Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shake It Up!

Shake it up! Take a risk. Paint something different. Even though you may be a pretty good artist, why not try something new and keep your work fresh?

I decided to "shake it up" by taking a figure drawing class from Bryce Billings. There was nothing more humbling than discovering that I was rusty in the drawing department. I had forgotten what it was like to be a student again.

Oh, yeah! I have been drawing in my sketchbooks - but not the refined stuff. Just quick doodles and gesture drawings using a pencil. Seriously, I forgot how to draw and blend with charcoal. There's nothing like experiencing the bottom rung of the ladder again.  Ha-ha!

Bryce's classroom is conveniently located about 6 blocks from my art studio. It has a friendly atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Not only can Mr. Billings draw well, but he is a superb teacher. Below is a shot of some of his works. Check out his Website.

My classmates are diverse, hardworking and willing to take on the challenge of improving their work. One of the nice things about this class is that Bryce hires live models. It's easier to render a drawing that looks three-dimensional when there is a living person sitting in front of you.

When the students demonstrate proficiency at drawing, seeing shape and getting their values correct, they will begin to paint. I can hardly wait! Below, Bryce is showing Eileen some pointers about painting.

Here are some homework exercises from my sketchbook. Even though they are not perfect, they have already improved my art skills. 

Step out of your comfort zone (Sign up for something really scary - like figure drawing). Or if you're in my art class (you probably are if you're reading this), ask me about one of the optional student assignments or paint a subject that you've never tried before. 

What are you waiting for? Get going!

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