Bob, the teacher, started out tonight's class explaining about different kinds of papers: hot press, cold press and rough, and why to use each of them.
Then he showed the trick about getting scale and proportion correct by measuring down the pencil with the thumb at arm's length. That part I knew already. But what he added I had not thought of before. It was a Doh! moment for me.
If you eyeball out the thing to draw and it's only an inch or so of pencil length, but you want it to be four inches tall on the paper, make four equal marks to arrive at the top and bottom of the thing. Then any other measurement you take multiply by four lengths also.
That's a big ol' Duh! but I would have never come up with it on my own. That's why I wanted to take a class with real people...to learn practical applications of art theory.
Then we start on our first drawing. Lighting conditions weren't ideal because the fluorescent lights washed out all the shading and shadows from the spotlight he brought. And the things we are drawing are sitting on a desk at eye level. It's tough to get perspective going at that angle. If there were any shadows we wouldn't be able to see them.
So what did he choose? Cut glass. Grrr.... Glass is probably one of the hardest things to draw. And it was a little bitty cut glass candlestick thingy I could barely see from so far away. On the candlestick was a white marble ball. Behind it was a rough Mexican blanket. He let us cheat on the ball and trace around a styrofoam cup so we all at least got the ball part correct.
I worked mainly on the candlestick and had just started putting shading on the ball when he started around the room doing show-n-tell. Since I'm on the back row I'd be the last one. The first drawing he held up had darkness all around the ball to make it pop. Ohhh! Good idea!
I cheated and whipped out The Magic That Is The Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and scrubbed in a little black around the candlestick before he got to me. Yes, I cheated in class. I filled in the rest of the blackness with pencil after I got home.
I have no idea what that candlestick actually looked like. I drew the dark spots and saved the light spots and kinda just let the rest be what it wanted to be. I don't think it really had fluting around the top and it looks a little weird around the base. Not cut glass-y at all. Oh well.
The next thing we drew was this old guitar. I struggled and struggled getting the proportions correct even using the measuring down the pencil trick. Everyone else moved right along and was finished by the time I started shading. This is as far as I got:
I had to keep fighting the urge to whip out a PITT pen and do a five-minute sketch like I would do in my daily journal. But no, no, I'm here to learn to draw in a new way.
My frustration level is building.
After one more class I may not be able to draw anything at all.