I have decided to write up an overall evaluation on my course, as a way of summarising what I have learnt and what I plan to take forward from Drawing 1 and what I plan to leave behind!!
Having not drawn since leaving school some 24 years ago, I started Drawing 1 as a way of giving myself a much better grounding for my paintings. I felt my previous work lacked substance and I felt the substance missing was the lack of good visual skills and an ability to translate ideas from my head and take those ideas forward. The course has given me so much confidence in this respect, forcing me to take challenges I could not complete on my own. My lack of previous experience and confidence stopped me from drawing entirely, however I now draw nearly daily and find it very comfortable to sit and sketch in any environment.
I will take forward a continuation of sketchbook work, using them in a way to come up with new ideas as well as keep my visual skills good. It has become a habit of mine to now keep a sketchbook with me at all times, and I have, of late, really enjoyed trying to capture people and their expressions. There are so many things I would like to start to draw, in particular scenes with people in them not just the people themselves. I’d like to successfully draw people in different settings to support future paintings of the same subject. I have learnt that, in my case certainly, it is essential that I complete all of my work from life, be it painting or drawing, as the effect it has on my work is unquestionable. I find working from photos or other makes my work lack vitality and energy which comes from the unknown and from working in a fast manner. Previous to this course I would never have even believe this would be the case.
To support the above, I have also continued to attend life drawing and portrait drawing classes most weeks, which helps to support my sketchbook work at home. Drawing 1 has really made me realise that I cannot stop learning – I have to keep moving forward with my work and keep developing it, and to this end I have booked another course at the RWA in Bristol in March which is with one of my favourite landscape artists, Laurie Steen. The course is called ‘Nature and Landscape – Making Beautiful our Everyday and will hopefully help me to develop perceptual drawing skills when sketching landscape and nature. I am also looking to book a portrait painting course either at the Mall Galleries or another Art School.
I hope to work further on using watercolour in my work, and also pen and ink – my struggles with both, I know, are due to lack of practice, so I hope to make sure I don’t leave these skills behind completely.
The more I draw, the more my confidence in my use of line increases, and the more my confidence increases, the more I realise what can be left unsaid. This correlates with my tutors constant feedback regarding broken lines and leaving parts out. Practice makes perfect, and I hope that I will eventually get to the point where my drawings are really really interesting and can stand up on their own, as well as fully supporting my paintings.