Part one: Sketchbook work



I wonder why I have forced myself so far outside my comfort zone. I have tried some of the early exercises. The drawings of objects, the use of shade and hatching to create the impression of a 3D object. Oh despair!

I am struggling with basics like what paper to use. What is paper with tooth? Watercolour paper is very difficult to use with charcoal as it creates lines and such a dotty result.

I do not have patience for this. The instructions ask for “quick sketches” but nothing I do is quick. Clumsy yes, but not quick.

Wherever I look at the work of others, I cannot relate to it. It is too precise, to loose, too abstract, too contrived. Is this simply defensive on my part? Possibly.

I do not see how drawing a still life will help me to find some fluency. I am more comfortable drawing natural things, like twisted branches, or even flowers. They are more forgiving, and do not demand as much accuracy and precision.

The books Margaret Davidson (2011). Contemporary Drawing. Key Concepts and Techniques. New York, Watson-Guptill Publications. and Vitamin D. New Perspectives in Drawing published by Phaidon (2005) intimidate me. They offer little consolation to the uninitiated.

I have tried to draw 3D recangular shapes, but cannot get the perspective right. I have drawn over and over the images, but not really improved. I need a technique, but I am resisting the scientific approach as I do not want to be governed by rules and to churn out stuff that looks like technical drawings. My conical shapes are wonky and sit on uneven bases. I can’t match up the two sides of an object. What am I doing??