The first two Life Writing lessons have focused on research skills, which we certainly need to know, but I hope we'll soon get back to writing exercises. I'm always fascinated by the diversity of stories generated by different individuals' interpretations of an assigned topic. If my life had been more interesting, perhaps I'd consider writing a book about it, in which case the research skills would come in handy. Unfortunately, my life is best described in a series of anecdotes that skip over all the boring parts.
I decided to take the Drawing 101 class to gain a better understanding of how to use light and shadow, perspective, and other techniques that will help with painting. I haven't painted a single time since the end of last year's classes, but I intend to take it up again soon. (I even ordered an easel yesterday, mostly to make my order large enough to get free shipping, but I do think an easel will help me keep my sleeves out of the paint.) Anyway, we've only had one drawing lesson, and I've already decided I like painting better, mostly because paint covers the surface a lot quicker than pencil marks do. I do have to give our instructor credit and say I'm impressed by how much she taught us in just one class. About half an hour into it, she handed out realistic plastic oranges and asked us to sketch them. Here's my rough attempt:
I realize this is too long for an orange, but that's what it is:
an orange with lights shining on it from several directions.
For the next half hour she talked to us about lights and shadows, how to give a drawn object dimension, and what kind of pencils and other tools to use for different drawing tasks. Then we tried drawing the oranges again:
Still not a great-looking orange, but
definitely better than the first try.
After further explanations and demonstrations, she assigned us homework: "Go home and get a fruit or a vegetable--something your brain is already familiar with--and draw it." Here's the vegetable drawing I did this morning:
I'm kind of pleased with this bell pepper. It's a long way,
from perfect, but I think it shows a lot of improvement,
especially after only two hours of classroom instruction.
Do you see why I like school? Learning something new is so much fun, no matter how old you are.