Drawing I — gestural drawing

Drawing is one very good reason I'm a calligrapher. I mean it. This drawing class is like trying to walk after choosing to sit for decades. I leave every 2-1/2 hour class meeting simply exhausted. Which seems ridiculous, but how hard can it be to put on paper what you see with your eyes? Pretty hard, evidently.

Here is the first image of my first efforts in Drawing I. This one was a gestural drawing of an arrangement of really, really random things in the center of the classroom: a partially dismembered skeleton, a red tricycle, various fake flowers, and some Styrofoam balls.

We were given 1 minute, then 3 minutes, to get as much of the still life down on huge sheets of paper -- these sheets were about 24" x 36". Then we started on this fresh sheet and were told we had 5 minutes, but after the first 5 minutes we were given another 10 minutes to get in more detail.

Very stressful for me. I'm hoping this all starts to come a little easier as the semester wears on.

4 Replies to “Drawing I — gestural drawing”

  1. Hello there. I started teaching art classes at our school this last year and one thing I have discovered is that drawing is hard work! Yet most of us look and think we should be able to draw something decent relatively easily. Not true! The hardest part is learning to see accurately and then translate that to paper. I think you’re doing great–even if you don’t feel like it. Remember to look at some of the pieces objectively and decide how accurate the lines are, are the proportions correct, are the shadows and highlights corresponding to the light source, etc., and not get discouraged by emotions. If the objective measurables are correct, then feel good about what you’re doing! And if they’re not, then just remember that drawing is like everything else we do–it takes practice, and with more practice comes improvement. Keep up the good work! And your calligraphy is beautiful! I’msure you practiced that along the way, too! 😉 –LaRinda

  2. Thanks for the comments, LaRinda. Given my years of calligraphy study, I’d think it wouldn’t be *quite* the struggle it is! On the other hand, my first musical instrument — the piano — has not advanced my organ studies as much as I would think it would have. In fact, I think my comfort level with the piano has made the organ (which I’ve played for many, many years) seem harder than it is. This could be happening with calligraphy vs. drawing.

    I spend a lot of time with proportions. So much time, in fact, that sometimes I don’t get as much time on the highlights and shadows. I guess it’ll come faster with practice.

  3. Hi,
    My name is Jillian Koopman and I’m new to Tallahassee. I’m sort of looking around online for any local drawing classes I might be able to take while I’m here. I noticed your profile because you are in Tallahassee and apparently are enrolled in what looks to be a very cool drawing class. I was wondering if you had any information on this class, or other drawing classes in the area that were available to the public. Thank you,


  4. Hi Jill,

    This was the Drawing I class at FSU, one of the foundation courses for art majors, but also open to non art majors.

    If you’re not interested in university classes, you can call a couple of places in Tallahassee. LeMoyne Art Foundation provides art classes at their education annex. And I’ve heard good things about Brush and Palette.

    I would have replied on your blog, except I’m not sure you’ll check there 🙂

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