Sunday, November 18, 2012

Art: Learning to Draw All Over Again

Learning is all about making mistakes and not being discouraged by failures or disappointments.  Artists talk about "taking you out of your comfort zone" to learn more.  It is a glorified way of saying, try something new, but don't get discouraged if your results are not what you want. 
In life, we all deal with everyday struggles and the "pleasure principal" an archaic psychotherapy term talks about how humans unknowingly gravitate towards things that make them feel good and avoid things that make us feel bad.  I think many of us are "avoiders" at times, where we would prefer to avoid the difficulty that comes with the errors of learning something new.  (I know that that I could wear a badge that says this!)
Learning is time consuming, emotionally defeating and let's face it, who wants to fail when we know that there are things we are good at?  Even though, we logically know that in order to succeed at something, we have to study it and consume it.  When doing this, we make mistakes and hopefully, learn from them.  When we get over that mental hump, we realize that it truly does taking breaking a few eggs to make an omelette.  And more importantly, we learn that mistakes and fear of making mistakes is part of the learning process. After I put in the effort, (the time, errors and frustrations) and I get over that hump, I learn not only from the specifics of the subject I studied, but that learning is a process.  Learning isn't the ability to download information into my brain (I wish it were). It is complex and frustrating and in the best of times, glorious!
I love doing art and learning different mediums.  I took out my iPad and tried my hand at drawing on it. It was a different process.  Like drawing, it uses a stylus, which is a pen with a rubber tip that you draw on the screen.  You choose colors and brushes and it is similar to drawing with markers, but on your computer screen.  There is a learning process. And it is discouraging at times.
I started some drawings months ago, but was discouraged by the results.  I took it up again and decided I would play and learn some of the properties of this medium.
It was difficult for me. I was frustrated and discouraged. I felt like the colors were wrong, the shapes were off and my results were primitive.  But, I continued.  In two nights time, I feel like I am making progress.  I am learning.  I am learning.
Each sketch was mind opening. I learned that the colors I used were flat.  I need to blend more, create texture and highlights.
 Some sketches were totally childlike.  That's OK, but not what I was going for.  So, how do I change that?
 I started to choose different brush shapes, colors that were subtle, shapes that were easy.
 I added highlights, but I still need shadows and even more texture,
 The lilies are a little more what I wanted. Parts of it are coming together, but I still need shadows
 Still need shadows!! I got involved with the shading of the petals and leaves and didn't do the background.
 Here, I worked on the texture of the center of the sunflower and the background, but didn't do enough work on the petals.
I worked on the petals and the leaves but chose the wrong color for the highlights on the petals.  So, working on the iPad is a process and examining the work after is part of learning as well.

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