Contouring and Proportions


Our second class began right where the first left off - with some straight-line contour drawing exercises. Again, the objects placed in front of us appeared relatively simple. This time we started off drawing some conchs. 

As we worked on our warm-up exercises, our instructor walked around the room offering encouragement, random stories, and constructive suggestions. During one of his tangents, he compared this drawing technique with a book he had recently read on emergent theory. Confused by the comparison, I googled the term after class:

"Emergent theory (ET) is an outcome of organization research in which theory is allowed to come to light through a systematic data collection and analysis process called grounded theory, a research approach committed to discovery, direct contact with the social phenomenon of interest, and a rejection of explicit a priori theorizing."

Through the systematic collection of straight lines, we discover the object in our drawing.  

After thirty minutes of collecting straight lines and much erasing

After warming up, our instructor "drew" us in (haha get it?) for his next lesson: drawing proportions. He made it look like simple work as he sketched out a drawing of a tea kettle true to all proportions in a few minutes, fielding questions as he went. The combination of his long beard and paint-splattered jeans made him look like some sort of modern-day Michelangelo. 

I knew I would have a hard time with this next exercise as soon as I started. I mimicked the way our teacher had held his ruler out, closing one eye for perspective. I estimated the height and width of different segments of my chosen object - a simple white bottle- turning my ruler from side to side. 


Still, whenever I attempted to capture these proportions in my drawing, I failed. The instructor, as he made rounds around our easels, stopped by my side, looked at my drawing, and asked me "What area are you concerned with?" Pinpointing where exactly my drawing was going wrong on my own allowed me to focus more on the problem area. I erased some lines near the curves and tried again. An hour later I had a decent looking drawing.



Much like after my first class, I was mentally drained-- but this time I wanted to keep going. I was reluctant to leave class with my drawing unfinished. Unfortunately, that's all for Day 2 of Beginner Drawing!

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