Drawing / Self Growth / Uncategorized

Look Ma, A Bird!


No wait, I drew it like this! :-)


The fun thing about beginning drawing classes or tutorials is that many of the exercises are targeted towards helping the drawer see.

This was extremely evident in my drawing class.  I thought I’d be going in and learning rules. I imagined I’d be learning about perspective or how to draw angles.

Instead, I spent one class doing multiple drawings where we couldn’t look at the paper or lift up our pencil.  This was to help us become more attuned to the way the pencil felt in our hands, how the paper felt under us, and to just see and connect our vision and hands without judgement getting in the way.

In another class, we spent hours drawing one of our hands as slowly as possible. We were supposed to account for every edge, line, lump and bump, also lifting up our pencil as little as possible.

Every class had a similar activity.  By the end of the 6 weeks, I was drawing pretty complex shapes by learning to break down values, positive space and negative space.  And, I never actually learned any drawing rules. In some ways, I feel like I never really learned how to draw. And yet, there I was!!

In retrospect, this makes sense. As Claire Watson Garcia says, “Rather than learning how to draw “trees,” a generic verbal category, artists pay attention to the contours, shadows, and shapes of the particular form they want to draw…”

The beginners drawing book I’m reading suggests drawing simple cartoon characters upside down, much the way my teacher had us draw our hands.

Drawings upside down, you can’t possibly track the overall image or get caught up in, “does it look good??”  Instead, you are forced to focus on the lines and how the lines connect.  It was a really great activity, and I was immensely pleased with how my little upside down drawings turned out. It was fun to flip over the drawing and realize how adorable the picture is :-)

Book is Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner



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