Back to the Basics: Drawing

So far my experience with Skillshare has been a blast! I’ve been learning all kinds of new watercolor techniques, even learned about the awesome that is liquid watercolor, and gained a few muses and art friends.

But so far I’ve only been taking classes on painting. I attempted an illustration course, but got bored and went back to splashing around.

And then I found The Art & Science of Drawing by Brent Eviston. It’s an 8-week course with five classes per week, and it’s all about drawing.

But Lina, don’t you already know how to draw?

Well, sure, I can draw a decent tree, and if I really put my mind to it I can scribble out a cityscape, but I know I’ve definitely learned some bad habits in my self-taught journey. Brent Eviston is a master artist, and has been teaching for twenty or so years, so I definitely knew there was something I could learn from his course.

And boy have I been learning.

Being a Skillshare course, I was able to take the first two weeks in half a day. We started with the basic of basics: how to hold a pencil.  Then we practiced circles, ovals, and straight lines. We learned about expressive drawing. We moved on to volumetric shapes.

Week three was much more difficult for me than the first two weeks, and so I took my time over the course of a few days. And now I’m finally on week 4. We’re drawing organic shapes and learning about perspective. Soon we’ll learn about shading, measuring techniques, and color.

So, is it helping?

I knew that improving my drawing skill would definitely improve my painting skills. But I wasn’t able to put that to the test until yesterday, when we were meant to draw some form of produce. I went with a pear. I did my homework assignment, and then I got out the watercolor paper.

I could already see how my painting was improving by knowing the three-dimensional shapes of my pear, and the way it takes up space. I sketched with a green pencil to make it more fun. Then I splashed on the paint.

A week ago, my pears would have been two-dimensional and probably outlined in black pen. Yesterday, my pears appeared to pop off the page. They’re not the greatest in pear-painting, I’m sure, but I am definitely proud of them. And I definitely see the improvement.

I plan on going all the way to week 8 of this course, and then I hope to take Eviston’s newer course: Figure Drawing.

Perhaps my fading love of illustration will be rekindled with new possibilities.

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Hatching & Cross-Hatching

Every now and then I’ll practice something that may or may not make it into my future illustrations. Because I learn. Even if I never use it again, I learn.

I’ve practiced hatching & cross-hatching in the past, and it didn’t make it far into my artwork. However recently I picked up a few illustration books at the library and one of them discussed hatching and cross-hatching–as well as other shading methods–and I decided to play around with it again. This time I think it has stuck. My artwork is evolving again; I can see it! While I do like the “clean” look of my most recent work, I also like the weathered quality provided by the hatching. In fact, it seems to bring forward the part of me that loves all things eerie: foggy mornings, ghost stories, fall wind, dusty photographs.

And I think that, maybe, hatching will help grow yet another branch of style for me.

At the time, I seem to like the “quick sketch” look, as I usually do, but I want to work on cleaner lines with my hatching.

Maybe it’s because I’m an info junkie, but practicing the basics is super fun for me. And because I returned to these “basics,” I’ve already sketched out four new pieces!

Is hatching here to stay? Only time will tell.