Monday, March 14, 2016

On retreat 2

I wrote last week about my days at the retreat center, and how I started off frustrated.  Fortunately that changed.

The third day of the retreat, my drawing teacher (who is also a member of my fiber arts group) showed up and seemed amenable to being distracted from her own work.  I was able to get a lovely afternoon of one-on-one tutoring.  I spent that day working on still life drawing and finished two large pages in the sketchbook, which gave me a boost. The last day I worked on a much more elaborate still life and finished it just before we had to clean up and go home.

When you try to set up a drawing exercise in a strange place, you have to scrounge around for props and equipment that would be easy to find at home.  I rummaged through all the kitchen cabinets to find the right pottery (I wanted ones with no patterns to distract and complicate the drawing).  Then I had to find a pedestal to put them on.

I would wager this is one of the first times in history that these two useful tools have been made to work together.

I found a clean pillowcase in the linen closet to drape my pedestal, and set it up in front of a white flannel design wall.  And I used the wood rack where all the plastic rulers live to hold one ruler, tipped vertically, to help me gauge how the different parts of the still life composition related to one another.

I loved this apparatus, so much that I think I'll try to rig up a similar rack at home.  It was so helpful to be able to get a plumb line through the middle of the composition without the traditional hold-the-pencil-out-and-measure-with-your-thumb approach that I have not yet properly learned.

Here's what the still life looked like, posing for me:

And here's what the drawing looked like:

I've made such progress in the two months I've been working seriously at drawing and I was really proud of this piece.


  1. Wow! That's really nice, Kathy. Love the set-up with the ruler, too. You are on a roll!

  2. Lovely, solid believable objects ... never at all easy with all those ellipses and handles. I tend to avoid this sort of accurate drawing as I know how long it takes and find it hard to justify the time spent - a really silly thought in retirement - but I know it would be good for me and for those all-important looking skills!

  3. What a lovely drawing. Congratulations!

  4. Bravo!!! It seems you just needed a straight line to get you going!

  5. You did a great job on the drawing. Great idea to use a ruler to help show the measurements!

  6. Hey! Great job! Pottery is more challenging to draw than it seems like it should be. It's almost TOO even, and when looking at the real object your eye/mind reinterprets odd curves or perspective, that when you're drawing them, they seem to just stand out. Just think how amazed you'll be in another 6 months. :)

  7. You may be inspiring me to get serious about learning to draw. Never wanted to slow down enough to learn before, but I guess it's never too late!

  8. Wow!Nice work. You are right to be proud.

  9. Replies
    1. thanks, Vivien, but not anywhere near as great as the one your daughter did that you posted a couple of weeks ago!