As per usual, I'm woefully neglecting this blog! I thought I'd post an update, at least, of where I'm at art-wise. I've been taking classes at a community college since summer 2013, working on an Associate of Arts degree, and having a lot fun with the art classes. It's work, as well, but it's a privilege to be working in a creative environment with other artists and talented teachers. The students and teachers in my classes have been incredibly friendly and encouraging. I've been learning a lot!
I have yet to take pictures of all the projects from my Spring 2014 classes, as well as a few big still lifes and some ceramics projects from Fall 2013 (I took Drawing I and Ceramics I that semester), but I'll try to get those posted eventually. In the mean time, here are some of the drawings I did while keeping a sketchbook for Drawing I. This album is also up on Facebook.
The main focus of the class and the sketchbook was drawing from observation, which was really good for me, and a stretch that I needed after spending so much time focusing on my fairy tale illustrations and drawing from my head.
Gesture drawing of my mom and my grandpa, done in ballpoint pen.
This hat was one of my favorites of the sketchbook drawings. My teacher had suggested that I try covering the paper with a layer graphite and then "draw" with the eraser to lifting out the highlights. I did that partially with this one, not in the background, but in the hat itself.
This one was drawing with a carbon stick, also using an eraser to pull out highlights.
Gesture drawings of my baby nephew. He was eight months old at the time.
Copying Degas! I used charcoal, black and white Conte crayons, and white pastel. I also rubbed a burnt sienna Conte crayon in places to get a warmer tone. I really should have filled the whole page or used larger paper (mine was 9" x 12"), because the original was bigger, and I was struggling to get that amount of detail in.
Copying da Vinci. I used graphite pencil. Leonardo da Vinci's was done in metalpoint, and there was an insane amount of subtlety in the way he could communicate the planes of the face in so few lines. I cheated and used tone as well as line, 'cause I am no da Vinci. Trying to capture the angles and curves of those simple lines was a challenge!
My teacher for the class pointed out that I'd kept the left handedness--those lines slanted from the lower right to the upper left (or vice versa). It's more difficult to draw lines that way when you're right-handed (which I am).
Another da Vinci copy. I had much more of a struggle with this one than I did the previous one. Getting it to look like the person in the original isn't the challenging part for me, so much as striving to get it as close to the original as possible, getting all the proportions and the curves right. I can't say I succeeded; it's a humbling project, but also a very good exercise to learn discipline.