The one thing myself and all other photographers in my class found difficult about our course was the obligatory drawing class every Thursday. Despite majoring in our chosen art subjects, us less drawers were still expected to do ‘real art’ (don’t get me started) and go round museums drawing to build skills, when really we wanted to be sticking photos into books and developing film – jus’sayin. The thing with being forced to do something, it really makes you want to push against it, so what was once an enjoyable sketch became forced upon and something I gave up for the last three years.
After my illustration class, I decided I wanted to dip my toe back into the art pool again and improve my drawing (as future illustrations proved, I cannot draw people) and start from scratch with drawing skills. It was luckily enough around this time that Obby got in contact to see if I wanted to try one of their wide range of London offered workshops and attempt something new, and perfectly there were quite a few drawing classes available to really get me into practise again.
I opted for a Drawing Fundamentals Level 1 Class at the V&A with Sketchout, run by a lovely lady called Rosa who helped get us up to speed with various areas of drawing over 6 hours – yep, literally like being at college again, but much more enjoyable. We started off with an introduction covering our previous knowledge of drawing and what would be covered in the day, beginning with a two-hour focus drawing of one of the figures in the gallery. Dependant on us drawing a light or darker figure, we had to use our eye of shading, tone and eraser to create a 3D shape with texture and depth with only one tool. Personally I found it very relaxing to focus on one subject for so long and Rosa came by to help every so often if there was issues with perspective or angles, but it was even more fun to see people wandering around you to have a peek at what you were drawing (and the fact you were drawing, as many kids seem to ask their parents).
The afternoon was more about line and being loose with your drawing, more focused on shape without being regimented by structure. We did a few quick exercises including keeping your pencil on the paper without stopping and left-handed drawings, before cracking on with some detailed facial drawings using a softer graphite to blend and create shape without focusing on lines. I chose to draw Albert Einstein which in the beginning looked more like Kevin Spacey playing Albert Einstein, but a few highlight tricks later I made his hair look a lot more grey and moustache more bushy, a lot more Albert than Kevin 😉 And with that the day was done, I definitely felt I did a full days work and was ready to relax, but more confident in my drawing abilities.
The class overall was fantastic – I did have a little problem in the morning as the site hadn’t provided information about what to bring/where to meet, but luckily for future customers this has been sorted – and I felt I learnt a lot. Art is obviously interpretation, so even with your own style and other direction, you feel you’re being pushed in the best direction possible. I’d definitely give the more advanced classes a go in the future, and even more so check out other classes available through Obby – especially all the seasonal ones I’ve seen pop up!
After all that fuss years ago about drawing, I feel like I have something along with reading to practise and relax with when I feel bored or stuck on social media; with a brand new sketchbook in hand and an whole load of unused pencils from college lurking in my art drawer, I think I’ve found my new weekend wind-down…
Have you tried a drawing class before? Will you be checking out Sketchout and Obby for classes?
Lots of Love,
This experience was complimentary/not sponsored via Obby, however all views are my own!
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