Thursday, April 26, 2007

first art class ever!

last week, i attended my first ever art classes since grade school. everyone in my school had art in grade school, but in high school there was no time for art if a student was on "college track".

i actually took 3 days of classes, but the first day was still life drawing: fruit, flower and insect. the official description is listed on the powell gardens website. i wasn't sure how interested i was in this topic, but i was interested in getting better at drawing what i see and learning to draw from life and not just pictures.

i was really nervous about a lot of things on attending the class. what if everyone there was SO much better than me? what if i couldn't do what i was supposed to? what if my skill level just wasn't there? what if i didn't like it? what if i felt trapped? what if i was bored? what if???

well, it turned out great. the class was great, the teacher was great, the classmates were great. i had a blast and learned many new things. the most time-saving and expense-saving thing i learned, though, was to sketch out my project on tracing paper. sketch w/ NO erasing to make sure the lines were correct. i had never drawn from real life before -- i always work from photos! amazing how different this is when it comes time to do it!!!

once the still life was set up and our initial sketch was done, then we had the instructor (cynthia padilla) check our perspective and our lines before moving. the next step was to darken all of our lines on the tracing paper. this became our "original" that we used to work from.

we transfered the tracing paper sketch to a good piece of paper by taping the tracing paper on the window and tracing the lines on the good paper. i was amazed at this b/c i felt like i was "cheating" by tracing something -- even if it was my own work to begin w/.

now, after the image was traced onto the good paper in very light pencil, we could begin the next steps. if we happen to mess up at some point, then we didn't have to do the whole drawing phase again -- we just traced our image onto another good sheet of paper and moved on.

this would've saved me a tremendous amount of time and money to have known this step BEFORE now!!! i restarted the moment of rest picture 6 different times because i messed up at some point. each time i had to re-draw the picture and start from scratch. plus, each time i restarted on a "good" piece of paper, which obviously became expensive after a few sheets.

so, i now have the original to my still life and i can always start over at any time that i want/need. in class, we were to get a couple different sections done to show that we could match the colors just right. i got the left orange and the left apple done, but i haven't had time to finish any more of it since class ended.

i did take pictures, though, so i would have a good and true reference to work from later. i will finish this picture eventually because it was from my "first art class"and i'll want to have that to keep.

i can't wait to see how much difference the things i learned in the still life workshop will benefit me in my artwork, both in technique and in time-saving and money-saving ideas. it was a definite great day to be in class, too.

the second class i was in was a 2-day class of botanical art essentials. it was also fantabulous, but i'll be sharing work and lessons learned from that workshop in a later post.


Blogger Linda said...

This looks like it was FUN -- and very instructive! I think you should post what you have painted on the piece so far -- it would be neat to see your color work, too. Cynthia's workshops must be good -- I'll have to keep an eye out for her coming to my area!

Thu Apr 26, 09:29:00 PM CDT  
Blogger caseytoussaint said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jill. Funny, sometimes I trace my own drawings, but I've always felt sort of guilty about it - thanks for helping with that!

Fri Apr 27, 02:47:00 AM CDT  
Blogger juj said...

What a great lesson. Thanks for sharing. And I agree with Linda - let's see what you've done so far. That would be really fun.

Fri Apr 27, 09:03:00 AM CDT  
Blogger phthaloblu said...

Glad you had a good time. Can't wait to see what you've done!

Fri Apr 27, 10:07:00 AM CDT  
Blogger aPugsLife-laserone said...

Hi!!!! So glad to see a new post! That class sounds fantastic, so glad you got an opportunity to do that. :)

Sat Apr 28, 02:31:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Sue said...

What a great subject to begin with also - something nice and bright. That's a great idea about starting on tracing paper until things are just right and then tracing onto good paper. Can't wait to see the result.

If you ever need to trace at night this works well as a makeshift lightbox:
Set a storm window on top of a table that's been opened to insert the leaf - only don't insert the leaf. Put a lamp with the shade removed on the floor below. Be careful not to run your leg into the bare bulb and also watch that you don't inadvertently push the lamp so the hot bulb touches a chair seat. I melted a hole in a chair that way once.

Sat May 12, 12:50:00 PM CDT  
Blogger jill said...

actually, i discovered a "new" kind of light box last night at work -- a computer screen w/ a blank word document open on it. worked just great!

Sat May 12, 01:40:00 PM CDT  
Blogger kam said...

Tracing your own work isn't cheating at all. I usually work exactly like you described for the reasons you described. I kind of just started doing it, because paper is so expensive.

Wed May 16, 12:37:00 PM CDT  

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