I went to a drawing workshop today run by a commercial illustrator within a museum. His professional work tends to be incredibly detailed, photographic quality painting. We had a selection of objects from the museum to draw – skulls, drawstring bags, pots, candlesticks etc. He started by suggesting we do a drawing using only lines. He forced us to look properly and get the proportions and angles right which was good discipline for me. We then moved onto another object and started to add tone as well. This soon became boring for me, as it required a lot of shading – putting down one layer and then building up the tones. I just do not have the patience to enjoy this. He came round and started to add darker shades to my drawing to show me how this helped define the shape of the object. However, I abandoned it without finishing it in favour of moving on to another exercise (the only one of the group to do so). This was to use colour paper and colour pencils, thus removing the need to shade the whole thing. You just add highlights and low lights. Much more my thing. I think what this has taught me is:
a) I’m not going to be an illustrator as detail bores me and makes me fidgety;
b) I probably enjoy painting because I can slap colour on quickly – none of this rub-rub-rub with the pencil;
c) I never finish anything. What’s ‘finished’ anyway?
I guess it’s all trial and error to find the type of art techniques and materials that fit my personality.