I thought that it might help kickstart me back into drawing (and then to painting) if I attended the free Hatton Gallery art classes for adults – and that it would be nice to draw in the company of others. This was the second session and was also one of The Big Draw events.
The tutor, Hazel, went through the basics of different ways of creating tone and texture using charcoal and pen on white paper, and charcoal and chalk on mid-toned paper (brown, in this case). We did exercises to try these for ourselves. Then we had the choice of drawing objects or from the paintings in the exhibition around us using the techniques we had just tried.
I found it difficult to choose an object. There were a lot of shells and some exotic objects, although many of the objects had been chosen by other people by the time I went to choose one to draw. I looked briefly at a puppet that looked Asian in style. If I had been drawing or painting in colour, I would have chosen that because of its red outfit and interesting face. I considered a wooden figurine that was possibly African in origin, but the subdued lighting in the gallery and the darkness of the wood would have made it quite difficult to draw in the time available.
I chose a terracotta object which looked South or Central American in style. It had a split skull, a split face, and a man’s head looking out from behind them. Since the skull linked in with the dog skull drawings I had done at home, it seemed the right object to try drawing. Hazel told me later that it was Aztec in style, so I had guessed the right area of the world for its style. I needed another 10 minutes than we had to capture it properly. I didn’t finish the shading of the outer frame elements, and would have liked to get a little more contrast between the white skull and inner head.
When I came out of the gallery, the eye model and the transparent figures showing their opaquely coloured organs, in the little window displays outside, seemed to connect visually with what I had been drawing.
This graffiti was chalked on a wall near the entrance to the Fine Art building. When I draw, it can feel like time is passing in a haze.
These leaves that I spotted on the ground in front of the building are a hint of the next session, in November: drawing landscape. We have to take with us a photo, preferably one that we have taken ourselves, or a postcard of a landscape. That will be an interesting challenge. I haven’t drawn or painted landscapes for several years, and it might encourage me to try beforehand.