Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Life Gypsy Attempts Art (+Insights)

Countryside in oil pastel. My fifth attempt.:)

Art lessons. A tick mark on my bucket list, finally. A personal pursuit of the pleasure of creation. The process of rendering lines, shapes and color on a blank sheet to create a picture, and essentially, a story,  is just as delightful as seeing the finished product.  To add to the happiness, my Twinstah Winna is my art class buddy. We do like getting our hands dirty!

Techniques are not the only things I've picked up the past four (intermittent) Saturdays with the art teacher. There's much life wisdom to be gained too. Some adages from the maestro's mouth :

It is darkest where light and shadow converge.

That line between where light hits the object and where the shadow is cast is rendered in the darkest shade. There is no black and white. It's almost always many shades of gray.
Artists see things differently, they focus their eyes on things "normal" eyes  don't see.

When copying an object, artists are trained to see the whole and then break it down to shapes.
Life sometimes calls us to do the same - to look at people, things, and places with new eyes. There might be something there that wasn't there before.

Big shapes first. Details later.

In drawing a bouquet of flowers, one first encloses the whole figure in a "sac". Then you outline the big shapes contained in the sac, after which you fill in the details - which include shadows and light.
It is best to see the bigger picture first, before dwelling on the little things.

Do not be afraid to darken your strokes.

What I noticed about the way I handle my pencil or oil pastel is that I can be very hesitant and tend to hold back,and this tends to make my drawings look subdued. It's the bold and intese strokes that often define a life well-lived.

No need to copy the photograph exactly. Just evoke and convey the story.

In drawing with oil pastels, the finished product need not be a realistic interpretation of the subject. Take note of the movements, the shadows and the light. Tell the story. The thing I love about doing this is that two people can copy the same photograph,  but the output will never be exactly the same - compared to the photo and to each other's work. Individual nuances come into play and the finished product will always be uniquely yours.

Are you enjoying?

Sir Mar will always ask this while we're working on our drawings. Very much, we say. Life's too short not to do things that make you happy.

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