Sunday, August 7, 2016

Stepping Stone #1; "Morgana", a Morgan Horse Drawing

"Morgana", graphite pencil drawing, Morgan mare

After several more hours and many revisions to the drawing, "Morgana", I am declaring it finished. It is the first piece of art (other than sketches) that I've completed in over two years, so its significance can't be under estimated. 

"Morgana" will be my first finished piece of art in the Stepping Stone series; a series of paintings and drawings that will help me to become actively creative again after a creative block of several years. Not only was it a confidence boosting drawing but also a learning experience. Here is some of what I learned:

1. Choose the paper support wisely before beginning to draw. I fought this utilitarian drawing paper from the beginning. It has very little "tooth"to grab onto the graphite and proved very difficult to get the darks as dark as I wanted them. 

2. Measure twice; draw once. I began the drawing sitting on the couch watching TV, holding the sketchbook on my lap while holding the reference photo in my left hand. I eye balled the proportions and angles rather than measuring them, and they were off in several places. I didn't discover this until the drawing was finished. 

3. Don't proceed with the drawing/painting until you're sure that the initial outline drawing is absolutely accurate. After that, corrections are very difficult if not impossible. 

4. Size matters. If this is to be something more than a quick sketch, draw it larger or enlarge the outline drawing on a copy machine or computer.

5. If your reference is a small 4x6 inch photo, scan it at a high resolution and enlarge it on the computer. Either work from a computer screen or print out the enlarged photo.

reference photo for the drawing, "Morgana"
This latter point was the most telling lesson of all. I didn't scan the photo until the drawing was done and did so only to show you what the reference was like. When I opened the image on the computer screen and saw it enlarged by zooming in, I could see far more detail than I had been able to see in that small 4x6 inch photo print. It was a real Ahah! moment to realize how much detail I had missed putting into the drawing. 

But, that's okay. Lessons learned, and that is the whole purpose of the Stepping Stone series; to build confidence and build skills through DOING. At the same time, I'm scraping off some of the rust of the inactive years and awakening again skills and lessons learned in the past. 

What will I tackle for Stepping Stone #2? Check back to find out. 

Thank you, as always, for your interest and support.