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  • Writer's pictureHilda Van Netten

Beginners' Drawing Workshop

Yesterday's Beginners' Drawing Workshop had been cancelled once or twice because of Covid concerns. And, because I had a waiting list of people wanting this workshop and summer is coming, I thought I'd go ahead and jump back in to teaching drawing.

After spending an hour doing some "right brain" drawing exercises, the challenge was to use what they'd learned and then draw their own footwear. Phrases like draw the easiest line first and compare, compare, compare and draw what you see, not what you know to be there were repeated more than once.

Some commented, "Why did I wear these shoes?" But, all of our six artists did a fine job of rendering an image of their footwear.

This image was taken before the drawing was complete, but you can see how the artist paid attention to the darkness of the shadows and the direction of the lines on the shoelaces.

One challenge most new artists face is knowing how dark to make things. Most times their shadows and dark areas are not dark enough. The GRAY SCALE AND VALUE FINDER is a handy tool to gauge how dark to make your sketches. Do you think she will figure it out?

Just because a shoe is a simple one, doesn't make it easy to draw. Often simple things are very difficult to draw accurately. You can hide a lot of errors in a complicated sketch.

Another example of how dark shadows need to be to create depth.

She's getting there! Note: the tortillon (smudger/stomp) in her hand. Best bang for your buck in art supplies. The Painted Tree in Cobourg carries these plus all of the other sketchbooks and pencils the artists used.

It took a while for this artist to figure out where the laces went, but when she internalized where they needed to go, she just flew and was done in no time. Now she will have that skill for life.

And, there we have it folks! A well done - dark enough - shoe. Nice. And, bonus: good shadows.

All of the above took place before lunch. Can you see how tired these artists were from all of the new learning? (upside-down drawing exercise)

After lunch, there were dozens of quality photographs to sort through and find a reference that resonated with each artist. Not until you draw something do you realize exactly what it looks like. Look at those antennae!!!

The background on this sketch was darkened and smoothed out to really show off the owl after this picture was taken.

Different artists, different interests. Fine job of making wood look like wood.

And, it's not always what you sketch, sometimes it is what you leave blank that makes or breaks a picture. Notice those reflections in the eyes: the artist nailed it.

The kitty looks a little sad to me.

Sorry I don't have the finished image of these thumb tacks. Again, sometimes simple shapes are harder to draw than complicated ones. Good job!

And, here we have that insect again.

All of that work done between 10 and 4 with an hour off for lunch.

I was very pleased with how well these artists did. One of them said that she had not drawn since high school.

Who knows where they will go from here?

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