In anticipation (and trepidation) of the first class I picked up my coloured pencils and tried to free up my precise, neat, has-to-be-right personality by sketching whatever came into my head first, quickly.
Now, several weeks into my class, I can look at these for what they are: a knowledge-less person struggling to put something on to paper with no sense of direction or understanding of what she is trying to achieve. The idea I had a while ago to draw things in a theme as per my Sports Round-up post has some merit.
The top left hand pear is the first one I did, just on cartridge paper, with pastels. What a difference it made when I was given a piece of proper pastel paper to try. I started with a better shape and blended the colours more evenly.
From here we went to our graphite pencils and drew a stack of books. I’ll post that one later as I was ill and unable to complete it at the time.
Following that we selected a photograph, taken by ourselves, to copy.
This picture shows one of the installations in the Sydney Biennale Exhibition on Cockatoo Island I recently went to. I mean, how hard could it be to copy that? As it turned out, very!
The size of the piece is about A4 and it took me around 12 hours to complete. Many things are wrong about it, especially the lower windows where the angle just got away from me and I wasn’t able to correct it later.
As I know the order in which it was drawn – where I started and where I finished – I am able to gauge my progression and gradual improvement in interpreting what I’m seeing and reproducing.
This project has been one of the hardest things I have undertaken for a long time. Did I enjoy it? I’m not sure. Yes and no. I felt sick every time I worked on it in case I mucked it up and as I got further along I became even more anxious because of the time invested in it. I’m smart enough to see that it isn’t fabulous but it is a massive step forward from the pieces shown at the top of this post from about 6 weeks ago, so I feel extremely positive.
One huge observation I’ve made whilst doing this is that maybe, in my case at least, having a precise, neat, has-to-be-right personality isn’t quite such a bad thing.