It’s been a very productive week for me sketch-wise, which is brilliant because I’ve been struggling with my drawing for the past month or so. I was talking to a friend about it and he said that if it was that much of a chore then maybe it was time to give it up (this was after I mentioned last Sunday, when I found myself desperately trying to draw something quickly before I left for work). See, the problem is that I’d fallen into a vicious circle. I’m not a natural artist, not when it comes to drawing. It drives me mad when people say “Oh, I can’t draw, I wish I could” – well you could if you worked at it!
I have to work at it, and once I’m in the swing of it I enjoy it, but it’s when my pen or pencil has been idle for a while and I lack confidence that it becomes difficult and feels stilted. That’s when it feels like a chore, but it’s entirely self-inflicted.
Danny Gregory wrote, in his book Everyday Matters
I don’t draw every day. Sometimes months will go by, and I haven’t been able to stop and see and put it down on paper. I’m just too busy and distracted. When I pick up my pen again, my first drawings are horrible, cramped, tentative, blind. But after a few days of steady practice, I am right back where I left off and I progress from there.
What he wrote is SO true. Looking back at my sketches from the past six months you can see that a lot of them are very tentative, hesitant, and not great. And if you compare my current sketchbook with the one I used a few years ago, which I drew in almost religiously, the quality was definitely better in the past.
I bit the bullet this week and decided to break through that wall. I have a craft night every Wednesday and normally I knit or crochet, but this week I ignored my knitting and just took my sketchbook (the little one, not the big one) down to the studio together with a list of the EDM challenges. Here’s what I ended up with (the first sketch is actually from Tuesday evening, a bit of a random one!).
I don’t know about you, but when I look at those in sequence I can see my confidence coming back. I can certainly see that my grasp of perspective improved as the evening wore on (helped by not drinking as much rum as I usually do on craft night!).
So I’m all fired up with enthusiasm about drawing now, and hopefully I will keep up the good work. I’m sticking with the biro for this little sketchbook as it helps simplify things a bit (can’t add watercolour over the top as the ink isn’t fast), but I really must try and do some work in my other sketchbook too lest it feel neglected!
Thanks for stopping by, and please do visit Timballoo to see what Jenna’s got in her sketchbook this week.