Monday, February 8, 2016

A New Creative Outlet

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'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.


  1. This is going to sound really silly but can you see pictures In your head when you close eyes? I can't and have realised it's one reason why I find it difficult to draw. I didn't know it was an actual condition.

    1. It's not something I ever thought about, but now that you asked--no, I don't think I can! If you put an object in front of me I can eke out the lines to draw some semblance of the object. But to actually create an image in my head and transfer it to paper? No! My sister can paint quite well and I always wondered how. Apparently she can see the picture in her mind and I can't. Wow! I feel like you just solved one of life's great mysteries for me, lol.

  2. Hey wow, you didn't do half bad there. I did a lot of drawing and paining when I was younger, but don't see the 'use' of it so much these days. When it comes to sewing and crochet I am like you. I mean, how many bags can you make, right? So I want to try my hands on garments... but they freak me out. I will try this year though, promise.

    1. What I should probably do is learn to cook well. That's useful. I don't know what I'll do with piles of doodles, but I needed something a little different than needle and thread for a bit, as blasphemous as that feels to say.

  3. Good on you for trying something new though it was a shame the class was crap. Did you leave a review?



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