“If you knew how much work went into it, you wouldn’t call it genius” Michelangelo
I have really slowed down my painting in the last two months to focus in on developing a daily drawing habit. I have been bringing my sketchbook and pencils with me every where I go and its been great to realize that I can find time to draw everyday. I don’t consider myself a strong draftsman and I am ok with that since I have only been practicing art for four years. I have heard many artist’s talk about how they spent their entire childhood developing their artistic skills so I relate that to my fours years and I figure I am like a twelve-year-old. I recently revisited a website that I tried two years ago and quickly realized that I just couldn’t hang with the big kids. That is the Watts Atelier. I discovered that the had begun offering a live stream demos. I choose head lay-ins with Lucas Graciano. It’s been about six weeks and I will definitely be signing up if they offer this again. Drawing everyday in my sketchbook has been key to improving my weekly lay-ins.
It is definitely easier to draw from a drawing than to draw from life. When I copy Lucas’s drawing, my drawing of course looks different from his but I get the benefit of seeing his decisions as he looked at the subject and decided how to interpret the information and put it down on the page. I can’t actually see the model during the live stream so my reference is his drawing. After the live stream is over Watts does post some photos of the model for you to draw off. Now my drawing are inconsistent, some are much better than others. This was my first attempt to draw from the photo reference, I was having a bad night. The result scared me away from trying this again for a few weeks.
But I did try again this week and although I wasn’t terribly impressed with the amount of information I was able to capture, the whole process felt much more natural. I felt that the end result was much better.
Here is a side by side comparison. And I still am doing a lot of bad drawing especially when I am tired. But I am confident that my hand and eye are improving. All these drawings are done with a conté pencil on smooth newspaper.