Over the weekend, I started some personal projects I plan to work on when I have free time. They’ll allow me to practice things I need to work on outside of class. I plan on challenging myself with them and going outside of my comfort zone. One particular project involved a person to be in it. I couldn’t find a reference picture for the pose I wanted and I didn’t feel like taking a picture myself, so I just went for it, starting with a line of action and building up from that. I always like to use references for things like this, so I wasn’t expecting it to be amazing. However, I noticed I was able to put a fair amount of detail into it. I realized that even though it has only been a few weeks into classes, I’m already improving a lot. I was actually amazed with myself. Most of the improvement comes from my figure drawing class. Spending an entire class drawing the same thing over and over in different positions, you’ll start to notice subtle details that make a big difference to your drawings. These observations have started to seep into my other classes as well. I’ve started to notice more when walking around outside. I’m seeing ways light reflects in ways I didn’t notice before. All of these observations show up in my sketchbook as well.
I am constantly sketching. Even if I get absolutely nothing else done during the day, but I sketched, even for only a few moments, I feel that I accomplished something. Its not easy to do either. Sometimes I make it to 10pm and realize I didn’t sketch yet and I have to force myself out of my comfortable seat to grab my sketchbook, sit down again, and actually draw something. I like to draw things that I’m terrible at, like hands. It frustrates me when they don’t look like what I want them to, but eventually I’ll be able to draw them in my sleep.
All of these, help me improve as an artist. I’ve always told my dance students, they cannot come to one short class a week, not practice until next class, and expect to dance like Misty Copeland. To get better, you have to take the time to practice your skills outside of class. I took this lesson to heart and applied it to all aspects of my life during my freshman semester. I no longer question why I have to draw the same box for three days straight like I did during high school. Rather, I pick up a pencil and just draw.
Until next week,