In the pencil drawings by Geraldine, it can be seen that she too had a strong tendency to draw by using symbols, rather than drawing what she actually saw. In coming to my course she especially wanted to work on perspective, but before she could get there she needed to acquire an understanding of line, light and shadow.
A busy language and public speaking teacher, Geraldine has long played with art in her free time, taking many painting classes and experimenting with photography; she felt blocked, however, by her inability to draw realistically. Taking the course proved to her that she could indeed draw, and opened up new horizons for her to explore artistically.
This was Geraldine’s pre-instruction drawing of her hand. It is apparent that she is not able to really look at her hand to draw it; her mind is interposing a symbol for a hand that she has probably used since she was very young.
The following morning she drew her hand like this. There is significant improvement in her ability to understand light and shadow, as especially apparent in the rendering of her fingernails.
Assigned to draw a portrait of someone else, in these pencil drawings she drew this portrait of a friend from memory before I started teaching her. Note in particular how she drew the hair “like spaghetti”, a common symbol, and how the glasses, nose, mouth and eyes are symbolic as well.
But four days later she drew her fellow student in this strikingly realistic and sensitive manner.
Finally, in these drawings, while she had drawn this self-portrait before instruction…
…by the end of the five days she had drawn this self-portrait.
Geraldine made these comments after taking my course:
“I came to Deborah’s class wanting to learn how to draw. I tried to do it myself with a book, about 15 years ago, did three chapters and gave up. So I came to do it with other people, and with a qualified teacher. I’m very satisfied with the results that I got.
I learned all about perspective, which was one of my main goals: how to find some volume in my pictures. Even though I’m over forty, I was still drawing stick figures: round faces and symbols for eyes, lips and all the rest. And here I really learned a lot of new things: as I said, contouring, shading, perspective – everything from buildings to portraits.
What I can say is that Deborah wants us to grow as artists, as “drawers”, if I may use that term, and she really is there to help us.”