was and what is yet to be. You realize in your time away from familiars that life does not stop or stay the same just because that is how remember it but rather it grows and changes. You see this in the people you meet or the people you already know, you see this in the places that once were there but now are not. For me home reminds me that I too have changed just as these familiars and it forces me to question whether I am happy with these changes in myself. I don’t want to get lost in the chaos and these trips home are just what I need to ensure that I stay on the path that I want for myself.

Chronicles of a Wannabe Artist- Day 4

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Apparently we have finally entered in what the main focus of this course is designed for. Drawing the human form! Last week was the face and now we have moved on to basic figure drawing but only in rough sketch and outline. No details, no shading and no specifics, just basics. I’m relatively excited to finally be getting into drawing the human form because my people always come out looking small headed, long torsoed and long legged. I kind of like that about the people I draw because it’s my own personal style but I think it’s also good to be able to properly draw a human figure in general.

Having just begun I still find myself struggling with the same problem of a long torso and long legs and my teacher had to show me how to fix it. The thing I have found is that I understand the method shown to us by measuring an object with our pencil and applying it to our drawing but I think I could really do for more practice. The thing about practicing is that I still struggle no matter how much I try and practice. Things don’t look right and I’m not too sure how to fix it.

I really enjoy this class and want to improve but I find myself not wanting to practice out of fear of being faced with the same struggle and getting disappointed. What I want to do is find a way to work around this struggle. So instead of sitting around and sulking about it I’m deciding to make use of the resources given to us. I will go on my teacher’s website and replay his tutorial videos over and over and do the exercises from class and draw the same thing 15 times if I have to. But I am not going to give up or else I’m going to feel as though this was a waste of time and I don’t want it to have been!

See you on Saturday!

Chronicles of a Wannabe Artist- Day 3

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Yes, Saturday’s class was what normally remains to be a dark side of drawing to me. I’m not terrible at drawing the human figure but I honestly think that when I put my mind to it I can make a really cute cartoon character. In terms of realistic figures however, I just never knew how or where to start and tended to just avoid it all together.

Saturday’s class though was really helpful in that we were shown how and where to start (in two different ways as well so we could choose which ever felt more comfortable for us). I’m still a little disproportionate and seem to favor what my teacher calls the “Egyptian Eyes” when I draw eyes but I think I just need to exercise the muscle.

I’m coming to realize that that’s all that this really is is exercising the muscles in the hand to become accustomed to moving in a way of creating an image. I have had artists tell me this before “just practice!”, “do exercises”, or “just draw!”. Practice what? Do what exercises? I don’t know what to draw though! I can fear no longer now though because I have exercises to practice and I know what to draw because I know what I need to work on.

My teacher had even instructed us to bring in the exercises we had been working on at home so as to see what needed to be worked. I have always been afraid of feedback because I often used to think that the person who was looking at my work thought that I sucked or that I was silly for trying. I’m not going to lie, the first few times my teacher made his rounds in previous classes I could feel my heart skipping beats and my legs bouncing but I’m slowly becoming more okay with showing him. I want that feedback so that I know how to fix it and what areas need to be improved because how else would I expect to get better?

See you on Saturday!