Wednesday, May 26, 2010

art and me

At school I considered myself hopeless at art. I saw art as something that either you could do or you couldn't do. My drawings didn't look like I wanted them to look so I concluded that I couldn't do art and so never really tried. Funnily, though, I never saw music like that. I thought music was something that you had to learn and practice and that if you put in the effort for long enough you'd become competent.

Sitting in on Joel's art classes for the last couple of years has made me change my thinking. Certainly, I have no particular talent for visual art, but if I learn some skills and practice a lot I can achieve some sort of competency.

I've always wished that I was arty because it would be a handy skill to have for kids' ministry. So now I'm trying. And I'm having fun. Every week or so I sit down and have a go at drawing something. Often the kids join me and we each work on a similar project. I try to model patience and not throw tantrums and rip up the page when I'm unhappy with my work (this is easier for me than for others in my family!)

I'd love any advice anyone has. Tell me what I should try.


  1. I work on drawing the base shapes first, then filling it out. So people are circles for hips and shoulders and head, small circles to show joints and then lines as the limbs between points, then working from that base.

    Then practice, practice, practice.

  2. I learnt to draw by copying pictures liked, over and over again. I did a lot of drawings of horses, and I painstakingly reproduced the covers of my LM Montgomery books. I had no interest in learning the proper way, horizon lines and sausage people etc. But now I find those things useful. It's like learning music by ear, by copying songs, and then learning what the printed music means.

    Anyway, I suggest starting with boring black pencils, doing black-and-white shading, cross-hatching etc. You get encouraging results. I've learnt a lot of different techniques, coloured pencil, oils, watercolour, at uni etc, but pencil drawing is the best foundation, I think!

  3. The success of this comic strip says that you don't need to get too anxious that your work is not of a high enough standard!

  4. You know I thought the same thing about writing - because I didn't get As in senior English, I concluded that I didn't have a talent for writing. Maybe I still don't, but I'm revising my definition.