Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of Term!

Well, that went by awfully fast! It seems like I just started school and here it is the end of the first term and 15 more to go. Above is another five tone charcoal drawing. The idea behind five tones is that every shape of light, dark, and mid-tone has to match one of five. That means there is the lightest light, the darkest shadow, a light-dark shadow, a dark mid-tone, and a light mid-tone. Unfortunately it isn't as easy as just matching each color shape to a tone. As usual, you have to work it in relationship to the whole. I have a feeling that looking at the details in relationship to the whole is one of those primary concepts or universal rules.
At the moment, the drawings look rather blocky or pixelated. We have been told that next term we will be moving on the the total tonal gradations and also using a full sheet of paper. The charcoal drawings are done on half sheets of roughly 18" X 24" sheets of paper. That is a lot of paper to cover with a rather messy medium. We have small mirrors to use to "see" our drawing in another way. That helps to get the drawings right. I also find I use my little mirror to check my face for charcoal smudges! We are all forever telling each other that "you have a bit of paint/charcoal/graphite" on some area of the face. It can be quite comical.
One thing you will notice in the drawing is the basket sits on top of a book. I remember how much of a struggle drawing books was in the beginning. You would be surprised how challenging it is to get those innocent looking books accurate. It is totally counter-intuitive. They are much easier to draw now. I have realized that my mind no longer labels the things I am drawing. It is all just a collection of shapes and their relationship to one another to draw.
The purpose of the charcoal drawings, or paintings, is to get us used to the techniques that we will be using in painting without the added complication of color. It is a different way of working than drawing is. I am still getting used to the shift in thinking. It is getting easier and faster to work with. I still need a lot more practice though.
We will be taking part of the two week break to spend a bit of time on the Oregon coast. I love the ocean and we have a cozy little room with our own kitchen and a view looking over the ocean awaiting us. I will be drawing. Drawing is like playing music, it must be practiced daily. I also will be bringing along charcoal and a cheap water color set. We shall see what happens. I will try to post the results if I am able to.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Winter Holiday and a Happy New Year!


Life Looms Large said...

Congratulations!!! First term done!

It's interesting to look at your 5 tone drawing - especially since tones are confusing for me. You are really good at drawing books. Watching your drawing change and hearing about the way your classes are changing the way you think about drawing has been really great for me. Thanks for sharing all of it!!

Have a great break!! It sounds fun!


Theresa said...

Enjoy your coastal visit and a good holiday to you and yours!

R. Delight said...

Thanks for the comments! Ah Sue, I am getting better at drawing books but it has been a struggle. I took to drawing a book then stacking another book on top of it and drawing the two books, and so forth. I struggled for a few weeks but the practice paid off. I still need to practice though!
I enjoy showing people that art ability is not something that you are just born with. It is learned and it isn't easy nor is it always fun. It can be tedious, boring, and frustrating as well as satisfying to the core.

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