Friday, October 14, 2005

Drawing on

This Wednesday's art class, we set up our easels and started drawing a still life. "Put some shading in this time," the tutor suggested. So we set to; measuring, plotting, sketching and shading. By mid-morning break, we were quite pleased with our efforts.

We came back from break, picked up our pencils, looked up at the still life ... and there were more objects there. In front of the previous ones.

"What ...?"

"Just draw the new objects in," the tutor said cheerfully. "And rub out the drawing underneath."

"But ... my beautiful drawing!" we cried.

"You are too attached to the product," he said. "Go with what you see in front of you. Just draw what you see."

With many grumbles, we got on with it. I took one last look at the best drawing I'd done all term before starting to draw over it, rubbing out large swathes of careful shading.

Before long, there were more objects being placed onto the still life. We kept drawing and rubbing out, drawing and rubbing out. I started to enjoy myself. I was being less fiddly, more carefree and relaxed, and my drawing improved. I started to 'see' what I needed to draw, and to enjoy the process of drawing rather than being attached to my picture.

By the end, we had a collection of lively, energetic and remarkably complex still life compositions.

"It's the process that's important," our tutor summed up. "Not the product."

So true.


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