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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.

16 comments:

Jon said...

Drawing is a wonderful endeavor and - much like writing - it's very therapeutic. I took a few art classes in college. Painting in oils always seemed too messy for me. I preferred pen & inks and pastels.

Sharon Bradshaw said...

You've found a great hobby, Richard. My parents started painting in retirement, water colours and oil. They took classes too when they went on holiday, and I know they loved every minute of it. I guess it's a bit like writing, once you start there's no going back! Have fun.

Donna Hole said...

"As an artist, you must be able to take criticism. It's a great way to learn."

I don't think it matters what art your are trying to perfect, or if it is something you want to do for a living/recognition, or if you just enjoy creating something; I think we all want the same thing. To have our vision recognized. Everyone has different levels of skill at any given creative outlet.

Life just happens sometimes. You're good enough for family and friends, or good enough as a hobbyist, but what really matters is the opinion of the artist. Gotta love what ya do, right?

Richard Hughes said...

Jon, I haven't tried oils or acrylics. It would be too daunting for me right now. Just learning to draw is a big enough endeavor. And, pastels suit me fine at the moment.

Richard Hughes said...

Sharon, good for your parents. They probably did some memorable work.

Richard Hughes said...

Donna, yes, loving what you do makes all the difference in the world.

Julie Luek said...

I admire your artistic pursuits. I grew up in a household of artists and, sadly, am a genetic mishap in this regard. However, I do find artistic outlet in both writing and music, the latter of which needs and deserves more attention than I give it.

Richard Hughes said...

Julie, it makes me wonder what instrument(s) you play.

Helene Titsch said...

I am intrigued! Aside from a high school freshman art class, I've never taken any type of art class. I suspect something like this would in some way help with my photography. Hmmmmm, I am intrigued! Thank you!

Elise Fallson said...

You remind me of my father in a lot of ways. He is an artist and only discovered his love for painting (oil on canvas) about 20 years ago. I love his paintings, he has a lot of talent for still life and landscapes. It’s thanks to him that I have an appreciation for the arts (unfortunately, I am a terrible artist myself *sigh*) Needless to say he can spend hours painting and is still learning different techniques and making adjustments to his style as he continues his journey with paints. I truly believe it’s painting that has kept him active and in good mental shape all these years. He's 83.

Richard Hughes said...

Helene, if nothing else it'll help you with composition. I've been a photographer for years, and both painter and photographer think a lot alike. With photo imaging programs for computers, photographers can be very creative with their photos, too, thinking much like an artist.

Richard Hughes said...

Elise, I'm 66 (67?). Hope I'm still going strong in my eighties.

Tanya Reimer said...

good for you! Taking the criticism and using it to better your work is a sign that you are ready to be a professional.
Gonna share some of your masterpieces?

Richard Hughes said...

Hi, Tanya,
Yeah, I'm thinking about posting a few of my drawings/paintings. See what people think. But, not sure when.

Julia Hones said...

It's good to know you've found a great outlet for your creative outburst. Will you share some of those pastels on your blog?

Richard Hughes said...

Hi, Julia,
I'm planning on it pretty soon.