After years of telling myself that I needed to learn how to draw, I’m finally doing it. You’ve seen some of my sketches on my Tumblr (Annie’s Daily Drawings), but it’s hard to push myself to draw daily when I get home from work in the evening and just want to relax. That’s why I’ve signed up for an introductory drawing class. With an instructor pushing me to be my best and to practice every day, I am confident that I will finally be able to take the ideas that are floating in my head and put them down on paper.
After my first class this evening, I had one main takeaway: “We see what they expect to see.” For example, we see faces every single day, but if you were to close your eyes and imagine the face of someone you know, how detailed would that image be? I look at a chair and see it in perfect detail, but even after a second of looking away I can’t remember what its proportions were or what details are in the woodwork. This leads to the Blind Drawing exercise. Apparently, the sign of a truly good artist is whether they can draw their own hand. Hands are so specific, and our eyes are very good at knowing when something is not quite right. The exercise consists of looking at your non-dominant hand, and holding it in a place so that your sketchbook is out of sight of your peripheral vision. By looking at your hand and drawing its contours very slowly without looking at your paper or lifting up your pen, you begin to truly understand what your hand looks like and draw it as you see it, not as you expect to see it. These drawings start off very shaky and mangled, as it is very difficult to tell where your pen is or how far it has moved without looking, but there is often a small chunk that is 100% recognizable as your hand. The purpose of this exercise is to increase spatial awareness and to strengthen the link between your eyes and your hand, and to break the link to the left brain and its logical thinking. You are drawing exactly what you see, not what you think you see. Get the left hemisphere out of there!
I look forward to seeing my progress over the next seven weeks. I have a long way to go, but the skills will be invaluable to my career and my personal satisfaction.