Next Monday is Patriots Day, a Massachusetts State holiday. In previous years and hopefully future years, this is a day when Massachusetts schools take Spring break, many local businesses are closed, and the Boston Marathon takes place. This year all non-essential businesses are closed, same with our schools and the Marathon is rescheduled to occur in September.
I’ve been running my own “art” marathon for 76 days in a row as I create a pencil drawing a day. My drawing experience isn’t zero, but nor is it something I’ve been trained in or even had a natural inclination toward. Instead I have spent the past 30+ years wistfully hoping my drawing would miraculously improve without any effort on my part. This is rather like hoping I could learn a musical instrument or how to speak another language. It is very unlikely to happen organically. So, every ten years or so I decide to get serious and focus on improving my drawing. How fortuitous that my hankering to give it another try has coincided with the shelter in place order.
After a few false starts of figuring out the best way for me to learn at home, I discovered the wealth of video tutorials for pencil drawings posted on YouTube. A simple search on “How to draw … for beginners” has introduced me to a variety of ways people teach, subject matters, and most exciting to me a range of styles and approaches. I’ve also become quite assertive about what does and doesn’t work for me. Bet my pet peeves and thumbs up ratings translate well to all DIY videos.
Probably my biggest pet peeve is artists who obscure what they are drawing and rarely lift the pencil from the paper. Even if I pause the video, something I do every 10 to 20 seconds, I can’t tell what line has been drawn. Videos that get two thumbs up draw key lines, pause, and pan back for a wide shot. This way I can stop the video and recreate the line on my own paper.
Don’t tell me what you are doing, show me what you are doing. This is key because artists speak many languages. One of my favorite sites is in Arabic. If an artist shows her work, then anyone can follow along, not just those students who share a language with the artist.
In conclusion, which tutorial I turn to on any given day is really mood driven. I wouldn’t rate one of my favorite sites over another. That is like telling someone what flavor ice cream is best.
I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.