Drawing is a workshop intended to improve not only ability, but also helps in expanding knowledge of art,it also proved to be a very stimulating exercise for the students. for this Workshop the students were asked to use our drawing skills, such as they are, to create a portrait of a fellow student, but without looking at the paper on which we were drawing!
Our class was split into two groups one group would be the artist’s the other the sitter’s for the first group.The student ‘artist’ was allowed just 5 minutes in which to create a portrait, before moving on the next ‘model’, until the whole group of models had been immortalised for ever in a 5 minute drawing.Once this was completed, the groups changed roles,and repeated the exercise. Now, having a mere 5 minutes to draw a portrait is nerve racking enough, but not being allowed to look at the paper one is using, sounds like directions to a nervous breakdown.
Nikola’s work it’s my favorite!
The sheet of paper seemed, crazily enough,a foreign space, a far away land even, deprived of looking at the paper, the ‘artist’s’ perception of scale, shade, etc .. are thrown away, the mind’s ‘eye’ focuses on the models general face shape and distinctive contours or features, but the eyes blinded to what the hand is doing proved disconcerting, those first 5 minutes seemed to stretch and stretch.
Only when both groups had completed both roles, as artist and model, were the results of our efforts allowed to be viewed.
Obviously, the first reaction was hilarity, our efforts, if employing the kindest critique, could only be described as subjective, needless to report, not a nose, a crooked eye-brow or hairy mole bore any resemblance to the model. The whole exercise took, I suppose, approximately one hour, and in that hour,the experience of not being able to see what I my hands were creating, was both strange and challenging, but not a little disconcerting. No great works of art were produced, surprisingly, but it was interesting just to let my imagination take control of my hands.
The next part of the Workshop we were all seated around a table, with a sheet of cardboard, divided into four equal parts, set before each student face.The aim of this second exercise was of the artist to capture each and every feature, and characteristics of the chosen model’s face, there was a 10 minute time limit.
Compared to the first exercise, this second task would sound a lot more simpler, double the time, and not forgetting being able to look at what you are doing, but for some reason I found the second exercise a touch frantic, developing technique on the hoof, so to speak, is not something I usually do, in any subject and the 10 minute’s seemed to be gone in an instant.
Overall, I enjoyed this workshop, it made me approach something from a position whereby my normal sensory perceptions are abandoned. Interesting, and enjoyable, but also infantile in some ways. I am not a proficient artist with pencil or brush, but in no way did this workshop feel bad about that, in some way or other, it had the reverse effect.