Basic Drawing #3

Originally posted 15 July 2009.

Tonight we used the black paper to draw a mug, a vase, and the beginnings of a watch. When our teacher was drawing the cup for us, I swear it was like black magic. He’d put some marks on the paper, smudge them a bit, and suddenly there was this cup there, complete with amazing shadows.

chalk on black paper

My cup turned out all right, though I wasn’t very happy with my vase. Symmetry is very difficult for me. It probably didn’t help that I was only using chalk, rather than white charcoal pencil. You can’t sharpen chalk.

chalk on black paper

Near the end of class, the teacher passed out photographs of watches (magazine ads) so we could work on drawing metallic glints. Mine looks ridiculous, but it’s also still only half done. I may be happier with it when I finish it next week. Drawing from photographs, though often maligned by “serious” artists, has helped me considerably in learning how to see properly. When we look at objects we’re familiar with, we often mentally fill in unseen details that we know are there, which often translates erroneously into our drawings. Photographs take all that away, so you can concentrate more on just the contours you can see.

chalk on black paper

The amount of embarrassing attention has been decreasing, much to my relief. One woman called me the “star of the class” – though to be fair, she wasn’t there last week. I prefer to just be part of the crowd when it comes to these sorts of things. I’m taking the class because I want to improve my drawing; if I was already good at it I wouldn’t need the class. :P

Note: this is part of the Basic Drawing Series.

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