When I was young, I used to draw a lot and my family always encouraged me to continue with it. My Grandmother on my Mom’s side was a very accomplished artist. She did a wonderful self-portrait by coloring the whole page with pencil and then erasing it to draw the lines.
At some point I just stopped drawing. I think hockey and video games took up most of my free time. I also remember becoming frustrated with drawing. My method was to copy cartoon drawings free-hand. If there was a picture of Garfield, I’d copy it free-hand and it was nearly identical, except in black in white pencil.
Over time I moved on to more complex drawings, like one of RoboCop. I labored for hours over the intricate mechanical pieces and proportions. I remember it being frustrating more than fun. I think that’s when I hit a road block in my skills development. I never took more art classes besides the few I had earlier in my elementary school years. Not having taken classes seemed to stunt my growth as an artist. I could not draw real world objects if my life depended on it.
This why I’m rather stunned at what I accomplished tonight. For years, I’ve wanted to improve my art skills in the traditional ways of drawing. I recently started reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and I attempted my first art exercise before the book went into any teaching. Doing the first self-portrait is a way of measuring how well I improve as I read the book. I expected the self-portrait to be hideous. This is what I did in one hour of drawing myself while sitting in front of a mirror.
I can’t wait to see how my skills improve after reading the book and doing more exercises.
© 2010, Reid Bryant Kimball. All rights reserved.