Sunday, 4 December 2011

When at first you loose confidence, go draw in a museum

The way I see it, there have been several barriers to get through, the first was getting back to drawing and getting over my crisis of confidence, then I had to understand some of the processes and principles involved ie. the basics I never knew about, followed by some pretty intensive anatomy study. Now it's the turn of having the guts to go and sketch in a public place.

A recent trip to London was an opportunity to go drawing at the British Museum and that's just what a friend and I did. I just forced myself to do it and guess what? I managed and not only that I enjoyed it, I really enjoyed it.

To me, this is important for so many reasons. One is that while drawing outside the comfort of your own home you are limited. You can't take every bit of equipment you own, you need to travel light. Sometimes by limiting things, you discover what is important. I stuck to pencil and ink, using brush pen for the core shadows, adding the white pen I found was difficult as you can't get different values out of it and you almost immediately over-do it, trying ink and wash on this particular sketch pad was tricky. Also this sketch pad is not a perfect mid tone. So in a very short space of time I had learned a lot of things that don't work and stripped everything right down to basics. In the end I found myself kind of taking notes on the drawing: where is the core shadow, the reflected light, cast shadow, lightest light and darkest dark, then I finished off the drawings later using some of the knowledge I've picked up in the past year.

The middle drawing is a bit of a failure but I've included it anyway, it's important to realise that there will be a lot of bad drawings before there are good ones but in a way that isn't the point. The point is that this particular barrier is down, you can't get better without doing these things.