My drawing and painting life
Last weekend I was in a conference centre meeting a lot of friends, going to lectures and going to workshops. Lovely setting, in the middle of the woods, so a good place to go for a walk, too. I had a wonderful time.
About six weeks before the weekend I was asked to give my own drawing workshop. In the weeks leading up to the weekend the workshop didn’t fill up completely. 14 places out of 25 were booked. I was a bit nervous – afraid that perhaps some people wouldn’t show and we’d end up with a small group. However – as happens more often during such a weekend – on the Friday evening all open spaces in the workshop filled (yeah!). So on Saturday I had 25 people in the room.
A friend of mine kindly helped me setting everything up and she introduced me to the group. And off we went!
I had thought of several assignments for warming up in a first 40-45 minutes session. Then after a short break we would start working in charcoal. the drawing you see here, is one of the drawings I did in preparation of the lesson.
As it was my first time, and I wasn’t sure about the timing, I had thought beforehand that I might have to improvise and perhaps skip some assignments, but I didn’t have to.
It was such fun! I think it was a success for most participants as well. As I didn’t prepare an evaluation sheet, I have only my impressions. Here’s some of them.
I used an assignment I learned from Carla Sonheim – drawing with your eyes closed. It’s about making quick simple drawings. “Don’t make too much of it. You know it’s not going to be a masterpiece!” I had prepared a list of subjects (objects and animals) that they could try to draw. My own online course experience, sitting at the computer doing this, is that I laugh out loud when I see what I have done with my eyes closed. Most pieces done that way are a bit wonky and that is part of their charm. I think one of the purposes of an assignment like this, is that it is very relaxing to be able to laugh at your own imperfect work. It’s be easier to relax on the next pieces. I wasn’t fully prepared for what happened during the workshop with 25 people. It was such a thrill to have everyone open their eyes at the same time and hear people laughing out loud all around the room!
After the first stages of explaining what we were about to do, and the first laughs, I wanted them to start drawing contour drawings and take some more time doing that. I had prepared a worksheet with several pictures of vintage portrait photos. (Making a worksheet, was also inspired by Carla Sonheims lessons.) This also worked well. What stays in my mind is the concentration in the room when all 25 were working on these worksheets. And later when they did their charcoal work, too. Amazing experience. I was really happy.
I was so glad to have the help of my friend, who was there to help get everyone their tools (charcoal, pens, paper) and help get it all cleaned up again.
I hardly made any photos at the time , so I don’t have much to show. And haven’t asked the students whether they were OK with me posting their work, so I will not do that. The little doggy picture is a picture of one my own work, made during my preparations.
It was a very busy hour and a half. I was very tired afterwards, but really happy. This feels like something I could do more often!
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