Refining my drawing skills online with private tutelage from a master? Yes! Last week, I wrapped up a 2nd online 6-lesson colored pencil class with reknowned artist Bet Borgeson. “Landscape Using Photo Referernces as Aids” took me out of my usual comfort zone of drawing intimate scenes and portraits. The intricacies of perfecting an effective landscape drawing pushed me to a new awareness of the importance of color placement in relation to compositional distance.
An initial 4x4-inch drawing done for the purpose of learning
the method of "gridding" a photo for rendering proportionally
on paper by hand
For Bet’s critique of my first major assignment, she had only praise. She now features it, along with the composited photos that were used for reference, as an example in the course materials for others to view. See below:
Photos taken July 2012.
Deer: Todaiji Temple, Japan
Stone lantern: at my mother's home in Osaka
However, I struggled with the second critique assignment. The composition of this landscape was required to be an expansive scene and also include “threatening clouds.” The drawing began well enough as a rough draft, then rapidly spiraled down into a “hot mess.” The entire piece became a tortuous and temper-inducing challenge, but in the end, served to teach because of the mistakes I made. Bet, knowing how unhappy I was with the drawing, immediately identified a major problem with my choice of foreground colors and suggested specific ways to revise them.
Will this drawing ever hang on my or anyone else’s wall? No way! It will remain quietly tucked away somewhere, a silent testimony that even after a lifetime of being an artist, I will always have much to learn!