|My restrained palette|
Last Saturday I returned to art school for the day. I went on a painting from life course being run at Candid Arts in Islington, north London. I've always felt a bit nervous about life drawing because I find it very hard work and expect my efforts to go wrong. This reluctance stems from my first efforts at life drawing when I was a 16 year old student and I have felt like a beginner ever since. I decided it was time to 'get over myself' and spend a day under tuition learning how to mix paint and apply it.
Our teacher got us to start our study with a simple charcoal sketch where we laid down the building blocks for our painting. Now, using charcoal is something else I have a hang-up about. It's always too dark, I get it in the wrong place and everything all ends up a big mess. However when our teacher pointed out to me that the I needed to hold the charcoal stick from the end and not grip it half way down, allow the movement to come from my shoulder and not my wrist I discovered I could draw with it perfectly well. Later on in the day I found it was also important to use this approach when applying the paint. From this point of view the day felt like a long martial arts lesson in relaxation.
|My tentative efforts at painting|
|During one of our regular breaks|
|I didn't throw it away!|