Posted tagged ‘School of Visual Arts’

Remote Drawing?

October 3, 2021

Hello World!

There are, of course, many awful things about the pandemic, but a positive aspect has been the increased facility to do things from home.  One of the most enjoyable for me has been zoom drawing classes.

I have no doubt that in person classes (especially for the young) are more effective. But I was rarely able to take in-person drawing classes pre-pandemic.

Most of these zoom classes have been with Peter Hristoff, a wonderful artist in his own right, and also a terrific teacher with School of Visual Arts. Peter is super inspiring and also very kind, and yes, he is a better teacher in person. But he manages to convey encouragement and insight even through a screen.

Right now I am taking The Vigorous Figure, which, like many of Peter’s classes, focuses on drawing very quickly (one or two minute sketches) with an eye to overcoming the stiffness and self-consciousness that may arise with fewer time constraints.

This is a very effective teaching technique for me, as it forces me to focus on line, and to get over my natural bend towards apology.  

My natural drawing method (pre-classes) is to make a lot of tentative little scratches that eventually combine into an image. These breathy little lines always seem as if they are asking permission to make whatever shapes they try for.

However, when I know I have to get an image on the page in a matter of seconds, I try (after getting frustrated) to commit to more continuous lines. In part, this is because following a line is faster. And following a line leads me to draw what I see rather than what I think I am supposed to be drawing. As result, I find both more energy and (importantly) more surprise. Commitment also carries weight, again helpful.

I am not very good at any of it, but here are two sketches,(the one above and below) from my last drawing session.  Believe me I did several that looked arguably more like the figure I was drawing, with more defined limbs, etc. But the one above (the figure) was done almost at the end of the session when I was kind of tired and trying for gesture alone (forget about musculature!) The one below is a face that I just like. (Of course, the model, who was great, has a very nice face.)

I would note that these types of exercises can be helpful in getting one’s self writing also.


PS – please don’t take my drawing as emblematic of the type of work Peter Hristoff does, promotes or his students do!  I am my quirky self and not representative of the talent there.