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Sketchy Saturday No. 7

This past week I’ve been dealing with a cold, probably picked up at one of the many December events on my calendar – but since it seemed to be lessening by the time our last Draw & Sketch class rolled around I was able to attend (making sure not to breathe my germs on anyone or let them share my pencil and eraser!). So welcome to the final (for now!) Sketchy Saturday post.

Hope you enjoy!

Our group was small this week, down to just four of the original nine – and two of the members were guys who had previously taken the class and were back for practice and further instruction – so the session was pretty much a private lesson for me and my friend. Nice!

The topic of the evening was shadows. Our instructor started off by asking us to draw three shapes (circle, cone, and cylinder) with a light source and floor line, and then add shadows where we thought they’d be cast. Here’s my attempt at the exercise.

Draw & Sketch Class 7

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, in spite of our instructor saying that we were on the right track but needed to take things a step further, turns out I totally missed adding a shadow to the object itself. Oops!

We then went on to learn how shadows are cast depending on where the light source hits the object, and practiced with the three same shapes.

Draw & Sketch Class 7 Draw & Sketch Class 7

I must say, shading intrigues me – it’s such a satisfying process, and I definitely want to learn and practice more.

For the rest of the class we were each to choose a photo, sketch it out, and then work with adding shadows. I’m afraid I didn’t get very far with the exercise, as I spent far too long getting my drawing to a place where I was even somewhat happy with it (and really, never quite arrived there) and so ran out of time to spend on shadows.

Here’s the photo I picked:

Draw & Sketch Class 7

…and here’s my sorry attempt at a sketch of it.

Draw & Sketch Class 7

I discovered a couple of things about myself and my style through this final project – first, that I tend to be too focused on making things perfect and therefore am afraid to experiment and get messy, and also that I get hung up on obsessing over the fact that my drawing doesn’t look EXACTLY like the photo instead of just using the sketch as a starting point and going from there to practice technique.

It helped a lot that our instructor was working on the exercise at the same time (from a different photo) and showed us his progress at various stages along the way. His drawing started out as a very rough and rather messy sketch with lots of practice lines, but by the time class ended the messiness had been absorbed into the drawing to the point where you really didn’t notice them (and all without him even using an eraser). Lesson learned – now I just need to practice!

So that’s it for my Draw & Sketch classes! I am so very glad I took the course – I learned a ton in a very short time from our excellent instructor, and I feel as though he’s given me a great starting point to carry on with learning how to draw. (A new session with the same instructor is actually starting up in January, but I think I’m going to look into taking lessons in a new medium – perhaps watercolour?)

So, where will I go with my Sketchy Saturday posts now that the classes are over? Well, I’m not 100% sure, but I do have an idea. Nestled in amongst a lovely assortment of Christmas gifts for me from my co-workers were a couple of Amazon gift cards, part of which I used to pick up Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, along with its accompanying workbook.

From the book’s description:

Whether you are drawing as a professional artist, as an artist in training, or as a hobby, this book will give you greater confidence in your ability and deepen your artistic perception, as well as foster a new appreciation of the world around you.

Sounds pretty good to me! Obviously I’ll have to wait until the books arrive and I see how they’re laid out, but my thought at this point is that I’ll start to work through them in the new year and then share what I’m learning here on Alphabet Salad as I complete the various lessons.

And I hope you’ll follow along!

How have you been creative this week?
Please share!

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.