Today we had the privilege of a lesson in sketching led by a professional artist and designer. Our guest teacher has had various commissions from costume design at the opera to illustrations on napkins.
The lesson was an introduction to drawing, to looking for how we can represent the form, texture, weight and drape of various fabrics, materials and garments. In Swedish, drawing materials and fabrics like this is “stoffteckning.”
Our first task was to sketch two manikins wearing rather contrasting items: the first a stiff dress that held its form once in position and the second, a long, heavy, wrap weighed down with softer edges. The idea here was to spot the contrasts and to place them side by side to make these contrasts even clearer.
My 1st quick sketch, limited to about 7 mins per mannikin:
Quick sketch 2: Classmates model soft wrap around head shawl v. angular, piled up high turban:
Quick sketch: Classmates model stiff wrap clasped by the hand v softer shawl wrapped and draped over the shoulders:
The tip I got from my teacher was to try to start with the overall shape first and to sit far back enough from the subject to get the bigger picture. It has been a very long time since I last tried my hand at any kind of drawing and in this lesson we didn’t have masses of time to refine the pictures, it was really sketching at speed.
I feel very encouraged by the kind words of our visiting artist who said (in English) that my drawings had a lot of character and captured a kind of story, especially when drawing people, in this case my classmates. She even said I would make a good illustrator for sagas. I have to be happy with that!
The suggestion we were left with is to try to sketch a little every day, just looking around to see what captures the imagination and where possible try to stick to drawing “live” rather than from pictures. In two weeks time we will have a follow up class moving onto brushwork in watercolour. I can’t wait!