My drawing and painting life
Yesterday I was at the studio of one of my favorite teachers, Mieke Siemons. It’s always nice, to be in a group and make art. To do exercises and share work among us. This time the course is about portraits, so right up my street. We started off with drawing exercises, to get warmed up.
Always nice to start off with ‘blind drawing’ and quickly too. No way can you make a good drawing when you’re not allowed to look on your paper. So just laugh and move on. You are getting warmed up – you’re looking and that’s the main thing: looking intently, noticing, seeing, and moving your hands.
After something like the drawing above, everything will be better, won’t it?
Maybe even a drawing done in 30seconds or less.
We drew each other. We made quick drawings without looking on the paper (2 minutes maximum). Then slightly longer, starting blind then looking at the paper to move it to a (little) better result. Lots of laughs, lots of groans.
We sat for each other – as model – one by one – while the others drew in three tones (dark and light on mid tone paper). Again rather quickly. No time to start fussing, because it’s already time for the next.
All good. Some drawings turn out messy and others quite good.
We all had our problems. Where to start? How do you do it anyway? Mieke helped us to do it even though we were doubtful about the results. Or about the technique. Starting with light – when you are used to starting with darks (I grumbled and gave in).
Working on toned paper was great fun, but after a while I was so tired I couldn’t get it to work anymore (bottom left). Also working in darks mostly was my preferred way to work. The assignment was to start with light tones – and I found that a lot harder at first.
Also one or two times the toned paper was missing, I just grabbed my sketchbook and some graphite blocks and tried to problem solve and do it my own way. Some results are so-so, some I quite like! Like the drawing of Berna, that didn’t want to fit on one page – with her shock of wonderful hair – so I just added the left one to make it a whole.
Most of us got to sit as a model. Just 10 or 15 minutes (unless the teacher forgets to set the timer, haha). Getting tired, getting thirsty while sitting, feeling aches all over, laughing while trying to sit still. We all felt it. So when we get a model in, we’ll be more grateful and understanding of what they are going through.
I am so looking forward to what’s to come.
I’m deeply grateful that I’ve found this teacher seven years ago. I may have shopped around in other classes, and taken online classes all over the place. But I always return to her studio, her lessons and this group of artists / friends.
Want to see more?
I can only share my own photos, which I took this morning. If you want to see more, have a look at the weblog of one of the others: Berna van der Linden. I was inspired by her to also write a post after reading hers.
By the way, Berna writes beautifully about her life, her day to day, her worries and her happy moments and more.
PS Sorry, you guys who read my blog more often – her blog is in Dutch, but you’ll get the idea!
PPS Sorry, Mieke and Berna, that I wrote in English – I had started uploading photos – when I found I was on the English blog.. and decided to go ahead anyway.
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