Sketching week 5: it’s the pit… YEEPPEEH! (really!)

Have you ever had that sensation that you can’t draw anymore, that all your efforts make you draw worse than before, that you are shmidt (politically correct word, borrowed from an episode of Boston legal: Schmidt Happens) that your art is schmidt and the bully at school who told you “your drawing sucks”, thus making you stop drawing for several years, was in fact right?

Well this is important: this happens regularly to each and every artist before a major breakthrough. I’ve experienced it several times, now I know what it means, but I still hate it.

The tragedy is that a lot of people actually stop when in that phase, because nobody is there to tell them it’s a very good sign!

If you feel like that – my compassion, ‘cause it’s an horrible sensation – don’t give up!!!!! Your brain is trying to catch up with all you’ve learned, it’s about to catch up, you are about to climb higher on your podium: don’t give up, be happy, rejoice (as Glenn says) ‘cause if you feel lost and useless, then it means your hard work is about to bear it’s fruits.

I truly wish someone put sign on all art forums and groups to say this, for many artist stop when they should certainly not!

If you wonder “I can’t draw any more what should I do?”, the answer is: if you have lived through this crisis several times already you just go on drawing: judging your art is something only your teacher can do, certainly not you. If you are new to this crisis, you should go on drawing, or if it’s too painful, go jogging, or, if you want to do something useful for you art, sculpt whether in zbrush or with a bit of clay and a basic armature, you’ll approach forms from another point of view, and your art will benefit from it (a change is as good as a rest they say :-D)

In any case, for the umpteenth time, I hate everything, I hate my drawings this week, I hate myself and…. ok the usual, now back to business. Well, that’s the way I deal with it.

In anatomy class, I drew like schmidt this week (sincere apologies to any one called Schmidt, but I guess you are, sadly, used to such idiots as me misusing your name, apologies anyway).

In sketching, THIS class, the one I’m covering here, I have drawn this week with the same “yuk” feeling as I did in Anatomy, but I have a little extra horror added: this week it’s “pencil technic”.

Now, I hate pencils, I started very young to have a bad relationship with pencils “2B is the same as H – with H, just press harder” said one of my early “art” teacher, when I was about 7. Add to that the fact that my parents seemed to have been brought up in the same idea and always refused to buy me a 2H to 6B box of pencils, buying me a H pencil instead and nothing more, and you get why I suffer from compulsive pencil drawing avoidance! I avoid drawing with a pencil by using any trick I can think of….. but no escaping it this week.

Of course, being the smart-ass I am, I *did* find a trick, and of course Glenn saw right trough it in a second – I’m really as stupid as Homer Simpson and Cookie Monster playing three dimensional chess with Mr Spock!

I used a polychromos “pencil” – ahah, I used a “pencil”!

Except, of course polychromos are not regular pencils, I don’t know their exact chemical content, but they are not pure graphite like your regular 2B is (2B or not 2b, ok – there, I said it, happy? grrrr!)

All of this did not put me in a relaxed mood, I felt I could not find anything to draw this week, took me hours, threw away lots of drawings – and the two heads I did (see below) are from imagination, which has not much to do with a sketching class.

OK, ready? Here is the Horror of the Century (I feel I’m back in Composition class for the first time. If you don’t know what I mean, read the start of this blog, my work was pitiful, and of the purest “facepalm” quality).

Here is this week assignment:




Glenn immediately saw (of course!) that I had used polychromos, not graphite pencils, he kindly did not dwell on it, but commented on my drawings:

The heads he found quite good (knowing they were from imagination). The top left bench under the tree ok, the rest sort of ok….. except for the one at the lower left: he could not even tell what it was supposed to represent…. and you know what? A week later I’m not sure myself! I know where I did it,  but as I did many drawing which ended up in a bin I don’t remember which one it is…. and what it is supposed to represent!

In a perfect world, I should try again with a REAL pencil, but we are following a cursus and next week is pencil-free (yeah!) so I’ll have to fight the pencil monster in my spare time (and if you see a double meaning in that sentence, go see a shrink! lol).

Thankfully, Glenn did, during our weekly two-hour online video-drawing-chat a demo of pencil drawing that sort of gave me hope: I think I see what I do wrong!

I’m still in the “pit”, what sculptor Ryan Kingslien calls “the valley of the suck”, it will pass, I know it for a fact. But as I have unplugged the “self assessment” plugin from my brain’s CPU in order to survive this time, I won’t be able to say if and when I have finally reached the other side of the river and made the progress heralded by the pitiful drawings I did this week. Glenn will tell me where I am next week.

Will I be back to normal condition next week? For that matter: do I have a ”normal condition” LOL (joke stolen from Asterix the Gaul).

New entry of this blog will tell all, good or bad!

Meanwhile draw and never give up!!!!

Comments are closed.