Today I thought I’d share something with you that I alluded to at the end of this post. I’ve cracked open my sketchbook and pencils for the first time since I was 17. (Yes, 20 years ago friends! Where has that time gone for goodness sakes?!) I haven’t done any “proper” drawing since I dropped out of my A levels all those years ago. Art & Design, Textiles, Communication Studies and Business Studies. The aim, after I had finished my A levels, was to go on and study for a BaHons in Fashion & Textiles with a view to teaching, or working within the industry. Well, it never happened. Life took it’s twists and turns and it became more about paying rent and bills than pursuing passions and dreams.
Fast forward 20 years and I find myself contemplating going back to work having spent the last 3 years being a full time Mum. This time, I’ve decided that when I go back to work, it will be in a field that I am passionate about. So a few months back after talking it over with my other half (and him telling me I had to “go for it” or I’d regret it forever) I arrived at a decision. I’ve decided to apply for that BaHons in Fashion & Textiles as a mature student. I know that it’s the right decision because the mere thought of it gives me butterflies.
There’s just the small matter of having to submit a portfolio of work as part of my application. (Er, what portfolio?!) What’s more, a portfolio weighted down with plenty of evidence of drawing skills in a variety of media. (Erm, drawing, it’s been a while!) To add to the challenge, I don’t have the required amount of UCAS points (dropped out of A levels, remember?) so MY portfolio will have to be particularly strong to convince them that UCAS points aren’t the be all and end all. Oh, and I aim to do all this by the end of the year at the latest in order to get my application in early girly for next years intake. Talk about giving myself a mountain to climb right?
Well, every climb to the top of a mountain starts with the first few steps, and I’ve started. Now drawing doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not one of those people who can chuck a few lines down on paper and make it look like something fabulous. I draw, rub out, draw again, rub out, draw again and so on. I’ts a tiny amount of ability and a whole lot of stubborn perseverance. I’m sharing these pictures so that I can hopefully look back in a few months and be satisfied that I’ve progressed! Opportunities for me to draw from life are limited, and in any case I’m too slow as yet, to get a satisfactory rendering of the subject down on paper in the window of time a class would offer. I thought I’d practice “getting my eye back in” first by sketching from photos and the like. (Hopefully speeding up in the process!) They’re not gonna move and I can put them down and come back to them a couple of hours later and they’ll still be there! The one on the right is ok (ish) except for the eyes, and since they are the “windows to the soul” they’re pretty crucial to get right! No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the highlights in the right place to stop her from looking a wee bit boss eyed, lol! I’m not even attempting to get a “good likeness” at this stage. Rather using these sketches as practice at getting everything in proportion and in the right place. (plus I was working from a teeny tiny magazine cutting!). Not the worst start but definately room to grow.
This next picture is an improvement in my view. Though still not an accurate likeness of the source image, as a stand alone drawing, I’m pretty pleased with it overall; and it will probably make it into my portfolio (albeit alongside the hopefully better stuff that I have yet to draw!)
One of my biggest weaknesses with figure drawing (pretty important for a fashion and textiles degree, no?) is getting everything in proportion. So I decided to practice getting body angles, perspective and proportions right by replicating the poses I found in fashion magazines….
You can just see the gridlines I use as a guide to get everything in the right place. Numbered 1-9 down the left hand side of my sketches….
A human figure is on average 8 times the head size high. In a fashion drawing this elongated to 9-10 heads high to achieve that unrealistically long limbed effect….
I hate drawing hands so I particularly liked this pose, lol 😉
So there we are. That’s the plan. Of course that means that the content of this blog will widen even further to encompass more art and design based stuff. But I fugured being the creative bunch that you are, you probably wouldn’t mind; and anyway, I’m hoping (pretty please!) for lots of advice, guidance and feedback from you guys along the way. If you don’t mind of course!