January 10, 2010

Trying My (Blackened) Hand at Drawing

To continue my holiday theme, I want to tell you about the fantastic Christmas gift my husband purchased for me this year. I have to say that among ideas he has come up with, this was a pretty good one - a course of art classes at Lillstreet Art Center. Nice work, Chris! I forgive you for the L.L. Bean moccasin debacle.

Despite my mother pressuring me to take jewelry making (I mean, really? What am I going to do with learning how to texture metal, Mom?!), I decided to go with Beginning Drawing.

So, I told you in my first blog post that I'm not the best artist. I was constantly ruining my GPA with stupid B's in art class. Luckily, I no longer have a 5th-grade straight-A streak to maintain, so there's a little less pressure on doing well in this class.

It's a good thing, too. My weak drawing skills didn't totally fail me, but I definitely was not as skilled of an artist as the other 5 people in the class. And people, that includes drawing circles.

We used vine charcoal and some compressed charcoal for this class. For those that know me really well, this whole art class is kind of an issue for me because I hate getting my hands dirty. I'm the girl who only uses four fingers to eat ribs. The other six are up in the air as if I'm drinking two incredibly tiny cups of tea. And for someone who hates messes, damn, I had no idea how messy charcoal could really be. There was dust everywhere - under my fingernails, in every crease of my hand, smudges on my face... I felt like I needed to be wearing a smock and sweatpants that I never want to wear again. I digress.

We started off slowly by literally drawing circles; then we upgraded to spheres:

Not so creative. But then, we started learning more about shading techniques, sizing, and positioning of an object on the page to manipulate how the object is perceived. We drew an apple:

...and an orange with a vase:

Personally, the apple was my favorite object of the evening. (Do you like the little shine on the top left?). However, the orange picture is the only one in which I made an artistic decision. That table actually ends another foot and a half to the left and another foot in front of those items. But I wanted to keep the focus on the orange and vase.

We learned that realistic depictions of things aren't the goal in drawing and artwork. It's about manipulating the artistic scene or setting so that you show your viewer what you want them to see. For someone who tends to get caught up in telling the truth about everything and in trying to depict how things ARE, this is a pretty freeing revelation. I can actually lie to you about how I saw things, enhance your experience, and not get into legal trouble! (Marketers, you know what I'm talking about!)

Stay tuned for future projects. I look forward to sharing more lies with you.

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