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Friday, May 31, 2013

Painting is amazing.

As some know, I took two drawing courses this past school year at the U of North Florida. (We senior citizens don't have to pay tuition, just parking, supplies, and lab fees.) I completed Drawing I and Drawing II.

Now this is very basic drawing, drawing what you see, perspective, value, line. Almost all the work was done in graphite or charcoal. We also worked  a little with black and white conte.

My first course was a real eye opener about drawing. I didn't feel that I was very good. But I learned a lot. That course was pen and ink, then graphite, and some color pencil. I learned about such things as contour drawing and blind contour drawing and one-point and two-point perspective.

My second course concentrated on value using charcoal. I did not enjoy working in charcoal until near the end of the course, when it finally dawned on me the value of working in charcoal, learning to recognize value. Then I began to enjoy using charcoal. I've used it a little since the second course ended.

In both courses, we had to produce a portfolio at the end of the course. This was a valuable experience. Showing a range of work, and seeing how your work looks, and receiving criticism from your classmates and instructor, is critically important. It was not something I expected to have to do when I signed up for the first course. It was an exciting experience. As an artist, you must be able to take criticism. It's a great way to learn.

Some of the students were amazing artists, although every single picture by every single artist had something that could be improved. And we all knew it.

Here's the thing. I enjoy drawing much more than I thought I would. I can stand in front of my easel for hours. I've been working mostly in pastels. I'm particularly drawn to oil pastels at the moment. I'm working with still lives and abstracts. I have so much to learn. I've barely scratched the surface. I can't wait to take more courses.
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