Yesterday I attended a live model session and brought my oil paints with me. Once again I felt pretty intimidated by the quality work that the professional artist around me were doing and vowed to work even harder at becoming a better artist. I want to stretch myself. As many new mothers have discovered once you are stretched you never quite go back to the same place. I know that what it will take to become a better artist is to become better in drawing. Not having taken any formal drawing classes before, I've signed up for a portrait drawing/painting class that begins tomorrow. The approach I took in the past to learn to draw was initially I would blow up photos and then trace over them. With each drawing, I would trace less and less lines telling myself that I was imprinting on my brain the experience of drawing well. I have reached the point where I don't trace anymore so something in this process must have worked.
Today to practice, I took one of the photos of yesterday's model, clipped it to my 18"x24" sketch book and have spent the morning sketching. I can see that I'm approaching the values (darks and lights) pretty timidly and need to build my confidence and just do it. Many artists won't try to paint portraits so I give myself a pat on the back for attempting this and fortunately my experience with Mike Malm last May has given me the confidence to do this. You, my friends and family, are welcome to journey along with me. You will get to see the good, the bad and the ugly and hopefully like in pregnancy, the journey and the resulting stretch marks will be worth it. This sketch isn't done but I thought I'd post it while I still had the nerve to share it with you.