This drawing “Catherine’s Breeze” was based on a photo of my Korean teacher friend, Cathy. It looks shiny because it was done on a 14×14 pearl paper, which is a shiny smooth paper. I wanted to make a drawing capturing her likeness in a realistic manner. I drew for 6 hours straight on Saturday and a couple more Sunday. The proportions were the hardest part, because if you don’t get it right the first time, you will have to erase and do again. It’s very challenging and demanding. At least I was very demanding of myself. I learned so much through the process. Here’s just a few things I learned, in no particular order:
- I’m more patient than I used to be
- Drawing is like riding a bull, the longer you hang on the better.
- Using a mirror is a great aid
- It’s not good to work 6 hours straight without taking a break
- It’s good to step away and take breaks often
- Space is just as important as the drawing, especially in-between the eyes, nose and mouth
- It’s great to put your energy and focus in one thing.
- Does this really look like the person you’re drawing?
- I like to make the drawing look better than the photo. At least I challenge myself to do so.
- I’m not afraid to erase and start again. I did that with the eyes, nose and mouth a few times.
So there’s my current list. As I was working, I was thinking “I’m learning so much with this drawing session about myself, it’s scary.” And it was at times. I also learned that I look at things a bit distorted and come to realization that my work will never be perfect. That disappoints the perfectionist in me. But it’s something I accept now, and something that was hard when I was younger. That was probably the biggest change I discovered. If there’s something quirky about you, leave it in there. It’s part of you, and that’s what real art should be, a snapshot of you.