Sunday, 2 March 2008


We had a bright sunny day - if very windy - and the venue at the Salvation Army Hall in the village was cosy and warm, bright and roomy. My intro was a lot of chat and samples about
drawing techniques on how to observe and transfer what one sees to the paper and the need to create form on a flat surface. The artists participating were either fairly new or needing reminders from courses or studies a long time ago. I set up a mixed geometric subject in the middle of a large 12 ft square table (made up from a number of smaller tables) so everyone had a different viewpoint and plenty of space. To start they chose the more appropriate portrait or landscape format and marked the page with an arrow to show where the main light source was coming from. I reminded them of the thumb and pencil measurement technique to help place each object in relation to each other as well as get the proportions correct. I suggested they double the measurements to create a larger drawing to cover the page. Negative space and shape were discussed and the need to choose one object and work out from that. As they worked I could see the need to interrupt the class to point out specific teachings.

They all amazed me as I moved round and gave assistance as by lunch time they had sketched three different sets of geometric shapes and the last one we had moved into cross hatching with graphite pencil to create tone.

Then after a well deserved lunch break (I popped across the road to Londis for a heated chicken and veg bake - delicious) I set up a subject of a pair of pinky/lavender coloured shoes (I wore to my son's wedding - shoes are my downfall - I have wardrobe floors full of boxes) and placed them on a dark box to create strong tonal contrasts and then they had to find subtle changes in the folds of the fabric and inside the foot of the shoes. This time we used watercolour washes of blue varying the tone by the amount of water and adding brown to create the darkest wash.

I hope this long description of our day might help one or two of you fairly new to drawing skills and I will post what happens at our next planned workshop in April, as I am only running them once a month on the first Saturday. I think this one must have gone well as all who attended have booked in for the next!


Anita Davies said...

So pleased to hear it went well for you Joan!

"JeanneG" said...

I'm glad your day went well. I took my first workshop on Sat. In watercolor. The technique was a little too abstract-like for my taste, but I did have fun

Robert A Vollrath said...

What a wonderful little story and the photo of the shoes made me smile.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Thanks folks for commenting on my first monthly workshop here in Coltishall. Glad you had time to wade through all my text. Yes, Jeanne we seemed to have lots of fun too with many a laugh and new friendships being formed.