In an effort to get back on track with Learn to Draw 2020, it’s time I shared my progress. No, I have not been working on this project as consistently as I had hoped I would. Yes, I am still proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.
No, I will not allow myself any negative self-talk about my drawings.
I’m not going to share every single page, because even if I haven’t been drawing every day, I do have a lot of images and I’d rather highlight the ones that show my evolution than dump all of them out there at once. (I do post all of them individually to my journaling Tumblr, if you want to see.)
As I said, I was technically starting before 2020 did, because I had a weeklong vacation between Christmas and New Year’s. Thus, on 12/27/20, did I find myself one evening doing a blind-contour exercise of a sewing machine sitting in the corner of my guest room. (Blind contour is when you draw the outline of an object without being allowed to look at the paper as you go.) It’s odd-looking, but it is at least recognizable as a sewing machine.
Next up, modified-contour drawings of my hand “in a complex pose” and a few days later, my feet. This time, I’m allowed to look at the paper as I draw to make sure I’m not scattering elements all over the page, but I’m training myself to “see” edges of objects and replicate them on the page.
The negative-space exercises begin! A chair, my snake plant, and my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, all done not by drawing the object, but by drawing around the object by focusing on the negative spaces.
And finally, where I am now. Both drawings were done from photographs I took at a local shopping plaza, going for complex and interesting angles to draw, because the newest lesson is on sighting. Which I am having a hard time with–these two drawings are just over a month apart, because I found the process so awkward and unpleasant, constantly stopping to hold up my pencil and close one eye and judge angles and relative proportions. My brain doesn’t like something about that, though it’s too soon to tell if a) I’m just bad at it because I’m just starting, or b) it really does make my poor sick anxious brain upset to have to refocus my sight so frequently in such an unnatural way. More practice will prove which is true, because either it will get easier as I do it more, or it won’t, and I’ll know this drawing technique isn’t for me.
After I do a few more of these, I’ll get to move on to portraits!