Drawing on Failure

Building on my enjoyment of my term of ‘Essential Drawing Skills’ I’ve signed up for the one week ‘Easter’ school, another ‘Drawing for All’ course.

It felt rather conventional, after the weeks of using sticks,collage, feathers, bleach and ink, to be allowed to use pencil and charcoal in the studio on the first morning.  But even I can see how much I’ve learned.  In a class with a number of people who were new to the studio, I knew how to put the easel up, how to position it, where to stand.  It may sound trivial, but on my first morning, I knew none of them.  This week, I also knew where to start…. and how to carry on.  I didn’t feel stuck, or helpless.

In the afternoon we were at Tate Modern.  As the weather was so extraordinarily warm and sunny, I sat outside amongst the crowds of people, equally not quite able to believe that it is still only March, and watched the world go by (cf yesterday’s post!).

Just to prove that I’m still on uncertain territory when it comes to art appreciation, I did spend some time studying an area on the esplanade in front of Tate Modern surrounded by green mesh, in the middle of which, beside a shallow hole in the tarmac, stood a yellow skip full of concrete topped with a bucket, undecided whether it is an art installation or if they’re just filling in a hole in the road.  I think it’s probably construction, but you never know, do you?

Inside the gallery, we sketched various paintings as a means of discovering the decisions made on composition and focus.

One of my ambitions in learning to draw is to be able to achieve shading effects to give the impression of three dimensions.  I still find it very difficult to do, so to challenge myself, I attempted this sketch of a sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz.  It attracted my attention as it appears to be made up do a series of flat planes which meant that I could see the fall of light and shadow very clearly, and that helped me distinguish each area of light.

It’s not perfect, but it demonstrates, even to my eye, the progress I have made in the last few months.

So much of that is down to the brilliant teaching I’ve had from Fabia Claris.

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