Week 11 – Activity – Student’s Choice! (Drawing w/ pencils)

disclaimer: I used to sketch a bit as a hobby, though we’re talking more than 15 years ago (I’m 28) and my version of “sketching” at that time was probably much closer to “tracing”, so I feel that attempting to sketch an original piece using the materials available to me at my house was more than challenging and stimulating enough.

My first attempt: So I decided to draw a wave/beach scene on my first attempt at this activity. Having practically grown up at the beach I’ve always felt a connection to the ocean and waves and I felt like it was something that I could easily visualize and transfer to paper. As you may be able to see, there are several pages ripped out of this generic sketch-book, a telling sign of my initial struggle to start my drawing off correctly. Though I am actually pleasantly surprised by the outcome and final result, I can’t help but be critical of the too cartoonish/almost fake-perfect quality of the wave and surrouding water. I realized very quickly that shading and depth were not my area of expertise. I decided to try a follow-up drawing only this time I would choose to draw an object in front of me, so I at least had some reference to follow.

My second attempt: I chose this mural-type piece that is hanging on the wall above our computer desk at home. If I remeber correctly, the piece was done by my mom’s former boss, who was an amateur artist on the side. It’s a roughly 4 foot by 2 foot wood block and the material appears to be strictly pen/ink. At first I was going to attempt to just draw the lifeguard tower and sunset but eventually decided to try and fit the whole scope of the piece into the signifantly smaller sketchbook (roughly 8.5/11in), with mixed results.

original wooden piece

original wooden piece

my recreation of it

my recreation of it

side by side for scale/comparison

side by side for scale/comparison

I was MUCH happier with my second drawing, though I encountered the same issues as the first, namely with respect to shading and depth. I found the drawing of the pier and pylons to be extremely tedious, though given the “sketch-y”/imperfect nature of the original piece, I wasn’t too concerned with perfect lines or composition. I had a heck of a time trying to make the water look like anything at all resembling water, though I think any beginnner would run into this problem. Also, the pen used in the original made much of the piece POP, whereas using pencil made it harder to avoid a monotonous look to my drawing, at least in my experience.  Overall, I really enjoyed the feeling of creating something, even if one of the pieces was more of a re-creation. I definitley could see myself getting back into sketching/drawing, though I basically felt like I was a newbie at it, not even remembering basic shading and such that we all learned in highschool (which is somewhat understandable considering I took that close over 10 years ago).


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