Irresponsible Board Members bumming it in San Fran

Well Maggie is off having an early retirement in San Francisco, enjoying the easy life in coffee shops without WiFi. You can read all about it at “”. As part of her new early retirement plan AKA unemployment, she’s decided to try practice drawing. What an ungrateful kid, she complains about the tutorials.  I give her supplies and send her off with a textbook called “The Natural Way to Draw” by Kimon Nicolaides. This is a classical text; we even have at least 2 copies in my house. And one copy came from my grandfathers second or third wife so it is really old.  Of course it must be good.  How can one even contemplate that there might be a better way to learn drawing?

Basically her complaint is that contour drawing doesn’t look like much of anything — so why do it. It’s hard and boring. Well she’s sort of right; but it’s a good way to learn how to draw by looking at something, not at your drawing hand. Very useful if you want to draw using a digitizing tablet and a computer. In fact, I’m going to be an irresponsible Vista Band Booster Director and skip the spring meetings for an art class.  This class, called art illustration, focuses mostly on contour, gesture, and other line drawings. Lots of focus on how to draw things accurately.

But to make Maggie feel better, I’ll include a few of the contour drawings from my current art class. Don’t laugh too much when you look at them.  First, a blind contour (after much practice). That means I did not look at the pencil at all, but looked only at my hand or the bottle.  The first drawing got stopped at the end of the finger because I lost it going around the curve and had to look.  The second drawing went well, it took about 30 minutes to do that blind contour.  And the bottle, you can tell that I rushed the drawing by how I missed having edges meet.




Now some contour drawings were I look at the drawing occasionally.  Here I focused on both looking at the object and getting lines fairly close to their position.  You can tell I had a few problems with the pliers, but Maggie’s wallet is not that bad.




Author: Heres to ART not Cockroaches

Welcome to my life. My life as a mom is changing as the kids grow up, leave home, and build their own lives. This gives me a chance to rebuild myself as an artist, develop a spiritual path, and most fun of all, start going out on dates with my husband. Come here the stories about the small things in life that can make one very happy. Dogs running on a beach, great breakfast dates, kids and their adventures, and my own adventures in this wacky life. I'll share some of my progress in learning art while juggling a full time job as an engineer. And best of all, it's a chance for me to practice writing stories while keeping in touch with my kids. I look forward to hearing from you. Comments, thoughts, and invitations to meet for coffee are all welcomed. Enjoy the stories.

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