If you give me fabric or yarn, chances are I can make you something out of it that isn't half bad. It's not always creative or original, but I can do SOMEthing with it. Much in the same way that a cook can see a pile of ingredients and concoct a delicious meal (I'm thinking of my mom, here, who is an amazing cook) I can look at the crafty media I am familiar with and come up with some sort of project. Now, if you hand me a pencil and paper and tell me to draw something, I will just sit there and stare much in the same way I would if you handed me chemical formulas and directed me to balance them. I've always had a bit of envy for people who could draw something that looked like a real thing. They draw a flower and it looks like a flower. I draw a flower and it looks like something someone might step on or in.
Lately I haven't had much motivation for sewing or knitting. I think I feel like I've made or can make anything I'd be interested in sewing, so my incentive to learn more has been low. I don't enjoy making clothes, so I don't have much desire improve there. I've made so many bags I feel a little maxed out. I don't have a need for quilts right now. And so on. Lather, rinse, repeat for knitting. But I suffer if I don't have a creative outlet. So I decided I wanted to learn to draw or paint or something along those lines. I decided to start with watercolor. It didn't go well. So I back-burnered that. I didn't quit, it's just delayed, because here's the thing--if you don't know how to draw, if you don't understand basic shapes and muscle motions necessary to create those shapes, then you won't get too far.
I was searching for Craftsy classes related to drawing (I've taken several on sewing and knitting and they've been really helpful), and I found this one on colored pencil drawing that seemed like something I'd be comfortable with. I clearly misinterpreted the description, because I was less than enamored with this class. It wasn't a drawing class so much as a coloring class. And if there's something I'm not bad at, it's coloring.
There were a lot of materials recommended for this class, and not all of them were necessary. I had some semblance of most of them, so I only needed to stock up on a few. But even those weren't critical to the class but more of an option you might be interested in. I don't know if you've perused the art aisles at your local craft store recently, but the stuff isn't cheap.
After spending what seemed like a really long time blending colors randomly, we finally moved on to a little bit of drawing and coloring, but I felt a little...lost? with it all? maybe? I mean...I KNOW how to color. I felt like I was doing something wrong because it seemed intuitive but I was watching a video on it and thus developed some kind of disconnect. Kind of like "Am I really watching a video on coloring an apple?" Weird.
So after an apple you're supposed to do a leaf, and then some flower petals. The leaf was abysmal, so here's my flower petal.
It's hard to explain why this just didn't feel right. I mean...it's coloring! I just took a class on coloring! The course description led me to believe it was more drawing, but no. So I just kept at it because there was a blizzard going on outside and what else was I going to do? So then you end up at your 'finale' coloring projects. One was a black-eyed susan. We didn't have to draw it, there was a printout. And I had a hard time figuring out how to layer the colors when I had so many available I didn't need to layer anything to create colors.
The last thing we "drew" came out pretty well. It was a couple of cherries. Again on a printout.
I was quite pleased with myself (even though I went for bright red cherries instead of deep red because I like that color better and I can make them any color I want) until we got to the shadows. Shadows and shading are pretty important to give an object depth and dimension. So I didn't love the instructions to just sketch out a shadow and use the colors from your picture to shade it in (because I can't wrap my brain around the notion that a shadow isn't simply shades of gray as the instructor wants me to).
I suppose they can't all be winners, but this class left me feeling a little bit like..."Oh." This is the first class I've taken on Craftsy that left me feeling like I didn't learn a thing. There are worse ways to get through a blizzard, but this one proved anti-climactic to the excitement I felt knowing what I was going to be doing when the storm blew in. Next up I'll show you what's more my speed and more of what I was looking for to kick-start a creative journey.