What, a proper post?

I thought I’d actually write a bit this time…..

Well, here is a collection of some of the stuff I’ve doodled and drawn. Once in a while I like doing film studies from movies. There’s also a church altarpiece from recently when I went to San Francisco, and I decided to include a progress shot of figure drawings — the top ones are from my first class with Ron Lemen, the bottom ones were done just yesterday.

Addendum: Improving your Art

Adding a bit more to this post, in retrospect:

I have a little bit to say on improvement, in general, as regards to artistic development. If there is one thing that challenged me constantly when it came to improving at art, it wasn’t so much a technique issue, or a knowledge issue. The biggest obstacle for me, personally, was accepting the fact that sometimes it’s not as difficult as it needs to be. I know oftentimes people get the notion that if one has to work excessively hard toward a goal, then it must be worth it and we come to expect some big climactic ending where we burst through the clouds and sunshine rains down on us — but if my own experience has told me anything, our breakthroughs happen when we find  the simple answers to complex problems.

For example, when doing quick sketch, as above, one is usually confronted with a time limit. The instinctive reaction to this great challenge is for the artist to say, alright, I have to train so I can get everything down in 5 minutes. This creates lots of frustration for us because we just don’t know where to even begin tackling such a monumental problem. If instead we just said to ourselves, I only have 5 minutes, what is the SIMPLEST way for me to get the information down on paper — it already makes things easier. If we have 4 minutes gone and only 1 left to go before the pose ends, we can simply ask ourselves: what is my drawing missing that would make it complete and true to the essence of what I see before me? If all our drawing is lacking is the impression of arms held out, then we know what to add for the last 1 minute — a vague impression of arms, and our drawing of the pose is complete.

In everything we do the simple solution is often enlightening and gives a way out of our problems. If we have problems starting work, the simplest thing would be to start with something so easy and unavoidable that we could not help but do it. If we cannot even bring ourselves to sketch, simply begin by placing the pens and equipment at the ready. In half an hour, maybe, when it’s SO convenient to just pick something up and draw — we’ll do it. This works much better than berating ourselves into beginning to draw.

I’m frequently surprised by how easy and comforting it is when one simplifies complex problems into easy tasks. Eventually, these simple solutions become automatic, and we find ourselves moving on to more complex problems. First, though, we have to believe that 1) everything is solvable, and 2) every solution CAN be simple and effective.

Art is really very easy — it’s just that most of us expect it to be difficult. When we can finally accept that it’s pretty simple most of the time, we find ourselves improving exponentially.


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