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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.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Alana
    December 19, 2015

    I didn’t think there are any shadows where I live right now. Or so I thought. I took a picture when I was out in a snow squall, posted it on my blog and then noticed a man standing in my picture – his shadow was clearly visible. I don’t pay that much attention to shadows now, but when I was young, they fascinated me – how they grew and shrunk as the sun’s angle changed. I think a class like the one you took would help me observe more – a skill I need to develop.
    Alana recently posted… Local Saturday – It Was Different, All RightMy Profile

  • Diane
    December 19, 2015

    I think you picture is amazing! Certainly better than anything I would draw. 🙂 Well done!
    Diane recently posted… PJ UpdateMy Profile

  • Vasantha Vivek December 20, 2015

    Marvelous sketches, Laurel … 🙂

  • Bernadette December 20, 2015

    If you are not to busy why don’t you consider posting your Sketchy Saturday on the Senior Salon link up on Wednesday. I think it would be a great asset and expand the artistic concept of the Salon.
    Bernadette recently posted… CELEBRATING MEMORIES OF CHRISTMASMy Profile

  • Inderpreet Kaur
    December 22, 2015

    Hi Laurel, I have been here after a while, even though I do follow your posts but it is always a pleasure to visit your blog. It is so well sorted, organised and I learn so much about drawing and creativity and lots more.
    Drawing has been my nemesis – I am an embroidery girl so I enjoy your immense talent.
    This was an interesting post, shadows are difficult to draw. Watercolors should be fun, my son loves it.
    Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
    Inderpreet Kaur recently posted… Author Answers Indranil BanerjieMy Profile


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