Challenge of the Squiggles

Every drawing is an opportunity to see something new, express a new idea and learn more about how to draw. I teach beginning drawing. It’s fun to see students grapple with the basic concepts of seeing and mark making.  And, very gratifying to watch their expressions when they realize they’re getting it, when line becomes graceful and values hit the right gradations. Learning anything new is always rewarding whatever the skill is.

Pushing ourselves to learn  something new can also be downright scary. It’s oh so tempting to cling to comfort levels.  Whatever works best becomes our default.  In my case, that’s vertical lines.  As you can see from the drawings in the gallery, I love those vertical lines.  It was a conscious effort when I first started,  now it’s automatic.  In a recent workshop I encouraged the students to try different ink techniques until they found one that felt right to them.  The goal was to create value drawings with pen.  Lines in different directions, cross-hatching, stippling and even squiggling are some of the ways of creating values with ink.





Since I was pushing their comfort zones, they thought it was only fair that I do a drawing with no vertical lines.   I decided to try squiggles.  It was quite difficult at first, but as I drew this grouping of gourds and pots, it became easier    I don’t think I’ll be switching to squiggles any time soon, but it’s nice to know I’m not totally stuck in a vertical rut.



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