I’m sorry that there has been such a gap in posting recently. I am doing some hand stitching on my Laura Ashley project and it takes a long time with not that much to show for it. But, I will get back to writing about sewing as soon as I have something useful to post.
This weekend, however, was a drawing weekend in the Cotswolds which was a birthday present from my lovely friend Mike. We went with his sister, Sarah. It would have been the perfect spot for a drawing weekend were it not for the fact that it never stopped raining – cats and dogs, heavens hard, stair-rods, the works. So we might have been out drawing trees and spring flowers but we weren’t. We stayed inside and did a lot of drawing stuff.
It was an interesting weekend for two reasons. The first was that over half the people on it genuinely had never picked up a pencil in their lives and it was fascinating to see how pleased they were with their representations of just about anything. This bears out my pet theory that people would be a lot happier if they reconnected with their hands in making things. The second reason it was interesting was that the tutor was a commercial artist rather than a fine artist, and he was really interested in drawing things that would work – steam engines, buildings that would stand up, cars, and wheels. He was not entirely delighted with my choice of subject, Connie the pink chihuahua. I went into Paperchase to buy the correct size drawing pad for the weekend, knowing that I had been invited to take something to draw but hadn’t, and so when I saw Connie in the sale bin for £3.50 it was love at first sight. Connie is short for Consuela, btw.
Anyway, I had a lovely time and drew her over and over again:
This is my first go and clearly Connie has the front end of a chihuahua and the back end of a dachshund, but I persevered. Subsequent attempts were rather better:
Which is Connie looking winsomely over her shoulder, and then we have the most popular rendering of Connie among the party:
And then my favourite:
Connie says ‘Adios amigos’. Probably the best of the lot, though was this one which Sarah did during a lull in proceedings:
I really enjoyed the weekend and I learned a lot and my technical ability for things like buildings and faces has really improved. I feel much more confident about sketching now and I want to try and keep it up. But I was really in the zone on Saturday, the drawing, which I don’t normally like much, came really easily and even bits of machinery matched up when I drew them. So, it might well be the case that drawing is to some extent a matter of practice, and I am not sure that I have time to keep that up. I didn’t get on brilliantly well with the tutor who didn’t like people going off piste and seemed a bit thrown by a pink soft toy. He really didn’t like people using colour and told Mike off for it, and that was a strain for someone who loves hot pink like I do. But the discipline of doing it his way probably was really good for me and will come in useful next time I try to draw in a museum.
So, my takeaways were: practice really does make perfect with drawing (I loved having a whole day on Saturday where all I did was draw), the technical stuff is boring but it works, you should draw what you love most of the time, but occasionally you should draw something you hate (my locomotive, for example) because it makes you concentrate, and confidence is everything and that is exactly what most people lack in their drawing.
In short, a brilliant weekend with Mike and Sarah and a great experience even in pouring rain!