Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby You Can Drive My Car...Learning the Foundations of Drawing

I haven't talked about my odyssey to art school very much...probably because I have been so engrossed in it. Do you remember the feeling you had when you were handed the keys to your family car for your first driving lesson?  I was a mess!  I wanted to jump in the car, pull it out of park and drive down the road like I didn't need any help whatsoever.  As soon as I sat in the driver's seat, however, I had visions of children, wildlife and old ladies with walkers jumping in front of the car as I plowed them down.

I am feeling a bit like that in my Drawing 1 class. Don't get me wrong, what I've learned in these four weeks has taken up my drawing abilities a few notches but when I look around and see the artists' works around me, I think I must be an impostor.  But really, I'm in learning mode and trying to drive my new vehicles.

1968 Chevy Camero Super Sport
A pencil is like a 1960s muscle car.  I can use one pencil to draw heavy lines or light lines or a whole scale of grays.  This Camero, I'm sure could lay down some heavy skid marks too!  With Drawing, I am feeling like a 14-year old who someone has just given the keys to this car to and now I have to drive the family to Poughkeepsie.

I'm competing with some young people who have just come out of high school as the best artists i their schools or artists who already have a large body of work because they've known this is what they want to do.  You know, people who can have an idea and know already how to execute.

Like driving a car, creating art requires some preparation steps.  You need to plan how you are going to create this concept just as you would plan to read the drivers book, get your Learner's and get behind the wheel.

We are drawing still lifes in Drawing. This still life is made of plastic cup, old milk carton, paper cone, styrofoam ball and I think a papier mache pyramid.  They are all painted white and gray.  Not so much life in these objects.  But it is not just about copying what you see onto the piece of paper.  You need to examine these objects and look at their bones.  What kinds of forms are these objects? Where is the light coming from and how does it affect the shadows? Where are the highlights and low lights?  What does the negative space look like?  What do you want to draw and how do you want to crop it?

My first two assignments I got Cs and a comment that I was messy.  Well I am messy.  I'm the teenager learning to drive.  But as soon as I can be comfortable with my vehicle, my 60s muscle pencil, I'll be ready to hit the open road, fiddle with the radio AND talk on the phone! I am the kid who has discovered that she is not going to hit kids, small animals and grandmas while driving the car.  And maybe, I might be the kid who ends up driving the car for a living...err drawing the car?

1 comment:

  1. And how are you having time to blog?

    phew, I thought you bought a new car, too! Which wouldn't be bad, just takes time!

    DO NOT look at the other artists' work. Though your analogy is a good one. I know, I'm driving around with two boys who have learner's permits. And they do learn at a different rate!

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