Sunday, October 14, 2012

Creative Drawing - Week 4 - determination laced with defiance.

I haven’t had my “eureka” moment quite yet...but I feel it coming.

Working backwards - this post starts with yesterday.

 Saturday evening... 

I had a drawing session with my daughter. This was the ‘practice’ that followed our Friday lesson, on perspective - which I am understanding better, thanks to Courtney’s help.

In light of Halloween coming our practice session revolved around the animated movie Monster House. Courtney put it on to inspire our creativity. She was busy working on her weekly illustration for VanSketch, a drawing blog, and the upcoming theme was Halloween.

My daughter brought out her book, The Art & Making of Monster House, for me to use as a reference for my drawing. On page 100 I found this picture…

and here is my drawing of it.

I confess, I’m stoked...I really enjoyed the process. I thought I had paid attention to the placement of my shapes. Tsk, tsk...not so.
The boy’s head is bigger (and the girl’s is smaller) than those in the picture; had I taken the time to work all of the pieces simultaneously, on my page, I would have caught this sooner, before I started using dark lines for detailing.

I am learning how important it is, in the planning stage, to position all objects/people on my page with light loose lines before the detailing begins. 

These weekly sessions with my daughter rock! Not only because I am learning the processes involved in drawing, but because I am spending time with Courtney as we share our common passion. 

She is my mentor and my inspiration ( and I told her so); I am in awe when I watch her draw - she makes it look so effortless and easy. It pleases me to no end that she wants to help me achieve my goal in understanding perspective in art.

Earlier Saturday…

Before my drawing session, I dropped in to see an art exhibit, of work by students taking painting classes with “my instructor”, and I was pleasantly surprised - so much so that I purchased a piece, a Christmas gift for my mother, which I will blog about next week when I get it. (I left it with the artist for her display, where it was marked SOLD - her first sale)

Wednesday’s Art Class - Week 4…

This week, in class, we drew square and rectangular shapes. I have little to say about this class other than I shared my frustration with the teacher regarding the necessity of having so many objects on the table during this learning phase.

You may think I am being difficult (ah, the misconceptions) but in fact others echoed my frustrations by saying they too found it overwhelming trying to “see” through so many objects. 

Yes, yes...real life is full of objects that need to be worked around when drawing or painting - but, heck, this is a classroom; objects placed on the table are done so by the instructor who should show some restraint when cramming them all together. 

Next week, I am not bringing an item to add to the table. (tsk, tsk, such defiance, what next)

Here is the table (with its thirteen items)

Here is my work:


I am reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. Have any of you read it? It is quite interesting.

I’m sure I have mentioned, since posting about my art classes, that I am ambidextrous. I write with my right hand, but do most everything else with both hands equally. (I have a left-handed brother)

Back in the day, when shooting pool was part of my world, I could break with either hand and when there was a difficult shot, tight along the rag, I had no problem switching to the appropriate hand for the shot.

Same with waterskiing slalom, either foot in front is fine; I prefer to answer the telephone with my left hand and ear; I am a left-handed eater, using my cutlery opposite to how most do.

So, when this book was brought to my attention (again, thanks to Courtney for lending it to me) I was totally intrigued with Chapter Three - Your Brain: The Right and Left of It.

This third chapter inspired me to pick up a pencil, with my left hand, and do a little mirror writing; what I wrote on the top of the page can be read when held up to a mirror. (a hand mirror would be helpful here)

This full page, pictured here, has been done by my left hand. (remember, as a rule I write using my right hand)

Mirror writing was a favourite of two famous left-handed men: Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll.

In Chapter One, the reader, (in this case, me) is given a “pre-instruction” assignment; four different drawings: a headshot of myself (via a mirror); one of a face, from memory; one of my hand (the one not using the pencil, of course); and last, a chair, from real-life.

I did all four (not for public viewing *sheepish grin*) and tucked them away because in Chapter Four the lessons begin. 

This book, and its teachings, are based on nine lessons Betty Edwards teaches over a fourteen weeks period; her students met twice a week: once for a two hour lecture, that would be the reading I’ll be doing, and then again for a three hour drawing session. I will structure my time (what’s left of it - who needs sleep anyway, right!) to somehow resemble this setup.

Upon completion of the lessons my “pre-instruction” and “post-lesson” drawings will be compared. I’m sure this will be interesting to see, at which point I may then do a ‘before’ and ‘after’ post, where we can share a chuckle together.


What are you reading? 
Is it holding your attention? 
Are you inspired by it? 



  1. I love how good a job you did with the first thing Jenny and genuinely don't think that the heads were out of proportion or anything. Your art has gotten better and better this week and while you may not be completely there yet I don't think that you're far off it.

    1. Thanks, Matthew - I truly surprised myself with that first one. And, you know what, my daughter's eyes widened when I showed it to her, during our session; she smiled, sheepishly, and said, "I'm hating you right about now..." - to which I turned red and said..."it's your fault for being a great tutor!"

      I do see the improvement and I will continue with the practice sessions with Miss CP, until she turfs me out the front door. :)

  2. Wow. The copy of the picture is actually pretty amazing. For some reason, it's bringing to mind art students, sitting in front of classic paintings and copying them. (I suppose they're not allowed to do so any longer, but once upon a time...)

    I am very much enjoying watching your process. And I would imagine it's lovely to be with Miss CP. :)

    1. Funny you should mention the copying thing -when I went to the art exhibit there was an artist who had copied Monet's Water Lilies - it looked like a photocopy of the original.

      I do have a special edition print of a Klimt, as I could never afford the original, but I don't think I would like it if someone had tried to paint it. I'm okay with prints of famous work.

      I did copy the kids in the car and must say it was a real exercise in "seeing" what was there - I will continue to "copy" as necessary to gain more skills but I don't think I would "sell" or "gift" art that was a copy of another artist's work - I would rather have original work to offer.

      I'm glad you are enjoying my art posts, and yes, spending time with Miss CP is a treat!

      Thanks, Em, for dropping by. :)

  3. Yow! Getting better and better every day. I just love the passion you put into anything you put your mind to, Jenny-Lou! And we can all see where Miss Courtney gets her talent and her drive.

    1. Thanks, Rev - loving it too! Spending time with Miss CP and letting her talents rub off on me (or more like giving them back to me, hehehehe) is a bonus. Soon I will have all "my powers" back and then I will rule the art world! *grin*

      Thanks for stopping in. :)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.